31 October 2008

In America, the Brainwashed Have the Right to Vote

Teach you children well, I guess . . .

In Case You Missed it

Lileks examines the Old Scout with a clear lens:

It’s the usual Keillor twaddle – a humorless, scattershot ramble of run-on sentences and unsourced assertions, and I didn’t see anything that set it apart from the dozens of sour broadsides that preceded it. He doesn’t like Sarah Palin, although if she was on the Obama ticket he would have found a few nice words before falling silent on the matter, just as the wisdom and august judgment of Biden seems to hover beneath his radar. He is also angry about Republican economics, because, as he stated in a previous column, they deregulated everything and caused the whole mess. In his imagination, sixteen GOP Senators dressed like the fellow from the Monopoly game took a break from playing polo – with slaves dressed up as horses, of course, ha ha, capital idea, Smidley – and somehow did something which was totally unrelated to the sub-prime mortgage issue. I suspect he believes that Barney Frank and Chris Dodd woke nightly from sheet-soaking nightmares in which the loan standards were
loosened just a bit too much, and every time they went to the office intent on fixing this mess, gol dang it, John McCain dragged them into a coatroom and administered ether. Amazingly strong fellow.

It doesn’t matter what Clinton signed; it doesn’t matter that Bush and McCain tried to raise alarms; there’s not an jot of responsibility on Keillor’s side, because if anything goes wrong it can be traced to the one simple fact that shapes his world: the other side is composed of despicable, cowardly, dishonest, cynical bastards still upset that Jolson's reputation is sullied by his use of blackface. On his side: angels. The man makes a Manichean look like an agnostic Unitarian.

Point - Lileks.

Plain Words From a Regular Guy

Goodbye to a Real Hero

The march of histroy does some cruel stomping:

All day long, curious Berliners came to Tempelhof to catch a glimpse of the airport. Many brought their cameras and they took pictures of the vast, echoing hall and the imposing architecture. A few businessmen rushed to catch the last flights. For many people, Tempelhof was always the ideal inner-city airport - it used to serve short-haul commercial flights.

One passenger, Joerg said: "It's a really sad day. Tempelhof is special, there's so much history here. It's a mistake to shut it down. It's not like other modern airports, there's no stress here, it's lovely and relaxing. I love the nostalgic atmosphere here."

From June 1948, hundreds of Allied aircraft landed at Tempelhof. The planes dropped coal, food, medicine and other supplies to the residents of West Berlin, which had been cut off by the Soviet Union. At the height of the airlift, one Allied aircraft landed at Tempelhof every 90 seconds. The Airlift was an extraordinary umanitarian operation and it kept people alive in West Berlin for 11 months until the Soviet Union ended the blockade.

As a reminder of the airport's rich history, an old "candy bomber" DC-3 took off from Tempelhof on Thursday night. "Candy bomber" was the name given to the crews who dropped sweets attached to parachutes to German children during the Airlift.

What a day to talk to Gail Halvorson. Wonder if anyone working in the media these day knows who he is, or cares what he did.

I Am Undecided

I have not read enough of Dan Neil to know if he has gone off the deep end with the militant greenies, OR is he a real car man just giving the needle to militant greenies. You decide:

With 320 pound-feet of torque at the flywheel at a breath off idle (1,000 rpm), the ZR1's engine is supremely tractable, quiet and refined around town. The close-ratio six-speed gearbox is slicker than a Glock soaked in KY jelly. The net of it is, then, that the ZR1 sacrifices very little to the war gods, not even fuel economy. You can stick the gearshift in sixth and get 20 mpg at highway speeds.

Now the four-lobe Eaton supercharger is fully angered, the gas is pouring down the V8 gullet, and the exhaust flaps are wide open. Can you hear me now? In 8 seconds -- long, loud, delirious seconds with a soundtrack from every NASCAR movie ever made -- you're in three-digit territory.

Meanwhile, the ZR1 has more lateral grip than the world's current supply of Polident. On big, fast, neck-wrenching esses and sweepers and mountain switchbacks, the ZR1 just puts a shoulder down and carves through them. The two-mode dampers, set on Sport, null out whatever body roll might have the temerity to sneak past the oversized anti-roll bars. The ZR1 might have a touch of stiff-nosed, low-speed understeer, but with the phenomenal, right-now torque at your toe, rotating the car is as easy as dialing in the radio.
Either way, it is great car porn.

