Friday, July 31, 2009

picture: worth 1000 words

After the beers, it's the cop who helps the prof.
The pres won't help, in fact, he's not even dressed properly.

An Open Letter to Liberals

A must read, for if you do not read it, yo won't know what it says. Thank you

An Open Letter to Liberals

By Robin of Berkeley
Hello, my name is Robin of Berkeley.  I was left but last year turned right, and, if you'd like to know more, you can read Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Robin (But Were Afraid to Ask) by clicking (below).

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter which I've been meaning to pen for a while.  I just had a provocative conversation with my editor extraordinaire which has prompted this piece.

He informed me that I'm getting more attention from liberals, though not the venerating kind. Luckily, he spares me the real ugly missives  (the main reason, by the way, that I don't post my email address; opening e mails that read, "Hi, I'm looking forward to your tribe being exterminated," would not make my day.  I can barely stand the ones that say, "Hello, my name is Niger, and you have just inherited big money from Ethiopia.")

But in this strange new world, more hate mail is a compliment.  It means I'm generating more readership; therefore my Homeland Security risk level has gone up from green to orange.  I'm no longer just an aging, working stiff in Berkeley, but I'm considered a planetary threat on the level of carbon dioxide.

Most of the nastygrams are in the form of trolls. The concept of "trolling" is  news to me, as is everything these days.  I have to admit that the idea of people cyberspying and then posting insults is a bit creepy.

But more than this:  growing up I loved trolls.  Adored them.  (For you young un's, trolls were these ugly beige dolls that resembled little cavemen.)   I had several, with flaming green and blue and yellow hair, and I carried one everywhere.  So the idea of my precious childhood dolls invading my work place is a tad unsettling. 

Maybe I should just be grateful because I always wanted to be popular growing up, to be in with the in crowd.   But back then, the pay off was more dates not more hate.

So I'm writing to ask a burning question: Why are liberals still so angry?   Given that you own almost everything, how come you're not just chilling on the couch, gaming and partying, rather than posting and trolling? 

Now, I shouldn't even ask the question given that only last year, I was you.  I blew a gasket every time I heard the words "Bush" or "Cheney."  But the difference is that my party had lost.  Defeated underdogs tend to be all pissy and indignant.  How could any of us survive bosses without being able to sit around at lunch and vent about how stupid they all  are?

But it's different when the winners are on the attack.  If the top dogs go ballistic, all hell can break loose.  When the boss spies on you, calls you a  c___t, wishes you were dead, and curtails your free speech, well it's time to hightail it out of there.

Some people say this is politics as usual, but I don't think so.  I've never witnessed this level of anger from the party in charge.  When Clinton was elected, for instance, I was happy as a clam.  I really believed in the dude.   So I could snooze in the back of the car, not paying much attention to Washington, confident that my beloved (at the time) Democratic Party was in the driver's seat.

My gut tells me that three factors are at work:  One is power;  that by remaining hypervigilant, like hawk eyed sentries,  your movement won't lose a moment of traction.  

My second theory is more troubling:  that the Left is motivated by revenge, so pissed off about George Bush that many liberals are still foaming at the mouth.

On one level, I get it. Anger  releases pent up frustration, and it's an adrenaline rush.

But pretty little Carrie Prejean was trotting off to high school geometry class while Bush was waging war.  Sarah Palin was cleaning up Alaska -- which thrilled the liberals at the time -- while Cheney was crafting policy. 

That's the problem with revenge; it rarely hurts the true miscreant.  Bush, of course, is whacking weeds happily  in Crawford, and will rake in the bucks on his memoirs.    As the old adage warns  "an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind,"  because  revenge only create more destruction and new wreckage.   

But the deeper reason for all the animosity is, I think, the indelible and searing power of trauma.  We are a traumatized nation. World War II offered some redemption to a country reeling from slavery, the Civil War,  WW I, the Great Depression.   It produced the "Greatest Generation'" and the pride and honor of defeating fascism.  

But Vietnam devastated families all over the country, including my own.  I don't know if you're old enough to remember, but people sat transfixed in front of their TV, waiting to see which numbers would be picked. When my brother's number was called, I thought my parents would collapse.  When he went off to the front lines of Vietnam, I wasn't sure how we'd all survive.

He did and we did, but he almost died, and our family was never the same.  People spit on him when he returned, and his personality went from happy go lucky to bitter.

Many Baby Boomers are still traumatized by the specter of Vietnam and loathe this country and the "older generation" who sent them there.  But, though understandable, bitterness makes old wounds fester. Rather than grieve, learn, and move on, we remain mired in the past. And our nation loses something vital:  a new older generation who models forgiveness, unity, and national pride.

And then there are more recent traumas: The Gore/Bush election debacle that fostered deep resentments;  9/11, of course, which shattered our illusions of safety and invincibility; and the Iraq War with body bags and national division.  Now we have a broken economy that threatens our status as a world power.

Trauma, unacknowledged and unexpressed, ravages not only people, but whole nations, because trauma can harden into aggression. And so the Palestinians kill Israelis, and the Israelis kill Palestinians, and it goes on and on forever, and it will not cease, not with new leaders or new money.  

It will never end until we get so sick and tired of it that we scream "Enough," not just at each other but at ourselves; and we stop the war within. We heed Martin Luther King Jr.'s counsel, "You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him."

And trauma will not stop until we see that there is a deeper, more pernicious reason why we keep fighting each other:  that government, any government, whether left or right, likes it that way. The politicos want us battling,  and afraid, and inattentive. And at the same time that they're dividing and conquering us, they're raiding the Treasury for themselves and friends like Goldman Sachs.  

So we can continue with business as usual, as foot soldiers and serfs for the elite, battling each other for scraps like lab rats in a cage.  Or we can declare a truce like a group of British and German soldiers did during W.W. I

Sick to death of warfare, they announced an armistice for Christmas.   Instead of blowing each other's brains out, they drank together and sang Christmas carols; they played football; they exchanged small gifts like chocolate and whisky, and even shared their addresses.  They held services where they mourned their dead together and read from the Bible.

