Monday, March 31, 2008
Apparently there is no limit. Read this editorial in the New Republic:
That's what makes the road to the Denver convention so damn frustrating. John McCain is heir to a presidency whose accomplishments now include an economy careening toward a deep recession; on issue after issue, public opinion mirrors the Democrats' policies. This should be the one election that even the party of Dukakis couldn't screw up.
First of all, we are not certain that there will be a recession. There might be, but if so there is no reason to believe that it will be deep. It may be very brief and mild like the last two recessions. This is wishful thinking on the part of Democrats. They want a recession so they can blame it on Bush. Just like they blamed the 2000/2001 recession on Bush, even though it began during Clinton's last year.
Furthermore, even if there is a deep recession, the lefties might not be able to successfully blame it on Bush. The Democrats control both houses of Congress, and the voters might give some or all of the blame to them. And even if the Democrats and their perpetual allies in the media are able to give Bush the blame, it might not transfer to McCain. He and Bush have often been at odds in the past.
"on issue after issue, public opinion mirrors the Democrats' policies". I know of at least one position that public opinion does not mirror the Democrats' policies. The authors of the editorial address this issue:
Where it once looked like Bill Clinton and Al Gore had helped purge the party of the lame identity politics that had ruined Democratic candidates for a generation, discussions of race and gender have returned with a vengeance. Supporters of Clinton and Obama compete to prove who is the bigger victim--opponents are casually tarred as sexist or racist.
This issue was never 'purged' by Clinton or Gore. It was only swept under the rug. Democrats favor racial preferences for ethnic minorities. And anyone who opposes them is casually tarred as sexist or racist. It is no wonder then, that the Democrats have not carried the majority of the popular vote in a presidential election since 1976. Nor have they carried a majority of the white vote since 1964.
In the current campaign, neither candidate has come close to approaching his [Bill Clinton's] level of clarity, especially when it comes to the issue that offers Democrats the simplest path to the presidency: the economy. They have failed to articulate a critique of the wild Bush-era deregulation that has allowed the greed of banks to run amok.
There have been no significant acts of financial industry deregulation during Bush Jr's administration. Riegle-Neal, which allowed interstate banking, and Gramm-Leach-Bliley, which allowed commercial banks to engage in investment banking, and vice-versa, were both passed during the Clinton administration.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
The Fidel and Raul Castro regime, in their infinite munificence have deigned to allow their Cuban slaves to own cell phones. However, it has not yet been decided if they many make calls on them, or what, if anything, they will be allowed to say during a call.
I'm sure that the left here in the USA, and their allies in the media, are going to wag their tails and praise Raul as a 'reformer', who is 'bringing democracy' to Cuba. They have been fawning over Fidel and Raul ever since 1959.
For those of us who don't know what it is like to live in a communist regime
(most Americans), read the testimony of someone who has. Ayn Rand when she testified before the House Unamerican Activities Committee in 1947:
Rep. John R. McDowell: You paint a very dismal picture of Russia. You made a great point about the number of children who were unhappy. Doesn't anybody smile in Russia any more?
Rand: Well, if you ask me literally, pretty much no.
McDowell: They don't smile?
Rand: Not quite that way; no. If they do, it is privately and accidentally. Certainly, it is not social. They don't smile in approval of their system.
McDowell: Well, all they do is talk about food.
Rand: That is right.
McDowell: That is a great change from the Russians I have always known, and I have known a lot of them. Don't they do things at all like Americans? Don't they walk across town to visit their mother-in-law or somebody?
Rand: Look, it is very hard to explain. It is almost impossible to convey to a free people what it is like to live in a totalitarian dictatorship. I can tell you a lot of details. I can never completely convince you, because you are free. It is in a way good that you can't even conceive of what it is like. Certainly they have friends and mothers-in-law. They try to live a human life, but you understand it is totally inhuman. Try to imagine what it is like if you are in constant terror from morning till night and at night you are waiting for the doorbell to ring, where you are afraid of anything and everybody, living in a country where human life is nothing, less than nothing, and you know it. You don't know who or when is going to do what to you because you may have friends who spy on you, where there is no law and any rights of any kind.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Shawn Pogatchnik at Town Hall has written about the PIAPS' activities in Ulster
Hillary Rodham Clinton cites her role in bringing peace to Northern Ireland as one of the top foreign policy credentials of her presidential bid.
Her critics point to an empty, wind-swept Belfast park _ which Clinton a decade ago proclaimed would become Northern Ireland's first Catholic-Protestant playground _ as evidence that her contribution as peacemaker was more symbolic than substantive.
"She was in charge of christening this wee corner (of the park) as some kind of peace playground. It never made any sense then, and there's nothing there today," said Brian Feeney, a Belfast political analyst, author and teacher. "Everything she did was for the optics."
