Thursday, October 30, 2008

"Free pizza everyday and No more homework"

"Free pizza everyday and No more homework"

Campaign pledge from an 8th grade student running for class president. You wouldn't fall for pandering like that!!! WOULD YOU.

Well be honest with your self. THINK.. Its not enough to just have a good feeling. What exactly is CHANGE?

Keep this quote from former president Gerald Ford:
'A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to
take away everything you have.'

Read this post. It is from this blog but I have pasted the entire essay here. Do you really understand this stuff? Does it matter?

Change: It’s what you’ll get, and what you’ll be left with
With comments passed on by Paul Dreissen, CORE

As Bloomberg reported, Barack Obama will classify carbon dioxide as a dangerous pollutant that can be regulated should he win the presidential election on Nov. 4, opening the way for new rules on greenhouse gas emissions. Placing heat-trapping pollutants in the same category as ozone may lead to caps on power-plant emissions and force utilities to use the most expensive systems to curb pollution. The move may halt construction plans on as many as half of the 130 proposed new U.S. coal plants. This even as the McCain campaign comes to its senses on a realistic emission plan. They always had a more sensible and essential “all the above” solution for energy than the democrats who believe they can replace fossil fuels with solar, wind and other alternatives without any interrruption. With a multi year head start, only 2% of Britain’s energy needs are met by renewables.

Palin today said “We will control greenhouse gas emissions by giving American businesses new incentives and new rewards to seek, instead of just giving them new taxes to pay and new orders that they must follow, ‘so says government,’” Palin said during a visit to Xunlight Energy, a Toledo-based solar-power component manufacturing company. In the end many of us even this will prove unnecessary as CO2 is not a pollutant but a plant fertlizer, the gas of life.

Paul Dreissen passes on the other changes that an Obama presidency would bring. These change are not what the party’s sloganeering which sounds appealing to so many tells you.

No thanks to the “mainstream media,” the true parameters of presidential candidate Barack Obama�s plan to redistribute wealth and give tax cuts to 95 percent of Americans are finally becoming clear. Here are some of the “changes” he has in mind for our businesses, freedoms and earnings.

FICA. Mr. Obama�s plan defines “rich” as anyone making over $97,000 a year. That is because he plans to eliminate the FICA tax cap, and you will start paying an additional 7 percent tax on each and every dollar you earn! No longer will earnings above the annual cap be exempt from further FICA withholding from employer and employee accounts. Self-employed people will see their earnings above $97,000 taxed an additional 14 percent, because they will pay both the employer and employee FICA taxes. Small businesses would be hard hit.

TAX HIKES. If you are making a mere $50,000 a year or more, you will pay another 4.5 percent on every dollar you earn, starting in 2010. That’s when the Bush tax cuts expire. These “unfair tax breaks” for “rich” people like you and me will simply be allowed to lapse. Obama and the mainstream media insist that this will not constitute a “tax increase.”

DIVIDENDS. Taxes on your stock and mutual fund dividends will increase from the current 15 percent to at least 20 percent. This clear tax increase is to ensure “fairness” and “spread the wealth around.”

INHERITANCE. Estate taxes are likely to skyrocket - not just on unspent savings, but on homes, farms, small businesses, and unspent IRA and 401K retirement savings.

401K CONTRIBUTIONS. There�s even talk of eliminating part or all of the deduction for putting money aside in 401K retirement savings accounts. These, says Rush Limbaugh, are the points at which your quest for the American Dream will end. The Democrats “New New Deal” could turn a painful recession into a long Great New Depression.

JUDGES. As Northwestern University law professor Steven Calabresi notes in the October 28 Wall Street Journal, if Obama wins, “the legal left will once again have a majority on the nation’s most important regulatory court of appeals,” and throughout much of the judicial system. Courts will be stacked with judges who will likely rule that all these tax system changes are fair, equitable, legal and constitutional. We could see, “a federal constitutional right to welfare; a federal constitutional mandate of affirmative action wherever there are racial disparities [outside of sports], without regard to proof of discriminatory intent; ruinous shareholder suits against corporate officers and directors;” and much more.

Thomas Sowell stresses that court cases should not depend on who you are and who the judge is. We are supposed to be a country with “the rule of law and not of men.” Obama is proposing the explicit repudiation of that ideal. That is certainly “change,” but is it one that most Americans believe in?