Day Off for the ACLU

More from the "Selective Outrage" file:
Helen Jones-Kelley, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and a maxed-out contributor to the Obama campaign, has confirmed that she approved the check on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher after the Oct. 15 presidential debate.

Jones-Kelley explained her governmental prying by saying, "Our practice is when someone is thrust quickly into the public spotlight, we often take a look" at them. For example, she cited the case of a lottery winner who was found to owe back child support. But Wurzelbacher didn't win the lottery; he merely asked how much more of his hard-earned money was going to be taxed away under the Obama plan.

Contrast this investigative frenzy with the refusal of Ohio's Democratic Secretary of State, Jennifer Bruner, to use government records to check the thousands of new voters registered by ACORN and others for registration fraud. She also refused notify local election officials when fraud was discovered.

The Obama campaign will target anyone who says this emperor has no clothes. It wasn't long ago that a team of 30 lawyers, investigators and Democratic party operatives trekked up to Alaska to find dirt on Sarah Palin. Now they're after Joe the Plumber.
UPDATE: Watch what you say about Obama, or you might get tossed off the plane:

The Washington Times, N.Y. Post and Dallas Morning News -- three newspapers that recently endorsed John McCain -- have been kicked off Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's plane in the final days of his campaign.

"This feels like the journalistic equivalent of redistributing the wealth. We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars covering Senator Obama's campaign, traveling on his plane, and taking our turn in the reporter's pool, only to have our seat given away to someone else in the last days of the campaign," said Washington Times Executive Editor John Solomon. News

"I hope the candidate that promises to unite America isn't using a litmus test to determine who gets to cover his campaign," Mr. Solomon.

This is Obama, folks. Get used to it. Remember what the captain told Luke: "You better get your mind right."

Know the Code

Every holiday has its symbols.

30 October 2008

Just the Everyday, Typical Conflict of Interest

I shouldn't get so worked up all the time; we should just let 'em have it this time, right?

House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers recently sent two letters to Attorney General Michael Mukasey deploring a news leak that the FBI is investigating Acorn, and warning Justice to focus instead on "voter suppression." Barack Obama has also joined in this political intimidation, demanding in two letters that Mr. Mukasey appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Justice staff who he claims are engaged in "unlawful coordination" with John McCain's campaign to pursue "so-called 'election fraud.'" There is zero evidence that such coordination exists, but it is remarkable that a Presidential nominee would dismiss election fraud as a myth.

Justice has also failed to enter the fray in Ohio. As many as 200,000 new voter registrations in that state are suspect, yet Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner is refusing to follow the 2002 Help America Vote Act that requires her to verify these registrations. The Ohio Republican Party sued Mrs. Brunner, but the Supreme Court said the GOP lacked standing. Justice does have standing -- it is charged with upholding that law -- but has ignored the fight. The Justice excuse is that it isn't appropriate to file litigation so close to Election Day.

It doesn't help Justice's credibility that attorneys charged with supervising voting issues are avowed Barack Obama supporters. According to Federal Election Commission data, James Walsh, an attorney in the Civil Rights Division, has donated at least $300 to Mr. Obama. His boss, Mark Kappelhoff, has given $2,250 -- nearly the maximum. John Russ, also in Civil Rights, gave at least $600 to Mr. Obama.

I so want the election to be over, over, over . . .

Editing Themselves Out of Work

Maybe their worst acts will be their last acts:

If the current polls are correct, we are about to elect as president of the United States a man who is essentially a cipher, who has left almost no paper trail, seems to have few friends (that at least will talk) and has entire years missing out of his biography. That isn't Sen. Obama's fault: His job is to put his best face forward.

So why weren't those legions of hungry reporters set loose on the Obama campaign? Who are the real villains in this story of mainstream media betrayal? The editors. The men and women you don't see; the people who not only decide what goes in the paper, but what doesn't; the managers who give the reporters their assignments and lay out the editorial pages. They are the real culprits.

I DO Have a Tip For You

Ask a waiter who they'll vote for:

Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read "Vote Obama, I need the money." I laughed. Once in the restaurant my server had on a "Obama 08" tie, again I laughed as he had given away his political preference--just imagine the coincidence. When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going toredistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need--thehomeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I've decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful.

At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient deserved money more. I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.

26 October 2008

Top of the Table

Eighty six home wins was ENOUGH!

Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool

Headline Sunday

Today, both dailies here on the Tundra endorsed Norm Coleman for US Senate. The Saint Paul paper, thin as it is, didn't shock everyone, but Minneapolis's' Editorially Marxist Manifesto's decision has resulted in the soiled pants of thousands and thousands of adult children.

I don't know what's going on in those reliably-leftist closed quarters. Some of the bed wetters smell conspiracy and are claiming the paper's parent company are pawns of Dick Cheney, which is preposterous, as the same paper endorsed The Messiah on the same page.

Not Al, not Dean, not 'present,' they both endorsed Norm Coleman, and the lefties are flipping out.

By the way - should Franken lose, I'm betting it'll be about 90 days before the house is for sale and he goes back to wherever he was before he got this political whim.

24 October 2008

Another Day in Socialist Paradise

It's really better to let the government have supreme power and run everything:

Despite having some of the world's largest energy reserves, Venezuela is increasingly struggling to maintain basic electrical service, a growing challenge for leftist President Hugo Chavez.

The OPEC nation has suffered three nationwide blackouts this year, and chronic power shortages have sparked protests from the western Andean highlands to San Felix, a city of mostly poor industrial workers in the sweltering south.

The problem suggests that Chavez, with his ambitious international alliances and promises to end capitalism, risks alienating supporters by failing to focus on basic issues like electricity, trash collection and law enforcement.

Maybe Sean Penn can save Venezuela, like when he saved New Orleans.

C'mon, let's get going with the free health care, free college, free food programs, free mandatory exercise program every morning in the People's Square . . . .

What? The government and its Glorious Leader are not fulfilling your every Utopian need? Well, at least you can call someone about that, right? Maybe not:

North Korea is clamping down on mobile phones and long distance telephone calls to prevent the spread of news about a worsening food crisis, according to the United Nations investigator on human rights for the isolated communist country. In a report to the UN General Assembly, (the government of North Korea ) is using public executions as a means of intimidating the population, and using spies to infiltrate and expose religious communities.

Available food is disproportionately directed to the political elite, the media is controlled by the state, there is no political participation, and dissidents and those with religious faith are persecuted, as well as those who return to North Korea after
illicitly leaving the country across the Chinese border.

Li'l Kim; still rotten to the core after all these years.

Oh, Like THIS Is News

The customer is saying the food is too spicy, but you still serve it that way. And they still keep coming back to eat it.

Voters overwhelmingly believe that the media wants Barack Obama to win the presidential election. By a margin of 70%-9%, Americans say most journalists want to see Obama, not John McCain, win on Nov. 4. Another 8% say journalists don't favor either candidate, and 13% say they don't know which candidate most reporters support.

A separate study released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism looks at the media’s recent campaign coverage and finds that McCain received significantly more negative than positive coverage between the GOP convention and the final debate. The study says that press treatment of Obama has been somewhat more positive than negative, but not markedly so.

Dude; Where's My Bailout?

With other hogs at the trough, could the food-to-fuel industry be far behind?

Ethanol producers are jockeying for a seat on the increasingly crowded bailout bandwagon. Just last Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer addressed the plight of those poor, poor businessmen who got locked into the cost of corn this summer. Just like oil and natural gas, the current price is half of what it was at its peak.

Schafer claims that “the ethanol industry is too important to the nation to allow it to go into more financial difficulty.”

Oh, please. How long will this jive play out? There's other really fun news about the food-based fuel scam:

The Des Moines Register reported the other day that Iowa’s ethanol plants contribute 15 Percent of greenhouse-gas emissions found in the state’s new inventory of major manufacturers, businesses and power plants.

Iowa’s Department of Natural Resources found that the largest portion of the state’s overall emissions came from fermenting grain at the plants and not from burning natural gas or coal. In addition, burning biomass such as switchgrass at various
industrial plants added another 0.13 million metric tons.

Ethanol - smells better every day!

21 October 2008

Freedom of the Press, If the Price is Right

Come and welcome your new Executive Branch Overlord, but if you want to cover the event, you better be prepared to pay up, sucka!

The Obama campaign is putting a hefty price tag on the best camera and reporting positions for news organizations covering Barack Obama's outdoor election night activities in downtown Chicago. If a reporter wants access to the file center--which will be the best place to find Obama officials and spokesmen--be prepared to write a check for $935. The cheapest place a reporter could stand on a riser with a view is $880.

