Thursday, February 26, 2009

I-Pod Ten

1. "The Last High" - The Dandy Warhols
2. "Hey Hey My My (Into the Black)" - Neil Young
3. "Amazona" - Miho Hatori
4. "Five Years" - Sue Jorge
5. "Waiting in Vain" - Bob Marly and the Wailers
6. "Anonymous" - Spacehog
7. "Barabas" - Hooverphonic
8. "Allan" - Mylene Farmer
9. "What's the Frequency Kenneth?" - R.E.M.
10. "People Everyday" - Arrested Developement

From what I hear, Miho Hatori is straight out of purgatory.

Constitutionalism or Political Expediency?

Steve Chapman's latest article is about the movement to get Washington D.C. congressional representation. He's against it, or at least he's against it without modifying the Constitution.
Tell it to the sponsors of a bill to give the District of Columbia a full-fledged member of the House of Representatives. They resolutely dismiss the hurdle presented by the Constitution, which says, "The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states." Not "states and any other entities under federal control," but states, period.

The District is a unique enclave, set apart by the founders as the seat of national government. But for this purpose, the advocates assert, it is functionally no different from Maine or Montana.
The hurdle he faces is arguing that the citizens of Washington D.C. are somehow less deserving of representation than the citizens of Maine or Montana. Which is a pretty high hurdle. He does reference a Constitutional scholar who argues that to the framers being near Congress was all the representation they needed. I'm not sure that argument holds up.

What is unstated is that Washington D.C. would likely lean pretty liberal. Many capitals do; it's hard to be receptive to an argument that Government is the Problem when you work for the Government. So I wouldn't expect Republicans to champion full citizenship for the residents of Washington D.C.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

One of Us

Thomas Sowell is pretty dull reading most of the time; he is more of an intellectual than most of his fellow conservative Pundits and he tends to stay at his strengths. This week's article though, calls out for comment. In it he spends some time talking about Sarah Palin and Barack Obama. He provides his analysis of why certain people like Barack Obama and don't like Sarah Palin; they are elitist.
Perhaps the best way to try to understand these reactions is to recall what Eleanor Roosevelt said when she first saw Whittaker Chambers, who had accused Alger Hiss of being a spy for the Soviet Union. Upon seeing the slouching, overweight and disheveled Chambers, she said, "He's not one of us."

The trim, erect and impeccably dressed Alger Hiss, with his Ivy League and New Deal pedigree, clearly was "one of us." As it turned out, he was also a liar and a spy for the Soviet Union.
For the record, Hiss was actually a traitor. Which I suppose is Sowell's point. We intellectuals, both Conservative and Liberal, who thought that Sarah Palin was staggeringly unprepared are likely to prefer well dressed traitors to rough-around-the-edges heroes.

So is he calling Obama a possible traitor? Hmmmmm. Surely he wouldn't go that far.
But there are conservative Republicans who voted for Barack Obama, and other conservatives who may not have voted for him, but who are quick to see in various pragmatic moves of his since taking office an indication that he is not an extremist.

Anyone familiar with history knows that Hitler and Stalin were pragmatic. After years of denouncing each other, they signed the Nazi-Soviet pact under which they became allies for a couple of years before going to war against one another.

Pragmatism tells you nothing about extremism.
See Obama isn't like Alger Hiss; he's like Hitler and Stalin. Totally different.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Mike S Adams writes regularly about how bad it is being a Conservative in an academic environment. His latest article is odd; basically he got and then forwarded an offensive e-mail which stated that Osama Bin Ladin had been found working at a convenience store. He, seemingly sincerely, recognizes that the e-mail was questionable at best. He ends his article by volunteering to leave his job if this e-mail creates further problems.
I fully expect that someone in our university community, whether of Middle Eastern descent or not, will soon file a charge of hostile environment racial harassment. If I am found guilty of such a charge I will immediately offer my resignation from the faculty of UNC-Wilmington.
Not sure what to make of this.

But his readers are taking it is clever satire. Basically Mike Adams passing on a racist e-mail is really nothing to be ashamed about. Arabs should just get used to the fact that we can't tell them apart and we think they are either convenience store clerks or terrorists. And develop a sense of humor.

I remember growing up a lot of bullies didn't think I had much of a sense of human.


