Saturday, June 12, 2010

Leaks and punishment

All Muslims are not alike.

Saudis clear air space for Israeli flights to attack Iranian nuclear sites.

Open Question: Did BP's Gulf oil catastrophe prove environmentalist arguments against offshore drilling?

The answers were surprising to me.

Gentlemen, we've got to protect our phony baloney jobs!

Some congress members seem to think that they have no discretion about spending.

These are the ones who most justly deserve to get the boot. They worship at the altar of the great god of federal waste, throwing their votes in the vast sinkhole of earmarks, pork, logrolling and entitlements. No one has ever told them, apparently that nobody in this world is entitled to anything from the rest of us. All of our "belonging" are only ours while we're here and then go to someone else. Life may not seem fair, but no politician, professor or journalist has the wisdom to make it any fairer. Only individuals who count their blessings and willingly share them with those in true need can do that. Once we start to think that life owes us anything, we become proud and forget God and our true relationship with him and with the world. The world needs more humility, and more preaching of the virtues of gratitude and hard work. The old verities are still in force and if we don't remember them, the Gods of the Copy-book Headings.

The real story of the deficit is that the budget has grown by almost double in the space of 10 years, from $2 trillion in FY2000 to almost $4 trillion today despite inflation being practically nonexistent the entire time. We’re not in deficits because the American taxpayer doesn’t shove enough money into Washington’s Leviathan maw; we’re in deficit because Washington can’t stop spending more and more money.

The New Chutzpah!

Obama blames the Gulf spill on the GOP.
I think it’s fair to say, if six months ago, before this spill had happened, I had gone up to Congress and I had said we need to crack down a lot harder on oil companies and we need to spend more money on technology to respond in case of a catastrophic spill, there are folks up there, who will not be named, who would have said this is classic, big-government overregulation and wasteful spending.
What happened to "The buck stops with me?" Is this Hope, or Smart Diplomacy? If he pulls out a pair of ball bearings and starts clicking them as he talks, I hope someone knows what to do.

"Sarastopheles," "Sarah Pagan," and Other Discarded Newsweek Covers

Egypt's Foreign Minister claims Obama told him he is a Muslim.He's a shape shifter, it seams, all things to all people.

Hypocritical Environmentalists? Say it ain't so!

Glenn Reynolds: "Environmentalists, like feminists, are just another arm of the Democratic establishment: 'running dogs' to be loosed or reined in as politics require. It is thus unnecessary to pay attention to what they say, since it’s just politics anyway."

I hope that enough of us are catching on and will give them the distrust they deserve. A lot of politicians are crooks, but some are far worse than others. We ought to elect people who will cut spending, return responsibility to the states, communities and the people and reduce the size and scope of government. Too much power corrupts, and all of these "movements" become about building and maintaining their power eventually. The Tea Party movement right now are the revolutionaries in the spirit of our founders, but they should never become a political party. All good citizens should work to promote the principles of limited government, personal responsibilities to accompany our rights, and never forget that a government big enough to give you everything also has enough to take it all away.

Wait and see

"Very large spills have had minimal impact and small spills have had a devastating impact," says Judy McDowell of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, one of the authors of a 2003 National Research Council report that reviewed lessons from previous incidents.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New Question for Candidates

Are those real? I think questions about the parentage of one's children and whether one is lactating or has implants should be off limits. All this proves is that liberals aren't really very liberal. At heart, they're only interested in obtaining power, not guaranteeing or respecting freedom or dignity of citizens.

Deliberate ignorance. Obama's "smart diplomacy" seems to have more to do with giving everybody a slight hope that we may side with them. In the case of Israel, however, this means weak support for the only real democracy in the region and granting unearned prestige to terrorist groups who have gained control of territories full of people who have no hope except the forlorn promise that Israel will cease to exist and its people murdered or dispossessed. This isn't smart or much of a foreign policy. America's economic and military strength has thrust it into a position of leadership in the world. That means that it must lead, not pander and try to occupy both sides of every fence. Whatever we do, someone is not going to like it. The best decision, therefore, is to do what is in our national interest and the interest of freedom and self-determination throughout the world. If Turkey or Iran or anybody else doesn't like our alliance with Israel, we should let them know that nothing they do will change it.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Ways that Harry Reid might attack Sharron Angle -- 5
Number of attacks likely to help him -- O
I don't live in Nevada, but if Nevadans are anything like Utahns, which I think many are, they won't be impressed by his campaign war chest and even less by mudslinging.

