Saturday, February 14, 2009
Blast From the Past is a personal favorite because (a) Brendan Fraser's character is home-schooled, and (b) Christopher Walken as the father hates commies the way commies should be hated. As for Metropolitan, I dig Whit Stillman but prefer The Last Days of Disco.
A couple of films I'd add to the list: The original Terminator -- a powerful pro-life message, since the whole point is that John Connor must be born -- and Fatal Attraction, which has got to be the best argument against adultery ever filmed.
The Obama flirtation only confirms a significant element which hasn't come of intellectual, or political age. (Intellectually so, unless you value thought purely for its own pursuit and not for some effective, ultimate result.) - otherwise defined as mental masturbation by us realistic folk. . . .Dan is appealing to Burke's "men of untaught feelings," and expressing in great measure what I was trying to say in the immediate aftermath of the election: Don't Overthink It. Nominating a short, bald, grumpy, 73-year-old RINO was not a smart political move. Let's don't do that again. The Democrats just rammed through an unpopular $789 billion pork package with zero GOP votes in the House and only 3 RINOs in the Senate. Let's make the Dems regret that.
[S]top thinking so damned much. America is about doing (instinctively) that which is right, not over-thinking something so well thought out over two hundred years ago.
The KISS Principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
-- Ron Chusid
Now, which of these policies am I accused of endorsing? I was 14 when Nixon resigned from office and, in point of fact, was raised a Democrat. So I can't be blamed for price controls, which I do not advocate.
Exactly what the Cheney Energy Task Force did to deserve Chusid's demonization, I don't know; I presume Chusid is merely channeling the Left's stereotype of Cheney as an evil Svengali who manipulated world events for eight years in collusion with Halliburton and the Bavarian Illuminati. At any rate, Cheney never consulted my opinion in the matter of U.S energy policy. If he had, my advice would have been to drill everywhere, especially off the Pacific coast within sight of Barbara Streisand's Malibu mansion.
That brings us to the K Street Project. Its origin is well-known: Tom DeLay observed in the late 1990s that Washington lobbying firms were dominated by Democrats. Even after the GOP took charge of Congress in 1995, former Republican members of Congress and their aides were outnumbered 2-to-1 or 3-to-1 in the ranks of top DC lobbyng firms -- and when those firms made political contributions, a similar disproportion was apparent. So DeLay brought pressure to bear to rectify what he saw as an unfair practice. End of story, unless you want to conflate this with corrupt influence-peddling, which is a glass house inside of which no wise congressional Democrat would dare throw a stone.
"The Bush deficit" -- Liberals spent the entire eight years of the Bush administration screaming that the budget for this or that pet liberal cause had been, or was about to be, "slashed." They also whined constantly that No Child Left Behind (a policy I adamantly opposed, BTW) was "underfunded." So while they endlessly complain that Republicans don't spend enough money, liberals then blame Republicans for deficits. Sic semper hoc.
Chusid's "about" page envisions a point at which "Republicans break free of their control by the religious right and neoconservatives." I'll let the neocons defend themselves, but what harm exactly has the "religious right" done to deserve Chusid's contempt or hostility? Who does he have in mind by this term, "religious right"?
What Chusid wants, of course, is the political disempowerment of the only solid voting bloc the GOP can count on. What would he say if I dreamt of a day when "Democrats break free of their control by labor unions and the abortion lobby"? He'd laugh me to scorn, of course, since the AFL-CIO, SEIU and Emily's List are the Democratic Party.
It's an annihilationist vision (a bumper sticker slogan, Imagine No Republicans) and nothing more. Chusid's just conjuring up propaganda bogeys -- Nixon! Cheney! and Bush! Oh, my! -- rather than engaging in argument. Fine. When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way.
"To call it hastily arranged would be an understatement. The RNC only announced it on Monday, giving participants two days to RSVP and four to prepare presentations. At the same time, organizers made the uncharacteristic decision to open it to the public: Anyone could show up and speak."Yet another invitation I never got. How do they ever expect to fix their problems without asking me?
(Via Hot Air Headlines.)
As Valentine’s Day 2009 arrives, the desperate real-estate salesmen of Glengarry Glen Ross are an apt metaphor for the romantic plight of our age. Plenty of prospects out there -- there are some 24 million women ages 18-29 in the United States -- but guys can't seem to close the deal: 65 percent of those women have never married. The median age at first marriage for women, which was 20 in 1960, is now at an all-time high of 25.3, and spinsterhood is an increasingly common fate. Thirteen percent of women 40-44 have never married, reflecting about a one-third rise since 1980 in the likelihood of being an old maid, a percentage that can be expected to increase given the current low marriage rates for young women. . . .Please read the whole thing!
