Tuesday, April 29, 2008

You stay Classy DNC

So the DNC is now using footage of American troops being hit by an IED to futher their own ambitions...

You know... other organizations use the same tactic.

At least unlike AQ, the DNC didn't film the footage itself, they just took it from Moore.


Update: Simon Owens of Blogasm says he found the source. In a snarky but civil post about Michelle Malkin, he finds that it's from Getty Images, which could have been where Moore got it.

It's still not a classy ad.

Guess there are external readers to this thing, even if they likely found the blog by searching people linking to that Malkin post.

"I could no more disown Wright than..."

Victor Davis Hanson on the "Scary Legacy of the 2008 Democratic Party"

His convoluted explanation of African-American right-brain 'oral' culture as more creative, musical, and spontaneous versus European left-brain traditional analysis could never have been given by someone white to that audience without justifiably earning booing and catcalls.

Three comments: this was just the sort of racist 'genetic' difference that most Americans learned to shun, now apparently quite acceptable again, and part of the mainstream.
In short, Wright's speech on black-right brainers, white-left brainers — replete with bogus stereotypes and crude voice imitations — was about as racist as they come and at one time antithetical to what the NAACP was once all about. Again, the Obama campaign and its appendages have set back racial relations a generation. Just ten years ago, any candidate, black or white, would have rejected Wright making a speech about genetic differences in respective black and white brains. Now it's given to civil rights organizations by the possible next President's pastor and spiritual advisor — and done to wild applause for an organization founded on the idea that we are innately the same, while being gushed over by ignorant "commentators."

Ahh... change.

And look new politics:

When called out on something — say, misquoting McCain on the 100 years statement — Obama's reflexive move is to insist the person doubting his credibility is lying. When Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopolous asked him tough questions, his followers screamed bloody murder.

The strategy is clear: when you say something negative about Obama, you will be accused of lying.

Basically, someone used recordings of BHO to prove he lied about an issue, but we can't have that.

And more about those pesky facts distracting us from a message of hope and unity.

Ahh... and now Obama trows right under the Bus.
Glen has a roundup, including from Jim Geraghty:

Obama says, "the man I saw yesterday was not the man I knew for 20 years." You buy that?

Two options:

1) BHO is a hopeless rube that didn't know Wright had been spewing this crap for years.
2) BHO thinks you are a hopeless that didn't know Wright had been spewing this crap for years.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Video Interview with Michael Yon

Here's a short interview with Yon.

Looks like it's sold out at Amazon, but B&N still has it.

Emptying the Hopper

It looks like BHO is prettymuch going to pretend Hillary! Doesn't exist

"What's the big deal? Why is this news? Because, as Jay Newton-Small at Time's Swampland explains, Obama hasn't given a press conference in 10 days and the reporters had no other opportunity to ask him. "

10 days without a press conference? I guess this is all part of the new politics, and he is very busy... running a for president, which one would think needs talking with the press.

Combined wtih his bad performance in the last debate, canceling the next debate, this all gives a Wizard of Oz effect.

And maybe Obama does know something about Iraq. He has spent time in another city hit with violence.

Glen Reynolds hightlights a passage from James Lileks' bleat.
There’s a touching naïvete about the description of Ayers as a college professor, as if that means he has entered a realm of pipe-smoking rumination about Truth and Beauty. Doesn’t that make him an Authority? Aren’t we supposed to question Authority? Note to Dick Cheney: get yourself to the Department of Political Science at the U of Wyoming, and watch those calls for war-crime prosecutions melt away. . . . It was a difficult time. What a wonderful absolution. Oh, we all went a little mad. Some of us listened to Steppenwolf, some of us bombed government buildings and plotted robberies that killed people, some of us were rotting in Vietnamese prisons having our teeth bashed out by torture experts. Those days are behind us now, best forgotten. (Unlike the McCarthy era, which will be the subject of 163 movies about the blacklist next year, bringing the total to 45,203.)

Remember what I said about being skeptical of the media? This article shows how blatant some of the favoritism in self styled "impartial" newsmen can be.

Here's another critique showing just how shameless and ignorant they (in this case the NYT) can get.

A visit to the "Big Stick". The analogies get a bit cute, but towards the latter half of the second page he gets to his point.

The actual questions that should be raised about the PA results, and VDH has his view.

Judgment now a distraction? Update: “Overthrow” video added
So we can't challenge BHO on his achievements, his record, his experience, his past and now not his judgment? What's left? How well he can give a speech?

And for those that wanted some context for what Wright said...

Wright is a conspiracies, a demagogue, and at heart someone who doesn’t much like America. Like William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, he spends his venom on the US and embraces dictators like Fidel Castro and terrorists like Hamas, whose screeds he publishes in Trinity’s weekly newsletters. Far from absolving Obama, the context once again forces Obama to answer for the company he keeps.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Review: Moment of Truth in Iraq

I just read the whole book on 24 hours. It was very gripping and outlines what has happened full of personnel stories and Yon's perspective.

I cannot more strongly recommend that you pick up a copy of this book.

Here's the Amazon page.

The book reinforces how the enemy uses the media as their primary goal
They record (from multiple angles and broadcast what happens, getting footage is more important that winning a fight, as the right footage can have the war lost from within the US.

The book goes into many details about just what the soldiers are doing in Iraq and what their lives are like and some of the things they do.

The Deuce Four used the media and mind games to unravel the enemy. One day the Deuce Four faked an IED attack using an Iraqi Security Force truck as the "target," complete with explosives and flash-bang grenades to simulate the IED. They even simulated evacuating casualties using sand-filled dummies.
The enemy took the bait. Terrorists came out and started with the AK-rifle-monkey-pump, shooting into the truck, their own video crews capturing the moment of glory. That's when the American snipers (Navy SEALs) opened fire and killed the terrorists who were carrying weapons. For obvious reasons the great AK-monkey-pumper smack-down was kept secret for a long time, until, with permission, I published it in the summer of 2005.
Pg 37

Here's a link to that article.

The book does not mince words. It shows how the US screwed things up and how it got the amazing chance to turn things around.

