Archive for June, 2008
30 Jun 2008

Last Refuge of the Scoundrel

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Barack Obama today delivered at Independence, Missouri, what the MSM describes as a major speech on Patriotism.

The first item on the agenda was some self-protection.

“Just because I was photographed not saluting the flag and wouldn’t wear a flag pin, just because my pastor goddamns America and my wife was never proud of America until I was the candidate of a major party for the presidency, just because I did not support US military efforts and desired this country’s withdrawal from Iraq, don’t call me unpatriotic!”

Finally, it is worth considering the meaning of patriotism because the question of who is – or is not – a patriot all too often poisons our political debates, in ways that divide us rather than bringing us together. I have come to know this from my own experience on the campaign trail. Throughout my life, I have always taken my deep and abiding love for this country as a given. It was how I was raised; it is what propelled me into public service; it is why I am running for President. And yet, at certain times over the last sixteen months, I have found, for the first time, my patriotism challenged – at times as a result of my own carelessness, more often as a result of the desire by some to score political points and raise fears about who I am and what I stand for.

So let me say at this at outset of my remarks. I will never question the patriotism of others in this campaign. And I will not stand idly by when I hear others question mine.

“And, in return, I won’t question the patriotism of John McCain who spent five years being tortured by the enemy as prisoner of war, and who declined early release.”

What a deal!

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Besides, patriotism can always be defined differently.

Patriotism involves not only defending this country against external threat, but also working constantly to make America a better place for future generations.

“You fight for your country and support its cause against foreign enemies. I oppose the war, and struggle for socialism instead. I’m just as patriotic.”

30 Jun 2008

Apology to Readers

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NYM readers experienced connectivity problems last night and this morning, but they were not my fault!

It seems that my host also does the hosting for Say Anything, and Rush Limbaugh on June 27th, in a program which was re-broadcast on the weekend, referred to, and linked on the Limbaugh web-site, this amusing Say Anything posting.

Well, all those Rush listeners flooded the server, taking NYM down, too. Such is life. These things happen.

30 Jun 2008

New Yorker Comparing Obama to Neville Chamberlain?

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The New Yorker accompanies George Packer’s article predicting that, in the light of American success in pacifying Iraq subsequent to his attacks on Hillary from the left in the primaries, Obama will have to change his position on immediate withdrawal with the above cartoon.

The image is not the most accurate or clear, and George Packer’s article makes no reference to it, but (if I am identifying it correctly) the drawing seems to imply that Obama is in the uncomfortable position of Neville Chamberlain being obliged by untoward and unforeseen developments (i.e. US success) to accept humiliating compromise in an attempt to achieve an honorable peace.

The metaphor, therefore, treats the Bush Administration’s efforts in Iraq as equivalent to Hitler, failing to withdraw all US forces immediately as surrendering Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany, and the moonbat hyper-pacifist left as equivalent to Western Democracy. Quite a metaphor!

30 Jun 2008

Obamistas Target Hillary Bloggers

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Obama supporters exploited a Google policy (reporting them as spam sources) to get anti-Obama Hillary supporters’ blogs shut down.

Blogasm

Larry Johnson lists victims and their new locations.

29 Jun 2008

Mr. Valiant-for-truth

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Mr. Valiant-for-truth (illustration by Frederick Barnard)

from John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World, to That Which Is to Come; Delivered under the Similitude of a Dream., Second Part, 1684:

Then they went on; and just at the place where Little-Faith formerly was robbed, there stood a man with his sword drawn, and his face all over with blood. Then said Mr. Great-Heart, Who art thou? The man made answer, saying, I am one whose name is Valiant-for-truth. I am a pilgrim, and am going to the Celestial City. Now, as I was in my way, there were three men that did beset me, and propounded unto me these three things: 1. Whether I would become one of them. 2. Or go back from whence I came. 3. Or die upon the place. Prov. 1:11-14. To the first I answered, I had been a true man for a long season, and therefore it could not be expected that I should now cast in my lot with thieves. Then they demanded what I would say to the second. So I told them that the place from whence I came, had I not found incommodity there, I had not forsaken it at all; but finding it altogether unsuitable to me, and very unprofitable for me, I forsook it for this way. Then they asked me what I said to the third. And I told them my life cost far more dear than that I should lightly give it away. Besides, you have nothing to do thus to put things to my choice; wherefore at your peril be it if you meddle. Then these three, to wit, Wild-head, Inconsiderate, and Pragmatic, drew upon me, and I also drew upon them. So we fell to it, one against three, for the space of above three hours. They have left upon me, as you see, some of the marks of their valor, and have also carried away with them some of mine. They are but just now gone; I suppose they might, as the saying is, hear your horse dash, and so they betook themselves to flight.