UPDATE: Via electronic communication, G2 provides this intelligence from the front lines of the War of the Sexes, as a lovelorn young hottie confides:
The concept of "wooing" a girl is, if not entirely unheard of, at least unpracticed among practically every man I know. Still, I think it's largely the woman's fault. I was having this conversation with a girlfriend yesterday, and I realized that the once-masculine role of putting a woman on a pedestal, sweeping her off her feet, etc. has been assumed by females. Nearly every girl I know in a relationship or pseudo-relationship has been the one doing the wooing. She usually idolizes the man - and worse than that, lets him know it.Things are getting desperate out there, you see.
UPDATE II: Another young lady writes:
Here's the real problem: men. Good luck to all the 18-to-29-year-old women out there trying to find a man who a) is not on drugs, b) is not in jail, c) is consistently employed and d) actually wants to get married and settle down someday. Apparently in this generation there are enough loose women that the men have realized they can get all the benefits of marriage without making the commitment. As the old adage goes, why work and buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? With that kind of a market, the cows who won't give away milk for free tend to have a tougher time.Yes, there does seem to be too much surplus milk on the market nowadays.
Still trying to think of a way to celebrate.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Orchard Park police are investigating a particularly gruesome killing, the beheading of a woman, after her husband -- an influential member of the local Muslim community -- reported her death to police Thursday.How's that working for you, Mr. Hassan?
Police identified the victim as Aasiya Z. Hassan, 37. Detectives have charged her husband, Muzzammil Hassan, 44, with second-degree murder. . . .
Muzzammil Hassan is the founder and chief executive officer of Bridges TV, which he launched in 2004, amid hopes that it would help portray Muslims in a more positive light.
Aaron in the graphics department: We'll need an appropriate logo. Classy, but vicious.
UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers! Acknowledgement is due to frequent commenter Smitty for creating the group.
UPDATE II: Of course, the Economic Destruction Act of 2009 was passed on . . . FRIDAY THE 13TH!
UPDATE III: Protectionist "Buy American" provision inspires Smoot-Hawley comparisons.
UPDATE IV: The disastrous effects are already being felt by . . . law professors? If you see Glenn Reynolds standing beside a freeway ramp with a crudely-lettered "Will Blog For Food" sign, blame Arlen Specter.
UPDATE V: Dr. Melissa Clouthier on "phallic issues." Everything is always "phallic issues" with her.
UPDATE VI: At the Facebook group (we've already got 272 members), one member wrote on the Wall that his father -- a Navy veteran whose ship was sunk at Pearl Harbor -- says what Congress just did was worse than the Japanese attack!
wireless and broadband deployment grant programsGood thing there's no time for those suckers to actually read what they're voting on!
(including transfer of funds to Robert Stacy McCain for the Robert Stacy McCain Personal Economic Stimulus Program)
For necessary and unnecessary expenses related to the Wireless and Broadband Deployment Grant Programs established by section 6002 of division B of this Act, $2,825,000,000, of which $1,000,000,000 shall be for Wireless Deployment Grants and $1,825,000,000 shall be for Broadband Deployment Grants: Provided, That an additional $1,000,000 shall be paid directly to Robert Stacy McCain in the form of subsidized loans that do not require repayment. Provided Further, That the funds be used by Robert Stacy McCain to It's for the children or for whatever. Provided Even Further, That Robert Stacy McCain will receive free University of Alabama Crimson Tide tickets for life. Provided Even Further Still, That Robert Stacy McCain shall be treated as a cabinet-level appointment for the purpose of income tax reporting, and therefore no taxes shall be paid on any of the aformentioned benefits. And one more thing: Rep. Maxine Waters is hereby expelled from Congress, effective immediately upon enactment.
"The Left has won the culture war, and, at least in the near-term, its victory is irreversible. In social relations, the right to choose trumps all other considerations: to fornicate, marry, breed, abort, divorce, and abandon. That a single mother with six kids should opt for another eight because she feels like it captures the distilled essence of the cultural moment that we have entered. Somehow ritual expressions of support for 'family values' don't quite provide an adequate response."James is onto something. The hysterical reactions of those who claim to see theocracy lurking around every corner can only be understood as the expression of inner psychodrama. What is it they really fear? What kind of emotional weakness manifests itself in these phobic fantasies of religious authoritarianism?
-- Andrew Bacevich
"From Joseph de Maistre to T.S. Eliot and beyond, right-wing cultural critics since the French Revolution have made the case for authority, along with what it ultimately requires -- namely, the suicide of the critical intellect."
-- Damon Linker
"Linker's response says more about his inability to make arguments without resorting to theocratic or authoritarian bogeymen than it does about Bacevich's essay."
-- James Antle
The problem with this concept was never really on the part of liberals, except insofar as they either (a) misunderstood libertarianism, or (b) simply lied about their openness to libertarian ideas. Confusion and deceit among liberals is a given. But the liberals always knew what they wanted from such a transaction: Elect more Democrats.
What did the libertarians want from the transaction? It is here that the ridiculous folly of the enterprise is found. Most of the Will Wilkinson types are intellectuals who are embarrassed by what Hunter S. Thompson called the "Rotarian" instincts of the Republican Party. That flag-waving God-mom-and-apple-pie stuff just doesn't light a fire under the American intellectual class, which is not now, nor has it ever been, enamored of religion, patriotism and "family values."