This is an outrageous pay to play plan that caters to national elite outlets with deep pockets. I am not asking for a free ride--but this is pricey and does not take into account some reporters won't need power, cable, internet or food but will crave the access more than the food. As I was talking to this unnamed spokesman about this enormously expensive set-up, he did say--that a news outlet could rotate people in and out of the tent on that one credential.


A general media area will be created where a reporter could watch for free, but the set-up is separate, unequal and clearly second class when it comes to getting top access to campaign people.

Obama's top donors--not the masses who donated the $5, $10 and $25 the campaign brag about--will have VIP access throughout election night and received an early heads up a week ago to plan to spend Election Night in Chicago.
You know, when Astroturf Bill shook down his stoodges for a night in the White House, I didn't care much. That didn't change my life. I care about this, since Obama is now selling media access to himself as the presumptive president. Would someone tell me exactly where in the Bill of Rights one cuts a check to a political campaign in exchange for that right.


Oh How Subtle Art Thou?

One again, the Star Tribune is in the bag for Amy Klobuchar (who isn't even running for anything right now) and demonstrates it by the way is dissects parts of the truth to fit their paradigm:
Minnesota politicians are scrambling to jettison campaign cash donated by Tom Petters, the Twin Cities businessman accused of high-level fraud. "We are giving the money to the Boys & Girls Club for this cycle," said Mark Drake, spokesman for Sen. Norm Coleman, referring to $4,600 Petters contributed to the senator's campaign since 2003. Coleman's campaign got another $2,000 from Petters during the 2002 race for U.S. Senate.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat, is giving $4,200 she got from Petters in 2005 and 2006, and additional contributions from some of his associates, to the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and other groups.
So, Norm and Amy both got money from the now-poison Petters, it not being uncommon to donate to both parties. Evil Norm got about $2k more than Sainted Amy, but both campaigns are giving the money to charities. I guess we should move along.

Hey, not so fast. Let's check the wording of the above. Norm got $6,600 SINCE 2002, and Amy got $4,200 and change in the JUST the '05-'06 cycle. Go back and reread it. I'll wait.

OK, now what if a dummy like me went to an impartial source find different information, like Amy actually got $73,700.00? Does that mean the really smart people at the StarTribune either couldn't find this information or does it mean they chose not to tell you about. Oh, how'd Norm do? Go look for yourself.

So is the Strib stupid, lazy or complicit here? None are very becoming for a major-market news daily, but I'm willing to entertain other explanations, should they ever come. I mean besides the explanation that the Strib can't resist pissy partisanship.

Accessorize Your Shrine

All hail the coming messiah!

20 October 2008

Walking the Streets of Tolerenceville

The party of hate rides again. Sometimes it's laughably naive. Othertimes it's uglier. And that ugliness finds itself in the most interesting places.

You Can't Handle the Truth

Part One - When Environmentalism is the religion, thou shalt not speak ill of the savior. Even if it's the truth:
A government report that found old-fashioned reusable nappies damage the environment more than disposables has been hushed up because ministers are embarrassed by its findings. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has instructed civil servants not to publicise the conclusions of the £50,000 nappy research project and to adopt a “defensive” stance towards its conclusions.

The report found that using washable nappies, hailed by councils throughout Britain as a key way of saving the planet, have a higher carbon footprint than their disposable equivalents unless parents adopt an extreme approach to laundering them.
Part Two - Never expose youth to something they may find appealing:

The College of St. Catherine administration has barred CNN commentator Bay Buchanan from speaking on the St. Kate’s campus, according to Ken Doyle, president of the Minnesota Association of Scholars. The St. Kate’s College Republicans, a student organization, was planning a tea and discussion with Ms. Buchanan, in conjunction with the speaker’s scheduled same-day lecture at the University of Minnesota. “The students were planning a really classy event,” said St. Kate’s physics professor Terry Flower, advisor to the group. “They’re all about intellectual diversity and the marketplace of ideas.”

From the St. Kate's website, its student handbook indicates that their students are supposed to enjoy freedom of expression: Students enjoy the collective assurance and protection of free inquiry and open exchange of facts, ideas and openness. Students are free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment on debatable issues. This free exchange in no way diminishes the responsibility of the student for learning the content of a course.

College used to be about opening minds. Today, college is about slamming the door in the face of those that do not tote the mono cultural ideology that runs nearly every campus.

