30 April 2009

Must cite

Many folk have been ragging on Texas Governor Rick Perry for alledgedly talking about secession (which he didn’t — he was citing the federalism implicit in the 10th Amendment) but apparently this has had some effect on the Obama Administration. Hot Air reports that the US Department of State now considers Texas a foreign country.

29 April 2009

What's the technical term for this?

So now it seems that large American corporations have to ask permission to continue with normal operations — that is, CitiGroup is asking “Mother, may I?” to the federal government with regard to paying out standard bonuses. Fascism? Socialism? Corporatism? I always enjoy getting bogged down in terminology disputes but I am not going to let that cause me to lose sight of the fact that whatever we call, it’s un-American and a Bad Idea.

The only bit of silver lining is this, which I can’t rewrite to be any better —

As far as having executives poached, I’d call that a free-market correction at this point. Citi chose to take government funds and let Obama in their boardroom. One consequence of that is that Obama apparently gets to make their compensation decisions, which puts them at a market disadvantage. That should serve as a warning to other firms looking to suck off the taxpayer teat.

Put me in the “worse is better” school for intervention in this regard.

28 April 2009

NYC is Fly-Over Country Now!

Of course, the blogosphere is abuzz about a Presidential 747 buzzing New York City.. The impetus for was apparently the Obama Administration decided they need better stock photos of Air Force One and sent one of them off to fly around New York City for a photo shoot.

Now, I think that’s kind of silly, but not a big deal — except that for reasons known only to the Obama Administration, it was kept a secret and no warning was provided to any civilians in New York City by design. Now that’s something worth getting riled up about.

There are various speculations about nefarious purposes or abuse of government resources, but I think it comes down to

  • That President Obama and his crew are so far out of the mainstream that it simply would not occur to them, not if they thought about it for months, that anyone would be bothered by it. The 11 Sep attacks are to them what the Pearl Harbor attacks are to my kids, except without the excuse of not having been an adult at the time.
  • As I have noted with the COLB issue, my view is that the first and frequently only reaction by the Obama Gang to information is to resist access, regardless of whether it makes any sense. It didn’t for the CLOB, and it didn’t for the fly over. But it’s just who they are.
  • I agree with the theory that Obama’s slowness to nominate played a factor as well, resulting in no one enough in the loop to stop and say “hey, couldn’t this be a problem?”. On the other hand, as the DHS “right wing extremist” issue shows, Obama appointees are not necessarily more clueful than Obama himself.

Naturally, I could not let this go by without mentioning the flagrant bias on the part of Old Media. Former President Bush is still, to this day, hassled about the “Mission Accomplished” sign on the aircraft carrier, which was put up by the sailors and not at the order or suggestion of anyone in the Bush Administration. Yet Obama is and I expect will continue to get a pass on this, even though it was, IMHO, a worse offense and far more traceable directly to Obama.

P.S. Best snark — “But he was only 47 when this happened!”.

21 April 2009

The green rage dream come true

I have heard the buzz about the EPA regulating ‘green house gasses’ (including CO2 and methane) as pollutants and thought — there’s the Green Rage dream come true. Humans legally defined as polluters.

Tea Party!

I attended the local Tea Party Protest on tax day. I think it was the first time I have ever been at a protest as a participant.

It went well, about 300-500 people in attendance (Pajamas Media has the “official” count at 400, which seems reasonably accurate). I think it was scheduled too long, 3 hours. 90 minutes would have been much better, but hey — these guys aren’t professional protestors. Lots of home made signs, not many manufactured ones. Not much local news coverage from what I could see, just Pajamas Media and a local university video camera crew. There were a couple of other nice video cameras in operation but without identification which makes it very unlikely they were from a local TV station.

