Some good news about Gustav, hopefully. The forecast (see table below) seems be topping it off as a Category 3 storm, with a 40% chance it could weaken. The chances of it growing into a Cat 4 or 5 storm are put at 13%. The prediction of 115 mph winds would make it closer to a minimum Cat 3 (111 mph) than a Cat 4 (131 mph). Granted, Katrina was only a Cat 3 when it gave New Orleans a glancing blow.
I sure hope those levees hold.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Some good news about Gustav, hopefully. The forecast (see table below) seems be topping it off as a Category 3 storm, with a 40% chance it could weaken. The chances of it growing into a Cat 4 or 5 storm are put at 13%. The prediction of 115 mph winds would make it closer to a minimum Cat 3 (111 mph) than a Cat 4 (131 mph). Granted, Katrina was only a Cat 3 when it gave New Orleans a glancing blow.
Turns out Alaska's role in our national defense is pretty extensive. Who knew? (Oh yeah, anybody with functioning brain cells.)
Alaska is the first line of defense in our missile interceptor defense system. The 49th Missile Defense Battalion of the Alaska National Guard is the unit that protects the entire nation from ballistic missile attacks. It’s on permanent active duty, unlike other Guard units.
As governor of Alaska, Palin is briefed on highly classified military issues, homeland security, and counterterrorism. Her exposure to classified material may rival even Biden's.
She's also the commander in chief of the Alaska State Defense Force (ASDF), a federally recognized militia incorporated into Homeland Security's counterterrorism plans.
Palin is privy to military and intelligence secrets that are vital to the entire country's defense. Given Alaska's proximity to Russia, she may have security clearances we don't even know about.
According to the Washington Post, she first met with McCain in February, but nobody ever found out. This is a woman used to keeping secrets.
She can be entrusted with our national security, because she already is.
This will sure piss off all those folks who think Palin should be at home with the kids. (The Anchoress has a run down on these fine "liberals".)
Now, it is true she hasn't been doing this type of work long, but it is a hell of a lot more hands-on than anything a one term Senator does.
(H/T to Tully at Stubborn Facts)
Welcome to Achoress readers! Actually, I do more quoting on this post than anything, so please follow the links and read the people who did most of the work. You can always come back to read my thoughts out of season (so to speak.)
This is a little like asking, "Gov. Palin do you still beat your children with broken bottles?"
The tax-cutting Miss Congeniality found a comfortable place alongside “Sarah Barracuda’s” tangling with her political opponents. Repeatedly, Palin has appeared single-minded, almost close-minded, in her decision-making. The librarian director Palin spared, Mary Ellen Emmons, recounted an uncomfortable discussion with Palin. Palin asked her if she “could live with censorship of library books.” Fortunately, censorship never happened. Palin said the conversation was only a “rhetorical” exercise.” Nevertheless, it is an “exercise” few politicians dare broach.
Yes, that's right. It is fair and above board to take the uncorroborated word of someone Palin was threatening to fire at face value. It is further fair to paint Palin as a potential censor (book burner?) for something she didn't do.
Wait a second, I guess its not fair at all. It's McCarthyism plain and simple.
The criticism of Gov. Palin has generally ranged from incoherent to hysterical, but Michael Kinsley takes the cake: No Experience Necessary
In a famous example of ideological flexibility, the American Communist Party changed its mind completely about Adolf Hitler in 1939, when he signed a deal with Stalin. Previously, they hadn't cared for him much. Suddenly, he looked pretty good. Then two years later, when Hitler ratted on the deal and invaded the Soviet Union, the Communists changed their minds again. Both times, it took only days.
But now, thanks to the Internet, the same kind of conversion can take place in hours or even minutes. And although it's hard to find many Communists around these days, we happen to have just the party for the job.
It seems like just yesterday that the Republican Party was complaining about Barack Obama's lack of foreign-policy "experience." As a matter of fact, as I write (on Friday, Aug. 29) it actually was just yesterday. Even now, the Republican National Committee's main anti-Obama website has the witty address www.notready08.com. The contrast in experience, especially foreign-policy experience, between McCain and Obama was supposed to be the central focus of McCain's campaign.
But that's so five minutes ago, before Sarah Palin.
For starters who has more political experience Obama or Palin?
Illinois State Senator, 1997-2004
U.S. Senator, 2005-present
City Council Member, 1992-1996
Mayor of Wasilla, AK, 1996-2006
President of Alaska Conference of Mayors
Governor of Alaska, 2007-present
This is the elitest part of Kinsley's "argument." Obviously, if you are from Alaska you are some sort of hick and politics there doesn't count as real "experience." Hell, people actually own guns and hunt up there! Palin is probably a "clinger," while Obama is a dazzling urbanite where being a "community organizer" actually means something. (What it means no one seems to know...but it was obviously very important, as it somehow proves Obama's mettle to be President.)
The sexist part of Kinsley's argument is summed up with the question, "Would Kinsley have said the same thing were Palin a man?" The answer is "no" because Kinsley didn't say anything of the sort the last time someone as politically inexperienced was put on a national ticket. It isn't remembered but John Edwards had only held political office, of any kind, for less than one term as a Senator when he was put on the ticket. Kinsley didn't say word one about how Edwards lacked experience.