The US for all it's ineptness actually TRIED to help, and our soldiers were much better at killing. While AQ would just kill people for smoking, not growing beards, and mixing cucumbers with tomatoes in the same bag. Meanwhile these 'pious' men would engage in all sorts of drugs, rape, and other debauchery.

Yon goes into depth about how AQ is a cult and a criminal gang and how it works.

Governments that can't take care of sewage loose the people.
Americans are naturally good at counterinsurgency. One might almost say we are good at counterinsurgency, because we are good at removing sewage. We see problems as challenges rather than insurmountable obstacles. It never occurs to us to thick the sewage can't be removed, or wait around for someone else to do it.
Pg 74

When AQ took over an area they couldn't do any services, other than death.

Americans are also good at counterinsurgency because they're good at insurgency. Iraq could be where it is now in 2005 or even 2004. If the Admin didn't screw things up. The Book's first chapters outline exactly what happened, disassembling the Iraq army, De-Bathification, lack of interaction with the populace, very, very poor media relations.

As strange as the analogy is, the chance for things to get better happened because AQ is like underpants gnomes of South Park

1) Kill everyone, preferably US soldiers, but random Muslim civilians if you want, enforce insane "laws" and terrorize everyone
2) ????
3) World domination

So the gommers were able to piss off Iraqis more than the US was, and Pretraus was smart enough to flip them. He did this back in 2004-5 in Mosul, and watched the city he kept stable go insane when he left.

Page 89 talks directly about how AQ had "three queens" on the board, but didn't know what to do with them

Our forces over there are now doing more holding and keeping terrorist from going back, but imagine if you will... what would happen if someone got into office that then "Ended the War."

War is ugly. But if you are going to fight at al, it's important to fight to win. We have created the conditions for peace in Iraq. But out job is not finished. The worst thing that could happen now would be surrendering when victory – real victory, not just empty triumph – is so close.
When our troops start drawing down, as they should when the conditions are favorable, the drawdown must be down methodically, for reasons both strategic and logistic. A hasty withdrawal would only empower our enemies and allow al Qaeda to regenerate. Politics dictates that politicians talk about withdrawal. The truth is right now we need more troops here, so we can get out of these tanks and other armor in Mosul and start walking the streets. The higher truth is that we are so close to winning, winning in the big sense of seeing Iraq be free and democratic, united and at peace (by local standards), that it would be a crime to hold back now. Maybe creating a powerful democracy in the Middle East was a foolish reason to go to war. Maybe it was never the reason we went to war. But it is within our grasp now and nearly all the hardest work has been done.
Whoever becomes our next president in January 2009 must be prepared for an uptick in violence in Iraq shortly after the inauguration. Insurgency is a political war, waged on the news cycle, and our enemies might well try to create an illusion of strength. If the new president is panicked by an illusion and pulls our troops out, we and the Iraqis likely will pay the price for decades, Perhaps generations to come. If we precipitously withdraw our troops, all of the tremendous progress we are seeing will be lost. The region could descend into chaos.
Pg 225. Emphasis added.

There's too much in the book for me to even attempt to summarize, but other things that struck me is the sense that many Americans are under a doom where good news can't get in and their minds are stick in 2005 or how "The military is at war. America is at the mall." Pg 226

Yon also shows how the media is getting better at reporting and being more involved with what is happening over there and having the truth get out, whatever it may be.

One of the saddest things about the Iraq War has been the political polarization back home. There is no doubt that it was an elective war and poorly executed. But some of our own countrymen want to see us lose this war. For may people it seems to be more important that they win the argument than for justice to prevail and Iraq to be free. On the other hand, those who support the war must remember that the critics were often right.
Without the critics we might never have made the great changes of 2007, and the war would be lost today.
I wanted out side to win, but knew that neither mindless cheerleading nor mindless pessimism would help.
Pg 226 Emphasis added.

It's hard for me to not quote more, but Yon makes a very powerful and moving argument for what is at stake here. It would be a victory on the "same magnitude as the fall of the Soviet Union." Remember the ramifications of what "Iraq be[ing] free and democratic, united and at peace (by local standards)" would mean for the region and the world. Then add in the effect of having al Qaeda's mass rejection, expulsion, and combat by "the very Muslims they claim to represent."

"And if we lose, Iraq will be the worst foreign policy disaster in our history. Imagine Vietnam, then multiply it by al Qaeda and Iran." Pg226.

This is something to consider when people bleat about pulling out. They are either ignorant to what's going on over there, part of the group that would rather win an argument at the cost of Iraqi lives, or those pandering to the second group.

The war Iraq is an important event, one that is at a great crossroads, and the ignorance of the average American at what is going on over there is shameful. At least this book can serve as a good primer and more importantly help fund Yon so he can continue his independent reporting.

You won't regret reading it.

Friday, April 25, 2008

June 1, 2008

Yes, very much yes.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Moment of Truth in Iraq

People reading this before, will recall my recomendation of Michael Yon's reports. As one of the few people actually reporting from inside Iraq he has information that doesn't really get reported.

Recently, he wrote a book, Moment of Truth in Iraq. I just got my copy and have found it gripping and very informative. So far it's been an excellent read on how the US screwed up and how AQ alienated Iraqi's even more, and how the situation changed. It's a great primer for people that want to see exactly what's happening over there and what the changes that surround the Surge and the Anbar Awakening really mean.

I'll have a more in-depth review once I finish reading it.

But even now I recommend you buy your own copy. Moment of Truth in Iraq: How a New 'Greatest Generation' of American Soldiers is Turning Defeat and Disaster into Victory and Hope. At the very least go to his website and read his articles. What's going on over there is too important to be left to an incompetent, inattentive, and inept mainstream media.

Here's a good interview with Yon about his book

Interview: Replacing Fatalism with Hope
Inside Iraq with Michael Yon.

The American soldier is the most dangerous man in the world, and the Iraqis had to learn that before they would trust or respect our folks. But it is only after they see with their own eyes these great-hearted warriors, who so enjoy killing the enemy, are even happier helping to build a school or to make a neighborhood safe that we really got their attention.


Lopez: Let’s say Barack Obama becomes president. How does Iraq work out?