The most amusing part was that the organizers tried to get some chants going and it just didn’t work. The kind of people attending just aren’t in to chanting little slogans in unison. The speeches were generally good, with the focus on the out of control spending / intervention / taxes which are the real point of the protest. There was a bit of President Obama bashing, which is fun but is kind of peripheral to the basic concept. Except for bashing like this —

Here’s one for erp —

20 April 2009

Or maybe he's just a Mommy's boy

Right Wing News laments President Obama getting trash talked by another Latin American thug. Now one could postulate that Obama puts up with this because he’s anti-American, or a hard core Leftist, or some other ideological reason, and there’s certainly good evidence for that. But I think it’s because, for the first time, Obama is encountering people who don’t care what he thinks and make no effort to placate him and he just doesn’t know how to deal with that. There’s no deference, and no “fixer” to make things better and without those props Obama has no response mechanism.

What happened to tolerating disagreement?

I have enountered this wierd blogwar about Little Green Footballs and various conservative bloggers / commentors and I find it a bit bizarre. You can read the details if you like, but frankly it’s not very interesting. What is more interesting is how upset people get about this stuff. For instance, the latest source of conflict is the DHS report about right wing terrorist threats. I can understand people disagreeing (I have a strong opinion on it, but I can understand that doesn’t make it a priori correct). Yet normally reasonable bloggers such as Strata Sphere go absolutely furious at any disagreement on the subject, even if made in a reasonable, logical, and fact based way. Perhaps it’s just a personality quirk, but that kind of over-reaction always makes me think it’s a symptom of someone trying to drown out his own doubts with anger, because unleashing that kind of thing is never an improvement for anyone involved.

P.S. That’s likely why so much of the MAL remains angry even after taking both House of Congress and the Presidency.

Limits for thee but not for me

So now President Obama has more czars than the Romanovs. Beyond being an example of the slippery slope of “straightening out” the private sector with a government caudillo, there is also the fact that with this mass of appointments Obama is effectively gutting Senatorial oversight. What is the difference between this set of czars and the official Presidential Cabinet? Not much, but the former doesn’t require any Senate approval.

Obama Hagiography Watch

Via Twisted Spinster and an Ace of Spades commentor we have an AP dispatch from the fantasy world of Obama Worship

President Barack Obama has gone abroad and gored an ox—the deeply held belief that the United States does not make mistakes in dealings with either friends or foes.

Yes, clearly, Obama is the first American to ever publically express doubts about the absolute correctness of American foreign policy. Perhaps now we the citizens can actually talk about American foreign policy, just like Obama made it possible for us to talk about racial issues. I expect the former to turn out just as spectacularly successful as the latter.

19 April 2009

Ooooh, that's gotta hurt!

Trust me, this is a truly visicous hit from a review of Atlas Shrugged

Rand introduces a series of hyper-competent characters […] They are a bit reminiscent of similar characters found in Robert Heinlein novels, except they are less flawed and tend to lack the ability to laugh at themselves.

Despite that, the review is overall positive. I have always quite liked the book, but I would hardly claim that it contains much high quality writing. It does, however, have powerful passages like this —

Nobody professed to understand the question of the frozen railroad bonds; perhaps, because everybody understood it too well. At first, there had been signs of a panic among the bondholders and of a dangerous indignation among the public. Then, Wesley Mouch has issued another directive, which ruled that people could get their bonds “defrozen” upon a plea of “essential need”: the government would purchase the bonds, if it found the proof of the need satisfactory. There were three questions that no one answered or asked: “What constituted proof?” “What constituted need?” “Essential — to whom?”

These are exactly the sort of questions I like to ask proponents of government intervention, and it is rare indeed that any specific answers are forthcoming. Yet it is those answers that will enable you to know what the long term behavior of the system will be. It’s telling that such questions are mostly unasked or the answers deliberately obscured.

It's all little league now

Many are mocking President Obama’s expectedly disastrous trip to Latin America (former VP Dan Quayle could probably give him useful tips). Via Hot Air is this question concerning a book given by Venezuelan thug dictator President Hugo Chavez —

The book’s in Spanish, by the way. El Presidente couldn’t even be bothered to find a translation. Food for thought from Tapper: “Can you imagine the world outrage if a US President gave a book in English to a non-English speaking leader?”

Yes, it’s almost as dumb as giving a foreign head of state DVDs that won’t play in his local DVD player. We are so fortunate that former President Bush is out of office and not committing parochial gaffes like that!

