Day By Day

Friday, October 31, 2008


Suppressing the Republican Vote

From Hillbuzz, the PUMA site, comes some excellent advice. These are hard-core Democrats, folks, who are very familiar with the techniques of media manipulation -- they have used them on Hillary's behalf many times. They warn us that the Obamination has a storyline already written that is designed to suppress the Republican vote. These are the "head games" that will be coming your way from the MSM and throughout the blogosphere:

1. Calls for McCain to just give up and quit, because the race is over.

2. Wild claims of Obama winning States that shock and surprise you.

3. Repeated insistence that blacks and young people will decide this election, and they are all going to vote in record numbers for Obama.
Read the whole thing here.

What's Really Important

Orson Scott Card on why it is important to vote for McCain.

Read it here.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Post-Racial Electorate

The Anchoress argues that the Obama candidacy shows that America is now a post-racial society. [here]

I agree with her point. Obama is receiving just about the same amount of support that white Democrats do in presidential contests. I have run the numbers. Since World War Two, in head to head presidential contests in which there was no strong third party challenge, Democrats have averaged about 47 percent of the vote. Republicans have averaged about 51 percent. Democrats have received more than 50 percent of the vote only twice. Republicans have done so seven times. Obama is polling slightly less than 50 percent right now, which is about what Democrats can expect. It is McCain who is running significantly behind his party's average. Obama seems not to have benefited from nor been hurt by his skin color.

That being said, I would go a bit further than the Anchoress. I would hold that Republicans have been a post-racial party for some time -- at least a couple of decades now -- and that the last racist stronghold has been the Democratic Party and its institutional support structure.

The Stopped Clock Strikes (Maybe)

The drumbeat has gone on and on and on. Democrats have long been claiming that the US in in recession, but it hasn't been true..., until now [maybe]. The Commerce Department reports that US GDP actually declined in the past quarter. The decline was 0.3 percent, much less than "experts" had predicted [do they ever get these things right?]. Now, technically, that is not in itself enough to certify that we are in recession [that takes two consecutive quarters] but in this election season you can count on the lefties out there to crow and claim that the figures are confirmation of their dire predictions.

Read it here.

But it is by no means clear that the economic situation is nearly as bad as the politicians claim. The Federal Reserve reports:

Total loans and leases from U.S. banks are growing at a 19 percent annual rate over the last three months. Business loans are up 19 percent. Consumer loans are up 13 percent. Real estate loans, which include home-equity and commercial real estate loans, are up 15 percent at an annual rate.

The worst story is inter-bank loans. They are flat. That’s the LIBOR story, which is healing after the FDIC guaranteed bank-to-bank loans. The LIBOR rate has come way down. I think the FDIC move was the single-most important contributor to credit stability.

But when you look at all the other loan categories that are rising, and then the 20 percent growth of the basic money supply, and the tax-cut effect of plummeting energy costs, you have to wonder: Just how bad is our economic story?
Read it here.

Of course, by the time any improvement becomes undeniable [and it will] the Democrats will be in a position to take credit for the rebound, and of course they will.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Watermelon Agenda

It should be obvious to anyone who has been paying attention that today's environmentalist crusade is profoundly anti-capitalist and serves as a stalking horse for the imposition of socialist/technocatic tyranny. As Ronald Bailey over at Reason Online notes in a Green regime:

In the new society, "scientists set the rules." Growth is allowed, but "only as long as it doesn't breach the limits set by ecologists." In other words, ecological central planning.

But, as Bailey points out, there is overwhelming evidence to support the proposition that capitalist development, rather than state control and scientific oversight, is the best solution to environmental problems. Capitalism creates the wealth that makes the goals of environmental stewardship attainable, whereas the impoverishment that attends socialist/technocratic regimes not only increases human suffering, it makes those goals ever more unattainable.

Read the whole thing here.

Sarah Rocks

They call her a redneck and she says, "You Betcha!!!!" Sarah rocks to Gretchen Wilson's song.

She looks pretty damn good in jeans, too. How many women with five kids can say that. How 'bout Palin/Jindal on the 2012 ticket?

You betcha!!!!!

HT: Michelle Malkin

Media Myth -- The "War of the Worlds" Broadcast

AFP, the French news agency, features a story today about the 1938 Mercury Theater Broadcast of H. G. Wells' "War of the Worlds". The nationwide hysteria, according to the story, supposedly crystallized fears based in reports of actual and impending conflicts in Asia and Europe. [here]

Media and academic elites love this story. It is, for them, a perfect illustration of the gullibility of the common man, and the ease with which Americans can be manipulated into panic. No wonder the French chose to commemorate it.

Trouble is, the panic has been grossly exaggerated and the real story of Orson Welles' broadcast and its aftermath is a study in the gullibility of the media and how it was manipulated by Welles. I recently blogged the real story. Read it here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Victory in Iraq. -- Ho, Hum

The Iraq War is over, and we won. Trouble is, nobody is paying attention.

The war is over. Most of the noise these days is from politicians arguing, not bombs going off.
What is more, the American presence in the region is increasingly popular.

