Sunday, February 28, 2010

Crying Wolf on the Racism Issue (Cont.)

Without Noah Webster’s knowledge, the definition of a “racist” has been diluted and redefined to mean “a person who disagrees with a liberal,” or in more explicit terms, “any individual who uses logic to divulge evidence of liberal malfeasance.” For years, the left has used race as a bully tactic to smear and debunk those on the receiving end of the label. This desperate and exploitative attempt at winning political arguments comes at a great cost to democracy, interpersonal relations and our nation’s internal progress....

Read Andrew Breitbart's "Big Journalism" for the rest of the story.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

News Flashes

1. The Osmond family and their many fans and friends around the world are mourning the death of Marie Osmond's son, Michael Blosil, who ended his life by leaping to his death on Friday in Los Angeles.

2. Andrew Koenig, star of "Growing Pains" committed suicide in Vancouver, British Columbia, according to his father, who played Chekov in "Star Trek."

3. A tsunami generated by an earthquake in Chile has reached Hawaii, but there appears to be no serious damage so far. Ed Driscoll has a digest of news reports on the 8.8 magnitude quake.

4. Here we go again: "A secretive group of Wall Street hedge fund bosses" and George Soros are betting on the possibility that the euro will decline in value. This story sounds believable in light of the turmoil surrounding slacker EU members, who are dragging down the rest of the European Union by failing to exercise fiscal discipline and persuading unions to make sacrifices to get their financial house in order.

5. Moviemaker David Bossie declares that the hippie generation that brought us Woodstock is also responsible for the recent economic meltdown.

6. The Volokh Conspiracy covers the progress of the Akaka bill, which proposes a tribal designation for native Hawaiians (whoever they may be). It's no secret that I am opposed to this legislation, which would open up a can of worms.

Friday, February 26, 2010

It Wasn't Warren Beatty After All

The Sun has closed the books on this long-standing mystery:

SINGER CARLY SIMON has finally ended a 38-year guessing game - by naming the subject of hit "You're So Vain."

The catty lyrics were believed to be aimed at an ex-boyfriend such as MICK JAGGER, CAT STEVENS, KRIS KRISTOFFERSON or WARREN BEATTY.

But now the target has been revealed as gay producer DAVID GEFFEN, at the time head of Carly's Elektra record label.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What We Had Feared Has Come to Pass

The following excerpts from a Washington Post article by Dana Milbank shows how Professor Obama took the Republican lawmakers to school by being in total control of the classroom (i.e., Blair House) during the 7-1/2 hour healthcare summit today.

Republicans had been hesitant to accept President Obama's invitation to participate in Thursday's White House health-care summit. Their hesitance turned out to be justified.

An equal number of Democratic and Republican lawmakers assembled around a table at Blair House, and each had a chance to speak during the seven-hour televised talkathon. But members of the opposition party may not have fully understood that they were stepping into Prof. Obama's classroom, and that they were to be treated like his undisciplined pupils.

Obama controlled the microphone and the clock, and he used both skillfully to limit the Republicans' time, to rebut their arguments and to always have the last word....

The forum matched his lawyerly skills -- and, less flatteringly, his tendency to act like the smartest guy in the room. Prof. Obama ventured deep into the weeds of health-care policy to contest Republican claims, and, for one day at least, he regained control of the fractious student body that is the Congress.

The 40 lawmakers and administration officials, seated in squeaky chairs around the square, were to speak only when called on. After each talked, Obama would determine whether the speaker's point was a "legitimate argument."

While each of them had to call him "Mr. President," Obama, often waving an index finger, made sure to refer to each of them by their first name: "Thank you, Lamar. . . . We're going to have Nancy and Harry. . . . John, are you going to make the presentation yourself?"...

Yet there was something uplifting about Thursday's session. Sure, there was more posturing than in a typical yoga class, but lawmakers demonstrated themselves to be serious and knowledgeable leaders as they treated the nation to a discussion about expanding high-risk insurance pools, 60 percent actuarial values and the like. It couldn't hurt Americans to see their leaders arguing substantive points without scripts and attacks.