For a brief time they became who they really were -- young boys, barely out of their teens,  more brothers to each other than the old men who sent them there.

I've discovered as a therapist that human beings are all basically the same.   We try to be happy, to avoid suffering, and to carve out a little place for ourselves in this bittersweet world.  We crave love and respect and to feel that we matter.

And deep inside of us, in those places we keep hidden, we know the Truth:  that our lives are short and fragile, and they hang by a single tattered thread.  And in the end, everyone we love and everyone we despise will be gone, including ourselves;  and all our joy, and hurt, and hate will pass away with us,  for our lives are as fleeting as a brief summer storm. 

So I write to you,  one struggling,  flawed mortal to another.  I write as someone who is bone weary of fighting, and afraid of where all this anger will lead.  And I am tired of my government manipulating me into hating one group this year, and another the next.    And I offer this prospect to you, as articulated by the ancient poet Rumi in the 1200's: 

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing
There is a field.
I'll meet you there.

What do you say?  Is there really any other alternative?

A frequent AT contributor, Robin of Berkeley is a recovering liberal and psychotherapist.

Beer Summit: Lower business taxes

The so-called beer summit with the cop and the Harvard professor at the white house is just plain weird. Doesn't the president have better things to be doing, like the economy?

If I were the cop, I'd ask the following:

Mr. President, I read in the Wall Street Journal that you said you would like to lower the corporate or business tax. In my view this is a better form of stimulus for long term sustained job growth, and it's nice to see you finally arrive to the party, albeit 6 months late. Nevertheless, may I please ask by how much would you lower the 35% business tax and would that also include relief for small business owners who often file as individuals? Will you need to drag Congress kicking and screaming, maybe hold another beer summit with Pelosi and Reid.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Russians to Drill for Oil Off Cuba

Russians are smart,
Our liberal leaders are dummies.

Fwd: foxnews: HEALTH: Men Better at Seeing Objects in Distance, Study Finds

Study: Hunter-Gatherer Past Makes Men Better at Seeing in the Distance

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Men's hunter-gatherer past has made them better at seeing objects in the distance, while women see better close up, a British study finds.

The study traced how men's and women's brains evolved differently over thousands of years, Agence France-Press reported.

Researchers asked a group of 48 men and women to use a laser pointer to mark the midpoint of lines on a piece of paper at different distances.

Men were more accurate than women when the paper was placed about 3.3 feet away, while women were more accurate when the target was within arm's reach, about 1.6 feet away.

"Evidence already exists that separate pathways in the brain process visual information from near and far space,'' said psychologist Helen Stancey from Hammersmith and West London College.

"Our results suggest that the near pathway is favored in women and the far pathway is favoured in men,'' she said, in a study published online in the British Journal of Psychology.

Click here to read more on this story from AFP.

Krakatoa Stirs Once More

A greater contributer to greenhouse gases:
(and some really nice photos of the volcano)

Krakatoa Stirs Once More: Daily Mail (UK)

Obtuse Liberal Cognitive Dissonance

By J.R. Dunn
Over the past couple of weeks, it has become apparent even to politicians and the media that the Demented Spree Act of 2009, better known perhaps as the "Obama Stimulus", has not worked, and shows no sign of ever working. 

Unemployment -- the professed reason for the stimulus in the first place -- is now at 9.5% and will break 10% within the next few months. Credit remains tight and industry is still fumbling. It is clear that there are no shortcuts back to a steady prosperity, that this recession will be overcome in the exact way such disasters always have been -- by working our way out of it. The $787 billion ("real money", as Everett Dirksen would have put it), already spent, being spent, and to be spent, can be considered as so much waste paper.

The interesting thing about this is the reaction of our media and political elites -- or rather, the lack of reaction. They're behaving as if flushing away three-quarters of a trillion dollars is trivial. The failure of the greatest act of financial pump-priming in history has elicited no more than a collective shrug. Cognitive dissonance doesn't come more obtuse than this. Our great opinion leaders have stumbled over a huge pile of facts having serious bearing on O's future prospects and rather than pausing to take a look have instead gotten to their feet, brushed themselves off, and hurried away exactly as if nothing happened. The pretense appears to be that the fate of the stimulus has nothing at all to do with the rest of Obamus Maximus's policies.

Of course it does. The collapse of the stimulus can be taken as representative of Obama's policies, past, present, and future. The stimulus shares one major element with every other program this administration has come up with: they have all been tried before, and they have all failed.

First up is health care. We're constantly reminded that the U.S. is the only industrialized nation lacking a national health-care system, without anyone going on to add how lucky we are. Health care systems of the exact type promised by Daddy Obama are omnipresent all across the world, their records open for our edification and enlightenment. A close look at only the Mother Country will suffice.
Here's what a search on "UK NHS" a few weeks ago came up with: a maggot infestation at the Royal Children's Hospital (the staff assured parents there was nothing to worry about). A sick woman who grew so tired of lying in filth that she got up out of her hospital bed and cleaned the room herself, dragging her IV behind her (The nurses, she reported, "let her get on with it.") The two emergency medical techs arrested for letting a patient die while they stood around and cracked jokes. The fact that the UK has once again achieved the highest levels of superbug infestations in the industrialized world (over 32,000 hospital patients die of MRSA alone each year). The so-called "Mental Capacity Act", under the terms of which a patient unable to communicate is to be considered "due to die", and denied food and water, the same treatment meted out to Terry Schaivo. Across the UK, families have been rescuing aged relatives declared surplus under the terms of the act.