Iran shows no signs of backing off, and this threatening attitude is why so many Iraqis, including Shia, want American troops to remain. Iran wants them gone, so that Iraq will be more responsive to Iranian threats. The Sunni Arabs, in Iraq and to the south in Arabia, want the U.S. to stay as well, and for the same reason. Keeping the Iranians out is nothing new, it's a local tradition that is thousands of years old.
Read about it here.

Allies, not Associates

Tom Sowell has a terrific indictment of the tales Barak Obama and his campaign tell.

Although Senator Barack Obama has been allied with a succession of far left individuals over the years, that is only half the story. There are, after all, some honest and decent people on the left. But these have not been the ones that Obama has been allied with-- allied, not merely "associated" with.

ACORN is not just an organization on the left. In addition to the voter frauds that ACORN has been involved in over the years, it is an organization with a history of thuggery, including going to bankers' homes to harass them and their families, in order to force banks to lend to people with low credit ratings.

Nor was Barack Obama's relationship with ACORN just a matter of once being their attorney long ago. More recently, he has directed hundreds of thousands of dollars their way. Money talks-- and what it says is more important than a politician's rhetoric in an election year.

Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pfleger are not just people with left-wing opinions. They are reckless demagogues preaching hatred of the lowest sort-- and both are recipients of money from Obama.

Bill Ayers is not just "an education professor" who has some left-wing views. He is a confessed and unrepentant terrorist, who more recently has put his message of resentment into the schools-- an effort using money from a foundation that Obama headed.

Nor has the help all been one way.

Read the whole thing here.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Godfather of Modern Conservatism

The Conscience of a Conservative, by Barry Goldwater is now available on the web. Read it here.

This is where it all got started.


Iowahawk, who has an unhealthy fascination with balls, explains the statistics of polling.

Read it here, and enjoy.

Laying On the Hands

That's my nephew's kid getting a personal meeting with "the One!!!" His folks should keep it. Someday when Aiden grows up and runs for president it might be useful, like Bill Clinton's picture of meeting Kennedy.

Tony Hillerman RIP

Tony Hillerman is gone, and with him Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. I'll miss him and his creatures. Maybe it's time to reread the whole Hillerman canon and become reacquainted with Joe and Jim.

Scary Stuff

This is really, really scary stuff. In an interview to NPR Barak Obama states that it is necessary to break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution....

He explains:

[G]enerally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendancy to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change.
This is seriously scary stuff. He really believes in redistributive change and sees the Constitution as a constraint from which we have to be freed.

Few people realize, because the MSM has refused to discuss it, just how radical Obama's calls for "fundamental change" are.

Drudge has picked this up and it will get wide distribution, but just in case I am noting it here.

Read Michelle Malkin's transcript and listen to the original here.

Oh, what the heck, here's the interview.

You have been warned.


Ann Althouse writes that this kind of thinking is fairly common among law school faculty and notes that Obama does not in this interview call for abandoning the Constitution -- that he merely is noting its constraints on redistributive programs as currently interpreted by the courts. She also notes that Obama's understanding of the Constitution is riddled with errors.

Read her commentary here.

To which I would respond that Obama's comments must be understood within the context of his other, more recent remarks calling for "fundamental change". He may not have called for radical change in these specific remarks, but he has called for it elsewhere. These remarks merely show what kind of change he envisions.

Bill Whittle says Obama's remarks are not just scary, but shameful. Read it here.

The Horserace

This weekend past Dick Morris was all over the tube with a prediction. He noted that for the first time the McCain/Palin campaigns were spending money at a rate competitive with Obama and that this would be reflected in the rolling averages starting today. His prediction: If the polls begin to narrow on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday McCain has a real shot at victory. If, however, there is no tightening, the campaign is essentially over.

This morning the Rasmussen organization reported a five point lead for Obama, down from eight points yesterday. [The bad news is that Obama is over fifty percent.] Zogby reports a much smaller narrowing. Obama’s lead has gone from 5.3 percent to 4.8 percent. [The bad news is that Obama is at 49.9 percent.]

A number of sources have noted over the past few months that Democrats tend to run about five points better in the polls than they do at the ballot box. Some call this the Bradley/Wilder effect and blame it on racism, but that can’t be right because white candidates such as John Kerry have shown a similar pattern. The implication is that if McCain can close to within five points of Obama in the days immediately before the election the race is essentially tied. Interestingly, as of this morning all three major organizations, Rasmussen, Zogby, and Gallup [traditional] have the lead at five points. I know that this is grasping at straws, but those of us who are appalled by the Obama candidacy have to cling to something.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


So let me get this straight. John McCain, a self-proclaimed "Maverick" is running for President. He chooses as a running mate Sarah Palin, another self-proclaimed "Maverick". And now the campaign staffers are complaining that neither one of them is willing to take direction from their handlers.

So what did they expect?
Sorry to be so late with pictures this week. I didn’t have access to the internet yesterday and was busy today. Here are some pics from my last trip to Philly.

We were staying at the Marriott on Market Street East. Here is what part of the lobby looks like.

And of course I had to walk across the street to check out the Reading Terminal Market.

Inside I found that not much has changed since the last time I was there.

And deeper into the market I found a little bit of Lancaster County.

And there I came across this Amish beauty. Ain’t she pretty? I would have made a Madonna reference if it were not for the fact that a certain scrawny pop singer has tainted that image.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hamburger, Hamburger...

