Sunday, December 28, 2008

Reason is a politician's enemy

Reviewing outstanding examples of scientific illiteracy, the Sunday Independent (UK) recalls the US presidential campaign:

Mr Obama and John McCain blundered into the MMR vaccine row during their presidential campaigns. "We've seen just a skyrocketing autism rate," said President-elect Obama. "Some people are suspicious that it's connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it," he said.

His words were echoed by Mr McCain. "It's indisputable that [autism] is on the rise among children, the question is what's causing it," he said. "There's strong evidence that indicates it's got to do with a preservative in the vaccines."

Exhaustive research has failed to substantiate any link to vaccines or any preservatives. The rise in autism is thought to be due to an increased awareness of the condition.

Even if Obama or McCain knew better, they were smart to be wrong.  Being right on such an issue would open a politician to charges of being insensitive.  We may think of ourselves as being part of a modern and enlightened society but the voting public values sensitivity far more than well-reasoned scientific thought.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Stealing Minnesota

Fox News looks at some strange rulings by the Minnesota Canvassing board as it decides the Franken vs Coleman senate race.  But note that the left-side of the blogosphere makes a big deal out of one of the many examples in the story being reportedly incorrect.

Bizarre Leader Worship

A Washington Post news story, reporter Eli Saslow describes President-elect Obama's exercise:
The sun glinted off chiseled pectorals sculpted during four weightlifting sessions each week, and a body toned by regular treadmill runs and basketball games.
The unbiased story continues:
The more Obama's life intensifies, friends said, the more he relies on the gym....

Even Obama's closest friends said they marvel at how he has maintained his commitment.
Michele Malkin contrasts this the Washington Post op-ed's treatment of Pres. Bush's exercise routine ("Bush has an obsession with exercise that borders on the creepy”).

PREVIOUSLY, leader worship of Obama was covered here ("it's not merely his youthful vigor, or handsomeness, or even inspiring rhetoric") and here ("25 fittest"). It is easy to forget that only a year ago, Sen. Clinton was the one receiving the leader worship.

Go back a few more years to 1927 and the New York Times was enthralled by Stalin, described as the "calm" "steady" "Buddha of the Kremlin." Obviously, 1927 was back when the mass-murderer Stalin was still cool, before the Hitler-Stalin pact which caused liberals to re-evaluate him.

RELATED, reporters for the Washington Post Foreign Service describe Al Gore this way: "sexy man. The thinking girl's thoroughbred." (hat tip: BMI) Contrast that with the way that Salon sexualizes Gov. Palin.

Family to advocate racial separatism

Maggie Anderson asks:
What if our community truly united to Buy Black? Now, we’ll see.
She and her family plan to "buy Black" starting January 1. The Chicago Sun-Times writes on Ms. Anderson's plan to buy Black:
That means she's got to find a new dry cleaner. She's looking for a place to gas up the family's two cars. And locating black McDonald's franchises is a must. "My girls love the fries," she said of her two daughters.
There is no word yet on the genetic purity that she will require. How many generations back must a McDonald's franchise owner provide their his genealogy in order to establish an acceptable racial background so that Ms. Anderson's daughters may enjoy their French fries? Would a 1/8th non-Black background disqualify the franchisee? Or, would a 1/8th Black background be sufficient for her to purchase the fries? Racial separatism is more complicated than it sounds.

PREVIOUSLY, on the subject of racism: "He's not black and he can't represent me, that's just the bottom line" and "NAACP defends racism."

RELATED, LaShawn Barber describes, here and here, the details of affirmative action plans.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Confusing Compassion with Narcissism

Nicholas Kristof, two-time pulitzer prize winner and a former associate managing editor, has an op-ed column in the New York Times discussing research that he says shows that conservatives are more generous to charity than liberals.  He writes:
Liberals show tremendous compassion in pushing for generous government spending to help the neediest people at home and abroad. Yet when it comes to individual contributions to charitable causes, liberals are cheapskates.
Are liberals really demonstrating "tremendous compassion" when all they do is advocate that someone else (the government) spend money on a problem?  Thinking of themselves as compassionate while not actually sacrificing anything sounds to me more like narcissism.

As an aside, Kristof's premise seems to be a little off.  Reading further into his column,  it seems that it is religious people, regardless of politics, who are more generous to charities.  (Since religious believers are mostly conservative, that explains the statistical partisan tilt.)  I suspect that this is simply because church members have stronger confidence that their charitable donations will be used wisely than givers to secular charities such as the United Way.

How Social Science Research is Done

Arthur C. Brooks is the Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government Policy at Syracuse University and the author of Who Really Cares. In the New York Times, he explains how he goes about doing research:
“When I started doing research on charity,” Mr. Brooks wrote, “I expected to find that political liberals — who, I believed, genuinely cared more about others than conservatives did — would turn out to be the most privately charitable people. So when my early findings led me to the opposite conclusion, I assumed I had made some sort of technical error. I re-ran analyses. I got new data. Nothing worked. In the end, I had no option but to change my views.”
In other words, the steps are (1) start with a liberal hypothesis, (2) find data, (3) if data doesn't agree with liberalism, try to change the data, and (4) accept that the liberal hypothesis is wrong only as a last resort.

The Liberal Herd

Jay Nordlinger describes (H/T Powerline) going to Carnegie Hall for a Christmas concert where he expected a `respite from politics':
Shortly into the concert, the conductor turns to the audience and speaks about “the holidays.” This year, he says, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are overlapping with Christmas. (According to what I can find, Kwanzaa begins on December 26, but never mind.) Then we have New Year’s Day. And “on January 20, there will be a new beginning for our country.” The crowd, of course, erupts into cheers. Then he says, “I see I’m not the only one who’s ready.”

They can’t help themselves, can they? They can’t help preening, saying, in effect, “See how virtuous I am? My politics are correct. I am a fully paid-up member of the herd — nothing independent-minded about me.” I have seen this in Carnegie Hall before (as elsewhere): The conductor, or someone else, makes a partisan political statement, releasing a little stink bomb that smells up the entire evening, no matter how good the music is.
They have to say `how virtuous they are,' this blog asserts, because they suffer from depression, from guilt complexes, and, at some level, they know they act like adolescents.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

RIAA is still filing new lawsuits

Several news organizations reported that the RIAA said it had stopped suing music downloaders. To my knowledge, none of those news organizations fact-checked the statement. However, Ray Beckerman of the Recording Industry vs. People blog did and he writes:
According to a report on Wired.com, the RIAA spokesman claims that the RIAA has not filed any new lawsuits "for months"; according to the Wall Street Journal report the RIAA stopped filing mass lawsuits "early this fall"; and the Associated Press was apparently told that the RIAA had stopped bringing new lawsuits in August.

Being very familiar with the RIAA's penchant for "misspeaking", even when under oath, I investigated the matter a bit, and learned that a large number of suits have been brought by the RIAA quite recently, one as recently as this Monday. Here are just a few.

