Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Guns in England

Via Glen Reynolds

Ban legal ownership of handguns, and crime goes up.

Eliminate self-defense and a man protecting his life will go to prison longer than the criminal that broke into his house and came after him.

British Gun owner's message to the US: It will happen to you if you let it.

Meanwhile Obama and his cronnies are eager to bring those kinds of laws here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Via Reynols and Althouse

Being lazy today...

Basically The One is speaking out against Talk Radio and Rush.
Yeah... that won't make any Fairness Doctrine seem like petty political control...

Radio Equalizer: “Beyond the absurdity of a Democrat barking orders at his political opposition, he’s especially foolish to air his fear of Limbaugh and talk radio in a public setting.”

Anne Althouse: “I’m picturing Rush delirious with glee, pacing the cavernous rooms of his mansion, booming out monologues to his kitty cat Pumpkin, as he waits for Monday noon to finally roll around. This will be good.”

And then Reynolds talks about the odd silence coming from the Anti-War left.
Remember, Bush sending robots to kill minorities: bad. Obama sending robots to kill minorities: meh.

Anne Althouse on the Strangelove-ization of our age: You can't ask questions in here! This is the press room!

Friday, January 23, 2009

More Change!

Glen Reynolds: This is not so much a stimulus, as a massive transfer of wealth from the politically unconnected to the politically connected.

Also from the Instapundit. THAT DIDN’T TAKE LONG: News access issues concern those covering Obama.

Well, that's what happens when you have a Pres that gets annoyed by the press questioning him, while he's visiting the press.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

His tendency to combine self-righteousness with lack of seriousness.

Two items to show the kind of Change our President is after.

First Guantanamo Bay

Today Barack Obama issued an entirely symbolic executive order, directing that the terrorist detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay be closed within one year. Gitmo, of course, was created in answer to the question, What are we going to do with captured terrorists? Now, with that facility slated for closure, the question arises once more.


So, in other words, Obama's order accomplishes nothing other than to kick the can down the road. The question of what to do with the terrorists will be "studied"--and, by the way, it's now a "very complex, very detailed question."

Second Obama and those Lobbyists.

Day One: Obama Bans Lobbyists from Serving in His Administration. Day Two: Obama Issues First Exemption from His Ban

I know all of Obama's promises will be broken... but the guy isn't even waiting a full day.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Get your guns now.

From the "new"

Address Gun Violence in Cities: Obama and Biden would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent.

I think this got all the gungrabber keywords: commonsense measures, won't somebody think of the children!, gunshow loophole, expanding the info the state has on you, and the Assault Weapons Ban.

Which prettmuch means they intent to restrict firearms in any way they can get away with.

Jim Geraghty weighs in.
How, precisely, does the Obama administration plan on "making guns in this country childproof"? Mandatory trigger locks?

That's a start. And how to they make sure everyone has said trigger locks? Well a national inspection and search would do.


Seriously, if you want a gun, buy one now, because it doesn't look like they really "respect" your rights.


On the Barack Obama website there's a different version

Address Gun Violence in Cities: As president, Barack Obama would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals who shouldn't have them. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets

Emphasis added on the changes between versions.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Stimulus Math.

Here's ten questions on the Stimulus bill.

An example:

1) President-elect Obama claims that spending approximately $800 billion will create 3.675 million new jobs. That comes to $217,000 per job. This doesn't sound like a very good value, especially with the national average salary around $40,000. Wouldn't it be cheaper to just mail each of these workers a $40,000 check?

They just keep getting better. These are serious questions. Will anyone in the media or congress ask them?

Riedl ends with one last question: "Given the 11,000 annual earmarks, why should taxpayers trust politicians to spend this money better than they would spend it themselves?"

Now that we've seen the questions. Here's some answers

A Dozen Fun Facts About the House Democrats' Massive Spending Bill

1. The House Democrats' bill will cost each and every household $6,700 additional debt, paid for by our children and grandchildren.

2. The total cost of this one piece of legislation is almost as much as the annual discretionary budget for the entire federal government.

3. President-elect Obama has said that his proposed stimulus legislation will create or save three million jobs. This means that this legislation will spend about $275,000 per job. The average household income in the U.S. is $50,000 a year.

4. The House Democrats' bill provides enough spending - $825 billion - to give every man, woman, and child in America $2,700.

Read all those too.

It's almost like this Stimulus bill is a massive, massive scam designed to take government money and spend it on all sorts of Pork.

Hope and Change!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Obama's personal... men/troops/cult

Obama keeping a personal force?
Did anyone expect man that has always used his current positon as a springboard to his next position would have actually disassembled his campaign apperatus? Right now the idea seems to have them provide a form of NGO disaster releif.

Which begs the question... how much faith does Obama have in the competence of the govermant under his "Hope and Change" platform?

Guy Benson is a creeped out:
Has a president ever had an organized political relief squad, independent from the federal government? This strikes me as quite creepy. "Hi we're here to help...on behalf of Barack Obama....federal relief workers will be here shortly..."

