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Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Oh, come on:
What a bunch of self-important twerps. Here’s a better idea. How about we raise $2 million to make these fuckers shut up for good? I’d contribute.
The Saudi Gambit
Watching the fallout of Cablegate, the most important thing that’s been revealed is the game that the Arabic leaders are playing. They are supporting us on one hand but using us on the other—both to cement their power and to attack their enemies.
The Yemeni government, for example, is allowing us to attack targets in their country while claiming that they are doing it. This is a dangerous gambit—trying to stifle AQ in their country while not appearing to side with the West. The revelation of the secret campaign is perhaps the most dangerous revelation from the document dump, one that could put the Yemeni government in jeopardy from their own people since some of the attacks have resulted in civilian deaths.
Related to this is the revelation that the Saudi government has been encouraging us to attack Iran. I don’t find this surprising at all: it’s simply part of the Sunni-Shiite conflict that we’ve been trying to stay out of. Nor do I think this argues for going ahead and bombing Iran. The opinions of extreme religious leaders of any stripe should not be used to guide our policies. Sullivan:
I’m forced to agree. We tend to see the Iran question entirely in terms of terrorism and a threat to us. But the game is much much more complicated than that. Attacking Iran empowers Saudi Arabia, the source of much of Al-Quaeda’s personnel and funding. It bashes down their enemy while simultaneously allowing them stir up anti-US fervor. It gets us deeply involved in Middle Eastern tribal and religious disputes that we’re better off staying out of. And it would almost certainly result in the end of one of the few rays of hope in the region—the Green Revolution in Iran. The enthusiasm that the Saudis have for bombing Iran is actually one of the best arguments against such a strike. We shouldn’t be doing the will of people who like to cut their own citizen’s heads off,
I still haven’t made up my mind about what should be done about Wikileaks, however. While this leak is damaging, my instinct toward open government is very hard to ignore. I think Andrew Napolitano makes a good point here. The crime was not really Wikipedia publicizing the information—the media are supposed to act as a check on government. Most of them don’t, which is why the mainstream media is so hostile to Wikileaks. But that’s supposedly their job. The real crime was that of Bradley Manning, who got this information and leaked it to the press. On this we can probably agree: he belongs in prison for a very long time.
Update: The top ten revelations from Cablegate.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 11/30/10 at 02:48 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Lame duck congress session is rigged? Government, just too big!
Sure sounds like that’s the case according to the comments caught on C-SPAN made by Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet. Go Harry! Explains the result of this vote, definitely explains things like this or the fact that now the extension of unemployment benefits is looking grim, because despite the fact that our political class refuses to get the message, the American people, if you break down the contorted attempt by these MSM losers to not come to the obvious conclusions, want less government. And this kind of drop in the bucket thing, while a good start, something that’s obvious considering how the left is going bonkers that Obama dared to do this, is a joke in the grand scheme of things. They have tacked on $1.3 trillion in new spending, and we need a lot more cowbell to get anywhere good.
Posted by AlexinCT on 11/30/10 at 02:30 PM in Elections Election 2010 Left Wing Idiocy Politics Law, & Economics The Press Machine • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
The First Step
This is promising:
The NYT notes this will save “only” $5 billion over the next two years. But it will actually save a bit more than that since future pay rises would compound current ones. And the pay freeze only makes sense since the cost of living right now is flat or falling and rises in federal pay massively outstripped rises in civilian pay over the last decade.
This is a small step, but an important one since its shows Obama might ... maybe ... perhaps ... be able to stand up to some of his own special interests. If he gets behind Simpsons-Bowles, that will put the Republicans into the position of having to put up or shut up on the deficit. And put up or shut up is a great place for any politician to be put into.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 11/30/10 at 02:20 PM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Monday, November 29, 2010
Lame duck congress to screw us one last time?
Today our lame duck 111th congress gets back in session. The one led by Pelosi, whom promised transparency, fiscal restraint and responsibility, and a new high in ethical standards. The same one that then promptly set new lows for corrupt practices and law breaking, resorted to demanding bills be passed so we citizens could finally find out what our law makers had straddled us with, engaged in record setting bribery, costing tax payers billions, to buy votes for the government takeover of healthcare, which they still swear will save us tax payers money when it is blatantly obvious the thing will bankrupt us and in the process of doing so reduce both availability and quality to lows that will leave us with something akin to the Cuban system so loved on the left, and in general pissed money away like it was growing on trees. The one where the democrat majority got the worst shellacking in a mid term election, breaking their record losses incurred during the Clinton years.