Gee, what could the reason be?
Here are Don Fowler, former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and Democratic Congressman Don Spratt laughing up the prospect of a hurricane killing thousands in New Orleans because it will hurt the Republicans politically.
"God's on our side!" brags Fowler.
Power Line adds:
This is what Hurricane Katrina was all about. Mainstream reporters committed malpractice, repeatedly reporting things that weren't true. They did this to try to help their party at a time when the Democrats needed help badly, and they succeeded. The Democrats are desperately hoping for another New Orleans hurricane that will kill thousands of people and thus distract attention from the Republican Convention. You can draw your own conclusion about the moral stature of these people.
Obama speech heard on the radio last night, with my translation:
This election is about whether your children can go to college or not!
(Translation: John McCain wants your children to be ignorant and penniless.)
Whether you can get health care or not!
(Translation: John McCain wants you and your family to get sick and die.)
Whether older Americans can retire with dignity!
(Translation: John McCain wants your elderly parents living in a cardboard box by the railroad tracks.)
Only then can we change the tenor of politics and unite America!
(Translation: Demonizing the recalcitrant leads to unification!)
Obama cannot even live up to his own (supposed) standards in word. Anyone claiming to be a moderate should be skeptical of how Obama's deeds will measure up. If you are not skeptical, then you are not a moderate.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Leave it to the "Moderate" Voice to find a way to sink below the level of the politics of personal destruction.
Even Joe McCarthy would come off as reasonable compared to this.
On March 5th, 2008 Alaska’s Republican Governor, Sarah Palin, announced to the media that she was 7 months pregnant with her 5th child. She is currently 44.
Palin’s daughter Bristol is 16 and attends an Anchorage high school. Students who have attended class with her report that she has been out of school for months, claiming a prolonged case of mono.
Palin does not appear pregnant in any recent photographs.
Nice to know TMV is now co-habitating with the "truthers" these days.
If you go over and read the comments you will notice our blogworld friend C Stanley trying to nudge the burgeoning brownshirts back into the light. It is a valiant effort doomed to failure I believe.
All hail Iowahawk: The Idiossey
Book the Fourth: Obamacles meets the Jeremiad of Chicago
When Obamacles reached the shores of Chicago, he saw no monsters;
Yet its bone-strewn sands announced a land of many unseen dangers.
And though he be clever, Obamacles did not understand his task,
set before him by the Oracle; perhaps it was a riddle?
"Community organizer?" he wondered, "What the fuck is that?"
And yet he pushed from house to house, offering to organize the people,
But lo, the Southside people shunned him, slamming doors and mocking sad Obamacles.
"O people of Chicago, why do you shun me so?" he lamented.
"I have a bachelor's degree and I am here to organize you."
Friday, August 29, 2008
Andrew Sullivan finds this a compelling argument:
[T]he thrust of the Dems' argument will not be that Palin is too inexperienced; it will be that McCain is being disingenuous when he argues that Obama is too inexperienced. This argument will gain wide acceptance among the pundit class, and it will also succeed with voters -- largely because it is correct, and obviously & instinctively so.
If they actually believe this it only proves they know nothing about American politics.
Name me a study in mass political behavior studies that show people operating in such a manner? (Hint: There isn't one.) Any half-way competent Political Scientists could tell you this is embarassing from anyone claiming to be an expert on politics.
“I think he's a good selection,” McCain said. “Joe and I have been friends for many, many years, and we know each other very well, and so I think he's made a very wise selection. I know that Joe will campaign well for Sen. Obama, and so I think he's going to be very formidable. Obviously, Joe and I have been on different philosophical sides, but we have been — I consider him a good friend and a good man.”
Campaign Obama on Sarah Palin:
“Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency.”
Yeah, love the "new tone of politics" thing ya got going on.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Is this ad fair? Probably. Obama has done little but beat around the bush when it comes to his connection to Ayers, and as such he has invited this scrutiny. The fact the Obama campaign is attempting to use the Federal government to quash this clearly protected form of political speech should be troubling for anyone who really believes in the First Amendment. (This, of course, would eliminate 80-90% of academics.) The answer to political speech you do not like is more political speech, not censorship.
The drive to elect Barack Obama is increasingly looking like they would employ "extra-Constitutional" means if that is what it takes.
Are you filled with hope yet?
Saw this at Wings Of Change:
On this matter, all Americans -- and all bloggers, regardless of affiliation -- should have a sense of unity. The Founding Fathers wrote the protections of the First Amendment for free speech and the press. They had political speech foremost in their thoughts when they did so. The freedom to speak about elections, candidates, and issues of concern was exactly what they were seeking to protect.
We have come to a time in America when our political class wants desperately to silence American citizens. They want to speak only to each other: let Sen. McCain's campaign say what it wants, but no mere citizen should dare to do so, lest they face criminal prosecution!
Our courts, which are ready to extend "free speech" to nude dancing as a form of "expression," won't recognize and defend the First Amendment right to free political speech that was the Founders' whole purpose.
Whatever your politics, and whomever you support, this behavior is un-American. It is wrong, vile, and an assault on the most basic liberty that the Republic was founded to protect.
WoC also points out that McCain isn't blameless in setting the stage for such violations of our rights as citizens. As I have said before (here and here for example) McCain/Feingold is nothing anyone should be proud of. Its simply scary that the Obama camp want to take that to another level.