And last but not least, we encounter Prof. Trevor Sheldon, one of the UK's leading authorities on health-care policy. In 2007, Professor Sheldon published a study on mortality in British hospitals. According to that study, the NHS kills up to 91,030 patients each year through "avoidable" mishaps. The professor went on to assure readers that these numbers are matched in many other countries, but that's not quite the case. To equal the UK number, the U.S., with six times the population, would have to suffer 450,000 unnecessary deaths annually.

All in all, this sounds like a system that, if put in place by an occupying enemy power, would be considered a war crime. But it's the system Obama is wishing on us. Needless to say, none of this has been mentioned in the mass media, for fear of confusing and alarming the public, although it's finding its way into the debate anyway. My prediction is that nothing like ObamaCare will be passed anytime soon. ObamaCare has already been "delayed" past its original launch date, which in Washington terms usually means it's dead-on-arrival.

Our next item from the Obama piñata concerns industrial policy, namely the administration's enthusiastic takeover of industry for the benefit of all. This is one instance where the imputation of fascism is perfectly accurate. This policy, known as "corporatism", comprised the economic system of fascist Italy. Corporatism was developed at the behest of Mussolini as an answer to the manifest failure of Soviet-style expropriation. It divided Italian industry into easily-run sectors with the state acting as upper management, exactly as the administration is doing for GM, Chrysler, and a large chunk of the financial sector.

And how did this work for Il Duce's Italy? During the Depression, Italy coped worse than any other nation in Europe. Real wages fell 20%, as did investment, while international trade was cut nearly in half. Per capita private consumption remained below the 1929 level straight into WW II. Corporatism also had a clear impact on the war itself. Italy had one of the largest fleets in the world, with battleships equal to anything on the seas. But they weren't equipped with either radar or modern fire-control systems -- there was no corporative sector for electronics, you see. So the British, using the primitive gun-laying radar of the period, managed to ambush the Italians twice and put much of their fearsome navy at the bottom of the Mediterranean.

The Nazi example is even more entertaining. In the 30s, German aircraft development was nationalized and handed over to Ernst Udet, WW I ace, expert pilot, and complete wacko. Udet became obsessed with dive bombers after seeing a U.S. Navy demonstration team and decreed that all German bombers must be able to dive. This was obeyed with Nazi alacrity and German efficiency. From then on, all bombers were modified according to decree, up to and including a heavy bomber, the He-177 Greif, truly one of the weirdest designs ever -- a plane the size of a 757 fitted with dive brakes. The end result was that Germany fought the Battle of Britain with no usable strategic bombers, and failed to defeat the British. Knowing that this meant the war was lost, and aware of his personal responsibility, Udet shot himself in 1941.

Compare this to what occurred in the U.S. at the same time. Henry J. Kaiser, a steel magnate who had scarcely ever set foot on a ship in his life, had the brainstorm of building ships the same way they did cars, using prefab parts on what amounted to an assembly line. The result was the Liberty Ship, a squat, ugly little devil of a freighter that became a legend for shipping every kind of cargo there was to every last corner of the earth. Down in New Orleans, Andrew Higgins offered to build a landing craft for the Marines after a government department screwed the project up. Working from a drawing, Higgins had a prototype ready for tests in less than a month. The LCVP -- the "Higgins boat", became an emblem of victory, the troops racing over its dropped ramp one of the memorable images of the war.

These ideas would never have occurred to any "central planner" and could not have been rammed through the bureaucracy if they had. They were products of the creative chaos that prevails under true capitalism and is its chief, often overlooked virtue. (This, by the way, gives the lie to people John Kenneth Galbraith who contend that "planning" won WW II.)  So let's all wave goodbye to GM while we still have the chance.

Third on the list is the ever-popular topic of liberal foreign policy. Now, anybody who does not understand the shortcomings of appeasement really deserves his own umbrella with "Neville Chamberlain" engraved on the handle. The problem is that I'm not sure that Obama needs a dozen umbrellas. The sole innovation he has made in hail-fellow-well-met foreign policy is that he's appeasing everybody. And even there, Jimmy Carter may well have surpassed him.

Carter came into office with a lot of appeasing to catch up with, but he managed to bring it off. Within four short years, he saw that the Sandinistas took over Nicaragua, assured that the Shah was overthrown and replaced by elements out of the 12th century, undermined a legitimate democratic election to put Robert Mugabe in control of Zimbabwe, and enabled Russian tanks to find their way to Kabul with no unnecessary holdups or delays. And somewhere in there, he found time to see that no assistance was given to the Vietnamese boat people, so that thousands of them drowned or were murdered by pirates.

Clearly, Obama has quite a challenge ahead of him to match this record. But he's off to a good start. Today, less than eight months into office, he has Kim shooting off missiles with the intensity of a meth addict, the Iranian mullahs all but publicly marking targets in Israel, and Chavez grunting insults on Venezuelan TV while Danny Ortega (one of Jimmy's little friends), threatens to intervene in an internal political crisis in Honduras. If he keeps this up, Obama may very well take the appeasement cup from Jimmy, leaving himself plenty of time to give Indonesia back to the Hobbits.  

So what does this tell us about Obama? For the AT readership, it speaks above all to the phenomenon of conservative despair. Since last November conservatives have been in a complete funk over Obama and his intentions for the country. It's as if they believed in Obama's messiahhood to an even greater extent than the followers who believed Obama was the One, the Alpha and the Omega. Problems simply solve themselves in his presence. The oceans stop rising. Cracked glasses are made whole again. Henry Lewis Gates overcomes writer's block. Obama could not fail -- Obamacare, the Obama Recovery, the Obama Century were in the bag. America as we knew it was doomed.

Among our Northeast Exquisites, this attitude has led to direct collaboration. In the heartland, it has given rise to desperation and feverish hunts for will-of-the-wisp "solutions" such as the birth certificate. (As an aside, amid all the uproar I can't help but notice that nobody has produced a birth certificate from Nairobi.)