"Never have so many members of the House and Senate behaved so well for so long before so many television cameras," Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) observed.

MSNBC also covered this gabfest, as did FOX News.

UPDATE: This American Thinker article says the Republicans did quite well confronting Obamacare.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What the Big Media Didn't Tell You About the Mass Firing at Central Falls High School

Jennifer D. Jordan wrote this report out of Rhode Island:

...the Central Falls school Board of Trustees, in a brief but intense meeting, voted 5-2 to fire every teacher at the school. In all, 93 names were read aloud in the high school auditorium — 74 classroom teachers, plus reading specialists, guidance counselors, physical education teachers, the school psychologist, the principal and three assistant principals.

The state’s tiniest, poorest city has become the center of a national battle over dramatic school reform. On the one side, federal and state education officials say they must take painful and dramatic steps to transform the nation’s lowest-performing schools. On the other side, teachers unions say such efforts undermine hard-won protections in their contracts.

Here's the kicker that other sources forgot to mention:

[Superintendent] Gallo wanted teachers to agree to a set of six conditions she said were crucial to improving the school. Teachers would have to spend more time with students in and out of the classroom and commit to training sessions after school with other teachers.

But Gallo said she could pay teachers for only some of the extra duties. Union leaders said they wanted teachers to be paid for more of the additional work and at a higher pay rate — $90 per hour rather than the $30 per hour offered by Gallo.

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Laughs

And now...a laughter break. FOOD AND DRINK ALERT.

And while you're resting up from your laugh break, here's an awesome in-flight video of the Navy's Blue Angels.

This Isn't Rocket Science

Here are the guidelines that got me a lot of mileage during my days as a supervisor. Since God gave Moses only 10 commandments, I stopped at 10, so core values such as "when you make a promise, keep it" falls under the injunction to be honest (5).

Keys to Motivation

1. Give your people all the freedom they can handle.
2. Listen.
3. Set the example.
4. Encourage initiative and creativity.
5. Never lie, cheat, or steal.
6. Back up your team.
7. Make certain that everyone is well-trained.
8. Remember that vanity, bullying, and intimidation are quick ways to turn off those who may otherwise be your friends.
9. Love, caring, and appreciation go a long way.
10. Develop a reputation for fairness.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rapidly Becoming a Lost Art

The Seattle Times ran a column by Leonard Pitts, Jr., bemoaning the decline of using facts and logic to settle arguments. It starts with these words:

I got an e-mail the other day that depressed me.

It concerned a piece I recently did that mentioned Henry Johnson, who was awarded the French Croix de Guerre in World War I for single-handedly fighting off a company of Germans (some accounts say there were 14, some say almost 30, the ones I find most authoritative say there were about two dozen) who threatened to overrun his post.

Johnson managed this despite the fact that he was only 5-foot-4 and 130 pounds, despite the fact that his gun had jammed, despite the fact that he was wounded 21 times.

My mention of Johnson's heroics drew a rebuke from a fellow named Ken Thompson, which I quote verbatim and in its entirety:

"Hate to tell you that blacks were not allowed into combat intell (sic) 1947, that fact. World War II ended in 1945. So all that feel good, one black man killing two dozen Nazi, is just that, PC bull."

In response, my assistant, Judi Smith, sent Mr. Thompson proof of Johnson's heroics: a link to his page on the Web site of Arlington National Cemetery. She thought this settled the matter.

Thompson's reply? "There is no race on headstones and they didn't come up with the story in tell (sic) 2002."

Judi: "I guess you can choose to believe Arlington National Cemetery or not."

Thompson: "It is what it is, you don't believe either ... "

At this point, Judi forwarded me their correspondence, along with a despairing note. She is probably somewhere drinking right now....