The main topics? If we should be allowed to keep more of “their” money, a temporary spending bill, more power to the FDA to overregulate food, a school lunch bill to waste more of the tax payer’s money with little result, the horrible START treaty, “Don’t ask, Don’t tell”, and of course, another extension to the unemployment fund.
The Bush tax cuts expire at the end of this year, and the demcorats are still pissed they have not been able to screw the “rich”, which really means stick it to the small business owners trying to get rich, because as we all know, the really rich, which practically always seem to be demcorats, don’t pay taxes. They have accountants to get them out of that, or simply ignore the laws they write for us all. After all, as I already said, they believe it is the government’s money anyway, and we should be grateful they aren’t taking it back across the board! Who cares if this stuff would spur economic growth anyway? All the “enlightened” people know government is the real vehicle to spur economic growth. And if it is not, it should be. Can’t have the market pick the winners and losers, because it isn’t up on all that social justice, green earth, or whatever the feel good term of the day driving government’s decisions might be. Power to the government!
We also need a temporary spending bill because the 111th congress still has not put together the real one. That’s because they wisely assumed before the recent election happened that once the American people got a good look at how much money they had already pissed away, that there would have been repercussions. They still got a drubbing, but I bet you that if the American people had gotten a look at how bad it was, the drubbing would have been far worse. Instead, the strategy is to cover just enough time and then kick the though job to the next congress to deal with. Let those evil teabaggers deal with the real issues! How nice of them.
The FDA is supposed to be getting greater authority to order food recalls and inspect imported food. I am certain that since this yet again involves an expansion of government power and agencies, we citizens can expect that this will work as effectively as FEMA does when dealing with any catastrophes: it will make the little ones bigger, and the big ones worse. And that school nutrition plan thing is another big joke. Healthier school lunches might be a lofty goal, but I have a feeling we will be just wasting money providing food the kids will simply not eat anyway. I have a teen, and while he is a healthy eater and in great shape, I also know that if he doesn’t want to eat something, there isn’t a damned way the school is going to make him eat it.
I doubt they touch START. The thing is a disaster, and the Obama team really dropped the ball negotiating this crap. There are way too many holes and unresolved issues that make the treaty all but worthless paper.
How they deal with “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is going to be interesting. They could decide to score one for the team and in their typical fashion straddle us with something worse, or they might just kick this one to the next congress as well. My bet is that whatever we end up with will be worse than “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and create more problems while not doing much to deal with the issue at hand. After all, the objective of most of the people that have a problem with “Don’t ask, don’t tell” isn’t to really make the military more effective or to help gays in the military, but to do social engineering. That stuff never works out well.
The extension of unemployment benefits is needed to pay off all the poor shlobs left unemployed because of the Keynesian economic bullshit that the left has been relying on to “fix” the economic downturn for the past 2 or 3 years. The one caused by their ridiculous push to force lending institutions to give homeownership loans to obvious risky loan applicants of all kinds, in the name of social justice or whatnot, but which they solely blame Bush for. They consider this misuse of tax payer’s money a good & noble thing. I bet the unemployed people, well most of them I hope, would much rather get a real paying job than this handout, but why mar their stupid beliefs that they are doing something noble with reality?
I am also sure they will not touch the recommendations to cut Medicare and Social Security made by Obama’s “crack team” with a ten foot pole, preferring to pass that one to the next congress as well. You can then malign them for doing so, and hope the demonization campaign is able to reverse the mass migration away from the donkey party by the senior citizens shown in the last election cycle.
At least Global Warming and the Dream Act are not on the table right now. Finally there is talk of looking at airport security and all the problems currently in the news. My guess is that if they do anything it will just make it all worse and produce zero improvements in security. All in all, I expect them to screw us over hard. That’s what they do best after all.Close this post...
Posted by AlexinCT on 11/29/10 at 08:29 AM in Elections Election 2010 Health Care Left Wing Idiocy Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Here’s what the AGW cult’s priesthood has in store for us..
Forget the irony that these bastards took nice big airplanes to one of the world’s most popular vacation spots to spend 2 weeks living it up at one or another tax payer’s expense, and focus on what they really want to do to us:
We should thank them for their candidness. The wild lies about eco-Armageddon run rampant, as the desperation caused by more and more people seeing these elitist scumbags and their vile plan to create a crisis to then force the sheep to go along with their tyrannical power grab, seem to be running rampant. At least they are being honest about the end goal: to ration energy, and through that rationing, control people, at lest for now, in the West. Of course, as their nice luxurious trip to Cancun to spend a nice 2 weeks in the sun proves, they expect this to apply to us peasants, but not to them, our betters.