Critics say the playground-that-never-was illustrates the wider lack of accomplishment from Clinton's half-dozen visits to Northern Ireland _ that they emphasized speechmaking, chiefly to women's groups, leaving no lasting mark.
Clinton twice addressed audiences of schoolchildren at Belfast's Musgrave Park, in September 1998 and May 1999. She declared that Protestant and Catholic youths must learn to play together but needed a safe place to do it _ and helped plant a tree on the spot where a special cross-community playground would be created. Belfast did have other parks.
Nearly a decade later, Musgrave Park remains as it was: a well-groomed, rather lonely place sandwiched between a hospital and a highway, where adults jog and walk their dogs amid birdsong and spring flowers. The Belfast group touting the "Play for Peace Fund" silently shelved the idea within months although Clinton often referred to the project as an inspiration to a divided world.
I guess Her Thighness was too busy dodging sniper bullets in Bosnia to get this playground going.
In a December 2007 interview with ABC News, Clinton said: "In just the last few weeks, the new leaders of the Northern Ireland government, Dr. Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness, made a special effort to see me. Why? Because I helped in that process, not just standing by and witnessing, but actually getting my hands into it, creating opportunities for people on both sides of the sectarian divide to come together."
No Hillary. Both Paisley and the IRA terrorist McGuinness are well aware that you had nothing to do with the peace process. They came to see you because they knew there was some possiblity that you might become president of the USA and they wanted to get some favors from you.
In Northern Ireland, the endorsements from Hume, Sinn Fein and Ahern are broadly recognized as reflecting Irish Catholics' desire for maximum international sympathy, specifically from the U.S. The retired Hume, in particular, boosted his clout by carefully cultivating friendships with U.S. politicians, chiefly Democrats.
For them, a President Hillary Clinton offers the best chance of a return to the pro-Irish policies of her husband, who broke with decades of State Department deference to Britain, an approach resumed under George W. Bush.
There was nothing pro-Irish about Clinton's policies. Clinton supported Sinn Fein/IRA, a marxist terrorist group that has slaughtered thousands of innocent people in Northern Ireland. They are no friends of the USA, but they are willing to use us to suit their purposes.
And furthermore, Clinton has antagonized Irish protestants by lying about her role and by getting cozy with terrorists like Adams and McGuinness. Her egotistical approach to foreign policy has aggravated problems in Ulster. After going through decades of bloodshed, that's the last thing they need.
Jamie Rubin, who is a aide to Clinton's campaign and a former assistant secretary of state under Bill Clinton's administration, does not appear to have any diplomatic skills at all:
Extraordinary tirade today from Jamie Rubin, State Department assistant secretary in Bill Clinton’s administration and now a Hillary Clinton advisor, who branded Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey, formerly David Trimble, as a “crankpot” (presumably a cross between a crank and a crackpot) - and anti-woman to boot - for daring to call into question the former First Lady’s Northern Ireland role.
Rubin also came dangerously close to suggesting that it is only Irish Catholics who matter, saying he was “pretty much the only one” questioning Hillary’s Irish credentials. “He’s a Protestant, they traditionally go with the Conservatives.” Well, it’s not true that Trimble (now a Conservative member of the House of Lords) is the only one scratching his head about Hillary’s self-proclaimed Irish peace credentials. There have been many others, Protestant and Catholic. And I’m not sure that trashing a Nobel Prize winner or brushing aside what Protestants, the majority in Northern Ireland, think is really the way to go for the Clinton campaign on this issue.
You can watch the video here. The relevant part starts about 5 minutes and 30 seconds in. Andrea Mitchell is asking him why Hillary Clinton appears to be exaggerating her role, which the former First Lady recently described as “instrumental”. He pulls out a piece of paper and reads a quotation from the late Mo Mowlam, former Northern Ireland Secretary, about Hillary helping to bring about an economic boom.
Mitchell: “As you know, there are others, like David Trimble, who disagree.”
Rubin: “I’ve met David Trimble. And he’s pretty much the only one. He’s a Protestant, they traditionally go with the Conservatives. I think we have a John Hume, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, who said…”
Mitchell: “It was David Trimble who shared in that prize, Jamie.”
Rubin: “Right, and I know these people. I’ve been living over there. David Trimble is a crankpot and what he said about her was demeaning. He said, ‘Oh well, maybe she accompanied her husband on a couple of trips’. As a woman, Andrea, I would think you would recognise when somebody is trying to demean the activities of a woman. She was an important First Lady in foreign policy. I know. I was in that administration and we understood she was not serving tea and cookies, she played a significant role.”