GREAT. But here was great odds, three against one.

VALIANT. ’Tis true; but little and more are nothing to him that has the truth on his side: “Though an host should encamp against me,” said one, [Psa. 27:3], “my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident,” etc. Besides, said he, I have read in some records, that one man has fought an army: and how many did Samson slay with the jawbone of an ass!

GREAT. Then said the guide, Why did you not cry out, that some might have come in for your succor?

VALIANT. So I did to my King, who I knew could hear me, and afford invisible help, and that was sufficient for me.

GREAT. Then said Great-Heart to Mr. Valiant-for-truth, Thou hast worthily behaved thyself; let me see thy sword. So he showed it him.

When he had taken it in his hand, and looked thereon awhile, he said, Ha, it is a right Jerusalem blade.

VALIANT. It is so. Let a man have one of these blades, with a hand to wield it, and skill to use it, and he may venture upon an angel with it. He need not fear its holding, if he can but tell how to lay on. Its edge will never blunt. It will cut flesh and bones, and soul, and spirit, and all. [Heb. 4:12.]

GREAT. But you fought a great while; I wonder you was not weary.

VALIANT. I fought till my sword did cleave to my hand; and then they were joined together as if a sword grew out of my arm; and when the blood ran through my fingers, then I fought with most courage.

GREAT. Thou hast done well; thou hast resisted unto blood, striving against sin. Thou shalt abide by us, come in and go out with us; for we are thy companions. Then they took him and washed his wounds, and gave him of what they had, to refresh him: and so they went together. Now, as they went on, because Mr. Great-Heart was delighted in him, (for he loved one greatly that he found to be a man of his hands.) …

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Then it came to pass a while after, that there was a post in the town that inquired for Mr. Honest. So he came to the house where he was, and delivered to his hand these lines: Thou art commanded to be ready against this day seven-night, to present thyself before thy Lord at his Father’s house. And for a token that my message is true, “All the daughters of music shall be brought low.” Eccles. 12:4. Then Mr. Honest called for his friends, and said unto them, I die, but shall make no will. As for my honesty, it shall go with me; let him that comes after be told of this. When the day that he was to be gone was come, he addressed himself to go over the river. Now the river at that time over-flowed its banks in some places; but Mr. Honest, in his lifetime, had spoken to one Good-conscience to meet him there, the which he also did, and lent him his hand, and so helped him over. The last words of Mr. Honest were, Grace reigns! So he left the world.

After this it was noised abroad that Mr. Valiant-for-truth was taken with a summons by the same post as the other, and had this for a token that the summons was true, “That his pitcher was broken at the fountain.” Eccl. 12:6. When he understood it, he called for his friends, and told them of it. Then said he, I am going to my Father’s; and though with great difficulty I have got hither, yet now I do not repent me of all the trouble I have been at to arrive where I am. My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it. My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought His battles who will now be my rewarder. When the day that he must go hence was come, many accompanied him to the river-side, into which as he went, he said, “Death, where is thy sting?” And as he went down deeper, he said, “Grave, where is thy victory?” [1 Cor. 15:55.] So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.

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Mr. Valiant-for-truth’s hymn (19th century revision) 2:05 video

29 Jun 2008

Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect Falsified By Physics

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We’ve been hearing a great deal from our liberal friends about “settled science.” Reading this paper, I feel compelled to agree. The science is settled: an atmospheric greenhouse effect is incompatible with the established facts of theoretical physics and thermodynamic engineering.

ABSTRACT

The atmospheric greenhouse effect, an idea that authors trace back to the traditional works of Fourier 1824, Tyndall 1861, and Arrhenius 1896, and which is still supported in global climatology, essentially describes a fictitious mechanism, in which a planetary atmosphere acts as a heat pump driven by an environment that is radiatively interacting with but radiatively equilibrated to the atmospheric system. According to the second law of thermodynamics such a planetary machine can never exist. Nevertheless, in almost all texts of global climatology and in a widespread secondary literature it is taken for granted that such mechanism is real and stands on a firm scientific foundation. In this paper the popular conjecture is analyzed and the underlying physical principles are clarified. By showing that (a) there are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric greenhouse effects, (b) there are no calculations to determine an average surface temperature of a planet, (c) the frequently mentioned difference of 33 degrees Celsius is a meaningless number calculated wrongly, (d) the formulas of cavity radiation are used inappropriately, (e) the assumption of a radiative balance is unphysical, (f) thermal conductivity and friction must not be set to zero, the atmospheric greenhouse conjecture is falsified.