That there is now no justification for this goes without saying. But as the record shows clearly enough, there has never been any justification for it. Obama cannot make it work. Here is a man whose entire basis of belief and action was that he was living outside of history, not subject to its lessons or limitations. He is now, as my old granddad used to say, getting a rude awakening, learning what truly capable presidents ranging from Lincoln to Truman to, yes, even the despised George W. Bush, knew at the beginning: that the limitations entwining a president are not less than those of the man in the street, they are greater. Very few things are possible to a president, and even those few must be handled with infinite care and attention to detail. Even if Obama learns this lesson, he is learning it very late. So there will be no social revolution, no left-wing Rapture, no Promised Land. The Red Sea has been bid to part, and the waters have stayed right where they were. Obama is no Moses; he is simply another example of liberalism's long, miserable decline.

About a year ago I wrote on this site that Obama's chief characteristic was his flakiness, and that come what may, that would eventually be clearly seen. Well, behold his flakehood made manifest, and a superhuman and preternatural flakiness it is too. Obama may yet prove to be one of the most remarkable presidents of the emerging millennium. Despite himself, he may well be the president who discredits the liberal brand for good and all.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fwd: House Resolution 615

Congressman Fleming of Louisiana has initiated HR 615 that states that any member of congress who votes for the Health Care Bill should be forced to participate in the plan themselves. 
His website is  Check out HR 615 and vote  on "Express Your Opinion" on whether or not members of congress who vote yes for the Health Care Bill should be forced to participate in the plan.
It may take a few times of trying to get to Congressman Fleming's website. . .it has been very busy!
Melinda Donnelly

The myth of hope and change

Another book for your library:

Michelle Malkin released her new book yesterday:
Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies

In the book Michelle shatters completely the myths of hope and change.
Look for about 5 more follow-up editions to this book by the time this Chicago ACORN organizer and his wife leave office.

AP fact-checks Democrats

Where's the jobs?

AP fact-checks Democrats

The Associated Press: "But those jobs lasted on average only 35 hours, or about one work week. After that, those workers were effectively back unemployed…"

In Oregon, Democrats are touting 3,256 jobs that its $176 million stimulus already created.

AP checked. Those jobs last about a week.

That is $53,746.93 each for jobs that last a week.

Here is an idea, randomly select 3,256 adults and give them $53, 746.93 each — or better yet, only $53,745.93 each — and save a buck each or $3,256.

AP reported: "At the federal level, President Barack Obama has said the federal stimulus has created 150,000 jobs, a number based on a misused formula and which is so murky it can't be verified."

The best way to stimulate the economy is to balance the government's spending and by cutting taxes.

Instead, we get all this meddling by politicians.

The AP story in full:

PORTLAND, Ore. – How much are politicians straining to convince people that the government is stimulating the economy? In Oregon, where lawmakers are spending $176 million to supplement the federal stimulus, Democrats are taking credit for a remarkable feat: creating 3,236 new jobs in the program's first three months.

But those jobs lasted on average only 35 hours, or about one work week. After that, those workers were effectively back unemployed, according to an Associated Press analysis of state spending and hiring data. By the state's accounting, a job is a job, whether it lasts three hours, three days, three months, or a lifetime.

"Sometimes some work for an individual is better than no work," said Oregon's Senate president, Peter Courtney.

With the economy in tatters and unemployment rising, Oregon's inventive math underscores the urgency for politicians across the country to show that spending programs designed to stimulate the economy are working — even if that means stretching the facts.

At the federal level, President Barack Obama has said the federal stimulus has created 150,000 jobs, a number based on a misused formula and which is so murky it can't be verified.

At least 10 other states have launched their own miniature stimulus plans and nine others have proposed one, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Many of them, like Oregon, have promised job creation as a result of the public spending.

Ohio, for instance, passed a nearly $1.6 billion stimulus package even before Congress was looking at a federal program. When Gov. Ted Strickland first pitched the idea last year, he estimated the program could create some 80,000 jobs.

In North Carolina, a panel authorized hundreds of millions of dollars in new debt to speed up $740 million in government building projects. According to one estimate, the move could hurry the creation of 25,000 jobs.

As the bills for these programs mount, so will the pressure to show results. But, as Oregon illustrates, job estimates can very wildly.

"At best you can say it's ambiguous, at worst you can say it's intentional deception," said economist Bruce Blonigen of the University of Oregon. "You have to normalize it into a benchmark that everybody can understand."

Oregon's accounting practices would not be allowed as part of the $787 billion federal stimulus. While the White House has made the unverifiable promise that 3.5 million jobs will be saved or created by the end of next year, when accountants actually begin taking head counts this fall, there are rules intended to guard against exactly what Oregon is doing.

The White House requires states to report numbers in terms of full-time, yearlong jobs. That means a part-time mechanic counts as half a job. A full-time construction worker who has a three-month paving contract counts as one-fourth of a job.

Using that method, the AP's analysis of figures in Oregon shows the program so far has created the equivalent of 215 full-time jobs that will last three months. Oregon's House speaker, Dave Hunt, called that measurement unfair, though nearly every other state that has passed a stimulus package already uses or plans to use it.

"This stimulus plan was intentionally designed for short-term projects to pump needed jobs and income into families, businesses and communities struggling to get by," Hunt said in a statement. "No one ever said these would be full-time jobs for months at a time."

Still, critics say counting jobs, without any consideration of their duration, isn't good enough.

"You can't let them say, 'Well, we never said it was going to be full-time,'" said Steve Buckstein, a policy analyst for the Cascade Policy Institute, a free-market think tank. For the price of Oregon's $176 million, lawmakers could have provided all 3 million state residents with a one-hour job paying about $60, he said.

"By their definition, that's 3 million jobs," Buckstein said. "Is anybody gonna buy that?"

Oregon's 12.4 percent unemployment rate surpasses the national average of 9.4 percent. To supplement the federal stimulus, the state sold bonds to pay for everything from replacing light bulbs to installing carpet and finishing construction of a school in the farming community of Tillamook.