We are always hearing the Oinkubus claim that she is going to have to repair US relations with our allies that Bush supposedly fouled up by invading Iraq. That is not true because most of the leaders of the European countries endorsed Bush's decision to topple Saddam Hussein, as Danish Prime Minister Fogh Rasmussen reiterated recently.
It is one thing for a president or one of his or her aides to insult the likes of Hugo Chavez or Robert Mugabe. But the UK is a democracy and one of our closest allies. Is this what our allies will expect to hear if one of their leaders disagrees with something that Hillary says? Will they be insulted like this and make disparaging comments about their religion?
It is clear that Hillary had no influence on the peace process in Northern Ireland and her anti-Protestant stance has only served to aggravate the problems there.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Former Vice-President and nearly President Al Gore, inventor of the internet and messiah of global warming, has a message to all of us climate change skeptics:
(CBS) Self-avowed "P.R. agent for the planet" Al Gore says those who still doubt that global warming is caused by man - among them, Vice President Dick Cheney - are acting like the fringe groups who think the 1969 moon landing never really happened, or who once believed the world is flat. The former vice president and former presidential candidate talks to 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl in an interview to be broadcast this Sunday, March 30, at 7 p.m. ET/PT. Confronted by Stahl with the fact some prominent people, including the nation’s vice president, are not convinced that global warming is manmade, Gore responds: "You're talking about Dick Cheney. I think that those people are in such a tiny, tiny minority now with their point of view, they’re almost like the ones who still believe that the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona and those who believe the world is flat,” says Gore. "That demeans them a little bit, but it's not that far off," he tells Stahl.
But Al, we know now for sure that the Apollo moon landings were fake. I read about it on Your internet. I'm sure you wouldn't allow someone to post anything on Your Internet, if it wasn't true.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
As I have quoted an anonymous poster on Lucianne.com, the left "want racism, need racism, therefore they create racism". Paul Waldman, in response to criticism of Obama's long-term relationship with Reverend Jeremiah Wright, has published a masterpiece of race-baiting that will be difficult to top. Some quotes:
Hmmmm...... where do I begin? If Reverend Wright claims that whites invented the HIV virus "as a means of genocide against people of color" then I am supposed to agree with him? Yeah sure Paul, I invented HIV in the shack behind my house here in Oklahoma. The only one who is "appealing to the ugliest prejudices" and "vile hatreds" is Reverend Wright.
...these kinds of attacks have their greatest power when they tap into pre-existing archetypes voters already carry with them, and the deeper they reside in our lizard brains the better. So they will make sure white Americans know that Obama is not Tiger Woods. He's not the unthreatening black man, he's the scary black man. He's Al Sharpton, he's Malcom X, he's Huey Newton. He'll throw grievance in your face, make you feel guilty, and who knows, maybe kill you and rape your wife.
The Republicans are certainly setting down their marker: they intend, as they have so many times before, to wage a campaign appealing to the ugliest prejudices, the most craven fears, the most vile hatreds. It's not that people should vote against Obama just because he's black, they're saying, but you know, he's that kind of black.
Now don't misunderstand me, Paul. I am someone who believes in complete freedom of thought and expression. If Reverend Wright wants to believe that whites invented AIDS, he is free to do so. If Senator Obama wants to attend his church for 20 years and listen to this bunch of crap, and donate thousands of dollars, he has the right to do so.
But if I refuse to vote for someone who is running for president and supports this kind of nonsense, that makes me a racist?
Some more gems:
The 1980 and 1984 elections were the first two presidential elections I voted in. I was never a Democrat, but to claim that those Democrats who voted for Reagan were motivated by racial prejudice is both unfair and absurd. Both Democrats and Republicans voted for Reagan over Carter and Mondale because the previous administration's domestic and foreign policies were a disaster. Inflation and unemployment were sky-high. The islamofascists in Iran were holding our diplomats hostage and Carter was foolishly trying to negotiate with the terrorists. The brutal, totalitarian Soviet regime was expanding in Afghanistan, Jamaica, Grenada, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. That was why Reagan defeated Carter and Mondale in consecutive landslides. Race had nothing to do with it.
The voters Obama needs, it is now sometimes said, are the "Reagan Democrats," those blue-collar whites who rejected their traditional ties to the Democratic party to support Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984. But one of the things that has been forgotten about the Reagan Democrats is that the phenomenon was built almost entirely on racial resentment. The question now is, will those voters be receptive to a black candidate? At their birth nearly a quarter century ago, the answer most certainly would have been no.
It's almost three decades later, and American opinions on race have become far more progressive in the interim. But Greenberg's point about how "progressive symbols and themes have been redefined in racial and pejorative terms" points to an effort at which Reagan excelled but Republicans continued after he was gone.