As a political impulse, the sort of libertarianism that scoffs at creationism and traditional marriage wields limited influence, because it appeals chiefly to a dissenting sect of the intelligentsia. It's a sort of free-market heresy of progressivism, with no significant popular following nor any real prospect of gaining one, because most Ordinary Americans who strongly believe in economic freedom are deeply traditionalist. And most anti-traditionalists -- the feminists, the gay militants, the "world peace" utopians -- are deeply committed to the statist economic vision of the Democratic Party.
There is no natural political constituency for the sort of libertarianism that considers marijuana legalization and the flat tax as equally estimable objectives. When it comes to the basic electoral calculus of 5o-percent-plus-one, this theoretical equation has never been shown to add up in terms of real-world coalition politics. (Maybe the stoners just forget to vote?)
During the "long boom" unleashed by the Reagan revolution, it was possible for libertarian intellectuals to believe that the arguments for economic freedom were now so blindingly vindicated that even their progressive peers must admit the obvious truth. All libertarians needed to do, they fancied, was to shed the unfashionable baggage of the GOP coalition -- the Falwells and Buchanans and Dobsons and other such lowbrows -- and the progressives would eagerly sign up for this new project: Free-market gay marriage! Free-market abortion! Free-market environmentalism! Free-market transhuman biotechnology!
If that idea ever made sense, it only made sense in a context of Republican political dominance. When the Democrats were putting up losers like Mike Dukakis and John Kerry, when Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay were crushing progressive dreams like so many ants underfoot, free-market intellectuals could attempt to inveigle their progressive friends: "Don't worry about those hayseed holy rollers, saber-rattling jingos and suburban Rotarians. They make a lot of noise, but they don't really call the shots. Look at your 401K balance. The market works."
Well, we passed the sell-by date of that argument somewhere between "Mission Accomplished" and "the fundamentals of our economy are strong." And all the libertarian intellectuals who've been sucking on the Koch tit over the past 25 years find that their progressive friends are as unpersuaded about the virtues of economic freedom as they ever were. Lending libertarian support to progressive causes -- the driving impetus of the gay-rights movement is egalitarian, not libertarian -- has strengthened progressivism, while doing nothing meaningful to advance the free-market cause.
With their Democratic friends now holding supreme power in Washington, progressives now openly celebrate Keynesian pump-priming and redistributionist economic schemes in a way they never would have done when Tom DeLay held the whip. Chuck Schumer can laugh that the American people don't care what's in the stimulus, and no one can effectively refute him.
At the apex of Republican power and at the zenith of the "long boom" ignited by Reaganomics, the "liberaltarian" impulse was a luxury that foundation-subsidized intellectuals could afford to indulge. The era of respectable intellectual luxury is now over, and serious people must now ponder the rude realities of coalition politics.
UPDATE: "Like the Higgs Boson, the liberaltarian is a phenomenon that hasn't yet been directly observed but that everybody hopes to find someday."
Adherents of the tax-cuts-only strategy are suspicious of free-spending Democrats, old-fashioned Keynesians, and big government. They believe -- no, they know --that tax cuts are more efficient than government spending, since people and businesses make better and quicker decisions about spending than government does. . . . The current, somewhat extraordinary circumstances, and the nation's changing economic geography, should make us wonder how effective tax cuts will be in stimulating new spending and investment.
Mr. Gross graduated from Cornell University in 1989, with degrees in government and history, and holds an A.M. in American history from Harvard University (1991). He worked as a reporter at The New Republic and Bloomberg News, and has contributed hundreds of features, news articles, book reviews and opinion pieces to over 60 magazines and newspapers. Areas of expertise include: economic and tax policy, the links between business and politics, the rise of the investor class, the culture of Wall Street, and business history. (Emphasis added.)
-- Philip Klein
In The Know: Are Reality Shows Setting Unrealistic Standards For Skanks?
Now, speaking of Richard Spencer and skanks, here is a podcast of Richard talking libertarianism with Austin Bramwell, and here is a photo of Richard at the Reason magazine 2007 Christmas party with . . .
Yes, it's her -- Michelle Lee Muccio! So now, everybody at HotAir.com is going hubba-hubba over Michelle, but Richard was that close to her, and let her get away. You try to help these young fellows, but there's only so much you can do.
UPDATE: Dave addresses the decadence of it all.
UPDATE II: Empty threats from Spencer, who claims I've "romantically linked" him with Ms. Muccio. No, I stated quite clearly that Spencer missed his chance. When I saw him talking to her at the Christmas party, I thought young Richard was moving in for the kill, but he evidently did the Nice Guy thing and let her escape.
Coffee is for closers, Richard.