Angle may be a neophyte with some odd positions in her past politics, but she's now the Republican opponent of one of the most hated Democrats in the country. Attacks on her will look like dirty politics, as long as she doesn't stray off message and commit some huge gaffe. However, I can't think of a circumstance in which I would ever vote for Harry Reid, so I'm definitely biased.

Scientists dispute Obama's three year prediction for cleanup of BP spill. Are these the same scientists who've been predicting catastrophic climate change?

Obama's antagonism toward BP is being taken personally by some in the the British press:
To all bar Tony Hayward, it is clear that BP is finished in America. A Macarthyite degree of opprobrium has been cast against the interloper. As Matthew Lynn notes, BP’s PR flunkies are grovelling across the networks, apologising in that singularly lachrymose British fashion. They should stop demeaning themselves and fight back. BP is to blame for the leak, but it is being demonised by an American President whose desperate populism and prejudice is masquerading as principled leadership; it is the latest British institution to be victimised by Barack Obama.
Smart diplomacy! Offend our allies, embolden our enemies.

The Fiornia/Boxer battle begins.

Giving Barney Frank more authority. What a terrifying prospect!

Is a split developing between the White House and Big Labor?You'd think that the GM and Chrysler bailouts, which did more for the UAW than either company, would make them stay bought longer than this. Now the AFL is saying that "Labor isn't an arm of the Democratic Party." Of course not! It's the other way around!.

Maybe the failure of stimulus, which nearly every liberal is now saying was too small, no matter how much it frightened voters, has left unions wondering where all those well-paying green jobs are.

I'm not much of a believer in Keynesian "stimulus" because it consists of two parts, the deficit spending, and then when the economy has recovered, a rebalancing of the budget. Politicians find step one infinitely more palatable than step two, and even when they do try to balance the budget, ti's nearly always with tax increases rather than spending cuts. For those reasons, I would amend the Constitution to make entitlements of any kind, including Civil Service protections and double dipping prohibited practices.

Is Iran providing shelter to Osama bin Laden? Iran seems anxious to provoke a military confrontation with the West. I think that a regime change there would serve to close down a lot of festering problems in the Middle East and South Asia.

Lenny McAllister on why the BP spill can't be blamed on Bush:
Liberals focusing on how the BP spill will aid their “inconvenient truth” argument against off-shore drilling will conveniently forget that the lifted ban was the afterthought concession thrown in by a distracted Obama administration that was more focused on overhauling the American health care system against the will of most Americans instead of primarily concentrating on the two issues that people clamored for during Election 2008: a stronger economy and energy independence.
In law, it's called the Last Clear Chance doctrine. Even if the Bush administration were negligent in being unprepared for something like this, Obama's been in office since Jan. 20, 2009. He had plenty of time to "kick asses" during that time to beef up the government's readiness to deal with oil spills, and didn't do it. If all these safety lapses on BP's part were throbbing like a sore thumb, why didn't his enforcement and regulatory agencies do something before the blow out? Probably because such errors seldom result in actual harm. Only in hindsight do they become shocking negligence.

Interesting how short a decent interval is among the Washington reporters. Helen Thomas's center seat in the first row of press briefings has been empty, what?, maybe three days, and there's already a struggle among news outlets over who will move to the front row.

The Palin Machine?All she has is a Facebook page! I'm not even sure she wants to run for national office while her children are so young, but the pols and pundits interpret her ever hiccup in that light.

Meanwhile Sharon Angle with backing by Tea Partiers has eliminated both Tarkanian and Lowden to be the Republican opponent of Harry Reid, who no doubt is already tuning up his political attack machine. Such things seldom have anything to do with how a candidate would handle the office, but they always become the media focus in covering elections.

