Friday, October 31, 2008

Palin and Obama

That's the story of this election cycle--who will be the standard bearers for thier parties in 2009 and beyond. And it all comes down to this...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Getting a Job in a Growth Industry During an Obama Administration

"In Lower Manhattan, the line for an Internal Revenue Service open house began forming an hour before the event and would eventually wrap around the block. "

The I.R.S. dangled the possibilities when it held an open house at the federal office building at 290 Broadway in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday. An hour before the fair was scheduled to begin, the crowd began lining up — recently laid-off Wall Street types in charcoal-gray pinstripe suits and trench coats; less formally dressed people; a woman with a new accounting degree on her résumé and a 14-month-old baby in a stroller...
Some job-seekers said they were casualties of the financial meltdown. Jean Delice had already been laid off as a computer engineering specialist at Lehman Brothers when the firm, as he put it, “hit the rocks.” He said that the firm’s demise had cost him “everything,” including his severance package, and that the long-term prospects of a government agency looked pretty good.

“You could get a lucrative job in the financial market right now, but how long can you keep it?” he asked. “Everywhere I look, I see layoffs. If I take a $10,000 or $20,000 pay cut, in the long run, I’m ahead. The government is not in the trading business. It will be around.”

Monday, October 27, 2008

Britan's Biden

According to Michael Kinsley, a "gaffe" is "when a politician [inadvertantly] tells the truth."

Not so much telling some objective truth, but revealing said politician's thoughts. In the United States, the preemminant practitioner of the gaffe is Senator Joseph Biden.

In Britan, now, he has a serious contender: Prince Phillip.

Savor his latest venting:

Prince Philip has branded tourism ‘national prostitution’ in his latest unfortunate gaffe.

He made the shocking comment to a professor during his State visit with the Queen to Slovenia last week.

Dr Maja Uran revealed that the 87-year-old Duke told her: ‘Tourism is just national prostitution.’

He went on: ‘We don’t need any more tourists. They ruin cities.’

His comments come despite royal aides regularly stressing the importance of tourists to Britain’s economy – with one million visiting Buckingham Palace and Windsor
Castle each year.

It follows other infamous faux pas by the Prince – including telling a British student in China he would get ‘slitty eyes’ and asking Aborigines in Australia: ‘Do you still throw spears at each other?’

Dr Uran, associate professor of tourism at the University of Primorska, was among
four groups of experts who met Philip last Tuesday at the Hotel Union in the
Slovenian capital of Ljubljana.

She told Philip she wanted to organise a network of people with local knowledge to help tourists. But she said: ‘He laughed and said, “Tourism is just national prostitution.”

‘I couldn’t quite believe he used that word and we all collapsed in embarrassment.’

All those sweaty tourists, clogging up the roads so that the Rolls is often stuck in traffic. And the well-to-do ones fill up often fill up one's favorite reasturant during The Season.

As bad as I disagree with the viewpoints of American elites, they have nothing on European elites.

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Spreading the Wealth" -- A Timely Reminder

Gene Fama reminds us:
First of all, “the wealth” is a Marxist fiction. There isn’t some large, limited pile of communal wealth that just happened to get allocated disproportionately to “the rich.” Wealth is created. The best economic systems encourage the creation of wealth, they don’t redistribute it—and make no mistake, at the extremes the two are mutually exclusive goals.

Do You Have Any Standards at All?

Orson Scott Card, Democrat and newspaper columnist, takes local newspapers to task for being in the tank for the Democrats:
...These are facts. This financial crisis was completely preventable. The party that blocked any attempt to prevent it was ... the Democratic Party. The party that tried to prevent it was ... the Republican Party.

Yet when Nancy Pelosi accused the Bush administration and Republican deregulation of causing the crisis, you in the press did not hold her to account for her lie. Instead, you criticized Republicans who took offense at this lie and refused to vote for the bailout!

What? It's not the liar, but the victims of the lie who are to blame?
If you who produce our local daily paper actually had any principles, you would be pounding this story, because the prosperity of all Americans was put at risk by the foolish, short-sighted, politically selfish, and possibly corrupt actions of leading Democrats, including Obama.

If you who produce our local daily paper had any personal honor, you would find it unbearable to let the American people believe that somehow Republicans were to blame for this crisis.
If you had any personal honor, each reporter and editor would be insisting on telling the truth — even if it hurts the election chances of your favorite candidate.

Because that's what honorable people do. Honest people tell the truth even when they don't like the probable consequences. That's what honesty means . That's how trust is earned.