Yon: Well, I don’t do politics.

But since you brought it up, in my view the Bush administration was mostly wrong about the war for a long time and now seems to be mostly right. I will say that Sen. McCain is one of the few who seems to have understood the war, not just backed it, but understood it from the very beginning.

That shows in his steadfast opposition to torture, by the way. Betraying American values is no way to win a counterinsurgency. We win counterinsurgencies by killing the “irreconcilables” and then showing everyone else what America is really like.

Related on why Iraq is less of an issue

The real downside of this lack of coverage is that some people don't realize how things have changed, and that allows some politicians to run on an older (2004-2005) perception of the war, but that's all the more reason to go to Yon's website and/or buy his book.

Pennsylvania Primary

If you're looking for info on the Pennsylvania primary here's Vodkapundit's Stephen Green drunk-blogging, appropriately enough, the results.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Guns and Happiness

It turns out people with guns are actually less bitter than those without.
Which makes sense to anyone that's ever actually owned a gun.

Mark Steyn also looks into this in "Gods and Guns? Hell yes."

Where was I? Oh, yes. In my book "America Alone," I note a global survey on optimism: 61 percent of Americans were optimistic about the future, 29 percent of the French, 15 percent of Germans. Take it from a foreigner: In my experience, Americans are the least "bitter" people in the developed world. Secular, gun-free big-government Europe doesn't seem to have done anything for people's happiness. Consider by way of example the words of Keith Reade. He's not an Obama speechwriter, he's a writer for the London Daily Mirror. And the day after the 2004 presidential election he expressed his frustration in an alarmingly Obamaesque way:
"Were I a Kerry voter, though, I'd feel deep anger, not only at them returning Bush to power, but for allowing the outside world to lump us all into the same category of moronic muppets. The self-righteous, gun-totin', military-lovin', sister-marryin', abortion-hatin', gay-loathin', foreigner-despisin', nonpassport ownin' rednecks, who believe God gave America the biggest d*** in the world so it could urinate on the rest of us and make their land 'free and strong.'"
Well, that's certainly why I supported Bush, but I'm not sure it entirely accounts for the other 62,039,073 incontinent rednecks. Reade, though, does usefully enumerate some of the distinctive features that separate America from the rest of the West. "Self-righteous"? If you want a public culture that reeks of indestructible faith in its own righteousness, try Europe – especially when they're talking about America: If you disagree with Eutopian wisdom, you must be an idiot.
As for "gun-totin'," large numbers of Americans tote guns because they're assertive, self-reliant citizens, not docile subjects of a permanent governing class. The Second Amendment is philosophically consistent with the First Amendment, for which I've become more grateful since the Canadian Islamic Congress decided to sue me for "hate speech" up north. Both amendments embody the American view that liberty is not the gift of the state, and its defense cannot be outsourced exclusively to the government.

I think the last part is key in how to view the role of Goverment in people's lives.

Out of Context?

BHO is right, there is a "say anything do anything, slash and burn to politics that keeps any real progress"

And he's a part of it.

Again with this point. BHO is just another politician. He takes quotes out of context. He smears rivals. He takes money from big business and the wealthy. He was a part of the corrupt Chicago political machine. He associates with very... questionable people for political expediency.

Most of you can say that yes this is what politicians do.

That's the point, BHO is running what he calls "new politics". He is telling people that he is different, and that he won't be the same old political games. The evidence shows that this is a lie.

It's a very handy lie. It's a great way to get fawning supporters (rubes) that don't know any better and it's a great cover, it even explains, his gigantic lack of experience. Even Hillary! has more experience managing people and running things than him.

It's no accident that he has "Change we can believe in" as a slogan. Belief is not rational. You don't have people logically weighing the pros and cons of a god and then picking one. Even BHO says that his conversion to Wright's flock was spiritual.

So right there up front is the admission, feelings and hope in this eloquent man are more important than any actual facts.

If they were, you'd have to have people dispassionately look at BHO's record, associates and judgment and then compare these to his competitors.

Granted this is exactly what I did and why I reluctantly support McCain.

But I suppose one could prefer BHO on rational metrics, especially if you were for wealth-redistribution, dramatic expansion of the gov, and pretty much every other far left canard.

In that case, yes BHO is your man.

Dresden Codak

Dresden Codak used to be a comic that I had a perma-link to. The comic then went in a direction that was a bit... "meh" to me. I didn't have the motivation to fully articulate why I became disinclined to that comic.

But fortunately, John Solomon and his cohorts at "Your webcomic is bad and you should feel bad" did a review of it. The first part was pretty good. It explained some of the degeneration and the boneheaded business decisions that the cartoonist was making. Infrequent updates are not a good idea if the comic becomes your sole means of support.

Then John came out with another update. This one delved more into the failings of the comic, especially when it went from nerd-gags and into a storyline. Here John properly reams a nitwit of a cartoonist that doesn't know how to handle characters, plot a story, or deal with the prose limitations of his medium.

In the process of his critique John writes something about characters that I whole-heartedly agree with.

Here's the thing about characters in a work of fiction: they're people. They might be people people, robot people or even... occasionally... anthropomorphic animal people. The point is, they're well-rounded individuals with depth. Why do writers (well, good writers) make their characters this way? Because firstly, it's easier to write them.

"Woah there!" I hear a vast section of the Internet cry out, looking up from their Zutara fanfics. "You're wrong! Writing well-rounded characters with depth is hard!"

Oh, but of course it is for you, because you're lazy and you don't know a fucking thing. If you're competent, then you don't have to sit and think "What will my stupid character do next?" What they'll do next is obvious, because you know their personality like it's your own, or at least a close sibling whose mind you can read. So rather than sweat out the decisions, the prose flows from your fingertips like it has a life of its own. Every quirk and mannerism becomes second nature - they might click their fingers while thinking, or play with their hair when flirting. Whatever. You, as an author, know this person.

That's the truth right there. I'm not in any means a professional writer, and ever since I've been doing full-time work I haven't had the time for my hobby, but I still read a fair bit (and yes I'll start doing book reviews sometimes).