Monday, August 25, 2008
In his classic short story "Harrison Bergeron" Kurt Vonnegut portrayed a world gone mad in its quest for (so-called) equality.
“That dance – it was nice,” said Hazel.
“Yup,” said George. He tried to think a little about the ballerinas. They weren’t really very good – no better than anybody else would have been, anyway. They were burdened with sashweights and bags of birdshot, and their faces were masked, so that no one, seeing a free and graceful gesture or a pretty face, would feel like something the cat drug in. George was toying with the vague notion that maybe dancers shouldn’t be handicapped. But he didn’t get very far with it before another noise in his ear radio scattered his thoughts.
George winced. So did two out of the eight ballerinas.
Hazel saw him wince. Having no mental handicap herself she had to ask George what the latest sound had been.
“Sounded like somebody hitting a milk bottle with a ball peen hammer,” said George.
The upshot of the story is that the quest for "equality" quickly becomes the task of extinguishing excellence.
Cut to a 9 year old baseball player in Connecticut:
Nine-year-old Jericho Scott is a good baseball player -- too good, it turns out.
The right-hander has a fastball that tops out at about 40 mph. He throws so hard that the Youth Baseball League of New Haven told his coach that the boy could not pitch any more. When Jericho took the mound anyway last week, the opposing team forfeited the game, packed its gear and left, his coach said.
Officials for the three-year-old league, which has eight teams and about 100 players, said they will disband Jericho's team, redistributing its players among other squads, and offered to refund $50 sign-up fees to anyone who asks for it. They say Jericho's coach, Wilfred Vidro, has resigned.
But Vidro says he didn't quit and the team refuses to disband. Players and parents held a protest at the league's field on Saturday urging the league to let Jericho pitch.
"He's never hurt any one," Vidro said. "He's on target all the time. How can you punish a kid for being too good?"
The controversy bothers Jericho, who says he misses pitching.
"I feel sad," he said. "I feel like it's all my fault nobody could play."
Jericho's coach and parents say the boy is being unfairly targeted because he turned down an invitation to join the defending league champion, which is sponsored by an employer of one of the league's administrators.
Jericho instead joined a team sponsored by Will Power Fitness. The team was 8-0 and on its way to the playoffs when Jericho was banned from pitching.
"I think it's discouraging when you're telling a 9-year-old you're too good at something," said his mother, Nicole Scott. "The whole objective in life is to find something you're good at and stick with it. I'd rather he spend all his time on the baseball field than idolizing someone standing on the street corner."
League attorney Peter Noble says the only factor in banning Jericho from the mound is his pitches are just too fast.
"He is a very skilled player, a very hard thrower," Noble said. "There are a lot of beginners. This is not a high-powered league. This is a developmental league whose main purpose is to promote the sport."
How do you "promote" a sport by removing the only players who are any good at it?
I played baseball at that age, and I was anything but good. In fact there were a few pitchers who could intimidate me by how hard they threw the ball. There is a name for that; it's called baseball. A "fastball" is supposed to be fast. They wouldn't have called it that if it travelled slowly. If the opposing players really couldn't handle 40 mph heat they should consider taking up other past times, like maybe knitting.
Of course, I know the real villains here are the adults who become horrified if their little Timmy looks totally inept when confronted by a player with actual skill.
League officials suggested that Jericho play other positions, or pitch against older players or in a different league.
Local attorney John Williams was planning to meet with Jericho's parents Monday to discuss legal options.
"You don't have to be learned in the law to know in your heart that it's wrong," he said. "Now you have to be punished because you excel at something?"
Vonnegut called it.
I worry about the reading comprehension skills of lots of folks in the MSM these days. Case in point, Richard Cohen said the following:
“I used to get a lot more on the right,” said columnist Richard Cohen, who broke with liberals when he supported the Iraq war. More recently, the left has picked apart columns that are perceived as being favorable to John McCain.
“If you’re a little bit critical of Barack Obama, you get really a pie of vilification right in the face,” Cohen said, adding that his liberal critics “were born too late, because they would have been great communists.”
This led Yglesias to whimper:
It’s extraordinary how commonplace these kind of sentiments are among prominent media figures. Cohen clearly relishes his self-conception as an independent thinker. And presumably the whole reason he’s glad to be a Washington Post columnist in part because that gives him a large audience of people who care about politics. Given all that, of course people will sometimes disagree with him! But that’s now how he sees it, and certainly he sees no need to engage with his critics on the merits — instead, they’re just like Communists!
Oh good Lord. The original quote from Cohen was in an article about the nutroots attacking the MSM for their "bias" in favor of McCain. Think about that a second. Cohen is a columnist. He gets paid to present his opinion. Evidently to the nutroots, and Yglesias as well it seems, expressing an opinion critical of the Chosen One (TM) is in itself evidence of "bias."