A new question arises, with all the various Tea Party groups, will they begin to compete with each other and what does this mean in terms of their grass roots image? People are pretty fed up with politics as usual but even genuine grass roots candidates need organization.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Froma Harrop defends Obama on the grounds that he's being blamed for not being a god. It's a fair point, but it reminded me of his victory speech after winning the primaries in June of 2008:
I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth.
OK, he didn't say he could do it all by himself, but so far I'm not seeing any new jobs, let alone good ones. Nor am I seeing the end to war, and the slowing of the rise of the oceans seems less probable or even needed. As for the planet healing, well, his administration DID issue a permit for the BP well and authorize more off shore drilling. And where is the expertise to stop this oil spill? All that criticizing of the previous administration and nobody in his own even reviewed our readiness for dealing with major oil spills? One can't say for sure how Bush would have handled this, but he's not President any more now, is he? The federal government is too big, bloated and loaded with conflicts of missions to believe it could ever respond coherently in a case like this.

I'm not upset that Obama isn't a god. I saw that coming. What I'm upset about is that he has been selling the federal government as a god. He was wrong all along and now it's showing itself to be just another bunch of fallible human beings working at cross purposes. The only possibly correct thing it's done was leave the Coast Guard in charge. So when people get upset with him, it's because his promises have failed in a big way. He's shown that all his inspirational speechifying had no substance to back it up. We're being used to pursue his progressive dream and a lot of us resent it. Just because you win an election, you don't have the right to max out the nation's credit card to be paid off by people who are still only children.

Fact of Nature: Men Willing to Die for Sex Duh. How many men have been killed for having looked for love in the wrong places?

Lincoln wins; Big Labor loses in Arkansas. But can she really win the main event? How much will the Dems flush down the toilet to save her seat?

Haley upsets Halter; and Fiorina and Whitman win their primaries in California.

How droll! Obama: "I'd have fired Hayward by now" And replaced him with whom? Rahm Emanuel? Tony Rezko? Mayor Daley? I don't know of any big offshore drilling experts in the Chicago area. Maybe he shouldn't have alienated the Bush and Cheney families so much.

Heh. Nancy Pelosi learns first hand the difference between Tea Party demonstrators and her dissatisfied base. Maybe that explains why she assumed that Tea Partiers were prone to violence and riotous behavior. In the video, you can hear a security man saying "They're throwing things. We should leave," or words to that effect.

What's the country coming to when you can't spew racist hate speech and continue to pen columns for a large national media company?
the White House press corps will be diminished without [the antisemite] Helen front and center, and not only because she was in that job before the current president was born. [The more the shame! - ast] She brought a ferocity to her questioning that has eluded too many in subsequent generations. At a time when others were getting cozy with sources, her crabby, unrelenting hostility was refreshing.
Yecch! Nor getting cozy with sources nor crabby, relentless hostility is "refreshing." One is lazy and slimy and the other is caustic and obnoxious. Neither is really necessary, or good for the institution of news gathering. For Dana Wilbank to compliment the old gal for being bitchy just shows how out of touch with the country Washingtonians have become. Americans generally have pretty good BS detectors. They don't need "crabby, unrelenting hostility" to figure out who's shining them on, which is why the old media is headed for the bone yard. It's become too arrogant, effete and dismissive of its own clientele. Who needs that?

Why can't American students be more like this?
“Our plan is to deliver much-needed humanitarian assistance to the Kurds of Turkey, who by the way outnumber Israelis and Palestinians combined,” he said…

Another sea-bound venture is being organized in an effort to draw attention to Turkey’s own controversial policies – this time to Cyprus, to “call for an end to the Turkish occupation” of the island’s northern half – and is being organized by Meretz activist Pinchas Har-Zahav, and his son Haim, who has also signed on for the voyage…

Har-Zahav added that the ship’s passengers were not looking for a violent confrontation and if told to turn back, they would.

“But we feel that it’s important for us to show and remind the world that Turkey is not a righteous country, but a near-rogue state, and that we, the Israeli people, are not suckers.”

David Brooks' latest column attempts to make the case for studying history or other humanities. I find him unpersuasive, mostly because the humanities are the areas most corrupted by post-modernism with its insistence that there is no single truth. Hence we have not just history, but black history, feminist history, gay/lesbian history, ecological history, etc. Apply the same taxonomy to literature, economics, psychology, and pseudo-disciplines like [your favorite minority] Studies. In other words, modern academia has devolved into a lot of thumbsucking, activism for dubious causes and what folks around here would call pissing and moaning.