Posted by AlexinCT on 11/29/10 at 07:23 AM in Decline of Western Civilization Left Wing Idiocy Politics Law, & Economics Religion and Sky Pixies • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Good Luck, We’re All Counting On You
Surely, you must be joking. Unfortunately, he’s not. And we can’t call him Shirley anymore.
Wikileaks Strikes Again
Folks, this could get ugly:
Among the revelations: debates about Pakistan’s nuclear fuel, North Korea’s collapse and Chinese cyber-warfare. About 10% of them have some grade of classification. Many of them describe conservations and assessments that could cause a diplomatic nightmare, especially in our relationship with the UK.
In general, I’m in favor of open government. I think classification and secrecy are used far too liberally in our government. But I’m not sure what the point of releasing this information is if not to embarrass and frustrate the United States. And the revelation of the secret agendas of numerous Islamic governments has the potential to cause major havoc in our efforts to defeat radicalism.
What has been gained? Is it worth it? Where do we strike the balance between an open society and national needs? I’m not sure but my initial impression is that Wikileaks is to far over it by a good margin. For once, I’m going to quote LGF:
We’ll find out more as this unfolds. Hold on to your hats.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 11/28/10 at 08:34 PM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Saturday, November 27, 2010
I’m posting this video that McArdle blogged on. Like her, I want to see the missing video and hear TSA’s side. There’s no audio, so we only have the narrator’s commentary to go on. There a few things that look odd to me and make me doubt that we’re reading the entire story. Nevertheless, it’s hard to find a reason TSA would put someone in the screening both for so long. And they do have a history of forgetting their own rules and making it up as they go.
I will say that I have only once had a real problem with TSA and that involved my mother-in-law’s wheelchair. We’ve gone through with breast milk, medical syringes, multiple laptops and roughly 8,423 tons of baby crap without a problem. Maybe these are “isolated incidents”. But it seems that TSA has little accountability right now. And that is sure to only go down once they are unionized.
I post this mostly to make a prediction. Very soon, TSA is going to announce that cameras can not be used near security gates and that their own videos can not be requested. They will site reasons of national security, claiming terrorists could learn how to evade our screening techniques. But the real reason is that they can not maintain the farce when videos showing their incompetence are leaking out.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 11/27/10 at 06:53 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
GM thanks you!
In Case you missed it on TV, i have posted GM thanks to YOU, for being so kind as to bail them out.
Now i have to say, the quality of the video is nice, choice of music and pop culture references, make it seem like a well polished and moving piece.
What gets me is that now that the government can say, “SEE here is proof that government knows better, and should be involved in every aspect of corporate matters.”
A Piece of Americana
Don’t ask; just go.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Your Non-Scandals of the Day
First, Sarah Palin:
This almost, but not quite, beats out the “Dancing with the Stars” bullshit controversy.* Clubbing a halibut is neither unusual nor cruel. It’s actually the most humane way to kill them. And I don’t mean to be insensitive or anything, but it’s fucking fish. If you want to criticize her grizzly policy of aerial hunting, fine. But this is how people fish. If you don’t like it, don’t watch. I’m reminded of last year’s bullshit controversy in which the media had a fit because Palin gave an interview with turkeys being slaughtered in the background. Most people understand that eating animals involves killing them. Why this is an issue? As Jon Stewart said last week: stop making me feel sorry for the Palins.
(*About the “Dancing with the Stars” thing. If this ruins and delegitimizes reality TV, then it may be the single greatest thing the Palin family has ever done or ever will. Honestly, if Barack Obama can win a Nobel Peace Prize for blessing us with his presence, the Palins would deserve one if they can finally show reality TV to be the farce that it is.)
Today’s other faux controversy involves John Conyers reading a playboy on a plane. I’ll let Allahpundit opine:
Four, if Conyers really is looking at the nudie picks, more power to him. Viagra willing, he can do that as long as he wants. I hope I’m still ogling girls at 81.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Sometimes It’s Called a Slippery Slope…
...because that’s exactly what it is.
Oh come on, like you really didn’t expect this? Maybe the Obama administration can maintain some goodwill amongst left-wing urban hipsters by promising, “cross their heart and hope to die,” that they’ll be sure to take light rail off that list.