Cohen evidently noticed the change in the way the nutroots reacted to his writing in the aftermath of his support of the war in Iraq. This has continued into his election writings and Cohen clearly links the two. He proved himself to be "ideologically suspect" by breaking with nutroot orthodoxy and so he continues to be vilified. He remarked that is exactly what Communists used to do and he's right. The fact that point seems to have escaped Yglesias doesn't say too much about his acumen.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
I believe the Left in this country is incurably stupid because of junk like this: NBC Censors Sexual Orientation Of Openly Gay Gold Medalist Diver
According to OutSports.com, of the 10,708 athletes at the Olympics this year, just 10 have identified themselves publicly as being gay. Of the 10, Australian diver Matthew Mitcham is the only male gay athlete.
Yesterday, Mitcham won the gold in the in the 10m platform diving event, scoring an upset over the Chinese team, which was heavily favored to win. But as Maggie Hendricks at Yahoo’s Olympics blog notes, NBC never mentioned Mitcham’s orientation:NBC did not mention Mitcham’s orientation, nor did they show his family and partner who were in the stands. NBC has made athletes’ significant others a part of the coverage in the past, choosing to spotlight track athlete Sanya Richards’ fiancee, a love triangle between French and Italian swimmers and Kerri Walsh’s wedding ring debacle.
That's right, because we all know the most important aspect of Matthew Mitcham's life at that moment was not that he was a gold medal winning Olympic athlete but that he was gay.
And now it's "censorship" that an American TV network, NBC, didn't have a "Oh, Look at the Homosexual Diver" segment ready about an Australian athlete no one expected to win.
It's all just too stupid.
What the hell was NBC supposed to do?
Announcer #1: Well, that was a very flamboyant dive the Australian performed there.
Announcer #2: It's funny you should say that because he is gay you know.
Of course we already know NBC is notoriously homophobic.
Moreover, Mr. Weisberg’s own arguments seem to undermine his point. For example, he suggests that Obama’s skin color is not only the reason he should win, it’s also the single most important factor regarding the fate of our nation:Many have discoursed on what an Obama victory could mean for America. We would finally be able to see our legacy of slavery, segregation, and racism in the rearview mirror. Our kids would grow up thinking of prejudice as a nonfactor in their lives. The rest of the world would embrace a less fearful and more open post-post-9/11 America. But does it not follow that an Obama defeat would signify the opposite? If Obama loses, our children will grow up thinking of equal opportunity as a myth. His defeat would say that when handed a perfect opportunity to put the worst part of our history behind us, we chose not to. In this event, the world’s judgment will be severe and inescapable: The United States had its day but, in the end, couldn’t put its own self-interest ahead of its crazy irrationality over race.
In other words, because Obama is black he must be elected, but that cannot be a reason to not elect him because that would be racist. Treating the candidate differently based on the color of his skin is just fine and dandy if you plan to elect him and show how racist you aren’t. However, if you plan to vote for any other candidate, regardless of how many good reasons you think you have, you are simply not voting for Obama because he’s black. Mind-bending logic, isn’t it.
The irony of Weisberg’s well poisoning is that it indicates why many of the black people who know him probably despise him. His patronizing approach to racial relations belies his own opinions as to the inferiority of black people who cannot be judged on the merits of their accomplishments, but instead upon their fealty to the causes of those so desperately seeking to dispel any doubts about their own racism. Mr. Weisberg apparently considers himself an enlightened being and offers as evidence his condescending indictment of white America. Yet, the tendentious manner in which he does so suggests he’s trying just a little too hard. It’s almost as if Weisberg knows in his own heart that he finds black people inferior, and only capable of attaining any accomplishment with the help of kindly white people like himself. Thus he lashes out at political opponents who find Obama’s candidacy lacking, attributing to them the sins for which he seeks atonement.
But, could it instead be that Mr. Weisberg is just a pompous, elitist ass? Nope. It’s because he’s a racist.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
How is that not the upshot of this piece?
When Obama doesn't win the real reason will turn out to be fascist assholes like the people at Slate.
Biden is a decent choice for Obama. You sometimes worry about such a long sitting Senator because of the myriad of votes that can be used as ammunition, but McCain will have the same difficulty, so that should be a wash at worst.
There could be a problem if Biden proves to be a lot more presidential than Obama. That happened back in 1988 when lots of people would have rather voted for Lloyd Bentsen as opposed to Michael Dukakis. While Obama can come off as inexperienced and naive, you won't get that from Biden, but you cannot change the fact that it is Obama's name on the top of the ticket.
As for holding the job itself, I think Joe Biden would be a fine Vice-President.
You have to admit, however, it isn't a particularly "gutsy" pick.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Without so much as a "by your leave": More funding urged for climate research
Scientists on Wednesday recommended a huge increase in the USA's climate and weather research budget, citing the need for improved tools to better protect the nation from natural disasters as well as the expected effects of climate change.
"Expected effects"? Are they admitting we haven't seen any yet?
And I bet you are wondering just how impoverished are these guys at present. They are probably making do with facilities in a rented basement in the bad part of town, right? Well, not so much:
The proposed plan, which was outlined in a document sent to the presidential campaigns of John McCain and Barack Obama, would cost the nation about $9 billion above the current $10 billion already allotted for fiscal years 2010-2014.
We already pay 2 billion dollars a year for these people to live out their socialist fantasies? Yikes.
Hey, I like the National Weather Service and the people doing good work at the Storm Prediction Center, and I hope they stay well funded, but there is already more than enough nonsense produced by the Jim "Lenin" Hansen's of the world. They don't need another 9 billion dollars to do it.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Africa should make more use of the skills of its nomadic peoples to help combat the challenges of climate change, the aid agency Oxfam says.