These “changes” will affect new business development, job creation, charitable giving, and budgetary decisions in poor families. When bottom lines suffer, wealth creation and civil rights suffer. As to your right to know facts like these, and your right to informed debate, once Obama and the Democrats reinstate the “Fairness” Doctrine, public access to essential information will be severely circumscribed. The doctrine and its “50 percent” airtime rule will almost certainly apply only to talk radio and similar conservative news outlets - not to NPR, PBS, CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN or MSNBC.

This is the kind of CHANGE Obama believes in. The kind of CHANGE you can be sure is coming. The kind of CHANGE you’ll have in your pocket when he’s finished “spreading the wealth around.” Ponder all this when you enter the voting booth next Tuesday. And help your friends to ponder it, too, by forwarding this to them.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"Looking out for Numero Uno"

No one can put the case better than Krauthammer. Read the whole thing

Some key tidbits: (bold/italic emphasis added by me)

Contrarian that I am, I'm voting for John McCain. I'm not talking about bucking the polls or the media consensus that it's over before it's over. I'm talking about bucking the rush of wet-fingered conservatives leaping to Barack Obama before they're left out in the cold without a single state dinner for the next four years.

This is beautiful. It truly points out how opportunistic politicians are. Forget ideals or doing the right thing. It's "looking out for numero uno" Think of the slime on the Titanic who disguised themselves as women to get on the Titanic's life boats. They're reacting to polls at this late point to insure their survival. If their opinion were legit and "heart felt", where were they 6 months ago?

So Krauthammer puts these guys in their place and then makes a straightforward case for McCain.

The case for McCain is straightforward. The financial crisis has made us forget, or just blindly deny, how dangerous the world out there is. We have a generations-long struggle with Islamic jihadism. An apocalyptic soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. A nuclear-armed Pakistan in danger of fragmentation. A rising Russia pushing the limits of revanchism. Plus the sure-to-come Falklands-like surprise popping out of nowhere.
Who do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m.? A man who's been cramming on these issues for the past year, who's never had to make an executive decision affecting so much as a city, let alone the world? A foreign policy novice instinctively inclined to the flabbiest, most vaporous multilateralism (e.g., the Berlin Wall came down because of "a world that stands as one", and who refers to the most
deliberate act of war since Pearl Harbor as "the tragedy of 9/11," a term more appropriate for a bus accident?

Or do you want a man who is the most prepared, most knowledgeable, most serious foreign policy thinker in the United States Senate? A man who not only has the best instincts but has the honor and the courage to, yes, put country first, as when he carried the lonely fight for the surge that turned Iraq from catastrophic defeat into achievable strategic victory?

Think of this scenario before you punch the chad for Obama.
We have this stranger we know little about.
He has no history of accomplishment of any note.
He comes out of the Chicago poitical machine
He sat in a church pew for 20 years and never heard Rev Wright's radical and bigotrd ideology.

OK, now forget all that because your purpose is to cast a vote reflecting your disapproval of G W Bush .
Punch the button for that "Change" guy.

He will take care of you. Trust him

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Obama is all about J_O_B _ S

Caught this post at Coyote Blog. What's the point? The point is you can expect Obama to provide major league payback to the Unions for his election. Take a look what unions have done for the Auto Industry

Global Warming Apocalypse Are you tuning in or out?

This NY Times reviews a current exhibit at the Natural History Museum on Global Warming. What is noteworthy is the reporter actually gives the reader a good analysis of the subject matter and insight into a real debate that is going on regarding this so called "settled science".

Contrast that article with this one from the Financial Post on Walmart Environmentalism that predicts the next commodity collapse will be mass marketed environmentalism.

So we have the Elites in NY tut tutting over the coming apocalypse while sipping their chardoney whilst the "Joe the [fill in] " of the US are tuning out.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gov't managing health care and you get this kinda stuff!!