The right has developed a visceral knee-jerk reaction to anything involving culture, and their "loyal opposition" stranglehold doesn’t seem to be loosening anytime soon. Bombs make jobs, but renovations and building projects and part-time jobs or anything else within a stones throw of a—gasp—opera house do not. This is government as violent adolescent child.Listen up, punk: I majored in drama and minored in art and managed to squeeze in two semesters of music theory along the way. Right now, I've got a day gig as a documentary film editor. I've got more culture in the tip of my pinkie than you've got in your entire swinish soul. So don't you tell me about my "knee-jerk reaction." Klein gives us a splendid insight into the central conceit of the liberal mind: Nothing exists -- or has existed, or ever will exist -- unless it's funded with federal taxpayer dollars. Therefore, to oppose federal funding for "the arts" is to be anti-art, just as opposing federal funding for public schools is to be anti-education. Such is the shriveled state of the liberal psyche that it never even occurs to these dimwits to let people keep their own money to spend on whatever they want. You want to renovate a theater? Go renovate a theater. But don't bring the IRS down on my back to force me to pay for your tastes in architecture. Is this what Russ Smith is paying you for, punk? To be a commissar for the People's Ministry of Kultur? And does he know that you're basically recycling the same kind of lame crap you wrote for your student paper at U of Michigan?
What hasn't been noticed is a distinct artistic apathy regarding politics, and though this is a more specific approach to a larger issue, in a university with as much opportunity for free expression as ours, it's just as relevant.OK, I wrote some lame crap in college, too. But when I was your age, punk, I was driving a forklift in a warehouse on Atlanta's Fulton Industrial Boulevard, saving up money to buy a P.A. rig for my rock band. So exactly what right do you have to lecture me about "culture"? I've put my own sweat into culture, pal. (One of my 16-year-old sons just interrupted me, walking in with his -- actually, my -- acoustic six-string to show me he's learned the guitar part to some song by Avenged Sevenfold.) Where was I? Oh, yes: Andrew Sargus Klein, 25-year-old kultur commisar, telling the rest of us what lowbrow philistines we are! Nice work, if you can get it. "The Vagina Monologues," indeed . . .
There are plenty of examples of this freedom, from Natural Resources and Environment students putting up installations on the Diag and in The Nichols Arboretum to performances of Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues" and Moises Kaufman's "The Laramie Project."
But with the possibility of a few exceptions, the above examples represent the extent to which our University's art scene pushes the political envelope. The fact remains that not everyone is (or should be) politically oriented, nor should everyone should be held to a standard of artistic expression. But students in our School of Art and Design and School of Music, Theater & Dance seem to keep a tight lid on any overt political leanings - at least, there's little to no political expression to be experienced by the campus as a whole.
The aforementioned Mr. Epstein, writing in an anti-immigration blog and quoted in a recent New York Times editorial, said: "Diversity can be good in moderation -- if what's brought in is desirable. Most Americans don't mind a little ethnic food, some Asian math whizzes or a few mariachi dancers -- as long as these trends do not overwhelm the dominant culture." . . .First, the New York Times, now the NY Daily News -- say what you will about the kid, but he's got all the right enemies.
Mr. Epstein, assimilate this: There’s no one American "dominant" culture. There never has been. Throughout history, American culture has evolved, and will continue to evolve, with the ebb and flow of immigration from different parts of the world.
It’s all a matter of time. Send in the mariachis.
The new American president has even become the centerpiece of the Canadian Black History Month, which until 1995 had been known as "February."There's more, and you should go read the whole thing. But now, it's time for the Official Theme Song:
Why do we have this? In 2002, the Parliament of Canada also transformed May into Asian Heritage Month. Both cases are somewhat inconsistent with the official Canadian cultural policy. Whereas the United States' "original sin" was African slavery, Canada chooses to hold a month-long celebration/dirge for the Aboriginal peoples. . . . Aboriginal history and questions of land claims, reservations, and self-government are regularly spot-lit in schools, the media, and politics. Yet, Aboriginal interest groups like RAPA are still lobbying the House of Commons to declare June the Aboriginal History Month, thus far only municipally successful in the prairie city of Regina. . . .
South Park - Blame Canada - The funniest bloopers are right here Hate Canada: Because It Ain't Illegal Yet!
PALO ALTO, CA - An international mathematics research team announced today that they had discovered a new integer that surpasses any previously known value "by a totally mindblowing s---load." Project director Yujin Xiao of Stanford University said the theoretical number, dubbed a "stimulus," could lead to breakthroughs in fields as diverse as astrophysics, quantum mechanics, and Chicago asphalt contracting. . . .Yeah, you should read the whole thing.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Never mind. It's such an emergency that they're going to vote to pass this damn thing Friday, before anyone can even begin to figure out where all that money's actually going. Philip Klein:
If they don't sleep, perhaps the American people will get a window of a few hours to learn what's happening with $789 billion of their money.Michelle Malkin:
Chuck Schumer says we don’t care. President Obama says we don’t need anymore debate.
Hey, Michelle Lee Muccio is kinda hot.
