Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Idiots Just Never Quit

Anti-teleworkism! Another way to sue your boss: At least maybe if your boss is the federal government.
On December 9, President Obama signed into law the Telework Enhancement Act, a bill designed to increase telework among federal employees ...[T]he legislation gives federal agencies six months to establish a telework policy, ... Agency managers and employees are required to enter written telework agreements detailing their work arrangements and to receive telework training. Under the Act, teleworkers and non-teleworkers must be treated equally when it comes to performance appraisals, work requirements, promotions and other management issues. Each agency must designate a Telework Managing Officer, and must incorporate telework into its continuity of operations plan.
If the new law doesn't explicitly allow "teleworkers" to sue if they're passed over by promotion, it's not hard to see that possibility on the near horizon. Questions:

a) Do we think the Telework Enhancement Act will make the government more productive, or less? You used to at least have to show up at work. Things might then accidentally get done just because there was nothing else to do.

b) How much of the productivity savings from teleworking will be spent promulgating the agency "telework policies" required by the law, figuring out who is eligible, drawing up "telework agreements," and attending conferences on teleworking? Will you be able to telework all this new telework work?


d) If you really want to encourage telecommuting, then shouldn't you discourage the spread of a "no discrimination against teleworkers" rule to private industry? What employer will want to push telecommuting if that means he'll have to think twice before not promoting, let alone firing, an underperforming telecommuter (because it might mean a lawsuit)?
On the other hand, maybe we'd all be better off if government workers really didn't do anything.

Fire Them All

A simple solution to a simple problem.


Poetic Assessments

From an English film critic concerning various stars. A diverting read (and no, the assessments are not in the form of poems).


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Virtuoso Composers/Musicians. They're Poor Robot Mechanics. Therefore They Suck.

Is standard atheist/theistic evolutionist reasoning.

Refuted in comment here:
The whole problem with the TE argument is that it is a fallacy of analogy.

It is using the “Artificer Analogy” as the standard. Who’s the better engineer? An engineer that can design a machine that that fix itself or an engineer that has to constantly fix what he made?

But what happens if we change the analogy of God to creation to that of a musician and his instrument?

Who would be a better musician, a musician that plays the instrument perpetually so that the notes form an endless masterpiece or a musician that played a single note on the instrument and then just stared at the instrument?

Or even better: what would happen if we changed the analogy to that of a drama writer and his play? Even better: he’s not just the writer of the drama, he’s also the director and the main protagonist.

Which would be better, a writer/director/main protagonist that was constantly doing all three duties at once forming the play of history that will be memorable for eternity or a writer/director/main protagonist that writes the first line, directs himself onstage, and says one line, “Let there be…” and walks offstage never to be heard from again?

The problem with the Artificer Analogy is not that it’s wrong, it’s that it is only a partially correct analogy. The relationship of God to His creation is so much more than all of the analogies listed above.

The Conversion Story Is Missing

Excellent American Thinker piece.

Our Tax System Is Quite Unfair

But not in the way that leftist delusions would assume:
FLEECED: The upper 1% earned 19.6% of total income before tax, and paid 41% of the individual federal income tax. “No other major country is so dependent on so few taxpayers.”

I Second His Advice

Charles Hugh Smith on why the cash dollar is your best investment.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Jig Is Up

The Fed has lost its mojo and The Century-Long Scam is nearly at its end.

Good article.

Amateur Eclipse Time-Lapse

Don't miss this.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Abysmal Ignorance

I took after the journalist Richard Wolffe for criticizing Sarah Palin on MSNBC. Palin said she had found inspiration in the works of C.S. Lewis. Wolffe derided her for finding inspiration in children's literature. Wolffe was ignorant of Lewis's vast corpus, including many works of popular Christian apologetics. I reviewed Lewis's works and concluded that Wolffe didn't know Jack.

I think Palin was referring to one or more of Lewis's books of religious reflections for adults, but I am interested in knowing what book(s) she was referring to. I wish someone would raise the question with her and get an answer.

The idiotic Joy Behar appears on ABC and elsewhere, but she apparently gets the news from MSNBC. She criticized Palin last week for finding inspiration in children's literature. Watching MSNBC, Behar has become almost as smart as Richard Wolffe!


Friday, December 17, 2010

The First Rule Of Journalistic Ethics

Never let the facts get in the way of a story.

CORRECTING OUR NEWSPAPERS: “‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ is not ‘the military’s policy.’ It is a federal law, 10 U.S.C. Sec. 654. DADT was imposed on the military by Congress. This mistake is made by reporters frequently, but that does not excuse it.”

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Worst Of The Quislings In The GOP Actually Listened To Reason

Some Americans might be under the impression that they just watched a lame duck Congress engage in a lame-o budget fight. But Senate Republicans' stunning defeat [tonight] of the Democrats' omnibus spending bill was anything but boring.

What our great nation just watched was the Democratic Party preview its political strategy for the next two years. It also watched a united Senate GOP defeat that approach, though not before a handful of Republicans considered walking straight into the Democratic trap. The whole episode was an early peek at the GOP's biggest challenge going forward.

That challenge is, as it always is, spending. Republicans lost in 2006 primarily because of their profligacy, and they won this year primarily because they swore off that profligacy. It's that simple—and don't think Democrats don't know it. President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi understand that the surest, quickest and most delicious way to undermine their opponents is to tempt them into renouncing their own promises of fiscal responsibility. The added beauty is that Democrats continue to get exactly what they want: bigger government.

This week Democrats unveiled a $1.2 trillion omnibus, legislation as pure an insult to the electorate as it gets. It was a 1,924-page monstrosity that nobody had time to read. It took 11 spending bills that Democrats couldn't be bothered to pass individually and crammed them into one oozing ball of pork and bad policy, going beyond even the obscene budget of 2010.

Yet to this legislative Frankenstein Democrats carefully attached the spenders' equivalent of crack cocaine. To wit, omnibus author and Hawaii Democrat Daniel Inouye dug up earmark requests that Senate Republicans had made in the past year (prior to their self-imposed ban) and, unasked, included them in the bill. He lavished special, generous attention—$1 billion worth of it—on some reliable GOP earmark junkies: Mississippi's Thad Cochran got $512 million; Utah's Bob Bennett, $226 million; Maine's Susan Collins, $114 million; Missouri's Kit Bond, $102 million; Ohio's George Voinovich, $98 million; and Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, $80 million.

The effect of this dope—just sitting there, begging for a quick inhale—on earmarkers was immediate. Two seconds into the sweats and shaking hands, nine Republicans let Mr. Reid know they'd be open to this bill.

Democrats were euphoric. An omnibus victory, they knew, would subject Republicans to an ugly PR hit. True, the omnibus would pass primarily with Democratic votes. But the headlines would focus on the handful of Republicans who provided the final votes and undermined the GOP's spending message. GOP support for this bill would also tarnish what goodwill Republicans earned for their self-imposed earmark ban.

Better yet, Republican earmarkers would be providing President Obama and Democrats a giant policy victory, undercutting House Republicans before they even got the gavel. Everyone in Washington understands that the most powerful tool that Republicans gained in this election was control over spending bills.


That didn't happen, but only because Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell accomplished a mini Christmas miracle. The Kentuckian devoted yesterday to making the arguments—both principled and political—to the Spending Nine. He was ultimately persuasive enough, and the earmarkers wise enough, to pull back their support. A very unhappy Mr. Reid was forced to yank the omnibus last night. He will now work with Republicans on a short-term funding bill, a process that should give the incoming GOP House far more influence over upcoming spending decisions.

And the lesson for Republicans (yet again)? Unity and principle rule. Mr. McConnell held his members against ObamaCare, and won an election. He held them on taxes, and forced President Obama to help the economy. And this week, by holding together on something equally straightforward—a promise of fiscal responsibility—Republicans turned what could have been a black eye into a bitter humiliation for Mr. Reid and other supporters of an irresponsible spending blowout.

A Sound Trashing Of The One


“When The Communists Show Up To Protest The Nazis, You’re Supposed To Pray For An Asteroid, Not Pick A Favourite.”

Quite an interesting (and unusually lengthy) Instapundit post.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pertinent Questions

Next, I posed this question to Chris Hayes on Twitter, so I’ll pose to those of you who read this site who are outraged by the Hudson ruling: Putting aside what’s codified Bill of Rights, which was ratified after the main body of the Constitution, do you believe the Constitution puts any restrictions on the powers of the federal government?

If your answer is yes, what restrictions would those be? And what test would you use to determine what the federal government can and can’t do? I’ve written this before, but after Wickard, Raich, and now, if you support it, the health insurance mandate, it’s hard to see what’s left that would be off-limits. I mean, during her confirmation hearings, Elena Kagan couldn’t even bring herself to say that it would be unconstitutional for the federal government to force us to eat vegetables every day. (She did say it would be bad policy — but that’s a hell of a lot different.)