Furthermore, Reagan was a very kind and gracious man. He did not have a racist bone in his body. For Waldman to claim that Reagan won by redefining "progressive symbols and themes" in racial and perjorative terms is stupid and asinine.
The Democrats have not won a majority of the popular vote in a presidential election since 1976. Paul, do you really want to know why your party consistently loses? It is because voters are tired of listening to ridiculous nonsense like what you have written in your article.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Sometimes your enemies play right into your hands. McCain owes a big thank you to the mad Venezuelan
March 25 (Bloomberg) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said John McCain is showing a more confrontational stance with Venezuela than the current U.S. administration, and relations may worsen should McCain win this year's presidential election.
Chavez said Republican candidate McCain has criticized U.S. President George W. Bush for being too ``soft'' on Venezuela's government.
``McCain seems like a man of war,'' Chavez told reporters today in Caracas. ``People say it's impossible to get worse than Bush, but we can't be sure.''
I'm not sold on McCain, but my one vote doesn't carry much weight. The Republicans were very vulnerable to losing the white house this year, but if Hillary and Barack continue their demolition derby, then McCain will have a cakewalk to the inauguration in January.
Her Thighness has been known for years as someone who will disregard the truth if it fits her purposes. But the biased leftwing "journalists" who work for ABCCBSNBCCNN etc have seldom reported on her falsehoods because she was advancing their agenda.
Thus when it was learned that Hillary made $100,000 on cattle futures trading from a $1,000 investment while her husband was Governor of Arkansas, Her Ugliness claimed that she made her own trades. She later admitted that James Blair, attorney for Tyson Chicken, actually called in her trades. But the mainstream media had little to say about that. The only places you could learn these facts were alternative sources such as the Wall Street Journal's editorial page and the internet, which was then in its infancy.
Likewise when Hillary's billing records from the Rose law firm were subpoenaed by a Senate committee, they could not be found, but suddenly appeared in the white housed two years later. Very little was said about that.
But now all of a sudden, the media have discovered that she is a liar. From Dan Kennedy at the Guardian, a very leftwing rag in the UK:
The last few weeks have been kind to Hillary Clinton - but that's starting to change. Clinton has been caught telling a lie so flagrant, so self-serving and so unnecessary that it takes your breath away. The media are on to her, and they're beginning to unload.
From Ron Fournier at the AP:
WASHINGTON - Why wasn't the truth good enough for Hillary Rodham Clinton?
That's a question worth considering as the former first lady tries to contain damage to her credibility after getting caught exaggerating the danger of her 1996 trip to Bosnia. Two others: Is there a pattern of embellishment?
Why wasn't the truth good enough? Elementary, my dear lefties. The truth was never necessary for Hillary or her bozo husband. During the eight years they entertained us in the white house, they found that they could tell the most outrageous lies possible and the media would ignore it! Bill could say that the Republicans were cutting Medicare spending when they were actually increasing it. Hillary could say that she had no role in the firing of the white house travel office staff, even though she actually ordered it. They felt secure in their lies because the media are staffed by political activists whose agenda was the same as the Clintons'.
But now, many in the media prefer Barack to Hillary. And Hillary is discovering to her horror that the media are no longer giving her a free pass on her falsehoods.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Jane’s Country Risk has compiled a ranking of countries by its assessment of each country's stability and prosperity.
A one-year investigation and analysis of 235 countries and dependent territories has put the UK joint seventh in the premier league of nations. The top ten comprise also the Vatican, Sweden, Luxembourg, Monaco, Gibraltar, San Marino, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands and the Irish Republic.
The US lies 22nd and Switzerland, normally associated with wealth and untouchable stability, is rated 17th, losing points in the assessment of its social achievements.
So why is the USA ranked so low?
Mr Le Mière said that the US had fallen down the scale, although it still scored an average of 93 out of 100, partly because of the proliferation of small arms owned by Americans and the threat to the population posed by the flow of drugs from across the Mexican border.
I won't argue about the issue of drugs, but we can see from the comment about "small arms owned by Americans" that Mr. Le Miere has a political axe to grind. The right of law-abiding Americans to own weapons has enhanced our stability, not harmed it.
The same Constitution that guaranteed our right to bear arms has been in effect in the USA for over 220 years now. The second amendment has been an essential and critical element of the stability and continuity of our democracy.
An interesting article from Reuters
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Arabs keen to see the end of George W. Bush's presidency fear that a win for likely Republican candidate John McCain will bring little change to U.S. policies they blame for destabilizing the Middle East.
Perhaps my memory is failing me. Was the middle east truly stable before Bush took office in 2001?
But Bush's many critics in the Arab world worry that McCain will continue current U.S. policies, which they fault for unleashing chaos in Iraq and providing unflinching support for Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians.