Barack Obama is just another politician, and not a very wise one. He has revealed his ignorance and naivete time after time — and you have swept it under the rug, treated it as nothing.

Meanwhile, you have participated in the borking of Sarah Palin, reporting savage attacks on her for the pregnancy of her unmarried daughter — while you ignored the story of John Edwards's own adultery for many months.

So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at all? Do you even know what honesty means?

Is getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for?
Is that gonna leave a mark? Unfortunately, no. The only thing that will change the media in this country is the ongoing, slow-motion collapse of the newspaper industry.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Be Extra Careful Wrapping Presents this Christmas

X-rays emitted from ordinary Scotch tape

By Malcolm Ritter

updated 10:23 a.m. PT, Wed., Oct. 22, 2008

NEW YORK - Just two weeks after a Nobel Prize highlighted theoretical work on subatomic particles, physicists are announcing a startling discovery about a much more familiar form of matter: Scotch tape.

It turns out that if you peel the popular adhesive tape off its roll in a vacuum chamber, it emits X-rays. The researchers even made an X-ray image of one of their fingers.

Who knew? Actually, more than 50 years ago, some Russian scientists reported evidence of X-rays from peeling sticky tape off glass. But the new work demonstrates that you can get a lot of X-rays, a study co-author says.

"We were very surprised," said Juan Escobar. "The power you could get from just peeling tape was enormous."

A Very Powerful, Very Disciplined, Incredibly Gracious Woman

For the Democratic party, the era after 1968 was filled with a continual tinkering with its primary rules. At first these re-writes (at the direction of the McGovern-Fraser Commission) sought to restrict and then eliminate candidate selections made by party bosses (in "smoke-filled rooms.") After the candidacies of George McGovern and Jimmy Carter, this drive towards more and more direct democracy in the primaries was countered by the Hunt Commission. The Hunt Commission gave the Democrats the "Superdelegates" that were all the talk of the 2008 Democratic primaries.

The Republicans have been influenced by the Dem's drift, but not so much.

Daniel Henninger describes what has happened to political parties in the U.S.:

The established political pros let the selection process come to this. Presidential candidates such as John McCain and Barack Obama have become untethered from the discipline of party institutions, largely because the parties have lost coherence. So we get celebrity candidates made famous, fundable and electable by dint of their access to the Beltway media. For voters, this election is a national Hail Mary.

For nearly two years, all the major candidates have rotated through our lives as solitary personalities attended by careerist campaign professionals. Barack, Hillary, Rudy, Mitt, Mike, McCain. When the moment arrived to pick a running mate, input from the parties was minimal. That famous party boss, Caroline Kennedy, advised Barack Obama. They picked a three-decade denizen of the Senate. John McCain's obligation was himself and his endless slog to this big chance.

Out of this process we have the current candidates. And rather than critiquing the candidate's positions and policies, the U.S. press has degenerated into name-calling and obsessing over how much money the RNC has spent on Sarah Palin's wardrobe.

Henninger ends his piece with a quote from someone who has recently worked with Sarah Palin.
Lorne Michaels, the executive producer of "Saturday Night Live," lives on the forward wave of American life. This week he gave his view of Sarah Palin to "I think Palin will continue to be underestimated for a while. I watched the way she connected with people, and she's powerful. Her politics aren't my politics. But you can see that she's a very powerful, very disciplined, incredibly gracious woman. This was her first time out and she's had a huge impact. People connect to her."
Sarah in 2012?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Next Republican Party

Having voted, my thoughts turn to what is ahead for the Republicans. The Party seems to be fracturing along social, and even geographic lines.

Tony Blankley throws a log on the fire:
...Miss Noonan's unconscious fear may be that it will be precisely Mrs. Palin (and others like her) who will be among the leaders of the about to be re-born conservative movement. I suspect that the conservative movement we start re-building on the ashes of November 4th (even if Mr. McCain wins) will have little use for over-written, over-delicate commentary.

The new movement will be plain spoken and social networked up from the internetted streets, suburbs and small towns of America. It certainly will not listen very attentively to those conservatives who idolatrize Mr. Obama and collaborate in heralding his arrival. They may call their commentary "honesty." I would call it - at the minimum - blindness.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Grandpa, You're so Old!

Yes, kids, I loved these songs when they first came out.

These are "The Seekers" in their farewell concert in London, July 12, 1968. Listen to the crowd's reactions!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Why is it OK to Make Fun of Sarah Palin's Christianity?

