Sunday, August 31, 2008

Insider Blog

By one of the McCain daughters (I think). Lots of cool photos. And yes, of course I know the blog is carefully managed by the campaign. Duh.

Complete Incoherence

On the right it's possible to be allied with folks you disagree with. I've always admired Roger L. Simon, and still do. His thinking here, though is entirely off the rails.


The pro-life people are certainly right about one thing – life does begin at the moment of conception (when else?). Those of us who are pro-choice must wrestle with that uncomfortable fact even as we assert our political view. In nearly every abortion, a decision is being made between the life (or convenience) of the mother and an already growing and developing life with unique DNA. As much of a religious agnostic as I am, I am seriously disturbed by that.

Still, I remain pro-choice because I would prefer the government not be involved in these highly personal decisions. Also, as we all must acknowledge, if abortions become illegal, they will continue anyway and, once again, become more or less a privilege of the rich. Pretty repellent.

Here are some comments to his post:

“Still, I remain pro-choice because I would prefer the government not be involved in these highly *personal* decisions”. I’m an atheist and a fence-sitter on abortion, but who exactly is the person in personal? Since it clearly isn’t the fetus (or your statement wouldn’t make sense) I suggest this is a case of petitio principii [begging the question].


Still, I remain pro-choice on the issue of private vengeance because I prefer the government not be involved in these highly personal decisions of whether or not my loved one’s murderer should live or die.

Gee, with that “pro-choice” game, one can justify all sorts of moral relativist mischief, yes?



I’m rather pro-choice myself. However, I think the government has the responsibility to protect humans from being murdered. If life begins at conception, then eliminating it eliminates a life. I can’t see how that is not the government’s job. I think life begins when brain activity begins in the fetus, and I think the fetus should be protected after that point.



As a Christian, I am not against giving homosexuals the same civil rights as married couples–this is the United States and everyone should enjoy equal rights under the law–I’m against co-opting the word, ‘marriage’. Marriage is a sacrament of the church. To re-define it is to take one more step in toward making the sacraments of Christianity and Orthodox Judaism unconstitutional and illegal. That’s what the fuss is about: stop trying to criminalize traditional religion.

I, too, was once pro-choice. It ain’t a clear-cut issue. For example, I doubt you’ve ever considered that by acquiescing to the idea that an unborn child can be murdered because its birth is inconvenient, you are also abandoning the idea that every other human life is sacred–even your own, even those of your children. No one imagines that this is true, but it is.

Once you legitimize the utilitarian arguments of the pro-death crowd, it is merely a question of time until you discover under what conditions society believes your own continued existence is inconvenient. Life is sacred for all, or it is sacred for none.


The “uncomfortable fact” you must “wrestle” with is a fatal fact for aborted children. Great that your son concocted a child in vitro, but would he have cancelled his plans and terminated the kid if the baby was diagnosed with Down Syndrome while in the breeder’s belly?

The “highly personal decision” of deciding whether to let a child live or not is EXACTLY why a government exists–to protect its citizens. It’s always creepy when an savvy, older, and literate human conveniently forgets that for political expediency.


If choosing to end the life of a month-old child is a personal choice which the government should not interfere with, does that mean that in the course of an armed robbery, the choice of the thief to kill or not to kill is a also personal choice?


I find the argument that abortions will continue if not legalized used by Roger and some other commenters very dubious. You don’t make something legal that should be illegal because people will do it anyway. What kind of logic is that? It is good thing we don’t use it for every other act against another(e.g. rape victims, murder ). If the baby is being murdered(i.e. innocent life being ended ), then we are to protect it with every fiber of our being and especially a life that has not chance of protecting itself.


The one common problem with both issues is that neither seem to be able to define clearly what is ‘it’ upon which the laws are based.

For example, we have laws based upon ‘fetus’ which can change according to time, gender and need. If She chooses to call the ‘fetus’ life then She can receive government funded pre-natal care. If She chooses to call the ‘fetus’ a clump of cells She can receive a government-funded abortion. Now if She askes He to kick her in the stomach while She is carrying the ‘fetus’ and He complies Her request and the ‘fetus’ dies then He is convicted for murder and sent to prision while She is free because of her “Right to Choose”. Roe v Wade is discriminatory in so many ways, it is a terrible law which was judicated rather than legislated and needs to go back to the state so that citizens can duke out the laws for themselves.

Now I am to accept something called “same-sex union between a man and a woman’ which is an irrational premise; there is no such thing as ‘union of same-sex opposites’. Further, homosexuals are not banned from marriage, in fact have married, have had children, have divorced then re-married to have more children since the dawn of marriage.

Gay activists are using a fallacy to judicated a law based upon meaningless words and in order to shut down any debate they will attack with highly-charged emotional words such as homophobe. In other words, if I ask a rational question about an irrational premise then I am charged and condemned as homophobe, such underhanded attacks is called ‘being progressive’


You first must start with facts and reasoned arguments. Your post is utter nonsense.

Your reference to Palin’s decision is disgusting. Who in the world are you to pass judgment on the situation?

Next, your assertion that sexual orientation is predetermined is totally absurd. What do you mean by orientation? There is no scientific consensus on this front. Thus, your statement is just your personal feelings on the matter. Further, there is a huge gap between genotype, phenotype and behavior. So what in the world do you mean by your assertion?

Your reference to unchristian beliefs is even more absurd than your appeal to science. What specifically, is unchristian? Are you saying that Christ was unchristian for his teachings? Please explain your confusing assertions.

The connection of all this feeble thought to same sex marriage rights is the final link that you make that is totally absurdly. How does any of this compute?

Nice Description

Written by an Althouse commenter and featured here:

Man, the leftist whackos and nutroots are going to come out of the woodwork like cockroaches. Pallin wears fur, she hunts and eats moose burgers, she is a life long member of the NRA, and the worst, the absolute worst crime -- her husband is a fisherman who works in the oil fields in the off-season. Yep, a regular working stiff. The kind of guy they hate and are jealous of. Not a lawyer or a fuzzy headed policy wonk; not a professor of basket weaving or Mayan Mysticism, not someone who lives off the teat of government grants; but a real, solid, hard core, working man. A guy who gets his hands dirty every day. The average Joe American.