Sad but true: This type of know-nothingism is not limited to members of any ethnic group or political persuasaion.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lockerbie Bomber Recuperating from Cancer in Luxury Villa

From an article in the Telegraph (U.K.):

The man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing [Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi] is living with his family in a luxury villa in Libya six months after he was released from jail on compassionate grounds because he had less than three months to live.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Who Crashed That Plane? Let's Blame Tea Party Conservatives!

FOX News reported that Joseph Stack, a 53-year-old software engineer, executed a kamikaze attack on an IRS building in Austin, TX today. According to an American Thinker article by Dave Jeffers, the Left lost no time blaming a "tea bagger terrorist" for this incident.

UPDATE: The death toll as of today (Friday, 19 February) is two, which comes as a shock to the families of those who lost their lives, but at least we can heave a sigh of relief that it wasn't higher, as Stack was intent on taking out as many people as he could.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"We Are More" - Hear It For Yourself

Wow! Canadian poet Shane Koyczan has penned a stirring ode to Canada, "We Are More," which he delivered at the Vancouver Winter Olympics and numerous other venues. You can hear and download an MP3 file of it at the "House of Parlance" blog. It also can be found on YouTube. Makes one wish one of our poets could do the same for the USA.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Senator Bayh Gets It

Ryan Mauro of Pajamas Media relates how Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana has read the writing on the wall, and grasps how toxic levels of partisan politics on the one hand and anti-incumbent sentiment (not necessarily limited to Democrats) has prompted him to decide not to run for another term. Once again we see that not everyone is turned on by the shrill, divisive style of Reid and Pelosi. Here's the first paragraph of this article:

Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana has chosen to retire, citing his frustration with his colleagues in Congress basing their votes on “short-term political reasons.” He says that he is not retiring out of a fear of losing, but the competitive race that was likely to ensue after former Senator Dan Coats decided to run against him must have been a factor in his decision. Absent an economic upswing that is clearly felt to all, the anti-incumbent furor was going to continue to rise and Bayh could very well have lost come November. Whether you are a Democrat mourning the loss of the favorable political environment since 2006 or a Republican rejoicing in a possible pick-up of a Senate seat, both sides should feel respect for the man and miss some of his contributions to the country....

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Many readers of Pajamas Media criticized Sen. Bayh for giving in to the Obama agenda, but our take is that he should at least be given credit for recognizing the signs of mass discontent. We encourage more incumbent office-holders to search their souls and reflect as to whether hanging on is will benefit the public or not.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Joe the Plumber Goes Off on McCain AND Palin

Joe the Plumber is no longer a fan of either Sarah Palin or John McCain, it seems.

Joe, also known as Sam Wurzelbacher, told an audience in Pennsylvania this week that McCain "is no public servant."

"McCain was trying to use me," Wurzelbacher said, according to public radio correspondent Scott Detrow. "I happened to be the face of middle Americans. It was a ploy.”

"I don’t owe him s—," Wurzelbacher continued. "He really screwed my life up, is how I look at it.”

Read the rest of the article plus reader comments at The Hill.

Internet Addiction Linked to Depression

Source of cartoon: Psychology Today

WebMD, a reliable source, has this article on Internet addiction. Here's an excerpt:

Internet users who are compulsive about going online and have more social interactions in virtual worlds than the real one may be depressed, according to a new study.

Some Internet users retreat from real-life interaction and opt for chat rooms and social networking sites, and this can have an adverse effect on mental health, researchers say in the Feb. 10 issue of Psychopathology.

“This type of addictive surfing can have a serious impact on mental health,” lead author Catriona Morrison, DPhil, of the University of Leeds, says in a news release. “The Internet now plays a huge part in modern life, but its benefits are accompanied by a darker side.”

She tells WebMD in an email that the Internet provides a “refuge for certain types of people” and that “Internet addiction seems to be a bona fide syndrome.”

For most people, the Internet is adaptive “and helps us function well in our daily lives,” she says. But for some people, “it is compulsive and damaging.”