Atlantic Recording v. Williams 08cv01710 W.D. Pennsylvania 12/15/08
Sony BMG Music v. Linus 08cv14413 S.D. Florida 12/11/08
UMG Recordings v. Gulledge 08-cv-00973-MHT-TFM M.D. Alabama 12/10/08
Warner Bros. Records Kelley 08-cv-02295-CLS N.D. Alabama 12/10/08
Sony BMG Music v. Van Ornum 08-cv-04205-JLH E.D. Arkansas 12/10/08
Interscope Records v. Tabor 08-cv-03068-JLH W.D. Arkansas 12/10/08
BMG Music v. O'Brien 08-cv-02244-HRH D. Arizona 12/10/08
Priority Records v. Easterling 08-cv-08131-PA-JTL C.D. California 12/10/08
UMG Recordings v. Ibarzabal 08-cv-08136-R-SH C.D. California 12/10/08
Interscope Records v. Doe 4 08-cv-01880-JBA D. Connecticut 12/10/08
Arista Records v. Doe 2 08-cv-01874-CFD D. Connecticut 12/10/08
Arista Records v. Doe 3 08-cv-01876-SRU D. Connecticut 12/10/08
UMG Recordings v. Burmeister 08-cv-02295-MPM-DGB C.D. Illinois 12/10/08
To be charitable, I suppose the RIAA spokesman could have meant that no new investigations, as opposed to lawsuits resulting from old investigations, had been started in recent months.

A Web Browser for Racial Separatists

LaShawn Barber says this isn't a joke: there really is a web browser, called Blackbird, designed for African Americans, with claimed features such as and "dark black theme" and:
  • Black Search
  • Black News Ticker
  • Black Bookmarks
  • Blackbird TV
  • Social Bookmarking
  • Email Manager
  • Social Network Manager

The Blackbird Browser gives you access to Internet sites just like Internet Explorer, plus more community-specific features when you want them. For example, Black Search moves important information from African American sites higher in your search results. Try the Blackbird Browser and see how we are customizing the web experience just for you.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Congress and Spam

Network World reports on the successes of the  2003 CAN-SPAM act:
"Lawyers were having to work overtime to stretch existing laws to cover what was going on with spam. Issues like falsified headers were not clear-cut legal offenses," Church explains. "A lot of folks were saying: 'What can we do to give some teeth to legal efforts to try to stop spam?' There were a number of different proposals over many years, and the one that carried the day was the CAN-SPAM Act."

CAN-SPAM allows the Federal Trade Commission, the Justice Department and state agencies to prosecute spammers, and it allows ISPs to sue those who violate the law.

The FTC has brought around 30 law enforcement actions under the CAN-SPAM Act, according to a staff report issued in November 2007. Meanwhile, AOL, Yahoo, EarthLink and Microsoft have sued hundreds of alleged spammers under CAN-SPAM. 

"One of the other good things about CAN-SPAM is that it provided the ability for end users and ISPs who are victims of spam to seek justice on their own behalf, and a number of them have taken advantage of that fact," says Dmitri Alperovitch, director of intelligence analysis at Secure Computing. [emph. added]

So, what good has all this prosecuting and suing accomplished?  Not much.  As Network World points out, back when Congress heroically passed CAN-SPAM, spam made up only 45% of e-mail.  Now, five years later, it constitutes an amazing 97% of all e-mail.  But fret not because the upside is that the lawyers doing all the prosecuting, suing, and defending are profiting.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Money and Education

Camille Paglia writes of President-elect Obama's public works proposals:
I gulped when Obama also pledged educational reform by putting state-of-the-art computers in every classroom. Groan. Computers alone will never solve the educational crisis in this country: They are tools and facilitators, not primary conveyors of knowledge.
"State-of-the-art computers in every classroom" are expensive and, I agree with Ms. Paglia, nearly useless as an educational tool. This is an excellent example of a liberals thinking that problems will go away if they just throw money at them.

PREVIOUSLY, the issue of "throwing money" was discussed here.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Corruption loses a key advocate

Rep. Jefferson was caught with $90,000 of cash in the freezer of his Washington home and indicted in 2007 on charges of receiving more than $500,000 in bribes.  Naturally, he won his party's nomination to run this year for re-election.  In a surprise upset, however, only 47% of his constituents in the Louisiana 2nd Congressional District (New Orleans) voted to send him back to congress.  50% voted for his Republican challenger, attorney Anh Cao.

PREVIOUSLY, the culture of corruption was discussed here and here.  Failure of Democrats to pay taxes is discussed here.  How to duy a congressman's support is explained here.

Proof that home barbecues cause global warming


With all the debate on global warming, you might have wondered how the US government actually measures surface temperatures. The official NOAA USHCN climate station for measuring temperatures in Fairbury, Nebraska is shown at right

The climate station is that off-white box on the pole in front of the tree. Next to the official climate station, you can see a parked car and a barbecue. Obviously, when the people who live in that house use their barbecue, or maybe they let their car idle, the climate station will record a higher temperature. The resulting temperature records are used by the government to prove that global warming is 'real.'

It would be nice if this was a joke. It isn't. The volunteers at surfacestations.org have many such climate stations and documented their effect on 'global warming.' The temperature record for this station is discussed here. Many other such stations are documented by the excellent blog WattsUpWithThat.com.

Haste makes progress?

Bloomberg reports on the incoming presidents plans:
Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- President-elect Barack Obama said he’ll make the “single largest new investment” in roads, bridges and public buildings since the Eisenhower Administration to lift the sagging economy and create jobs. ....

We won’t just throw money at the problem,” he said. “We’ll measure progress by the reforms we make and the results we achieve -- by the jobs we create, by the energy we save, by whether America is more competitive in the world.” [emph. added]
Large public construction projects are, of course, extremely complicated to plan, often involving many compromises and finally gathering needed land through eminent domain.  So, how will The One assure that proper progress will be made, rather than just "throw[ing] money at the problem"?  Here's how, he will eliminate that lengthy and messy planning process altogether:
To the states that will be the conduits for the funding, he had a simple message: “use it or lose it.”

“If a state doesn’t act quickly to invest in roads and bridges in their communities, they’ll lose the money,” [Obama] said.

Not everyone believes Al Gore

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:
"This cry that 'We're all going to die' is an overreaction and just not good science," said Andre Bernier, a meteorologist at WJW Channel 8. "I don't think I personally know any meteorologists - here in Cleveland or anywhere else I've worked - who agree with the hype over human-induced warming." ....

[T]there are doubters - all AMS certified - in prominent on-air positions at each of the four Cleveland television stations.

Bernier and Dick Goddard - the patriarch of Cleveland weather forecasters - predict the weather at WJW Channel 8.

Both cite natural fluctuations in the Earth's climate and dismiss the industrialization of the 20th century and the subsequent spike in atmospheric carbon dioxide as the cause for warming.....

[T]he drift away from global warming among TV weather forecasters is hardly limited to Cleveland.

"This is nationwide," said Stu Ostro, meteorologist and director of weather communications for the Weather Channel in Atlanta.

How will the fear mongers retaliate? Will they boycott TV weather?

Hat tip: WattsUpWithThat.