PDF

The Earth is not a greenhouse. As the authors observe:

It is not the “trapped” infrared radiation, which explains the warming phenomenon in a real greenhouse, but it is the suppression of air cooling.

CONCLUSIONS:

A statistical analysis, no matter how sophisticated it is, heavily relies on underlying models and if the latter are plainly wrong then the analysis leads to nothing. One cannot detect and attribute something that does not exist for reason of principle like the CO2 greenhouse effect. There are so many unsolved and unsolvable problems in non-linearity and the climatologists believe to beat them all by working with crude approximations leading to unphysical results that have been corrected afterwards by mystic methods, flux control in the past, obscure ensemble averages over different climate institutes today, by excluding accidental global cooling results by hand, continuing the greenhouse inspired global climatologic tradition of physically meaningless averages and physically meaningless applications of mathematical statistics.

In conclusion, the derivation of statements on the CO2 induced anthropogenic global warming out of the computer simulations lies outside any science. …

The point discussed here was to answer the question, whether the supposed atmospheric effect has a physical basis. This is not the case. In summary, there is no atmospheric greenhouse effect, in particular CO2-greenhouse effect, in theoretical physics and engineering thermodynamics. Thus it is illegitimate to deduce predictions which provide a consulting solution for economics and intergovernmental policy.

Hat tip to QandO via Bird Dog.

29 Jun 2008

If It Dances, Regulate It

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France is just a little further along the same path of progressive statism we ourselves are headed down.

Dominique Poirier (our European correspondent) forwards a recent item from the London Times demonstrating that the ambitions and the potential scope of a state regulatory regime are limitless, as well as humorless.

Country and western has become so big in France that the country’s bureaucrats have decided to bring the craze under state control.

The French administration has moved to create an official country dancing diploma as part of a drive to regulate the fad. Authorised instructors who have been on publicly funded training courses will be put in charge of line dancing lessons and balls.

The rules, which come into force next year, come after the rapid spread of country and western in France, where an estimated 100,000 people line dance several times a week. Jean Chauveau, the chairman of the country section of the French Dance Federation, said: “It’s growing at a crazy rate. There are thousands of clubs and more are springing up all the time.”

He said the French shunned the square dancing that is popular among country and western fans in the United States because it involved physical contact. “They don’t want to take anyone by the hand or anything like that,” he said. But they were passionate about line dancing, where participants follow the steps without touching anyone else. “I think this corresponds to the individualism of our times,” Mr Chauveau said.

Village associations boast dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of members; competitions are flourishing, and a country music festival is expected to draw 150,000 people this summer, he said. “Britain caught the line dancing bug a long time before us, but now we are really going for it,” Mr Chauveau said. “It’s complete madness here.” …

In a peculiarly Gallic approach to the phenomenon, French civil servants say line dancing should be submitted to the same rules as sports such as football and rugby. This means imposing training courses for line dancing teachers and a state-approved diploma for anyone who wants to give lessons or run clubs.

Amateur instructors will have to take 200 hours of training under the new rules. Professionals will get 600 hours, including such subjects as line dancing techniques, “the mechanics of the human body” and the English (or at least Texan) language. They will also learn how to teach line dancing to the elderly.

The cost of the courses, about €2,000 (£1,570) for the professionals and €500 for the amateurs, will be largely met by taxpayers. Mr Chauveau said the regulations highlighted the French state’s obsessive desire to organise all public activity. “France is the only country in Europe apart from Greece where sport is controlled through the state,” he said. “Line dancing is now considered a sport, so it is being controlled, too.”

29 Jun 2008

My Loony Bun Is Fine Benny Lava

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Andrew Sullivan commends to our attention this Indian music video, with subtitles attempting to capture its apparently ?English-language? lyrics.

4:39 video

28 Jun 2008

“None of These People Should Be President”

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The ineffable Christopher Hitchens trashes the lot of them.

Hillary Clinton & Michelle Obama: “The rage of the entitled on how they didn’t get it all, handed to them on a skewer… with a dollop of Béarnaise Sauce on it.”

Barack Obama: “If you have a candidate whose is as obviously suave and pretty coldly…well, let’s say ‘coolly’ (to be neutral) calculating, and politically as intelligent as the Senator, if he ties such a huge can to his tail, such a big, dirty, rattling can, and he can’t get rid of it, wait a minute! which is it? is he very crass or is he very suave?