“What is not clear is what causes what, so the next step is to ask: Does the Internet make you depressed, or is it the case that depressed people are drawn to the Internet?” she says.

Another Sign of the Last Days: Local Currencies

See the full article at Money Central.

Last year, two Detroit tavern owners were sitting at the bar, sampling their beverages and bemoaning the local economy -- no one in the city had cash, and when they did, they spent it in the suburbs. Then the pair hit on a solution: Print their own money.

It is, after all, perfectly legal for anyone to issue currency, as long as it doesn't look too much like a U.S. dollar. Thus was born the Detroit cheer, a local scrip accepted by a handful of city businesses, including a pizzeria, an electrician and a doggy day care center.

Residents can also exchange it at a few area bars for greenbacks, but the cheer is vastly more colorful. It features a chiseled, naked Greco-Roman superhero (the Spirit of Detroit) towering Godzilla-like over the city skyline, cupping a tiny family in one hand and a sunburst representing God in the other....

In most cases, these communities are simply looking to boost local commerce. The currency has to be spent in town, obviously, because it's worthless anywhere else. But a growing distrust of the U.S. dollar is also at work.

When the Treasury prints billions to bail out banks and automakers, people look for alternatives. These folks may look nutty now, goes the quip, but wait till the dollar goes the way of the Argentine peso....

A CAUTIONARY NOTE: Several recessions and depressions were caused between 1790-1860 because banknotes issued by unregulated banks circulated as currency. If the bank failed, anyone in possession of these notes were up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

You Do the Math

Gateway Pundit has this article about a 20-year scam in the UK (hat tip: Free Republic):

Global Warming Fraudsters Bilked EU & US for £800,000 Annually for Last 20 Years
Sunday, February 14, 2010, 4:05 PM
Jim Hoft

This weekend top global warming expert Professor Phil Jones admitted that global warming was a fraud.

Jones admitted this weekend that there has been no significant global warming in the last 15 years.

But, that didn’t stop these fraudsters from bilking the EU and US for £800,000 ($1,253,624.84) annually for the last 20 years.

UPDATE: In a related development, Donald Trump has called for the stripping of Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Way Out of Eternal Victimhood

City Journal has an eloquent and thought-provoking article by John H. McWhorter, "Toward a Usable Black History," showing the need of the African American community to repudiate the propaganda that they've been fed for decades, which held back the personal and societal progress that other Americans have come to regard as an entitlement. Here's a typical paragraph:

Only when we understand these lessons—that we can all be the agents of our own success and that the striving of ordinary blacks once created vibrant, successful communities—will the "Blacks in Wax" come alive as useful role models to identify with rather than merely to respect, and as figures who can point us in the direction of feeling American in the heart rather than only in the head. Today's tendency to find visceral inspiration only from black rebels like Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael follows naturally from the prevailing conception of blacks as eternal expatriates from Africa, loath to embrace the mores of a "foreign" land whose rulers allow only a token few to rise above poverty. But if we understand that for a century in America blacks created communities of achievement, which nourished both solid citizens and figures of spectacular accomplishment, we can accept the idea of becoming American as business as usual for blacks.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Great Leaders Create Opportunities, Not Dilemmas

By a vote of 8-1, the Colorado Springs City Council, yielding to pressure from local merchants and homeowners' associations, passed on first reading a new ordinance banning camping on public property. The lone dissenter, Councilman Tom Gallagher (who was once homeless), had this to say, "“This is a personal issue for me. Jesus Christ came into the world homeless; he left homeless.” The Colorado Springs Gazette and several local TV stations provided news coverage.

Cracking down on homeless people in the dead of winter creates a quandary not only for them, but for those committed to lend them a hand up. Here's the situation as interpreted by this blogger:

Reality Check #1 - There is just not enough room to absorb several hundred people in need of housing on short notice.

Reality Check #2 - Here is another example of why we cannot count on government to deal with pressing problems. Bowing to political pressure, they have forced many citizens to either move away, shifting the problem to another community, or resort to desperate measures to survive.