RELATED:  NASA data and global warming dishonesty was discussed here.  A study showing that warming in urban areas in recent years was due to reduced air pollution was discussed here.  The news media fall for global warming frauds: one example is discussed here.  A long history of the left politicizing science was discussed here.

Communists are still Number 1

The Committee to Protect Journalists reports:
China continued to be world's worst jailer of journalists, a dishonor it has held for 10 consecutive years.
By CPJ's count, China currently imprisons 28 journalists. In second place is Cuba with 21 imprisoned journalists.

In related news, the International Herald Tribune reports on China's continuing use of an old Stalinist tactic:
Local officials in Shandong Province have apparently found a cost-effective way to deal with gadflies, whistleblowers and all manner of muckraking citizens who dare to challenge the authorities: dispatch them to the local psychiatric hospital.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Politicians take care of their own

Due to elections and term limits, 34 California assembly members and senators will need a new job.  In the Orange County Register, Jon Coupal explains what happens next:

The existing legislative leadership has already begun the bi-annual process of providing welfare to their outgoing colleagues. Assembly Speaker Karen Bass has just appointed termed-out Assemblyman John Laird to the Integrated Waste Management Board. The job pays $132,178 per year.

On the Senate side, President Pro Tempore Don Perata has selected the soon-to-be-jobless Sen. Sheila Kuehl to replace former Sen. Wes Chesbro, who was appointed to the panel after he left office in 2006, but who no longer needs the cushy job because he has just been elected to the Assembly.

Other members of the Waste Management board include the wife of another former lawmaker, and a former scheduler for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger – and this is just one board out of many.

For those who may have wondered why the state spends millions each year on scores of little-used and often worthless boards and commissions that pay handsomely for only a few hours of work each month, these appointments may provide clarification.

So as our political class shrieks and bellows that without major tax increases there will not be enough to support the needy, remember, on their list of the truly needy, these folks rank No. 1.

Afterward, they will of course need argue that they must raise taxes to pay for the important things that government does.

Hat tip: Instapundit.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

It is always somebody else's fault!

Apparently, Kerry Burdicck's mother didn't teach him to be careful when he got on and off escalators.  So, what did the mother do when the 6-year olds plastic shoes got caught in an escalator?  She sued the shoe's manufacturer.

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin.

RELATED:  For more on the US legal system, see "How to buy a judge," and "How to buy a judge II."  For more on abusive lawsuits, see "In support of Al Qaeda, ACLU sues Boeing," and "California sues laws of physics."  Perverse consequences of lawsuit abuse are discussed in "Paralysis in the US."  Abuse of the legal system by Ralph Nader is discussed in "Fraud and Deceit in 2004."

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

What the Democratic Leadership thinks of the common man

From a report in the DC Examiner by Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin
The Capitol Visitors Center, which opened this morning, may have tripled its original budget and fallen years behind schedule, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid found a silver lining for members of Congress: tourists won't offend them with their B.O. anymore.

"My staff tells me not to say this, but I'm going to say it anyway," said Reid in his remarks. "In the summer because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol. It may be descriptive but it's true."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Is it warm here or is it just NASA?

NASA, home to global warming activists Gavin Schmidt (of realclimate.org) and James Hansen, has been caught again hyping false warming data.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Michael Crichton, RIP

Michael Crichton (1942-2008)  is well known as an author of fiction. It is less well-known that he was a highly educated thinker:  he "graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College, received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, researching public policy with Jacob Bronowski. He taught courses in anthropology at Cambridge University and writing at MIT," according to his bio.  In 2003, he lectured on the nature of science and its misuse in public policy debates.  He observed, for example:
I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way. . . .
and reaches the conclusion:
Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Unbiased reporters and Palin Derangement Syndrome

AP reports that MSNBC has just admitted being the victim of a hoax when it reported that Gov. Palin didn't know that Africa was a continent, not a country.  It wasn't just MSNBC and Fox News that fell for this hoax.  (As I write this, a Google search on "Sarah Palin Africa Country" produces 385,000 hits with the top ones about the claim that Gov. Palin thought Africa was a country while the more selective Google News produces 8,219 hits on the same topic.)  Newsbusters spotted the hoax several days ago.

Lack of scepticism when it comes to smears against Republicans is part of a pattern.  After the election, even the Washington Post ombudsman admits its coverage was pro-Obama.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama and change or just following George Orwell

One of the most frightening things about Sen. Obama's election is as president is that he might do what he had promised.  Apparently, that won't be a problem.  The Washington Times reports that Obama has just deleted his agenda from his change.gov website:
Over the weekend President-elect Barack Obama scrubbed Change.gov, his transition Web site, deleting most of what had been a massive agenda copied directly from his campaign Web site.

Gone are the promises on how an Obama administration would handle 25 different agenda items - everything from Iraq and immigration to taxesand urban policy - all items laid out on his campaign Web site, www.BarackObama.com.
Will this development be significant enough that the Stock Market will recover from its worst election week ever?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Dem's top priority: more corporate welfare

Looking forward to same-party control of house, senate, and executive branches, Sen. Reid and Rep. Pelosi have called for government assistance for the auto industry.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Rahm Emanuel: hard-nosed moderate?

Incoming Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has a reputation as a hard-nosed partisan but, according to Jason Riley of the Wall Street Journal, he is not a hard-nosed liberal.  Riley reviews some of Emanuel's background:
As head of the DCCC, he was not only responsible for fund raising but also for vetting candidates. His methods often upset members of his own party, even when they were successful. In 2006, he made a tactical decision to recruit candidates who opposed abortion rights and gun control to run in more conservative-leaning districts. And although the strategy worked, it meant passing over more ideologically pure candidates, which didn't sit well with some orthodox liberals.
And also:
Policy-wise, Mr. Emanuel has fashioned himself as a "New Democrat" in the Clinton mold. He has long been an advocate of governing from the center, reaching across the aisle to seek consensus. As a Clinton adviser, he championed welfare reform and free trade. He's even called for a flatter, less progressive system of taxation. As a congressman, Mr. Emanuel supported the Bush administration's decision to remove Saddam Hussein, though he subsequently criticized the president's management of the war in Iraq.
In Chicago, Obama may have been a G-D-America leftist. His selection of Rep. Emanuel at least provides hope that, as president, he will be more closely tied to reality.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pelosi and the logic of bipartisanship

Speaker Pelosi explains what the next congress will be like:
"Elect us, hold us accountable, and make a judgment and then go from there. But I do tell you that if the Democrats win, and have substantial majorities, Congress of the United States will be more bipartisan."
Apparently, in her definition, "bipartisan" means doing everything the Democratic way.

Update (Feb 2009): Speaker Pelosi now sees 'bipartisanship' as an obstacle to her goals.

A Democrat opposes sexism

Writer-producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, a self-proclaimed liberal Democrat who achieved public notice as an advisor to Bill Clinton, said this of the current liberal-media sexism:
Bloodworth-Thomason and others seemed especially critical of the way MSNBC -- and other media -- has attacked Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin while demeaning her supporters.

"We should stop the demonizing," she said, adding that Democrats have been worse than Republicans as far as personal attacks on candidates are concerned. "It diminishes us," she said of her fellow Democrats.