Hat tip to Instapundit, here is another example of what happens when you turn over management of your life to big government. In this case it is Britain's Health management

Dozens of incentive schemes have been uncovered which allow GPs to profit by slashing the number of patients they refer for hospital care. Under one scheme, GPs stand to gain £59 for every patient not referred to hospital, if they cut an average referral rate by between two and eight per cent. Torbay care trust in Devon will pay up to £15,000 to the average-sized GP practice if it hits a swathe of targets, including reducing hospital referrals. . . .
A leading surgeon said that patients' cancers had already gone undiagnosed after they were denied specialist care under two such "referral management" schemes. . . .He said: "I recently encountered two cases in which patients referred to
physiotherapists later turned out to have a malignant tumour. If they had been sent to a consultant the outcome may have been very different

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Know your place, the Elites know better...Leave it to them

Give it to Mark Steyn to condense the whole Joe the Plumber phenom into a few words.
Here he creates the analogy of a peasant back in feudal times who makes less than 25 groats a year...LOL

The heart of the American Dream is aspiration. That's why people came here from all over the world. Back in Eastern Europe, the Joe Bidens and Diane Sawyers of the day were telling Joe the Peasant: "Hey, look, man. You're a peasant in the 19th century, just like your forebears were peasants in the 12th century and your descendants will be peasants in the 26th century. So you're never gonna be earning 250 groats a year. Don't worry about it. Leave it to us. We know better." And Joe the Peasant eventually figured that one day he'd like to be able to afford the Premium Gruel with just a hint of arugula and got on the boat to Ellis Island. Because America is the land where a guy who doesn't have a 250-grand business today might just have one in five or 10 years' time.

"Out of Karl Marx's mouth"

This video of Joe the plumber is great. The guy's appealing because his talk is simple and straight forward. The Elites in NY and SF must be going crazy realizing this guy is stirring up the "unwashed". The Karl Marx comment is right on

Friday, October 17, 2008

Redistributionist Camels & Scoundrels

Imagine a US with no income tax. Hard to imagine but it once was. How it started and why makes for a good read and might help one see the true "root cause" of our current political malaise.
This short posting takes you back to 1894 and the new Income Tax, intended to rectify the injustice of the regressive tariff/excise taxes originally authorized by the Constitution. Essential reading as it should help you see how "Monsters" are created with the best of intentions.

When the ducks quack, feed them

This Fortune magazine article spotlights just one example of the "Junk" mortgage instruments that have poisoned the market. It's a good simple explanation for us financial rubes who get suckered every day. Sample from article...

This issue, which is backed by ultra-risky second-mortgage loans, contains all the elements that facilitated the housing bubble and bust. It's got speculators searching for quick gains in hot housing markets; it's got loans that seem to have been made with little or no serious analysis by lenders; and finally, it's got Wall Street, which churned out mortgage "product" because buyers wanted it. As they say on the Street, "When the ducks quack, feed them."
Alas, almost everyone involved in this duck-feeding deal has had a foul
experience. Less than 18 months after the issue was floated, a sixth of the borrowers had already defaulted on their loans. Investors who paid face value for these securities - they were looking for slightly more interest than they'd get on equivalent bonds - have suffered heavy losses.

I like the "duck quack" thing. This also reminds me of the WC Fields quote: "There's a sucker born eveyday"
One last point it was Goldman Sachs that created this package. They were the first to get bailed out, by Warren Buffet! Ever wonder what Warren knows that we don't?
It was sold by Goldman Sachs (Charts, Fortune
) - GSAMP originally stood for Goldman Sachs Alternative Mortgage Products but now has become a name itself, like AT&T and 3M.

Read the whole thing

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Spread the wealth around

I thought this graphic and link might help you wade through all the wrangling and rhetoric about taxes and who pays them and who the real stake holders are in the coming election. A couple of key points to consider:
  • Approx 40% of workers pay NO income tax
  • Top 10% pay 60% of taxes
  • Tax rates varied from 3 - 22%. That is highly progressive. Higher incomes pay more

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dow at 7000?

Here's an interesting trend line I picked up from Coyote Blog. Note the twin bubbles from the tech and housing/credit. Check out his blog. Scroll down a few posts. What irritates me is the wealth accumulated by the "Players" that led us into this and I'll bet knew when to get out. Buy low, sell high sucker.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pricipitous Action - not necesarily correct.

We have something like a "Perfect Storm" going here. The gov't is taking unprecedented action at a pace never seen before. Is it the right thing to do? Are all arguments being presented? are all stake holders being given consideration? or are we taking precipitous actions due to panic?

Here is a letter written to the Wall Street Journal by one of our readers that highlights some key pints I'll "betcha" (thanks to Sarha Pallin for making that terminology cool) most people haven't considered.