So that's what struck me. Not only did someone articulate how a comic I had enjoyed had gone downhill, but had also succinctly and amusingly defined a core idea to writing.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Via Glen Reynolds
One of the big complaints about McCain is that he's chummy with the media. This was part of why he got his "Maverick" persona. On his current campaign he's kept this up even when the New York Times has smeared him with front-page gossip.

I have my reservations on that kind of vanity, though as a politician McCain would have a huge ego. However, it seems better than this is better than hiding behind the curtain whenever the media decides to stop lobbing softballs.

Meanwhile, Obama gets a couple questions on unpleasant topics — do you understand why your San Francisco comment bothered some Pennsylvanians? Why did you ask Jeremiah Wright to not play a role in your campaign kickoff? Why don't you wear a flag pin? Can you explain your relationship with William Ayers? — and his supporters go apoplectic, some even screaming Obama should retaliate against ABC as President. And his campaign whines that it's "gotcha politics and distractions."

Ahh more Rookie mistakes. Despite the media's bias, they still love blood, and will turn on you, especially if you become the weaker candidate.

It's a new kind of politics.

I couldn't help myself. It was just too funny.

Some fun plane stuff.

A few people make RV planes with amazing detail and functionality.
Very nice planes and a fun article.


Who wants another dose of New Politics?

Well I found these links and this is the best place to put them.

Personally, I'm putting these up out of morbid interest. It's amazing to see that the Dems think these clowns are fit for the job. Though BHO's stumbles are making Hillary!'s lies and power-madness seem almost endearing.

So back on the track. More and more it's becoming clear BHO is a confidence artist.

Obama offers a well-constructed lie based on the thinnest of partial truths. He wants us to believe that oil companies conduct themselves in destructive manners, and yet partners with the people who run them to get himself elected. Putting aside the mindless populism of demonizing oil companies, the hypocrisy here is obvious and laughable. If the industry is so evil and destructive, why associate himself with their CEOs at all, let alone make them part of his campaign?


This isn’t New Politics, it’s the same old drizzly effluvium that machine politicians use to hoodwink voters. At least by the time most of them run for high public office, they have a track record that allows voters to excuse the contradictions between their rhetoric and their alliances. Obama doesn’t even have that — in fact, has no executive experience at all. His rhetoric about rising above petty politics and the connected microparsing of “lobbyist” and “oil companies” is all he has, and it shouldn’t be enough to run for President.

New Politics eh?

And more of the same.

Senator Obama's election year image is that of a man who can bring the country together, overcoming differences of party or race, as well as solving our international problems by talking with Iran and other countries with which we are at odds, and performing other miscellaneous miracles as needed.

There is, of course, not a speck of evidence that Obama has ever transcended party differences in the United States Senate. Voting records analyzed by the National Journal show him to be the farthest left of anyone in the Senate. Nor has he sponsored any significant bipartisan legislation -- nor any other significant legislation, for that matter.


It is understandable that young people are so strongly attracted to Obama. Youth is another name for inexperience -- and experience is what is most needed when dealing with skillful and charismatic demagogues.

A case of Right message Wrong person.

Bill Clinton has a theory why Hillary Clinton attracts older voters, while Barack Obama does better with the younger set. He told a crowd in a Pennsylvania suburb that Obama’s supporters are … inexperienced at dealing with political rhetoric. In short — younger voters are saps for a younger, charismatic liar. And he should know:

And from Victor Davis Hanson.
BHO really does keep just picking at it.
ANd what did I say about doing that?

As we saw in her spech today, Michelle won't stop — and seems again clueless that an Ivy-League educated, $300,000 plus salaried lawyer in a $1.6 million house, cannot be a perpetual victim by virtue of her race.

Cf. the latest sarcasm: "Now when is the last time you've seen a president of the United States who just paid off his loan debt? But, then again, maybe I'm out of touch."

This too won't stop, and expect more of this defiance all summer and autumn long to add to the existing corpus of a "mean" U.S. that does not merit "pride" and is full of clueless unaware citizens. Most Americans have little sympathy with anyone who feels it a is hardship to pay back thousands of dollars invested in a Harvard Law degree. Their likely rejoinder to today's sarcasm: 'Well then, if you feel pinched by paying back your loans, don't give Rev. Wright $20,000.

More from Hanson "So if religion is a crutch for the embittered of Middle America, what is the creepy Rev. Wright for Obama?"

And here's the key part.

Race has nothing to do with it; a certain smugness everything.

The American people will forgive slips, even condescension IF they are followed by genuine apology and not repeated ad infinitum. But in this case, there will be a growing weariness, followed by anger, at the notion that a Presidential candidate thinks he can say whatever he wishes, associate with whomever he wants, and feel it's the electorate's, not his own, ensuing problem.

From Jonah Goldberg Hope, Change... Retro?

There’s always been a certain cultural lag time to Barack and Michelle Obama, a kitschiness that’s hard to pinpoint. But I think I’ve got it: They’re self-hating yuppies straight out of the 1980s, which were to the Obamas what the 1960s were to the Clintons.


The Obamas still seem stuck in that time warp, clinging to ’80s-style resentments and political assumptions. Michelle Obama is never so eloquent as when she’s complaining about the burden of student loans for her two Ivy League degrees and covering the high cost of summer camp and piano lessons for her kids on her family’s half-million-dollars-a-year income

So, if you love the '80s and hate yourself, or at least the Mean-old-typical-white-people, or what have you, maybe BHO is for you.

And Roger Kimball has a Praise of Elitism and relates it to BHO's "clinging" comment.

The point is that reality is elitist. Failure to acknowledge that might make you feel kinder, gentler, etc., but at the significant cost of living a lie.

The ineluctability of elitism is why I rankled at the description of Obama’s bitter-small-town-guns-and-God comment as elitist. It was smug; it was self-righteous; it was blinkered, bigoted, emotionally impoverished, and otherwise odious; it but it was not in any normal sense of the word “elitist.” I do not live in Pennsylvania. But I do live in a small(ish) town; I think the Second Amendment is a vital prophylactic against the untoward prerogatives of state power; and I’d sooner “cling” to religion than the hectoring, welfare-state, just-let-us-tell-you-how-to -live-your-life directives dispensed by Michelle and Barrack Obama. But what bothers me about such directives is not their elitism but their arrogance.