On September 11, 2001 the Israelis were flying their flags at half-staff. The Palestinians were dancing in the streets. After having been shown so clearly who our friends are and who our enemies are, is it so surprising that we would support our friends rather than our enemies?
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Something I hadn't heard about before is NASA's Aqua satellite. From an interview of Jennifer Marohasy:
Duffy: "Can you tell us about NASA's Aqua satellite, because I understand some of the data we're now getting is quite important in our understanding of how climate works?"
Marohasy: "That's right. The satellite was only launched in 2002 and it enabled the collection of data, not just on temperature but also on cloud formation and water vapour. What all the climate models suggest is that, when you've got warming from additional carbon dioxide, this will result in increased water vapour, so you're going to get a positive feedback. That's what the models have been indicating. What this great data from the NASA Aqua satellite ... (is) actually showing is just the opposite, that with a little bit of warming, weather processes are compensating, so they're actually limiting the greenhouse effect and you're getting a negative rather than a positive feedback."
Duffy: "The climate is actually, in one way anyway, more robust than was assumed in the climate models?"
Marohasy: "That's right ... These findings actually aren't being disputed by the meteorological community. They're having trouble digesting the findings, they're acknowledging the findings, they're acknowledging that the data from NASA's Aqua satellite is not how the models predict, and I think they're about to recognise that the models really do need to be overhauled and that when they are overhauled they will probably show greatly reduced future warming projected as a consequence of carbon dioxide."
Duffy: "From what you're saying, it sounds like the implications of this could beconsiderable ..."
Marohasy: "That's right, very much so. The policy implications are enormous. The meteorological community at the moment is really just coming to terms with the output from this NASA Aqua satellite and (climate scientist) Roy Spencer's interpretation of them. His work is published, his work is accepted, but I think people are still in shock at this point."
Then we get a very appropriate quote from Ian MacEwan:
Well-meaning intellectual movements, from communism to post-structuralism, have a poor history of absorbing inconvenient fact or challenges to fundamental precepts.
True, except the "well-meaning" part. I can see how someone who supported communism up to 1917 may have been well-meaning. Anyone who supported it for any length of time after that point was either very non-well-meaning, or very stupid.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Recently, presidential candidate Barack Obama treated us to a speech about race. He laments the results of discrimination against blacks:
But for all those who scratched and clawed their way to get a piece of the American Dream, there were many who didn’t make it – those who were ultimately defeated, in one way or another, by discrimination. That legacy of defeat was passed on to future generations – those young men and increasingly young women who we see standing on street corners or languishing in our prisons, without hope or prospects for the future. Even for those blacks who did make it, questions of race, and racism, continue to define their worldview in fundamental ways. For the men and women of Reverend Wright’s generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years.
So here's what I want to know, Barack. If the USA is such an awful place for blacks, then why did your father come here from Kenya? And why have so many blacks come to the USA from Africa and from the majority-black Caribbean countries?
Here are the numbers of people granted legal permanent residency in the USA from the following places of origin. Source is Migration Policy Institute (this doesn't even count illegal immigration):
If the USA were as bad for blacks as Barack claims it to be, you would see a mass migration in the opposite direction. So why the perpetual whining about racism? Why the need for the racist so-called "affirmative action" programs? Leftwing politicians like Barack and Hillary need their cult of victimology in order to advance their agenda. As one anonymous posted on lucianne.com once put it:
Liberals see a racist under every American rock. Their moral battle against racism is, in their small minds, justification for all the social and cultural damage liberalism has wrought. They want racism. They need racism. Therefore, they create racism.
Anyone who is in doubt that the left try to create racism where no such thing existed need look no further than the Duke Lacrosse Rape Hoax, or the Tawana Brawley Rape Hoax, or many other similar incidents.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
The latest I am hearing is talk in Washington about the federal government doing something to prevent housing prices from falling any further. This is sheer lunacy.
We had a bubble in housing prices in many parts of the country that ended just last year. Prices have dropped somewhat but they need to fall further so that middle income people can properly afford a house. For example, in Los Angeles, the median family income is approximately $60,000 per year. Here are the median prices of houses in that city:
Aug 07 $550,000
Sept 07 $525,000
Oct 07 $500,000
Nov 07 $499,000
Dec 07 $470,000
Jan 08 $458,000
Feb 08 $460,000
The median price needs to fall to about $200,000 so that the median income family can afford it. Houses are not properly viewed as investments. True, they may increase in value if the population of the area increases, but in the recent bubble the prices were increasing even in areas like the northeast, where population has been declining.