The "Go Oregon" program is still new. According to its latest progress report, 8 percent of the money has been spent and hundreds of projects have yet to be completed. More paychecks are bound to be written as construction continues.

If Oregon's dollars-to-jobs ratio remains steady, the program will create about 688 full-time, yearlong jobs. So far, it's generated only enough hours to employ 54 people full-time for a year.

Still, contractor Deborah Matthews of Pacificmark Construction, based in Milwaukie, Ore., is happy for any work. Her company picked up three contracts for painting, installing a water filter system and refurbishing a maintenance building. Prior to those contracts, which lasted about six weeks, she had laid off nearly all her construction workers. She brought back three full-time and hired a part-time worker.

"It was a little bit," she said, "to just keep us going."

Where's the jobs?

Hey Mr. President.... Where's the jobs?

The Stimulus isn't working. Roll it back.
Let's roll back the election, while we are at it.

Boehner Blasts Censorship of Chart Detailing Democrats' Government-Run Health Care Labyrinth 
The American People Deserve the Truth" About Democrats' Trillion-Dollar Health Care Takeover, GOP Leader Says 

Washington, Jul 28 - In a speech on the House floor this morning, House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) blasted Democratic leaders' efforts to censor a chart that illustrates the bureaucratic labyrinth that would result for American health care with enactment of Washington Democrats' proposed trillion-dollar government takeover of health care.  Democratic leaders have attempted to block Members of Congress from using the chart, produced by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and the Republican professional staff of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC), in official communications with their constituents.  
"Mr. Speaker, Democrats in Congress don't want the American people to see this chart.  This is the chart that outlines the Democrat proposal moving through the House of Representatives that contains as many as 53 new Federal programs, Agencies and Commissions.  That's right; they're trying to restrict Members of Congress from showing this to their constituents.  They say it's misleading.  Well, there's nothing misleading about it.  They just don't want anyone to see it.
"Well, here it is.  I'm using it.  Are they going to turn out the lights, are they going to turn out the cameras?  Why don't they want the American people to see this? 
"Well, I think the American people deserve the truth about the Democrats' $1.6 trillion takeover of our
of our health care system.  More bureaucracy, more taxes, more mandates - and more government involvement in your life.
"And guess what?  It also means less jobs for Americans.  According to a model developed by the President's own Council of Economic Advisors Chairperson, this proposal will cost Americans some 5.5 million jobs over the next 10 years; the National Federation of Independent Business says that at least a million small business jobs will be lost; and, even the Congressional Budget Office over the weekend made it clear that this will cost low-wage workers an opportunity to get a job.
"Listen, after the 'stimulus' didn't work, most of my constituents are continuing to ask the question, 'where are the jobs?'
"We have a 'stimulus' that's not working, we have a national energy tax bill that came through here this month that will cost millions of Americans their jobs, and while this will ruin the health care system that we enjoy in America, let's not forget, it will cost us millions of American jobs when most Americans continue to want to know, 'where are the jobs?'" 

Friday, July 24, 2009

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

Stimulus = 11 billion per day

Sad, what else can I say.

Mark Twain said it best,

Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a Congressman can.
- What Is Man?

...the smallest minds and the selfishest souls and the cowardliest hearts that God makes.
- Letter fragment, 1891

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
- Mark Twain, a Biography

Congressman is the trivialist distinction for a full grown man.
- Notebook #14, 11/1877 - 7/1878

All Congresses and Parliaments have a kindly feeling for idiots, and a compassion for them, on account of personal experience and heredity.
- Mark Twain's Autobiography; also in Mark Twain in Eruption

And they want to take over healthcare?

UpdateThomas Lifson caught it for posterity as well.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Everything Old Is New Again.

Everything Old Is New Again.

Remember the adage,

"Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it" !

Look at this cartoon from the Chicago Tribune in 1934 and look carefully at the plan of action.

Looks like we could be in for difficult times.

Could this have been drawn NOW, April 15, 2009?………..

What has changed?

These figures today could be Pelosi, Ried, Dodd, Murtha, Geithner and the rest of Obama's Happy Spending Club. Does make the future look bleak.


Looters and Moochers, oh my!

The House passed pay-as-you-go legislation in attempts to reduce the deficit. Don't worry .. if they want to spend money, they will find a way to take from the producers. That's the equation. Looters take from producers for the benefit of the moochers who vote for the looters.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Girly Man

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The new GM auto

Exciting! Government Motors introduces its first new vehicle!

reciverubg liberal

Sarah Palin vs. the Marquis de Sade

By Robin of Berkeley
I grew up with a mean older brother who was ten when I came on the scene.  Family lore is that Tom ran away when my mother left to deliver me.  When she returned he responded with disgust, "At least you could have brought me home a brother."

Tom's main passion in life was tormenting me.  He delighted in mocking me, scaring me, making me cry.   He'd laugh and make this strange, guttural sound when he saw my terror. As I got older, he enjoyed more menacing methods of torture, like holding me down and pretending to suffocate me.

It was easy to have access to me since my parents were usually galavanting around town with their pack of carousing adults, all of whom were in arrested development.  When my folks were around, they'd yell at him but he'd just start up again when they were gone.

After I grew up and became a psychotherapist, I learned that there was a name for Tom's behavior, sadism.  Sadists get a thrill out of being cruel and watching others suffer.   While most abusive parents are motivated by a misguided effort to socialize and control, sadistic siblings just want to have fun by inflicting pain.

I rarely think of Tom, who disowned my family years ago.  But when I reflect on what was done to Sarah Palin, I remember him and his sadism.  And I look around and see more and more Tom's,  all grown up;  but they haven't grown up, actually; they refuse to grow up and use self control and restraint.  And, alarmingly, many of them are in positions of power.