Indeed, for connoisseurs of political savvy, perhaps the most disturbing thing about Obama’s mini-diatribe was the contrast it revealed between the oleaginous, feel-your-pain evangelism of hope he has on an infinite playback loop and the disabused arrogance that crackles just beneath the burnished, campaign-trail mask.


I think we all know exactly what he meant. He meant that he regarded most Americans as bitter, small-town, gun-toting, God-fearing, xenophobic, unemployed isolationists who needed help. That is bad enough. Even worse, however, is the disgusting pretense that he actually meant something more emollient. Most of us have gotten used to being treated with contempt by politicians. But Obama has upped the ante. It isn’t pleasant. But it is, at any rate, useful to know just how stupid he thinks we are. I for one will not forget it.

Emphasis added. Which is the important part, if you deny reality out of a desire for more "fairness" well that has some real problems.

It's also a very silly and self deluding way to go though life, but there are people who think that feelings are more important than facts.
Bill Whittle talks about this in an essay of his called Tribes. About two types of people, the pinks and the greys.

And back to Roger for a bit about bow ties and BHO supporters following the "script"

Watching the herd of independent minds in the grip of a tantrum is always amusing, and this little episode certainly offered some splendid moments. What struck me most powerfully, however, was the fact that many of my correspondents seemed to think I was criticizing their totem for being “elitist.” In fact, I meant to praise elitism. How can you tell? Well, clever hermeneuts will have noticed that the post is called “In Praise of Elitism.” That was the first hint. And then there was the fact that while I allowed that Obama’s bitter-small-town-gun-and-God-lovin’ remarks were “smug,” “self-righteous,” etc. (“blinkered, bigoted, emotionally impoverished, and otherwise odious”), I concluded that they were “not in any normal sense of the word ‘elitist.’


What I actually wrote didn’t matter, though. The script required that a bow-tie-and-glasses white fellow just had to criticize Obama for being elitist. If he failed to do so, no matter: just follow the script and pretend that he did."


Uh oh... looks like the Superdelegates may have to do their jobs. The whole point they exist (and make up 20% of the vote) is to override the popular "will".

And here we have BHO's real test.
Give him a choice: Get more revenue from the rich to fund your many, many projects or increase rates which shrinks the overall "size of the pie" and ends up reducing revenue.
The "advantage" of the second option is that is redistributes wealth more "fairly".

And this man is telling us that he can also save our economy?

Read and listen very carefully to this. The higher priority for Obama isn’t to raise revenue; it’s to ensure fairness. In order to do that, he will have the government take a bigger share of the gains and redistribute them through social programs to others. The pretense of having more money acts as a veneer for good, old-fashioned redistributionism.

Some people don't like a debate that is you know... tough on people that want to be president. Heaven forbid we hurt someone's feelings. Apparently asking "republican" questions (yes, some people think asking pertinent questions about a person's past activities is uniquely Republican) is off limits. We can't have the candidates exposed to something unpleasant, it's not like a voter in the primary may want to know about this stuff.
Ace's throughts, Michelle Malkin's, and Rachel Lucas' on that subject.

And on a related note:

If nothing else good comes from all this, at least it’ll have opened a few eyes to left-wing media bias by putting Hillary’s supporters temporarily, and bizarrely, in the position of Republicans. Why yes, Jeralyn, Keith Olbermann is “the most shameless ridiculous hack on TV.” If Hillary wins the nomination and he jumps back face-first into the tank for her, will that still be true?

Here's a bit more on the debate too.

And Anne Althouse live-blogged the debate.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Do you like guns or religion? Then you must be bitter.

Here's the latest bit of the great unifier talking about PA.

You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them," Obama said. "And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

He really cares doesn't he?

Now match this with what BHO and his wife has said about wanting to change Americans.

He's not really... reaching out to people of different politics.

Victor Davis Hanson takes this statement apart point by point.

And Glen Reynolds has two roundups one here and another here

If you're running as a glamorous blank slate on which people project their own utopian fantasies, you've got to be very careful not to give the game away - especially when the game turns out to be the usual cliched elite disdain for the great unwashed.

Mark Steyn

Friday, April 11, 2008

Weird and Wonderful Things

That's the motto of Dark Roasted Blend.

It does not disappoint. The site is a potpourri of all kinds of interesting images. From giant machinery to underground Soviet installations to big pieces of scientific equipment to various oddities to airplane and traffic things.

It's a wonderful site full of lots of neat and pleasant stuff.

Cynical Political Schadenfreude will resume when I feel like it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A much more positive scientific development: Real power armor

Popular Science comes up with an article on an real life powered armor.
It comes on the heels of a CNN report (link to video) a couple months ago.

It's a good article with a lot of detail. I'm struck by how close this functional exo-suit is to the concept Robert A. Heinlein setup in his book Starship Troopers. Unlike the movie "remake", in the book the infantry is an elite all-volunteer force that uses powered armor. There are sensors in the armor that detect how the user is moving their limbs and they move to negate the load, just like how the XOS Exoskeleton works.

It is an agile suit that takes the load off of the human wearer while exactly mimicking their movements. This allows the suit to carry and move a lot of weight without fatiguing the... pilot.

The biggest hurdle for the concept is power. Currently it can run on internal power for about 40 minutes, a much longer duration would be required before true battle use. Also various hardening and redundancy systems would be required before it could be fully militarized.

Innate coolness of battle forms aside, such a vehicle may have more use behind the lines. As mentioned in the articles the suit's strength makes it very useful for repair, maintenance, loading and unloading. Pretty-much any task that requires heavy lifting. Consider it a much more flexible and agile forklift.

Another nice feature is that such a role, would likely be on base or ship and thus power and maintenance issues for the suit would be less.

For pure military engineering fanboyism it doesn't get much better than this.

A mockery of science

Very scary stuff about "transforming" science

The most frightening parts in my mind is how to implement this scheme.

Encouraging more women in the applied sciences is fine. As an engineer I've worked with female engineers and while there were less of them, they were often more competent than their male counterparts. Given, that they were often more interested on average than the more numerous males were.