17 October 2008

Beware the Motorcade

So let me get this straight: The other day, somewhere in Ohio, the Obama Circus drops anchor in some ordinary neighborhood. They dismount and storm the street with faithful press in tow, make baby kissing and back slapping a matter of public record. They come across a man tossing a football around on that beautiful Autumn day. He happens to be a plumber with aspirations for a better future and, because of the way things work out, ends up making Obama look bad on Tee Vee.

Well, we can't have that, can we?

Obama-Biden simply can’t tolerate an outspoken citizen successfully painting the Democratic ticket as socialist overlords. And so a dirty, desperate war against Joe Wurzelbacher is on. The Left’s political plumbers are attacking the messenger, rummaging through his personal life, and predictably wielding the race card once again. It’s standard operating procedure for the Obama thug machine.

In response to Joe’s question about why he should be “taxed more and more for fulfilling the American dream,” Obama sermonized that Wurzelbacher needed to “spread the wealth around” because “it’s good for everybody.”

And the next morning, six-term Sen. Biden launched the first salvo against the Ohio entrepreneur on NBC’s Today Show, challenging the veracity of his story: “I don’t have any ‘Joe the Plumbers’ in my neighborhood that make $250,000 a year.”
I've seen Joe Biden's neighborhood. No one making less that $250,000 a year could live there in the first place, plumber or not.

Slick Joe is the one who tells fables about visiting a diner in Delaware that hasn’t been open in years; spins yarns about getting “forced down” in a helicopter over Afghanistan because of perilous conditions that turned out to be weather-related, not al Qaeda-related; and continues to slander the family of the man involved in his wife and daughter’s fatal car accident (crash investigators cleared the now-deceased driver of drunk-driving, despite Biden’s insinuations). But I digress.

Wurzelbacher never claimed to be making $250,000 a year. He told Obama that he might be “getting ready to buy a company that makes about $250,000, $270,000" a year. His simple point was that Obama’s punitive tax proposals would make it more
difficult to realize his dream. Obama’s followers couldn’t handle the incontrovertible truth. Left-wing blogs immediately went to work, blaring headlines like “Not A Real $250k Plumber!” Next, they falsely accused Wurzelbacher of not being registered to vote (he’s registered in Lucas County, Ohio, and voted as a Republican in this year’s primary). Next, they called him a liar for identifying himself as undecided. Only registered Democrats and fake Republican tools used in mainstream media stories and YouTube debates are allowed to use that label, you see.

Then, suddenly, the journalists who wouldn’t lift a finger to investigate Barack Obama’s longtime relationships with Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright sprang into action rifling through citizen Joe Wurzelbacher’s tax records.

It seems the lesson here is that if you see the motorcade and entourage coming down your street, run inside your home and draw the shades - for the glass-house gang is coming and they know how to throw stones.

(The reporting of everything Wurzelbacher) warns any future citizen who might dare question Barack Obama that his life will be closely scrutinized for any irrelevant but embarrassing information. Oh — I almost forgot to mention: Martin Nesbitt, the treasurer of Obama’s campaign, has tax liens. So do his companies.

The whole "He's not a licensed plumber!" non sequitur is really fantastic. So, if you happen to be standing in front of Obama when he publicly reveals his socialism, what does the media do? Demands to see your papers. That's just delicious, is what that is.

16 October 2008

Count Along With Joe

Today in the Contrarian News

Item 1 - The political left is always more open, accepting and tolerent:

(A) 19-year-old St. Cloud man told police he has found small baggies of dog feces in the back of his pickup truck for the past few weeks. Donald Esmay tells KNSI-AM the feces started appearing in his truck right after he put a 2-foot-by-4-foot McCain sign there. They confronted the 45-year-old man, who admitted to it and said it was childish. When police later spoke with the neighbor . . .he told officers he did it because he "hates McCain."

Item 2 - Glaciers started receding after the US Congress rejected the Kyoto Accords.

Two hundred years of glacial shrinkage in Alaska, and then came the winter and summer of 2007-2008. Unusually large amounts of winter snow were followed by unusually chill temperatures in June, July and August.

"In mid-June, I was surprised to see snow still at sea level in Prince William Sound," said U.S. Geological Survey glaciologist Bruce Molnia. "On the Juneau Icefield, there was still 20 feet of new snow on the surface of the Taku Glacier in late July. At Bering Glacier, a landslide I am studying, located at about 1,500 feet elevation, did not become snow free until early August.