If your answer is no, that is, that the Constitution puts no real restraints on the federal government at all, why do you suppose they bothered writing and passing one in the first place? I suppose an alternate answer might be that the Constitution does place restrictions on the federal government, but those restrictions have become anachronistic given the size of the country, the complexity of modern society, and so on. To which my follow-up question would be, do you believe there should be any restrictions on the powers of the federal government? Let’s say, again, beyond those laid out in the Bill of Rights.

I guess to get at the meat of the disagreement, I should ask one more: Do you buy into the idea that the people delegate certain, limited powers to the government through the Constitution, or do you believe that the government can do whatever it wants, save for a few restrictions outlined in the Constitution? It’s not an unimportant distinction. I’m not sure it’s consistent to believe that the government gets its power from the people, but the people have gone ahead and given the government the power to do whatever it wants.

I’m not trying to be cute. I’m genuinely interested in how people on the left answer these questions. Rep. Pete Stark, a liberal Democrat, said a few months ago that he believes there are no constitutional restrictions on what the Congress can do. To hear from a sitting Congressman was refreshingly honest. And terrifying.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Why, It's Just Like Auto Insurance!

Ed Morrissey:
This is such a bad argument that it staggers the imagination why the administration would still be making it. Drivers carry required insurance to cover damage done to others, not themselves, for one thing. It’s not applicable at all. Furthermore, states impose the insurance requirement, not the federal government, because states license drivers and vehicles. Driving is, after all, a voluntary activity conducted on public property (roads); there is no requirement for licensing or insurance for those who drive only on their private property. People who don’t drive on public roads aren’t required to buy a license or the insurance.

There are other problems with this analogy as well. Those who do have auto insurance only file claims when significant damage occurs. Auto insurance doesn’t pay for routine maintenance, like oil changes, lube jobs, and tire rotation. That’s why auto insurance is relatively affordable.

Also, auto insurance is priced to risk. If a driver lives in a high-crime area, then the premiums will rise to cover the risks associated with theft. If they drive badly (get moving violations and accidents), premiums will go up, or in some cases, the insurer will drop the driver. Policies are priced for risk according to age as well; the youngest and oldest drivers pay more due to their propensity for causing losses. Those who drive well and present a lower risk get rewarded with lower premiums. Right now, the federal government is preventing insurers in some instances from risk-pricing health insurance to impose government-approved fairness. That means we all pay more, removing the incentive to lower risk.

Finally, let’s use another related analogy: fire insurance. If we forced insurers to write comprehensive policies on burning homes, we would have no insurers left in the market. However, Holder and Sebelius want health insurers to do the same thing — and need the mandate to force all of us to assume that risk through the higher premiums that subsidize it. And, by the way, the government is doing exactly what Holder derogates in the essay — forcing insurers to write policies after the accident/fire/illness.

The need to reform the health-care economic model is real. Holder, Sebelius, and Barack Obama have gone in the wrong direction through the imposition of government mandates and the calcification of the third-party payer model. We need to break that model for routine health maintenance and return insurance to the role of indemnifying against substantial loss and end the tax incentives for the market distortion of the employer-based health care model.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Inconvenient Truth

Here's the problem with the American perspective (and that in Britain, for that matter): There is no means by which playing "tax the rich" can close the gap.

Here, again, is the budget picture in terms of deficits in dollars:


So let's assume we don't pass the tax cuts for the "rich." Ok, that's $70 billion a year. The gap between revenue and spending is over $1,600 billion.

In other words "soak the rich" gets you 4.4% of the problem.

And remember, this change gets rid of the dividend, capital gains, and income tax preferences for the wealthy, defined as "those who make over $250,000 as a couple, or $200,000 as an individual."

If we "**** the rich" even more, we could probably take another $200 billion off that number. That still doesn't matter, simply on the mathematics.

Beyond that level you probably run into "avoidance" - that is, perfectly legal choices to make less.

There have been plenty of years where I've written really big checks to the IRS, and not all of them were related to MCSNet. The last few years have been pretty good. But this much I can tell you - if the government was to, for example, tax everything I made at 90% beyond $200,000, I would never make more than $200,000 a year again. Ever. I will not work hard to earn that money only to turn 90% of it over to the government.

Those of you who get up and go to work every day simply don't get it or don't care to listen. You get paid time and a half for hours over 40, and double time on weekends and holidays. The former is actually Federal Law, not employer preference.

I, on the other hand, was literally on-call 24x7 for a decade building what I had with MCSNet. I didn't have an actual vacation - a time when I could choose to shut off the pager and phone for so much as 24 hours - for more than five years. For a decent part of that time I not only ran my own joint I worked for "the man" at the same time. Today, as an entrepreneur, I still can't take that vacation. I had it for a few years when I was effectively "retired" but now it's gone again, as I run The Ticker and forum. I go on "vacation" or have a "nice weekend" and my phone and laptop are always with me, as I have to be able to respond to potential problems with the infrastructure - and if I hired someone to watch the infrastructure I'd have to be able to respond to "business issues."

The motivation to do this - to take the risk of material loss of one's capital and to trade one's personal life off like this instead of being a working drone that works for "the man" from 9-5 and then comes home to watch "Dancing With The Stars" - is money. Remove that motivation by confiscating what I earn and I will stop doing it and sit in my hottub drinking Cognac or fishing every day instead - that's a promise and a fact, and your illusory "tax revenue" will fail to materialize.

Exactly where does that "avoidance" behavior begin? I don't know. But what I do know is that it begins at a lot lower level than you probably think. And the spiral that this promotes downward in tax receipts is both very real and impossible for the government to stop or prevent.

And The Horse You All Rode In On

Noonan on Obama:
He spent his first year losing the center, which elected him, and his second losing his base, which is supposed to provide his troops. There isn't much left to lose! Which may explain Tuesday's press conference.

President Obama was supposed to be announcing an important compromise, as he put it, on tax policy. Normally a president, having agreed with the opposition on something big, would go through certain expected motions. He would laud the specific virtues of the plan, show graciousness toward the negotiators on the other side—graciousness implies that you won—and refer respectfully to potential critics as people who'll surely come around once they are fully exposed to the deep merits of the plan.

Instead Mr. Obama said, essentially, that he hates the deal he just agreed to, hates the people he made the deal with, and hates even more the people who'll criticize it. His statement was startling in the breadth of its animosity. Republicans are "hostage takers" who worship a "holy grail" of "tax cuts for the wealthy." "That seems to be their central economic doctrine."

As for the left, they ignore his accomplishments and are always looking for "weakness and compromise." They are "sanctimonious," "purist," and just want to "feel good about" themselves. In a difficult world, they cling to their "ideal positions" and constant charges of "betrayals."

Those not of the left might view all this as straight talk, and much needed. But if you were of the left it would only deepen your anger and sharpen your response. Which it did. "Gettysburg," "sellout," "disaster."

The president must have thought that distancing himself from left and right would make him more attractive to the center. But you get credit for going to the center only if you say the centrist position you've just embraced is right. If you suggest, as the president did, that the seemingly moderate plan you agreed to is awful and you'll try to rescind it in two years, you won't leave the center thinking, "He's our guy!" You'll leave them thinking, "Note to self: Remove Obama in two years."

In politics, the angry person is generally understood to be the loser, which is why politicians on TV always try not to seem angry. And politics is always, at the end of the day, a game of addition, not subtraction.

Mr. Obama's problem is not only with the left of his party. Democratic professionals, people who do the work of politics day by day, don't see him as a bad man or a sellout, but they scratch their heads over him and privately grouse. They don't understand a Democratic president who, in the midst of a great recession, in our modern welfare state, doesn't know how to win support! The other night Pennsylvania's Democratic governor, Ed Rendell, was on "Hardball" sounding reasonable on the subject of Mr. Obama, but I thought his eyes, his visage, his professionally pleasant face were screaming: Those crazy birthers are wrong, he's not from another country—he's from another galaxy! He doesn't do politics like any normal person!


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

We Can't Even Print Money Correctly Any More

And that's our core skill. Perhaps we should outsource the job to China.

Jon Stewart has more.

The Scam Suits Him Just Fine

WARREN BUFFETT: Robber Baron? “Warren Buffett isn’t just noted as an owner of life insurance companies and a supporter of the estate tax. He’s also noted as a buyer of family businesses. . . . These two business strategies support each other. . . . It’s hard to think of Warren Buffett as a robber baron. He’s a jolly chap who just seems to be along for the ride. But the ugly truth is that his businesses benefit from one of the major big-government redistributive programs by which the ruling class makes government big and families small. He’s a leader of a ‘redistributive combine’ that wants to keep what it got from the government favor factory. He’s one of the chaps sitting by the side of the road taking their cut, courtesy of Uncle Sam.”