Greetings all. I have returned to comment on an article Bryant referred me to. For those who are unacquainted with me, my name is Irwin J. McIckleson and I am a ruthless 1930s plutocrat. For those unfamiliar with the term, that means I favor having a lot of money and pushing peopl around. I am not in favor of distant planets or cartoon dogs being in charge of the mechanisms of government. Bryant has forwarded me Douglas McKinnon's latest article, in which he points out the damage caused by an entitlement mentality.
But why should anyone be "entitled" to a pension? The fact is, the vast majority of Americans have no access to a pension, do not expect one, and will never get one. And if they don't get a pension for the hard work and long hours they put in, why should a shrinking minority be "entitled" to one?
Mr. McKinnon has the wisdom of a plutocrat. But why should he stop there. In my era there are millions of workers who are receiving no pay checks, being unemployed. I understand it is much the same in your era. So why should my lazy employees demand their paychecks. Why should they hold themselves above their fellow citizens in demanding special treatment? It's un-American to give them special privileges, that many Americans do not get. And I won't stand for it in my factory; thus I am withholding paychecks from my employees until every American gets a regular paycheck.

Some might argue that this is a breach of trust or of faith; that I am required to pay my workers what I agreed to pay them. Poppycock. If we can thrust aside pension promises why not thrust aside paycheck promises, for the good of the greater economy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Make an easy way to gain sexually developed body

This is the subject line to a spam e-mail I just got. It's confusing; it seems to be telling me to make an easy way to gain sexually developed body. I assume they are referring to gaining my own body as a sexually developed one - but I suppose that's unclear to. Maybe this e-mail is commanding me to acquire someone else's sexually developed body.

It's just so confusing.

History Moans

Ann Coulter's latest article (and lord why do I bother reading them) takes on history and historians, showing rabid and proud anti-intellectualism. Ann really despises historians; presumably because historians have to know something. To be Ann Coulter you just have to hate liberals. You have to really really hate liberals. And, this week at least, historians.
Being gracious winners, this week, liberals howled with delight at George Bush for coming in seventh-to-last in a historians' ranking of the presidents from best to worst.

This was pretty shocking. Most liberals can't even name seven U.S. presidents.

. . . So congratulations, George Bush! Whenever history professors rank you as one of the "worst" presidents, it's a good bet you were one of America's greatest.
I will admit that I think a reasoned analysis of George W. Bush's presidency isn't likely to have already happened. That said, 7th worst out of 44 sounds about right. I mean I'd have to see who they picked as worse than him (Nixon presumably, and a bunch of non-entities from the turn of the century).

Most of the article is wisely not spent defending George W. Bush; Ann presumably knows a lost cause when she sees it. Instead it's spent defending Ronald Reagan from Arthur Schlesinger. Which, I suppose, is sure to please Ann's readers (for whom Reagan's supreme greatness is a given).

She also takes shots at FDR (who was President during World War II) and JFK as being inferior Presidents.
Putting preposterously overrated presidents like John F. Kennedy or FDR in the same category as Reagan or Washington is like a teenage girl ranking the Jonas Brothers with the Rolling Stones and the Beatles as the three greatest bands of all time.
Ann Coulter is just a sad person at the end of the day. She's had her time in the limelight; but her brand of hatred and belligerence against liberals isn't going to play as well in the age of Obama.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why 2010 might be hard for Democrats

I noted yesterday that I agreed with John Hawkins that 2010 might be a tough on for Democrats. The reason is simple; the Liberal Base may feel that they are poorly served by Obama and Democrats in Congress. And if they feel that their issues and values are given lip service at best, well they may stop showing up at the ballot boxes.

Consider these words from Glenn Greenwald.
Part of the political shrewdness of Obama has been that he's been able to actually convince huge numbers of liberals that it's a good thing when he ignores and even stomps on their political ideals, that it's something they should celebrate and even be grateful for. Hordes of Obama-loving liberals are still marching around paying homage to the empty mantras of "pragmatism" and "post-partisan harmony" -- the terms used to justify and even glorify Obama's repudiation of their own political values.
Greenwald also notes that many liberal organizations are stymied by their close identification with Obama; they can't attack him without angering newer members, more supportive of Obama than any specific liberal position.

Now obviously Obama has only been in office a couple of weeks, so frustrations today about his moves may not translate into real anger in 2010. But he does seem to be governing as he ran; as a middle of the road Clinton like liberal.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Republicans in 2010

John Hawkin's latest article argues that Democrats are going to have a hard time in 2010. I agree that that is certainly possible. But I disagree with his rationale as to why things are going to be tough in 2010.