When the first Russian explorers arrived in Alaska in the 1740s, there was no Glacier Bay. There was simply a wall of ice across the north side of Icy Strait. From the 1800s until now, the Muir Glacier just kept retreating and retreating and retreating. It is now back 57 miles from the entrance to the bay, said Tom Vandenberg, chief interpretative ranger at Glacier Bay.

Does it mean anything? Nobody knows. Climate is constantly shifting.

Item 3 - Republicans are trying to spin the vote in swing states like Ohio:
Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said a preliminary review showed that 200,000 of the 666,000 voters who have registered since Jan. 1 must have their eligibility verified to comply with a federal court order. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien confirmed that he is investigating alleged voter and registration fraud involving 13 newly registered voters who came to Columbus for a get-out-the-vote campaign and used the same address, a small East Side home.

O'Brien told The Dispatch that he is investigating allegations that 13 out-of-state residents recently registered to vote, all listing their address as 2885 Brownlee Rd. They apparently were in Columbus working for Vote From Home, a group working to increase young-voter turnout in Ohio and using the house as their base of operation, O'Brien said.

When a reporter visited the three-bedroom, 1,175-square-foot home, a middle-aged woman answered the door and immediately turned the conversation over to a young woman, who declined to identify herself and would say only that she didn't think the reports of potential voter fraud are accurate. "Everyone who is registered to vote here is within the parameters of the law," she said, as the woman behind her shouted, "Just shut the door!" Then, the door closed.

15 October 2008

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Suez Canal

This is going to make a good plot for a Bond movie or an article in Soldier of Fortune.

The captain was defenseless against the 40 pirates armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades blocking his passage. He had little choice other than to turn his ship over to them. What the pirates were not banking on, however, was that this was no ordinary ship.

Within a period of three days, those pirates who had boarded the ship and opened the cargo container with its gritty sand-like contents, all developed strange health complications, to include serious skin burns and loss of hair. And within two weeks, sixteen of the pirates subsequently died, either on the ship or on shore.

The exact nature of the cargo remains officially a mystery but officials in Puntland and Baidoa are convinced the ship was carrying weapons to Eritrea for Islamist insurgents. "We cannot inspect the cargo yet," Osman said, "but we are sure that it is weapons."

Given the large number of deaths from the questing Somali pirates, it should be obvious that when the contents of the ship’s locked cargo containers finally descended onto the land, the death toll would be enormous. This ship was nothing more nor less than the long-anticipated Iranian attack on Israel.

The Government You Elect and the One You Don't

Look what my city is doing with my tax money - chasing away the very people we crave in our city and doing under hilariously sad pretence:
The St. Paul Port Authority, tasked with bringing business into St. Paul, is kicking out a profitable, tax-paying, unsubsidized, woman-owned, 48-year-old family business. It is a company that pays its 43 employees — nearly half of whom are union members — an average wage of $24 per hour with full medical benefits.

While showing this successful company the way out of town, the Port Authority has not found a replacement. What the St. Paul Port Authority is engaged in is little more than real estate speculation with $10 million of taxpayers' money.

Its current actions are an attempt to use a trumped-up environmental concern to return Minnesota to the bad old days when city planners had a free hand to push for their pet projects by abusing their eminent domain powers, using boatloads of taxpayer dollars, and turning property and subsidies over to private developers for so-called "economic development." The developer gets the land and a sweetheart deal, the Port Authority gets to crow about a new project, and the rightful landowner gets the boot.

(The port authority) claims that Advance's site must be taken for environmental remediation and points to high levels of methane and lead to justify the taking. What the Port Authority refuses to acknowledge in public, however, is that Advance's property complies with all the MPCA's directives.
This part of St. Paul is, uh represented by a do-gooder socialist who obviously prefers the heavy hang of government policy to free enterprise and is helping chase away those who are currently paying the freight for all the jive dreamed up by the city council. In the last hour, I heard the real estate guy from the Saint Paul Port Authority say outright that they are happy to bulldoze legitimate existing business in order to wring even more tax revenue from the same land.

All you can do is fall on your knees and hop that 'representative government' doesn't deep you unacceptable tomorrow.

13 October 2008

Some Thoughts on Graffiti

This is not art, nor is it culture, nor is it a thoughtful statement on our times, nor is it the expression of one's soul.