To which Geraghty adds:
The proposal is now starting to sound like what happens when project meetings get out of control. "They'll help elect Democrats to Congress! And they'll pressure wavering lawmakers! And, hey, what if we promised they'll mobilize in natural disasters! And they could fight crime! And they'll have special uniforms!"

What do you think the media/left reaction would be if Bush or McCain were to try this?

I think the term "Brownshirt" would be used myself.

Ace's thoughts: Unacceptable. Obama is seeking to create a shadow bureaucracy answerable not to the taxpayer but only to himself.

More on Obama continuing to cultivate what can kindly be called a "cult of personality" after the election.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Brutality of Math.

EDGELINGS points out the brutal trends, and shows the impending failure of the Mass Media. The internet has made things cheaper, and this is what's changing things.
However people don't see the scale

The thing is, people don’t really understand, even yet, what this change means.

I’m tempted at this point to include equations, but I’ll resist. So think of it this way: the New York Times spends ten million dollars to deliver about as many readers as Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit can for a thousand bucks. This has a lot of implications, but the biggest one is simple: it costs almost nothing these days to become a publisher, so lots of new publishers are coming into the market.

On the other hand, the number of readers really hasn’t changed.

Emphasis added.
When your competitors have a per "viewer" cost of delivery that a hundred thousand times cheaper than yours... the ability of them to undercut you is trivial.

When you face a rival with costs that are lower by six orders of magnitude, what can you do? They've got much, much, much less overhead, to cover, which dramatically lowers the revenue required to merely break even.

Why Diamons are Forever

An Atlantic Article from 1982 explains. If your customers can resell what they bought that undercuts the demand for new ones.

Except for those few stones that have been destroyed, every diamond that has been found and cut into a jewel still exists today and is literally in the public's hands. Some hundred million women wear diamonds, while millions of others keep them in safe-deposit boxes or strongboxes as family heirlooms. It is conservatively estimated that the public holds more than 500 million carats of gem diamonds, which is more than fifty times the number of gem diamonds produced by the diamond cartel in any given year. Since the quantity of diamonds needed for engagement rings and other jewelry each year is satisfied by the production from the world's mines, this half-billion-carat supply of diamonds must be prevented from ever being put on the market. The moment a significant portion of the public begins selling diamonds from this inventory, the price of diamonds cannot be sustained. For the diamond invention to survive, the public must be inhibited from ever parting with its diamonds.

In developing a strategy for De Beers in 1953, N. W. Ayer said: "In our opinion old diamonds are in 'safe hands' only when widely dispersed and held by individuals as cherished possessions valued far above their market price." As far as De Beers and N. W. Ayer were concerned, "safe hands" belonged to those women psychologically conditioned never to sell their diamonds. This conditioning could not be attained solely by placing advertisements in magazines. The diamond-holding public, which includes people who inherit diamonds, had to remain convinced that diamonds retained their monetary value. If it saw price fluctuations in the diamond market and attempted to dispose of diamonds to take advantage of changing prices, the retail market would become chaotic. It was therefore essential that De Beers maintain at least the illusion of price stability.

The article also goes into detail about how De Beers created the entire diamond market and made the various symbols of love that created the demand for their product.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mixed bag.

The Daily Show gets some more Bush bashing in.

The punchline is that Obama handles the press so much better than Bush...
Sure there's a real joke here, given that the Press is so tame that "They don't even raise their hands anymore"
But no... its called President Goofus and President Gallant.
Imagine that, Obama can handle softball questions from the lapdog media much better than Bush can feild openly hostile questioning.

The commentators do wonder what will happen when Steward runs out of Bush jokes.

On some more meta satire.
Israeli TV goofs on BBC’s Gaza bias

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Unpleasant options.

Once again, someone used the dark arts of "math" to pop the favored plans of statists.

So while the CBO projects that current policies will yield deficits of roughly 1 percent of GDP by 2019, Orszag[designated by Obama to run the Office of Management and Budget] anticipates they will be 5 times higher. And that’s after Obama scrubs the federal budget line by line to cut our waste, after he restores economic growth, after he introduces extraordinary new efficiencies to health care, after he restores the solvency of our entitlement programs, and after he fixes the educational system and America’s crumbling infrastructure.

In other words, once Obama has delivered us a better world, the budget will look far, far worse than we think possible today.

There are only a few possible explanations. The first is that Obama genuinely thinks his agenda is terrible for America (possible, but very unlikely). The second is that either his economic team or the CBO is completely incompetent (also unlikely). The third possibility — and the only one that really makes sense — is that Obama is intentionally painting a doomsday scenario here — either to pave the way for huge tax increases, or to make himself look like a miracle worker even if things get much worse from here on out.

What was that about a president hyping up threats in order to get more power...

Oh you mean it doesn't count when a Dem does it?

Right out the Gate: Move to repeal the 22nd Amendment.