15 April 2009

14 April 2009

A bag full of smarm doesn't help

Here is another example (via Brothers Judd) of how as annoying and disappointing President Obama is, his slobbering cultists in Old Media are even more so —

Obama’s decision to authorize he use of military force to free Phillips, captain of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama, from a band of pirates demonstrated that the new commander in chief will apply American muscle in a crunch.

Telling our military to terminate pirates is a defining moment? I found it a roughly equivalent to telling a batter to swing at the ball. I don’t want to rag on Obama too much, because while he didn’t call the shot, and didn’t set the ROE to allow the shot to be taken whenever the opportunity arose, he did at least allow it in the case of a perceived threat to the hostage. It’s a start, and he did keep his mouth shut during the incident, for which I give him credit, Presidential blather at such times being worse than useless. But articles like this make that a lot harder than it should be.

13 April 2009

International "Shoot a Pirate" Day

Let me completely agree with Orrin Judd for once that France did the correct and courageous thing by storming a yacht capture by pirates even though it put the hostages lives at risk, killing one of them.

I am also quite happy that our Navy SEALS terminated the pirates holding the American merchant captain.

I did like this quote

“From now on, if we capture foreign ships and their respective countries try to attack us, we will kill them (the hostages),” Jamac Habeb, a 30-year-old pirate, told the Associated Press

which demonstrates the wisdom of these counter-attacks, that the alternative is once pirates successfully grab hostages, they can then steal with impunity.

Higher level conquest

I was pondering my thesis about the New Model Empire and how it contrasts with previous empires. That start was the weekly prayer in church for members and family in the military personally, and for our military to “bring justice and liberty to others”. That seems, based on my reading of military history, rather different than is common elsewhere. No conquest, no treasure, no coercion, no glory. Quite non-standard in the scheme of things.

But is it really? America is a unique nation in being a nationality of thought, not blood. Those who adopt our habits, our beliefs, our standards, our ideals, become Americans. One of the points of the New Model Empire is that because of this fact, America can conquer without permanent occupation. What is the desire to bring “justice and liberty” to others but the desire to, through ideological conquest, make them Americans?

The eye does not see itself

I found this quote from Orrin Judd very amusing —

they wonder why no one takes the Christian Left seriously.

Who is more of a Christian Leftist than OJ?

Conspiracy Theory Update

I was thinking yesterday about the never ending birth certificate issue for President Obama. The key point in favor of the theorists is the huge amount of money Obama is spending on fighting these lawsuits which, in essence, are only asking for access to the original certificate.

My insight was that I was projecting. I would be concerned about such a waste of cash, but why would Obama? It’s not his money. It’s not even real money, as it’s cash from his supporters which he has consistently treated as a ever-flowing river. Why not drop some on his lawyer friends and consultants? Any good street thug knows one good way you keep the gang in line is by looking generous in handing out shares of the loot. The key thing is to remember that Obama has a fundamentally different outlook on money and the spending thereof than a normal person and that must be taken in to account.

Easter Sunday Finery

A little girl the same age as Girl Three, enjoying the loan from her mother of a necklace. This girl, Girl Three, and another girl a year older joined up as a gang of cuteness to terrorize the worshippers.

06 April 2009

Mob rule

Do you think President Obama’s pitch-fork remark will make him more of a hero to Mr. Eagar than former President Carter?

03 April 2009

Grant III Watch

I am so far behind, I am still catching up at Just One Minute which asks

All this bailout and so forth was bad mojo to start with, but according to TOTUS (I’m loving that) necessary to shock the system back into life.

But now…Team TOTUS and Congressional Dems are meddling and taxing it so much that companies are hesitant in accepting the government dole.

What happens when you throw a bailout party and then set the dress code so high no one wants to attend?

If it were simply the case that no one would show up the bailout party, then I wouldn’t be too concerned. But we all know that there are two types who will show up for the cash

  1. The utterly dishonest who plan to steal the money anyway and then disappear.
  2. The well connected who plan to steal the money anyway and then use their connections to pass the blame off on someone else.

As we have so often since 20 Jan 2009, we are left wondering “incompet or malific?”.