BYU, where I went to college, has a plaque at the entrance to campus reading "Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve." Harvard's crest says "Veritas," Latin for "truth." Sadly, truth at Harvard no longer means what it meant to its founders. All is political now. Even science. You're nothing if you can't write grant requests.

Richard Cohen recounts what happened the last time Jews attempted to go "home" to Poland. Helen Thomas is either senile or was never very bright. The world, with the exception of the U.S. after WWII, had recognized that Jews were in danger of anti-semitism no matter where they lived, and therefore voted in the U.N. to recognize their desire to return to their ancient homeland in Palestine. They have proven themselves tougher than the surrounding Muslim nations who immediately went to war with the intent to drive them into the sea. Next up, Turkey and Iran. I'm picking Israel, but I expect the pressure on it to grow as its enemies acquire more military power and its "friends" like the U.S. distance themselves.

William Shawcross
Israel is a cartoon villain, beyond sympathy, beyond even redemption. What is shocking – and frightening – is that the narrative the world accepts is always that of Israel as the evildoer.

"Shut up. Go back to Auschwitz.” That was the response from the “peace flotilla” when Israel broadcast a radio message warning the Turkish flotilla that it was about to enter an area under naval blockade. In another response, someone on board the “humanitarian aid convoy” replied: “We’re helping the Arabs go against the US. Don’t forget 9/11, guys.” After these exchanges, IDF commandos landed on the ships. On the Mavi Marmara they were attacked by pro-Palestinian activists wielding iron bars.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Don Surber: We had to pass the bill, according to Speaker Pelosi, to find out what was in it. Now we're finding out.

Katrina vanden Heuvel: "Isn't there some room for Helen Thomas?"
Columnist Helen Thomas, a trailblazer for women journalists and one of the few in the White House press corps who courageously questioned President Bush and other officials in his administration on war, torture and U.S. policy toward Israel, announced her retirement Monday. It comes in the wake of a controversy triggered by offensive comments she made about Jews and Israel last week.

So being a feminist heroine and a crusading lefty excuses her vicious race hatred? Sorry, no. Her "offensive comments" were just a hair away from endorsing The Final Solution. In terms vanden Heuvel can understand, they were worse than offensive; they were "hurtful" and "insensitive."

"I'll get you, my pretty!"

I found it interesting that Helen Thomas' antisemitism was well known among her colleagues in the press, but we seldom heard about it, unlike, say, Pat Buchanan's. Charles Krauthammer protested her forced retirement on the grounds of freedom of speech, but I don't really see that. The whole point of freedom of speech is that you get to say whatever you like without being punished by government, but it doesn't mean that people have to continue to associate with you. I do admire Krauthammer's principles, though.

I just think that conservatives have been excoriated and made the targets of hate campaigns and charges of hate speech so often, that it's hard not to enjoy seeing a prominent liberal who has been a notorious anti-semite get caught in her own nets. Her claim that her statement didn't reflect her true feelings is just too much for people who know her. Otherwise, I think she'd have been defended by her fellow reporters.

Free Enterprise!

Jonah Goldberg on Helen Thomas:

[C]an we do away with all of the shock and dismay at Thomas' statement? Spare me Lanny Davis's wounded outrage. Everyone knows she is a nasty piece of work and has been a nasty piece of work for decades.

And when I say a nasty piece of work, I don't simply mean her opinions on Israel. She's been full-spectrum awful. I've known a few people who knew her 40 years ago, and she was slimy then too.

Small Government conservatives proven right, again.

The AP spin on the economy:
Recovery may mean lowering expectations

Sunday, June 06, 2010

OK, I concede, based on this that the BP spill is Obama's Katrina. The government seems to have tripped over its own shoelaces repeatedly, with bureaucrats engaging in turf wars and practicing the age old principle that one is less likely to get blamed by saying no than by giving the go-ahead for something that isn't routine.

Harrison Schmitt, who has more experience with crises than I, seems to agree.

This is the best site I've found to demonstrate how BP has been trying to shut off the oil well.
Unfortunately, there are still a lot of question than nobody has an answer to.

I'd love to sit down for a while with one of the engineers and ask a bunch of questions. How much pressure is there at the well head? Would it be possible to fire a projectile into the well head?