Let's call them by their true name.  When an actress calls for gang raping Palin, she's a sadist.  When people torch Palin's church with children inside, they are sadists.  When bloggers call her a c___t  and scorn her disabled son, they are being sadists.

Each day I wake up and the world looks more and more like my childhood:  Tom's and Terry's who get a thrill out of terrorizing others; aging Peter Pans who won't grow up and enforce rules; parents too busy partying or saving the world to stay home, guide their kids, and teach them that all important word "no."

Television shows that humiliate people by publicly rejecting and demeaning them; movies where audiences are kept pumped up on sex and violence; an Internet where you can post the vilest things anonymously, unfiltered.

A secular society where anything goes, where self fulfillment reigns, where morals and values are as disposable as yesterday's underwear, to be thrown in the trash when you're tired of them.

A society gone mad, a "return to the primitive," as Ayn Rand described it forty years ago when she witnessed the growing power of the Left.  Adults who have the impulse control of two year olds marching around, unhinged and uncontrolled, like Lord of the Flies.  Teens beating up each other and teachers and uploading the video on YouTube.

Good people like Palin and Carrie Prejean being victimized in a manner so malicious that the intent is nothing short of destroying them.  And the Powers that Be which could stop the growing brutality at any time by calling off the dogs, calling for order, won't do so because it serves their needs.   After all, it's what Saul Alinsky preached:  control the masses by keeping them agitated and paranoid.

Maybe what's happening today goes beyond Left and Right and speaks instead to the ancient struggle between good and evil.   We live in a nation that has banished evil, that denies it even exists.  But this is naive and foolhardy;  good and evil exist hand in hand in the fiber of all human beings.  We each have in us the seeds of Gandhi and the seeds of Pol Pot.  It all depends on which ones we feed and nurture.

Evil, unacknowledged and unrecognized, takes root and becomes a virus so virulent, it threatens everyone whom it touches.  Because evil changes people; it wipes out what makes them uniquely human; it turns them into something completely different, unrecognizable, alien.

And goodness is not just some old fashioned concept, some relic of days gone by. It's a privilege bestowed on us from the universe and we must cradle it and protect it as we would a newborn babe.  We must never take it for granted, mock it or abandon it because it's the only thing that stands in the way of us and total anarchy.

Philosopher Jacob Needleman tells a story of walking on a bustling San Francisco street with a religious scholar from Tibet.  Needleman asks his friend, "If it is so rare to be born a human being, how come there are so many people in the world?"  His friend ponders the question silently for several seconds.  Then he looks at Needleman and responds quietly, "How many human beings do you see?"

I look around each day and ask myself the same question, "Where are the human beings?"  I see fewer and fewer each day.  But there's a shining example in Alaska of a woman who maintained her integrity in the midst of cruelty that would have crushed many of us; who never descended to the level of the thugs;  and who exits the scene with something that the sadists will never have, not even in their dreams -- her humanity. 
A frequent AT contributor, Robin is a recovering liberal and psychotherapist in Berkeley.
35 Comments on "Sarah Palin vs. the Marquis de Sade"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Spotted on a bumper in Michigan.  

People are starting to laugh at Obama. Openly.

Chips in official IDs raise privacy fears

Unbelievable! I have a new passport.
And who knows how easy it is to have my ID stolen...?
This is the government that leftists love.

Chips in official IDs raise privacy fears

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Jul 12, 6:10 AM (ET)

(AP) In this April 10, 2009. photo, Chris Paget, a self-described "ethical hacker," sits in the back of...
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Climbing into his Volvo, outfitted with a Matrics antenna and a Motorola reader he'd bought on eBay for $190, Chris Paget cruised the streets of San Francisco with this objective: To read the identity cards of strangers, wirelessly, without ever leaving his car.

It took him 20 minutes to strike hacker's gold.

Zipping past Fisherman's Wharf, his scanner downloaded to his laptop the unique serial numbers of two pedestrians' electronic U.S. passport cards embedded with radio frequency identification, or RFID, tags. Within an hour, he'd "skimmed" four more of the new, microchipped PASS cards from a distance of 20 feet.

Increasingly, government officials are promoting the chipping of identity documents as a 21st century application of technology that will help speed border crossings, safeguard credentials against counterfeiters, and keep terrorists from sneaking into the country.

(AP) In this April 10, 2009. photo, Chris Paget, a self-described "ethical' hacker," sits with his...
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But Paget's February experiment demonstrated something privacy advocates had feared for years: That RFID, coupled with other technologies, could make people trackable without their knowledge.

He filmed his heist, and soon his video went viral on the Web, intensifying a debate over a push by government, federal and state, to put tracking technologies in identity documents and over their potential to erode privacy.

Putting a traceable RFID in every pocket has the potential to make everybody a blip on someone's radar screen, critics say, and to redefine Orwellian government snooping for the digital age.

"Little Brother," some are already calling it - even though elements of the global surveillance web they warn against exist only on drawing boards, neither available nor approved for use.

But with advances in tracking technologies coming at an ever-faster rate, critics say, it won't be long before governments could be able to identify and track anyone in real time, 24-7, from a cafe in Paris to the shores of California.

(AP) In this April 10, 2009. photo, Chris Paget, a self-described "ethical' hacker," sits with his...
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On June 1, it became mandatory for Americans entering the United States by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean to present identity documents embedded with RFID tags, though conventional passports remain valid until they expire.

Among new options are the chipped "e-passport," and the new, electronic PASS card - credit-card sized, with the bearer's digital photograph and a chip that can be scanned through a pocket, backpack or purse from 30 feet.

Alternatively, travelers can use "enhanced" driver's licenses embedded with RFID tags now being issued in some border states: Washington, Vermont, Michigan and New York. Texas and Arizona have entered into agreements with the federal government to offer chipped licenses, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has recommended expansion to non-border states. Kansas and Florida officials have received DHS briefings on the licenses, agency records show.

