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Thursday, July 31, 2008
The Friday And Weekend Music Thread
It’s time once again for the weekend music thread. This weekend’s theme is:
Yes, they get a lot of flack. Platform shoes, bell bottoms, ties wide enough to land a 747 on, Jimmy Carter...but there were quite a few good tunes to come out of the Me Decade, so get your groove thing on.
Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 07/31/08 at 09:36 PM in Fun and Humor • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
The Race to the Card
Oh, it’s on:
Here is what Obama said:
If Obama hadn’t made the crack about the dollar bills, I’d be 100% with him. But I don’t see a reading of that line that doesn’t include a racial angle. Was he trying to say he doesn’t look like the presidents on those bills because he doesn’t wear a big powdered wig? I think not.
That having been said, this is incredibly whiney of the McCain people and hardly Presidential. This is the sort of thing you ignore and let Sean Hannity fulminate about. It’s pure “gotchya” campaigning. We don’t need to mine Obama speeches for oblique racial references to oppose him. His open and loud policy positions are more than enough.
If I had responded at all it would been like so:
John McCain circa 2006 would have said something like that. John McCain circa 2008 seems to have fallen prey to the Campaign Weasels, and not a particularly talented or interesting group of weasels at that. Honestly, if he doesn’t turn things around, this is going to end in a landslide.
Update: Thinking about this a bit more, I’m becoming increasingly convinced that John McCain has fallen in with a bad crowd. One of the things I used to like about McCain was his easy and blunt manner of speaking. He’s retained that, somewhat. But you can see that the image polishers have been working on him. Remember his Gates of Hell comment, where he weirdly smiled at the end? You could almost see the wheels turning. “Consultants say I must appear less gruff. Must smile at end of every speech. Smile, dammit, smile!” I have also noticed when he is on The Daily Show or The Tonight Show that he’s developed a weird tendency, when answering a question, to turn awkwardly toward the camera, utter some sound bite and give a grin that is almost disturbing.
The people who gave him the bad advice that led to those weird facial tics are still there. His miraculous rebound from footnote to nominee has convinced him that these people are geniuses and the key to his victory in November. They’re not. They’re giving him bad advice. He’s whining about unfair press coverage; he’s accusing Obama of playing the race card; he’s comparing his opponent to Paris Hilton. Whether these attacks are accurate or not is hardly the point. They come across as petty, not Presidentail. It frankly makes McCain look a whiner. Six months ago, I don’t think I would put “McCain” and “whiner” in the same sentence unless they were interrupted by “beat to a pulp”.
Conservatives are supposed to be confident in our views. We laugh at liberals when they act like they’ve already won an election. We know that celebrity is fleeting and that substance wins out. McCain used to be this way. I wish he would be again.
Hoo boy. No matter who gets elected, hopefully the end of the Bush administration will mean the end of the idiot era:
I’m sorry, but preventing pregnancy isn’t quite the same as terminating one, and whoever got this started has their heads up their rear ends. This is an area where McCain is ostensibly more sane than some of his colleagues and would be a great chance for him to distance himself from the Bush Administration. I’m sorry he apparently won’t take up the challenge on this one.
It’s Getting Better All The Time
The American takes apart the idea that things are getting worse for Americans. I question some of their figures, but most are sound and consistent with what I’ve seen elsewhere. What impressed me the most were two things
Most of the progress on food and gas prices was made in the first half of the last century—notably right before farm subsidies kicked in to keep food prices elevated and third world denizens poor. But there’s also this:
I believe those work figures include vacation and sick days as time off work.
The reason these numbers fascinate and inspire me is that time is the only currency that a human being really has. The reason I hate high taxes is because it means people burn up more of their lives working for the government. The reason I hate over-regulation and our byzantine tax system is that people lose years of their life to unproductive crapola.
But the big picture is that a person born in 2007 can expect to spend 65,000 hours working, 60,000 on home chores and a whopping 329,000 hours doing everything else. This compares to 94,000, 81,000 and 216,000, respectively, for the idyllic 1950’s.
People do work hard today. I certainly do and so most of you guys. But our narrow vision keeps us from remembering that our parents worked harder. Housework alone—before the era of appliances—could use up an entire lifetime. Paid vacations were a luxury; paid sick leave even more so. We lose that perspective because life is hectic these days. We’ve also blurred the line between work and home.
Nevertheless, the Democratic meme that people are working harder for less is just garbage. The only way they can get there is to manipulate the numbers. They don’t count benefits when they compare wages. They don’t compare apples to apples when they consider costs. According to them, I’ve made no economic progress because my car—with A/C, CD player, anti-lock brakes, airbags, crumple zones, 33 mpg, very clean exhaust and 150,000 miles on it—costs about the same relative to my salary as the smoking, shuddering, stifling, unsafe, unreliable, lead fuel guzzling, filth-belching behemoth my dad had 40 years ago.
It’s nonsense. But we still fall for it because of that human need for martyrdom and our strange willingness to idolize the past.
“And What Will Your Sidearm Be Having?”
A quasi-liberal guy tests the waters when it comes to packing heat in public.