Sunday, December 05, 2010

200 Countries, 200 Years

This video has been making the rounds the last few days. Finally watched it; it's worth your time.

Glad To Hear You're On Our Side, Chuck

So let's do this thing.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Good Question

Vox Day:
Inherit the Science

Smarmy evolutionists and socially handicapped atheists almost invariably bring up the Scopes trial when confronting religious individuals or anyone skeptical about the theory of evolution by (probably) natural selection. Of course, as is reliably the case, they know next to nothing about it, it is merely a social marker upon which they've learned to place importance in the course of their cultural indoctrination. Jonah Goldberg brings to our attention a few of the more interesting aspects of the science that the defenders of the secular faith still deem so vital to teach in public schools:
"The Races of Man. – At the present time there exist upon the earth five races or varieties of man, each very different from the other in instincts, social customs, and, to an extent, in structure. These are the Ethiopian or negro type, originating in Africa; the Malay or brown race, from the islands of the Pacific; the American Indian; the Mongolian or yellow race, including the natives of China, Japan, and the Eskimos; and finally, the highest race type of all, the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America....

Improvement of Man. – If the stock of domesticated animals can be improved, it is not unfair to ask if the health and vigor of the future generations of men and women on the earth might be improved by applying to them the laws of selection. This improvement of the future race has a number of factors in which as individuals may play a part. These are personal hygiene, selection of healthy mates, and the betterment of the environment.

Eugenics. – When people marry there are certain things that the individual as well as the race should demand. The most important of these is freedom from germ diseases which might be handed down to the offspring. Tuberculosis, syphilis, that dread disease which cripples and kills hundreds of thousands of innocent children, epilepsy, and feeble-mindedness are handicaps which it is not only unfair but criminal to hand down to posterity. The science of being well born is called eugenics."

The Remedy. - If such people were lower animals, we would probably kill them off to prevent them from spreading. Humanity will not allow this, but we do have the remedy of separating the sexes in asylums or other places and in various ways preventing intermarriage and the possibilities of perpetuating such a low and degenerate race. Remedies of this sort have been tried successfully in Europe and are now meeting with success in this country.
- George William Hunter, A Civic Biology: Presented in Problems (New York, 1914): pp. 193-196, 253-254, 261-263.
So, the next time someone smirks and brings up Scopes, the monkey trial, or Inherit the Wind in an attempt to assume a posture of scientific superiority, don't forget to ask them which aspect of elementary biology they deem the most important to teach to American schoolchildren, the mechanism of natural selection, the moral imperative of artificial selection, the criminalization of unfit breeding, the forcible placement of the inferior in asylums, or the supremacy of the white race.

Monday, November 29, 2010

"I Don't Care What My Electric Bill Is. I Haven't Worked My Entire Life So That My Living Room Can Look Like A Soviet Bloc Stairwell During A James Bond Fight Scene."

Dennis Miller as quoted in this American Thinker piece which calls for fighting the fight to lift the asinine, imperious, tyrannical incandescent bulb ban.

Take Away The Keys

Interesting idea:
Via the Volokh Conspiracy, where there’s this additional suggestion: “Any law that lets states be bailed out should require them to renounce their state status and revert to being territories, to be reorganised by the federal government as new states. That has the advantage of getting rid of the old, dysfunctional, state government, removing the state and its inhabitants from national influence until they’ve had a chance to learn some wisdom, and being enough of a penalty to make bailouts unattractive to other states.” I see many problems with this approach, but I admire its spirit.

Palin Let's Them Have It With Both Barrels

Nicely played.

Nicely Stated

Brutally Honest:
A kite will not fly unless it's restrained. Man cannot be free unless he's moored morally to a grounding set of beliefs. London has put forth a most interesting theory. [Weak-tea] Christianity's failure to provide moral boundaries might be leading many to embrace the constricting beliefs of Islam.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Well, Shiva Is The Destroyer.

"This Show Should Come With A Mental Health Advisory."

Pretty good concise takedown of The View, highlighting near-perfect philosophical incoherence.

In A Nutshell

Althouse as quoted by Instapundit:
hey don’t go through the exercise of putting themselves in the place of someone who thinks differently from the way they do. But how would it feel to be intelligent, informed, and well-meaning and to think what conservatives think? Isn’t that the right way for an intelligent, informed, and well-meaning person to understand other people? If you short circuit that process and go right to the assumption that people who don’t agree with you are stupid, how do you maintain the belief that you are, in fact, intelligent, informed, and well-meaning?

What is liberal about this attitude toward other people? You wallow in self-love, and what is it you love yourself for? For wanting to shower benefits on people…that you have nothing but contempt for.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Epic Fail

Who could have predicted this?
Let’s face it. Barack Obama and Eric Holder gambled their entire national-security credibility on the Ahmed “Foopie” Ghailani trial, arguing that they could get convictions of detainees captured abroad by military and intelligence assets while using federal courts as a venue rather than the military commissions that Congress repeatedly authorized for that purpose. Holder scolded critics who pointed out all of the reasons that such a strategy was much more likely to fail for “politicizing” the process, especially in regard to the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, whose case is more problematic than Ghailani’s, where the FBI did a large part of the investigation before intelligence assets were used to seize and interrogate Ghailani.

The failure of Holder’s DoJ to win anything more than a single conspiracy count against Ghailani as a result of using a process designed for domestic criminals than wartime enemies shows that the critics had it right all along. It also shows that both Obama and Holder have been proven spectacularly wrong, since a man who confessed to the murder of over two hundred people will now face as little as 20 years, with a big chunk of whatever sentence Foopie receives being reduced by time already served.

The administration is left with three choices in regards to Ghailani: announce that they will release him at the appointed date whenever his sentence ends, announce that they will hold him indefinitely without regard to the court’s ruling on the matter while referring the case back to a military commission despite his acquittals, or refuse to state which they will do and hope the issue falls to the next administration. The first will mean that the US will knowingly release a master al-Qaeda terrorist with more than two hundred murders under his belt; the second will mean that the trial they staged was nothing but a sham. And the third will be a cowardly dodge.

Such is the state in which Holder as Attorney General has left the US. Either the US is so inept that it will eventually release a man who attacked two of its embassies abroad (which was an act of war by al-Qaeda) or that the DoJ may commit an impeachable act by knowingly submitting a defendant to double jeopardy, whether in this administration or a future administration. By committing to the civilian criminal system and assigning judicial jurisdiction where it never belonged, those are the only options left.

It was that decision that created the entirely predictable set of decisions that forced the judge to exclude the evidence gleaned by intelligence interrogation that proved Ghailani guilty — a cascade of consequences foreseen by critics and arrogantly sneered at by this administration as “politicization.” It’s both the arrogance and the incompetence that requires Eric Holder’s termination as Attorney General. Holder made these decisions and hotly defended them as perfectly reasonable, with no reduced chance of getting convictions in these cases.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It Seems Like Even More Of A Pathetic Joke After A Couple Of Years

The next time your lefty friends wax poetic about some politician, remind them of this.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Let Me Tell You--Vehemently, And In Great Detail--All About My Hobby Of Not Collecting Stamps

From the comments to this post:
"You get the argument that their position is different because it is a non-belief, rather like not collecting stamps."

This has always seemed silly to me. When an atheist claims that all atheism is is a lack of belief in god, and that therefore he makes no claims whatsoever and has no burden of proof in a discussion about atheism and theism, I ask him if he lacks belief for a reason. If not, then his position is non-rational, and not worth discussing. If so, then he does, it seems to me, make at least one claim, viz. his reason(s) justifies his lack of belief. If this is so, why is he not obligated to defend *that* claim?

The response I usually hear is, "well I lack belief because there's no evidence," to which I respond, "fine, but you must now tell me what you mean by evidence, what counts as evidence, and so on, and then defend the claim that there is no evidence for god's existence against some claims that such and such counts as evidence for god's existence, so you *still* have an obligation to defend your claim; oh, and you must use the term evidence consistently, so you cannot say that X isn't evidence for god because it fails to meet requirement R, but Y is evidence for this or that scientific theory (or whatever), if it too fails to satisfy requirement R."

Not only that, but if atheism is merely a lack of belief, then it's just a description of one's psychology: search all of S's beliefs, and you won't find the belief, "god exists." But then to say that Jones is an atheist is akin to saying that Jones has red hair. Notice, though, that while we can say it's true *that* Jones has red hair, it's meaningless to say, Jones's red hair is true (or rational, or probable, or warranted, etc.; but if this is the case, then it's just as meaningless to say that Jones's atheism is true (or rational, probable, warranted, etc.). But atheists tell us all the time that atheism is rational, etc. Hence, atheism cannot be merely descriptive, i.e. refer to a lack of belief merely.