Pastoral communities such as the Maasai in Kenya and Tanzania could pass on survival skills, says a new report.
A new Oxfam report, Survival of the Fittest, describes how East African governments have excluded pastoralist communities, adversely affecting their ability to maintain a sustainable livelihood.
"All too often the direct economic value generated by pastoralists is not retained in their communities, and the indirect value is unrewarded and even unacknowledged by decision-makers," said Paul Smith-Lomas, regional director for Oxfam International.
Mohammed Elmi, who in April was appointed as Kenya's first north-eastern minister, said pastoralists had been adapting to changes in climate for millennia, and these skills could help them cope with the continent's increasingly hot weather.
"However, their adaptability cannot be realised without government support and investment," he said.
Oh my God...I can't quote anymore...it's killing me!
The funniest bit is the fact the story is actually from the BBC, not The Onion.
So, McCain does much better than Obama in a televised forum dealing with religious issues. Why is that exactly? Well, Team Obama has the answer:
“Of course McCain looked good,” the anonymous Obama aide said. “He didn’t have to worry about how his answer would be perceived. He didn’t have to work to recall his talking points. He didn’t have to think, or even try to look like he was thinking. All he had to do was blurt out what he believed. Clearly, this gave him an unfair advantage, and we think the American people will see this for what it is…another Republican smear tactic.”
The aide added: "Yeah, McCain has to just say what he believes while we have to lie through our teeth. I mean, c'mon, what kind of moron believes all that bible crap anyway??"
(Gleaned from Right Wing Nation)
UPDATED: Changed to make it clearer that I know what Scrappleface is. I guess I was too subtle.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
From the Getaloadofthisload file:
For the past 16 years, news organizations have been repeating an obvious falsehood about the 1992 Democratic convention. According to countless news reports -- in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, ABC, NPR, Time, Newsweek, CNN, MSNBC, The Wall Street Journal, and on and on and on -- then-Pennsylvania governor Bob Casey was denied a speaking role at the convention because he opposed abortion rights.
Really? Give us your evidence.
It's also important to keep in mind that Casey didn't merely want to speak at the convention. He wanted to devote his entire speech to opposing the Democratic Party on a single issue. After the convention ended, Casey released the text of the speech he would have delivered had he been given the chance. The speech ran more than 1,000 words -- and not one of those words was "Clinton." Nor was the word "Gore" mentioned. Casey's speech did not include a single word of praise or support for the ticket being nominated at the convention he wanted to address. Instead, it accused the party of being "far out of the mainstream and on the extreme fringe" on abortion. That's what the entire speech was about: disagreeing with, and insulting, the Democratic Party on abortion.
Ah, so the Democrats didn't want to keep Casey from speaking because he was Pro-Life, they wanted to keep him from speaking because he wanted to speak about Pro-life views.
I'm supposed to believe this amounts to a real difference?
Last time I checked many other things go on at a party convention than the ritual back slapping of the Presidential nominee, including the setting of the goals of the party as a whole. If Casey wanted to address the convention's role in writing the party platform, which it seems clear he did because he didn't address the presidential race at all, then why shouldn't he have been allowed? The notion that he wasn't allowed to speak because because he didn't add to his remarks a stroking of the nominee, regardless of the rest of the content of his proposed talk, is asinine. Even if you granted this rather dumb suggestion it still amounts to silencing Casey because he wasn't going to say what the party bigwigs wanted him to say. Once again, that's a meaningful difference how?
The intellectual shallowness of Media Matters is staggering.
The whining is also a little disconcerting:
Yet here's The New York Times, just last week: "Sixteen years ago, the Democratic Party refused to allow Robert P. Casey Sr., then the governor of Pennsylvania, to speak at its national convention because his anti-abortion views, stemming from his Roman Catholic faith, clashed with the party's platform and powerful constituencies."
No. That is not true. That cannot be true. It cannot be the case that he was not allowed to speak because of his views -- other people with the same views were allowed to speak. [ed. The petulant emphasis is in the original.]
Did the other people speak about abortion at the convention? Why, no they didn't. So, it seems the policy was that Pro-life Democrats could be seen always, but heard only when they didn't speak about abortion. Nothing presented by Media Matters disputes that in the least.
Modern sovereignty is anthropocentric, constituted and organized by reference to human beings alone. Although a metaphysical assumption, anthropocentrism is of immense practical import, enabling modern states to command loyalty and resources from their subjects in pursuit of political projects. It has limits, however, which are brought clearly into view by the authoritative taboo on taking UFOs seriously. UFOs have never been systematically investigated by science or the state, because it is assumed to be known that none are extraterrestrial. Yet in fact this is not known, which makes the UFO taboo puzzling given the ET possibility. Drawing on the work of Giorgio Agamben, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Derrida, the puzzle is explained by the functional imperatives of anthropocentric sovereignty, which cannot decide a UFO exception to anthropocentrism while preserving the ability to make such a decision. The UFO can be "known" only by not asking what it is.
I think that is what you call "cringe worthy."
Joseph Bottum over at First Things noticed this piece and wrote of it:
This may be the greatest sentence of its kind ever written: “Drawing on the work of Giorgio Agamben, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Derrida, the puzzle is explained by the functional imperatives of anthropocentric sovereignty, which cannot decide a UFO exception to anthropocentrism while preserving the ability to make such a decision.”
I mean, this has got it all—a dangling participle, a complete grammatical jumble, and the phrase “the functional imperatives of anthropocentric sovereignty.” Plus it seems to be about how the existence of UFOs demolishes our legal system. What more do you want out of life?
All I wanted was to be able to teach and talk to college kids about Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Hegel, Mill etc....now I just feel dirty.
Friday, August 15, 2008
I understand when profanity is not printed in news stories. Generally we can all get the gist of what was said with the use of a single letter. However, there are times when it results in one not knowing what the hell is going on. Take this story about the nut case who shot the Democratic party boss in Arkansas:
According to Conway police spokeswoman Sharen Carter, Target fired Johnson before 8 a.m. Wednesday because he had written on a wall. A manager had called police because of an "extremely irate" employee, Carter said. The graffiti, including "Target is run by dumb jocks and sorority w-----," had already been cleaned and Johnson had left by the time officers arrived.
Sorority what? I mean, I can think of some derogatory words that begin with "W" but I have no idea what was used in this case. Am I reading CNN's website or a 19th century victorian novel?
If this was employed to avoid the use of the word "whores," I need to move to a less stupid country.
Here is a well documented post that suggests exactly that.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Stubborn Facts has your well heeded warning for the day: I don't care how much you dislike Obama
Jerry Corsi's new book on him should be ignored, because Corsi is a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. If a 9/11 conspiracy theorist claims that the sky is blue, you should ignore him or seek independent verification.
Corsi is an idiot, and the type of idiot who could seriously damage John McCain.
Ohio is considered a must-win state for both Barack Obama and John McCain. And the highpoint of the presidential campaign in the state could come a month before Election Day.
Ohio has created a window in the election calendar, from September 30th to October 6th, that allows residents to both register one minute and vote the next.
The voting window, so far, is only being implemented in some counties -- typically they are urban areas or those with college campuses. The move figures to benefit Obama and leading Republicans are crying foul. They're considering a lawsuit if it isn't applied all over the state.
In effect this creates one set of voting laws for Democrats and another for Republicans.
I thought this was the sort of thing Democrats were against, but I guess with Obama's "new" politics everything old is new again.
(Gleaned from QandO)
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Not only has McCain’s latest celebrity attack ad gotten goofier, it’s also starting to reveal the particularly distasteful “white women like the black guy” tactic that Republicans have used in the past to scare voters away from African American candidates.
Oh, what moronic garbage. Here is the "racially offensive" ad:
Alright, so here is the racial/gender breakdown of the ad:
We are shown:
Black Males (other than Obama himself): 0
Black Females: 1
Non-Black Males: 4
Non-Black Females: 6
Of the Non-Black females we are shown a chanting middle age lady old enough to be Obama's mother, and one teenage Taco Bell employee working the drivethru saying that people have been buying a lot of Taco Bell.
Gee, how outrageous.
Only liberals could look at this ad and think about black men raping white women. And, of course, it is the rest of dumb hill billy America who have a problem.
And, for godsakes, the "Dreamy" meme was created by the media and the Obama camp itself, or have we already forgotten what makes Chris Matthews leg tingle?
More dastardly advertising! Here is a campaign ad that juxtaposes images of Obama with those of a good half dozen young white women.
I think my point should be pretty self evident, but no one ever got rich counting on the quick uptake of ideologues. Obviously, if the mere juxtaposing of images of a black man and a white woman is enough to re-kindle anti-miscegenist tendencies, then one would expect Obama to avoid such images like the plague. The claim is made that the actual content and context of an ad is unimportant as it is the images themselves that cause the supposed reaction. (A reaction which, if true, one should be able to find evidence of in experimental psychological data, but which seems to not exist.) However, if the context and content of the ad is unimportant than the exact same (supposed) reaction should be expected from an Obama ad that shows images of himself juxtaposed with white women. I guess we are supposed to believe content and context only work for mass audiences when the ad makers are Democrats?
When anyone runs an anti-Obama ad with this as its content...
...then and only then can you come crying to me.
Monday, August 11, 2008
...but it sure does fit a pattern many want, in vain, to claim doesn't exist. From The Dude Abides.
At 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 27, 2004, when I was the religion reporter (I am now its religion columnist) at the Chicago Sun-Times, I met then-State Sen. Barack Obama at Café Baci, a small coffee joint at 330 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago, to interview him exclusively about his spirituality. Our conversation took place a few days after he'd clinched the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat that he eventually won. We spoke for more than an hour. He came alone. He answered everything I asked without notes or hesitation. The profile of Obama that grew from the interview at Cafe Baci became the first in a series in the Sun-Times called "The God Factor," that eventually became my first book, The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People (FSG, March 2006.) Because of the staggering interest in now U.S. Sen. Obama's faith and spiritual predilections, I thought it might be helpful to share that interivew...
The money quote:
Do you believe in sin?
What is sin?
Being out of alignment with my values.
Don't share the O's values? Welcome to sin my friends.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Something like this can only happen behind the Iron Curtain of yesteryear, or in the academia of today:
The Southern Illinoisan reports today that Professor Cal Y. Meyers has sued Southern Illinois University-Carbondale (SIUC) for barring him from campus on unspecified claims of sexual harassment and various other unspecified offenses. He essentially claims that SIUC has violated his due process rights under the U.S. and Illinois Constitutions and has defamed him for the sake of unjust enrichment. In banning him from campus, SIUC prevented Meyers from directing a $2.5 million center which he had donated to the university.
Indeed, from a due process standpoint, the case against SIUC looks pretty solid. On November 8, 2007, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Dean John A. Koropchak wrote Meyers telling him that Koropchak had received and investigated a complaint of sexual harassment, that Meyers had already been found guilty, that he was being formally reprimanded, that he must cease contact with students in his department, that "further violations" could lead to termination, and that he must complete sexual harassment training provided by SIUC's Affirmative Action Office by December 1.
According to Meyers' complaint, "Defendant ignored all subsequent inquiries by Plaintiff to ascertain any information regarding the sexual harassment allegation (i.e. the identity of the accuser, the specific allegations, or any evidence involved)."
Then, on January 31, 2008, Chancellor Fernando Trevino sent Meyers another letter of the same ilk. Trevino told Meyers that "additional complaints" for "harassment and retaliation" had been received and that pending an investigation, Meyers was banned from campus on penalty of being charged with trespassing.
To this point, Meyers still had been provided with no details whatsoever about the allegations against him. Moreover, from the complaint it appears rather undeniable that official SIUC policy and procedures for the investigation and adjudication of sexual harassment claims were not followed—not followed at all, it seems. The complaint quotes some of the provisions that were violated.
No hearing, no chance to respond to the evidence, no statement of evidence, no chance to respond to the accuser, no notification of a right to appeal. Nothing. Just two letters with unspecified allegations.
It seems when college administrators read The Trial they only view it as an example to follow instead of as a warning of what to avoid.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Over at First Things, Mary Eberstadt has a nice piece about the Catholic doctrine our social and political betters love to hate. Here is a taste:
Perhaps the most mocked of Humanae Vitae’s predictions was its claim that separating sex from procreation would deform relations between the sexes and “open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards.” Today, when advertisements for sex scream from every billboard and webpage, and every teen idol is sooner or later revealed topless or worse online, some might wonder what further proof could possibly be offered.
But to leave matters there would be to miss something important. The critical point is, one might say, not so much the proof as the pudding it’s in. And it would be hard to get more ironic than having these particular predictions of Humanae Vitae vindicated by perhaps the most unlikely—to say nothing of unwilling—witness of all: modern feminism.
Yet that is exactly what has happened since 1968. From Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem to Andrea Dworkin and Germaine Greer on up through Susan Faludi and Naomi Wolf, feminist literature has been a remarkably consistent and uninterrupted cacophony of grievance, recrimination, and sexual discontent. In that forty-year record, we find, as nowhere else, personal testimony of what the sexual revolution has done to womankind.
Consider just what we have been told by the endless books on the topic over the years. If feminists married and had children, they lamented it. If they failed to marry or have children, they lamented that, too. If they worked outside the home and also tended their children, they complained about how hard that was. If they worked outside the home and didn’t tend their children, they excoriated anyone who thought they should. And running through all this literature is a more or less constant invective about the unreliability and disrespect of men.
The signature metaphors of feminism say everything we need to know about how happy liberation has been making these women: the suburban home as concentration camp, men as rapists, children as intolerable burdens, fetuses as parasites, and so on. These are the sounds of liberation? Even the vaunted right to abortion, both claimed and exercised at extraordinary rates, did not seem to mitigate the misery of millions of these women after the sexual revolution.
Much more to read over there.
Let’s begin with part of Barack Obama’s current speech about energy:“President Bush, he had an energy policy. He turned to Dick Cheney and he said, ‘Cheney, go take care of this. Cheney met with renewable-energy folks once and oil and gas (executives) 40 times. McCain has taken a page out of the Cheney playbook.”
Here’s the problem. Look at the vote on the 2005 Energy Bill, which Obama is now trying to tie to John McCain. Obama voted for it. McCain voted against it.
Obama says he voted for the bill because it gave so much funding to renewable energy. McCain opposed the bill because he said, at the time, it included too many tax breaks for energy companies.
Another for the files of an unself-critical life: More than 100,000 rare gorillas found in Congo
An estimated 125,000 Western lowland gorillas are living in a swamp in equatorial Africa, researchers reported Tuesday, double the number of the endangered primates thought to survive worldwide.
"It's pretty astonishing," Hugo Rainey, one of the researchers who conducted the survey for the U.S.-based Wildlife Conservation Society, told CNN Tuesday.
The last census on the species, carried out during the 1980s, estimated that there were only 100,000 of the gorillas left worldwide. Since then, the researchers estimated, the numbers had been cut in half.
Hmmm...sounds like that "estimate" was pretty half-assed.
Actually, I take that back. That hysterical estimate probably led to the research money used to conduct the survey, which was also, probably, the entire point of it.
Once again, the ends are justifying the means.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Yikes. There are reasons to let sleeping dogs lie: Obama wants 'full vote' for Michigan, Florida delegates
Sen. Barack Obama said Sunday that delegates from Florida and Michigan should get a "full vote" at the Democratic convention this month.
"I believe party unity calls for the delegates from Florida and Michigan to be able to participate fully alongside the delegates from the other states and territories," he said in a letter to the co-chairs of the Democratic National Convention's Credentials Committee.
Funny how "party unity" wasn't so important 5 weeks ago.
Welcome to Candidate Obama, always a day late and dollar short.
Well at least the Democrats know the recipe. I just kinda wished they paid as much attention to their "Intro to American Government" classes as they obviously did to their "Governing With Uncle Joe!" classes.
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Well, at least he owns up to his undemocratic "ideals"
The only way we’re going to get action, I’d suggest, is if those who stand in the way of action [i.e. "action" considered desirable by Democrats] come to be perceived as not just wrong but immoral.
What a scum bag. (Krugman is supposed to be "bright"?)
Here is what Prometheus has to say about politics ala Krugman:
In the climate debate the litmus test for having the proper morality (i.e., defined as not "standing in the way of action," by being a "denier" or "delayer" or [insert derisive moral judgment here]) is by holding and expressing (and not questioning) certain acceptable beliefs, such as:
*Not questioning any consensus views of the IPCC (in any working group)
*Not supporting adaptation
*Not emphasizing the importance of significant technological innovation
*Not pointing out that policies to create higher priced energy are a certain losing strategy
Deviation for these beliefs is, blasphemy -- heresy! Or as Paul Krugman recommends . . . immoral.
Climate change is the new locus of the U.S. culture wars. Unlike the abortion issue which was turned into a referendum on morality by the political right, the climate issue is fast becoming a referendum on morality by the political left.
All of this is dead on. Where I would differ is in the idea that this is limited to the "climate change" debate. (The phrase "climate change" is in quotes because it is so idiotic. It's like having a "cold ice" debate, or a "wet water" debate.)
It must be noted, in the "climate change" debate, the one thing that must never be questioned is the Democrats misunderstanding of the facts. As Stubborn Facts points out:
Climate Science blog points us at an applied examination of the predictive ability and thus credibility of the climate models used by IPCC and others to establish the pseudo-religious case for runaway anthropogenic global warming, as published in the Hydrologic Sciences Journal. From the abstract:Geographically distributed predictions of future climate, obtained through climate models, are widely used in hydrology and many other disciplines, typically without assessing their reliability. Here we compare the output of various models to temperature and precipitation observations from eight stations with long (over 100 years) records from around the globe. The results show that models perform poorly, even at a climatic (30-year) scale.
Stupid immoral scientists! They haven't had their "science" checked for ideological purity! Head shaman Krugman will be displeased.
UPDATED AND BUMPED:
I just wanted to add that this approach by Krugman is nothing new in this election cycle. It is a growing them among a lot of Democrats. As I noted back in June:
It should be clear from the above that such un-American moments can be represented by fringe elements in our society (e.g., Anarchists or the German American Bund) or by those actually in the mainstream (e.g.,Federalists in 1798, Democrats in 1860.) The key concept is not how integrated any given group is within the society, or how prevalent its views are, but how the positions of the groups involved deviate from long standing principles such as Free Speech, respect for democratic elections, etc. Of paramount importance in this regard is the inviolability of the principle of adversarial politics, the belief that no political party can claim absolute moral authority to run without legitimate opposition. It is this last principle that is being challenged by the rise of what I call Obamism.
This "approach" to politics walks hand-in-hand with the attempts by the left in America's colleges and universities to silence right of center speech, either through the use of "speech codes," which largely seek to protect left of center policies from criticism of any kind, or through the use of what is euphemistically called the "heckler's veto" which in effect uses the threat of violence to silence any and all opposition. In each case the justification is the same. The speech that is infringed is "morally suspect" (they will call anything they do not like "hate speech") and therefore of no great loss when it is silenced.
So what I am calling Obamism isn't merely the tactics of this particular presidential campaign; it is the culmination of a long standing process, albeit in a more refined and complete package. This can be seen in the "global warming" debates where any deviance from the left wing orthodoxy is met with shrieks of "denier," a term designed to impugn the character and moral worth of the person it is applied to and nothing more. It can also be seen in the way cultural institutions are being captured by the a "new Left" that believes one of its duties is to banish right of center voices from the conversation.
O.K., not really. My lovely wife is a Wash U. grad, but I was distressed to learn...
The Vice Presidential debate is October 2 at Washington University in St. Louis. It will cover domestic and foreign policy.
I understand why both sides would like the extra exposure in an important swing state like Missouri, but why must such debates always be held at swanky private Wash U.? What about a good, old fashioned state school? Are Dems and Reps too good to hash it out over at my alma mater, The University of Missouri at St. Louis???
C'mon, we don't even have any cows on campus. If it makes you feel any better, the grounds at UMSL used to be the home for the ritzy Bellerive Country Club.
Isn't the new "tone" wonderful?
Democrat presidential hopeful Barack Obama says rival John McCain's campaign has been cynical, not racist, in trying to raise fears about his candidacy.
Obama added: "I'm not even sure how often McCain beats his wife. It might even be never."
Obama is a joke...a very poor one, in questionable taste...much like his average backer.