Thursday, March 29, 2007

I'm Off to Scotland and Ulster

This blog will be inactive for the next ten days while I am off to Scotland for a conference. I will also visit Ulster while I am there.

But have no fear, Provocateur will be back and I will be as ornery and offensive as ever when I return.

Ulster Scots wha hae!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Barack Obama Criticizes Bush For Not Being a Socialist
Our beloved Senator accused Bush of 'Social Darwinism' as if the president wants to kill people with lower incomes.

"It's a strategy that we've seen this administration pursue over the last six years, that basically says government has no role to play in making sure that America is prosperous for all people and not just some," Obama said to applause during an appearance before the Communications Workers of America.

Hey Barack, the government can't make all people prosperous, any more than it can make all people rock stars. The only thing that government can do is to try to foster the conditions under which people are free to pursue their own prosperity. The only thing that policies like those that you propose will accomplish will be to make people dependent on the government.

You want to tax individuals and businesses excessively. You want to increase government regulation of our lives, with the inevitable result of reducing our civil liberties. You want people of some races and gender to have preferences over others.

All of your fawning sycophants in the lefty media are talking about how you are so new and unique. There's nothing new about anything you are proposing. Your ideas are nothing but old, rehashed socialism. It has been tried in various forms all over the world, and the results have been dismal.

Children Who Play With Legos are Capitalist Pigs

I never thought that the idiots on the left would see a harmless toy like Legos as a tool of capitalist oppression. But the moonbats never cease to amaze me. It turns out that some after-school daycare workers at the Hilltop Children's Center in Seattle became concerned that their young subjects were developing an "unjust and oppressive" society built out of Legos:

the children were building their assumptions about ownership and the social power it conveys — assumptions that mirrored those of a class-based, capitalist society — a society that we teachers believe to be unjust and oppressive. As we watched the children build, we became increasingly concerned.

That is definitely something to worry about. We can't have those young, impressionable kids developing notions of free enterprise and personal responsibility, can we?

Tragedy struck and the Legotown that these capitalist oppressors were building was destroyed! The teachers of this progressive day care center seized the opportunity:

We saw the decimation of Lego-town as an opportunity to launch a critical evaluation of Legotown and the inequities of private ownership and hierarchical authority on which it was founded. Our intention was to promote a contrasting set of values: collectivity, collaboration, resource-sharing, and full democratic participation.

The teachers decided to "liberate" the Legos by removing them from the classroom:

We recognized that children are political beings, actively shaping their social and political understandings of ownership and economic equity — whether we interceded or not. We agreed that we want to take part in shaping the children's understandings from a perspective of social justice. So we decided to take the Legos out of the classroom.

Legos were finally brought back, but only to be played with under certain "progressive" rules:

All structures are public structures. Everyone can use all the Lego structures. But only the builder or people who have her or his permission are allowed to change a structure.
Lego people can be saved only by a "team" of kids, not by individuals.
All structures will be standard sizes.

So what happens to the kids who do not "collaborate" with the "team"? Are they sent to a timeout in the daycare version of Vorkuta?

When I think of some of the sick, twisted minds who are taking care of our kids, I feel very ill.

Hat tip to John Miller at NRO.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Why So Few Men in College?

The newspaper in Flint, Michigan notes the fact that 58% of undergraduate college students are women. This is not surprising at all, but the author of article does not mention the true reason why so few men are enrolling.

Academia has declared war on men. White men in particular. When I was a graduate student at Ohio State, the administration had screens put in the urinals that said "You are holding the power to stop rape in your hands". I was a mature graduate student in my thirties. I've never been in trouble with the law, much less ever raped anyone, and I couldn't even take a whiz without being accused of being a rapist.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Stamp of the Week
Postmaster Provisional from Brattleboro, VT. Issued in 1846.
Mountain of the Week: Mt. Rainier

"Baby, don't be eruptin' on me tonight"

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Another Moonbat from the Carter Administration Toots His Horn

Jimmy Carter's term as president was thirty years ago, yet we are still dealing with the repercussions of his totally foolish, incompetent foreign policy. As if that's not bad enough, we get to hear Jimmah and his clowns like Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor, continually mouthing off with the stupidest, lamest ideas they can think of. Of course, they have an eager audience in the hate-America left.

The "war on terror" has created a culture of fear in America. The Bush administration's elevation of these three words into a national mantra since the horrific events of 9/11 has had a pernicious impact on American democracy, on America's psyche and on U.S. standing in the world. Using this phrase has actually undermined our ability to effectively confront the real challenges we face from fanatics who may use terrorism against us.
The damage these three words have done -- a classic self-inflicted wound -- is infinitely greater than any wild dreams entertained by the fanatical perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks when they were plotting against us in distant Afghan caves.