What makes her even more odious is she actually worked with her husband on the fishing boats. She really, actually worked for a living. The Gospel chorus is lining up to rage and rant; “my God, how can he pick someone like that? Working people, why, they, they, they, know too much about real life!”

PETA, the anti-gun nuts, ELF, KOS, MYDD, Huffingglue and probably a host of others will be gnashing their teeth, pounding their drums, shaking their chubby little fists and green tamborines, and going into full, foaming at the mouth, rabid attack mode. They are going to have heartastrokes over this.

How True

Thomas Sowell (in an otherwise fairly unremarkable column):

Some people were surprised that [McCain's] choice was a woman. What is more surprising is that she is an articulate Republican. How many of those have you seen?

Catty, Arbitrary, Cruel

Ross Douthat on Andrew Sullivan:

For months and months, all through Hillary Clinton's losing campaign for the Presidency, my colleague Andrew Sullivan insisted over and over again that his furious anti-Hillary partisanship was in fact a defense of authentic feminism, since Hillary's ascension to the White House would represent the worst sort of pre-feminist, second-hand success - a woman marrying her way into power, that is, rather than attaining it on her own. Well, now John McCain has picked as his running mate a woman who embodies all the post-feminist virtues Andrew insisted were absent in Hillary Clinton's ascent - she's risen from working-class obscurity to govern a state dominated by an old boys' network (where the other prominent female politician is a classic legacy pick), while successfully juggling motherhood and her career and never, ever, piggybacking on any of her husband's achievements. (Though admittedly, Todd Palin would probably kick Denis Thatcher's ass in a snowmobile race.) Obviously, there are serious questions about the wisdom of the Palin pick, and as an Obama partisan Andrew has ever reason to go on one of his characteristic blogging tears against her candidacy. But given his primary-season insistence on his own credentials as a feminist, you'd think that Andrew would confine his attacks on Palin to critiquing her record and mocking her lack of experience, rather than, say, posting emails accusing her of being a bad mother for accepting the nomination, snickering over her children's names, and razzing her as a bimbo and a "trophy candidate."

Or, you know, not.

Ticked Off

Freeman Hunt is. Her post inspired this comment:

We all know the media is in the tank, but I have been simply astounded by the degree of their ridiculous, sexist reaction to the phenomenal Palin pick. The Dowd column is a perfect example. It just kills them that this lady has actually accomplished more in her life, while living decent all-American values, than they ever could dream of doing. Like I wrote over in my blog, if Palin were liberal, Julia Roberts would already have won an Oscar for playing her. But because, horror of horrors, she refused to murder her own child, she's just some hick beauty queen who should be home taking care of her kids...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Comparison Sheet

Well done!

Shut Out

In response to a pro-abortion rant in the comment thread I mentioned here, I attempted to post:

Natasha (comment 61): Wouldn't you agree that being born is actually quite good for a woman? If she doesn't have the right to at least that, then on what basis, really, does she have any other rights?

I support the fundamental right of women to be born. For me it's an issue of basic respect.

Is it really helpful to consider me and others like me to be the personification of pure evil because of this? It seems to me that the Democratic Party, and progressivism in general, is utterly destroying itself with its non-negotiable abortion obsession, which constitutes an obvious violation of the principle of protecting the weak and powerless against the predations of the strong and self-interested. Progressivism becomes little more than an empty sham when this fundamental principle is abandoned. How about a little sympathy, a little empathy, a little compassion for the pre-born women who have been, who are now, and who are to come? Is this really such a nightmare to you?

My comment was quashed in moderation, and didn't see the light of day. Then again, Violet made this rule for the post:

Also, please refrain from attempting to “enlighten” me or my readers about abortion.

But progressives always tell me that minds are like parachutes and stuff. I suppose that in the final analysis, their bumper sticker slogan means that only right-wing minds need to be open to function.


There's something about fighter pilots.

Who Would You Rather Have Lead, The Guy Who Masterfully Set Up The Trap, Or The Guy Who Fell Into It?

Lots of good stuff in the Ed Morrissey piece, which quotes Kirsten Powers, media Democratic advocate, who seems rather fed up with the chauvinsim of her party.

Well Said

Comment here:

This was such brilliant politicking on McCain’s part. I don’t know why I’m so surprised, it’s not like he hasn’t been at the job for a while now. But to be able to completely douse the glow of the stadium extravaganza like a caribou p!ssing on a campfire - so confidently and beautifully played.

also this:

That’s where the genius lies: family rearing, gun totin’, Bible thumping, small city, mid-West states where BHO did poorly against Hill. My guess is we’ll be able to see how the strategy plays out simply by observing in which states the candidates campaign.

Babies, Guns and Jesus - an unstoppable combination.

Sweet. Lethal. SARAH’CUDA.

I sure as heck wasn't expecting this, but politics has become big-time fun, again.

The Difference Doesn't Get Any More Succinct

From this comment thread:

As I posted yesterday:

Obama’s Speech: “OB AM A! OB AM A! OB AM A!”
Palin’s Speech: “U S A! U S A! U S A!”

Great Slogan Idea

Especially since Palin is now on the GOP ticket. Seen in comments here:

Obama/Biden: A Bridge to Nowhere

Hey Michael, Wouldn't An Asteroid Strike Or A Slate-Wiper Outbreak Of Airborne Ebola Be Even More Awesome?

All class.

Some Pro-Life Slogans

Just thought of these:

Being Born Is Good For Women

The Most Fundamental Woman's Right Is The Right To Be Born

Take Away A Woman's Right To Be Born, And What Does She Have Left, Really?

Just Sayin'

What the Democrats couldn't do after years of maneuvering, months of campaigning, and endless anticipatory hype, McCain just did with a little inspiration and a couple of phone calls.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Good Post, Good Comment

Reclusive Leftist posts about the brilliance of McCain's choic of Palin. Bill Whittle of Eject!Eject!Eject! fame left the following comment to the post:


Let me start by saying that I am a conservative Republican, and very likely we disagree on most everything. (And believe it or not, I got here before the Instalanche)

I’ve been everywhere on the web these last few days, keeping my ear to the ground — left and right and everything in between — but this is the first post I have been moved to comment on, because you seem very reasonable in your analysis.