The purpose of using RFID is not to identify people, says Mary Ellen Callahan, the chief privacy officer at Homeland Security, but "to verify that the identification document holds valid information about you."

An RFID document that doubles as a U.S. travel credential "only makes it easier to pull the right record fast enough, to make sure that the border flows, and is operational" - even though a 2005 Government Accountability Office report found that government RFID readers often failed to detect travelers' tags.

(AP) In this April 9, 2009 photo, electronic readers and displays for NEXUS identification cards are...
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Critics warn that RFID-tagged identities will enable identity thieves and other criminals to commit "contactless" crimes against victims who won't immediately know they've been violated.

Neville Pattinson, vice president for government affairs at Gemalto, Inc., a major supplier of microchipped cards, is no RFID basher. He's a board member of the Smart Card Alliance, an RFID industry group, and is serving on the Department of Homeland Security's Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee.

In a 2007 article published by a newsletter for privacy professionals, Pattinson called the chipped cards vulnerable "to attacks from hackers, identity thieves and possibly even terrorists."

RFID, he wrote, has a fundamental flaw: Each chip is built to faithfully transmit its unique identifier "in the clear, exposing the tag number to interception during the wireless communication."

Once a tag number is intercepted, "it is relatively easy to directly associate it with an individual," he says. "If this is done, then it is possible to make an entire set of movements posing as somebody else without that person's knowledge."

(AP) In this April 9, 2009 photo, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer Victoria Stephens speaks...
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Echoing these concerns were the AeA - the lobbying association for technology firms - the Smart Card Alliance, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Business Travel Coalition, and the Association of Corporate Travel Executives.

Meanwhile, Homeland Security has been promoting broad use of RFID even though its own advisory committee on data integrity and privacy issued caveats. In its 2006 draft report, the committee concluded that RFID "increases risks to personal privacy and security, with no commensurate benefit for performance or national security," and recommended that "RFID be disfavored for identifying and tracking human beings."

For now, chipped PASS cards and enhanced driver's licenses are not yet widely deployed in the United States. To date, roughly 192,000 EDLs have been issued in Washington, Vermont, Michigan and New York.

But as more Americans carry them "you can bet that long-range tracking of people on a large scale will rise exponentially," says Paget, a self-described "ethical hacker" who works as an Internet security consultant.

But Gigi Zenk, a spokeswoman for the Washington state Department of Licensing, says Americans "aren't that concerned about the RFID" in a time when "tracking an individual is much easier through a cell phone."

(AP) In this April 9, 2009 photo, a driver holds up a NEXUS identification card at a border crossing...
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In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks - and the finding that some terrorists entered the United States using phony passports - the State Department proposed mandating that Americans and foreign visitors carry "enhanced" passport booklets, with microchips embedded in the covers.

In February 2005, when the State Department asked for public comment, it got an outcry: Of the 2,335 comments received, 98.5 percent were negative, with 86 percent expressing security or privacy concerns, the department reported in an October 2005 notice in the Federal Register.

Identity theft and "fears that the U.S. Government or other governments would use the chip to track and censor, intimidate or otherwise control or harm them" were of "grave concern," it noted. Many Americans worried "that the information could be read at distances in excess of 10 feet."

Those citizens, it turns out, had cause.

According to department records obtained by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, under a Freedom of Information Act request and reviewed by the AP, discussion about security concerns with the e-passport occurred as early as January 2003 but tests weren't ordered until the department began receiving public criticism two years later.

(AP) In this May 28, 2009 photo, a new "enhanced" United States passport lies, at left, beside an...
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When the AP asked when testing was initiated, the State Department said only that "a battery of durability and electromagnetic tests were performed" by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, along with tests "to measure the ability of data on electronic passports to be surreptitiously skimmed or for communications with the chip reader to be eavesdropped," testing which "led to additional privacy controls being placed on U.S. electronic passports ... "

In 2005, the department incorporated metallic fibers into the e-passport's front cover, to reduce the read range, and added encryptions and a feature that required inspectors to optically scan the e-passport first for the chip to communicate wirelessly.

But what of concerns about the e-passport's read range?

In its October 2005 Federal Register notice, the State Department reassured Americans that the e-passport's chip would emit radio waves only within a 4-inch radius, making it tougher to hack.

But in May 2006, at the University of Tel Aviv, researchers directly skimmed an encrypted tag from several feet away. At the University of Cambridge in Britain, a student intercepted a transmission between an e-passport and a legitimate reader from 160 feet.

The State Department, according to its own records obtained under FOIA, was aware of the problem months before its Federal Register notice and more than a year before the e-passport was rolled out in August 2006.

"Do not claim that these chips can only be read at a distance of 10 cm (4 inches)," Frank Moss, deputy assistant Secretary of State for passport services, wrote in an April 22, 2005, e-mail to Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. "That really has been proven to be wrong."

The chips could be skimmed from a yard away, he added - all a hacker would need to read e-passport numbers, say, in an elevator.

In February 2006, an encrypted Dutch e-passport was hacked on national television, and later, British e-passports were hacked. The State Department countered that European e-passports weren't as safe as their American counterparts because they lacked safety features such as the anti-skimming cover. Recent studies have shown, however, that more powerful readers can penetrate that metal sheathing.

The RFIDs in enhanced driver's licenses and PASS cards contain a silicon computer chip attached to a wire antenna, which transmits a unique identifier via radio waves when "awakened" by an electromagnetic reader.

The technology they use is designed to track products through the supply chain. These chips, known as EPCglobal Gen 2, are intended to release their data to any inquiring Gen 2 reader within a 30-foot radius.

The government says remotely readable ID cards transmit only RFID numbers, which correspond to records stored in secure government databases. Even if a hacker were to copy an RFID number onto a blank tag and place it into a counterfeit ID, officials say, the forger's face still wouldn't match the true cardholder's photo in the database.