Friday, October 24, 2008

It was a hoax

The woman who had claimed to have been assaulted because she had a McCain-Palin sticker on her car now admits to making the whole thing up.  Michelle Malkin deserves credit for having spotted early that it was a likely hoax.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

On a mission from God

In Northern Virginia, Sen. Obama told a crowd of 35,000:
"If you'll stand with me, then I know that we can win Virginia and we can win this election and we can finally bring the change we need to Washington. I feel like we got a righteous wind at our backs here."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ministry of Truth

"Progressive" Maria Warren, had a blog post describing the fundraiser she attended at Bill Ayers house that launched Obama's political career.  Then she deleted it.  Unfortunately for her and the Ministry of Truth at the LA Times, Archive.org remembers the post and Patterico has a screenshot of it.

An insider's guide to vote fraud

Acorn hires canvassers at $8/hour to collect 22 voter registrations a day. The NY Post reports on what it is like to work for Acorn:
Pushed to meet daily quotas and bullied by bosses if they didn't, Ohio ACORN workers faked voter registrations, signed up people more than once, and even paid off registrants to keep from being fired, its canvassers told The Post.

"Every day, there was pressure on us. Every single day," said Teshika Elder, a Cleveland single mom of three who worked for ACORN this summer.

"We had meetings every morning where they'd go over your quota; they'd yell at you if you were low," said Elder, 21. "They'd sit us down and say if you didn't do better, they'd suspend you. They'd say, 'Try harder next time,' [and] if you didn't get it, you'd be fired."
The pressure had an effect.  In Cuyahoga County, for example:
The [Election] board, which estimates it got more than 8,700 suspect cards - with multiple registrations, bad addresses or phony information - from ACORN has turned the matter over to local prosecutors.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Financial crisis in review

The Wall Street Journal has collected excerpts from congressional hearings on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and housing loans from 2003 through 2005.  It makes it quite clear who was blocking reform and adequate regulation.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Democrats and their Sex-Symbol-in-Chief


ABC News reports on Sen. Obama:
The rain pouring down, his jacket off, his white dress-shirt clinging to his body, Barack Obama played to a crowd ....
That does sound more like a romance novel than a news report, doesn't it?

The New York Times wrote a similar sounding report about Al Gore during his 1988 run for the Democratic nomination:

If politics is the art of pleasing different groups of people simultaneously, Senator Albert Gore Jr., Democrat of Tennessee, seems to have chosen the right profession. ....

Mr. Gore is solidly built, dark and indisputably handsome.

In Sept. 2003, the (UK) Independent saw then candidate Sen. John Kerry in the same light:
Construct your identikit Democratic Presidential candidate and you would come up with someone pretty much like John Forbes Kerry. Handsome, tall and intelligent. Jutting jaw and gravitas by the bucketful.
The weird thing about Democrats sexualizing their presidential candidates is that they also see US presidents as father figures.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Missing the story

Robert Stacy McCain summarizes the news coverage of the Palin e-mail theft story and concludes:
It’s an perfect lesson in what’s gone wrong with America’s major media. No potential scoop is so big that it can’t be ignored if it doesn’t conform to the regnant political bias. A Republican with a personal email account? Scandal! A Democrat who hacks a Republican’s personal email account? Ho-hum.
Hat tip: Instapundit.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Unbalanced in Berkeley

Berkeley, California, is famous for its left-liberal politics. It is even a "nuclear free zone." So what is it like shopping in a Berkeley grocery store? The LA Times reports:
As most veteran customers know, it takes a pretty thick skin to successfully navigate the Berkeley Bowl, this strident city's most popular grocery store.

Outside, petitioners seeking signatures for ballot measures have come to blows with opinionated residents. In the tiny parking lot, nicknamed the Berkeley Brawl, frustrated motorists have been known to ram one another's cars. At the checkout, people have thrown punches and unripened avocados at suspected line-cutters.

When one shopper was told she couldn't return a bag of granola, she showily dumped its contents on the floor. Culyon Garrison, who works at the customer-service desk, recently had a loaf of bread thrown at him.

The produce emporium -- one of the nation's most renowned retailers of exotic fruits and vegetables -- creates its own bad behavior. Kamikaze shoppers crash down crowded aisles without eye contact or apology for fender-benders. ....

"There's a sense of entitlement to this town," [Store manager Larry] Evans said. "People think, 'If I want to do it, I'll do it, just try and stop me.' "
A "sense of entitlement"? That certainly explains much that is wrong with liberalism.

Mr. Evans also suggests anger issues, which would be consistent with what is known about Democrat psychology.

For an alternate opinion, see James Taranto who suggests that the cause is dietary.

Strange stereotypes

CNN reports that Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fl) is promoting stereotypes:
Rep. Alcee Hastings told an audience of Jewish Democrats Wednesday that they should be wary of Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin because “anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks.”
His Democratic audience cheered his bigotry.

Alcee Hastings was a judge until 1989 when he was removed from office after being impeached and convicted on bribery and perjury charges.  With a background in bribery and perjury, it was only natural that he would run for congress where he has served since 1992 and where he has risen to the position of Senior Democratic Whip.

Environmentalism and Narcissism, II

A study at Exeter University found that people who claimed to be environmentalists polluted more than the rest of us, principally because they do more air travel. The (UK) Guardian explains:
Stewart Barr, of Exeter University, who led the research, said: "Green living is largely something of a myth. There is this middle class environmentalism where being green is part of the desired image. But another part of the desired image is to fly off skiing twice a year. And the carbon savings they make by not driving their kids to school will be obliterated by the pollution from their flights."

Some people even said they deserved such flights as a reward for their green efforts, he added.

Yes, the big polluters thought they deserved a "reward" for their pretense of being "green."

Al Gore is exceptionally vocal about his 'environmentalism.' Consistent with the Exeter results, his carbon footprint is exceptionally large too.

PREVIOUSLY, seven examples of celebrity environmental narcissism are here . George Carlin's take on environmentalism is here . More on the strange psychology of environmentalism is here and here .

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The space shuttle program was a mistake

So says Carolyn Porco, the Planetary Scientist with NASA who leads the imaging team of the Cassini mission to Saturn. She is not alone in that assessment: NASA chief Michael Griffin has said the same.

The general public intuitively thinks that, because the shuttle is "reusable," it must be better its predecessors.  As Ms. Porco points out, the shuttle was never able to carry the same payload as the bigger Apollo era rockets.  Part of the cause of this is that making the shuttle "reusable" makes it heavier than it would otherwise have to be and this makes it both more expensive and less capable than non-reusable rockets.

Hat tip: Instapundit.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Liberals projecting their hate onto Palin

James Taranto observes a detailed example of psychological projection among the liberals of Salon.com:
The left-liberal Webzine Salon has become something of a clearinghouse for rage against Alaska's governor. The latest contribution, from one Anne Lamott, actually uses the H word:

I sat outside a 7-Eleven and had a sacramental Dove chocolate bar. Jeez: Here we are again. A man and a woman whose values we loathe and despise--lying, rageful and incompetent, so dangerous to children and old people, to innocent people in every part of the world--are being worshiped, exalted by the media, in a position to take a swing at all that is loveliest about this earth and what's left of our precious freedoms.
When I got home from church, I drank a bunch of water to metabolize the Dove bar and called my Jesuit friend, who I know hates these people, too. I asked, "Don't you think God finds these smug egomaniacs morally repellent? Recoils from their smugness as from hot flame?"
And he said, "Absolutely. They are everything He or She hates in a Christian."
I have been in a better mood ever since, and have decided not to even say this woman's name anymore, because she fills me with such existential doubt, such a sense of impending doom and disbelief, that only the Germans could possibly have words for it.

What's hilarious about this is that, except for the obligatory "or She," Lamott and her unnamed interlocutor fit exactly the stereotype people on the left typically hold of conservatives, and religious conservatives in particular: smug yet insecure, dogmatic and intolerant and filled with hate and rage. Even Lamott's descriptions of Palin more aptly describe Lamott in the act of describing Palin!

PREVIOUSLY, an example of projection hate onto other liberals during the Democratic primaries was discussed here.  Projection by liberal-environmentalists was discussed here.  Projection by the editor of TNR was discussed here.  Rep. Rahm Emanuel projecting was discussed here. A poll showing the nature of liberal hatred was discussed here.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Stanford finds Democrats are racist

A poll conducted for AP-Yahoo by Stanford University, using a controversial web polling technique, concludes:
Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll that found one-third of white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks—many calling them "lazy," "violent" or responsible for their own troubles.
As for Republicans, the AP finds they are motivated more by issues than skin color:
Lots of Republicans harbor prejudices, too, but the survey found they weren't voting against Obama because of his race. Most Republicans wouldn't vote for any Democrat for president—white, black or brown.
SEPARATELY, liberal-activist Sandra Bernhard has suggested that Blacks in Manhatten would 'gang-rape' Sarah Palin. However, because of Ms. Bernhard's peculiar and left-wing sense of humor, it is not clear whether she intended that as a statement of racism or as a policy suggestion.

UPDATE: The "full results" of the AP-Yahoo-Stanford study are here (PDF). John Hinderaker analyzes it and finds that the most important data is missing.

Socialists fighting environmentalists in Canada

On one side are the municipal bus companies.  The left has showered them with monopoly status and government-subsidies.  Politicians love them because what could be a better way of collecting bribes and favors than negotiating a renewal of some company's monopoly rights, not that any our honest politicians would ever actually do that.

On the other side are websites, like PickupPal, which arrange "ride-sharing."  They offer to match you with "pickup pals" who have "friendly faces."  However, what they offer is not exactly the usual left-liberal idea of "sharing": drivers and passengers negotiate fees for service.

Now, the bus companies, with their monopoly status, are suing the ride-sharing websites claiming that those websites are offering, at least under Canadian law, an unlicensed competing service.  In Canada, the Ontario Highway Transportation Board (OHTB) reportedly has shut-down all such "ride-sharing" organizations that have appeared before it.  Currently, PickupPal is the only one left and their hearing is scheduled for October 15, 2008.

Normally, the left would prefer "mass transit" over a private limousine service, such as PickupPal, but, in a piece of brilliant marketing, PickupPal convinced Canadian Environmental Minister Christine Stewart that PickupPal is "eco-friendly" and "CO₂ reducing".  This has turned the tables as, normally, it is the "mass transit" companies that claim the mantle of being "eco-friendly," something that is hard to believe as those smog-belching buses drive by you on a street.  PickupPal's marketing move is all the more impressive considering that, for all Ms. Stewart knows, your "pickup pal" could be driving a dreaded SUV.

This battle over monopolist rights is not limited to Canada.  A French bus company, TSE, "sued several French cleaning women for car pooling and even petitioned the French government to confiscate their cars."  The UK Guardian has more on this.


Friday, September 19, 2008

NSF: Liberals insensitive to human suffering

A NSF-funded study exposed test subjects to disturbing images, such as "a dazed person with a bloody face" or "an open wound with maggots in it" and measured their responses. According to this summary, the researchers found people's responses fell into two groups. The first group, seemingly the conservatives, were found to be more sensitive to pictures of human suffering and responded accordingly:
The first group believes the greatest threat to them and their communities comes from other people; they want to arm themselves and their government to defend against those threats.
The other group, seemingly the liberals, were less sensitive to images of human suffering and are more techno-phobic, seeing threats as coming from inanimate objects:
The latter group sees less threat from people and more technology and inanimate objects such as guns that can kill or harm innocent people. They want policies in place to protect their individual privacy and safety: They oppose the death penalty and favor strong gun control.
The study was conducted by Prof. John Hibbing of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

This week, Sen. Obama released an ad complaining about the closing of a vacuum tube factory: Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) screens are being replaced by LCD and plasma but Obama wants to preserve the CRT factories.  Is this an example of the fear of 'technology' that Prof. Hibbing suggests that liberals have.  Similarly, Sen. Obama was proud of voting to de-fund US soldiers while the soldiers were in the field fighting.  Is this an example of liberal insensitivity to real humans?

Newsbusters finds many examples of the media taking this story and trying to spin it to liberal advantage.

Somebody had a bad childhood

On the op-ed pages of the prestigious New York Times, Maureen Dowd offers this bit of sophisticated analysis of Gov. Sarah Palin:
R. D. Levno, a retired school principal, flew in from Fairbanks. “She’s a child, inexperienced and simplistic,” she said of Sarah. “It’s taking us back to junior high school. She’s one of the popular girls, but one of the mean girls. She is seductive, but she is invented.”

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

From OpenLeft: Is liberalism narcissism?

Matt Stoller notes:
There are no forums for respected ideological debate within the Democratic Party, ....
Conservatives are fascinated by ideas and, as for example Wm. Buckley and his Firing Line, enjoy debate. By contrast, how often can a liberal cite the philosophers who influenced him? Liberalism seems more focussed on a cult of personality which might be natural for people who regard a presidential candidate not as a politician but as a potential parent. Continuing on from where Stoller left off, Chris Bowers, also at Openleft, asks "Why should anyone respect the netroots.":
The point is that just doing something beneficial to a politician does not mean that politician will end up respecting you. This is especially the case when you are viewed as a bunch of amateurs ....

What we should aim for is self-respect. If you think that self-starting, people-powered, progressive grassroots activism is good in and of itself, then you should both support it and live it.
So there you have it: the motivating factor on the left is not ideas: it is narcissism.

Hat tip: Instapundit, Ann Althouse, and Big Tent Democrat.

SEPARATELY, examples of narcissism in the environmental movement are here.

Creationism on the march in Europe

According to Daminan Thompson at the Telegraph (UK):
Muslim lobbyists are currently pouring millions of pounds into producing bogus "atlases of creation", lavishly decorated with photographs and charts "proving" that every living species was created at the same time.

This material is currently being delivered free of charge to schools all over Europe.
PREVIOUSLY, creationism in Europe was discussed here and here . Creationism is not the only anti-science. Left-wing activists are attacking, verbally and sometimes physically, biologists both because of their methods and their results. Politically-motivated activists have stopped (scroll down to "liberal war on science") some legal research at UC San Diego. Pakistani physics professors say that Islam conflicts with science here. Politicians are threatening scientists whose climate research is politically incorrect.

Do as a spiritual advisor says, not as he does

The New York Post reports:
[F]irebrand pastor Jeremiah Wright has helped destroy a Dallas church worker's marriage - and her job, The Post has learned.

Elizabeth Payne, 37, said she had a steamy sexual affair with the controversial, racially divisive man of the cloth while she was an executive assistant at a church headed by a popular Wright protégé.

When word of the unholy alliance got out, Payne's husband dumped her, and she was canned from the plum job at Friendship-West Baptist Church, she told The Post.
It seems that Rev. Wright is following in the tradition of preachers such as Jimmy Swaggart, Ted Haggard, and many others.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dems, taxes, and hypocrisy

Rep. Charlie Rangel, chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, seems not to have paid his personal taxes. The AP reports:
Rangel, chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, is already the subject of ethics committee investigations on several fronts, including unreported income and unpaid taxes on his beach house in the Dominican Republic. ....

Among the new discrepancies:

_Rangel's papers over the past 10 years show no reference to the sale of a home he once owned on Colorado Avenue in Washington.

_The details of a property bought in Sunny Isles, Fla., are bewildering at best. The stated value changes significantly from year to year, and even page to page, from $50,000 to $100,000 all the way up to $500,000.

_Some of the entries for investment funds fluctuate strangely, suggesting that the person either didn't have accurate information or didn't fill out the paperwork correctly.

Rangel spent the past week trying to answer questions about his ethics and his finances.

He admitted he owes the Internal Revenue Service about $5,000 in back taxes for unreported income from the rental of his vacation villa, and probably a smaller amount to state and city tax collectors.
RELATED: Former senator Wellstone and senate candidate and failed talk show host Al Franken, both of Minnesota, had problems paying taxes owed. This appears to be part of a pattern in which liberals seem to believe that rules apply only to others. Confirming this pattern are poll results, from Pew, in which 57% of those who describe themselves as "very liberal" think it OK to cheat on taxes.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Media sexism backfires

Hugh Hewitt writes that, at least for the callers to his radio show, the media attacks on Palin are backfiring:
Since the day John McCain selected Palin as his running mate, I have spoken with only women callers to my radio show. For the past week I have limited callers to those who are calling a radio show for the very first time. All the lines have been filled every hour of every day. Caller after caller wants to discuss their affection for Sarah, their willingness to work for her and contribute to the RNC and to share stories of like-minded women in their families and among their friends.

Each new attack on Palin brings increased enthusiasm for her. Take, for example, the astonishing report from by Los Angeles Times reporter Andrew Malcolm that a "senior Canadian doctor is now expressing concerns that such a prominent public role model as the governor of Alaska and potential vice president of the United States completing a down syndrome pregnancy may prompt other women to make the same decision against abortion because of that genetic abnormality. And thereby reduce the number of abortions." This is just one of many brazen attacks on the decisions of Sarah and Todd Palin on how to raise and care for their family. Nothing remotely like it has ever been seen in modern politics, and the disgust level is growing as a result.

That Canadian doctor who wants to abort down syndrome children seems to be part of a liberal trend to re-embrace eugenics.

Friday, September 12, 2008

New Obama ad mocks McCain's war injuries.

For details, see Patterico.

OK, in fairness, Sen. Obama may not have known about Sen. McCain's war injuries and how they prevent him from using a keyboard. On the other hand, Obama has bragged about his executive experience managing his large campaign staff with its 2,500 employees. Shouldn't he have tasked someone to check into it before he issued this ad?

UPDATE: Sen. Obama questions Sen. McCain's patriotism.

Freedom is always worth the price

Returning Iraq war veteran Joe Cook has something to say to the Democrats:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More liberal sexism


What hang-up causes liberals to imagine a female political figure as a dominatrix in some sexual fantasy? The above illustration is from the (very liberal) Salon magazine. Puma Pac sees this as part of a pattern, going back to similar illustrations of Hillary in '93.

For whatever they are worth, Puma Pac has possible explanations for these fantasies: "Some might suggest these folks were a little too close to mamma to grow up to be functional men, if you know what I mean. Still others might suggest it’s an intimacy-issues thing, the result of being cuckolded by empowered, irritated, unsatisfied wives."

Regaining the empire

Leon Aron, of the American Enterprise Institute, writes that Russia's next objective, now that it occupies much of Georgia, will be Ukraine:

Apart from Estonia and Latvia -- where ethnic Russians constitute over a quarter of the population, but where NATO membership raises the risk for the Kremlin -- by far the most likely target is Ukraine. Kiev has repeatedly defied and angered Russia by the domestic politics of democratization, a decidedly pro-Western orientation, and the eagerness of its leadership to join NATO. Nearly one in five Ukraine citizens are ethnically Russian (a total of almost eight million) and live mostly in the country's northeast, adjacent to the Russian border.


Russia might start by annexing Sevastopol, a city of 340,000 on the Black Sea. Alternately:

A potentially bolder (and likely bloodier) scenario might involve a provocation by the Moscow-funded, and perhaps armed, Russian nationalists (or the Russian special forces, spetznaz, posing as irredentists). They could declare Russian sovereignty over a smaller city (Alushta, Evpatoria, Anapa) or a stretch of inland territory. In response, Ukrainian armed forces based in the Crimea outside Sevastopol would likely counterattack. The ensuing bloodshed would provide Moscow with the interventionist excuse of protecting its compatriots -- this time, unlike in South Ossetia, ethnic Russians.
Since Russia is a dictatorship, albeit with nominal 'elections,' and Ukraine is a democracy, one can expect that the Democrats will instinctively side with Russia.

The search for bin Laden

The Washington Post reports:
Frustrated by repeated dead ends in the search for Osama bin Laden, U.S. and Pakistani officials said they are questioning long-held assumptions about their strategy and are shifting tactics to intensify the use of the unmanned but lethal Predator drone spy plane in the mountains of western Pakistan.
The article provides another clue to what the issue could be:
There has been no confirmed trace of bin Laden since he narrowly escaped from the CIA and the U.S. military after the battle near Tora Bora, Afghanistan, in December 2001, according to U.S., Pakistani and European officials.
If that is true (a big if), and since bin Laden's video and audio tapes since Tora Bora were all of the kind that could be faked (see here and here), there is the open possibility bin Laden died in Tora Bora.

Last May, Baitullah Mehsud, a top Taliban commander, said bin Laden was dead.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Sexism update

The Democrats may not have found a way to attack Gov. Palin's politics, but they can point out repeatedly, that she is a woman. For example, today Democratic Congressman Russ Carnahan introduced Sen. Biden at a campaign event with:
“There’s no way you can dress up that record, even with a lot of lipstick,”
The New York Times reports on on a similar jab from Sen. Obama's latest appearance in Lebanon, VA:
“John McCain says he’s about change, too — except for economic policy, health care policy, tax policy, education policy, foreign policy and Karl Rove-style politics,” Mr. Obama told his supporters here. “That’s just calling the same thing something different.”