All I wanted to add was this: My strong feeling is that you and many of your commenters have been lied to over the years. Republicans — at least the ones that I know, and I know a LOT of Republicans — are neither misogynists or racists. The essence of our philosophy is individualism, and ideally we support or oppose positions and candidates based on their character, rather than their identity.

I say this because I think it is a big mistake to assume that McCain picked Palin because she is a women. No doubt that is a part of it, but it is Palin’s character that has us just smitten with her. She had a problem at school one day so she went to a PTA meeting. She didn’t like the way things were going so she ran for the PTA and won. Then she ran for mayor of her hometown — where she played basketball and met her husband — and won. Then she got disgusted by Alaska politics and GOP corruption, and as a Republican ran against the corruption in her own party — and won. And she never whined or complained. She’s happily married, she’s a tough lady married to a tougher man, and she got there through hard work and sheer determination.

She’s the conservative success story, and that is why men and women on the right just LOVE this pick. Not because she’s a woman, but because she’s Joe, uh, make that JANE Citizen, and she played by the rules and beat corruption.

For Conservatives, Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens and his Bridge to Nowhere pork project are the absolute DEATH of conservative principles. These guys have ruined the Republican party. Sarah Palin went right at them and beat them senseless.

So it is a mistake to think of her as a token choice designed to woo Hillary voters. (I’ll think she’ll do some of that too, mind you.) But McCain is serious about corruption and reform. He has paid a heavy price in his own party for it — I was there, and I saw the resentment leveled against him. And I think he chose Palin because he plans to not only run against Obama, but against the 9% approval-rating Congress. She is the Real Deal in that regard.

So as someone who you undoubtedly disagree with on just about everything, let me close with something from the heart. I don’t like Hillary, because I don’t like her policies. But just about every conservative I know thinks she was robbed by the DNC, and that Obama’s nomination was gamed by the Democratic leadership. So since Hillary is off the ticket in ‘08, I would ask you to consider this…

There are two nuclear issues in American politics, and they are The Right to Bear Arms and Abortion rights. They are the only two issues that cause one side, or the other, to actually go out and riot in the streets. You can twiddle with them a little (partial birth bans, assault rifle bans) but there is no way that Conservatives will EVER be able to make abortion illegal, and no way for the Liberals to EVER confiscate a private citizen’s guns.

With that said, I would encourage you to look at Sarah Palin as what we all hope for: a self-made person who seems to want to do the right thing. She’s not a Woman VP — she’s an anti-corruption VP. That’s how we see her. That’s how she deserves to be seen. She has the enthiastic — actually, incandescant support of every conservative I know — not because she is a politcal missile aimed at Hillary voters, but because she embodies the American dream of the citizen who decided to make a difference.

One of the earlier posters wondered who would be more misogynistic: McCain or Obama. Is that a joke? McCain picked her because she is the best person for the job he has in mind: go clean out Washington from the inside. The democrats passed on Hillary Clinton — who had been part of the White House team for eight years and was married to the President of the United States. The Republicans chose a woman who is married to a commercial fisherman, because she has shown character, and did what she set out to do. We’re going to back this woman all the way to the wall. She’s earned it.

I would hope that would make any woman proud. It certainly made me proud, and I’m a knuckle-dragging, war-mongering Neanderthal.

Good luck in November, and may the best side win.

Actually Darwinists Do Use The Term "Darwinism"

Despite one of their most hackneyed debating points. Dave Scot:

Is “Darwinism” a term only used by creationists?

Well, either the people behind the trade journal Genome Research are creationists or the term is used by everyone else too.

Genomics and Darwinism

Genome Research is now accepting submissions for a special issue, entitled Genomics and Darwinism, devoted to comparative and evolutionary genomics, including primary research reporting novel insights in large-scale quantitative and population genetics, genome evolution, and natural and sexual selection.

Methinks the Darwinists doth protest too much.

Turns Out That Those Who Don't Believe In Free Will Act Less Morally

Now, why would that be? Details here.

Fantasy Analysis

Very interesting post at One Cosmos, in which Gagdad Bob uses "fantasy analysis" to strip the Obama speech down to the most resonant words:

In order to perform a fantasy analysis on a text, one records all strong feeling words (including anything related to the family, e.g., mother, father, baby) regardless of context, plus any unusual metaphors or gratuitously repeated words. One also eliminates negatives, because of the symmetrical logic of the unconscious, which converts a negation to an affirmation (for example, the more Obama insists his forbears were from Kansas, the more it emphasizes that he grew up in Indonesia, or the more he complains about people questioning his patriotism, the more it emphasizes the lack thereof).


So without further ado, here's what Obama was transmitting to the Democrat underworld, unconscious-to-unconscious (I've inserted paragraph breaks where there was a lengthy stretch with no new material, or else a sudden change of emphasis):

profound gratitude... great humility... inspiration... love... love... proud... sacrifice... dreams... dreams...

jeopardy... courage... war... turmoil... lost... plummet... beyond your reach... broken... illness... disaster... chokes... drowns before our eyes... enough! enough... bravery... gratitude... respect... broken... strong anxiety... suffering... whiners... whiners... burdens... whiners... tough luck... failure... strength... sick... strength...

protect us from harm... provide every child... safe... help us... not hurt us... cut... cut... security... dependence... dying... sick... sick... sick... ailing... protected... strength... crime... despair... children... war... threats... stubborn... threats... strained... harm’s way... war... fight... conflicts... aggression... threats... genocide... disease... died... abortion... gun plagued... violence... criminals....

love... passions... mother... separated from her infant... child... undercuts... strength... happy talk... firmer... abandonment... scare... people should run... hopes have been dashed again and again... something is stirring... children losing a limb... floodwaters rise... powerful ... strong... envy... anger and discord... fear and frustration... cried... children...


Oh, forget about Obama and the Democrats. Those sleepwalkers are entirely predictable. I could have written the speech myself, and done it in half the time. First, I'd spend maybe ten minutes putting the delegates into a light trance, and then utter the following, in rhythm with their breathing:

children... babies... mommy... security... mmmmmm... love... milk... warmth... happy... mmmmm...

danger! daddy! violence... abortion... abortion... abandonment... separation... independence... be a man, Fredo!... welfare cuts... safety net... social justice... turmoil... walmart... haliburton... katrina... gitmo... torture... torture... scared... what happened to the breast... suffering... victim... victim... victim... whiner... whiners... whining... victim... victimizing... victim... I blame Bush...

mommy!... drowning... help!... powerful... powerful... rescue... safe... government... breast... government... breast... breast... breast... mommy...