Still, computer experts say government databases can be hacked. Others worry about a day when hackers might deploy readers at "chokepoints," such as checkout lines, skim RFID numbers from people's driver's licenses, then pair those numbers to personal data skimmed from chipped credit cards (though credit cards are harder to skim). They imagine stalkers skimming RFID tags to track their targets, and fear government agents compiling chip numbers at peace rallies, mosques or gun shows, simply by strolling through a crowd with a reader.

Others worry more about the linking of chips with other identification methods, including biometric technologies, such as facial recognition.

Should biometrics be coupled with RFID, "governments will have, for the first time in history, the means to identify, monitor and track citizens anywhere in the world in real time," says Mark Lerner, spokesman for the Constitutional Alliance, a network of nonprofit groups, lawmakers and citizens opposed to remotely readable identity and travel documents.

The International Civil Aviation Organization, the U.N. agency that sets global standards for passports, now calls for facial recognition in all e-passports.

Palin: Job losses certain under cap-and-tax

Sarah Palin makes a well argued case against Obama's cap and tax in an Op-ed in today's Washington Post:

There is no denying that as the world becomes more industrialized, we need to reform our energy policy and become less dependent on foreign energy sources. But the answer doesn't lie in making energy scarcer and more expensive! Those who understand the issue know we can meet our energy needs and environmental challenges without destroying America's economy.

Job losses are so certain under this new cap-and-tax plan that it includes a provision accommodating newly unemployed workers from the resulting dried-up energy sector, to the tune of $4.2 billion over eight years. So much for creating jobs.

In addition to immediately increasing unemployment in the energy sector, even more American jobs will be threatened by the rising cost of doing business under the cap-and-tax plan. For example, the cost of farming will certainly increase, driving down farm incomes while driving up grocery prices. The costs of manufacturing, warehousing and transportation will also increase.

The ironic beauty in this plan? Soon, even the most ardent liberal will understand supply-side economics.

The Americans hit hardest will be those already struggling to make ends meet. As the president eloquently puts it, their electricity bills will "necessarily skyrocket." So much for not raising taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year.

Catholic Pope Meets False Hope

President Obama told Pope Benedict XVI at a Vatican meeting that he
would work to limit how many abortions take place each year in the
United States, according to a Vatican spokesman.

Is it a sin to lie to the Pope? And don't forget his comment on the campaign trail, when asked hypothetically about his own daughters:
"I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby," Obama said.

Catholic Pope Meets False Hope

Catholic Pope Meets False Hope

It didn't take long for the "progressives" to exploit the Pope's meeting with Obama. A group of Catholic Democrats has a banner on its website saying "Pope Meets Hope," referring to the meeting with Obama. The giant AFL-CIO labor union is using the Pope's liberal message to push its radical agenda of big government and union power.

Frankly, I have to admit that the Pope and Obama are in sync on the matter of globalism and creating more global institutions.

As I have reported, the Pope released a statement, an encyclical, in favor of a "true world political authority." He also called for "real teeth" for new global institutions. These are shocking statements.

As I note in my report, the Pope sounded like Al Gore on the issue of global warming and climate change and endorsed a new global warming treaty. This pleases the Catholic groups that have been working to pass the "cap-and-trade" bill -- the Franciscan Campaign on Climate Change, Catholic Climate Covenant and the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.

Facts are facts: the Pope has exposed himself as a one-worlder. The only way for Catholics to deal with this problem is to purge the Marxist elements from the church. This is not the time to make excuses for the Pope.

To understand this problem in the American Catholic Church, please read our report by Bob Chandler, "How Marxism Has Infiltrated the Catholic Church."

Greenpeace neither green nor peaceful

Greenpeace is neither green nor peaceful. They are a bunch of terrorists, and should be treated as such, prosecuted to the fullest extent possible under the law. If they were truly green, they would embrace Nuclear Power. And they are misguided as well; global warming is a hoax.

Greenpeace Gets Badass, Drapes Pic Of Obama Over Mt. Rushmore Calling For Climate Action

Filed under: campaigns — Michael d'Estries @ 1:24 pm

greenpeace, mt. rushmore, climate change, global warming, obama

Greenpeace took a unique approach today and sent several climbers up Mt. Rushmore in the middle of the night to deploy a giant 75lb sixty-five feet high by thirty-five feet wide banner calling for Climate Action. Featuring an unfinished portrait of the President, it read "America honors leaders not politicians: Stop Global Warming." The demonstration came as President Obama meets other G8 leaders in l'Aquila, Italy today to discuss the global warming crisis in the lead-up to UN climate treaty negotiations in Copenhagen this December.

The banner managed to stay up on Mt. Rushmore for about an hour before being cut at around 1:17 PM est. Greenpeace was quick to point out that they respect American monuments and the banner was not installed in any way detrimental to the carvings on Mt. Rushmore. For more information, jump to the official Greenpeace posting on the event here.

via Treehugger

[UPDATENewsweek's The Gaggle blog says it has learned: "That a team of 12 experienced climbers prepped conspicuously for months planning for different scenarios to ensure the action could be completed safely. The group also promised there would be no damage to the actual monument, which is solid granite. And all involved planned to spend several weeks behind bars."]

Photo: Used with permission from Greenpeace

To pull our economy back from the picnic table laughing yo-yo tape found split recovery shoe lace nation's history.... kitty cat bingo shiny football swimming pool.

I guess Obama really is just an empty suit, just reading the teleprompter:

Jake Tapper:
Midway through his speech on urban and metropolitan policy in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building this afternoon, one of his two small glass prompters came crashing down, hitting the wood floor and crashing in many pieces. It made quite a ruckus.

"Oh, goodness," a startled President Obama said. "Sorry about that, guys."

He then proceeded on with his remarks, "To pull our economy back from the picnic table laughing yo-yo tape found split recovery shoe lace nation's history.... kitty cat bingo shiny football swimming pool.... "

It went on like that for over an hour, at which point reporters and spectators began ambling out.