Subject: Your Editorial "Free AIG"

Dear Editor:

Thank you for your editorial recommending that we "Free AIG". I totallly agree. As a shareholder of AIG I was shocked at the "gun at your head" conduct of Mr Paulson and the fact that this 11th hour one sided negotiation was conducted with absolutely NO REGARD for shareholders. In retrospect what massive meltdown was so imminent that shareholders should give up 80% of the stock and subject the company to a debt transaction under such onerous conditions. I believe this transaction was at least unethical and possibly illegal. Also there is an inside story on this that most likely is tied in with AIG's massive portfolio of Credit Default Swaps. The possibility that some of these might flow back to Goldman Sachs and other protected elites is not good news for Mr Paulson if true.

The final insult to shareholders stacked on top of the outrageous conduct of the US government is that the current slate of AIG Directors remain directors. How is it possible that these people have not been frog walked to the nearest jail let along being given responsibility for selling the henhouse they were supposed to be protecting. The corporate governance melt down by the Directors is breathtaking in it's own right and I look forward to the WSJ's continuing coverage of the people responsible for this financial trainwreck that has laid to waste a once great company to the tune of $60 billion of market value.

As I ponder what else could have been done, I come to the conclusion that management should have threatened to file for bankruptcy. No doubt this filing was what the FEDS did not want and thus would have allowed AIG management to negotiate a better deal. Perhaps our present ownership of 20% is the EQUITABLE ownership that the government should have presently rather than their current 80% stake.

This transaction smells bad all the way around. I am hopeful that Hank Greenberg might lead a charge to take back what is rightfully ours.

Best Regards

Thomas Delaney
Avondale Estates Georgia

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Too Big to manage

When you take a look at who we have given the power to manage our lives there is a common factor. They are all too damn big. All you have to do is look at the endless list of failures: Energy, Economy, Education, Defense,etc. I don't have time to list all the big government assigned to just about every aspect of our lives. Check out this site for a complete A-Z listing of Government agencies. Holy cow, Batman, do we really need all this? Who is paying for this? The answer to the 2nd question is easy, YOU and I. If you consider all wage earners that would be 60% of us as 40% of wage owner pay no Federal income tax.
I don't know about you but I'm sick and tired of paying for something that does not work well. I'm also wise to the pandering of the political class with their election year pledges to reduce the size of government and cut government spending. Hell, their definition of reducing spending is to reduce the rate of growth. Check this site it is fairly easy to follow and it lays out what the government spends by major categories from year to year. The most telling table is the avg growth rate in spending in the discretionary portion of the budget year over year since 1998 (Table S-9). Compare that one with your year over year salary increases!! Education went up 37% in 2001. There is no aggregate for all but I would guess it is closer to a 10% CGR than it is to 5%.
It's too big to manage. If you agree go to this site, look up your House representative and follow the easy links to send him/her a message. Here is the link for your senators. Just DO IT!! Save the links and use them to send frequent comments .

Oh by the way, when you contact your reps by the web they ask you to fill out name, address and email. This is easy if you enable "autofill" in your Goggle tool bar. One click and all the data is automatically y filled in. No excuses there, eh?

Cool Animated GIF of horse

Cool animated gif of a horse galloping. As some of you may know I have a long history/fascination with horses. Another point, according to Wikipedia this is one of the "finest"images of a horse available. I concur.

Some of the Fox's pics - a set on Flickr

Best Pics 01 - a set on Flickr

Friday, October 10, 2008

Obama the Magician

This post from Powerline blog illustrates how politicians will promise anything to get elected. They appeal to the lowest common denominator who "want desperately to believe".

Kimberly Strassel pays tribute to Obama's magic in a column that usefully summarizes the internal contradictions of Obamanism:
To kick off our show tonight, Mr. Obama will give 95% of American working families a tax cut, even though 40% of Americans today don't pay income taxes! How can our star enact such mathemagic? How can he 'cut' zero? Abracadabra! It's called a 'refundable tax credit.' It involves the federal government taking money from those who do pay taxes, and writing checks to those who don't. Yes, yes, in the real world this is known as 'welfare,' but please try not to ruin the show.
For his next trick, the Great Obama will jumpstart the economy, and he'll do it by raising taxes on the very businesses that are today adrift in a financial tsunami! That will include all those among the top 1% of taxpayers who are in fact small-business owners, and the nation's biggest employers who currently pay some of the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world. Mr. Obama will, with a flick of his fingers, show them how to create more jobs with less money. It's simple, really. He has a wand.
Those of us troubled by the fact that Obama's prescriptions would aggravate the financial crisis (among the consequences of various Obama positions spelled out by Strassel) can take comfort, however small, in the fact that they show Obama to be an extraordinarily cynical politician. He doesn't believe in much, but he certainly believes in his own power to make voters believe whatever he says, even when what he says today contradicts what he said yesterday, and even when it constitutes a bald fiction."