OK, just a little snark to lighten things up. (I saw her first, Allah; she sent me the video via Facebook.) But now, back to the total bummer: The Economic Destruction Act of 2009 doesn't need more debate. The Democrats are going to rape the taxpayers, Arlen Specter's Jellyfish Caucus is going to assist in the crime, and that's all there is to it.
President Obama today repeated the claim we asked about yesterday at the press briefing that Jim Owens, the CEO of Caterpillar, Inc., "said that if Congress passes our plan, this company will be able to rehire some of the folks who were just laid off."Ain't Hope wonderful?
Caterpillar announced 22,000 layoffs last month.
But after the president left the event, Owens said the exact opposite.
Asked if the stimulus package would be able to stop the 22,000 layoffs or not, Owens said, "I think realistically no. The truth is we're going to have more layoffs before we start hiring again"
UPDATE II: Conn Carroll of the Heritage Foundation says the actual pricetag of the Economic Destruction Act of 2009 will be $3.27 trillion. No matter how you calculate it, the amount going to me -- and I'm the only person I really care about -- is zero. And the amount going to you is exactly the same. So, that's two of us getting zero out of this transaction, buddy.
Somewhere out there are some people who are actually going to cash in big-time, and right now they're doing the happy dance. Look around you tomorrow, and if you see anybody looking especially happy, punch 'em in the nose. Call it "social justice."
UPDATE III: Jimmie at Sundries Shack:
Just know, as you're at work tomorrow, that the Democrats will be voting to spend about $800 billion dollars without having the foggiest idea what they'll be spending it all on. Oh, to be sure, they know how much money they'll spend on their little pet projects but that's it. They are taking on faith that throwing all that money at our economy is going to be good for us, even though they have no good idea where all the money is going to land.Oh, they know enough, Jimmie. Not a penny for me, not a nickel for you, not a dime for any actual hard-working Ordinary American types. It's all going to the special interests that pump money and votes into the Democratic Party. You can go down to Hope HQ and try applying for your share of the "stimulus," if you want to give them a chance to laugh directly in your face.
The past couple of days -- with major linkage from HotAir.com, Instapundit.com, and Ace of Spades HQ -- have produced more than 23K visits, and it figures that if traffic remains at even a modest 3,000 visits per day, we'll cross the 1-million-visit mark sometime Saturday.
How should this occasion be celebrated?
[S]imple arithmetic shows that the right-wing bloc is significantly larger than the left-wing bloc . . .A Likud-led coalition, it seems to me, would be more stable than a Kadima-led coalition and thus would be in a better negotiating position with the Palestinians, etc. But again, what do I know?
UPDATE: The liberals at NPR are wringing their hands.
Central Michigan and its women's basketball coach are being sued by a former player, who claims her heterosexuality was a factor in losing a scholarship after two seasons. Brooke Heike said she fell out of favor with Sue Guevara immediately after the coach was hired in 2007. Heike said Guevara told her she wore too much makeup and was not the coach's "type." That meant she wasn't a lesbian, according to a lawsuit filed last week in federal court in Bay City. The former Romeo High School star lost her scholarship after the 2007-08 season.(Via Instapundit.) If this lawsuit is successful, next thing you know, they'll be letting straight girls play college softball. They might even let them into the LPGA. Is nothing sacred?
[S]he clearly doesn't have the first shred of an inkling of a clue of how said financial system works. Her questions had the air of someone who couldn't quite wrap her mind around the complexities of the E-Z Reader consumer activist pamphlets from which she had presumably cribbed them. . . . This is the crack talent that's supposed to reform the banking system into something more robust?Waters got the nickname "Kerosene Maxine" (so dubbed by Larry Elder) for her inflammatory rhetoric during the Rodney King/L.A. riots episode 17 years ago, when McArdle was still a teenager.
This goes to show one reason I've been amused by the entire "Obamatarian" phenomenon. Most of the libertarian types who supported Obama are impossibly young. McArdle is 36 and probably ought to know better. If you're under 30, you weren't even in high school the last time Democrats controlled both the White House and Congress. And Bush totally sucked, dude. So you think, "Hey, let's let the other guys have their turn." Only later do you realize who the Democrats actually are, and it ain't pretty.
I've gotten some grief for my "Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Bob Barr" T-shirts (only $9.99!), but it wasn't because I wanted Obama to win. It was a protest against the tone-deaf stupidity of a Republican Party that thinks it can nominate a 73-year-old short, grumpy, bald RINO for president and expect anything except complete embarrassment. Say what you will about Sarah Palin, she is (a) attractive and (b) an actual Republican.
I'd been a yellow-dog Democrat my whole life and proudly plastered a Clinton-Gore bumper sticker on my car in 1992. But from Day One, Bill Clinton and the Democrats set out to make fools of us "Sam Nunn Democrats," and the 1994 "assault weapons" ban was the straw that broke the backs of a lot of us yellow dogs. I wouldn't vote Democrat again if you put a gun to my head, but after the experience of being screwed over by the Democrats, I'm not going to be a doormat for the GOP.