Houses are consumption goods. Buy a house on a piece of land, and 20 years later you still have the same house on the same piece of land. The condition of the building may deteriorate but it will never improve unless you spend more money on it. Over the long run, housing prices do not exceed the inflation rate.
What is needed is for housing prices to come down to earth in many parts of the country so that middle income people can afford them. When I lived in south Florida, there were large increases in housing prices and middle income people were being driven out of the area because of it. The area became more and more like a banana republic with only the very rich and the very poor living there, not a politically stable situation.
The government needs to get out of the housing business altogether and allow market prices to seek their own level. People who have paid excessively high prices for their houses and financial institutions that have made mortgage loans secured by overpriced collateral should eat their own losses.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Tom Hayden, who along with former wife, Hanoi Jane Fonda, gave moral support to the despots who enslaved the people of Vietnam, has recently visited the country again:
Why aren't the Vietnamese more grateful to Tom Hayden? Recently, he returned for the first time in 36 years to the country that he and his then-wife Jane Fonda tried to save from American domination in the Vietnam war. The trip disappointed him. As he writes in the March 10 issue of The Nation, Vietnam has turned capitalist. Was that what he fought for? Absolutely not. He remains capitalism's enemy, still the same lefty who helped found 1960s student radicalism.
Can you believe those ungrateful bastards? You would think those Vietnamese would have some social conscience and forget about themselves and their families, in order to toil selflessly for the good of the proletariat. But noooooooo.....
During his trip, a leading Vietnamese novelist told him, "Some Americans may sympathize with communism, but I lived under it and couldn't stand it." The novelist has a son making millions travelling for a high-tech corporation.
Perhaps the Vietnamese noticed that Hayden declined to join them in their workers' paradise, and instead lived in California while Jane made millions from acting in movies and selling exercise videos. Or perhaps the Vietnamese were too busy trying to escape the paradise by going out to sea in tiny overcrowded boats.
"Far be it from me," says Hayden. "to question the desire of the Vietnamese to share our globalized consumer culture like everyone else."
Hat tip to Kate at SDA.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Tibetans are rising up against Chinese hegemony
SHANGHAI -- Crowds of angry Tibetans surged through the streets of central Lhasa on Friday, attacking shops owned by ethnic Chinese and forcing a retreat by armed police and soldiers, according to multiple witnesses.
The escalation of the protests Friday appears to represent one of the most serious challenges to Chinese government authority in the province in nearly two decades.
The violence appeared centered on the area around the Jokhang monastery, a holy site in the center of Lhasa, according to others working nearby who were reached by phone.
Monks protesting Chinese treatment of Tibetans were arrested in front of the monastery on Monday, the anniversary of a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule. Police fired tear gas Tuesday to disperse demonstrators opposing the arrests.
It was difficult to gauge the number of people actually involved. Some observers said the crowds numbered more than 1,000.
China's Xinhua News Agency issued a terse report on the violence late Friday afternoon Beijing time saying "shops were set on fire in violence in downtown Lhasa on Friday afternoon." Xinhua, on its English language service, said that witnesses said a number of shops were burnt and others shut down.
China has about as much right to occupy and rule Tibet as El Salvador has to occupy and rule Finland.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
"It's so easy not to not get caught," reformed Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss tells Radar, adding that she provided service to many a well known politician her day. "I saw many famous people—more famous than Eliot Spitzer—and you know what, you pay people right, you treat them right, you don't have a problem."
It was Spitzer's ethical crusade and no-ho posturing that did him in, too, Fleiss says. In 2004 Spitzer pontificated about the breakup of a Staten Island ho ring, calling it a "sophisticated and lucrative operation with a multi-tiered management structure," then adding, "It was, however, nothing more than a prostitution ring."
"I think think he's an arrogant prick and he thinks he's above the law; no one likes a hypocrite," Fleiss tells Radar.
"He could have gone to the Bunny Ranch and never would have had his cover blown. But this is an arrogant prick," Fleiss says. "Welcome to reality."
DRIGGS, Idaho — Perhaps they should have called her Mary Jane.
A surprise birthday party for Dawn Wells, the actress who played Mary Ann on "Gilligan's Island," ended with a nearly three-hour tour of the Teton County sheriff's office and jail when the 69-year-old was caught with marijuana in her vehicle while driving home.
Wells is now serving six months' unsupervised probation for the crime. She was sentenced Feb. 29 to five days in jail, fined $410.50 and placed on probation after pleading guilty to one count of reckless driving.
The guilty plea came as part of an agreement with prosecutors in which three misdemeanor counts - driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance - were dropped.
The case began the night of Oct. 18, when Teton County sheriff's Deputy Joseph Gutierrez arrested Wells as she was driving home from a surprise birthday party. She posted $4,000 bond and was arraigned on the charges the following day, pleading not guilty. A trial on the matter was scheduled for March 13, but was canceled because of the plea agreement.