The GOP: “If the Republican Party was, what?.. a dog, it should be shot.

Bill Clinton: “A horrible primate.

5:02 video

Hat tip to Charles Johnson.

28 Jun 2008

Rep. Delahunt Happy to Make Administration Official Al Qaeda Target

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The poisonous politics of Washington turned even more toxic yesterday, when William Delahunt, democrat congressman from Massachusetts’ 10th District (Martha’s Vinyard, Nantucket, Cape Cod, and the South Shore) expressed satisfaction that Congressional Hearings on treatment of illegal combatant detainees had made Vice Presidential Chief of Staff David Addington visible to al Qaeda.

Addington declined to discuss in open hearings conversations within the administration about interrogation techniques and associated legalities, alluding to other statements by himself and by the President expressing the inadvisability of public exposure of the secret deliberations of the US Government to the enemy in time of war. “Al Qaeda may watch C-Span,” Addington concluded.

To which Delahunt responded:

“I’m sure they [al Qaeda] are watching, and I’m glad they finally have a chance to see you, Mr. Addington, given your penchant for being unobtrusive.”

1:16 video

Mr. Delahunt’s disapproval of the Bush Administration’s treatment of illegal combatant prisoners, captured bearing arms against the United States or conspiring to attempt the mass murder of American civilians, is so great that he wishes for al Qaeda to avenge itself on an Administration official.

Democrats have a long record of criminalizing policy differences. The expression of an implicit invitation to foreign enemies in time of war to kill policy opponents represents a new level and a new kind of politics.

27 Jun 2008

Email Humor of the Day (From England)

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In the year 2008 the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in England and said:

‘Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see the end of all flesh before me. Build another Ark and save two of every living thing along with a few good humans.’

He gave Noah the CAD drawings, saying: ‘You have 6 months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights.’

Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard, but no Ark.

‘Noah!’ He roared, ‘I’m about to start the rain! Where is the Ark ?’

‘Forgive me, Lord,’ begged Noah, ‘but things have changed. I needed Building Regulations Approval and I’ve been arguing with the Fire Brigade about the need for a sprinkler system.

My neighbours claim that I should have obtained planning permission for building the Ark in my garden because it is development of the site, even though in my view it is a temporary structure.

We had to then go to appeal to the Secretary of State for a decision.

Then the Department of Transport demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions to clear the passage for the Ark ‘s move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it.

Getting the wood was another problem. All the decent trees have Tree Preservation Orders on them and we live in a Site of Special Scientific interest set up in order to protect the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls – but no go!

When I started gathering the animals, the RSPCA sued me. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodation was too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space.

Then the County Council, the Environment Agency and the Rivers Authority ruled that I couldn’t build the Ark until they’d conducted an environmentalimpact study on your proposed flood.

I’m still trying to resolve a complaint with the Equal Opportunities Commission on how many disabled carpenters I’m supposed to hire for my building team. The trades unions say I can’t use my sons. They insist I have to hire only accredited workers with Ark-building experience.

To make matters worse, Customs and Excise seized all my assets, claiming I’m trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.

So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish
this Ark. ‘

Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky.

Noah looked up in wonder and asked, ‘You mean you’re not going to destroy the world?’

‘No,’ said the Lord. ‘……….the British Government beat me to it.’

27 Jun 2008

“How Is It Under That Bus, Comrade Klonsky?”

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Steve Diamond, at Larry Johnson’s Clintonite anti-Obama No Quarter blog, waves good-bye to the latest disassociationee from Barack Obama’s life history and presidential campaign.

Easy come, easy go.

No sooner than Global Labor blogged here and here… about the role in the Obama campaign of Mike Klonsky, former Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers’ longtime comrade-in-arms from their days in SDS to the Chicago School Wars they fought in the 80s and 90s alongside Barack Obama, and presto he’s gone.

As of last night, Klonsky is no longer blogging on the Barack Obama for President website.

In fact, it’s like he was never there.

Does this remind anyone of something?

Recall what would happen in Soviet Russian textbooks when a trotskyist or bukharinite got purged by Uncle Joe, as Klonsky lovingly recalls the dictator Joseph Stalin at this reunion of SDS in November of last year in Chicago: their pictures would quickly get airbrushed out of the old photographs, without any explanation.

27 Jun 2008

Liberals:Totalitarian Enablers

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John Hawkins points to Berkeley, to Canada (where Mark Steyn is on trial), and to Europe as examples of just where we are going to wind up if our liberal friends have their way.