Conservative texts are boring (in terms of fantasy analysis) for another reason, which is that they are so rational and straightforward. It's very easy for a conservative to just come out and say what they are for: limited government, low taxes, judges who do not legislate from the bench, school choice, religious freedom, etc.

But for an American liberal, they can never just blurt out what they believe, on pain of never winning an election, or of getting no ratings. Air America is a case in point. Like Hitler, they make no attempt to conceal their liberal agenda, so it is deeply unpopular, except I suppose in crazy places such as San Francisco.

See the whole post. Bob's got an amusing photo at the end.



Obama: McCain Puts Sarah Palin in 2nd Place
by Scott Ott for ScrappleFace

(2008-08-29) — Sen. Barack Obama today slammed his Republic opponent John McCain as “a sexist who sees women as subordinate to men and who intentionally puts them in his shadow,” just minutes after Sen. McCain announced he had selected Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.

“What could be more denigrating to women?” Sen. Obama asked a crowd of supporters in western Pennsylvania. “I think it’s shameful that Mrs. Palin’s name will always be mentioned after McCain’s and that she’ll earn less money than he will. American women are tired of being put in their place by men — treated as second-class citizens.”

Sen. Obama, who chose an elderly white man name Joe Biden as his running mate rather than his rival Sen. Hillary Clinton, said he avoided picking Mrs. Clinton “to spare her the humiliation that John McCain plans to impose on Sarah Palin.”

“The only way she’ll be able to break into the old-boy network of the presidency,” said Sen. Obama, “is over John McCain’s dead body. McCain is literally the man who stands in her way.”

Barack Who?

McCain, you magnificent bastard! A look at where the buzz is on the news websites.

A Couple Of Palin Facts

To counter the soon-to-be-arriving shameless attempts at character assassination on the part of our socialist masters:

First - "Palin has no experience". That's an easy one to dismiss. Sarah Palin has had more executive experience, meaning experience in running either a business or a government, than either Barack Obama or his running mate, Joe Biden. She has more executive experience than even her running mate, John McCain. Governor Palin served as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska from 1999 to 2002. She was elected as President of the Alaska Conference of Mayors. She was elected as Governor of Alaska in 2006. And she has quite a few concrete achievements, considering the amount of time she's been in office.

Second - "Palin's part of the corrupt GOP establishment in Alaska (Stevens, Young, etc.)". That's an even easier one to dismiss. Governor Palin has always run as the anti-corruption candidate. She served as Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from 2003 to 2004, when she resigned in protest over the actions of her fellow Alaskan GOP leaders, including then-Alaskan Governor Frank Murkowski. She was furious over the fact that they ignored her reports of rampant GOP corruption. When she chose to run for Governor, the GOP establishment ignored her and supported the incumbent Murkowski. Palin beat him, and went on to beat former Democratic Governor Tony Knowles with no support from Alaskan GOP leadership. She has actively supported and helped the GOP primary opponents of current indicted Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens and Representative Don Young, and denounced both of them often in public.

Oh, and the forthcoming claim that Palin's in the pocket of big-oil? Her ethics complaints were filed against people who really were in the pocket of big oil - she was on the outside, investigating.

Photo Of The Week: It Ain't Hillary Or Obama

Geraghty On Palin


First Thoughts on the "Wow" Pick That Is Sarah Palin

Five quick thoughts on Sarah Palin, probably the only pick McCain could make who could simultaneously appeal to Hillary supporters who think sexism cost her the nomination, and consolidate large swaths of the conservative base.

1. As mentioned below, Palin killed the Bridge to Nowhere. This is a reform ticket, and the "more of the same" charge looks even less plausible now.

2. She doesn’t just talk the pro-life line; she lives it by choosing to carry to term her child with Downs' Syndrome. Consider the social conservative base consolidated.

3. The Democrats want to question her experience? She’s spent more time running and managing a bigger institution than anybody on their ticket has. No party ticket offered an all-experience ticket. The question is, if you think experience is important, would you rather have it as at the top of the ticket or at the bottom?

4. In the debate, guns will come up. Biden thought the guy who called his gun “his baby” has problems. She’s an NRA favorite.

5. Do I have to be the first to say it? She’s gorgeous. Stunning. A jaw-dropping knockout. This will inevitably cause some Democrat to call her a bimbo (remember how Jeri Thompson was treated by those jerks at MSNBC). That will backfire enormously. In some places in this world, women still encounter sexism and condescension. ("Hold on a second, sweetie.") Attractive women encounter it and sometimes get it even worse, the idea that if you look good, you can't have a brain in your head. The Democrats will be playing with fire every time one of their surrogates or friendly commentators go on the cable news shows...

For what it’s worth, most of my readers are going bonkers. They love the pick.

A moment ago, on CNN:

John Roberts: She has a child with Down's Syndrome, and care for children like that can take a lot of time. Is there any concern about the balance of that?

Dana Bash: The McCain camp is probably wondering if she were a man, whether you would be asking the same question.

Change Is About All That We'd Have Left

Claudia Rosett:

[E]enough, already, of Barack Obama’s “improbable journey.” He grew up in an America in which, under both Democratic and Republican presidents, his rise turned out to be wonderfully possible — and at lightning speed. What’s really improbable is the destination that in the name of “change” he now promises this nation.

The place to which he would guide us is a land of the free lunch, where the government will wake you up in the morning, tuck you in at night, and pay your bills in between. Healthcare, daycare, college tuition, energy, pensions, jobs … you-name-it, the super-size state will be there, assuring, insuring, investing, redistributing, paying off credit card bills, rebuilding cities, mending lives, saving farms. All of that would of course require a state bureaucracy even more immense and intrusive than the bailout-happy tax-and-spend behemoth we have now. But that’s OK, because under Obama, lobbyists would vanish and special interest groups would melt away. With all Americans holding up “change” placards on cue and chanting “Yes we can,” our dreams would become one.