Who was hotter: Mary Ann or Ginger? I don't think it was even close.
DAYTON, Ohio) — The world's first attack aircraft to employ stealth technology is slipping quietly into history.
The inky black, angular, radar-evading F-117, which spent 27 years in the Air Force arsenal secretly patrolling hostile skies from Serbia to Iraq, will be put in mothballs next month in Nevada.
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, which manages the F-117 program, will have an informal, private retirement ceremony Tuesday with military leaders, base employees and representatives from Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.
The last F-117s scheduled to fly will leave Holloman on April 21, stop in Palmdale, Calif., for another retirement ceremony, then arrive on April 22 at their final destination: Tonopah Test Range Airfield in Nevada, where the jet made its first flight in 1981.
The government has no plans to bring the fighter out of retirement, but could do so if necessary.
"I'm happy to hear they are putting it in a place where they could bring it back if they ever needed it," said Brig. Gen. Gregory Feest, the first person to fly an F-117 in combat, during the 1989 invasion of Panama that led to the capture of dictator Manuel Noriega.
The Air Force decided to accelerate the retirement of the F-117s to free up funding to modernize the rest of the fleet. The F-117 is being replaced by the F-22 Raptor, which also has stealth technology.
Fifty-nine F-117s were made; 10 were retired in December 2006 and 27 since then, the Air Force said. Seven of the planes have crashed, one in Serbia in 1999.
Stealth technology used on the F-117 was developed in the 1970s to help evade enemy radar. While not invisible to radar, the F-117's shape and coating greatly reduced its detection.
The F-117, a single-seat aircraft, was designed to fly into heavily defended areas undetected and drop its payloads with surgical precision.
Sunday, March 09, 2008
This article by Gary Hubbell is too good. I will have to quote it in full
There is a great amount of interest in this year’s presidential elections, as everybody seems to recognize that our next president has to be a lot better than George Bush. The Democrats are riding high with two groundbreaking candidates — a woman and an African-American — while the conservative Republicans are in a quandary about their party’s nod to a quasi-liberal maverick, John McCain.
Each candidate is carefully pandering to a smorgasbord of special-interest groups, ranging from gay, lesbian and transgender people to children of illegal immigrants to working mothers to evangelical Christians.
There is one group no one has recognized, and it is the group that will decide the election: the Angry White Man. The Angry White Man comes from all economic backgrounds, from dirt-poor to filthy rich. He represents all geographic areas in America, from urban sophisticate to rural redneck, deep South to mountain West, left Coast to Eastern Seaboard.
His common traits are that he isn’t looking for anything from anyone — just the promise to be able to make his own way on a level playing field. In many cases, he is an independent businessman and employs several people. He pays more than his share of taxes and works hard.
The victimhood syndrome buzzwords — “disenfranchised,” “marginalized” and “voiceless” — don’t resonate with him. “Press ‘one’ for English” is a curse-word to him. He’s used to picking up the tab, whether it’s the company Christmas party, three sets of braces, three college educations or a beautiful wedding.
He believes the Constitution is to be interpreted literally, not as a “living document” open to the whims and vagaries of a panel of judges who have never worked an honest day in their lives.
The Angry White Man owns firearms, and he’s willing to pick up a gun to defend his home and his country. He is willing to lay down his life to defend the freedom and safety of others, and the thought of killing someone who needs killing really doesn’t bother him.
The Angry White Man is not a metrosexual, a homosexual or a victim. Nobody like him drowned in Hurricane Katrina — he got his people together and got the hell out, then went back in to rescue those too helpless and stupid to help themselves, often as a police officer, a National Guard soldier or a volunteer firefighter.
His last name and religion don’t matter. His background might be Italian, English, Polish, German, Slavic, Irish, or Russian, and he might have Cherokee, Mexican, or Puerto Rican mixed in, but he considers himself a white American.
He’s a man’s man, the kind of guy who likes to play poker, watch football, hunt white-tailed deer, call turkeys, play golf, spend a few bucks at a strip club once in a blue moon, change his own oil and build things. He coaches baseball, soccer and football teams and doesn’t ask for a penny. He’s the kind of guy who can put an addition on his house with a couple of friends, drill an oil well, weld a new bumper for his truck, design a factory and publish books. He can fill a train with 100,000 tons of coal and get it to the power plant on time so that you keep the lights on and never know what it took to flip that light switch.
Women either love him or hate him, but they know he’s a man, not a dishrag. If they’re looking for someone to walk all over, they’ve got the wrong guy. He stands up straight, opens doors for women and says “Yes, sir” and “No, ma’am.”