He says it's because of deficits. Two years of Democratic Deficits will be far more convincing than eight years of Republican deficits, if Republicans can convince the American people that they have learned the lesson and are going to change their ways. Personally I think it's a tough sell, considering they are going to continue promising huge tax cuts going mostly to the wealthy.

Hawkin's brings up the bank bailouts and how frustrated people are at how that is being handled, and claims that it proves that people are made at deficit spending.
Note that not only do Americans strongly oppose any further bank bailouts, they've become considerably more opposed to the original TARP plan. This is not going to be an exception to the rule; it will be a trend.

That means the Democrats have a choice: continue to compulsively push ever more unpopular spending programs or give up on handing out goodies, which is about 75% of the party's appeal.
Hawkin's ideological blinders blind him to a third possibility. People see the bank bailouts, like they see tax cuts for the wealthy, as helping one part of America at the expense of the rest of us. The difference is that the Republican economic strategy revolves entirely around helping the wealthy; where as the Democratic Strategy at least occasionally helps those who actually need some help; America's working class.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Impotent Rage

I am seeing a pattern here. First of all Kevin McCullough accuses us liberals of being pro-pedophilia. Now I read Doug Giles latest article, which starts with these heartwarming lines.
I’ve got a great idea: Let’s kiss some terrorist butt! I’m talkin’ a big, slobbery wet one right on their back forty. We might as well, as we are about to muck up the rest of our country with a stimulus package that will stimulate only a liberal government’s lug nuts.
I'm curious which terrorist behind he wants to kiss so badly; most terrorists aren't known for bathing. Personally I'm in favor of the kissing some IRA butt; they at least have that Irish Spring soap going for them.

His big message is a paranoid fantasy about some 35 terrorist training camps operating around the United States. I'd be worried if I believed his sources were accurate; as it is, I'm more musing over what the increase in vitriol means.

What it means is that many Conservatives haven't figured out the tenor of the times. They still think that, evidence to the contrary, slandering Obama and slandering Liberals works. And if you only talk to hardcore conservatives this probably makes sense.

But if you talk to the rest of America you might get a different idea.

(title withheld due to excessive profanity)

Yes I'm angry. I take a few weeks off (not that I was enjoying myself as those weeks included a root canal and jury duty), and my first article of the day starts with Kevin McCullough explaining that everybody knows Liberals are pro-pedophilia.
Liberals are long known for light sentences for child molestors, opposition to child rape and child porn laws, and the speedy expediting of "freedom of speech" protections to pornographers, pedophiles, and male homosexuals who belong to the group NAMBLA. Slightly less well known but easily documented are the sympathies the left has towards lowering the age of consent laws so that it's not really a crime for adults and children to have sex.
There's not much to say about this.

I get told a lot that the Townhall crowd isn't representative of Modern Conservatism; I'm not sure I see it. It's clear, for example, that the Congress is taking its cues from Rush Limbaugh, or, if you prefer, they are representing their base which is on the same page as Rush Limbaugh. And in the Limbaugh/McCullough way of looking at things, well, Liberals are pretty awful people.

As for whether these slanderous style attacks will play in general with the American people, well, we'll have to see.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Resuming Broadcasting

Sort of, anyway.

Work has been a bear the last couple of weeks, and other stresses have drained my energy to update this blog. That said it's Thursday and tomorrow I have jury duty so unlikely that I will post tomorrow. But I will try to post more over the next couple of days.

Ann Coulter's latest article has the happy upbeat title "Goodbye, America! It Was Fun While It Lasted." Well if it's America as Ann would like it, I guess I'm not to sad to see America go.

She's upset about the Stimulus Program which, in the rubric of the conservative movement right now, she describes as Socialist.
With the stimulus bill, liberals plan to move unfirable government workers into every activity in America, where they will superintend all aspects of our lives.

Also, thanks to the stimulus bill, the private sector will gradually shrivel and die. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the cost of servicing the bill's nearly trillion-dollar debt will shrink the economy within a decade.
Im sure a number of government employees would be surprised to know they are unfirable. But there it is; I'm not sure how these scare tactics are going to work for Ann, but her core audience is sure to be terrified.

Oh and getting a lot of spam so will be making random comments to push it off the list of spam comments.