Friday, November 12, 2010

"The Top Ten Reasons Why Conservatives Should Not Be Celebrating The Election Results"

Here ya go.

It's Just Good Common Sense

Warning labels.

The Needs Of The 8000 Outweigh The Needs Of The Few Hundred Million

255 million: The number of Americans with existing health insurance coverage.

20 million: The number of Americans without any health coverage at all due to economic circumstances.

375,000: The number of Americans with pre-existing conditions HHS said would apply for coverage in the first year of ObamaCare, one of the main political arguments for its implementation.

8,011: The number that actually did.
To judge by President Obama’s rhetoric, the insurance industry’s victims have been wandering the country like Okies in “The Grapes of Wrath.” Thus ObamaCare gave the Health and Human Services Department the power to design and sell its own insurance policies. The $5 billion program started in July and runs through 2014, when ObamaCare’s broader regulations kick in.

Mr. Obama declared at the time that “uninsured Americans who’ve been locked out of the insurance market because of a pre-existing condition will now be able to enroll in a new national insurance pool where they’ll finally be able to purchase quality, affordable health care—some for the very first time in their lives.”

So far that statement accurately describes a single person in North Dakota. Literally, one person has signed up out of 647,000 state residents. Four people have enrolled in West Virginia. Things are better in Minnesota, where Mr. Obama has rescued 15 out of 5.2 million, and also in Indiana—63 people there. HHS did best among the 24.7 million Texans. Thanks to ObamaCare, 393 of them are now insured.

States had the option of designing their own pre-existing condition insurance with federal dollars in lieu of the HHS plan, and 27 chose to do so. But they haven’t had much more success. Combined federal-state enrollment is merely 8,011 nationwide as of November 1, according to HHS.

This isn’t what HHS promised in July, when it estimated it would be insuring 375,000 people by now, and as many as 400,000 more every year. HHS even warned that it would bill private carriers for any claims if HHS decided that they had cancelled coverage to dump costs on the government. That outcome would certainly be in keeping with Mr. Obama’s caricature of rampant discrimination against the sick.
That comes to a success rate for that prediction of just under 2.2%. The Wall Street Journal points out that the program operates at a loss — which means that consumers who qualify for the program in essence have partial subsidies by entering it. And yet, despite the billions of dollars committed to funding it and the efforts of 27 states to duplicate it, only eight thousand people have bothered to apply for the program.

The Obama administration and its allies in the Nancy Pelosi Congress revamped one-sixth of the American economy, created new federal mandates, and created chaos in system that worked for the vast majority of Americans, just to deal with eight thousand people? Perhaps they should have tested the issue by creating the program separately first and determining whether the demand required a complete overhaul of a health-care system that mainly worked for the rest of us, instead of arrogating to themselves the task of dictating the shape of a market they clearly don’t understand.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Not Sorry, For Some Reason

Good observation by The Anchoress. As such, it has led to tantrums in the comment section.

Quote For Our Times

Via Instapundit:
“It is odd that these days the only sacred contracts are those which the state enters into with unions for the benefit of their members.”

Monday, November 08, 2010

"Why Does This Opportunity Make The New Atheists So Angry?"

Why, indeed?


Good stuff.


There are two ways for a government to be ‘pro-business.’ The first way is to avoid interfering in capitalist acts among consenting adults – that is, to keep taxes low, regulations few, and subsidies non-existent. This ‘pro-business’ stance promotes widespread prosperity because in reality it isn’t so much pro-business as it is pro-consumer. When this way is pursued, businesses are rewarded for pleasing consumers, and only for pleasing consumers.

The second, and very different, way for government to be pro-business is to bestow favors and privileges on politically connected firms. These favors and privileges, such as tariffs and export subsidies, invariably oblige consumers to pay more – either directly in the form of higher prices, or indirectly in the form of higher taxes – for goods and services. This way of being pro-business reduces the nation’s prosperity by relieving businesses of the need to satisfy consumers. When this second way is pursued, businesses are rewarded for pleasing politicians. Competition for consumers’ dollars is replaced by competition for political favors.

The Headline Says It All

Haven't read the article yet, but:
California: The Lindsay Lohan of States

Saturday, November 06, 2010

"Bush Got C's. Obama Probably Failed Lunch!"

Adolf's post-election analysis.


A few pearls from her latest:
Two small points on the election's atmospherics that carry implications for the future. The first is that negative ads became boring, unpersuasive. Forty years ago they were new, exciting in a sort of prurient way. Now voters take for granted that politicians are no good, and such ads are just more polluted water going over the waterfall. The biggest long-term loser: liberalism. If all pols are sleazoid crooks, then why would people want to give them more governmental power to order our lives? The implicit message of two generations of negative ads: Vote conservative, limit the reach of the thieves.


On to the aftermath of the election. On Wednesday, President Obama gave a news conference to share his thoughts. Viewers would have found it disappointing if there had been any viewers. The president is speaking, in effect, to an empty room. From my notes five minutes in: "This wet blanket, this occupier of the least interesting corner of the faculty lounge, this joy-free zone, this inert gas." By the end I was certain he will never produce a successful stimulus because he is a human depression.

Actually I thought the worst thing you can say about a president: He won't even make a good former president.

His detachment is so great, it is even from himself. As he spoke, he seemed to be narrating from a remove. It was like hearing the audiobook of Volume I of his presidential memoirs. "Obama was frustrated. He honestly didn't understand what the country was doing. It was as if they had compulsive hand-washing disorder. In '08 they washed off Bush. Now they're washing off Obama. There he is, swirling down the drain! It's all too dramatic, too polar. The morning after the election it occurred to him: maybe he should take strong action. Maybe he should fire America! They did well in 2008, but since then they've been slipping. They weren't giving him the followership he needed. But that wouldn't work, they'd only complain. He had to keep his cool. His aides kept telling him, 'Show humility.' But they never told him what humility looked like. What was he supposed to do, burst into tears and say hit me? Not knowing how to feel humility or therefore show humility he decided to announce humility: He found the election 'humbling,' he said."

From The Mouths Of Synthetic CGI Puppets Comes The Truth

Good stuff.

Here's Hoping Our Next President Is From Austrian

Aren't you glad your vote is equal to theirs?

Obama's Triumphant Arrival In India

I got a kick out of this video.

See also.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Commodities Are Not Rights

Good points:
What brought the liberal left to this dismal impasse? It was the foolish notion that in America health care could ever be a fundamental right, which springs from ignorance (or denial) of what fundamental rights are in this country. For a primer on that subject, read the founding documents.

A right is not a tangible object. That would be a commodity. A right is much more precious. Rights are not bestowed on Americans by a benevolent government. Rights are given to us by God, and the founding documents were written to ensure that the government can't take them away. The liberal intelligentsia, who tend to be Humanist (euphemism for atheist) have a philosophical problem with this fact. That's tough.

A bullhorn is a commodity. Freedom of speech, immeasurably more precious, is a right. Bibles, Books of Mormon, Korans, and Torahs are all commodities. Freedom of religion is a right. A rented arena is a commodity. Freedom of assembly is a right. Lest any liberal readers still don't get it, allow me to elaborate. "To keep and bear arms," is a right. The Second Amendment guarantees that the government can't interfere with my -- God given -- right to defend myself or my family. Furthermore, it guarantees Patriots the right to band together to defend the country against a government that becomes as tyrannical as King George III, but thanks to the genius of the founder's, revolutionary change can be non-violent. The founders called such principles, "natural law," which in enlightenment thinking is synonymous with God's law.

Although it is my right "to keep and bear arms," I can't expect to be provided with a gun by the government at the expense of other taxpayers. A gun is not a right. It is a commodity.

So it is with health care. Surgeries, staples, and sutures are not rights. One of the problems with a government dispensing commodities and labeling them rights is, who gets to be the arbiter of which commodities are dispensed? I don't need health care from the government. I take care of my own health. But what I really could use is car care. My family owns three vehicles, and all of them could use a little work. Why not a "right" to car care? There is an airtight, logical argument that automobiles are essential to the U.S. economy. The nation has a vested interest in car care. And once health care is established in the American psyche as a right, who's to say car care won't be next? The problem? Car care is a commodity. The Democrats could have spared themselves a "shellacking" with a simple review of rights, "the laws of nature, and nature's God."

There's Nothing Wrong With Zero That A Massacre Of Innocents Wouldn't Fix


A Real Genius

Randall Hoven:
President Obama explained us to us as follows:
And so part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now, and facts and science and argument does [sic] not seem to be winning the day all the time, is because we're hard-wired not to always think clearly when we're scared. And the country is scared, and they [sic] have good reason to be.
(Just my unwashed observation: We have a president who knows what our brains are hardwired to do and can describe the emotional state of an entire country, but he can't get subject and verb to agree and pronoun and antecedent to agree in just two sentences not read from a teleprompter. Good thing he didn't say "refudiate.")