Isn't that rich? Using the phrase "War on Terror" has caused more damage than the three thousand people who were murdered in cold blood on 9/11. More than the 50 people who were murdered on 7/7 in the subway bombings in England. More than the 200 people who were murdered in the Bali nightclub bombing. Is it any wonder with such "intelligent" and "nuanced" advisors like Brzezinski, Jimmy was overhwelmingly voted out of office in 1980?

Some more words of wisdom from this raving genius:

But the little secret here may be that the vagueness of the phrase was deliberately (or instinctively) calculated by its sponsors. Constant reference to a "war on terror" did accomplish one major objective: It stimulated the emergence of a culture of fear. Fear obscures reason, intensifies emotions and makes it easier for demagogic politicians to mobilize the public on behalf of the policies they want to pursue.

Hey Einstein, the cause of the fear was not the phrase "War on Terror". The cause of the fear was those homicidal maniacs flying planeloads full of people into buildings on September 11, 2001. I can just imagine what was going on in your sick little twisted mind on that day. You were probably thinking that the USA deserved the terrorist attacks, weren't you?

That America has become insecure and more paranoid is hardly debatable.

Tell me something Zbig, how many terrorist attacks have there been in the USA since 9/11? We have become more secure from the efforts of the war on terror, not less. As for paranoia, I think you have cornered the market on that form of mental illness, with your paranoia about the war on terror.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas: A Man of Courage and Intellect

Justice Thomas is a man who has been the target of more false accusations and insults than anyone else in the USA. And yet, he has carried this burden with grace and dignity, never stooping to the level of his detractors. He suffered the indignity of the ludicrous accusations of Anita Hill on national TV during his senate confirmation hearings. He has been repeatedly called "Uncle Tom" and worse by the scum on the left.

Justice Thomas' opinions he has written have shown the intellect of a brilliant jurist. I was particularly heartened by his opinion in the Kelo v. New London case.

Business Week published an interview of Thomas concerning his undergraduate years at Holy Cross:

Q: Why do you think some people are so eager to cast you as a beneficiary of affirmative action?

A: That was the creation of the politicians, the people with a lot of mouth and nothing to say and your industry. They had a story and everything had to fit into their story. It discounts other people's achievements. Ask Ted how many all-nighters he pulled. It discounts those. It's so discouraging to see the fraudulent renditions of very complicated and different lives of people who were struggling in a new world for them. Everything becomes affirmative action. There wasn't some grand plan. I just showed up.

Q: How is the world different for college kids today?

A: You don't go to college to be a decoration. You're not there to please other people. You're there to do better in your own life. The only answer I'm interested in is to the question: Are these kids better off for having gone to a college? If they are, how? Ask that question about the first black kids who went to Holy Cross and the answer is a resounding 'Yes.' Yes, they are better off. Ask yourself that today. What's the attrition rate? It used to be up around 40% or something like that. There was no attrition in my class.

Q: Is it solely because of a mismatch of students and the schools that admit them?

A: I don't know. I don't think people even ask the question any more. I tried for years to get focus on why you actually went to school as opposed to diversity and multiculturalism. I didn't go to school for any of that stuff. I went to school to learn and get on with my life. I wasn't there to prove or disprove anybody else's point. I've thought a lot about these things, and I've spent the bulk of my life, beating my head against a wall, trying to get people to see that they can have their grand theories but, in the end, you can't impose them on other people's kids. How many kids do you have? They're different, aren't they? If your kids are different—and they're all yours—what about just some kids who happen to be different shades of black, different degrees of Negro? They're all from different family settings—some two parents, some no parents, some raised by grandparents. Come on. How can you just all of a sudden treat them as all the same?

Hat tip to John Lott.

Star of the Week
Since I'm taking a tour of the solar system, I might as well mention its most important member. Here she is during a total eclipse. I have never seen a total solar eclipse but I have heard it said that the sun's corona is the most spectacular sight one can ever view.
Like most stars, the sun's output varies over time. The effects of the variation have been observed on the other planets in our system, as well as on the earth. Since the sun is the primary source of all of our light and heat, does it not make sense to consider the variations in its output as a potential cause of the slight warming the earth has experienced (about one degree celsius over the last 150 years)?

Larry "Bud" Melman: 1922 - 2007


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ugly Moonbat of the Week: Eleanor Clift

She's always acting like she's pissed about something. If I looked like that I wouldn't be very happy either.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Planet of the Week: @!#%$^&$

Oops! Ran out of planets. Have to start on the moons now.