Welcome to the world of the Second Amendment…
Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 07/31/08 at 04:25 PM in Life & Culture • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
When Nasty Takes Over
A couple of items with regards to the way both candidates are campaigning. First, Obama responds to the McCain campaign’s now-infamous celebrity ad:
Second, a look at the problem with taking this road:
I think he does remember, but he seems desperate to avoid losing another high-profile race. McCain seems to be acting more like a Senator running for re-election rather than a presidential nominee with a vision. This is the big leagues, something that McCain can’t seem to recognize, at least when it comes to his campaign style.
Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 07/31/08 at 03:50 PM in Election 2008 • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Espresso For The Right
Is this an idea whose time has come?
I wish them luck, but what will really make this revolutionary is if similar shops open up in San Francisco and Seattle. Choice-it’s not just for liberals anymore.
Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 07/31/08 at 03:33 PM in Life & Culture • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Mythbusting the Moon
I’m swamped today. I’ll be posting plenty later tonight. In the meantime, here’s a trailer for a really cool Mythbusters coming up.
This should be fun.
PS - If you can find it, Penn and Teller’s episode of Bullshit on this subject is really good. Plus, it has an appearance by my fellow Wahoo— The Bad Astronomer.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 07/31/08 at 02:52 PM in Science and Technology • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
I really don’t see the point of the anti-Obama celebrity ad. I have never voted for or against a candidate because of his purported celebrity status. In fact, the candidate that I had the most respect for was a famous Hollywood actor who could inspire massive crowds.
If Team McCain keeps going this way, they are going to lose big in November. They need to stay on message and attack Obama’s record on trade, spending and taxes as well as his cringe-inducing genuflection to powerful unions. Better still, they should put forward ideas on tax reform, reigning in entitlements, restructuring the school system and balancing the budget. The ad does this—but only as an afterthought to the Britney Obama bashing.
Right now, they are going down the same road as Hillary did—severely underestimating their opponent.
Of course, there’s never anything that conservatives do that can’t provoke an even dumber liberal response. Huffpo thinks the celebrity ad is a secret call for assassination. Seriously. (H/T Allapundit).
Update: Marc Ambinder:
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
It’s What We Call The News
We’re in a slow part of the news cycle these days. But not so slow that CNN has to do a piece on someone seeing Jesus in their cat’s fur. I’m fine if someone wants to see their savior in a pizza. If they need to believe that all-powerful creator has devoted his effort to creating a murky visage of himself in swiss cheese, more power to them. But putting this on the news?
I honestly don’t see it. It just looks like cat fur. And is it blasphemous that Jesus is on the cat’s rear quarter?
I have two tabby cats. Maybe I should be checking them for revelations. Actually, my fat primary cat’s fur does create a vaguely demonic pattern on his forehead. That’s what I get for naming him after Darwin’s bulldog.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 07/30/08 at 11:08 PM in Religion and Sky Pixies • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
The Audacity Of Symbolism
Because it’s not about him. No, really.
Is Obama channeling Prince? Whatever the reason, this is where Obama’s hubris can make him a target. Yes, his candidacy is historic, as would be his getting elected. But the problem with seeking sainthood is that you can set yourself up for a big fall when the faithful find out you’re only human. Obama does have a lot going for him. He is perhaps the ultimate blank slate candidate who allows everybody to project their own hopes-and fears-onto him. But leadership isn’t about symbolism, it’s about solutions. Stick with those, and leave the sainthood for future generations to decide.
Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 07/30/08 at 07:08 PM in Election 2008 • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
I Know Who Killed Me
Various left-wingers are blaming the Right Wing for the tragic shooting at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. I’m curious if they’re willing to blame Al Gore for any eco-terrorism. After all, he has said that the very fate of our planet hangs in the balance. In fact, he believes it so much he’s sending his son to another planet.
Change You Can Teach
The WSJ has a scathing editorial on the differences between the two presidential candidates on education. Here’s McCain:
After noting the success of voucher and privatization programs, they list the response of the
I’ve written before about translating the Democratic Eduspeak. Whenever they say that vouchers or school choice will harm “the system”, they are telling you that “the system” is far more important to them than “your kids’ futures.”. It’s a “system” that does stuff like this:
No. Don’t hold them accountable, Mr. Obama. Don’t give parents an opportunity to put their children in schools that are not only better, but cheaper. Keep supporting “the system”. The money must flow.
If you ever wanted proof that astrology is garbage, here you go:
Amazing that her psychic talents failed to tell her that the ground was moving. At least, I think they failed. I was a little distracted by her more tangible “talents”.
Update: This was also noted by Dave Barry. The comments are hilarious.
Nonbelievers Need Not Apply
Creeping fundamentalism, British style:
I’m not sure what the city council’s real goal is here. Are they trying, as so many seem to be these days, to be too politically correct and not offend any believers? If that’s the case, then why shouldn’t their employees feel free to look at non-religious sites as well? Or is the council afraid of encouraging the spread of witchcraft? Do they think their staff are suddenly going to start using black magic against them?
Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 07/30/08 at 03:58 PM in Religion and Sky Pixies • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
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