The Hill, of course, made sure to run cover for their Bestest Friend:
Yeah, sure, fellas. That’s why the head of the Department of Homeland Security stated flat out that they “have to be thinking” about extending tighter security measures to these transportation venues. “Oh gee, gentle readers, this was just a thought experiment! They’re not REALLY serious about this!”
This crap comes on top of a laundry list of snide editorials on this subject in our nation’s fine birdcage liners last week. Matt Welch at The Best Magazine in the World took the time to compile them here and here. Some choice ones to add to your turkey and pumpkin pie-induced heartburn, full of false dilemmas, appeals to authority, and good old-fashioned juvenile taunting:
Would you rather board a flight with all passengers fully screened, or one for which they haven’t? (note:Hmm, didn’t one of our commenters say this very thing a few days ago?) If they’re honest about it, the answer is obvious to even the most ardent civil libertarians.
Whatever happened to the notion that we need to stick together to overcome extremists? U.S. soldiers are still dying for that cause in Iraq and Afghanistan on a regular basis. Under the circumstances, it seems a small sacrifice for the citizens back home to keep a stiff upper lip and voluntarily agree to measures that experts believe are needed
At what point did Americans turn into a nation of crybabies?
Santa Fe New Mexican:
B-b-but even if it isn’t the indecency of it all, it’s the principle of the thing, comes the bellowing from the would-be offendees. Well, yes — so, for the moment, you can stand, or bend over, on principle and suffer attendant indignities.
The Los Angeles Times, bless their hearts, don’t even bother trying to be clever; nothing but fascist authoritarianism will do for their readers:
Shut up and be scanned (Yep, that’s the actual title of their editorial.)
The cover that the media is providing the Obama administration on this is a fascinating case study in how political loyalties trump civic principles, particularly ones that are so directly tied to the fundamental freedoms explicitly outlined in the Bill of Rights. No way in HELL would these assclowns be defending this shit if Dubya was still swaggering in the Oval Office. But because it’s Captain Wonderful in charge now, it’s time to circle the wagons and deflect criticism from their Bestest Buddy; see this odious piece by Eugene Robinson for just one of many examples.
Keep these condescending remarks by the media in mind for all future issues they choose to comment on--absolutely nothing epitomizes their real opinions about Americans, and the spirit of the laws the country was founded upon, better than the hackery they’ve displayed in defending the TSA.
Posted by on 11/25/10 at 07:16 PM in Decline of Western Civilization Left Wing Idiocy Politics The Press Machine War on Terror/Axis of Evil • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Thanksgiving Awards, Part II
As in the last three years, I also give out my Golden Drumsticks for people who have done credit to the nation. Previous winners:
2007: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ron Paul, Barack Obama, David Petraeus, Juan Carlos, Burma’s monks
2008: US Military, Jeff Flake, Ron Paul, Republican Governors, Barack Obama
2009: The American Fighting Man, Kimberly Munley and Mark Todd, George W. Bush
Here, we (WVR did the 2007 nominations) do have a few regrets. Our recognition of Obama represented the hope that he wouldn’t be quite so liberal. And a number of Republican governors have disappointed since. Still, most of those decisions look good.
So here are the 2010 Golden Drumsticks:
The Tea Party: Yes, I’m concerned about some of the social conservatism and extremism that occasionally creeps in. And I wish they’d nominated less insane people for Senate in Alaska, Delaware and Nevada. But the impact of the Tea Party is much broader and deeper than a few nutball congressional candidates. They’re changing the game and became a conduit for voter rage that tossed out Congress. They can stay on this list by holding the Republicans’ feet to the fire and accepting that fixing our country may require some pain.
Chris Christie: His Youtube videos, which his staff carefully manage are not only “common sense porn” for conservative, they show someone who understand the new media and how it can be used to advance conservative ideas. He’s rescuing New Jersey from the fiscal abyss and inspiring others to do the same. There’s actually a part of me that hopes he never runs for President. I don’t want to see him corrupted by the office.
Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles: With a debt commission apparently deadlocked, they released their own first crack at balancing the budget. They spared no sacred cows and pulled no punches. Doubtless any plan that we actually implement will be different. But they’ve gotten a conversation started. Hopefully, the Republicans will start moving ahead on these ideas—even if it means working with Obama.