But if you mandated quotas or ratios how would you force compliance? The Section 9 method would have the number of male engineers limited to keep funding from being cut.

Retention is also a problem. Once you have the "proper" number of women (or whatever other "group" one wants) how do you ensure that the ratio is maintained? People will drop out as the curriculum advances.

One can see the problems emerging from a "vigorous and transformative" methods.

The article also motions why there's no cause to push the amount of males in the Humanities to parity with the number of women.

There's also an upsetting undercut to the need to change "Culture of Science". That it needs to be more flexible and less competitive and driven.

It's not enough that largely unscientific people want to force the numbers of scientists and engineers into some arbitrary ratio, but they also want to change the nature of how science works. It shows a tremendous ignorance of how research, scientific methodology, and applied science work.

Science and engineering are very difficult and technical for a reason, but it's not like reality is important to these social engineers.

More... Climate... science?

More on the latest Global... Cooling

From the News article linked:
"When you look at climate change you should not look at any particular year," he told the BBC. "You should look at trends over a pretty long period and the trend of temperature globally is still very much indicative of warming."

This is very true, and should be taken into account next time there's a hot summer or a weak winter, but the media doesn't really have that kind of restraint. Clearly something is up. As mentioned before there were some serious boundary condition and modeling mechanism errors in the current crop of climate simulations, which is why they're not predicting current behavior.

Now these models don't change what is happening right now, but they are showing their value as a predictor of future events as a bit... unreliable. Which is very bad if your aim is to plan for future changes and try to fix things.

Proper Intentions when Voting

Oh wow... It looks like the Chairman of Indiana's Democratic primary doesn't think that poeple can change parties. I'd love to see how he plans to determin if a voter decided to become a Democrat after seeing the light, or is just in his words a "crossover with mischievous intent," . Oh yeah... it's an Open primary in Indiana. So you don't even have to change your affiliation.

Well with such stringint ideals you'd wonder what their stance is on the state's voter ID law.title=Crawford_v._Marion_County_Election_Bd.#Background
Huh, so they'd rather count non-citizans making illegal votes than people of a party they don't like voting legally.


Dark Canada

Mentioned the Ezra Levant trial, well here's more on the continuing scandal and frightening free speech restrictions in Canada

[They]have all attracted the CHRC's ire because they've said or done something "likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt."

That's from Section 13.1 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Note that magic word: "likely." No need to prove certain words or images inspired tangible hate crimes, like arson or assault. Rather, CHRC bureaucrats need merely deem it "likely" that persons unknown might commit such crimes between now and the end of the world. That's "thought crime" meets "future crime." And it is enshrined in Canadian law.

Oh, and the Human Rights Commission's conviction rate for Section 13.1 cases? A Stalinist 100%.

And now the Canadian Gov is going after more people for the horrid crime of being "unmutual"

More info at the link, and remember this when people claim Bush is shredding the Bill of Rights.

Ukraine and Genocide

From the Corner

Now, part of what fascinates me is why anyone would think murdering people because of their economic status is somehow any less evil than murdering people because of their ethnicity. I know what many of the whys are, and I think they reveal something profound about how different people see the world. In America and the West generally, vast numbers of leftist intellectuals forgave Stalin, Mao and others for murdering people who stood in the way of Progress — and historians continue to do so today. Indeed, "modernization" was one of the great excuses and rationalizations for murder, theft and, yes, genocide in the 20th century and, I fear, people will be going back to this intellectual well for a good long time.

One last point: If you are a Marxist you generally consider race, ethnicity and nationality to be mere epiphenomena, absurd and archaic categories of the Old Order, right? And, you believe that class is an enduring category of humanity, more "real" than mere ethnicity, right? So by your own definitions, isn't slaughtering a whole class of people a form of genocide or attempted genocide?

BHO, Gun Rights, and why Hill won't quit.

BHO against something legal in 39 states and supported by the Bill of Rights. Unity! Now his position is standard for a Far-left Liberal, but it's more evidence the man is not a moderate, nor a uniter.

Another angle on this.
Knowing everything you now know about Obama — including the fact that he thinks someone should be guilty of a felony if a burglar steals his gun and uses it to shoot someone — what would you guess would be his position? Well, that's exactly what it is. The doctrinaire liberal takes the doctrinaire liberal stance, as he did in 1996, all within the context of the new "nonpartisan" spirit he's bringing to Washington, mind you

"I am not in favor of concealed weapons," Obama said. "I think that creates a potential atmosphere where more innocent people could (get shot during) altercations."

As a commentator pointed out, this dovetails nicely with Obama's resistance to Missile Defense.
"He's also against Ballistic Missile Defense. Again, he doesn't want people to be able to defend themselves. Just negotiate with muggers and missiles, right Obamatron?" -Tony

Here's a little town you'd likely never have heard of.

And as Frank J of the excitable Imao.us notes. States that are Shall Issue conceal carry have crime rates go down when they open up gun rights.

John R. Lott Jr wrote a book on the statistics of this.

Marc Ambinder is no fawning fan of McCain, well neither am I, but lays out the interesting bit of biography at work here.

Private polling shared recently with McCain's strategists shows that, under the right conditions, Americans were ready to embrace McCain as the agent of change they've been waiting for. (Where have I heard that bef……oh…..) The polling, and the developing strategy, hinges on McCain's convincing those Obama-loving independents that McCain is known commodity who embodies change and that Obama's story is just that – a story and his rhetoric is mere words. Obama may run on his biography, but McCain will run as biography; he is who he says he is; you know him; you trust him; and you're comfortable with him. McCain is an open book; Obama is…well, more of a mystery.

There's a deeper, more holistic messaging attempt at work. McCain often likes to say that the country owes him nothing, but McCain owes the country everything. By contrast, McCain advisers believe that Obama's core message is arrogance: America has problems, and only Obama can fix them; he deserves the presidency. (An irony: the incarnation of JFK – Obama – cast as the foil to Kennedy's most famous maxim.)