The Jellyfish Caucus -- spineless worms like Arlen Specters and Susan Collinses -- are not the kind of Republicans an ex-Democrat can support. If we were OK with Big Government liberalism, we'd still be voting Democrat. This is the heart of my grievance against David Brooks and his "national greatness" idiocy. The constituency for "national greatness" could meet in phone booth, whereas the potential constituency for libertarian populism is enormous.
Ronald Reagan was an ex-Democrat, too, which was why he understood the importance of offering a real alternative to Big Government liberalism. The future ex-Democrats are not going to vote for a watered-down Liberalism Lite, and some of the effete elitist intellectuals in the GOP orbit are going to have to get over their craving for a Republican Party that's "respectable" by the standards of Manhattan, Georgetown and Brentwood.
If the GOP is ever going to recapture power, it will first have to capture the rowdy, hell-raising "Spirit of '94," channeling the populist rage of Ordinary Americans whose interests aren't being served by Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Maxine Waters. And if David Brooks doesn't like it, to hell with David Brooks.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Well, the crisis is now upon us. Today, Conservative Grapevine linked my reaction to Obama's Monday press conference:
Suppose a pipe-dream hypothetical: Somehow, this "stimulus" actually produces a sort of dead-cat bounce in the economy, so that unemployment is down around 5% again by 2012. Is that good? No, not really, because government will have produced that bounce by borrowing massively against the future in a society that's about to sustain a serious demographic shock.Yet, even as America reaps the disastrous economic consequences of the Culture of Death, the misanthropic Malthusians continue to scream about "overpopulation." As I've said elsewhere, some people at least have the excuse of ignorance. Others are merely evil.
The first Baby Boomers turn 65 in 2011, and every year after that will see more and more retirees going onto the Social Security and Medicare rolls. Even if we raise the retirement age, there is still the net drain of productive labor. The average 67-year-old can't produce goods and services as efficiently as the average 38-year-old and (due to certain legal decisions circa 1973) after 2011, we'll have a growing shortage of 38-year-olds and a growing surplus of 67-year-olds.
We are on the verge of a taxpayer shortage, you see, and what the Democrats want to do is take out a massive loan that will have to be repaid by a shrinking pool of taxpayers, who will be expected to support a burgeoning population of increasingly sickly Baby Boomer retirees.
UPDATE: A 12-year-old pro-lifer speaks: "I was stunned by how good this video is," says Cassie Fiano. (Via Melissa Clouthier, who isn't sure that 12-year-olds should be voicing their opinions on political issues.)
Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin reports that House Democrats have reached a backroom deal on the "stimulus," excluding Republicans from the conference negotiations. Which is good news, because now they've given Republican Senators a valid excuse to filibuster the conference report. This "stimulus" abomination might blow up yet!
UPDATE II: Thanks to the commenter who informs me that YouTube commenters are saying vile things about the girl who made this video. You stay classy, "progressive netroots"!
UPDATE III: Welcome Ace of Spades readers.
UPDATE IV: Allahpundit:
[Y]oung talent in the service of a righteous cause deserves some extra publicity. Worth watching for the sheer precocity of the performance, which suggests she’s destined someday for Hollywood.
Destiny? Kind of a religious concept, eh?
UPDATE VI: Linked at JillStanek.com.
So, let's see, Gov. Palin is 45 and has five kids. My wife is 44 and we have six kids.
Considering that the U.S. total fertility rate is 2.1 lifetime births per woman, this means that between our two families, we're 268% above average.
The sun on the meadow is summery warm.
The stag in the forest runs free. . . .
Charles G. Hill got the message, too.
BTW, I noticed there will be a debate next week involving that punk, Ryan Sager, who never blogs about Christina Hendricks. Hint, hint.
Utah's Latina teens have an alarmingly high birth rate: They are nearly four times more likely than other 15- to 17-year-olds to have a baby.I've written about this seldom-acknowledged consequence of our immigration problem, but our political system can't address it, because any politician who opens his mouth about the demographics of teen pregnancy is immediately targeted as a racist xenophobic nativist bigot.
The Utah Department of Health is releasing the report on Latino health disparities today as part of a series exploring the challenges facing Utah minorities.
It shows that while nearly 18 of every 1,000 girls ages 15 to 17 in the general Utah population had a baby in 2006-07, 66 of 1,000 Latinas had one.
The implications go beyond those teens' immediate futures. National data show Latina teen moms are more likely to drop out of high school than other teen mothers, and teen mothers are more likely to be on welfare. Children of teen mothers are more likely to live in poverty and have educational and social problems and are more likely to become teen parents themselves.
"Teen pregnancy," per se, is not the problem. As Maggie Gallagher has pointed out, the real problem is unwed pregnancy. Yet as a society, we spend millions to discourage "teen pregnancy," even while celebrating single motherhood (a subject that Ann Coulter addresses in her new book).