A guy from Uniontown man traveled up to Clearfield where he sat down to dinner at Denny's Beer Barrel Pub. Here's what he had -- a fifteen pound hamburger.

Was he able to finish it? Check out the story [and slideshow] to find out [here].

Sarah On Her Own

You know it's bad for the McCain campaign when his top aides are starting to look for a scapegoat. They've apparently decided to blame his impending loss on Gov. Palin. Trouble is, she's not going to cooperate with them. She sees the campaign collapsing around her and has decided to trust her own instincts, not the direction of her handlers, who complain that she's "going rogue".

Read about it here.

My gut instincts say, "You go girl!!!"

Testing..., Testing...,

Campaigning in New Mexico John McCain responded to Joe Biden's comments to the effect that a President Obama would be tested by foreign enemies during his first six months in office. He said:

I'm gonna test them. They're not gonna test me!

Way to go, man! The straight talker is back.

Catholic Culture Wars

John Casey has a terrific piece in Open Democracy about the current struggle within the Catholic community between "traditionalists" [those who support the reforms of the sixteenth-century Council of Trent] and the "modernists" who support the reforms instituted half a century ago by the Second Vatican Council.

It is well worth a read, even if you are not a Catholic because it reflects so much of what is going on in our broader culture. Check it out here.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Iowahawk is on a tear. Recent posts include "I am Bill!", his take on the "I am Joe" campaign [here] and his interpretation of a Biden speech [here]. Check him out. He has the funniest site on the web.

Marginalizing the Racists

Stewart Taylor has a nice piece in the National Journal in which he argues that the race hustlers who see racism and oppression everywhere are being marginalized by the Obama campaign. Even if Obama loses the racists will have lost. Let us hope so, but I am skeptical. Too many people have a vested interest in the victimization narrative to give it up easily, and it it far too convenient an excuse for individual and programmatic failure. But to some extent Taylor is right -- it will be harder for the race hustlers to sell their argument in the future.

Read the article here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Looking Forward

Barney Frank lets slip the Democrats' game plan. Start with lots of spending, drive up the deficit to even higher levels than it is, justify it with Keynesian economic theory, then stoke fears about the deficit to justify calls for higher taxes.

Actually, it's just their old pre-seventies game plan revisited. It led to catastrophe back then. Why do they think it would be any different now?


Of course you already knew that the national reporters for the MSM were a bunch of creepy liberals. Here's confirmation from Michael Hastings who writes about the campaign for Newsweek and has a piece in GQ about his experiences on the trail. If you have a strong stomach, read it [here].

These people in the MSM are nuts..., oughta be put away somewhere, and they are just marginally worse than the campaign operatives they cover. When I was young I actually had some respect for journalists. That has long ago eroded, and now I look at them with horror. What a sad, creepy bunch they are. Did I mention that they are creepy? Oh yeah..., I did. Well it bears repeating. They are creeps.


Michael Malone, a professional journalist, is disgusted too, but he places primary blame on the editors and publishers, not on the creepy reporters, whom he portrays as mindless "torpedoes". Read it here.

Lies of the Left -- the Credit Crisis

One of my favorite SF authors, Orson Scott Card, has penned a piece in which he traces the duplicity of MSM reporting on the credit crisis. His conclusion:

This was a Congress-caused crisis, beginning during the Clinton administration, with Democrats leading the way into the crisis and blocking every effort to get out of it in a timely fashion.

If you at our local daily newspaper continue to let Americans believe — and vote as if — President Bush and the Republicans caused the crisis, then you are joining in that lie.

If you do not tell the truth about the Democrats — including Barack Obama — and do so with the same energy you would use if the miscreants were Republicans — then you are not journalists by any standard.

You're just the public relations machine of the Democratic Party, and it's time you were all fired and real journalists brought in....
Read the whole thing here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Gullibility of the Media

One of the most treasured of media myths has to do with the 1938 Mercury Theater broadcast of "War of the Worlds" that supposedly sparked a nationwide panic resulting in deaths and major social disruption. Nothing, it is held, better illustrates the power of broadcast media to sway public opinion. Trouble is, that's not the way it was. Instead, what the incident illustrates is the ease with which the media themselves can be manipulated. Michael Solokow explains:

The "War of the Worlds" broadcast remains enshrined in collective memory as a vivid illustration of the madness of crowds and the deeply invasive nature of broadcasting. The program seemingly proved that radio could, in the memorable words of Marshall McLuhan, turn "psyche and society into a single echo chamber." The audience's reaction clearly illustrated the perils of modernity. At the time, it cemented a growing suspicion that skillful artists — or incendiary demagogues — could use communications technology to capture the consciousness of the nation. It remains the prime example used by media critics, journalists, and professors to prove the power of the media.

Yet the media are not as powerful as most think, and the real story behind "The War of the Worlds" is a bit more complex. The panic was neither as widespread nor as serious as many have believed at the time or since.

Nobody died of fright or was killed in the panic, nor could any suicides be traced to the broadcast. Hospital emergency-room visits did not spike, nor, surprisingly, did calls to the police outside of a select few jurisdictions. The streets were never flooded with a terrified citizenry. Ben Gross, the radio columnist of the New York Daily News, later remembered a "lack of turmoil in front of CBS" that contrasted notably with the crowded, chaotic scene inside the building. Telephone lines in New York City and a few other cities were jammed, as the primitive infrastructure of the era couldn't handle the load, but it appears that almost all the panic that evening was as ephemeral as the nationwide broadcast itself, and not nearly as widespread. That iconic image of the farmer with a gun, ready to shoot the aliens? It was staged for Life magazine.