Of course, someone would have to pay for this vast experiment in state-mandated largesse, and since even America’s resources aren’t infinite, someone would have to ration it out. So there’s the intriguing glitch that while Obama’s big plans are supposed to help Americans succeed, anyone with the audacity to do so would be taxed and regulated right back into victimhood — with the exception, perhaps, of those an Obama administration might judge virtuous enough to deserve special privileges and exemptions. That’s not the system that made America great, and it’s not the system that gave Barack Obama the rich opportunities he has enjoyed to realize his own dreams. But he’s right about one thing. It would be change.

The Dream Is Still Only A Dream

Excellent Brutally Honest post.

Democrat Speeches Boiled Down

This is good:

The Generic Convention Speech [Yuval Levin]

If you need a break from the morning-long stress test, have a look at David Brooks’s take on a generic Democratic convention speech. A taste:

We stand at a crossroads at a pivot point, near a fork in the road on the edge of a precipice in the midst of the most consequential election since last year’s “American Idol.”

One path before us leads to the past, and the extinction of the human race. The other path leads to the future, when we will all be dead. We must choose wisely.

We must close the book on the bleeding wounds of the old politics of division and sail our ship up a mountain of hope and plant our flag on the sunrise of a thousand tomorrows with an American promise that will never die! For this election isn’t about the past or the present, or even the pluperfect conditional. It’s about the future, and Barack Obama loves the future because that’s where all his accomplishments are.

Thursday, August 28, 2008



Hope and Change Become Gloom and Doom [Victor Davis Hanson]

Same old, same old of the last two decades.

The convention's final workmanlike message: The country is wrecked. Our freedoms are lost. Our soldiers are victims, not triumphant heroes. We are all impoverished except for a parasitic few. All bad news is not due to globalized changes in a radically different world, but to the nefarious greed of Bush-Cheney-McCain nexus. The Obamas, Kerrys, Pelosis, Gores, et al. who make millions a year and live in mansions, are populists uniquely called upon to tax, expand government, and think of ever new programs, as if the United States doesn't have the largest government and the most ineffective programs in its history.

And this is change? Political transcendence?

Geraghty Remarks On The Anger


Euphoria For His Fans; Disappointment For the Rest of Us

I notice three glaring flaws from a speech that I’m sure will make Chris Matthews’ leg explode, prompt Keith Olbermann to start chiseling at Mount Rushmore, and that will be hailed by many media commentators as the greatest in American history – just as Obama’s Berlin speech was, just as Obama’s race speech was, just as his Iowa victory speech was, just as his 2004 convention address was…

Obama’s speech was predictable, it was implausible, and it was strikingly, inexplicably, angry.


Angry: Of all the aspects of this speech, the anger was the part that surprised me the most. I didn’t expect him to take it easy on McCain, but after McCain’s “well done,” ad, I wondered if they would take out some of the sharper or snippier lines. I can't imagine anything came out, unless this morning's version included him dropping the F-bomb. The red tie fits Obama tonight, because he was angry. As another blogger noted to me while Obama was giving the speech, McCain’s congratulatory ad looks out of place tonight, as he just made a nice gesture to a guy ripping him six ways to Sunday.

Obama clearly was offended by the “Celebrity” ad. He ought to blame his organizers, who treated this night as a mega concert, not a key step in the democratic process.

The line “McCain said he will follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell, but he won’t even follow him to the cave where he lives,” was disastrous. Obnoxious.

“I’ve got news for you John McCain. We all put our country first.” First of all, no, some people don’t. Second, he made that line into an attack line.

Obama was bitter. Clinging, I guess you could say.

Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if Obama won. He’s promising the moon, the sun, the stars, a chicken in every pot, and government-managed health care for all. It’s tempting, as everyone wants to believe in a free lunch. Sometimes, the American people have to see that ideas that sound too good to be true always are, and that command-and-control big government doesn’t work.

I'm not too worried. This abomination of a speech is not going to age well.

Great Point

K-Lo at The Corner:

"Prevent Unwanted Pregnancies" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

We could also work so that pregnancies are wanted.

Obama's Speech

Bombastic. Angry. A strange undercurrent suggesting vengeance. "Triumph Of The Will" music during the confetti-fest. No warmth. No humor. No sunny optimism. Just "I have a grievance". Feh.

People expected MLK. Instead they were treated to Malcolm X.

Some Good Daily Show Shtick


Darth Obama

Dang, this is funny. Also very intelligent. Some great slapdash amateur vid-making. Some great comebacks from the conservative guy.

Vox Day On Blog Comments

I get a kick out of Vox Day. Viz:

Now, I'm not terribly concerned about the blog numbers here, but I'll admit that when I first considered a request to add comments to this blog, I was somewhat skeptical about the concept. Being fully aware that most people are idiots, I correctly anticipated that most comments posted would be idiotic. This has certainly proved to be the case. If anyone happen to find that statement insulting, so be it, feelings can't change the observable fact that most of the comments here are juvenile, off-topic, illogical demonstrations of self-obsession when they are not feeble, illogical, and error-prone attempts at criticism of one sort or another. And then there's those that somehow manage to combine both....

The fact that the discussion in the comments here is nevertheless of a higher intellectual quality than can one usually find elsewhere is a potent practical argument against democracy.

What people often forget is that the commenters on a blog make up a small fraction of the readers of that same blog. A few people may read blogs for their comments, but the vast majority do not, the self-inflated fantasies of some blog commenters notwithstanding. Moreoever, a blog's commenters tend to be the most outspoken, fractious, and emotionally troubled portion of its readership. They inevitably cause problems; the notorious trolls are actually much less irritating than the revenant-stalkers who are so socially inept that they cannot refrain from showing up where they know they are not wanted. Add to this the emotionally incontinent fanboys who respond inappropriately to everything from criticism of the blogger to criticism from the blogger and you've basically got a worthless morass of wasted time in the making. It doesn't help when people feed the trolls and revenants by responding to them either.