Help a heart

OK, this is a solicitation. Robbie isn't in scouts so its not to sell popcorn. Check out my website and if you feel generous contribute to a worthy cause. All those who "Give at the office" are excused.

Climate folly in North Carolina

Here we go. I'm from the governement and I'm here to help you. Please spare us from the buraucrats. According to this article (do your fact checking) the climate alarmists are sold on "Green jobs" Here's a key quote. The "swine" in the text is a reference to to the "pork barrel" nature of this stuff.
Here’s what the swine left on the CAPAG collar: a projection that the state would realize 15,000 new jobs, $565 million in “employee and proprietor income,” and $302 million in gross state product by 2020. Compare that to what the Beacon Hill Institute, who analyzed CAPAG’s recommendations for the Locke Foundation earlier this year, found: “By 2011, the state would shed more than 33,000 jobs, annual investment would drop by about $502.4 million, real disposable income by more than $2.2 billion, and real state Gross Domestic Product by about $4.5 billion.” So I guess the question boils down to, whose analysis do you believe: a political science graduate student’s or PhD economists’?

This "Green Job" meme is a ruse to legitimize fleecing the tax payer Here is another link to an article about Hillary Clinton's push in that direction. Editorials, Political Cartoons, and Polls from Investor's Business Daily -- Hillary's Green Elixir
Money quote:
"I do believe the green-collar job piece of this is important," she said in Monday's debate. "That's why I have $5 billion to do it."

"We could put hundreds and hundreds of young people to work right now, putting solar panels in, insulating homes," Clinton gushed. "That would give them jobs, and it would move us more quickly to a green economy."

The Next Bubble

It seems our lives are an endless string of bubbles followed by bubble burst. Why is that? I'm asking. Let me know.
Well you heard it from me first. The next bubble is going to be Higher education. A recent article in US News & World Report pointed to big increases in MBA school applications. In the 24%+ range. A lot of this is expected to continue with the latest bubble bursts as out of work people and undergrads with no job prospects want to find a place to park. Not discussed was how do you pay for this. Can we continue to rely on the easy availability of college loans? Can middle class parents pull equity from their homes to send junior to grad school? Will US colleges reduce the tuition/fees that go up year to year at a rate way above inflation? Is it really worth the $'s?
You tell me. Personally I see the whole value proposition coming into sharp focus and we will see a bubble burst. The grant money that pays for tenured professors to travel to conferences world wide and study all kinds of meaningless stuff is going to dry up significantly or least have reasonable "bang for the buck" justification. Hell, we might even see professors teaching again when they can't hire armies of teaching assistants.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I was reading this and it seemed like the usual political jabbering that we've all been bombarded with until I got to this paragraph. I think it stikes to the core of what has been gradually taking place in our culture. Many of us quietly fume when we hear the endless stories of well financed, lawyer enabled activist cutting away at the fringes of our lives to impose their so called "progressive' ideals on the majority. They can't achieve their agenda through election but with enough money and lawyers and jduges they can lawyer it in. They can do this no matter who is in power because they have the law. However! and this is the MAIN point, if they can win the big one and get Obama in it will open the flood gates. No more small initiatives at the fringes like the Pledge or removing "in God we trust" NO NO. They will control the national agenda.
Think about that. At least 2 years to call ALL the shots. Obama, Biden, Reid, & Pelosi. It's enough to make me want to cling to my 9mm and bible.

What's worse is that Obama would impose his culture on the rest of us, through judges that go beyond the text of the Constitution to give legal status to their own expressions of "empathy." Empathy for the criminals, like the terrorist Bill Ayers, who go free on a technicality. Empathy for the people offended by a Christmas tree on the public square. Empathy for the 13-year-old who doesn't want to inform her mother about the abortion she is procuring, even though her mother would have to give approval for any other surgery for the daughter. Empathy for the student so offended by the presence of Army ROTC on campus that he demands that ROTC be banned. Empathy for the father offended that his child is exposed to the Pledge of Allegiance in school. Empathy for the horrible brute sentenced to death for the grisly rape of a little girl.