So what accounts for the legend? First — and perhaps most important — the news media loved the story....

Read the whole thing here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Iowahawk is POed, and rightly so.

We've all witnessed a lot of insanity in American politics over the last few years. Up until the last few days, none of it has seriously bothered me; hey, just more grist for the satire mill. But after witnessing the media's blitzkreig on Joe 'the Plumber' Wurzelbacher, I can only muster anger, and no small amount of fear.

Politicians -- Sarah Palin, Bill Clinton, et al. -- obviously have to put up with some rude, nasty shit, but it's right there in the jobs description. Joe the Plumber is different. He was a guy tossing a football with his kid in the front yard of his $125,000 house when a politician picked him out as a prop for a 30 second newsbite for the cable news cameras. Joe simply had the temerity to speak truth (or, if you prefer, an uninformed opinion) to power, for which the politico-media axis apparently determined that he must be humiliated, harassed, smashed, destroyed. The viciousness and glee with which they set about the task ought to concern anyone who still cares about citizen participation, and freedom of speech, and all that old crap they taught in Civics class before politics turned into Narrative Deathrace 3000, and Web 2.0 turned into Berlin 1932.0.

Lest you think that this is over the top, read the whole thing here.

He's right! The Obamination and it's media acolytes have gone too far once too often. They are not just sick, they are dangerous.

Instapundit [here and here] notes that some members of the press are beginning to realize that they are destroying the integrity of their profession. Trouble is, it's too little and far too late.

In Memorium

A good friend and a very good man passed away on Friday. He was Peter Moser, a man of many accomplishments, and a great heart.

Peter was my friend and neighbor. In his long and storied career he served as Chairman of the Maryland State Ethics Commission, the Attorney Grievance Commission, and the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. He was also President of the American Bar Foundation, Life Member of the American Bar Institute and has served on its Board of Directors. He was also President of the Maryland State and Baltimore Bar Associations and Treasurer of the American Bar Association.

Not bad..., not bad at all. His professional accomplishments testify to the high regard in which he was held by his peers as well as their faith in his integrity. He was, as one of his partners said at today's service, a "lawyer's lawyer". Well done, Peter.

But what I remember are the non-professional parts of his life. Sharing dinner with Peter, his wife Liz, and his family. Sitting at Ravens Stadium with him watching his beloved Ravens thoroughly dismantle my hapless Steelers. Peter, always the gentleman, didn't gloat. He simply smiled and as the score got more and more lopsided the smile got wider. Hosting Peter and Liz, at our place in the mountains of the gorgeous commonwealth. Visiting them at their place in Maine where I accompanied Peter down to the dam to fish. I took a camera and was glad I did.

Peter was perhaps happiest with a rod in his hand and a striper on the line. I like to think that now he is standing as he loved to do on the bank of a stream somewhere wonderful waiting patiently for that big one to bite.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Crisis of the New Aristocracy

J. R. Dunn, over at the American Thinker asks why so many members of the conservative establishment -- he lists Peggy Noonan, George Will, Kathleen Parker, Richard Brookheiser, David Frum, Christopher Buckley, and David Brooks -- have judged Sarah Palin and found her wanting, despite and perhaps because of her enormous popularity. In some cases they are so outraged by her nomination that they have decided to support Obama. Why?

He thinks he has an answer:
[T]he urban conservative crowd is frightened of Palin because she represents a threat to the standard model of conservatism constructed since the wilderness years of the 1930s, in which a highly-educated and well-connected East Coast coterie led a much larger, less-informed heartland contingent. This, like it or not, is elitism. By their very nature, elites tend to corrode over time. And Sarah Palin, through the very fact of her showing up, has revealed this to be the case in our circle. She upset the enclave conservative applecart, and now they are angry -- a lot angrier than they have been at any lefties in recent memory.
Read it here.

Years ago in his prophetic novel, 1984, George Orwell noted the rise of a "new aristocracy"
made up for the most part of bureaucrats, scientists, technicians, trade-union organizers, publicity experts, sociologists, teachers, journalists, and professional politicians.
When 1984 was published, in 1948, this new aristocracy was just beginning to assume control in the United States [Orwell's reference was to the Soviet Union, but the concept embraces all of Western society]. Today it totally dominates the Democratic Party and, as Dunn shows, is well represented in the Republican. It fills the ranks of an ever-swelling government that has assumed more and more control over our lives. It staffs our educational institutions, our information and entertainment media, and organized labor. And it is beginning to become self-aware.