And yes, Pluto is a planet, in spite of what the IAU says. Because I say so.

Stamps of the Week

"Been a long time, since I've rock and rolled..."

Mountain of the Week: Guadalupe Peak

Tallest mountain in Texas.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Christian Science Monitor Declares Itself Stupid

I knew it wouldn't be long before the lunatics on the left would begin wailing and lamenting the brilliant decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals to strike down DC's ridiculous gun control laws. Indeed, the Christian Science Monitor has done just that, and have also betrayed how little they understand the issue.

That amendment states: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." The wording clearly applies to only the common defense, the high court ruled nearly 70 years ago, with a gun right grounded only in relation to state militias.

And of course if these jarheads at the CSM would bother reading the new decision, they would understand just how eggregiously the supreme court was in error. There is no question as to the founding fathers' intent with regards to the second amendment. It was put there to guarantee individual rights to keep and bear arms.

And now we have got the gun-haters really worried:

Now there's a possibility that a more conservative Supreme Court might endorse this lower-court decision. If so, the justices will need to acknowledge that public safety requires regulation of firearms.

The supreme court has disappointed me so many times (e.g. Kelo case) that I am not going to speculate on what they will do. But I certainly hope that they endorse the recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals. Public safety does not require regulation of firearms. It needs more firearms in the right hands. Law-abiding people should have the right and the means to defend themselves against criminals and against a tyrannical government.

Anyone who wants gun control may move to a country that has gun control. Such people do not deserve to live in a free society.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Was Ghandi Really So Great?

I never knew very much about Ghandi. His name is often referred to in a very reverential manner, as though he is someone to be worshipped. He led India's independence movement from Britain. But the empire shed most of its colonies during the mid-twentieth century anyway. And I always wonder about some guy who ran around in his underwear all the time.

Fred Thompson has a very revealing article about Ghandi in National Review Online:

During World War II, Gandhi penned an open letter to the British people, urging them to surrender to the Nazis. Later, when the extent of the holocaust was known, he criticized Jews who had tried to escape or fight for their lives as they did in Warsaw and Treblinka. “The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife,” he said. “They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs.” “Collective suicide,” he told his biographer, “would have been heroism.”

Collective suicide is heroism? Hmmmmmmmm..... I would hate to learn what Ghandi would call cowardice.

Now that I think about it, the people whom I recall speaking reverentially of Ghandi were those of know those people I don't like whom I refer to collectively as the "left". Now it all makes sense. When they're not worshipping butchers like Che Guevara or Mao Tse Tung, they are worshipping half-naked pygmies who advise others to "offer themselves to the butcher's knife".
Hat tip to Powerline. They refer to Ghandi as "the most overrated man of the twentieth century". Perhaps the underwear man should also get an award for the most underrated villain?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

More on the Brilliant Court Decision Concerning DC's Gun Ban

John Lott cites some eye-opening statistics concerning crime in DC both before and after the gun ban that occurred in 1976.

In the five years before Washington’s ban in 1976, the murder rate fell from 37 to 27 per 100,000. In the five years after it went into effect, the murder rate rose back up to 35. During this same time, robberies fell from 1,514 to 1,003 per 100,000 and then rose by over 63 percent, up to 1,635. The five-year trends are not some aberration. In fact, while murder rates have varied over time, during the 30 years since the ban, the murder rate has only once fallen below what it was in 1976.

I am amazed by the total lack of any reason or logic on the part of the gun control advocates. What in the world makes them think that someone who is willing to commit murder or armed robbery is going to care about some law banning guns? All that they will accomplish by banning guns will be to take them away from law-abiding people. And this will hurt the poor people who live in rougher neighborhoods much more than anyone else.

The mind boggles.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Planet of the Week: Pluto

Discovered by Ckyde Tombaugh in 1930. Very small and far away, the ninth planet from the sun is difficult to see even with a decent-sized telescope. I have only seen it once and that took several hours of scanning the sky and pouring over star charts, trying to make out a 13th magnitude star in the right place.

Pluto has one large moon: Charon. And two small moons recently discovered: Nix and Hydra. It will be interesting to hear Donald Trump's plans for all this new real estate.
August 24, 2006. A date that will live in infamy. The International Astronomical Union downgraded Pluto's status to "dwarf planet". This was one of the stupidest and most asinine decisions ever made by any scientific body in the history of mankind. I'll bet that every one of the idiots who made that decision will also vote for Hillary for president in 2008.

Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkey of the Week

Frere Jacques says he is calling it quits as President of France. Well BOOHOO. We're reaslly gonna miss him. Now the frogs might have to settle for someone who is slightly competent. The IBD laments his departure:

By last year, Chirac's stock had fallen so far that his big plan to 'restore' Gallic pride was — no joke — to create a government-funded alternative to Google. Ah, the glory of France.