This is a real problem for many bloggers and I don't blame those, like Ross Douthat, who have decided that it's simply not worth the trouble trying to manage the unmanageable. Fortunately, it's not a problem for me, for three reasons. First, as I have repeatedly stated, most people are idiots - functionally if not literally - and that applies to most commenters here. Until you demonstrate otherwise, rest assured that I hold you in all the intellectual regard you have merited to date, which is to say none. I therefore need not concern myself with your ramblings. Second, while I definitely do care what some people think, you almost certainly aren't on that particular list. I might like you, I might find you amusing, I might even regard you as a positive mutation and a distinct step forward in the evolution of Man... but that doesn't mean that I care what you think. Third, as a libertarian down to the bone, I don't believe that it is possible to manage people for an extended period of time, so I'm not inclined to waste my time trying.

So, no one need be concerned that I'm going to ditch the comments. They are often useful, occasionally amusing, and always completely avoidable...

Abortion Alone Justifies

Nora Ephron, Democrat, explains the soul of the Democratic Party:

My other favorite thing [Nora is being sarcastic] about Hillary's speech is that she wrapped herself up in Seneca Falls, and my God Harriet Tubman, even Harriet Tubman, and yet somehow she never once referred to Roe vs. Wade. She never once mentioned choice. She never once said the truth, which is that any Hillary supporter who doesn't understand that this issue alone is the reason to vote for Obama has no business pretending to be a Democrat.

A Message That Needs To Be Hammered Home


The key point here: Obama's only executive experience ever was working for Bill Ayers.


Cardinal Egan as quoted in this Hewitt column (which covers a lot of other ground and is well worth reading):

What the Speaker had to say about theologians and their positions regarding abortion was not only misinformed; it was also, and especially, utterly incredible in this day and age.

In simplest terms, they are human beings with an inalienable right to live, a right that the Speaker of the House of Representatives is bound to defend at all costs for the most basic of ethical reasons. They are not parts of their mothers, and what they are depends not at all upon the opinions of theologians of any faith. Anyone who dares to defend that they may be legitimately killed because another human being “chooses” to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name.

You Would Be Lucky To Get Him To Work For You. I Can't Recommend Him Too Highly.

Ramesh Ponnuru notices something about the major convention speeches praising Obama.

When Sanity Returns

Good housing essay by Charles Hugh Smith.

Well, They Should Be Worried

Some Democrats are worried about the pomposity of the setting of tonight's Obama speech. You know, because the bad old Republicans might say something mean about it, but not because there's anything wrong with the idea.

Yahoo front page article here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

If Californians Are Insane Enough To Vote For Something Like This, They Can Kiss Their State Goodbye


A California activist is trying to gather the 694,354 signatures needed to place a tax initiative on the ballot that would:

* Impose a new 35% income surtax (in addition to federal taxes and the existing 10.3% top state rate) -- 17.5% (on all of the taxpayer's income) when income exceeds $150,000 (single)/$250,000 (joint), and an additional 17.5% (again, on all of the taxpayer's income) when income exceeds $350,000 (single)/$500,000 (joint).

* Impose a one-time 55% wealth tax on assets exceeding $20 million held by a California resident or held in California by nonresident.

* Impose an exit tax of between 36.5% to 54.3% on both income and unrealized appreciation in asset values over $5 million when a resident dies or leaves California.

A Miraculous Conversion

See Mark Shea link.

It's All In The Staging

Hubris known no limits.

This graphic sums things up rather well:

Dangerously Unprepared

Another true (and therefore ruthless) McCain ad.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Photo Of The Day

From here (H/T Mark Shea):

See also.

Answering The Insults Of The Treason Party


All Is Going According To Plan


The Washington Post reports on the great unease at the Democratic Convention:

As the Democrats kicked off a convention designed to unite support behind Obama, interviews with several dozen delegates pointed to an undercurrent of anxiety among many from key swing states who will be charged with leading the push in their communities. They expressed doubts bordering on bewilderment: Why, in a year that had been shaping up as a watershed for Democrats, amid an economic downturn and an unpopular Republican presidency, is the race so tight?

Why, indeed. The answers: Jeremiah Wright. Tony Rezko. Michael Pfleger. Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.

"Above my pay grade." "Bitter and clinging to God and their guns." "Citizen of the world." Tire gauges. "First time I have been proud of my country." "Vastly superior infrastructure." The Born Alive Infant Protection Act.

And now Slow Joe Biden.

That's just part of the list. The Dems are nominating the most radical major party candidate in history, whose thin record is relentlessly hard left, and whose rhetoric of change and hope cannot cover the fact that he has never worked across the aisle, has never sought to reform the deeply corrupt Chicago or Illinois political machines, and that he is hopelessly out of his depth on foreign policy and national security issues.


And they are also alarmed by a shaken and struggling campaign that releases text messages of important decisions in the middle of the night, and ads on the first day of the convention that focus on Bill Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist who has long and significant ties to Obama. It made matters much worse that Nancy Pelosi used Meet the Press to start a major confrontation with the Roman Catholic Church on abortion which has sparked stinging rebukes from senior Catholic leadership in Denver and nationally.


The attempt to rush the country to the far left of the political spectrum worked for as long as no one focused too much on what Obama believed and who his close friends and allies are and the emptiness of his rhetoric. Now the focus has arrived, and the effect is withering. It is magnified by the rhetoric of some of Obama's supporters like billionaire Tim Gill, who is using his money to attack politicians who believe in traditional marriage. The Denver convention has a huge number of radicals working to nominate a radical. Is it any wonder that traditional Democrats are worried that their party has driven itself into a very tight corner?

Obama Can't Handle The Truth

He's tied to Ayers. Period. But he's trying to silence the ads. The convention is a really wise time to kick this hornet's nest, Obama.


15 year old female suicide bomber surrenders. She was wearing 33 pounds of explosives.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Vox Day:

What, taking young children away from the mothers for most of the day and turning them over to strangers to learn herd dynamics from their age peers isn't beneficial to learning or civilized behavior? How could this be?

Of course American liberals love the concept of pre-school. Their whole objective is to render the population stupid and subservient and "education" is the most effective means of doing that short of putting lead into the water supply. Leftists would like nothing better than to make school attendance mandatory for everyone from 6 months to 65 years of age.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Where Is The Real Conspiracy?

Great post by Dave Scot.