A number of recent political controversies -- over Harriet Meiers, Sarah Palin, and now Joe the Plummer, have exposed the extent to which this new "aristocracy" [they might prefer "meritocracy" or "the best and the brightest"] has class interests that span the political and ideological spectra. Once again the new aristocrats of the left and the right have drawn together in opposition to someone whom they perceive as a threat to their exalted status. But more importantly, the frequency of such occasions suggests that resistance to meritocratic domination is rising. The challenges are becoming more frequent and the resulting conflicts are creating a new degree of self-awareness within the new aristocracy. That is why so many are willing to support their ideological and political antagonist, Sen. Obama, rather than the charismatic vice presidential candidate of their own party. It also reflects the rising realization within the general public that the elites of neither party represent their interests. A crisis is blooming in American political culture and as it grows more and more we will find that class will tell.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Worrying About A Democrat Supermajority

The Wall Street Journal has an excellent editorial on the consequences of a Democratic, across the board, sweep this fall.
In both 1933 and 1965, liberal majorities imposed vast expansions of government that have never been repealed, and the current financial panic may give today's left another pretext to return to those heydays of welfare-state liberalism. Americans voting for "change" should know they may get far more than they ever imagined.
Read the whole thing here and be afraid..., be very afraid.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More Pennsylvania Pictures

It's a little early this week, but I'll be too busy for the next few days to post much, so here goes.

Yesterday I was working away happily when I heard some scratching and whining from near the front door. It was my camera, begging to be let out. What was I to do? I could keep on working, or I could satisfy the poor little thing's needs. Of course, being the kind and gentle soul that I am, I took the camera for a walk. Here is a bit of what I saw.

If you ever wondered where Christmas trees come from -- your's probably came from Pennsylvania. We grow a LOT of them here.

Looking south toward the Port Clinton gap.

This one is going to go into my "favorites" folder.

I've photographed this barn from the road, but the backside is more interesting.

You really don't have to go to New England for "leaf peeking". We have plenty of spectacular foliage here in the gorgeous commonwealth.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Jace Everett on Making It

This one is for Diane..., enjoy.

How To Become an Overnight Sensation in Country Music

Passing On the Debate

I'm not going to watch tonight's debate, and why should you? What actually goes on there is unimportant, unless one candidate [McCain] makes a major gaffe [Obama's gaffes aren't reported] and then it will be plastered all over the media.

The MSM stories have already been written with the exception of a few details. Here, via Drudge, are the main points that will be reported:

* This is John McCain's last chance to turn this race around and somehow convince the American people that his erratic response to this economic crisis doesn't disqualify him from being President.

* Just this weekend the weekend, John McCain vowed to "whip Obama's you-know-what" at the debate, and he's indicated that he'll be bringing up Bill Ayers to try to
distract voters.

* So we know that Senator McCain will come ready to attack Barack Obama and bring his
dishonorable campaign tactics to the debate stage.

Obama continues to lead on the economic crisis with a rescue plan for Main Street.

* Over the course of the campaign, Barack Obama has laid out a set of policies that will grow our middle class and strengthen our economy.

* But he knows we face an immediate
economic emergency that requires urgent action - on top of the plans he's already laid out - to help workers and families and communities struggling right now.

* That's why Barack Obama is introducing a comprehensive four-part Rescue Plan for the Middle Class - to immediately to stabilize our financial system, provide relief to families and communities, and help struggling homeowners.

* This is a plan that can and should be implemented immediately.

Obama has shown steady leadership during this crisis and offered concrete solutions to move the country forward - and his Rescue Plan for the Middle Class builds on the plans to strengthen the economy and rebuild the middle class that he's laid out over the course of this campaign.

* Already in this campaign, he's unveiled plans to give 95 percent of workers and their families a tax cut, eliminate income taxes for seniors making under $50,000, bring down the cost of health care for families and businesses; and create millions of new jobs by investing in the renewable energy sources.

* John McCain has been
erratic and unsteady since this crisis began - staggering from position to position and trying to change the subject away from the economy by launching false character attacks.

So now you know what will have happened at tonight's debate, at least as far as how it will be reported in the MSM, and that's all that really matters at this stage.

Leave the TV off and get some sleep. You'll feel better in the morning.

More Nobel Sillyness

Yuval Levin notes yet another reason to be suspicious of scientific authority. Sixty-five winners of the Nobel Prize for Science have signed a petition supporting the candidacy of Barak Obama. Prominent among their reasons is that federal funding for science has been stagnant or declining during the Bush administration.

So say the world's top scientific experts and they must know what they are talking about..., right?

Well, actually they are full of horse hockey. Under Bush NIH funding is up by 41%; NSF funding is up 45%; and overall federal funding for R&D is up 56%.

Don't ever trust the opinion of scientists (or any other kind of expert for that matter) when they are speaking outside their very narrowly specialized field of expertise. Like all of us they are frequently naive and ill-informed. A physicist might know a lot about protons, but that doesn't mean he knows anything about public policy.

Read Levin's post here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Another Feminist Theory Exploded

Remember all those articles and documentaries about Bonobos? They are a variety of chimpanzee that may be even more closely related to humans than the standard chimps. Well, at the height of the feminist craziness there were reports from reputable scientists to the effect that bonobos represented an alternative to the patriarchal/murderous behavior exhibited by humans and chimps. Bonobos were reported to be organized around female groupings and female interactivity, exhibit high levels of playful sexual activity, and to be pacifist vegetarians.

This June's National Geographic put it this way:

In the great ape family bonobos are the cheeky, easy-going members. Not for them aggressive chest-pounding displays of dominance. They are lovers, seldom fighters. In their female-dominated societies, individuals copulate to settle conflicts. Bonobos also engage in communal sex to east strains at a new feeding site.