There is a cultural factor involved that nobody wants to talk about, even when you have 14-year-old brides being bartered for beer in California. And the fact that this story about Latina teen pregnancy rates is coming out of Utah highlights the unaddressed double standard. On the one hand, when the polygamous FLDS cult relocated to Texas, the Texas legislature actually raised their state's age of consent from 14 to 16, in order to outlaw the cult's known practice of marrying off young teenage girls. And yet Texas led the nation in teen pregnancy in 2004 -- and it wasn't because of fundamentalist Mormons, OK? Like I said, if Texas is going to stage a paramilitary raid every time a 15-year-old gets pregnant, they're going to need to hire a lot more SWAT officers.
Given the seriousness of our nation's demographic crisis, one could argue -- and I actually have argued -- that we probably need more teen pregnancy, and if it weren't for Hispanic immigrants, the U.S. birth rate would still be below replacement level. Yet while liberals demand that we spend millions of taxpayer dollars on teen-pregnancy prevention, they simultaneously demand that we have open borders, so as to import more teen pregnacy. And if anybody tries to talk about this in a realistic way, they're denounced by liberals as "hatemongers."
Given these contradictory messages from liberals -- unlimited immigration, good; teen pregnancy, bad; honest policy discussion, hate -- one must question either their sanity, their intelligence or their bona fides.
NEW YORK - A Spring Valley man accused of having sex with underage girls claims his religious beliefs prevent him from viewing sexual photographs and helping his own defense.OK, so three guys have a pornographic orgy with three jailbait girls, and one of the accused refuses to look at the evidence because he's a born-again Hasidim. Just when you think you've heard everything . . .
David Silverman, 21 at the time, is accused of having sex with three Westchester girls during a day of debauchery in Manhattan in March 2007, authorities said. . . .
Silverman is accused of not only having sex with the girls, but also taking photographs of them having sex with other men, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.
But because he later returned to being an ultra-religious Hasidic Jew, Silverman won't look at the photos, his lawyer, Israel Fried, said yesterday. . . .
A grand jury indictment accuses Silverman of having sexual intercourse and oral sex and of committing other sex acts with three girls - two 15-year-olds and a 14-year-old. . . .
Silverman and another man are accused of picking up the girls on March 23, 2007, in Westchester and driving them to a building near the Javits Convention Center on 34th Street.
A third man joined them, and they are accused of getting the girls drunk on alcohol.
Silverman and the other men were accused of having sex with each girl, with digital photos being taken, Kushner said.
The housing market bubble burst. It cannot be reinflated. The bust will be painful, but dumping more money into the market in an attempt to inflate prices will only slow the adjustment process. The pain is unfortunate, even tragic for some people, but inevitable.Exactly -- a point made by Ron Paul just yesterday. While driving to Washington, I was listening to C-SPAN radio coverage of the House Financial Services Committee hearing with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and caught this:
Ron Paul . . . says that, as a free marketer, he is also upset that Congress wants to prop up housing prices when there is a glut of housing on the market. "What's wrong with allowing the market to allow these prices to adjust," and drop quickly, so that "we can all go back to work again?"That is to say, from a free-market perspective, those houses are worth whatever they'll sell for. The losses caused by the collapse of the bubble are real, and until those losses are realized -- that is, until the houses are sold and the market readjusted -- we are living in a state of economic denial, which Senate Republicans are attempting to prolong.
This is what Michelle Malkin has been trying to say in her many months of outspoken opposition to Washington's bailout/stimulus frenzy. The market is the market, and you can't fool the market. It might be the only thing that Ron Paul and Michelle Malkin agree about.
UPDATE: While trying to find video of Dr. No's statements yesterday, I found this video from February 2007 -- two years ago, before the bubble burst -- where he's talking "fiat money.":This sounds kooky at times, but his essential points are correct:
- By manipulating the money supply and interest rates, the Fed conceals economic reality behind a wall of artificial price-signals.
- During the "bubble," the consumer price index (CPI) did not accurately reflect the inflation that Americans were experiencing in higher costs of housing, health care and college tuition.
In retrospect, we see that kooky "Dr. No" was prescient, and all the "experts" were full of crap.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Last November, an inebriated 24-year-old with the woefully apt name of Kyle Drinkwine was found by police in the back of a Wisconsin alley, his hands covered in blood. According to testimony compiled by the Smoking Gun, Drinkwine had spent the evening unwinding at Emma's Bar, a local watering hole that was hosting a karaoke night. Shortly after performing an Eminem song, he allegedly became so enraged by another patron's version of "Holy Diver" -- the 1983 anthem by heavy-metal patriarch Ronnie James Dio -- that he assaulted the singer and his friend and fled when police arrived. "This had started … over one's ability to sing karaoke," notes the arrest report, which reads like a Mike Judge novella.To begin with, no one should ever sing Dio for karaoke. Heavy metal was not meant for karaoke. So that attack was understandable. And did the Bangkok singers really deserve to die for "Country Roads"? It depends on how bad they were. In general, karaoke violence is a bad thing; but bad karaoke is itself a form of violence.