Carnal Reason discusses why there is so much animosity towards Sarah Palin's faith:

Many critics stand ready to mock Palin’s Christianity. Fair enough. Will they also mock Obama’s and Biden’s?

Christianity is a miracle religion. Absent belief in the miraculous, there is nothing left of Christianity worth the name.

Obama has gone on record as stating that Christ is his Lord, that he prays to Jesus. I see three possibilities:

  1. Obama was lying: he believes no such thing, but finds it politically expedient to claim he does.
  2. Obama accepts as fact the Resurrection of Christ.
  3. Obama is an idiot.
Obama is no idiot. So does he believe that a corpse dead on Friday came back to life on Sunday? And if so, does he accept as facts the rest of Christ’s miracles? Prior to his death, Christ is said to have resurrected a corpse, made the blind see, walked on water, and turned water into wine. I can’t see why anyone would believe in the Resurrection, and deny the rest. Why strain at gnats?

The theory that the earth is only 6000 years old appears to be pre-scientific nonsense. It contradicts known facts about the rates at which radioactive materials decay. By the same token, a corpse coming back to life violates the laws of thermodynamics, and walking on water violates the laws of gravity.

Exactly. If you are a Christian, you have already, through the scandal of the Incarnation, accepted accepted as fact the biggest, most overwhelming supernatural event of all time. So don't choke on gnats.

People that are offended by Palin's faith have, to me, been very unserious about their objections. If you are offended by Governor Palin believing that dinosaurs and humans were contemporaries (I don't), then realize that she holds that belief because of a greater belief that she shares with Senator Obama.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Dave Burge declares that whoever attacks Joe 'the Plumber' Wurzelbacher is attacking us all.

What Jim Treacher Wants

If were going to have socialism, says Jim Treacher, why start with plumbers?

If "it's the economy, stupid," aren't higher taxes part of the discussion? I'm no economist, but I do know that every dollar I give to the government is a dollar I can't put into the economy. One campaign is saying they want to lower my taxes, and the other campaign is questioning my patriotism if I complain about higher taxes. And millionaires like Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric are backing up the latter. I would suggest that they find the nearest large body of water and hurl themselves in.

And don't give me that "95%" crap. Why doesn't Obama just go all-out and promise that 110% of Americans will get a tax cut? (Oddly enough, that's the same percentage of Americans who've registered to vote.)

If we're going to plunge headlong into outright socialism, then I want some of what George Clooney's got. You're a big Obama backer, right, George? Well then, put your money where your wagging, chiseled chin is. It's not fair that you've got so much more than I do. I'll take one of your houses and one of your cast-off girlfriends. Doesn't have to be one of the good ones in either category. Whatever you can spare, genius.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Just in Time for Hallowe'en

(And how many times do you see the contraction apostrophe in Hallowe'en these days?)

Anyway, via Rand Simberg, James Whale is alive and well and working in the fashion industry:

More Bailout Thoughts

A few posts back, I said this about the impending government bailout of the financial industry:
So the government (via its new version of the RTC) becomes the mortgage holder for hundreds of thousands of Americans. Already the cry from Democrats is "People before profit."

Will the US be able to resolve the most clear out the very worst of these loans in an fiscally responsible manner?

If there is any possibility of making money on these loans, won't that cause an outcry on the Left?
Jonah Goldberg points out:
Democrats in Congress had great fun using Fannie and Freddie as public policy piggy banks, rewarding constituencies, funding pet projects, forcing the private sector to dance to their tune. What’s to stop them from renegotiating this week’s deal after the election and using Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and the others as Fannie Mae 2.0?

Please don’t say that the terms of the deal are set and the government can’t revise them. If there’s one thing the last month has hammered home, it’s that nothing is written in stone. Besides, the banks may grow to like the security of partial nationalization and even lobby to Congress to stay on as less-than-fully-silent partners.

Heck, that way they wouldn’t have to pay back the loans.
I never thought of that.

Banks might tout the participation of the government as a way to sell their stock, "Hey, the government won't let us fail!"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Kiss Me, Ladies, I've Voted!

Washington has become a vote-by-mail state, so I have just sent off my ballot. I object to vote-by-mail. I think that taking a few minutes out of your day to carry out a civic duty is a small price to pay.

Of course, maybe I'm old-fashioned, but this tidbit on this Washington voter information page made me chuckle:

Voter Drop Box and Service Center Locations

Alley behind the Court House
24 Hour Drop Box
625 West 4th Street
Newport, WA 99156

(Pssst! Tell `em Joe (Biden) sent yah!)

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