Unlike humans and standard chimps the bonobos, at least as presented by journalistic accounts of the science of that day, were never observed to hunt, make war, or resolve in-group conflicts with ferocious displays and physical attacks. They were, in other words, our good cousins -- the ones that had followed a feminist, rather than a patriarchal path, and as such they were held up as a model for human interactions. Their existence and behavior suggested that male aggression an dominance were not necessarily determined by evolution -- that there was an alternative evolutionary history for mankind.

Well, now in the post-feminist era the whole subject of bonobos is coming in for reappraisal. A new study finds that not only are bonobos meat-eaters, they also hunt for their food and their prey often is..., monkeys. What is more, female bonobos not only hunted monkeys, but participated in the kills.

Read about it here.

The image of playful, vegetarian, feminist, non-aggressive apes has taken a decided hit. More importantly, this revisionary study provides yet another example of the fact that science is not an objective undertaking. Rather, even the most careful studies are shaped to some degree by opinion and ideology. What is studied, how it is studied, and the conclusions drawn from the research vary with the shifting intellectual climate in which the studies are undertaken. Science, in other words, is a human activitiy and as such subject to human foible.

As I have said time and again, there is no such thing as a disinterested authority.


Just how dangerous is ACORN? Check out what they've done in the past. Jim Hoft [The Gateway Pundit] has the goods on them -- your one-stop shopping for all of ACORN's multitude of misdeeds.

Read it here.

And while you are at it, check out Gay Patriot's compendium of ACORN's misdeeds here.

What we are seeing is the equivalent of an internet "denial of service" attack. The Obamination, in coordination with ACORN, is creating so many cases of registration fraud that it will overload the verification system, making it impossible on election day to separate real from false votes. In doing so they are undermining the integrity of the democratic system as a whole, and that is a very dangerous thing.

Be afraid..., be very afraid.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I haven't been following the campaigns very closely -- I have long known for whom I was going to vote and why, and the day to day maneuvers are downright boring and more than a little loony as both campaigns try to energize their bases -- but the ubiquity of commentary seeps in past my protective barriers. Apparently the latest effort on the part of the Obamination and its MSM allies is to portray McCain/Palin voters as enraged lunatics. This is completely absurd and exactly contrary to what is actually happening. Michelle Malkin is on the case, though, with extensive evidence of anger, violence and hatred directed against Sarah and Dubya from the left. Read it here.

The sheer audacity of the left-wing liars is staggering. And the response from the left-wing base is downright frightening.

Insanity! Insanity!

Anchoress Unleashed

The Anchoress is really, really PO'd at the way the MSM is covering this election. I think she's right in her analysis and the anger and frustration she feels is completely justified. The behavior of the MSM herd has been absolutely despicable. Read her rant here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

More Pennsylvania Pictures

When I first started this series of pictures of the glorious commonwealth I led off with a picture of a barn [here]. Recently I drove past it again and..., well..., the farmers have been busy. They have planted several fields of sunflowers. Here's what the empty field looks like now.

Later I posted a picture of another barn, that elicited a lot of comment. Here's what it looked like back in the springtime, and this is what it looked like today.

The springtime greenery has given way to a riot of color. So far the most vibrant colors are pretty much limited to the lowlands. The mountains themselves remain green and gold.



Either way, up or down and in any season, this is a beautiful place to live.

Friday, October 10, 2008

More Hot Republican Babes

Seen at Sarah's Pensacola rally:

Read about it here. [HT: Tim Blair]

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

On the Bridge

My cousin took his camera to New York. From the looks of this picture he seems to have taken a wrong turn and wound up in the 1930s. It seems everyone in my family has artistic talent except me.

Paglia on Sarah

Camille Paglia is smitten by Sarah Palin.

The mountain of rubbish poured out about Palin over the past month would rival Everest. What a disgrace for our jabbering army of liberal journalists and commentators, too many of whom behaved like snippy jackasses. The bourgeois conventionalism and rank snobbery of these alleged humanitarians stank up the place. As for Palin's brutally edited interviews with Charlie Gibson and that viper, Katie Couric, don't we all know that the best bits ended up on the cutting-room floor? Something has gone seriously wrong with Democratic ideology, which seems to have become a candied set of holier-than-thou bromides attached like tutti-frutti to a quivering green Jell-O mold of adolescent sentimentality.

And where is all that lurid sexual fantasy coming from? When I watch Sarah Palin, I don't think sex -- I think Amazon warrior! I admire her competitive spirit and her exuberant vitality, which borders on the supernormal....

One of the most idiotic allegations batting around out there among urban media insiders is that Palin is "dumb." Are they kidding? What level of stupidity is now par for the course in those musty circles? (The value of Ivy League degrees, like sub-prime mortgages, has certainly been plummeting. As a Yale Ph.D., I have a perfect right to my scorn.) People who can't see how smart Palin is are trapped in their own narrow parochialism -- the tedious, hackneyed forms of their upper-middle-class syntax and vocabulary.


Many others listening to Sarah Palin at her debate went into conniptions about what they assailed as her incoherence or incompetence. But I was never in doubt about what she intended at any given moment. On the contrary, I was admiring not only her always shapely and syncopated syllables but the innate structures of her discourse -- which did seem to fly by in fragments at times but are plainly ready to be filled with deeper policy knowledge, as she gains it.... This is a tremendously talented politician whose moment has not yet come.