Rep. José Serrano doesn't think presidents should be limited to 2 terms...

Ed Morrissey has the story.

Why now? Apparently, the notion of Hope and Change has overwhelmed Serrano to the point that he just can’t stand to see Barack Obama limited to two terms in office. Never mind the fact that Obama has yet to start his first term, and no one knows yet whether he’d get re-elected in 2012. Maybe it’s that New Deal vibe; Serrano may want to prepare the way for a more tangible comparison between Obama and FDR in 2016 and 2020.

We'll see how much traction this gets and how "mainstream" the idea of an eternal Obama presidency gets.

So far, no one has added themselves as a cosponsor to Serrano’s bill, but if any do, perhaps Democrats might want to explain why they suddenly have a yen for Hugo Chavez-style executives after screeching hysterically about Bush’s ideas of the “unitary executive,” which they completely misunderstood anyway.

Again, "What if Bush had done this?"

Monday, January 12, 2009

Obama and his pet press.

Next time you hear a member of the MSN preen about how they "speak truth to power... remember this:

The press corps, most of us, don't even bother raising our hands any more to ask questions because Obama always has before him a list of correspondents who've been advised they will be called upon that day."

One wonders if they'd be so placid if Bush were treating them this way...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mirror Test

I like POETV. It's an entertaining site that has links to strange videos and is a great filter of the mass that is YouTube.

However, like much of the internet, you don't want to go there for politics.
For example they have a creepy level of raw hate for "Joe the Plumber". I mean... really, why care that much?

In between the mindless trolls that pass for "conservative" viewpoints, and the prevailing liberal-hipster mindset it's quite annoying.

One thing that stuck out on the commentary to the Obama is starting a draft video.

Sure it has the expected trolling but the mindless "The One" support got me.

Here's a theory, say McCain won, or this was 4 years ago and Bush was proposing exactly such a mandetory "civi" service. One, of many, worries I had about McCain was that he seemed to like such "draft" idea too.

Would the bulk of these posters be so for the idea, then?

The concept is exactly the same, only the person proposing it is different.

This shows either a disturbing mindless herd mentality (Obama can do no wrong!), a cynical shifting of your political views to the prevailing winds (Sure, I hated Bush's expansion of power and worry about Obama being the same, but we have to hurt those Republicans), or a beleif that the people in power matter more than the laws (We can trust Obama).

For the last one, that requires faith in the continued rule of Obama and like minded people.

This is why the "Mirror Test" is useful.

Take a political idea and flip it. If it's proposed by the party you dislike think if it were proposed by the one you, well, dislike less and vice versa.

This gives a bit more thought to it. Do you dislike a politician's plan merely because he's "the enemy"? Do you think his idea is great simply because he's "The One"?

For simplicity's sake (and to take advantage of the massive dislike) many can go "What if Bush said it?" Again, if this were Bush's idea, would people be so for it?

This is less to complain about comments to internet videos being dumb (but again much better than on YouTube) and more the sense that people are putting their ideology into a person instead of an idea.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Hoaxes from CNN

Bob Owens has the details of CNN's latest hoax.

Given their past history of aiding thugs and despots, all to retain the privilege of "inside access"...

Is it any surprise what they're doing?

Just remember, that they are perfectly happy to be a propaganda arm for terrorists.
You'd think journalists would at least be skeptical, and maybe question the story they're being told.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

"Why doesn’t Israel have the same right to self-defense as other nations?"

Glen Reynolds has a pithy answer: Because much of the world wants Israel to die. Article at the link.

LGF has a video from MEMRI TV, showing where Hamas stands.

The Prisoner

Thanks to someone at the National Review, I've been alerted that AMC has uploaded the whole series of the delightfully sureal "The Prisoner"

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

For the Children?

Fear can lead the Government to pass horrid laws without thinking of the effects.

Which I suppose is better than the idea of those in government wanting to destroy the secondhand children's clothing market.

Pheistyblog has the story.

That’s right.  As of February 10, 2009, you will no longer be able to sell or buy children’s used clothing under the CPSIA.  Not at the Goodwill, not at a consignment shop, not on eBay.  Not even at a yard sale.  If you do, you face a $100,000 fine and 5 years of imprisonment.  That is, unless the seller can find a government-approved way to test the garments that won’t force them out of business.

You think I’m joking?

Here’s an LA Times article on the matter.


And to those of you who thought that seatbelt and smoking ban legislation was a great idea, you’re getting what you asked for. You want government to take care of you, this is what you get. I’ve been preaching about the ’slippery slope’ for years, and people keep saying, “Oh, Joey. That’ll never happen. You’re exaggerating.”

Well? Did you ever think used children’s clothing would be banned from commerce?

One wonders what the next president and congress will do to "solve" the economy.
Or maybe they don't see it as a crisis but an opprotunity.

Ed Morrissey notes that this will hurt small buisness and the poor the most. Well, I'm sure they can get more bailouts and government aide.