This is the unintelligible scralwings of the childish and self-centered and nothing more. How else could one more loudly scream their own ignorance, illiteracy and outright failure as a human being than by tagging the property of others?

So, captain spray can, do you still think graffiti is art? First, grow up. Second, send me your home address, or that of your parents, or that of your grandparents. I'll come by at some unexpected hour, when no one is looking and practice my Broken Window via Brick Expressionism on the place. What? Not interested? C'mon, man; it's my ART!

Didn't like my glass work? Let me make you a counter proposal: Call me a mere 15 minutes before you again tag my garage. I'll meet you in my alley and we can compare our artistic endeavours. You practice your form of art on my garage and I'll practice my interpretation of dentistry and orthopedics on your person.

To sum up - if graffiti is such a legitimate, profound and important artistic exercise, why is it only practiced by cowards in the dark on the property of others?

12 October 2008

How Very Presidential

"One in the Box"
Barack Obama told the Iraqi government that George W Bush should not be allowed to strike a deal on the future of American troops in the country without the approval of the US Congress, it has emerged.

Mr Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, also said that the deal should be delayed until President Bush was out of office, according to Iraq's ambassador to the US - though this is denied by Mr Obama's campaign.

Samir Sumaidaie, the Iraqi ambassador to the US, told the Washington Times: "In the conversation, the senator urged Iraq to delay the [deal] between Iraq and the United States until the new administration was in place." He added that Mr Obama had said "The new administration will have a free hand to opt out" of the deal.

11 October 2008

NHL Network Grows Up

The NHL Network is running the whole Saturday night CBC double header in high-definition. Not that I'd rather have watched TV all night, but it bodes well for giving viewers what the want. If they're shooting it in HD, and bouncing it off the bird in HD and I'm paying for Center Ice, then it should be in my house in HD by God.

By the way, good times downtown tonight.

08 October 2008

Time for a Spark

For as pedestrian and ordinary as Obama came off last night, I still think the McCain campaign needs a fire lit underneath it. This could be it, it they're listening:

(S)uch a proposal would include a cut in income taxes, and tax rates, for every American who pays taxes. The alternative system would impose no income taxes on the poor and what is often called "the working class" (the bottom 40% of income earners who don't pay federal income taxes now). This proposal would also eliminate federal income taxes on the middle class, the middle 20% of income earners who pay only 4.4% of all federal income taxes today.

And such a tax reform would be an antidote to the class warfare, neocollectivist tax policies of Barack Obama. If implemented, it would also jump-start the economy. Under this optional tax system, savings would increase and investment would soar as capital around the world is drawn to a suddenly more confident U.S. economy. This new surge of capital would end the credit crunch, and allow old businesses to expand and new ones to start. Wages would grow, along with the overall economy. And as the world invested in America, the dollar would strengthen, as happened in response to the tax cuts that generated the 1980s Reagan boom. This would ease inflationary fears and pressures on the Fed.

Mr. McCain also proposes to abolish the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), which is currently slated to grow to impose a trillion dollar tax increase on the American people in just a few years, burdening 25 million middle-class families. Abolishing the AMT would save middle-class families $2,700 on average per year, a cut of $60 billion each year from current law. Mr. Obama, by contrast, offers tax increases on savers, investors, small business, employers, and other job creators, a trillion dollar plus spending increase, and new regulatory burdens. That has no prospect of restoring economic growth. It will only do the opposite.

Read it all - there's nothing not to like here, unless your stock and trade happen to be socialist/populist redistribution of wealth and credit manipulation (cough OBAMA cough). Also, why should anyone who promises a tax break to people who don't pay any taxes ever be worthy of a vote?

Good with Harpoon Throwin'

Camille's accuracy is admirable:

The mountain of rubbish poured out about Palin over the past month would rival Everest. What a disgrace for our jabbering army of liberal journalists and commentators, too many of whom behaved like snippy jackasses. The bourgeois conventionalism and rank snobbery of these alleged humanitarians stank up the place. As for Palin's brutally edited interviews with Charlie Gibson and that viper, Katie Couric, don't we all know that the best bits ended up on the cutting-room floor? Something has gone seriously wrong with Democratic ideology, which seems to have become a candied set of holier-than-thou bromides attached like tutti-frutti to a quivering green Jell-O mold of adolescent sentimentality.