Read the whole thing here.

I agree with both sides of Camille's analysis -- she, unlike so many of her peers, recognizes the importance of Sarah's emergence on the national scene (feminist discourse will never be the same), and she perfectly nails the small-minded nastiness of upper-middle class liberal consciousness. In many ways Paglia is loony, but in this case she is right on.

The Debate -- Disappointing!

So let’s get this straight….

Obama wants the government to pay for everyone’s health care, and McCain wants to buy everyone a home. Where is the money coming from? We are already facing a debt crisis. These are irresponsible, even dangerous, positions.

Both men waste time denouncing corruption and greed – earmarks and CEO compensation. These are easy targets, but are also really small potatoes and don’t help address the current double crisis of debt and credit. We are either going to raise taxes a lot or increase the national debt a lot – neither will admit that, but it’s reality. As a reader wrote to Instapundit:

"Tonight, Senator Obama said $18 billion in earmarks between 535 Congressional ne’er-do-wells isn’t that big a deal, but if we can only keep 500 CEOs from getting $350 million in tax breaks, well, that’s how we fix problems!"

Read it here

Both talk about shared sacrifice. Usually this means higher taxes, but both of them also talk about national service and reducing political squabbling. That’s a bit too authoritarian [perhaps even fascist] for my taste.

Neither man, to my mind, is close to being acceptable as President of the United States, but they are all we have. Both are acting completely irresponsibly and advancing dangerous initiatives. Given a choice between two really bad candidates I will go for the old, white-haired, wrinkly guy who will probably only last one term, giving us a chance to reboot after four years.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Becker on the Credit Crisis

Nobel Prize winning economist Gary Becker has a nice piece in the WSJ on the current financial crisis. He is quite sure that we are not heading into a depression and whatever troubles emerge from the current crisis, they are definitely not of a scale comparable to those of the thirties:

Although it is the most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, it is a far smaller crisis, especially in terms of the effects on output and employment. The United States had about 25% unemployment during most of the decade from 1931 until 1941, and sharp falls in GDP. Other countries experienced economic difficulties of a similar magnitude. So far, American GDP has not yet fallen, and unemployment has reached only a little over 6%. Both figures are likely to get quite a bit worse, but they will nowhere approach those of the 1930s.
He urges a limited series of reforms:
  1. Increase capital requirements for lending institutions.
  2. Sell off Fannie and Freddie.
  3. No more bailouts.
His major worry is that government guarantees will remove the moral risk involved with credit transactions and will thus encourage bad business practice. He is particularly upset by the bailout of the auto industry.

Finally -- no matter how much it is desired and predicted by liberals and hard lefties, Becker assures us that this is not the "final crisis of capitalism".

He's right.

Read it here.

Becker is also a blogger -- for a more extensive look at his thinking go to here.


Newsbusters notes that Barak Obama must have been the "most clueless man in Chicago" [here]. He didn't know that Bill Ayers was a radical terrorist; he didn't know that Tony Rezko was a crook; he didn't know that Rev. Wright was a raving racist. After two decades of associations with these loons and crooks he didn't know..., he didn't know..., he didn't know.

And then there is this. Obama says that Ayers was just a guy in the neighborhood whose kids went to school with his -- despite the fact that Ayers kids are a couple of decades older than Obama's. Interesting.

Peace in Afghanistan?

This is potentially huge. The Saudis are brokering peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government and an agreement to join forces against Al Qaeda. This deserves more play in the press. American success against Al Qaeda in Iraq have forced the Democrats to change their narrative on the war on terror. They began to argue that an emphasis on Iraq has led to defeat in Afghanistan. Now that argument seems to be..., inoperable.

Read about it here.

The Forbidden SNL Skit

The Saturday Night Live skit you are not allowed to see [it seems George Soros, sole proprietor of the Democratic Party objected] -- but Michelle Malkin has a transcript and screen caps. Check it out here.

The Post-Racial Party

Ann Althouse notes that Sarah Palin refuses to respond to AP charges that linking Obama to Bill "the mad bomber" Ayers is a racist tactic and applauds her for it [here]. In followup comments we see this assertion:

It is Palin, not Obama supporters, who is post-racial.
I would argue that for several decades now it has been the Republican Party that has been post-racial, or at least aspiring to that condition, while Democrats have been stubbornly working to preserve and increase racial antagonisms. This campaign has made that distinction impossible to avoid. Obama and his supporters constantly raise issues of race and imply that their opponents are racists, while the Republicans raise issues of individual character and, appropriately, avoid drawing distinctions on the basis of race.

I would further argue that this reflects deeper currents of thought that divide the two parties. Republicans tend to look at people as individuals with individual aspirations and responsibilities -- Democrats tend to view people as representatives of social science categories. This distinction between individualism and group think divides the parties on a wide range of issues and is fundamental to understanding the underlying themes of political discourse in this country.

Monday, October 06, 2008


Iowahawk strikes again -- the children of the Obamination....

Check out his blog here. Lotsa good stuff.

Word of the Day

There are so very many opportunities to apply it during this most horrible of election seasons:

Laidly -- c.1300, Scottish and northern English variant of loathly "hideous, repulsive."