Is There Anything More Racist Than A Raving Leftist?

Doing the KKK proud.

About As Hard-Hitting A Statement As You Will Ever Get From A Fed Governor

We need more like him (ultimately less, actually, since there shouldn't be a Federal Reserve in the first place).

Richard Fisher:
In my darkest moments I have begun to wonder if the monetary accommodation we have already engineered might even be working in the wrong places. Far too many of the large corporations I survey that are committing to fixed investment report that the most effective way to deploy cheap money raised in the current bond markets or in the form of loans from banks, beyond buying in stock or expanding dividends, is to invest it abroad where taxes are lower and governments are more eager to please. This would not be of concern if foreign direct investment in the U.S. were offsetting this impulse. This year, however, net direct investment in the U.S. has been running at a pace that would exceed minus $200 billion, meaning outflows of foreign direct investment are exceeding inflows by a healthy margin. We will have to watch the data as it unfolds to see if this is momentary fillip or evidence of a broader trend. But I wonder: If others cotton to the view that the Fed is eager to “open the spigots,” might this not add to the uncertainty already created by the fiscal incontinence of Congress and the regulatory and rule-making “excesses” about which businesses now complain?

In performing a cost/benefit analysis of a possible QE2, we will need to bear in mind that one cost that has already been incurred in the process of running an easy money policy has been to drive down the returns earned by savers, especially those who do not have the means or sophistication or the demographic profile to place their money at risk further out in the yield curve or who are wary of the inherent risk of stocks. A great many baby boomers or older cohorts who played by the rules, saved their money and have migrated over time, as prudent investment counselors advise, to short- to intermediate-dated, fixed-income instruments, are earning extremely low nominal and real returns on their savings. Further reductions in rates earned on savings will hardly endear the Fed to this portion of the population. Moreover, driving down bond yields might force increased pension contributions from corporations and state and local governments, decreasing the deployment of monies toward job maintenance in the public sector. Debasing those savings with even a little more inflation than what is above minimal levels acceptable to the FOMC is unlikely to endear the Fed to these citizens. And if―and here I especially stress the word if because the evidence is thus far only anecdotal and has yet to be confirmed by longer-term data―if it were to prove out that the reduction of long-term rates engendered by Fed policy had been used to unwittingly underwrite investment and job creation abroad, then the potential political costs relative to the benefit of further accommodation will have increased.

Part of our cost/benefit analysis should include where the inertia of quantitative easing might take us. Let’s go back to that eye-popping headline in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal: “Central Banks Open Spigot.”

My reaction to reading that article was that it raises the specter of competitive quantitative easing. Such a race would be something of a one-off from competitive devaluation of currencies, a beggar-thy-neighbor phenomenon that always ends in tears. It implies that central banks should carry the load for stymied fiscal authorities―or worse, give in to them―rather than stick within their traditional monetary mandates and let legislative authorities deal with the fiscal mess they have created. It infers that lurking out in the future is a slippery slope of quantitative easing reaching beyond just buying government bonds (and in our case, mortgage-backed securities). It is one thing to stabilize the commercial paper market in a systematic way. Going beyond investment-grade paper, however, opens the door to pressure on a central bank to back financial instruments benefiting specific economic sectors. This inevitably leads to irritation or lobbying for similar treatment from economic sectors not blessed by similar monetary largess.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

They Took On Babe Ruth. And Lost.

Interesting analysis re:Obama's attempted war against Limbaugh.

Poor Chuck

This actually makes Reid's win worth it:
HEH: The Unhappiest Man In America This Morning? Chuck Schumer.

The Shape Of Things To Come

Not as big a tsunami as I had hoped, but no matter. It'll do.


The next wave of this depression will hit before long and it will be much worse than 2008. Several big banks will fail unless bailed out. They will not be bailed out. Big surprise: the world won't end. The gov't will guarantee nothing whatsoever except deposits. Shareholders, bondholders, and assorted plutocrats will be wiped out, greatly diminishing their political clout (and good riddance).

Private sector unemployment will hit 30%. The House, seeking fairness in terms of bearing the economic pain, will pass a budget which includes a 20% paycut for all federal employees. Neither the Senate nor the President will go along with it. But there will be no continuing resolution and the government will shut down. Unlike 1995, it will not be the GOP that loses this one. After a month or so of stalemate, federal workers will decide that 80% of something is better than 100% of nothing. The Dems will blink and approve the budget. Folks will notice that the world will not have ended with the federal gov't inactive.

The resulting unprecedented pay cut (which will only give citizens an appetite for more) will break the solidarity of the public sector. Intelligent government workers who feel that they are doing something worthwhile will resent having their pay cut in order to support useless featherbedders, parasites, and tin horn bureaucrats. We will then behold the spectacle of government workers agitating for smaller government. It will be entertaining in the extreme to see these vampires fighting over a shrinking pie.

Some of the leftist politicians, whose only enjoyment in life is gotten from lording it over others so that the others must bow and scrape before them, will find that it is just as entertaining to have public sector workers groveling at their feet, begging for their jobs. They will wield the axe with gleee as they realize that a smaller gov't will eventually result in a more vibrant society, with plenty of opportunity for empire building and riches later.

The ugly implications of Obamacare will continue to ramify and outrage. Even leftist judges will conclude that the thing is a generational albatross, and the best strategic course will be to put it out of the Democrats misery. It will be invalidated.

The leftists and MFM will ratchet up the hatestorm to levels heretofore unimaginable. By some miracle the GOP will find its balls and not knuckle under to it, thereby defanging the shrieking media toddlers. Some enterprising entrepreneurs will buy one or more MFM outlets and clean out the stables.

Obama will attempt to rule via executive branch decree, promulgating regulatory "laws" that would previously have taken an act of Congress or a Constitutional amendment to enact. Several states will point out that the laws are null and void because they did not come from the legislative branch. The states will prevent enforcement of these laws in their borders and will ignore any federal court rulings to the contrary. This will open the floodgates as more and more entities realize that they have the power to uphold the Constitution without delegating that task to usurper black-robed Philosopher Kings.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Bringing The Hammer Down

On Myers, who is a philosophical barbarian and damned proud of it.

There is more sense in this single Egnor post than you will find in years of reading everything written by the New Atheists.

Monday, November 01, 2010

It's All Summarized In One Chart


Hillbuzz, Again With The Good Stuff

If Wonder Woman in Chicago is shouting about Democrats being “diarrhea” and two guys dressing up to make fun of Tea Partiers fail to get the “Yah! We hate them too!” responses they desired, then Democrats are in for one Hell of a stunning surprise tomorrow.

They have no idea what a fringe minority they have become in the Left, and just how many tens of millions of Americans have woken up and see the Democrat Party for the Marxist mess it’s become.

I referenced the AintItCoolNews piece because over at that site, the Leftists who go there to talk about movies and occasionally engage in politics, have no clue what’s happening tomorrow. They have been making fun of the Tea Party movement, have been vociferously attacking Governor Palin, and have been wishing death on Glenn Beck for so long that they believe the majority of Americans think like them and that Democrats will prevail tomorrow — because they have the backing of the Ivy League big-thinkers, the Lincoln Park hipsters, the Austin-based basement dwellers and Hot Pockets snackers.

When Democrats receive a beatdown larger than anything the polls are showing — because I believe the pollsters have no idea just how much Americans have grown to actively hate the Democrats and see them as the manifestation of the Marxist Left in our government — all Hell is going to break loose in the ranks of the Hot Pockets eaters in their basements.

They will have no idea how to process those feelings: betrayal that Obama failed them when he was supposed to be their messiah; incomprehension over the fact they believe they are so right about everything and that Obama is wonderful and yet Americans are going to humiliate this “living god” tomorrow unlike anything we have seen in modern times; anger they have lost so much after all that gloating in 2008 declaring themselves to be masters of the universe and in complete control of this country.

These people are going to lash out.


The way I see it, every time these people lash out at Americans like us for speaking our minds and proudly espousing conservatism, the Left alienates more voters who never want anything to do with a party that condones such behavior. The folks at AintItCoolNews and other Leftist sites, in and outside of the political realm, don’t realize this…but their nastiness, vile attacks, and general behavior cost Democrats a great many votes.

So, keep it up, trolls. Keep the attacks coming. You only end up hurting yourselves.

So, bring it.