The Next Wave of Republicans: Mitch Daniels, Gary Johnson, Pat Toomey, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, etc. There is hope for the GOP. The leadership is still insane and the official spokesman (Limbaugh, Hannity, Palin) have no idea how to govern. Keep a close on Marco Rubio, especially. If he keeps his nose clean, he’s Presidential material.
David Cameron and Nick Clegg: Who would have thought that a coalition of Tories and Liberal Democrats would be hacking away at both the deficit and the British police state? Cameron is the sort of conservative leader I hope eventually emerges in America—conservative in his personal life but culturally liberal in his policies, serious about the debt and energetic.
The American Soldiers: As always.
Honorable Mention: The Innocence Project, Jon Stewart, Mi-Hossein Mousavi, Liu Xiaobo, Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better”, Nicolas Sarkozy, Bill Gates, the LA Times investigations, the people of Bell California.
Nominate your own in the comments. And have a very happy thanksgiving.
The Annual RTFLC Thanksgiving Awards
As I have the left few years, I celebrate thanksgiving my giving out awards for the Biggest Turkeys of the Year. To win the award, it’s not enough to be stupid or obnoxious or dangerous (although that helps). You have to be something of a farce, someone who make people shake their heads and wonder how you got to be so prominent. To quote me from last year: The idea of the award is not to slam political/cultural figures who are the most harmful or the most dangerous, which is why I won’t be tagging Obama or his Congress. No, the idea is to acknowledge those whom are the most deserving of mockery, those whose non-stop silliness makes the world go around and give punch lines to talk show hosts.
A reminder of past winners:
2007: Alberto Gonzalez, Nancy Pelosi, Hugo Chavez
2008: Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin’s critics, Hillary Clinton, Congress, Joe Biden
2009: MIke Steele, Glen Beck, the State Department, Sarah Palin, Andrew Sullivan.
Occasionally, I regret one of these. The Clinton State Department has improved significantly over the last couple of years. But for the most part, I stand by those judgements. I have rarely called someone a turkey and regretted it.
Without further ado, here are your 2010 Turkeys of the Year
1) Janet Napolitano and the TSA: It really started last year when Napolitano claimed “the system worked” with the underwear bomber who slipped past their intelligence structure was only stopped by fast-thinking courageous passengers. But she and her cronies looked they might avoid this indignity before an amazing finish at the wire with the nudie scanners, the pat-downs and, most of all, their angry, arrogant response to the criticism. Honorable mention must go to our statist media, who have uniformly supported the new procedures and vehemently criticized anyone who has the temerity to disagree (see a beautiful rant from Glenn Greenwald on a recent smear of Tyner).
2) Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid: This one comes with a caveat. Their Congress “got more done” than any Congress in recent memory. Both healthcare and financial reform were passed. So the idea that they were “ineffective” is hogwash (note: effectiveness is not necessarily a good thing). Elections come and go but the changes the Democrats have made to our society may last a generation. So why do they win this award? Because they are such wonderful comic foils. Almost everything they say would make Dan Quayle blush, most notably Pelosi’s statement that we have to pass healthcare to find out what’s in it. Both became lightning rods for voter rage and Harry Reid only stayed in office because the GOP nominated a batshit crazy opponent. We can only wonder what they might have done with good policy.
3) MSNBC: They tried very hard to make themselves look objective by suspending Keith Olberman. But their news coverage and opinion has been so biased, so ridiculous and so over-the-top that even Comedy Central called them out. Their election night coverage will be remembered for years as a textbook example of media bias.
4) Lower Merion Schools: These were the idiots that decided that lending computers to students and remotely turning on the webcam to monitor their activities was a good idea and then litigated the hell out of the subsequent lawsuit, costing themselves millions in legal fees.
5) The Voters of California: They voted down Prop 19, re-elected an amazingly liberal senator and the governor who screwed up their state in the first place. At least they passed re-districting.
Dishonorable Mentions: Rush Limbaugh, Joe Miller, Christine O’Donnell, Christine O’Donnell’s critics, Stanley McChrystal and Michael Hastings, LeBron James, Tiger Woods, Joe Biden, Charles Rangel, the panic-mongering mainstream media, the United Nations (check out this and this), Congress, Jack Conway, Dick Blumenthal, Alan Grayson (only missed the top five because he was voted away. I’m sure he’ll be on future lists as an MSNBC commentator), Michael Moore’s blog.
Make your nominations in the comments.
Update: Late entry: Rick Perry. For trying to stop any investigation into Cameron Todd Willingham’s execution and for running around the world with a massive taxpayer-funded bodyguard.
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