BTW I'm Voting For Mccain / Palin

Great, great video. This guy is wonderful. Listen to the whole thing.

He hits point after point and nails each one.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Lura in Concert

Summer is over and the concert season is upon us. Yesterday we went to see a lovely young singer named Lura, and she put on a great show. Before the concert we had lunch at "Gertrude's", sitting outdoors under a canopy near a fountain overlooking the BMA sculpture garden. The weather was perfect, the company entertaining, and the food wonderful. Then on to the concert.

Lura and her group performed music of the Cape Verde Islands; a fascinating blend of African, Brazilian, Portuguese, and French Afro-pop. Several people from the islands attended the concert and the place was really rocking. Here's a sample of what we heard.

And listen to this:

Afterwards the women in our group even got a chance to do some shopping at the museum store.

Altogether it was an extremely satisfying day. Hopefully, the first of many to come in this glorious autumn.

The Pit Bull Puts Her Lipstick On

Sarah takes the gloves off and gets her game on. AP reports:
Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Saturday accused Democrat Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists" because of his association with a former 1960s radical, stepping up the campaign's effort to portray Obama as unacceptable to American voters.


Palin told a group of donors at a private airport, "Our opponent ... is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country." She also said, "This is not a man who sees America as you see America and as I see America."
Read it here.

I suspect that she would have done this long ago, but her poor performance in the Gibson and Couric interviews meant that her charges would have little credibility. After her fileting of Joe Biden, though, she is back and can fulfill the vice presidential candidates' traditional role as attack dog [or is it pit bull?].


Apparently she's having an effect. People are turning out en-masse to hear her speak. Here's a picture of the crowd at her speech in Carson, California. This is one of the bluest regions of a blue State and she is packing a stadium with enthusiastic Paliniacs. This kid has a future in Republican politics, you betcha.


Apparently the Obamination thinks that it was "outrageous" that so many people would turn out to see Sarah. [here. HT Jonah]

Video of the rally here.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Latest from Louisiana

The Military Dad witnessed an interesting confrontation in Shreveport last night. He and his wife were on their way to the buffet at one of the casinos:
While waiting in line, some women came into the lobby wearing McCain/Palin sweat shirts. They were approached by a group of black patrons who began shouting at them to take their racist propaganda (actually they said 's**t') back where they came from.

Surprise surprise, the GSP arrived and escorted the pubbies INTO the restaurant and turned a blind eye to the rabble. They got in line behind us and I asked them if that was an unusual thing and the older woman told me that last night (Friday) they'd been over in Bossier City at a casino and were assaulted - drinks thrown on them, people pushing them around the aisles and bumping into them when they passed by.... And nothing was done by the security team at the casino... again all Black.

Their cars were keyed and had crap thrown on them from the parking lot and trash cans. So much for security cameras.

It turns out that they are a "committed lesbian" relationship group, PUMAs all, who are trying to stir up some controversy and get some light shed on the obvious lie of Obama "bringing us all together".

No TV crews and the staff at the buffet ignored them until they started chanting "we're here, we're here" kinda like Horton and the Whos...
This campaign with all its twists and turns has turned grievance groups against each other and the resulting chaos is a wonderment to behold.

More Pennsylvania Pictures

Another weekend, time for some more pictures of our glorious commonwealth.

Complex feelings -- Obama, flags, and support the troops, all in the same house. Interesting!

Boathouse Row

Last week as we were escaping Philly along the Surekill Expressway, I was able to snap these from a moving car. I was using a Nikon D-90. Need I say it is a WONDERFUL piece of equipment?

Last Train Home

It's been a while since I posted any music videos. Here's "Last Train Home" from one of my favorite albums -- Pat Metheny's "Still Life (Talking)" recorded way back in 1987. I grew up in a railroad town and this song evokes for me memories of those fabled days of yesteryear when we all were young.

Now wasn't that nice? As Sarah Palin would say, you betcha!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Michael Malone has a very perceptive post over at Edglings. He writes:

[T]he United States government has embarked on two pieces of social engineering in the last few years. One was to make oil expensive as expensive as possible to drive people to greater use of alternative energy sources - because anything less would be irresponsible and destructive to the environment. The other was to enshrine home ownership (i.e., easy-to-obtain mortgages) as a new American right - because anything less would be unequal and racist.

None of us voted on these decisions - indeed, neither was even spoken about directly, much less debated. But nevertheless, both became national policy… and both have sparked national, now international, crises. Then, once they became crises, both were blamed on ‘greedy capitalism’, instead of what they really were: legislative interference into market forces.

Read the whole thing here.

Malone thinks that the conspicuous failures of government attempts to manage the nation will finally discredit the idea of social engineering and bring about a decline of the Left. Good luck with that.

Who Won?

Wondering who won the St. Louis debate? Don't pay any attention to what the MSM is saying -- just go over to Gateway Pundit. He checked out the after-debate rallies for both the McCain and Obama camps. The Palin/Wrinkly Dude crowd was huge and ecstatic, filling a stadium. The Obama facility was almost empty. The crowds knew who won. What stands out it the picture of the media in attendance at the Palin/WD event. In the midst of celebrating masses, they looked as though they were at a funeral.