But just know somewhere in your brain that you brought all of this upon yourself. Every Tea Party member you ridiculed is someone who committed to voting against Democrats for the rest of their lives. Everyone you called a RAAACIST! for not supporting what Obama and Democrats are doing to this country is now an activist who is dedicated to bringing the Democrat Party down for those personal attacks. Every former Democrat Donna Brazile, Howard Dean, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi claimed wasn’t needed anymore because the party could function with just “blacks, urban elite, college towns, young voters, amnesty-seeking Hispanics, low information gays, and self-hating Jews” is now an Independent or even a Republican who is now using everything they know about the inner workings of the DNC to burn the party to the ground and make sure it never rises again.

The Left did this to itself.

The Democrat Party did this to itself.

Tomorrow, they will lash out at more people, behave terribly, and alienate scores and scores of more people who will then join the Tea Party and continue to work against Democrats.

Just watch.

It’s what happened to us in 2008.

It’s what happened to a lot of you who read us.

It’s happening all over.

And it is the Democrats’ own damn fault…so never let them forget that.

He Was Absolutely Correct

Depending on turnout assumptions, Republicans either will enter election day with a 10-point lead in the generic Congressional ballot at 52/42, or if the turnout is lighter, a fifteen-point lead, 55/40. In Gallup’s history of asking the question, no party has ever had this kind of a lead heading into the final stretch...


And do you know who actually predicted this? Barack Obama. When asked how Democrats could avoid a 1994-style wipeout if Obama kept pressuring Democrats to vote for unpopular bills, he said the difference between 2010 and 1994 was, “You’ve got me.” Gallup says that may be the difference, but not in the way Obama thought...

Yes, the Democrats are indeed about to avoid a 1994-style wipeout--they'll wish that was all it was.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010


From the comments of this MS-geek blog:
The editors are so far up themselves they're in danger of becoming Klein bottles...

Great Little Testimony

From a comment at Neoneocon:
But isn’t it interesting how so many conversion stories are sparked by this particular revelation? I was reading Tammy Bruce in the Guardian the other day, and she had the exact same experience: “I thought we leftists were the open-minded ones; I was wrong” (that’s a paraphrase).

My own conversion experience was hardly as dramatic as hers, because I was never really a hard leftist. I hated politics and considered myself an anarchist, because that’s an easy way to float by in college. You don’t have to think anything through and you get to be cool. I did nonetheless have a soft spot for some of the harsher Marxist critiques of “the system,” but I would never have voted for a Democrat - I never would have voted for anyone.

Lets just say I felt very “at home” with leftists - far, far leftists - culturally and intellectually (I liked French postmodernism and Foucault and crap like that).

But my turning point, when I started to become both politically aware and conservative, was when a friend of mine tried to hold a debate between the three Republicans on campus and about 35 of the 3,000 socialists (my college was extremely leftist).

After the debate - which I sat through in utter disgust, listening to the crowd boo and hoot and hiss and curse every time the Republicans tried to speak - one of the Republicans had the tires on his car slashed and “fascist” carved in his car with a knife. He left the school not long after.

I remember realizing at that point that my options had been whittled down fairly cleanly.

I wasn’t an anarchist, because I had this sense of propriety and good form. Somebody, I thought, should have made the crowd shut-up. I realized then that my respect for human decency was far more essential to me than my disrespect for ALL authority. Tying those two thoughts together - cultivating human decency by having a cultivated sense for genuinely oppressive authority - is essential to conservatism.

I also realized I wasn’t a leftist because no ideas that had to be defended LIKE THAT could be worth defending. So by default I said, “OK, if I’m going to learn about politicsl, then I’m going to start with the people who deplore displays like the one I just saw.”

And then I read Thomas Sowell and David Horowitz. They explained very well what I saw. And that was that.

I had thought these people were just nice hippie communist buddhists. Individually they often were. But when the locusts brushed wings… I’d seen no fury like it.

So inasmuch as I had a “conversion”, it was the same thing - realizing how unbelievably intolerant the very people who claimed to be the world-historical champions of Tolerance, forever and ever, amen, were. It’s sort of like Obama himself - the messianic pretense sets you up for both vicious behavior and a certain blindness to how vicious you can be. The flip side is that it’s much easier for adherents to get disillusioned with such a vision than with the somewhat somber vision of conservatism, which takes fallenness for granted.

And I can’t resist a final observation: Isn’t it intriguing that, while liberalism is such an “optimistic” doctrine, liberals themselves are nonetheless (statistically speaking) angrier and less happy than conservatives, who themselves adhere to a doctrine that, by comparison to the sunny utopian progressivism of the left, seems bleak and cold by comparison?

The same commenter follows up again further down thread.

Welcome To Thunderdome

Hillbuzz has gotten, shall we say, interesting lately.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Punished For Living Up To Their Ideals

Good point:
What makes 2010 different from 2006 (or 2008)? In the two previous elections, the American public sent the Republicans home because they veered away from their core principles. In 2010, however, Democrats are going to be punished for following and implementing their truly fundamental beliefs about economics and the role of government in the lives of ordinary Americans.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Damned Tea Bagger's Contempt For The Less Fortunate

Racist lunatic:
Like a cancer; it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity and frugality become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole of society.

-- John Adams

Seen here.

"Oh, Well, That's Another One"

Sign of the times.

Let's Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

Pelosi: ‘We haven’t really gotten the credit for what we have done’

FROM THE COMMENTS: American Elephant begs to differ with the Speaker:
Yes, they have gotten credit for what they have done. That’s precisely why they are being fired en masse.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Amusing Summation

I don't know whether this summary is accurate in this particular instance, but it does describe the par for the course in the ID/Darwinism debate.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

P.J. Hits It Out Of The Park

They aren’t. They don’t. The reason is simple. They hate our guts.

They don’t just hate our Republican, conservative, libertarian, strict constructionist, family values guts. They hate everybody’s guts. And they hate everybody who has any. Democrats hate men, women, blacks, whites, Hispanics, gays, straights, the rich, the poor, and the middle class.

Democrats hate Democrats most of all. Witness the policies that Democrats have inflicted on their core constituencies, resulting in vile schools, lawless slums, economic stagnation, and social immobility. Democrats will do anything to make sure that Democratic voters stay helpless and hopeless enough to vote for Democrats.

Whence all this hate? Is it the usual story of love gone wrong? Do Democrats have a mad infatuation with the political system, an unhealthy obsession with an idealized body politic? Do they dream of capturing and ravishing representational democracy? Are they crazed stalkers of our constitutional republic?

No. It’s worse than that. Democrats aren’t just dateless dweebs clambering upon the Statue of Liberty carrying a wilted bouquet and trying to cop a feel. Theirs is a different kind of love story. Power, not politics, is what the Democrats love. Politics is merely a way to power’s heart. When politics is the technique of seduction, good looks are unnecessary, good morals are unneeded, and good sense is a positive liability. Thus Democrats are the perfect Lotharios. And politics comes with that reliable boost for pathetic egos, a weapon: legal monopoly on force. If persuasion fails to win the day, coercion is always an option.

Armed with the panoply of lawmaking, these moonstruck fools for power go about in a jealous rage. They fear power’s charms may be lavished elsewhere, even for a moment.

Democrats hate success. Success could supply the funds for a power elopement. Fire up the Learjet. Flight plan: Grand Cayman. Democrats hate failure too. The true American loser laughs at legal monopoly on force. He’s got his own gun.

Democrats hate productivity, lest production be outsourced to someplace their beloved power can’t go. And Democrats also hate us none-too-productive drones in our cubicles or behind the counters of our service economy jobs. Tax us as hard as they will, we modest earners don’t generate enough government revenue to dress and adorn the power that Democrats worship.

Democrats hate stay-at-home spouses, no matter what gender or gender preference. Democratic advocacy for feminism, gay marriage, children’s rights, and “reproductive choice” is simply a way to invade -power’s little realm of domestic private life and bring it under the domination of Democrats.

Democrats hate immigrants. Immigrants can’t stay illegal because illegality puts immigrants outside the legal monopoly on force. But immigrants can’t become legal either. They’d prosper and vote Republican.

Democrats hate America being a world power because world power gives power to the nation instead of to Democrats.

And Democrats hate the military, of course. Soldiers set a bad example. Here are men and women who possess what, if they chose, could be complete control over power. Yet they treat power with honor and respect. Members of the armed forces fight not to seize power for themselves but to ensure that power can bestow its favors upon all Americans.

This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Who Knew?

Michael Barone:
Reading between the lines of Juan’s statement and those of NPR officials, it’s apparent that NPR was moved to fire Juan because he irritates so many people in its audience. An interesting contrast: while many NPR listeners apparently could not stomach that Williams also appeared on Fox News. But it doesn’t seem that any perceptible number of Fox News viewers had any complaints that Williams also worked for NPR. The Fox audience seems to be more tolerant of diversity than the NPR audience.

Gotta Like That Colonel West

A mirthful moment in this video (at about 40 seconds in).

How Exciting

But I guess you take what you can get.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


The times are completely insane.