Progressives are such subtle thinkers. Also, from the Fox News article referred to at the link:

Madonna gave her fans a not-so-subtle dose of her political stance during the first show of her tour, where during a video interlude images of Hitler, Mugabe and McCain flashed on screen, along with images of destruction and global warming.


A later sequence in Madonna’s on-screen collage showed slain Beatle John Lennon, Al Gore, Mahatma Gandhi and finally McCain’s democratic rival, Barack Obama.

I can see she's thought this whole thing through.

And The Resurrection Has Only Been A Teaching Since The Ford Administration


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hope Changes To A Dirge

Kind of downbeat.

And just to diffuse the whole messiah shtick that has made their man a laughingstock, it's called "American Prayer".

McCain's Ads Continue To Impress

Relentless. Shrewd. The latest here.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hinderaker Minces No Words

Well said!

Obama: The Reds Can Teach Us A Thing Or Two

Blog post by Hewitt:

Obama Asserts Beijing Infrastructure "Vastly Superior" To Ours

Obama, earlier today:

Everybody's watching what's going on in Beijing right now with the Olympics , Think about the amount of money that China has spent on infrastructure. Their ports, their train systems, their airports are vastly the superior to us now, which means if you are a coporation deciding where to do business you're starting to think, "Beijing looks like a pretty good option."

I suppose so. Provided you don't mind de minimus pollution controls, employing people under Chinese labor conditions, and you don't mind construction standards in the countryside that allow the collapse of thousands of buildings including schools when the earthquake hits, killing tens of thousands.

Obama has said a lot of stupid things recently, but the idea that totalitarian eye-candy engineering proves Beijing is the better than America is near the top of the list.

Hugh Hewitt also has a good column today about the Obama implosion.


And in the background, playing again and again, McCain's "The One" ads, which are among the best ever produced by a presidential campaign. Using light humor to deflate a Rushmore-sized ego built on a Alfred E. Neuman resume was a brilliant stroke that sent Obama reeling and from which he hasn't yet recovered. A mass-rally to chanting thousands isn't going to help either.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Let He Who Is Without A, Uhh...Uhh, Now Just Hold On!--A Uhhh Teleprompter---Cast The First Stone.

This rocks.

McCain Keeps Pounding On Obama

Another good ad here. The Republican attack machine is so vicious. What with using people's own words and all.

This one is also very hard hitting. It is in response to the ad viewable here. BTW, I happened to hear on Limbaugh today a soundbite of Obama ripping on McCain for not knowing how many houses McCain has. Obama sounded like nothing so much as a street-corner ranter.

Here's one (not by McCain) that slams Obama for his association with unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers.

It's good to see Republicans finally going for the jugular.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Great Parody

By The Onion. See it here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Good Rhetorical Point

Buried in an Amazon review food fight:

Gentlemen, you lump creationists in the same group as ID proponents. This makes you appear quite gullible. As propagandists you seem unable to discuss anything coherently about the two groups differences, or even see them. Readers, however, are more capable. The groups have displayed separate origins and largely an independent development. You gloss over that fact due to your obvious bigotry. The two movements qualify as separate and distinct. Check T. Woodward's books on the matter instead of your uncritical evolutionist agenda. Denton, Thaxton, Johnson, Behe launched ID, not Henry Morris and Duane Gish. If you cannot discuss rationally the origins of two American social movements that appeared in the last century, how can you be trusted to advance a correct view of origins from prehistory? Furthermore, if you cannot distinguish people who are still alive, how can you differentiate fossils, which aren't?

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Tough Choice

Babies are cute. But so are kittens.

H/T Mark Shea.


H/T Mark Shea.


A fascinating new alternative take on traffic engineering is examined here.

VDH Critiques The One

Short, but sweet.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

25 Reasons You Might Be A Liberal


I liked these ones:

* You're sure the Constitution explicitly guarantees the right to abortion and gay marriage, but not the right to own a handgun.

* You think Dan Quayle is the dumbest Vice-President we ever had because he believed a flash card that misspelled "potato," but think Obama is a genius despite the fact he believes we have more than 57 states.

* You'd be more upset about your favorite candidate being endorsed by the NRA than the Communist Party.

* You think the case for global warming is proven without a shadow of a doubt, but that we need another century or two worth of evidence to figure out if capitalism and free markets work better than socialism.

* You have more nice things to say about countries like Cuba and France than you do about your own country.

* You think the war in Iraq is unwinnable, but victory in the war on poverty is going to happen any day now if we can just get the Democrats back in charge.

* You couldn't care less about what Americans in states like Kansas or Virginia think of you, but you would be greatly upset if a Frenchman gave you a dirty look because you're an American.

Okay, I Can Understand How They Figured Out The Colors And Sizes, But How Did They Figure Out Their Names?

Seriously, though, this is cool:

H/T John C. Wright.

Good Synopsis

Of the “Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency". It sounds like it was a vastly better way to get an insight into the candidates than the standard MSM "debate".

"Above My Pay Grade"


Winning Strategy

This will backfire like an untuned Harley.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Counterintuitivity Must Be Earned, Not Merely Asserted

Good comment:

Indeed, belief in intelligent design of the world, and especially of the biological world, was the norm before materialist ideology gained power, while materialist and deterministic philosophies were the odd exception. In a sense, we could say that common sense prevailed.

One of the arrogant boasts of the emerging materialist science has been that it can prove things which are against common sense, delivering us from our slavery to silly trivial views of reality.

Now, in some cases that boast is indeed justified: the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, and some of the achievements of astrophysics, are IMO true pearls of scientific thought, and all of them have some aspects (but not all!) which are counter-intuitive. So, in a sense, science can reveal aspects of reality which common sense would never suspect.

But we have to consider that, in all the examples cited above, there is a very strong mathematical background which supports the counter-intuitive conclusions. Mathemathics, being a truly abstract science, and scarcely understandable by most people, can certainly support bold counter-intuitive concepts about reality: the true mystery, and IMO a strong argument for cosmological ID, is that such abstract mental tools have such a strong explanatory power about reality; in other words that physics (a science of the external world) seems to be fully governed by mathemathics (a science which originates in the mind).