Heh. It's the naked arrogance and concealment that irks me about Obama. He comes across as a confidence man. He tells you what you want to think and gets his fans worked up and so enamored with him that they don't pay attention to his past and what he's actually done. They believe in him. They may not be able to name anything he's done, but they have faith in what he will do. As I've mentioned before, Obama is growing a cult of personality.

A detailed analysis on how Hillary has a chance to get the popular vote, which would give her a strong argument (See Florida 2000 Gore versus Bush) that she should get the nod as the will of the people in the party.

It may be a long shot, but she has to take it. Consider the three cases here.

1) Hillary keeps in and wins the nomination
2) Hillary keeps in and looses to BHO and drops out after she's "gone down fighting"
3) Hillary bows out now (or some other "early" time) to preserver party unity.

The results make it pretty clear

1) She goes on and runs against McCain and could get to be president
2) She's shown that she can be tough and fight until the end. Goes to the Senate and has the option of trying again at the presidency. If BHO loses she'll get some of the blame, but she can use this as evidence that she would have been the stronger candidate and the Super Delegats were the real ones to screw the party.
3)b She gets labeled as a quitter, and if OBH loses she'll still get the blame. Both for weakening him and for quitting when she was the stronger candidate. This really hurts any future chances for her.

Most Americans do not like people that quit. We like people that risk big, that have confidence. If Hill can pull of Option 1 then she makes a strong case as both the comeback kid and the inevitable candidate and proves all the pundits wrong.

Option 3 is the one that hurts her the most, and since the stay/drop choice only divides between options 1 & 2 and option 3. She has no reason to drop out.

Hillary! cares more about her own ambitions than "party unity". And there's nothing that Howard Dean or BHO can do to get her to quit. There's nothing they can bribe her with (she's running for president and nothing short of that will do), and if they had blackmail that would work against her they would have already used it against her.

So that's why Hillary is staying in. She has a chance of getting the nomination if she does, but has no chance of getting it now, or ever again, if she drops out.

Wright racism versus Anti-Americanism. Which did BHO respond to?

More on BHO being a modern politcal confidance artist

Obama's glamour also accounts for some of his campaign's other stumbles. Plenty of candidates attract supporters who disagree with them on some issues. Obama is unusual, however. He attracts supporters who not only disagree with his stated positions but assume he does too.


Where optimists fill in mystery with their hopes, however, pessimists project their fears. The flip side of glamour is horror: the vampire, the con man, the femme fatale, the double agent. These glamorous archetypes remind us of how easy it is to succumb to desire and manipulation. What, ask his opponents, is Obama hiding?

More mundanely, the apparent effortlessness of his political career—the grace with which he seems to rise above ordinary politics—makes it harder for him to shrug off the unsavory allies who come with a career in Chicago, from indicted developer Tony Rezko to antigay preacher Rev. James Meeks. They spoil the fantasy.

Heh. All politicians are con-men (remember my comment on which is more likely? that your guy really IS perfect or that you're a rube?). Well, one of the best cons is to make it so that you're against the other con-men.

An article in that darth right wing madhouse known as Salon about how Hillary would be doing if the Democrats used Republican or general election style rules. Also shows how much BHO values the "will of the people". Heh.

"In the final analysis, though, the fights inside the Democratic Party aren't really about either an ideal American democracy or the American democracy that actually exists. According to the Obama campaign, democracy is defined as whatever helps Barack Obama win the Democratic nomination. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with a candidate arguing this way. But everybody should see it for what it is -- not something new or transformative, but one of the oldest ploys in the playbook of American politics."

From Victor Davis Hanson some general notes on events.
Including who's What?

Close your eyes and imagine. You hear one party demand tariffs and an end to free trade. Its supporters talk in terms of racial values and racial separateness, as it leaders calculate the white versus black vote state-by-state. It denounces the idea of protecting a democracy abroad from thugs and terrorists. And it has out-raised its counterpart over 3-1 in cash donations for political campaigning. Its nominating process is Byzantine and ultimately determined by the undemocratic votes of unelected Superdelegates accountable to no one. And this is all deemed "liberal."


Change! Hope! We won't be taking money from the rich. People power!

We can do it!

He's really different

Military News that was missed

North Korea is falling apart, but the magnitude may shock you.

Interesting report. The "insurgents" have increased the tempo of their attacks despite knowing how much more of a risk they are when they group together with weapons. this shows how desperate the situation is for them, and how much value they place on getting a successful attack in the news. If their attacks can give the perception that Iraq is lost, with the help of willingly helpful or lazy people in the media, then it's worth the losses they take.

Some more progress.

More info on FARC's implosion

Another summary of the Basara, Iraq, Iran situation

General David H. Petraeus' opening remarks

Posting Gap

I haven't had the chance to post in a while.

I should be back on my more regular link dumps and bits of thoughts and such.

Or not. I'll have to see what the quality of some of the stuff I was thinking of linking too.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Daily Links

What's unique about Obama, we now recognize, is that the notion of "talking to your enemies" is not just a diplomatic cliché. He will indeed hear out the obscurantist regimes that plot against U.S. citizens, allies, and interests, just as he sat still while his obscurantist preacher fulminated against "white America." Will he manage to persuade his interlocutors in Tehran and Damascus to modify their behavior in Iraq, Lebanon, the Persian Gulf, Israel, and the Palestinian territories? Of course not. He was incapable of convincing a man he has known for two decades, who married him and baptized his two daughters, that his employer, the government of the United States, did not create HIV to kill African Americans.

More about what's becoming a repeating theme about BHO

Read this article and remember the dangers of doing buisness with China, given how they treat intelectual property.
"This could get interesting, because the Chinese are not trying to sell their illegal copies of Russian equipment on the international market." Typo should be "now trying to sell"

Link to another site of someone reporting from inside Iraq

And Ted Turner... is going a bit isane and out there. Thinks that Global Warming will be one notch below a full on zombie invasion. At least with the eating of human flesh.

More links on the "Global Warming"
From Ace
Some hard data...

Again the model versus reality stuff.
From Australia

From Canada

The last time the sun was this inactive, Earth suffered the Little Ice Age that lasted about five centuries and ended in 1850. Crops failed through killer frosts and drought. Famine, plague and war were widespread. Harbors froze, so did rivers, and trade ceased.