Klavan spells it out.


Great post. Here'e a good excerpt:
This is the end result of the welfare-state. The Europeans (and Democrats here at home) want a utopia where all needs are met, all the hungry are fed, all the children warm and safe, all the sick made whole, all the evil punished and the innocent made free, a land where all is peace and all live in harmony. Instead, the welfare-state is waste and weakness and impoverishment and upheaval and ennui. It is generational warfare, class warfare, enormous debts, squalor, meanness, shortages, selfishness. It is, at base, the end of civil society. Communist economies fall faster because they take the poison pure; it takes the merely socialist ones more time to sicken and die.

But Wait, I Thought Google Was Progressive And Socially Conscious.

But paying the bills for leftism? Not so much.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010


From this Kyle-Anne Shiver piece:
On the intelligence claims, no proof has ever surfaced that any of the Obama brainiac hoopla was anything other than gratuitous accolades granted via affirmative action and white-liberal racial guilt. No transcripts. No professional articles. Nothing. Nada. From kindergarten through law school, not a single shred of evidence has ever surfaced to show that Barack Obama was ever even a good student, much less the brainy wizard of his advertisers’ imaginations. Since the candidate openly admitted to lots of high-school and college drug use, plenty of hoops-shooting, but nary a blip of organized sports rigor, it’s entirely within the realm of probability that those transcripts have been buried with the same malevolent intent as tobacco companies who deep-sixed their own negative research.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Honestly, I don’t even know what to say about this.

Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa is threatening 401(k) plans — insisting Democrats can use the lame duck, post-defeat session of Congress to ram through a measure that would seize your personal 401(k) plans and use them to prop up the union pension plans that are imploding.

Are these people really this crazy?

For the last few months, we’ve been hearing talk of Democrats insisting they have “nothing to lose” once they are defeated in November, and that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid would use the last few months of power they hold to cram as much statist legislation through in the dead of night as possible…with the Left realizing it would not have this much power for another several decades at least.

I’ve never bought into this just because of the permanent damage that lame duck session would do to the Democrat brand.

Yes, the individuals who’ve been defeated in 2010 won’t technically have anything to lose by voting for insanity…and they could leave office giving their constituents a giant F-U. But what happens to them then?


But if Democrats really and truly tried to take people’s 401(k) funds away from them and redistribute those to the unions…or tried to ram through Cap & Tax or other madness during that lame duck session…it’s impossible to imagine the blowback the Democrat Party would suffer.

This would, in fact, permanently equate Democrats with Communists in the minds of Americans.

I don’t know how the party remains viable after that…and I don’t know what happens to the American media once the Democrat Party is revealed as a Communist entity, since the media is so tied to the party.

The world as we know it would suddenly pop…and the rage that would fill the streets over the 401(k)s would be something unprecedented.

It really boggles the mind to even think about this…that’s why I still can’t imagine Democrats really doing anything like this.

There would be a march on Washington over those retirement accounts, and there aren’t enough bullets in the Capitol’s armory to shoot down all the Americans who would march upon that building and tear it down brick by brick if Democrats really and truly tried to take those 401(k)s.

This would also be a disaster for the unions…a tipping point where Americans would finally be forced to see these parasites for what they are…and in the aftermath of this power grab Americans would come after the unions right after they finished taking down Congress.

Can anyone think of a historical example where a government did something so insane, so against the will of its people, that the public saw this as a tipping point and rose up against it?

This gets into 1789 France territory.

As stupid as they are, I just don’t see Democrats being foolish enough to go there.


Quite the father-son science project. If it is imitated too much, no doubt the FAA will (rightly) get involved.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Only Language They Understand

Sharron Angle raised the astonishing sum of $14 million during the third quarter. Chris Cillizza describes Angle's $14 million as "a stunning number that far eclipses the cash-collection totals of other prominent candidates seeking Senate seats next month."

Ninety-four percent came in donations of $100 or less. The Harry Reid campaign tried to put the best spin on Angle's smashing success:
"Sharron Angle's fundraising number is meaningless without disclosing how much they spent to raise it," said Reid spokesman Kelly Steele.
I suppose Harry Reid has to spend money to raise money, but people actually donate to campaigns like Sharron Angle's voluntarily, out of conviction. I'd guess that she spent very little to raise the $14 million.

We have reached, perhaps, the last stage in the establishment's view of the Tea Party movement. First ignored or snickered at, then demonized as the racist creature of shadowy billionaires, and most recently a movement which some Democratic candidates try to co-opt, the Tea Party has finally done the one thing that will cause it to be viewed with unalloyed respect by the powers of the status quo: it has raised an ungodly amount of money.

Heads They Win, Tails You Lose

A commenter at Telic Thoughts explicates the rules:
But the requirement for so much tuning, for the coming-to-pass of numerous and so-unlikely events, will simply be spun as evidence *against* design. Why, it all just shows how ridiculously unlikely all this is, how much our very presence depends not on intention and design but outlandish chance. Wouldn't a designer's handiwork be made evident not by tuning or chance, but inevitability?

Unless, of course, the argument is that life and humanity were inevitable. In which case, the near certainty that life would arise, that intelligent life would arise, is evidence against a designer too! After all, wouldn't we expect a designer to accomplish something particularly unlikely, to leave a kind of signature in the form of requiring very unlikely events, or laws that required considerable tuning?

It's like the Origin of Life. Is the OoL event very unlikely? Then it's just proof we are a freak accident, a mistake, a one-in-a-billion (or more!) fluke of the universe. Not designed. Is the OoL event likely? Then it's just proof we are ridiculously common, typical, non-special, dime-a-dozen. Not designed.

Monday, October 11, 2010

There's One For You, Nineteen For Me

Greg Mankiw tells us how it really works:
Suppose that some editor offered me $1,000 to write an article. If there were no taxes of any kind, this $1,000 of income would translate into $1,000 in extra saving. If I invested it in the stock of a company that earned, say, 8 percent a year on its capital, then 30 years from now, when I pass on, my children would inherit about $10,000. That is simply the miracle of compounding.

Now let’s put taxes into the calculus. First, assuming that the Bush tax cuts expire, I would pay 39.6 percent in federal income taxes on that extra income. Beyond that, the phaseout of deductions adds 1.2 percentage points to my effective marginal tax rate. I also pay Medicare tax, which the recent health care bill is raising to 3.8 percent, starting in 2013. And in Massachusetts, I pay 5.3 percent in state income taxes, part of which I get back as a federal deduction. Putting all those taxes together, that $1,000 of pretax income becomes only $523 of saving.

And that saving no longer earns 8 percent. First, the corporation in which I have invested pays a 35 percent corporate tax on its earnings. So I get only 5.2 percent in dividends and capital gains. Then, on that income, I pay taxes at the federal and state level. As a result, I earn about 4 percent after taxes, and the $523 in saving grows to $1,700 after 30 years.

Then, when my children inherit the money, the estate tax will kick in. The marginal estate tax rate is scheduled to go as high as 55 percent next year, but Congress may reduce it a bit. Most likely, when that $1,700 enters my estate, my kids will get, at most, $1,000 of it.

HERE’S the bottom line: Without any taxes, accepting that editor’s assignment would have yielded my children an extra $10,000. With taxes, it yields only $1,000. In effect, once the entire tax system is taken into account, my family’s marginal tax rate is about 90 percent. Is it any wonder that I turn down most of the money-making opportunities I am offered?


Now you might not care if I supply less of my services to the marketplace — although, because you are reading this article, you are one of my customers. But I bet there are some high-income taxpayers whose services you enjoy.

Maybe you are looking forward to a particular actor’s next movie or a particular novelist’s next book. Perhaps you wish that your favorite singer would have a concert near where you live. Or, someday, you may need treatment from a highly trained surgeon, or your child may need braces from the local orthodontist. Like me, these individuals respond to incentives. (Indeed, some studies report that high-income taxpayers are particularly responsive to taxes.) As they face higher tax rates, their services will be in shorter supply.

Reasonable people can disagree about whether and how much the government should redistribute income. And, to be sure, the looming budget deficits require hard choices about spending and taxes. But don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that when the government taxes the rich, only the rich bear the burden.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Proving His Point

The Stanford Daily gets pwned by VDH (see the second half of this piece, which is all worth reading).

Friday, October 08, 2010


"The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern; every class is unfit to govern."