Drinkwine's sad, stupid plight wasn't an isolated incident: In August 2007, a Seattle man was assaulted onstage during a karaoke rendition of Coldplay's "Yellow," while last December, a San Diego man encored his karaoke set by walking toward the crowd and attacking an audience member. And in Asia, there's been a string of karaoke-bar stabbings and shootings, including a horrific incident in Bangkok in which eight amateur singers were murdered by their neighbor, reportedly due in part to his hatred of John Denver's "Country Roads."
So Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Nutopia, wants to create a Truth Commission to investigate the Bush Administration.Exactly.
How about a Truth Commission to investigate the multiple leaks Leahy made to The Washington Post and others as the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee during the Reagan years? This guy never met a secret he didn't want to betray in the name of political expediency and may well have cost the life of at least one covert agent because of his sneaky political ways
The Democrat Executive Committee of Palm Beach County wants change all right, spare change that is. Local Democrat activists found out at last week’s DEC meeting that the local party is flat broke.But this is the party now running the federal government.
As of last week's meeting the Palm Beach County DEC had $33,444.70 in cash on hand and $53,347.49 in unpaid bills, according to the info handed out at the meeting.
Most are placing the blame on former DEC Chairman Wahid Mahmood for leaving the party in such a wretched state of affairs when he left office in December of 2008.
US stocks fell sharply Tuesday, led by banks, as details of the government's latest bank bailout plan trickled out.(Via AOSHQ.) The stimulus just passed the Senate -- $800 billion for Democrats to squander.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down about 70 points, then lost another 100 in a matter of minutes -- before even any official government announcement.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geither will reveal the proposals to help banks at 11 am New York time, after a one-day delay. CNBC will interview Geithner after his speech, at noon. Then he's on to Capitol Hill, where he will testify before a House panel.
[I]f the economy is still in trouble as the 2010 elections approach, Democrats will argue that eight years of Republican rule left the country in such awful shape that Democrats will need more time to clean up the mess. If unemployment is in the 7 percent to 9 percent range, they'll say, without their policies, it would have been 12 percent, or perhaps higher.Read the whole thing.
An unusual wedding ceremony was held in the southern resort town of Eilat on Wednesday, as Sharon Tendler, a 41-years-old Jewish millionaire from London married her beloved Cindy, a 35-years-old dolphin, Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Thursday.First "Miss Teen Weimar," now this . . .
Consider the tale of the ubiquitous "Hope" poster that helped get Mr. Obama worshipped, inoculated and elected — and the anti-capitalist street artist who "created" it.Read the whole thing.
Shepard Fairey last week was sued for copyright infringement by the Associated Press, which claims he stole photographer Manny Garcia's work and made it the basis of the iconic off-red, white and blue posters whose signed editions are being sold on eBay for thousands of dollars. . . .
Though often identified as a strict libertarian, the Old Right writer Garet Garrett was a fiercely nationalist thinker, who never let his ideological sympathies get in the way of his patriotic duties. He was also an "isolationist." By contrast, Blankley equates servitude with service and duty with deference to the State. His "Nationalism" is globalist internationalism on steroids.
Somewhere around here I've got a paperback copy of The People's Pottage that I bought for 50 cents in a used bookstore about 15 years ago. I seem to recall it as having been reprinted by the John Birch Society. I suppose the Paulista movement must have revived interest in the old guy.
The op -- carried out in secret last month -- was authorised after psychologists confirmed that Kim was "without doubt a girl in a boy's body."(H/T: Right View from the Left Coast.) The appropriate pronoun? Oh, never mind. And what's a sex story without a media-approved "expert"?
Dr Bernd Meyenburg, who treats patients with identity disorders at the University of Frankfurt Hospital, said . . . "I was always against such operations on children so young but after seeing how happy one of my patients was and how well adjusted after returning from having the operation abroad while still a teenager - I realised that in some cases it is the right decision."Thank you, Dr. Mengele! And I'm sure Steven Kotler is happy that "Tim/Kim" won't be contributing to overpopulation. Teen pregnancy? Not a problem. (Everybody go neuter yourselves in the name of ecology.) Kim reportedly signed a record deal, and here is a video of the song "Last Forever":
Here is video of Kim answering blog questions: Who can wait until Disney announces "The Kim Petras Show"? A role model for your children! Next: "Oprah"! "The View"! "Larry King Live"! . . . "Cabaret"? (Isn't there something kind of Weimar going on here?)
(Commenters can finish the list.)
UPDATE: Linked at AOSHQ headlines.
UPDATE Ii: Kim may not be the youngest for long. "Experts" have approved sex-change treatment for preteens.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Chip Reid of CBS sounded like he wanted a job in the administration . . .
President Obama’s lucky he didn’t slip and fall from the drool flood.