It's way too early to claim the same is about to happen again, but then it's way too early for the hysteria of the global warmers, too.

For all the hype about Global Warming, the mechanisms are not well understood, and the impacts are unknown too. It's dangerous when people are almost... religious "We must atone for our eco-sins to prevent the rapture of an angry Gaia".

It also draws attention away from more established pollutants and methods of reducing environmental damage, but what do you expect from people that honestly believe that Bush pulled the US out of Kyoto (helpful hints: what year was that brought to the US Gov, and did the US ever actually agree to it?)

Overview of training, corruption, and changes in Iraq.

Bad news for India and its Naval Air.

M777 Howitzer Reduce mass, increase mobility.

Some good NATO news.

BHO thinks missile defense is an unproven system that should be cut. He also thinks we should be closer to Europe and work with them more... but what if the Europeans want missile defense?
What'll he do then?

Making the missile defense a NATO alliance program sets a trap for the Democrats, who are on record as wanting to "strengthen our traditional alliances". Unilaterally abrogating the program would put them in a position of going-it-alone and having to explain to the American people what they are doing.

Their opposition to the program has heretofore benefited from not having to explain anything--they simply cut the funding and it all went away. At this point the have a program with notably and very public successes with the NATO allies onboard.

It does send a message.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

More links and such

BHO's been running ads saying how he's not in the pocket of lobbyists, big oil and the like. Well turns out that's more... empty hope

I guess Unity doesn't apply to policy.

And here's the Columbia Journalism Review slamming BHO for some recent comments he made about McCain. Odd this story isn't getting more coverage.

And wow... great politician.

From Charles
I think what we're seeing here is someone who’s beginning to feel the pressure. Obama could have given the guy a photo in much less time than it took him to throw this little tantrum in front of CBS’ cameras.

From Glen

An idea for climate control that's more proactive and could have more effect than the "band aid" proposals of carbon reduction.
However as Reynolds points out. The tone of article has some... other aspects. "Sin, penance, and dispensation -- the key elements of a scientifically-based climate policy!"

I liked to Rachel yesterday about a post I didn't fully agree with, and here's another post by her. It is nice to have some dialog and civil discussion about different ideas. Ironic, or is it really, that it comes from the "Right".

As one of the commentators says.

Adrian Says:

Althouse quite regularly makes the same point on her blog. She has about 90% standard liberal opinions, but is critical or at least questioning of the other ten percent (never dismissive, but just doesn't follow the line unthinkingly). Naturally, as a result, liberals DESPISE her, constantly attack and slander her, troll her blog, spread lies about her, and send her nasty hate mail. Yet, even though she disagrees with most of what they believe, conservatives are very nice to her, engage in polite discussion and great commenting, and send her lots of traffic. So, yeah, you're not the only one!

It is the internet. So most comments are garbage Look at youtube and cry. So when you find a site where the comments are good. That's a rare treasure.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mess o' Links.

Exponentials are of the form y=a*b^x.
Now, Popular Science thinks this has an upper bound.
That's just sad.
So the math behind Moore's law doesn't have a limit on theory.

Wow BHO can really pick 'em.
Look at what his new Pastor is like.

Either Obama agrees with Meeks, and with Wright, or he is bound to them by political expediency. Both are influential in the world of Chicago politics, both provided an inroad to the black community which Barack Obama lacked. For a candidate of hope and change who tries to portray himself as above these sorts of political calculations, it becomes apparent that he's a political opportunist of the highest order.

New politics eh?

Roundup of all the nitwittery of the two battlin' dems.
Hillary wants to nationalize healthcare but she can't even manage it for her campaign...
Rev. James T. Meeks... wow. BHO's got some great judgment. Hope

McCain... again. I'm not fond of him, and crap like this is why. But again I feel he's better than the other two in the race and that's Four-tens.

More reporting from Iraq itself.. Showing how much things have changed

The story in Karmah should be familiar by now. Iraqis said no. We will work with the Americans and drive you out of our country. So many Stateside Americans still wonder aloud why mainstream Muslims refuse to stand up to terrorists, so apparently the story in Karmah – which is hardly unique to Karmah – isn't familiar enough.

Heh. More Eco-scams.

Also here's a bit from Rachel Lucas.
It's a realistic view on teenagers and sex.

In my world, reality is everything. And the reality is what I just said - humans become fertile and interested in sex when they’re young teenagers. This is a simple fact that can’t be debated, changed, or wished away. We have to accept that there is absolutely no possible way to create a different reality unless we manipulate their hormones or sterilize them (which, frankly, I WHOLLY SUPPORT).
Other facts are that teenagers are resistant to adult advice, they do not see the “big picture”, they have a very poor grasp of how what they do right this second will affect them in the future, and the number one motivator in their lives is peer pressure. Put all of that in a pot and stir it up, and you have very young humans who are fertile, horny, shortsighted, and determined to do what makes them feel good right now.


It's a lot like the Great McCain Question and the lesser of two evils. You know you're gonna get a liberal jackass for a new president, just like you know kids are going to have sex. All you can do is minimize the damage. Voting for McCain may be distasteful and feel so wrong because it's essentially an endorsement of something you don't want to endorse, but the alternative is something worse. Giving teenagers contraception feels distasteful and wrong, as it is an endorsement of something you don't want to endorse, but the alternative is unwanted pregnancies and abortions, which to me, is worse.

Something interesting to think about.

Fitna & Free Speech

Pat Condell's comments to the rage against Geert Wilder's "Fitna".
Warning: he works a bit Blue here, but it's great at showing the PC mentality and how it's being used by these radicals.
Hat tip LGF.
It's an important film, as the response to it shows it's point perfectly.
"Don't you dare call us violent or we'll kill you."

Also from LGF Fitna itself. Liveleak has put it back up and is doing work that the mainstream media is too afraid to do. They won't even admit that this film exists.

Free speech is important, offensive speech especially so. Restricting out "hateful" speech allows the most cynically abusive of the system determine what is acceptable speech. Though threats of violence and actual killings help too.