It’s the Culture, Stupid
By Quin Hillyer
Published 10/9/2008 12:08:23 AM
When James Carville insisted in 1992 that the Clinton campaign should pound home its message that President George H.W. Bush had mishandled the economy, he wasn't laying down a marker for all time that the economy is always the best presidential campaign issue. Instead, he was astutely insisting that his campaign focus on his opponent's greatest weakness.

But sometimes the most pressing issue isn't the best issue to press -- because it's not the one where your candidate can draw the best distinction with the opponent.

That's the situation John McCain finds himself in today. Yes, in Carvillian language, today's biggest issue is indeed "the economy, stupid." But John McCain talks about the economy no more convincingly than a hippopotamus dances ballet. And while Barack Obama's economic prescriptions are about as wrongheaded as Linda Blair mid-spin in The Exorcist, he at least sounds quite cogent and reasonable (until you actually think about it) when discussing them. Yes, the McCain campaign needs to find a way to undermine Obama's current polling edge on the economy, but the only thing "stupid" would be an attempt at a head-on assault from McCain's position of weakness on the issue.

McCain's a military man. He should know that it's best to attack from strength to weakness, not the other way around. Sometimes that requires a flanking maneuver.

The way to undermine Obama's apparent (if unearned) credibility on the economy is to undermine his credibility, period. Make Obama's worldview in general anathema, and you make his economic worldview anathema. And the way to do that is to place Obama outside the common culture, while rooting McCain firmly within it.

Yes, absent another national security surprise, "culture" is the best, indeed the only potentially effective, battleground available for McCain to fight on. It's a battleground on which Obama is extraordinarily vulnerable.

Without putting it as bluntly as this sentence does, McCain's campaign must pound home the message, in a coherent way, that Obama is not "one of us" -- meaning that he is estranged from, not part of, middle America. And the way to make that message relevant is to say that when times are tough it is not any one economic theory that will get Americans through the crisis, but rather that it is our American-ness, our exceptionalism, our national character that guarantees that we shall overcome.

McCAIN IS SKILLED, utterly convincing, at carrying this message. His best moments in Tuesday's debate came when he said that "America is the greatest force for good in the history of the world," and when he answered the last question by saying, "I know what it's like to have to fight to keep one's hope going through difficult times. I know what it's like to rely on others for support and courage and love in tough times. I know what it's like to have your comrades reach out to you and your neighbors and your fellow citizens and pick you up and put you back in the fight. That's what America's all about. I believe in this country. I believe in its future. I believe in its greatness."

Obama, though, sneers at the culture of middle America. Obama is the one who said that working-class Americans "get bitter, they cling to guns or religion as a way to explain their frustrations." It was Obama whose own autobiography portrays himself not as somebody who transcends race but somebody who wallows in it, somebody not integrationist but separationist, somebody who sees white people not as able to be redeemed of racism but as people to whom racism was endemic.

"The other race would always remain just that: menacing, alien, and apart," he wrote.

Obama is the one who went to Germany and proclaimed himself "a fellow citizen of the world" while apologizing that the United States has "struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people" as "our actions around he world have not lived up to our best intentions." Somehow, though, middle Americans won't quite cotton to a presidential candidate assuming the responsibility or right to apologize to foreigners for our country's supposed sins.

Obama is the one -- The One! -- so arrogant that he said his own nomination would be "the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal...." So arrogant, too, so presumptuous, that he designed his own presidential seal.

Also, a person in concert with our culture does not, as Obama did, start his political career in the house of and serve in co-leadership, closely consultative roles on two boards with the founder of a domestic terrorist organization, while using the boards to funnel money to groups that promoted racially separatist and other radical educational causes.

It is not enough to say that the former terrorist had somehow become a respected member of the community -- not when that terrorist remains so radical that even to this day, at least 13 years (and as many as 20 years) after Obama began his association with him, he defends his long-ago bombings and praises those who attack the United States.

Those boards also gave money to the church Obama attended for 20 years, a church whose pastor from the start told Obama (in Obama's own words in his autobiography) that life for a black man in America "probably never will be" safe and who spewed hatred from whites and America from his pulpit; and also to a radical American pro-Palestinian group.