One of the most idiotic allegations batting around out there among urban media insiders is that Palin is "dumb." Are they kidding? What level of stupidity is now par for the course in those musty circles? (The value of Ivy League degrees, like sub-prime mortgages, has certainly been plummeting. As a Yale Ph.D., I have a perfect right to my scorn.) People who can't see how smart Palin is are trapped in their own narrow parochialism -- the tedious, hackneyed forms of their upper-middle-class syntax and vocabulary.

The self-riotous take a black eye on this one.

06 October 2008

Monday Political Artillery

Last week, everyone was so busy micro analyzing Gov. Palin in the debate that just about no one paid attention to fact-check Big Joe:
  • Biden lied when he said that Barack Obama never said that he would sit down unconditionally with Mahmoud Ahmedinijad of Iran. Barack Obama did say specifically, and Joe Biden attacked him for it.
  • Biden lied when he indicated that John McCain and Barack Obama voted the same way against funding the troops in the field. John McCain opposed a bill that included a timeline, that the President of the United States had already said he would veto regardless of it’s passage.
  • Biden falsely said McCain will raise taxes on people's health insurance coverage -- they get a tax credit to offset any tax hike. Independent fact checkers have confirmed this attack is false.
  • Joe Biden lied when he said that John McCain was “dead wrong on Iraq”, because Joe Biden shared the same vote to authorize the war and differed on the surge strategy where they John McCain has been proven right.
That's only some of it. As I watched parts of the debate, I noticed that Biden also incorrectly cited which Constitutional Article defines the powers of the Executive Branch and he also claimed that Hezbollah had been run out of Lebanon.

In another item, David Bernstein does a good job of identifying why the Bill Ayers question is valid in considering Barack Obama:
Obama is an extremely ambitious man. He's been interested in a national political career for many years. It's not that surprising that he wouldn't find Ayers and Wright objectionable company--in the very liberal, Hyde Park/Ivy League circles that he's traveled in since attending Columbia, people with such views are more mainstream than, say, the average conservative evangelical Christian. That itself makes Obama far more liberal than the image his campaign attempts to portray.

In short, Obama's ties to Ayers and Wright suggest to me NOT that Obama agrees with their views, but that he is the product of a particular intellectual culture that finds the likes of Wright and Ayers to be no more objectionable, and likely less so, than the likes of Tom Coburn, or, perhaps, a Rush Limbaugh. Not only that, but he has been in his particular intellectual bubble so long that he was unable to recognize just how offensive the views of a Wright are to mainstream America, or how his ties to Ayers would play with the public, especially post-9/11.
And finally, what should you do if your own self-loathing prevents you from living a happy life? Simple; blame Sarah!
I have crossed every line I believed should never be crossed in public discourse — I have criticized not only her policies and her record, but her hair, her personal style, her accent, her abilities as a mother, etc. I’ve also begun to suffer personally and professionally. I bore my friends with my constant tirades against her, and am constantly distracted from my work by my need to continually update myself on the latest criticism, and indeed, ridicule, of her. In my hatred for her, I have begun to hate myself. I don’t want this woman ruining my life before she even gets a chance to ruin our country. How do I stop? Is there a self-help group for this?
My advice would involve copious amounts of 'growing up.'

01 October 2008

Mom Must Have Quite a Social Calendar

Help me; I'm too stupid for this world:
MILWAUKEE - Oprah Winfrey's mother says she shouldn't have to pay a nearly $156,000 debt to a high-end fashion store because store officials shouldn't have extended credit to her.
Holy cow. What could possible happen in Milwaukee that would require $155,000 of lavish garb?
Valentina Inc. alleges that Vernita Lee of Milwaukee racked up $155,547 in purchases and interest as of July 1. The company sued, saying Lee fell behind in minimum monthly payments of $2,000. Lee filed a counterclaim Friday contending that Valentina took advantage of her "lack of knowledge, ability, and-or capacity" when creating her credit account.
What, did mom's allowance run out or something?
Court papers say Lee resolved a 2002 case with the company over a $175,000 bill. The resolution prohibited Valentina from extending further credit to her.
Let me rephrase that - what could possible happen in Milwaukee that would require $330,000 of lavish garb?

Oprah should either let her mom use her credit card, or it's time to put mom in the guest bedroom for the foreseeable future. Either way, Oprah can easily find $156,000 in some purse laying around her compound somewhere and set it all right with the store, at least until mom leaves the house again.

Time to Invest!