Reality Check #3 - In case nobody noticed, we are in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Unemployment is higher than government sources are willing to admit, and it appears that our local daily paper publishes more foreclosure notices than job listings.

Reality Check #4 - I have dealt with enough homeless people to know that few of them fit the stereotype that's perpetuated by the dinosaur media. Not all the camps along Fountain Creek are covered with litter - some have enough self-discipline to be neat and orderly. On the other hand, at any public event attended by "respectable" people, one can expect a major clean-up job, even when trash receptacles are made available.

Reality Check #5 - The vast majority of the homeless population are citizens like ourselves, and entitled to the same rights as the rest of us. And I have compassion for those who, like myself, served in the military.

Reality Check #6 - We need more time to adopt a new mindset, that of making Colorado Springs a great place to escape from homelessness rather than a good place to be homeless.

Reality Check #7 - This is my personal belief, but I am convinced that it is our responsibility to lend a helping hand to those less fortunate than ourselves, and that we will be accountable to God if we shirk our duty or do what Denver did prior to the Democratic National Convention: dump many of their homeless people on other communities, including this one.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rep. Murtha (D-PA) Dies at Age 77

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Rep. John Murtha, a retired Marine Corps officer who became the first Vietnam War combat veteran elected to Congress and later an outspoken and influential critic of the Iraq War, died Monday. He was 77.

The Pennsylvania Democrat had been suffering complications from gallbladder surgery. He died at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Va., spokesman Matthew Mazonkey said.

Murtha was an officer in the Marine Reserves when he was elected in 1974. Ethical questions often shadowed his congressional service, but he was best known for being among Congress' most hawkish Democrats. He wielded considerable clout for two decades as the ranking Democrat on the House subcommittee that oversees Pentagon spending....

For the full obituary, click here.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sarah Palin Still a Force to Be Reckoned With

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin continues to flex her star-power muscles after publishing a best-selling book by being the keynote speaker at the first National Tea Party convention in Nashville, TN, according to this FOX News article. She told a reporter that "President Obama's 'lack of experience' has held him back his first year in office and that she would put her credentials up against his any day.

"...Since unexpectedly leaving the Alaska Governor's Mansion last year, she's formed a political action committee, she's started endorsing and supporting candidates in the Republican primaries, she's published a book and she's been agitating the administration on a regular basis.

She delivered the keynote address Saturday at the tea party convention, using it to hammer Obama as soft on terrorism. When convention organizer Judson Phillips mentioned the idea of 'President Palin' in a question-and-answer session afterward, audience members leapt to their feet and burst into a chant of 'Run, Sarah, Run....'"

Friday, February 5, 2010

America's Drunkest Cities

According to a Men's Healtharticle, Aurora comes in 82nd, Colorado Springs finishes 98th, and, once again, Denver is Most Dangerously Drunk. I expected Colorado Springs (not far from the home of the Vodkapundit, Stephen Green) to be close to the bottom, another sign that the price we pay for neglecting mental health is more people self-medicating with street drugs & alcohol.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tea Party Conservatives Repudiate Racist Dale Robertson

Like a drowning man clinging to anything that will float, the Left has attempted to focus on self-proclaimed Houston Tea Party "leader," Dale Robertson as a typical example of this grassroots movement. You can read more details in Andrew Ian Dodge's article at Pajamas Media. The real Tea Party Society in Houston issued the following statement:

In response to questions we have received regarding Dale Robertson and his involvement with HoustonTPS, and specifically in reference to his attendance at our rally on 27 Feb 2009, we would like to state that:

1. He is NOT a member of our Leadership team.

2. He owns a website with which we have never been affiliated.

3. He has never been a part of organizing any of the Tea Party rallies in the Houston area, or any other area that we can find.