Obama has praised the radical, hate-spewing Catholic priest Michael Pfleger. His wife has said she was never proud of America until her husband started winning presidential primaries. And they together have accepted what amounted to a real-estate gift from their state's most notorious convicted influence peddler.

What's worse is that Obama would impose his culture on the rest of us, through judges that go beyond the text of the Constitution to give legal status to their own expressions of "empathy." Empathy for the criminals, like the terrorist Bill Ayers, who go free on a technicality. Empathy for the people offended by a Christmas tree on the public square. Empathy for the 13-year-old who doesn't want to inform her mother about the abortion she is procuring, even though her mother would have to give approval for any other surgery for the daughter. Empathy for the student so offended by the presence of Army ROTC on campus that he demands that ROTC be banned. Empathy for the father offended that his child is exposed to the Pledge of Allegiance in school. Empathy for the horrible brute sentenced to death for the grisly rape of a little girl.

Oh, wait -- Obama says he himself did not approve of the decision outlawing the death penalty for child rapists. But that hardly exonerates him: Every one of the Supreme Court justices he says he admires, and who would be his models for future appointments, decided on their own authority that the death penalty, even for a grisly child rapist, violates their own standards of decency.

Finally, of course -- and this is an issue McCain's campaign should mention every hour of every day between now and the election -- Obama was the only member of the Illinois state senate so radically dismissive of human life that he spoke on the senate floor against a bill mandating care for babies who survived "botched" abortions. Obama's position was beyond despicable; it was monstrous. It puts him so far outside of the mainstream of American culture that he might as well be in his own moral desert.

EVERY ONE OF THESE issues is an indicator of culture. Every one of them is an indicator that Obama himself can't possibly empathize with most of us as we struggle with an economic crisis, because he not only misunderstands how we feel and how we see the world but also has contempt for our very point of view.

"Look," McCain could say. "My friends, we have tough times ahead. But we will survive because Americans know how to pull together and because we know the value of hard work and voluntary community spirit, and because we have a native toughness. We will pull together not because some orator with a smooth, deep voice cites some pie-in-the-sky economic theory, but because we know how to roll up our sleeves, trust each other, and get the job done. My opponent doesn't share our faith in ourselves and our common culture. My opponent thinks bureaucrats in Washington know best. But we know better. My friends, we know better. We know that we don't need Washington to serve as a national community organizer pushing newfangled theories and taxing us to do it; we know that our communities can organize on our own, if only we use our common values to rebuild the real economy of real goods and real services.

"And when we go to church for sustenance, we won't be blaming our country or clinging to our religions out of bitterness. We'll be going there because we know that 'perseverance produces character, and character, hope, and hope does not disappoint us.'

"Hope does not disappoint us, because of our faith -- and because we are Americans."

Quin Hillyer is an associate editor at the Washington Examiner and a senior editor of The American Spectator. He can be reached at

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fake but accurate

One of my foavorite blogs is Coyote Blog. Check out his post today on this subject:
Fake but Accurate -- Now Coming to the Hard Sciences
of us remember the famous "fake but accurate" defense of Dan Rather's story on
GWB using forged National Guard documents. If the post-modernism movement
were to have an insignia, their tag line (their "E. Pluribus Unum') could
well be "fake but accurate."
I have written for a while that
post-modernism seems to be coming to the hard sciences (I differentiate the hard sciences, because the soft sciences like
sociology or women's studies are already dominated by post-modernist
thinking). For example, I quoted this:
For those of you who cling to
scientific method, this is pretty bizarre stuff. But she, and many others, are
dead serious about it. If a research finding could harm a class of persons, the
theory is that scientists should change the way they talk about that finding.
scientific method is a way of building a body of
knowledge based on skeptical testing, replication, and publication, this is a
problem.The tight framework of scientific method mandates figuring out what
would disprove the theory being tested and then looking for the disproof. The
thought process that spawned the scientific revolution was inherently skeptical,
which is why disciples of scientific method say that no theory can be
definitively and absolutely proved, but only disproved (falsified). Hypotheses
are elevated to the status of theories largely as a result of continued failures
to disprove the theory and continued conformity of experimentation and
observation with the theory, and such efforts should be conducted by diverse
parties.Needless to say postmodernist schools of thought and scientific method
are almost polar opposites.