As a stockholder of Google, I was quaking in my boots at the thought of competing with "Froggle", or whatever they were gonna call it. It just wouldn't be fair, Jacques. Let us poor Americans have at least some tiny part of the internet. Don't hog it all for yourself.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Oscar-Winning Moonbat

Not content to rest on his laurels from having invented the internet, Owl Gore wants to save us from global warming. The New York Times, of all things, has a good article on how the Dimpled Chad Man has distorted the views of scientists regarding the role of CO2 emissions in global warming.

Whenever I think of how close this jackass came to becoming president, I feel a chill run down my spine. It makes me utter a silent "thank you" to President Bush.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Mountain of the Week: Popocatepetl

Like its sister Iztaccihuatl, El Popo is near Mexico City. This volcano has been active recently.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Victory for the Rights of Law-Abiding Gun Owners in D.C.

HOORAY! The Washington Post reports:

The 2 to 1 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down sections of a 1976 law that bans city residents from having handguns in their homes. The court also overturned the law's requirement that shotguns and rifles be stored disassembled or with trigger locks. The court grounded its unprecedented ruling in the finding that the Second Amendment right to bear arms extends beyond militias to individuals. The activities the Second Amendment protects, the judges wrote, "are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual's enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or continued intermittent enrollment in the militia."

It's about time that the courts started recognizing what the Founding Fathers' true intent was in crafting the second amendment. They were quite clear that it was an individual right, in spite of the way that some idiots have tried to interpret the wording of the amendment. Of course, the socialists at the Post don't see it that way:

If allowed to stand, this radical ruling will inevitably mean more people killed and wounded as keeping guns out of the city becomes harder. Moreover, if the legal principles used in the decision are applied nationally, every gun control law on the books would be imperiled.

It is ridiculous to think that this ruling will mean more people killed or wounded. Someone who is going to use a gun in a crime could care less what the gun control laws say. They only have the effect of disarming law-abiding people. But I do hope that they are correct that every gun control law is now imperiled.

John Lott has more on this.

Read the court decision here. One important exercept:

To summarize, we conclude that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. That right existed prior to the formation of the new government under the Constitution and was premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being understood as either resistance to either private lawlessness or the depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat from abroad).

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Hatemonger: One of My Favorite Blogs

Whenever I get a chance to read the blogs, one of the first ones I go to is Hatemonger. Their crack young staff know how to separate the truth from BS, as evidenced by their insightful post on the recent conviction of Scooter Libby:

It just goes to show you how pathetic is the far Left in this country. Bereft of any significant political victories, our lefty pals must imagine that the conviction of “Scooter” Libby amounts to an indictment of the Bush doctrine, the Republican Party, Dick Cheney, apple pie, the Fine Young Cannibals, &c.

Hatemonger has some of the best political analysis to be found on Al Gore's internet. I give it two thumbs up.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Stamps of the Week: Mauritius Post Office
Issued in 1847, only about two dozen of these little gems still exist. One will set you back about $2 million today.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Planet of the Week: Neptune

The planet's existence and position were predicted by two mathematicians: John Adams and Urbain Leverrier, who studied the orbit of Uranus and realized that there was another planet further out there that was affecting its motions. The actual discovery was made by Johan Galle and Heinrich d'Arrest at the Berlin observatory.
Ivan Safronov Falls Out of a Window

Ivan Safronov, a Russian journalist who was about to report on Russian sales of armaments to terrorist regimes in the middle east, including Iran and Syria, died last friday when he fell out of a window. One would think that Putin's goons would find a more imaginative way to murder him than by accidental defenestration. Perhaps Vladimir should read up on the ways of his hero Joe Stalin:

Allegedly he [Sergo Ordzhonikidze, one of Stalin's closest supporters] had told Stalin it was time to stop the arrests. Stalin responded by sending him three NKVD men, a doctor and a revolver, offering him the choice of suicide or execution. Ordzhonikidze said goodbye to his wife and duly shot himself, whereupon the doctor diagnosed failure of the heart.

Alex de Jonge, "Stalin and the Shaping of the Soviet Union", p. 331.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Reason #3 Why I'm Not Voting for Hillary

The woman is as phony as a three dollar bill. Get a load of this recent speech where the Oinkubus effects a southern drawl. (She's a native of Chicago).

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Mountain of the Week: Iztaccihuatl
The name literally means "white woman". It is a dormant volcano near Mexico City.
I named my younger Springer, Daphne Iztaccihuatl, after the mountain.