4. We addressed some issues involving him back in April. Here it is on our website, where Mr. Robertson himself comments:

5. We do not choose to associate with people that use his type of disgusting language.

The following is a comment from two Pajamas Media readers:

Tex Taylor:

Standard M.O. of the left and their Saul Alinsky toadies. Find one loon, advertise him as flag bearer of the cause, parrot the line by utilizing the MSM and Soros goon organizations until fiction becomes fact. Not much different than old Pravda.

As an Evangelical, we have been fighting this battle with the left of making Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell standard bearers of Evangelicals for years, when they were anything but. Some of it has to do with the left’s utter ignorance; more of it has to do with their ill intent.

When you can’t win the battle of ideas on a level playing field, tilt the field to slope way left.

P T Bull:

Its appropriate to express conservative disavowal of someone using the N-word, but we ought not wring our hands about it overmuch. There is no way on god’s green earth in this generation that any significant percentage of blacks will ever believe that conservatives are not racist. We ought focus on the substantive issues knowing that we will never prevail on the race issue, at least as far as Old Media coverage of conservatism goes.

I will note that by the liberal definition of racism–objecting to institutional pro-minority racism that ‘cures’ historical anti-minority racism–conservatives are indeed racist, as they believe in a color-blind society. As Bush amply demonstrated with a black national security advisor and secretary of state, there are no reasonable means by which a republican can prevent Old Media and black leaders from calling them racist.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Consumer Advisory: Beware of TheLadders

With so many people desperately looking for work these days, the last thing they need is a job-hunting services that charges money for information that they usually can get for free on or Nick Corcodilos of "Ask the Headhunter" has a few choice words on the subject. And here's what one less-than-satisfied customer in Colorado had to say: "I tried the Ladders for one month earlier last year....My experience was that at least 85% of their listings were also on Free sites like Indeed, Monster, etc. I was paying for a tiny few jobs that were unique just to the Ladders, which was not worth the monthly fee. I continue to use the Free Basic service on Ladders occasionally, which is just like any other site."

Rep. Murtha Admitted to Hospital

Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), age 77, underwent gallbladder surgery and is currently at
Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, according to this AP/ABC News story.

UDATE: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette summed up Rep. Murtha's condition as of Thursday, 4 February.

... Mr. Murtha had laparoscopic surgery to remove his gallbladder last Thursday at the National Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Md. A source close to Mr. Murtha said that his intestine was inadvertently cut during the surgery, confirming a report from Politico.

Mr. Murtha went home after the surgery but an infection developed, the source said, and Mr. Murtha was admitted Sunday to the Virginia Hospital Center. Mr. Murtha underwent surgery to treat the infection, and the source said that for a time things appeared to be "touch and go."

But by Wednesday, Mr. Murtha seemed to be responding well to antibiotics and improving, the source said.

Still, the source added, it could be several weeks before Mr. Murtha is able to return to the House, where he chairs the House Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on defense.

It's Not the Bush Era Anymore; Obama Proposes $3.8 Trillion Budget

There was widespread groaning and head-shaking as the Obama administration unveiled its first budget. FOX News describes some of its features. Rush Limbaugh, of course, is not taking this lying down, as he is convinced that Obama is actually trying to sabotage the American system to remake it in his own image. Power Line Blog also covers the dark side of deficits that you are unlikely to read in the leftist media.

Monday, February 1, 2010

How Can Anyone Stoop So Low?

"State of the union Address"

It's All BUSH'S Fault!

He made me do it!!!!!

I didn't want to spend that money!

Nancy, didn't either!

Neither did Harry!

Why are you blaming me?

And here's a picture of President Obama bowing to Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio at MacDill Air Force Base, FL, 28 January 2010.

Some Obama cartoons:

A Living Target

Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced that an anti-Arpaio Facebook group has posted not only a map to his home, but also a satellite photo of his residence, according to an story.

"I think they have some motive," Arpaio said. "I don't think they're selling tours to my house."

"Like him or not, I don't think (talk of violence against the Sheriff) is going to help our cause," said Devin Fleenor, who formed this Facebook group, explaining that it would only be fuel for Arpaio supporters.