But can we reason the same way about the theory of darwinian evolution? Absolutely not. Here, the same thing which makes relativity and quantum mechanics so strong and beautiful (their mathematical rigour and power) is absolutely lacking. Indeed, as we all in ID know so well, darwinian theory escapes any mathemathical argument about its basics as though it were the devil itself! It is so disappointing to see such a (politically) successful scientific theory, based for its same foundations on supposed random causes, systematically try to elude any serious statistical analysis. And it is not only mathematics and statistics, but logic itself which is constantly betrayed in darwinian thought, in all its forms, old and new: scientific methodology, while applied brilliantly to some details of the research (I really do admire those biologists who daily achieve wonderful acquisitions about the working of biological beings), is constantly forgotten as soon as the fundamental parameters of interpretation of the results are at stake. And the basics of rational thought (non contradiction, causal inference, and so on) and of philosophy of science and epistemology (such as the difference between theories and facts) are not only regularly disregarded, but often openly scorned.

That’s why, if quantum mechanics has all the rights to defy common sense in few, but important points, darwinian evolution is totally unqualified to do the same. Indeed, the confrontation between darwinian theory and common sense has really no history: not only common sense wins practically everywhere, but if we analyze more deeply the essence of the fundamental disagreements between the two, using the only powerful rational tools we have, logic and mathemathics and statistics and cognitive philosophy and epistemology, the conclusions of common sense are absolutely confirmed and strengthened, while all the points of darwinian theory appear at best as bad fairy tales.

Why They Hate Us

Some pretty cogent analysis about why artists tend to be such leftists.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Financial Innumeracy

A great example at the NYT. One of the political parties is well-served by this sort of ignorance. Any guesses which one?

Shattering The Myth Of ANWR

Democrats are such a bunch of liars. And Republicans are such a bunch of ineffectual nitwits when it comes to combating decades of lies. A few pictures are worth thousands of words.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Onion Is Getting Very Sophisticated

Now, this is funny. And very professionally done.

Also, Mark Shea has linked the "Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest 2008 Results", a contest for intentionally awful first book sentences. Some good stuff.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hedging Risk Increases Risk

Charles Hugh Smith does a great job examining a theme I've been contemplating for many years: When everyone thinks they have protected themselves from risk, they act in such a way to radically increase global risk. The converse is that when everyone is deeply wary of risk, overall global risk is greatly diminished.

Smoke And Mirrors

Potemkin opening ceremonies. Buck teeth? Why didn't the Chinese authorities detect this in the womb so they could perform the necessary abortion?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Well Said

Dave Scot, in the comments here:

Our position here, or at least mine, is that it has been sufficiently demonstrated that humans can invent abstract codes that both specify and drive complex machines. Furthermore, there has been no demonstration that anything else in the universe has this capacity.

I’m quite willing to concede that AI and AL is possible through human invention. In fact I consider it inevitable in the not too distant future if technology continues to progress at the current accelerating pace. FYI, I’m a fan of the technologic singularity hypothesis.

But all that does is provide additional evidence of what, for all the empirical evidence we have, are inescapable laws of nature:

1) life comes from life

2) intelligence comes from intelligence

The AI and AL, primitive as they are in comparison to human mind and body, that exists today would not exist without a preexisting intelligent mind to invent them and a preexisting body to instantiate them.

Of course this raises the question of either a first intelligence (first cause) or an infinite regression of intelligence begetting intelligence. I’m sorry I don’t have an empirical answer for that. Be that as it may the empirical evidence I do have all supports the two laws described above with absolutely no known exceptions.

In any science except evolutionary biology when a great body of observation and with no known exceptions exists it is the basis of promoting theory to law. At this point in time the laws I described should be accepted as law but instead, due to dogmatic exclusion, what should be laws are not even granted the status of hypotheses. If find this a totally unacceptable corruption of science.

I concede there is the possibility of exceptions to the laws but these must be demonstrated rather than imagined. In the meantime the laws remain unbroken.

Why Obama Will Not Win

Good analysis at American Thinker.


At The Onion.

Turning The Tables

Mark Shea has a post in response to an NPR story about "Skeptic Camp". I liked this comment to his post:

"Evangelicals have camps. Catholics have camps. So we believe there's a need to have an alternative for students who are exploring other options out there."

10 or 15 years from now, I look forward to meeting people who say "I'm rational, but not skeptical," or "I went through 12 years of atheist school, so I know all about that stuff and it just isn't for me," or "Organized irreligion is all about control. My parents raised me that way, but my philosophy professors at the U really opened my eyes."

Great Quip

At the end of this Instapundit entry:


For all the discussion of new media’s role in hurting profits and revenues at traditional media outlets — newspapers, magazines, broadcast television and radio — the sharp downturn in the auto industry is another big culprit, and is taking an increasing toll on the advertising revenue generated by the media.

In the first quarter alone, the auto industry spent $414 million less on advertising than in last year’s first quarter, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

And it’s not just the local newspaper or television station that is hurting from cutbacks in advertising by the local car dealerships.

In recent earnings reports from the major media companies, like Viacom and Time Warner, executives mentioned the downturn in the auto industry as one reason for lagging revenue at cable networks and magazines.

Well, with story after story on how cars are polar-bear-killing inventions of the devil, you'd think they'd be glad to be rid of all that dirty money.

Greater Affordability Should Not Be A Lament

Good Charles Hugh Smith piece.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Found Light

My wife was standing in the hallway a few minutes ago, and I noticed some really cool backlighting. So I snapped a picture:

Image Hosted by

Big version here.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Things Are So Simple That No Designer Is Needed, Yet So Complicated That No Designer Is Possible

Is there any argument a Darwinist will not try?

New Scientist Thinks Complexity Argues Against Intelligence

It's not easy being an evolutionist these days. You have to feel a pang of pity for the critics at New Scientist, who have resorted to a new argument against intelligent design:

The more complex things are, the more we see that there's no way intelligence could have created them.

That's right — complexity is now an argument against intelligent design. From yesterday's print edition:

As Socrates knew, the really intelligent know the limits of their own ability, an idea we seem to be relearning. You might say supporters of intelligent design have it backwards: the more we observe the complex workings of our universe, the more we must conclude that no single intelligence could have created them.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The One

McCain is doing a pretty good job applying some much-needed ridicule: