Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Global Warming--The Last Days

Is the Pope Catholic? What would people say if he were to come out and admit he might be wrong about the divinity of Christ? That is essentially what has occurred in the Church of the Green Goddess; James Lovelock, father of the Gaia hypothesis, Defender of the Environmentalist Faith, most radical of Global Warming alarmists, has recanted! The rest of the story at American Thinker

Pay Go

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dan Snow: I hate to say this, but apps do beat books. Upon reading the article, you realize exactly what he's talking about. It's incredible how in one medium, one can combine interviews, film clips, dictionary, maps, all in one place. What a wonderful learning experience! And as regards my Kindle. The little bit of interactivity I experience makes things a whole lot easier. If I read a word and I want a definition, I just touch the word and up comes a dictionary that explains the word. If I want to highlight, or make notes, it's done. Also, if I'm reading the book on 2 or more devices, the device I'm now using will sync to the last past of the last device I used.

Too Much Copyright--Reason TV

Friday, April 20, 2012

Earth Day--Paul Ehrlich was WRONG

April 22 [1995] marks the 25th anniversary of Earth Day. Now as then its message is spiritually uplifting. But all reasonable persons who look at the statistical evidence now available must agree that Earth Day’s scientific premises are entirely wrong. During the first great Earth Week in 1970 there was panic. The public’s outlook for the planet was unrelievedly gloomy. The doomsaying environmentalists–of whom the dominant figure was Paul Ehrlich–raised the alarm: The oceans and the Great Lakes were dying; impending great famines would be seen on television starting in 1975; the death rate would quickly increase due to pollution; and rising prices of increasingly-scarce raw materials would lead to a reversal in the past centuries’ progress in the standard of living. For the whole article

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sebastian Thrun-New Education Model

Sebastian Thrun was a tenured professor at Stanford, who gave it up to pursue this. In his talk, he mentions the idea of the lecture being the means to teach is a model began over a 1000 years ago. The internet is shredding that model, just as the printing press was the tool that upended the way we learn. Mr Thrun gives props to Salman Khan who is the founder of Khan Academa. Here's a link to another online university. These are amazing times. Information can get into anyone's hands around the world. Today I was at the gym thinking, "My life's a bit different than man 100 years ago". I drive a scooter that gets 86mpg to the gym. While on the treadmill, I'm watching a "Live" car chase in Dallas, at the same time reading my iPad learning about the history of atomic theory.


If you opened up this post, the title doesn't explain itself. Please read and be surprised. What's even more interesting, is that if you watch the video, I talked about this man only a week ago.

Richard Fernandez--PJ Media

It’s a definite. Fat is the new thin. Remember when you parents told you to finish the food on your plate because of all the starving people in China? Times have changed. One sign of its extent is the new World Health Organization warning of a new scourge stalking the world — the scourge of obesity. “Once considered a problem only in high income countries, overweight and obesity are now dramatically on the rise in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings.”

Once the narrative consisted of blaming Americans for gorging themselves on the world’s resources. Unfortunately, as the New York Times sources are forced to admit, the fattest people on the North American continent are now the Mexicans. This posed serious problems for the writer, who gamely tries to emphasize the exceptionalism of American greed by casting it as the sinister number two. “As you can see, in rates of overweight and obese residents, the United States is second to only one industrialized country: Mexico.”

But fats are facts. Pancho Villa has now become Paunchy Villa. There’s been an outbreak of rising standards of living the world over. Even the WHO’s poster boys have changed. It now tells the heartbreaking story of childhood obesity in Africa. So it’s eat your argula kids, just remember the fat children in Africa.

None of this is to say that the world’s problems have ended. But it does make undeniable the fact that the character of the world’s problems have changed. Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker tries to explain another puzzling aspect of the last 70 years: the Long Peace.

For the rest of the article

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Romney and the MSM


Republicans should rejoice. When it comes to understanding the threat of the media, in a news-making interview with our own Larry O'Connor yesterday, Governor Mitt Romney proved he is no John McCain.
Whether the story is true or not, I don't know, but sometime during the 2008 election, someone told me that our candidate, John McCain, said something to the effect of, "All these relationships I've made in the media are really going to pay off now."
And we all saw how that worked out.
A media desperate to see elected President a man with no record, no executive experience, and more shady characters in his past than can fit under a bus, put all their thumbs on the scale and eviscerated McCain and most especially his running mate, Governor Sarah Palin.
Using phony fact-checkers, they killed any narrative that might hurt Obama. Using lies, they turned the huge crowds Palin amassed into a negative. Using their power to control the narrative, they turned Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, and Father Pfleger into smaller stories than those about Palin's children and the books she never wanted banned.
McCain, who had been beloved as a media-approved Republican while giving George W. Bush a hard time, was caught completely off guard and flat-footed. Suddenly his media pals turned his maverick quality into damning narrative about how erratic and unstable the Senator was. And after he stepped into their narrative with the suspension of his campaign, they finished him off.
I've been watching all of the GOP candidates closely this year, and the top quality I've been looking for is someone who understands the political threat Obama's Media Palace Guards represent and who has the wherewithal and stomach for the coming fight against them. Anyone can beat President FailureTeleprompter. It's getting to him through the media that's going to be brutal, and thus far I'm encouraged by what I'm seeing from our likely nominee, Mitt Romney.
Yesterday's Breitbart.com interview not only made clear that Romney completely understands how corrupt the media is, but also that he's not afraid to point to them and call them by name. It's one thing to know who your enemy is, it's quite another to let them know you know. And I'm not the only one to see these remarks as something deeper than rhetoric to please the base. At Hot Air, Tina Korbe writes:
It didn’t sound like a gimmick, though. It sounded as though a single week with the media in general election mode has sobered Mitt Romney into the recognition that the MSM really will do what it can to forward Barack Obama’s reelection effort and thwart Romney’s effort to unseat him.
Indeed. Between the Romney campaign's handling of the Obama-led attack on Ann Romney, their quick moves yesterday to capitalize and help push into the media the "Obama ate a dog" Twitter meme, ads like this one, and a willingness to say on the record that the left-wing media will hit him at every turn -- I'm feeling good about our presumptive nominee.
Romney's hit the ground running, seems to understand the lay of the land, and knows just who is political enemies are -- declared and undeclared. He's also polling much better than the media would've let us think possible.
I've always liked our chances, but I'm feeling better by the day.

Mosaic That Is Obama

Subj: A mosaic of facts: OBAMA, ISLAM, COMMUNISM
The Obama Communist Jigsaw puzzle

By Marshall Frank on February 7, 2012 in Politics & Government, Radical
I’ve made it no secret. I believe Barack Obama is a colossal fraud and that
his true mission leading up to, and during his reign as president, is far more sinister than most people are willing to believe.
Arguing about the legitimacy of Barack Obama always gets mired in minutia— single issues – because people don’t stand back and look at the big picture. We argue Reverend Wright, or Bill Ayres, or socialism or the
suspicious birth certificate, and so on. The left accuses the right of dirty
politics. The right accuses the left of protecting a non-patriot.
To understand the real person behind that endearing facade is to know every segment of his life and look at him in a mosaic. Mosaic art is made of many tiles fitted together. Each tile has shapes and colors but no form. It’s those formless tiles that we waste time arguing about because none of them show the big picture. But in order to know the truth we must see all the tiles in place, for then they are no longer just shapes and colors, they show the entire mural of who and what Barack Obama really is.
So let’s start with one tile after another and put them together like a jigsaw puzzle.
1) Obama’s mother had an affair with and married an African-Kenyan, a
2) There is also plethora of literature to suggest that Obama’s father was a
committed communist at the time he and Obama’s mother were involved in
their relationship.
3) Obama’s mother divorced his father, and then remarried to another man
who was also a Muslim and citizen of Indonesia.
4) Barack Obama lived mostly in environments dominated by Islam until he
was ten years old.
5) Obama’s religion was listed in his Indonesian school as “Islam.” With an
Islamic father and stepfather, and registered as an Islamic, it is reasonable
to assume he was subjected to Islamic indoctrination and teachings.
6) He went by the name Barry Soetoro during the years he was adopted by
his stepfather.
7) After age ten, his mother left the stepfather and Barry Soetoro returned
to Hawaii where he was cared for by his maternal grandparents.
8)Obama’s grandparents were known to have strong political/socialist leanings
9) Obama’s close mentor during his high school years was Frank Marshall
Davis, an ardent member of the CPUSA (Communist Party)
10) Obama’s roommates during his first two years at Occidental College,
California, were Muslims from Pakistan.
11) In 1981, Obama traveled with his Muslim friends to Pakistan on
vacation, when Pakistan was in political turmoil and most American visas
were not accepted. (This was in addition to a leg of his journey to see his
mother in Indonesia) This leaves open the yet unanswered question of what
passport he traveled with. (Unlikely it was American)
12) I have found no evidence that Barack Obama ever legally changed his
name back from Barry Soetoro
13) There is no evidence that Barry Soetoro, AKA Barack Obama, changed
his citizenship back from Indonesia to the United States or that he traveled
and/or entered college with an American passport and/or I.D.
14) Following Occidental College, he enrolled in Columbia University and
later Harvard. To this day, Obama does not explain why he — this
“transparent” president — refuses to release any college/university records
regarding his registration, finances, passports, birth records, school papers,
writings, grades — nothing.
15) Despite many Columbia U. enrollees interviewed from that period, same
major (political science), including George Stephanopolous, no one
remembers Obama on campus or in class.
16) The former president of Manhattan Borough, Percy Sutton, a prominent
attorney, (now deceased) revealed in 2008 that in the 1980′s, Obama was
being supported and promoted by notorious radical Muslim cleric Dr. Khalid
Al-Mansour who acted as an in-between for a wealthy Saudi named Al
Waleed Bin Talal. The Saudi was interested in helping Obama get into
Harvard. Sutton wrote a letter at the Al-Mansour’s request to help the Saudi,
Bin Talal, get Obama into Harvard.
17) Raised by atheists and Muslims, never a Christian, Obama strangely
becomes a Christian and joins the Trinity Christian Church headed by anti-
American, Marxist, racist, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, in 1988. Obama not only
attended this church for 20 years, he was deeply involved in its activities.
Note: Being labeled as a “Christian” strongly helps achieving political power,
certainly more than atheist or Muslim.
18) 1992, Wright presided over the marriage of Barack and Michelle Obama. However, there is no record that can be found of a prior relationship Obama had with any other women, until Michelle. No past girl friends.
19) Obama becomes deeply involved in Chicago politics, primarily mustering blacks to register to vote.
20) In 1991, Obama graduated law school and began writing his biography,
“Dreams Of My Father”, an autobiography which is published in 1995. But
why? Curiously, he’s a young man who has yet to accomplish much of
anything significant, but he writes and publishes an autobiography?
21) Obama was instrumental in assisting the Jew-hating leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrahkan, in formulating the Million-Man March on
Washington in 1995.
22) With very little, or no experience as a practicing attorney, Obama
decides to run for state senate. He is hand-picked by then state senator,
Alice Palmer, D – Ill., to succeed her as she runs for the U.S. congress.
Palmer wrote for the Communist Party newspaper, “People’s Daily World”
and had appeared in the Soviet Union to attend the 27th congress of the
Communist Party in 1986.
23) 1995, Obama’s political career for the Illinois State Senate was launched by communist advocate Alice Palmer at the home of William Ayres and Bernadine Dorn, known anti-American Marxists/Activists, and past terrorists. Obama also shares a table and worked closely with terrorist Ayres on the board of directors of the Woods Foundation
24) During his seven-year tenure as a state senator, Obama voted “Present” 129 times, thereby avoiding a left/right stand on selected issues.
25) Obama developed a close relationship with radical Islamic professor,
Palestinian, Rashid Khalidi, who he associated with at the U. Of Chicago. In 2000, Khalidi held a fund raiser for Obama during his failed bid for the U.S. Congress.
26) Obama runs for and wins U.S. Senate seat in 2004. Almost immediately, he hits the ground running for president.
27) During the campaign, Obama is endorsed by many radical organizations,
including the American Communist Party, while Palestinians in the Middle-
East form phone banks to raise money for his election. Gaddafi refers to
Obama as a Muslim.
28) Obama’s half brother Obongo “Roy” Obama is a Luo activist, militant
Muslim and Marxist.
29) Obama’s Kenyan cousin, Odinga, whom Obama later supported in his
quest for political power, is an avowed Marxist and militant Islamist
dedicated toward establishing Sharia (Islamist) courts in Kenya.
30) After his election, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit says
that Obama privately told him in confidence, “I am a Muslim.” (As reported
in Israel Today, May 2010)
31) During his first trip as president to the Middle East, Obama speaks
passionately to the Egyptian assembly, lauding his early life in a Muslim
land….claiming that Islam has always been a great part of the American
experience. (?)
32) During an interview on TV, Obama misspeaks: “John McCain has not
made an issue of my Muslim faith.” To which George Stephanopolous
corrects him, “You mean, your Christian faith.” (How many of us have made
such a slip?)
33) Obama has hired one at least one devoted communist to be a part of his Czar team, Van Jones, who has since resigned. Many others are
questionable. His 38 czars are not vetted by congress and supercede many
of the functions normally within the purview of cabinet posts.
34) Obama has employed devout Muslims with connections to the Muslim
Brotherhood in his White House staff and within the Department of
Homeland Security. These people have access to the inner workings of our
government and the highest of classified information. The top aide to
Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is a devout Islamic woman with family
connections to the Muslim Brotherhood and Sisterhood.
35) Obama ( and Eric Holder) do not permit the mentioning of Islam in any
references to terrorism. Mentioning Islam in terrorist training for federal
officers, is banned. The military’s Fort Hood massacre report — where 41
people were shot — does not mention Islam, or terror, or the Muslim
shooter, Nidal Hassan, anywhere in the report, despite the obvious
motivations. Eric Holder, when questioned in congress, will not acknowledge the existence of Islamic terrorism. Janet Napolitano is under orders to avoid the use of terms like “war on terror” or “Islamic terrorism” and instead, call it “Man-Caused Disasters”
36) Every act/decision of Barack Obama before and during the so-called
Arab Spring has been to the advantage and support of the notorious Muslim Brotherhood, including the removal of Mubarak of Egypt, Gadaffi of Libya, the leader of Tunisia and now the effort toward removing Assad of Syria. In all these places, the Muslim Brotherhood is now rising to power.
Interestingly enough, Obama did not call for regime change in Iran when
their citizens took to the streets to demonstrate in 2009 and 2011.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s formative documents, and their many secret
manifestos recovered by law enforcement agencies since, show —
unambiguously — that their goals are to spread Islamic caliphates, and
Sharia law, across the western world, to conquer from within, using
deception and infiltration. This is a known fact to those who endeavor to pay attention.
Get the picture?
These are but the highlights, to keep it short. A more detailed list of horrors regarding Barack Obama could be found in any number of books, including:
1. The Manchurian President, by Aaron Klein
2. Radical-in-Chief, by Stanley Kurtz
3. Muslim Mafia, by P. David Gaubatz
4. Culture Of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin
These books are crammed with researched and documented facts, not offhand right-wing opinions as some might claim. See for yourself.
In this article, I chose to omit any references to Obama’s legitimacy for
holding the office of president in order to avoid distractions from the focus of this mosaic. There remains cause for many doubts in that areas as well, not limited to just the birth certificate.
The focus of this mosaic is simple: Obama’s highest of priorities are tied to a surreptitious socialist/communist revolution and his strong leanings toward Islamist causes, and perhaps, he is a non-acknowledging Muslim himself.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lost Boy Found Family

From Technology Review

This story is more than finding one's parents, it's about technology.

Below is the last paragraph of the ariticle:

But I keep coming back to that line about what it felt like to search for his village from the skies, over his computer: “It was just like being Superman.” Who hasn’t felt that the things we are capable of, in our hyper-technological age, are akin to super powers?

Lane Furniture--The Internet

We had a broken recliner. My wife wanted to trash it, but I wanted to try and repair it.

Lane Furniture is the maker of the recliner. To get to what I think was the correct part, I needed a model number. But there was no model number to be found.

I emailed Lane Furniture and told them I had no model number, but I sent them a picture of the chair. Immediately I got a response from Lane on what model my chair was along with the part numbers that Lane figured I would need.

But one more thing: Lane mailed me the parts, paying both for the parts and the shipping. No cost to me. The chair is 9 years old, so no question it was out of warranty.

That is what I call excellent customer service. I won't forget what they did for me. And if it wasn't for the internet, I'm sure I would not have bothered.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Rosling--Best Statistics You've Seen

This is Hans Rosling, a Swedish medical doctor and statistician speaking at a TED conference. He also co-founded the company that developed the software that converts international statistics into moving graphics.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Bad Faith President

April 13, 2012
The Bad Faith President
By Mike Johnson

Say what you might about Jimmy Carter and the inept presidency, but at least Jimmy was acting in good faith.

President Obama is the personification of bad faith.

"[N]o president ever before has lied as frequently, as flagrantly or as foolishly as has Barack Obama" (Jack Kelly in Real Clear Politics). "[T]he president is coming across more and more as a trimmer, as an operator who's not operating in good faith" (Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal). "President Obama is too busy spewing falsehoods to support his ideological agenda than [sic] to take account of the facts" (Larry Kudlow in Real Clear Politics). These essayists are neither lightweights nor ideologically rigid right-wingers. Ms. Noonan was a recent supporter of Obama.

As citizens, we owe the office of the president respect and support, regardless of our individual feelings for the occupant of the office. In return, the occupant of the office of the president owes us a good-faith custodianship -- a custodianship that we are being denied by President Obama. Let us explore Obama's bad faith in three areas: energy policy and the economy, national defense and foreign policy, and personal freedom and liberty.

Energy Policy and the Economy

Obama is campaigning on the energy slogan of "all of the above" in bad faith. See his website (ignore that "Donate" tab). The funny thing about Obama's "all of the above" is the limited definition of the word "all." Shades of what the meaning of is is.

"All" does not include coal.

Obama is campaigning on reducing the cost of gasoline and creating more jobs. At the same time, he is putting virtually an entire industry out of business with an EPA regulation that limits the emissions from coal-fired plants to economically unachievable low levels.

When challenged on this dichotomy, thin-skinned Obama gets all huffy and claims that everybody should have known that this was coming. There is truth to this. In a 4 November 2008 article in Real Clear Politics, Jack Kelly quoted Obama from a San Francisco Chronicle interview:
What I've said is we would put a cap and trade policy in place that is as aggressive if not more aggressive than anyone out there, so if someone wants to build a coal-fired plant, they can. It's just that it will bankrupt them because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted.

At about the same time, now-Energy Secretary Chu was proposing increasing gasoline prices to European levels. With the campaign in full swing, both Obama and Chu are now advocating lower gasoline costs, something Obama prefers to call "flexibility" as opposed to being a flip-flopping panderer of bad faith.
Just for the record, Obama is forever telling us that the U.S. has but two percent of the world's proven oil reserves. He never tells us that if we were to include the known reserves of shale oil in the western U.S., we would have about 70% of the world's reserves. That oil is there, and it is economically recoverable, but it is not counted because of government dithering.

"All of the above" does not include our shale oil, it does not include the Keystone pipeline, it does not include ANWR, and it does not include granting leases and licenses for offshore drilling. But, as Charles Krauthammer delights in telling us, it does include algae!

National Defense and Foreign Policy

Oh, those pesky open microphones.
Obama has an open mic track record. Remember when Obama said American voters "get bitter, they cling to guns or religion"?

Obama got caught again recently. The conversation, extracted from a 27 March article in the New York Times, between President Obama and Dmitry Medvedev of Russia is shown below:
[Obama] On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it's important for him [Putin] to give me space.
[Medvedev] Yeah, I understand, I understand your message about space. Space for you.
[Obama] This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
[Medvedev] I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.
How do you take this? Me, I think Obama is saying that he needs to deal with the American people in bad faith until after the election, when Obama can show his true pro-Russian position. Krauthammer has a similar outlook:

You don't often hear an American president secretly (he thinks) assuring foreign leaders that concessions are coming their way, but they must wait because he's seeking re-election and he dare not tell his own people.

Here's another open microphone -- this one capturing Obama and Sarkozy. The quotation is from the Guardian of 8 November 2011:
"I cannot stand him [Netanyahu]. He's a liar," Sarkozy told Obama. The US president responded by saying: "You're fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day."
Of course, that's not what's said in public. The following quote is from the Right Perspective for 5 March 2012:
"The bond between our two countries is unbreakable," Obama told Netanyahu during a White House press conference in the Oval Office. "The United States will always have Israel's back when it comes to Israel's security."
Sure, but it now appears that the U.S. has leaked information (although Israel denies it) about Israeli plans in an effort to dissuade Israel from attacking Iran.
Actions speak louder than words. Have I mentioned bad faith recently?

Personal Freedom and Liberty

Barack Obama believes the Constitution to be flawed (see postings by Michelle Malkin here and by Newsmax here). He sees the Constitution as a "charter of negative liberties." He would rather it state what the "government must do on your behalf" -- e.g., "bring about redistributive change." I always thought the genius of the Constitution lay in its limitation of governmental powers, but what do I know?

I'm just a dumb rocket scientist, not a Professor of Constitutional Law.

Since the Constitution is not to his liking, Obama believes he, as president, can manipulate it with immunity. Consider the recent ObamaCare regulation issued by Kathleen Sebelius, the Oz-like witch from Kansas. Insurers must provide coverage for contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients at no cost to the insured. Free stuff -- the promise of the demagogue.

The Wizard Obama, from behind his green curtain and in his normal bad faith, framed the issue as contraception. A brilliant political ploy -- so simple and non-controversial when so framed. He is now morphing the issue to a full-blown Republican War on Women.

The issue is not as simple when appropriately framed as religious liberty. The use of contraception, sterilization, or abortifacients is directly contrary to Catholic Church teachings. It is inevitable that there will be the occasional conflict between religious beliefs and existing law. It has been customary to define religious conscience exemptions in such cases.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan is the archbishop of New York and the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. This past November, he was invited to Washington by President Obama to discuss the ObamaCare mandate on contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients. James Taranto describes the meeting in a 31 March WSJ piece. The archbishop summarized his understanding of Obama's position as respecting the works of the Church by not planning to "impede that work" and being very serious on the "protection of the rights of conscience."

By the end of January, Archbishop Dolan knew that Obama had been dealing in bad faith. The "protection of the rights of conscience" given by the Wizard and his witch was so narrow as to be meaningless. The archbishop felt betrayed.

Many people, including me, think of the Catholic Church in terms of catechism, pomp, and dogma. Too seldom do we think of the Church as a force for good: the schools, hospitals, adoption agencies, and charitable ministries, to say nothing of the Catholic Charities. As Cardinal Dolan says in his 2 March letter to the bishops, "the Church is the largest private provider of health care for women and their babies in the country." All of this good work is threatened by the ObamaCare contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients mandate.


These three examples, all current high-visibility issues with no need for cherry-picking, provide fearsome insights into the future of America. In each, we see a president acting in bad faith, spinning, dissembling, even lying. In each example, we see an Obama who promises what the American people want to hear, but he has no intent to deliver.

In each example, his true intent is to indeed fundamentally change America. In energy his intent is to destroy jobs, an industry, and a large section of the country. In foreign policy, his intent is to realign the U.S. with our enemies while abandoning our friends. In freedom and liberty, his intent is to make the office of the president supreme using unconstrained powers of compulsion.

Be afraid; be very afraid. Half of the American voters can be bought with free stuff or fooled with bad -faith glibness or guilt-tripped with phony political correctness. Thank God for the Electoral College.
Please vote Obama out of office.

Mike Johnson is a concerned citizen, a small government conservative, and a live-free-or-die resident of New Hampshire. E-mail mnosnhoj@comcast.net.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Perhaps The World's Greatest Invention

The Alchemy of Air

A machine is responsible for half of the nitrogen in my body. It's man made. How can such an important story not be revealed earlier to me. I highly recommend "The Alchemy of Air, by Thomas Hagar.

Football--A Waste Of Time

I've often thought football viewing as a huge waste of time. Talk about the law of diminishing returns--If I've seen one run off tackle, I've seen a million. Not much difference, sometimes the runner makes a few yards, sometimes not. If the telecast was created without the ubiquitous white noise of the crowd, no one would watch. The assumption being that if 50,000 people find it of value, who am I to disagree?

Here's an article from the Wall Street Journal titled "11 Minutes of Action". That's right, after watching 3.5 hours of football, from the snap of a football to the play ending consumes < a whopping 11 minutes of action.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

After Keystone

…Obama could have approved the pipeline, added 30,000 jobs to the economy, and insured the most secure oil source for our future. Instead, he chose to kill the pipeline and the jobs and, in the process, insured that America will pay more for the oil it does buy. It’s hard to imagine a worse decision, especially since it was all so Obama could deny Republicans a win in the run-up to the next election.

Whole article

WSJ-Exploitation of Trayvon Martin


Two tragedies are apparent in the Trayvon Martin case. The first is obvious: A teenager—unarmed and committing no crime—was shot dead. Dressed in a "hoodie," a costume of menace, he crossed paths with a man on the hunt for precisely such clichés of menace. Added to this—and here is the rub—was the fact of his dark skin.

Maybe it was more the hood than the dark skin, but who could argue that the skin did not enhance the menace of the hood at night and in the eyes of someone watching for crime. (Fifty-five percent of all federal prisoners are black though we are only 12% of the population.) Would Trayvon be alive today had he been walking home—Skittles and ice tea in hand—wearing a polo shirt with an alligator logo? Possibly. And does this make the ugly point that dark skin late at night needs to have its menace softened by some show of Waspy Americana? Possibly.

What is fundamentally tragic here is that these two young males first encountered each other as provocations. Males are males, and threat often evokes a narcissistic anger that skips right past reason and into a will to annihilate: "I will take you out!" There was a terrible fight. Trayvon apparently got the drop on George Zimmerman, but ultimately the man with the gun prevailed. Annihilation was achieved.

If this was all there was to it, the Trayvon/Zimmerman story would be no more than a cautionary tale, yet another admonition against the hair-trigger male ego. But this story brought reaction from the White House: "If I had a son he would look like Trayvon," said the president. The Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, ubiquitous icons of black protest, virtually battled each other to stand at the bereaved family's side—Mr. Jackson, in a moment of inadvertent honesty, saying, "There is power in blood . . . we must turn a moment into a movement." And then there was the spectacle of black Democrats in Congress holding hearings on racial profiling with Trayvon's parents featured as celebrities.

In fact Trayvon's sad fate clearly sent a quiver of perverse happiness all across America's civil rights establishment, and throughout the mainstream media as well. His death was vindication of the "poetic truth" that these establishments live by. Poetic truth is like poetic license where one breaks grammatical rules for effect. Better to break the rule than lose the effect. Poetic truth lies just a little; it bends the actual truth in order to highlight what it believes is a larger and more important truth.

The civil rights community and the liberal media live by the poetic truth that America is still a reflexively racist society, and that this remains the great barrier to black equality. But this "truth" has a lot of lie in it. America has greatly evolved since the 1960s. There are no longer any respectable advocates of racial segregation. And blacks today are nine times more likely to be killed by other blacks than by whites.

Enlarge Image

Zuma Press
If Trayvon Martin was a victim of white racism (hard to conceive since the shooter is apparently Hispanic), his murder would be an anomaly, not a commonplace. It would be a bizarre exception to the way so many young black males are murdered today. If there must be a generalization in all this—a call "to turn the moment into a movement"—it would have to be a movement against blacks who kill other blacks. The absurdity of Messrs. Jackson and Sharpton is that they want to make a movement out of an anomaly. Black teenagers today are afraid of other black teenagers, not whites.

So the idea that Trayvon Martin is today's Emmett Till, as the Rev. Jackson has said, suggests nothing less than a stubborn nostalgia for America's racist past. In that bygone era civil rights leaders and white liberals stood on the highest moral ground. They literally knew themselves—given their genuine longing to see racism overcome—as historically transformative people. If the world resisted them, as it surely did, it only made them larger than life.

It was a time when standing on the side of the good required true selflessness and so it ennobled people. And this chance to ennoble oneself through a courageous moral stand is what so many blacks and white liberals miss today—now that white racism is such a defeated idea. There is a nostalgia for that time when posture alone ennobled. So today even the hint of old-fashioned raw racism excites with its potential for ennoblement.

For the Revs. Jackson and Sharpton, for the increasingly redundant civil rights establishment, for liberal blacks and the broader American left, the poetic truth that white racism is somehow the real culprit in this tragedy is redemption itself. The reason Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have become such disreputable figures on our cultural landscape is that they are such quick purveyors of poetic truth rather than literal truth.

The great trick of poetic truth is to pass itself off as the deep and essential truth so that hard facts that refute it must be dismissed in the name of truth. O.J. Simpson was innocent by the poetic truth that the justice system is stacked against blacks. Trayvon was a victim of racist stereotyping—though the shooter never mentioned his race until asked to do so.

There is now a long litany of racial dust-ups—from Tawana Brawley to the Duke University lacrosse players to the white Cambridge police officer who arrested Harvard professor Skip Gates a summer ago—in which the poetic truth of white racism and black victimization is invoked so that the actual truth becomes dismissible as yet more racism.

When the Cambridge cop or the Duke lacrosse players or the men accused of raping Tawana Brawley tried to defend themselves, they were already so stained by poetic truth as to never be entirely redeemed. No matter the facts—whether Trayvon Martin was his victim or his assailant—George Zimmerman will also never be entirely redeemed.

And this points to the second tragedy that Trayvon's sad demise highlights. Before the 1960s the black American identity (though no one ever used the word) was based on our common humanity, on the idea that race was always an artificial and exploitive division between people. After the '60s—in a society guilty for its long abuse of us—we took our historical victimization as the central theme of our group identity. We could not have made a worse mistake.

It has given us a generation of ambulance-chasing leaders, and the illusion that our greatest power lies in the manipulation of white guilt. The tragedy surrounding Trayvon's death is not in the possibility that it might have something to do with white racism; the tragedy is in the lustfulness with which so many black leaders, in conjunction with the media, have leapt to exploit his demise for their own power.

Mr. Steele is a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. Among his books is "White Guilt" (Harper/Collins, 2007).

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Obama: Affirmative Action President

Obama: The Affirmative Action President

by Matt Patterson

Years from now, historians may regard the 2008 election of Barack Obama as
an inscrutable and disturbing phenomenon, a baffling breed of mass hysteria
akin perhaps to the witch craze of the Middle Ages. How, they will wonder,
did a man so devoid of professional accomplishment beguile so many into
thinking he could manage the world's largest economy, direct the world's
most powerful military, execute the world's most consequential job?

Imagine a future historian examining Obama's pre-presidential life: ushered
into and through the Ivy League despite unremarkable grades and test scores
along the way; a cushy non-job as a "community organizer"; a brief career
as a state legislator devoid of legislative achievement (and in fact nearly
devoid of his attention, so often did he vote "present") ; and finally an
unaccomplished single term in the United States Senate, the entirety of
which was devoted to his presidential ambitions. He left no academic legacy
in academia, authored no signature legislation as a legislator.

And then there is the matter of his troubling associations: the
white-hating, America-loathing preacher who for decades served as Obama's
"spiritual mentor"; a real-life, actual terrorist who served as Obama's
colleague and political sponsor. It is easy to imagine a future historian
looking at it all and asking: how on Earth was such a man elected

Not content to wait for history, the incomparable Norman Podhoretz
addressed the question recently in the Wall Street Journal:

To be sure, no white candidate who had close associations with an outspoken
hater of America like Jeremiah Wright and an unrepentant terrorist like
Bill Ayers, would have lasted a single day. But because Mr. Obama was
black, and therefore entitled in the eyes of liberaldom to have hung out
with protesters against various American injustices, even if they were a
bit extreme, he was given a pass.

Let that sink in: Obama was given a pass -- held to a lower standard --
because of the color of his skin. Podhoretz continues:

And in any case, what did such ancient history matter when he was also so
articulate and elegant and (as he himself had said) "non-threatening," all
of which gave him a fighting chance to become the first black president and
thereby to lay the curse of racism to rest?

Podhoretz puts his finger, I think, on the animating pulse of the Obama
phenomenon -- affirmative action. Not in the legal sense, of course. But
certainly in the motivating sentiment behind all affirmative action laws
and regulations, which are designed primarily to make white people, and
especially white liberals, feel good about themselves.

Unfortunately, minorities often suffer so that whites can pat themselves on
the back. Liberals routinely admit minorities to schools for which they are
not qualified, yet take no responsibility for the inevitable poor
performance and high drop-out rates which follow. Liberals don't care if
these minority students fail; liberals aren't around to witness the
emotional devastation and deflated self esteem resulting from the racist
policy that is affirmative action. Yes, racist.

Holding someone to a separate standard merely because of the color of his
skin -- that's affirmative action in a nutshell, and if that isn't racism,
then nothing is. And that is what America did to Obama.

True, Obama himself was never troubled by his lack of achievements, but why
would he be? As many have noted, Obama was told he was good enough for
Columbia despite undistinguished grades at Occidental; he was told he was
good enough for the US Senate despite a mediocre record in Illinois ; he was
told he was good enough to be president despite no record at all in the
Senate. All his life, every step of the way, Obama was told he was good
enough for the next step, in spite of ample evidence to the contrary. What
could this breed if not the sort of empty narcissism on display every time
Obama speaks?

In 2008, many who agreed that he lacked executive qualifications
nonetheless raved about Obama's oratory skills, intellect, and cool
character. Those people -- conservatives included -- ought now to be deeply
embarrassed. The man thinks and speaks in the hoariest of clichés, and
that's when he has his teleprompter in front of him; when the prompter is
absent he can barely think or speak at all.***Not one original idea has
ever issued from his mouth -- it's all warmed-over Marxism of the kind that
has failed over and over again for 100 years.*

And what about his character? Obama is constantly blaming anything and
everything else for his troubles. Bush did it; it was bad luck; I inherited
this mess. It is embarrassing to see a president so willing to advertise
his own powerlessness, so comfortable with his own incompetence. But
really, what were we to expect? The man has never been responsible for
anything, so how do we expect him to act responsibly?

In short: our president is a small and small-minded man, with neither the
temperament nor the intellect to handle his job. *When you understand that,
and only when you understand that, will the current erosion of liberty and
prosperity make sense. It could not have gone otherwise with such a man in
the Oval Office.*

Disinterest in Black Shooting Victims

While Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson were continuing to stir up racial animosity in Sanford Florida, one of the worst mass shootings in Florida history was taking place in Miami. Last Friday, 14 people were shot and two men were killed during a funeral for 21-year-old Morvin Andre. A 5-year-old girl was wounded in the exchange as well. Why no outrage or calls for massive demonstrations? Because the shooters were allegedly black gang members attending the funeral. In other words, there’s nothing that can be politically exploited here by those willing to ignore the harsh reality that, in the overwhelming majority of cases, black Americans are being victimized by other black Americans.

For whole article