With a laugh, he added: “You can put lipstick on a pig; it’s still a pig. You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change; it’s still going to stink after eight years.”
It would be reasonable to think that Obama's "lipstick on a pig" comment referred to the Sen. McCain's policies instead of Gov. Palin gender except for two things (1) the crowd reaction to that line is so out-of-proportion strong (horribly clipped youtube video here) that they appear to have recognized it as a reference to Gov. Palin, the 'pit bull with lipstick', and (2) it is followed by the line about "old fish" which, in context, becomes a clear allusion to Sen. McCain's age.

Always trying to avoid the appearance of bias, the headline on the NY Times story did not mention Obama's making a gaffe or even a controversial statement. Instead the story was entitled "Feeling a Challenge, Obama Sharpens His Silver Tongue." By contrast, even the AP understood that the lipstick remark was about Palin, not policies.

PREVIOUSLY, during the primaries, Democrats were well aware that their party was filled with sexism and racism.

RELATED: More debunking of anti-Palin myths and lies here on libraries and here on the bride-to-nowhere.

RELATED: Biden questions Obama's judgement.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Missile defense: does it work?

In 1985, critics declared "Star Wars Is Dangerous and Won't Work." In 2004, the so-called Union of Concerned Scientists was still declaring that the "US Missile Shield Won't Work." Of course, armchair critics suffer no consequences from wrong pronouncements. Contrast them with those who have actual and serious responsibility to evaluate the concept. Even early on in the research, the Soviet military took our missile defense seriously. Gorbachev even credited the star wars program with being the most important reason that the US won the cold war. More recently, evidence that missile defense works come from the military and budger officials of countries that are willing to pay good money for it. The latest is the United Arab Emirates, as Reuters reports:
The Bush administration is planning to sell the United Arab Emirates an advanced U.S. missile defense system valued at up to $7 billion that could be used to defend against Iran, people who have attended briefings on the matter said on Monday.

The Pentagon is set to notify the U.S. Congress of the proposed sale, which would be the first of the so-called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, several people familiar with the matter said.

THAAD is built by Lockheed Martin Corp . Raytheon Co supplies the system's radar.

Health food to die for

Kate Finn, a former gymnast from Rhode Island, developed an obsession with health food. (WARNING: this story does not have a happy ending.) As ABC News reports:

She was so absorbed with cleansing her body of toxins ... that was her lifelong goal," said Erin Finn, Kate's sister.

In the quest for purity, Finn eliminated more and more from her diet. Her appearance deteriorated. "The beautiful, vibrant Kate had really become someone that looked much older. People would stare," Erin Finn said.

Finn wasn't anorexic. Erin Finn said her sister knew she was underweight, but she insisted on eating only foods she considered "pure."

Like Charlotte Anderson, Kate Finn kept a diary documenting her desperate descent. One entry reads, "What do I do to gain weight? I'm afraid, confused."

Finally, Finn agreed to let her family take her to a hospital.

"Our niece went to pick her up," her sister said, "and found her."

But it was too late. She was discovered dead, at age 37.

The story gets stranger: one of her health food gurus, Viktoras Kulvinskas, considers her death to be some kind of new age-type victory:
As Finn's family read through her diary, they learned that she had been listening to several health food gurus. Among the experts: Viktoras Kulvinskas.

Kulvinskas's appearance in Finn's diary doesn't surprise him.

"I'm in the diary of so many people who overcome cancer, asthma and diabetes," he said. "My compassion reaches out to her that she took the path. Well, at least she got detoxified and clean, and moved on into another incarnation."

This story is something to remember the next time that some do-gooder tells you what to do to improve your health or your environment.

PREVIOUSLY, in this series on liberalism gone bad, see herbal medicines to die for, and auto regulations to die for.

Sexism watch

On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow spoke about Sec. Rice's latest diplomatic initiative with the country that the Bush administration has previously convinced to renounce its nuclear weapon program as follows:
But first, the headlines breaking in the administration's 50 running scandals: "Bushed." ... And number one: "Pillow Talk with Terrorists-Gate." Who's holding talks in Libya today? The highest-ranking U.S. official to do so since 1953? That would be Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
For liberals, a diplomatic initiative is reduced to "pillow-talk" when a woman is involved.

MORE: Tammy Bruce, a former president of the Los Angeles chapter of NOW, reviews sexism in the Democratic party's primaries (hat tip: Instapundit):
The rank bullying of the Clinton candidacy during the primary season has the distinction of simply being the first revelation of how misogynistic the party has become. The media led the assault, then the Obama campaign continued it. Trailblazer Geraldine Ferraro, who was the first Democratic vice presidential candidate, was so taken aback by the attacks that she publicly decried nominee Barack Obama as "terribly sexist" and openly criticized party chairman Howard Dean for his remarkable silence on the obvious sexism.

Concerned feminists noted, among other thinly veiled sexist remarks during the campaign, Obama quipping, "I understand that Sen. Clinton, periodically when she's feeling down, launches attacks as a way of trying to boost her appeal," and Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen in a television interview comparing Clinton to a spurned lover-turned-stalker in the film, "Fatal Attraction," noting, "Glenn Close should have stayed in that tub, and Sen. Clinton has had a remarkable career...". These attitudes, and more, define the tenor of the party leadership, and sent a message to the grassroots and media that it was "Bros Before Hoes," to quote a popular Obama-supporter T-shirt.
LOOSELY RELATED: Charles Martin has collected the existing rumors and charges against Sarah Palin here.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Want to know Sarah Palin's Social Security number? Just ask a Democrat.

See here and here.

Obama: back to the future, for a 'change'



As they say, the more things 'change,' the more they stay the same.

Hat tip: Ed Driscoll.

Nostalgia merchandise available here and here. (Caveat: these vendors, while probably great people, are unknown to this blogger.)

'Peace' Protesters turn violent

Busses on their way to the Republican convention in St. Paul were attacked. In one instance, some leftists threw sandbags down from an overpass. If they had managed to hit the windshield, people would likely have died. John Hinderaker describes a separate attack on a bus of Cub Scouts on their way to the convention.

PREVIOUSLY, the subject of peace protesters turning violent was discussed here and here. Liberal confusion on the subject of what 'peace' means was further illustrated here when Reuters described Palestinians carrying rifles and RPG launchers as being peace protesters.

UPDATE: The NY Post has more on peace protesters at the Republican Convention:
The rampaging protesters attacked members of the Connecticut delegation, spraying them with a noxious liquid. One 80-year-old delegate needed medical treatment.

UPDATE II: Still more attacks, including roughing up, spitting, and spraying attendees with toxic substances, are described by GatewayPundit.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Democrats believe in God! Who knew?

And not just any God: Democrats believe in an old testament God who kills in large numbers. This became apparent when Hurricane Gustav appeared to be bearing down on New Orleans. Michael Moore thought that a repeat of Kitrina's death and devastation, which the media used to make Pres. Bush and Republicans look bad, would be a gift from God:
“I was just thinking, this Gustav is proof that there is a God in heaven,” Moore said, laughing. “To have it planned at the same time – that it would actually be on its way to New Orleans for day one of the Republican Convention, up in the Twin Cities – at the top of the Mississippi River.”
Former DNC National Chairman Don Fowler expresses similar thoughts:
Plus they think the hurricane's going to hit (starts laughing) New Orleans about the time they start. The timing, at least it appears now, that it'll be there Monday. That just demonstrates God's on our side
Thus, the God of the Democrats would wreak death and devastation on a predominantly Democratic city for the purpose of helping the Democrats in the next election.

Lefty bloggers have joined Fowler and Moore's theology of death such as in a post entitled "Thank you God: Hurricane Gustav underscores Republican inaction since Katrina".

UPDATE: At the Financial Times, Clive Crook writes:
So the arrival of hurricane Gustav, initially feared to be far more powerful than Katrina, and timed to make landfall at New Orleans during the first day of the Republican party’s convention, led some secular-minded Democrats to question their atheism and acknowledge the power of prayer. [emph. added]

Herbal medicines to die for

Dr. Robert Saper, a Boston University professor of family medicine, became interested in ancient Indian herbal medicines after someone showed up at his emergency room with seizures. As the LA Times reports:
Saper got interested in the supplements in 2003 after a man of Indian origin showed up at a Boston-area emergency room with seizures. The culprit turned out to be lead in the man's ayurvedic medicines. In an initial study published in 2004, Saper bought 70 ayurvedic products imported from India and found that toxic metals were common components.
According to the New Scientist, the levels of heavy metals in some Rasa Shastra medicines are far above the levels that the FDA permits in medicines over which it has regulatory control:
One sample of a preparation called Ekangvir Ras had 26,000 parts per million of lead. This compares with a US legal limit of 2 ppm in pharmaceutically produced calcium tablets for the elderly.
Kush Khanna, who manufactures such ayurvedic medicines, counters by citing World Health Organization rules. As the LA Times writes:
The problem is that there are no unified standards for what is considered safe.

Lead levels allowed by the World Health Organization are 500 times the California limits.

"Based on WHO standards, our products are perfect," Khanna said. "They have not exceeded any limits."
Dr. Saper counters that "Many, many studies are showing that even small levels of lead in the blood can increase the risk of high blood pressure, kidney dysfunction and decreased IQ." Mr. Khanna sells his heavy metal rich potions from the company his father started, Bazaar of India, located in Berkeley, CA.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Not the usual politician

Does Sarah Palin offer change you can believe in? She does seem to be different from the usual beltway or Chicago machine politician:

Melanie Morgan has the merchandise.
Hat tip to GatewayPundit and JawaReport.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Leaders acknowledge Democrat base is racist

The leaders of organized labor, one of the key parts of the Democratic base, admit that their members are racists. As CQ Politics reports:
AFL-CIO Political Director Karen Ackerman says she believes racism is playing a role in limiting Barack Obama ’s appeal to some union members, but she said union leaders were making a concerted effort to overcome prejudice among their members.

“We feel there is a racial component for some union members,” she said Sunday. “We feel confident we can overcome it.” ....

“There has never been an African-American candidate for president and many folks around this country have never voted for an African-American candidate for any office,” she said. So Ackerman said union leadership is urging local union officials to reach out on a one-to-one basis to members resistant to voting for a black candidate. “We’ve had a lot of discussions about how to talk to union voters . . . to identify closely what issue is preventing some union voters” from considering a black candidate. [emphasis added]
The Hill offers a similar report:
A prominent union leader on Tuesday blamed racism for Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) failure to build a big lead over GOP rival Sen. John McCain.

Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), said many workers are considering voting for McCain (R-Ariz.) because of his military service and status as a hero of the Vietnam War.

McEntee said several union members had approached him, saying they could not vote for Obama because of his race. ....

Other union officials also have cited Obama’s race as a reason why some white union members are not embracing him.

The AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka explains his first hand experience with "a lot of good union people" who think it "wrong" to vote "for a black man":



Hat tip: BotW.

PREVIOUS examples of racism among Democrats include "That's just how white folks will do you" and "He's not black and he can't represent me, that's just the bottom line." Previous of examples of Democratic leaders accusing Democrat voters of racism can be found here and here.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The "clean" African-American returns the compliment

In January 2007, Sen. Biden described Sen. Obama's candidacy this way:
"I mean, you've got the first sort of mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a story-book, man" [emph. added]
Today, the sort-of-mainstream Sen. Obama returned the compliment and selected Sen. Biden as his VP nominee.

MORE Biden classics as quoted by the Washington Post:
"I've had a great relationship [with Indian Americans]. In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking."
"I think I have a much higher IQ than you do."

Friday, August 22, 2008

Alternative energy meets reality in NYC

Like many dreamy-eyed liberals, New York's mayor Bloomberg went to a conference on "clean energy" and talked about the glorious future of windmills: he proposed putting them on NYC buildings and bridges. By the time he returned to NYC, as the AP reports, everyone, including the environmentalists, had already objected:
NEW YORK (AP) - Mayor Michael Bloomberg is backing off his suggestion to put windmills on city bridges and rooftops after newspapers mocked the idea with photo illustrations of turbines on the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building.

"There are aesthetic considerations," Bloomberg said. "No. 2, I have absolutely no idea whether that makes any sense from a scientific, from a practical point of view."

Bloomberg sought to dial back his windmill proposal while speaking to reporters on Wednesday after returning from Las Vegas, where he gave a speech at the National Clean Energy Summit imagining, among other things, harnessing wind power with turbines on bridges and skyscrapers. ....

David Carr, of the Alternative Energy Institute, in Canyon, Texas, said mounting turbines high above the city is "not very feasible."

"I don't think this was very well thought out," he said.

Among the complications are turbulence and vibrations the buildings would have to endure, plus the relatively small amount of wind the turbines would be able to harness in a city where other buildings and trees stand in the way, Carr said. Also, skyscrapers typically are not built to withstand the load of turbines.

"If you want it for art and decoration, that's fine, but for achieving any kind of power that's useful, it's not a very good idea, and I don't know of anywhere that's done it very successfully," Carr said.

It is also difficult to imagine residents would welcome spinning turbines outside their windows in a city where a proposal to install a cell phone tower on a building on Manhattan's Upper West Side generates protests and interference from local elected officials.
Earlier this year, Sen. Ted Kennedy, the lion of liberalism, worked on blocking windmills in Massachusetts.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Some Dems revolt against the new religion

The religious nature of the Obama movement has been apparent to outsiders but now a prominent Democrat acknowledges it: "The Obama campaign has become a movement of transcendence that is practically religious, with a wave of money and religious fervor taking over the party" says Darragh Murphy, executive director of PumaPAC. She and other Democrats reject that religion and are currently pleased with having 'rolled' Obama. With respect to that, Robert Costa of the Wall Street Journal asks: "If he can't face down the Pumas, how will he ever face down Putin?"

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