The liberal agenda (today) is, in many respects, the same as it was in the thirties. Whether you call it communism, fascism, socialism, liberalism, or progressivism, the only real difference is how much they believe they can get away with, the way they sell it to people, and the latest trendy name for what they believe.

So, once the liberals pick a policy from their stale program to push, the next step is to get it implemented. This is where liberals have problems because whether a policy makes sense, is practical, or actually improves people’s lives is of secondary importance to them. What is important to liberals is whether supporting or opposing that policy makes them feel good about themselves.

This is why liberals continue to support dysfunctional policies that have been failing miserably for decades and why they often oppose common sense programs that have been proven to work time and time again — because it isn’t about whether it works or not, it’s about how it makes them feel.

In other words, a liberal will almost always prefer a policy that’s extremely expensive, is difficult to implement, helps almost no one, but seems “nice” — to a policy that is cheap, simple to implement, extremely effective, and seems “mean.”

However, since most Americans make decisions about policies based on whether or not they believe the policy makes people’s lives better or worse, liberals have had to become habitually dishonest about what they believe and want to do to get their ideas put into action. …

Even though this is a center-right country, we do have political cycles and there are times when those cycles favor the Left. When that happens and the Lefties start to get a bit more confident, usually a few liberals at the edges will start talking about what they want to do. At that early point, most other liberals will still vehemently deny their ideological goals to the public out of fear that it will prevent them from getting into power.

However, when the Left gains enough strength to be capable of getting one of the policies they favor implemented, all the liberals who previously denied that they supported it will unapologetically shift on a dime and vote for it en masse — while they rely on their ideological allies in the media and the fact that many Americans are ill informed about politics to cover their tracks.

So, if you want to know what liberals want to do, their words mean absolutely nothing because lying about their agenda has become as natural to them as chasing a cat is to a dog.

Instead, what you have to do is watch what other liberals have done when they have come into power. Look at Canada, where conservatives are being put on trial for hate crimes because they’ve dared to criticize Muslims. Look at European countries, where they have socialistic economies, sky high tax rates, rigid speech codes, and overweening nannystates. You can even look at liberal enclaves in the United States like Berkeley and San Francisco, where members of the military are treated like pariahs and they boo the national anthem.

If you believe the liberals in Berkeley, France, Canada or for that matter in the bowels of the Daily Kos or Huffington Post, are significantly different than, say Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, you are kidding yourself. The only differences are in what they think they can get away with and how honest they are willing to be about their agenda.

27 Jun 2008

“The Constitution Means What It Says”

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Randy Barnett, in today’s Wall Street Journal, relishes the results of Heller, and praises Justice Scalia’s work. I love his editorial’s title, which constitutes all by itself an absolutely devastating rejoinder to the jurisprudence of people like Justices Stevens and Breyer.

Justice Scalia’s opinion is the finest example of what is now called “original public meaning” jurisprudence ever adopted by the Supreme Court. This approach stands in sharp contrast to Justice John Paul Stevens’s dissenting opinion that largely focused on “original intent” – the method that many historians employ to explain away the text of the Second Amendment by placing its words in what they call a “larger context.” Although original-intent jurisprudence was discredited years ago among constitutional law professors, that has not stopped nonoriginalists from using “original intent” – or the original principles “underlying” the text – to negate its original public meaning.

Of course, the originalism of both Justices Scalia’s and Stevens’s opinions are in stark contrast with Justice Breyer’s dissenting opinion, in which he advocates balancing an enumerated constitutional right against what some consider a pressing need to prohibit its exercise. Guess which wins out in the balancing? As Justice Scalia notes, this is not how we normally protect individual rights, and was certainly not how Justice Breyer protected the individual right of habeas corpus in the military tribunals case decided just two weeks ago.

So what larger lessons does Heller teach? First, the differing methods of interpretation employed by the majority and the dissent demonstrate why appointments to the Supreme Court are so important. In the future, we should be vetting Supreme Court nominees to see if they understand how Justice Scalia reasoned in Heller and if they are committed to doing the same.

We should also seek to get a majority of the Supreme Court to reconsider its previous decisions or “precedents” that are inconsistent with the original public meaning of the text. This shows why elections matter – especially presidential elections – and why we should vet our politicians to see if they appreciate how the Constitution ought to be interpreted.

Good legal scholarship was absolutely crucial to this outcome. No justice is capable of producing the historical research and analysis upon which Justice Scalia relied. Brilliant as it was in its execution, his opinion rested on the work of many scholars of the Second Amendment, as I am sure he would be the first to acknowledge.

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