He might be a Republican and he might be a Democrat; he might be a Libertarian or a Green. He knows that his wife is more emotional than rational, and he guides the family in a rational manner.
He’s not a racist, but he is annoyed and disappointed when people of certain backgrounds exhibit behavior that typifies the worst stereotypes of their race. He’s willing to give everybody a fair chance if they work hard, play by the rules and learn English.
Most important, the Angry White Man is pissed off. When his job site becomes flooded with illegal workers who don’t pay taxes and his wages drop like a stone, he gets righteously angry. When his job gets shipped overseas, and he has to speak to some incomprehensible idiot in India for tech support, he simmers. When Al Sharpton comes on TV, leading some rally for reparations for slavery or some such nonsense, he bites his tongue and he remembers. When a child gets charged with carrying a concealed weapon for mistakenly bringing a penknife to school, he takes note of who the local idiots are in education and law enforcement.
He also votes, and the Angry White Man loathes Hillary Clinton. Her voice reminds him of a shovel scraping a rock. He recoils at the mere sight of her on television. Her very image disgusts him, and he cannot fathom why anyone would want her as their leader. It’s not that she is a woman. It’s that she is who she is. It’s the liberal victim groups she panders to, the “poor me” attitude that she represents, her inability to give a straight answer to an honest question, his tax dollars that she wants to give to people who refuse to do anything for themselves.
There are many millions of Angry White Men. Four million Angry White Men are members of the National Rifle Association, and all of them will vote against Hillary Clinton, just as the great majority of them voted for George Bush.
He hopes that she will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2008, and he will make sure that she gets beaten like a drum.
Friday, March 07, 2008
As is well known, the Oinkubus has never been one to let the truth stand in her way. So if she wants to claim the peace agreement in Northern Ireland to be her accomplishment, that is her prerogative. Whether or not it bears any resemblance to reality is of no consequence to her.
Hillary Clinton had no direct role in bringing peace to Northern Ireland and is a "wee bit silly" for exaggerating the part she played, according to Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former First Minister of the province.
"I don’t know there was much she did apart from accompanying Bill [Clinton] going around," he said. Her recent statements about being deeply involved were merely "the sort of thing people put in their canvassing leaflets" during elections. "She visited when things were happening, saw what was going on, she can certainly say it was part of her experience. I don’t want to rain on the thing for her but being a cheerleader for something is slightly different from being a principal player."
Mrs Clinton has made Northern Ireland key to her claims of having extensive foreign policy experience, which helped her defeat Barack Obama in Ohio and Texas on Tuesday after she presented herself as being ready to tackle foreign policy crises at 3am.
"I helped to bring peace to Northern Ireland," she told CNN on Wednesday. But negotiators from the parties that helped broker the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 told The Daily Telegraph that her role was peripheral and that she played no part in the gruelling political talks over the years.
It gets even better.
Steven King, a negotiator with Lord Trimble’s Ulster Unionist Party, argued that Mrs Clinton might even have helped delay the chances of peace. "She was invited along to some pre-arranged meetings but I don’t think she exactly brought anybody together that hadn’t been brought together already," he said. Mrs Clinton was "a cheerleader for the Irish republican side of the argument", he added.
"She really lost all credibility when on Bill Clinton’s last visit to Northern Ireland [in December 2000] when she hugged and kissed [Sinn Fein leaders] Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness."
That Hillary would side with the terrorists does not surprise me one bit.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Does anyone else get the impression that had the Clintons redirected even a fragment of the red hot burning lust they exhibit for the acquisition of personal political power to the task of protecting their nation's interests, there might well be a pair of towers still standing in New York CIty today?
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
This will be one of the many problems that he will solve with just a wave of his magic hand
In a televised twelve-second campaign spot aired in Texas, Senator Obama gives a stirring speech to a standing ovation. It is the predictable litany of American faults he will miraculously correct: literacy, expensive prescription drugs and insufficient civil liberties. However, he seems particularly concerned for Arab-Americans. "If there is an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney, it threatens my civil liberties."
Barack would you please give us the names of these Arab American families, so we can unround them?
Monday, March 03, 2008
"The challenge for our national economy in a world of competition is to become more like Texas and less like Ohio."
Having lived in both states, I can attest to this. A bad year in Texas is better than a good year in Ohio.
During the month of February, the yields on the Treasury Inflation Protected Securities with maturities up to just over three years have gone from positive to negative:
Jan 15, 2009 maturity:
1/31/08 yield 0.142%, 2/29/08 yield -0.963%
Jan 15, 2011 maturity:
1/31/08 yield 0.339%, 2/29/08 yield -0.429%
April 15, 2012 maturity:
1/31/08 yield 0.574%, 2/29/08 yield -0.036%Source: wsj.com