Lord Acton (1834-1902)

Preaching From A Position Of Pristine Ignorance

The people who run the New York Times, along with columnists like Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd, are so ill-informed and out of touch that their efforts to tell the rest of us what to think grow more pitiful every day. This is from today's NYT Corrections Section. The paper corrects a news story written by a reporter who has no comprehension of the tax code, but nevertheless tried to make a political point by implying that subchapter S corporations represent some kind of tax dodge:
An article on Wednesday about the business culture at the Tribune Company after its acquisition by Sam Zell referred incorrectly to federal taxes on an S corporation, which Tribune became after the deal. S corporations pay no federal taxes because shareholders are responsible for all taxes; therefore, taxpayers do not become "essentially silent partners in the deal."
Pathetic. Nearly every day, the Times's editors and reporters lecture the rest of us on tax policy, but for the most part, they have no idea what they are talking about. If you are looking for ignorance, the New York Times is your newspaper.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Rule Of Law Replaced

By Whim of Autocracy.

Darned Good Question

Of the 39 black Democrats in the House, all but two represent districts where blacks are a majority or plurality. One other black Democratic contender is running in a white majority district. So in this election, Republicans are running more blacks in white majority districts than the Democrats are. Shouldn’t that be taken into consideration when accusations of racism are being hurled about?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Weird Wild Stuff

Clever and perplexing.

The Lay Of The Land

Pretty cool. Be sure to peruse the huge version here.


The Republican Governors Association gives us a capsule summary of the last 20 months. Probably the most devastating (and accurate) political ad I've ever seen.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Sunday, October 03, 2010

"If Someone Is Not A Moral Being, How Can He Be Expected To Vote For Moral Government?"

Why "libertarianism" fails.

Good quotes in the piece. Here's one from Edmund Burke:
Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites ... Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.

Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself

In the comments to this American Thinker piece a tired, lame canard answered:
monostor wrote: "I believe that atheism is also a religion"

I presume then that you believe that not collecting stamps is also a hobby.


"I presume then that you believe that not collecting stamps is also a hobby. "

If not collecting stamps means declaring yourself specifically to be not a stamp collector and setting up organizations and tenets specifically geared towards not stamp collecting, and spend your days telling anyone who will listen about how you do not collect stamps, and complain against the post office for forcing you to accept stamps on the letters sent to your mailbox? Then yeah, not collecting stamps is a hobby. If all you do is simply ignore any stamps you find? Not such a big deal. In my experience, the average atheist has more to say about religion than religious people do. People who truly don't care are more apt to simply say, "I'm not religious."

Outsourcing Their Oath

Jonah Goldberg:
Imagine the Supreme Court was wiped out in an asteroid strike, or maybe ate some really bad clams. Whatever. With the court temporarily out of the picture, could Congress and the White House ignore the Constitution, locking up Tea Partiers or ACLU members?


"I have been fascinated by [Delaware Senate candidate] Christine O'Donnell's constitutional worldview," Slate magazine's Dahlia Lithwick confessed. O'Donnell had said, "When I go to Washington, DC, the litmus test by which I cast my vote for every piece of legislation that comes across my desk will be whether or not it is constitutional."

To which Lithwick, a widely cited expert on the Supreme Court, responded, "How weird is that, I thought. Isn't it a court's job to determine whether or not something is, in fact, constitutional? And isn't that sort of provided for in, well, the Constitution?"

Newsweek's Ben Adler was aghast at the clause in the GOP's Pledge to America that Republicans will provide a "citation of constitutional authority" for every proposed law. "We have a mechanism for assessing the constitutionality of legislation, which is the independent judiciary," Adler wrote. "An extraconstitutional attempt to limit the powers of Congress is dangerous even as a mere suggestion, and it constitutes an encroachment on the judiciary." And a progressive blogger writes in U.S. News & World Report that such talk of requiring constitutionality is "just plain wacky."

Does anyone, anywhere, think legislators should vote for legislation they think is unconstitutional? Should presidents sign such legislation into law?

According to this creepy logic, there's no reason for congressmen to even consider the supreme law of the land. Re-impose slavery? Sure! Let's see if we can catch the Supreme Court asleep at the switch. Nationalize the TV stations? It ain't unconstitutional until the Supreme Court says so!

Of course, reasonable people understand how absurd all of this is.


Too many politicians -- in both parties -- have abdicated their most solemn duty: to support and defend the US Constitution. George W. Bush signed campaign finance reform even though he thought much of it was unconstitutional. Nancy Pelosi thinks the Constitution has as much relevance as a pet rock. Asked if the health-care bill was constitutional, her eyes grew perceptibly wider as she incredulously asked, "Are you serious?"

The real issue is quite simple. If more politicians were faithful to the Constitution, the government would be restrained. And restraining government is "weird," "wacky" and "dangerous" to so many liberals today.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

It's So Sad When People Think For Themselves

I see that former Velvet Underground drummer Moe Tucker was spotted at a Georgia Tea Party protest, telling a local reporter that she is “furious about the way we are being led towards socialism.” Prefix magazine calls this “depressing” news that will “bring you down” before the weekend, because it’s incumbent upon all musicians—especially those in seminal proto-punk bands like VU—to have roughly the same, boring lefty politics.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stewart Absolutely Rips Obama And The Democrats

See it here.

Hillbuzz Nails It

After Gloria Allred (who, don’t kid yourself, was put up to this by Jerry Brown and Democrats) held her bizarre press conference yesterday and paraded a sobbing, Mexican, criminal in front of the cameras to talk about how she committed a felony by lying on employment documents, creating a fake ID, and breaking all sorts of laws to obtain a high-paying job in the home of Meg Whitman in California, we realized what makes us like and dislike certain politicians: their ability to punch back against attacks and how aggressively they counter manufactured scandal.

Gloria Allred is revolting. That needs to be said several times a day. She’s trying to affect November’s election by driving a wedge between Hispanic voters and Meg Whitman by using this Mexican criminal to paint Whitman as a Leona Helmsely-esque tyrant. Whitman fired this woman, “Nicky”, when Nicky told her she was actually an illegal alien and admitted she’d been lying to Whitman for nine years about her work eligibility. Nicky then somehow got connected with Allred, who saw the opportunity to help near-octogenarian Jerry Brown in his flailing bid for the governorship by creating a manufactured scandal for Whitman to deal with in the last month of the campaign. When Arnold Schwarzenegger was running for Governor, Allred tried to do this to him as well, finding a woman who can forward and said she was abused by him.

Allred’s antics around election day are as predictable as pumpkins popping up around Halloween.

Smashing these political pumpkins takes guts and skill, and only the really admirable conservative candidates are ever any good at it. For some reason, on the Republican side of the aisle, no one seems to teach these people how to take down Democrats when they pull these stunts. Governor Palin, Lt. Colonel Allen West, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Candidate Nikki Haley, Governor Chris Christie, and Governor Jan Brewer are all EXCELLENT at smacking back whenever the Left concocts ridiculous charges against them.

Not coincidentally, we like all of these people very much, because they give us something to cheer about every time they raise up a grizzly paw and strike back against Democrats — leaving the Left bewildered and stunned, because for decades now Republicans have forever refused to fight back.

“We need to take the high road,” consultants in wood-paneled private clubs insist.

“If we address these charges and counter them, we are giving them credence, so it’s my advice to just ignore them,” advisors note.

“Is there any more mayo for my sandwich? It’s so spicy and I need the mayo to cool it down so I can enjoy it and my tummy won’t feel funny later,” the quintessential Republican campaign operative whines.

There’s no reason to wonder why Republicans lose so many elections — when they keep taking advice not to smack people like Gloria Allred back HARD when they pull stunts like yesterday.

So far, Meg Whitman’s done a good job of hitting back…and it looks like Allred had telegraphed what she was up to because the Whitman campaign had all of “Nicky’s” documents ready for perusal moments after Allred’s press conference.


It will take a day or two to see whether or not Allred’s stunt has any bearing on the campaign, but what we’re really waiting for is Meg Whitman’s retaliatory hit on Jerry Brown. Here in Chicago we’ve long heard that there’s a lot of nasty stuff in Brown’s recent past that will come out in this California race. Brown’s still hated by many Clinton people we know, as the wounds from the 1992 campaign have not yet healed, and the Clintons themselves have long, long memories that are picked up by those who love and support them.

The big question is whether Whitman’s going to go for Brown’s throat and take him down with whatever she’s got on him, or whether she’ll follow a classic, McCain-like campaign and “not go there”, just as McCain made the personal decision not to expose Obama’s past and his connections with Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, Frank Marshall, and other radicals even after the Obama campaign repeatedly called McCain a racist and kept spreading all sorts of lies about him.

Saying “I want to run a clean campaign” is code for “I do not have what it takes to win and I am afraid to stand up to bullies because I want to be loved by a media that will never love me and wants to destroy me while I am too stupid to realize this”.

Whitman didn’t get to where she is by being stupid. And she certainly didn’t spend $120 million of her own money to let Gloria Allred and a Mexican criminal derail her campaign.

We don’t know a lot about Whitman, but like the woman…and are rooting for her to step up to the plate and really show us what she’s got now that Democrats have thrown down the gauntlet like this.