Archive for January, 2008
31 Jan 2008

Marines Not Welcome in Berkeley

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San Jose Mercury News:

Hey-hey, ho-ho, the Marines in Berkeley have got to go.

That’s the message from the Berkeley City Council, which voted 6-3 Tuesday night to tell the U.S. Marines that its Shattuck Avenue recruiting station “is not welcome in the city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders.”

In addition, the council voted to explore enforcing its law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation against the Marines because of the military’s don’t ask, don’t tell policy. And it officially encouraged the women’s peace group Code Pink to impede the work of the Marines in the city by protesting in front of the station.

In a separate item, the council voted 8-1 to give Code Pink a designated parking space in front of the recruiting station once a week for six months and a free sound permit for protesting once a week from noon to 4 p.m.

Councilman Gordon Wozniak opposed both items.

The Marines have been in Berkeley for a little more than a year, having moved from Alameda in December of 2006. For about the past four months, Code Pink has been protesting in front of the station.

“I believe in the Code Pink cause. The Marines don’t belong here, they shouldn’t have come here, and they should leave,” said Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates after votes were cast.

Frankly, if the next president designated the city of Berkeley a target location for artillery practice, a lot of Americans would applaud.

31 Jan 2008

Thinking About McCain

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Jennifer Rubin wondered what Rush Limbaugh and Hugh Hewitt would say.

Here’s what I say.

John Sidney McCain III comes from a three-generation career Navy family. His father and his grandfather were both four-star admirals. His family’s roots are in Mississippi. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1958, making him part of the older-than-Baby-Boom generation.

He served in combat in Vietnam. He was imprisoned and tortured by the Communists, and behaved exceptionally honorably in refusing early release from his captivity.

Later, he became a friend of Texas Senator John Tower, who encouraged him to go into politics. He settled in Arizona at the time of his second marriage, and became personally involved with the business community in Phoenix. He was elected to the House of Representatives, and later to the Senate with Barry Goldwater’s support, and currently occupies Barry Goldwater’s former seat.

By birth, background, education, career, culture, and associations, you would expect John McCain to be a rock-ribbed conservative and a loyal Republican.

Unfortunately, he has been anything but either of the above.

John McCain has supported Gun Control, Electoral Advertising Control, and Environmentalist nonsense. He has, since the 1970s when he assisted John Kerry in ending POW/MIA inquiries and normalizing relations with Vietnam, been a frequent supporter of liberal foreign policy preferences and perspectives.

In recent years, almost any time the Senate vote on a controversial polarizing issue was close, John McCain was right in there, voting with the democrats.

Thinking about why McCain so commonly, and so unaccountably, takes the liberal side, I am forced to conclude that his class rank at Annapolis was not an accident, he really is a stupid man.

American Conservatism, after all, takes in general comparatively unpopular positions, resists facile solutions, sweeping measures, and emotional appeals. Conservatives are skeptics concerning conventional wisdom and the consensus of the media. Conservatives are the purists of American government, the critics on behalf of Constitutionalism and the defenders of the fundamental theory of American republicanism.

And Conservatism, outside fiscal areas, has little appeal to John McCain. He is always perfectly willing to brush aside the fine points of the meaning of the Bill of Rights and individual rights theory. One tends to suspect that the rigid authoritarianism of the Naval Academy and the unlimited command authority ruling over military life seem normal and natural to John McCain.

While Conservative theory and fundamentalist Constitutionalism have little influence on him, when the voice of what Thomas Sowell likes to refer to as “the Elect” is heard speaking from the high ground of the Establishment media, John McCain typically comes eagerly to attention. Even on military issues, like the non-reciprocal extension of Geneva Convention privileges to violators of all the laws of war, McCain marches at the Establishment’s command and vigorously defends their position.

Here, I think, one detects in John McCain’s behavior another recognizable military cultural meme, that of the apple-polishing subaltern jumping to obey the orders and loyally following the flag of his Senior Officer in Command, from whom all good things –including promotion– flow. John McCain’s commander in recent years has obviously been the editorial boards of the New York Times and the Washington Post.

And that, I think, explains John McCain. He’s a just-not-very-deep guy, who recognizes the power of the liberal establishment and naturally defers to it.

He is not loyal to us, and he is not one of us.

As he observed in the HBO film by Barry Goldwater’s daughter Mr. Conservative:

I’d love to be remembered as a Goldwater Republican. But I don’t pretend in any way to live up to (his) legacy.

We’re going to be hearing from those hungry to win the election about how John McCain is our best chance. Perhaps, he is. He’ll obviously run to the left of recent GOP presidential candidates and consequently draw some votes from the opposition. And he is a war hero.

But, if we win with McCain, we will be sorry. He will do liberal things. He will do dumb things. And he’ll put a liberal power structure in control of the Republican Party.

We may simply be screwed this go round. Our adversaries have the momentum, and we may simply not have a winning, conservative candidate. If we are going to lose, we should just lose, and fight again another day. We should not support John McCain.

31 Jan 2008

Odin Was Traditionally the Source of All Grey Eyes


Genetic studies apparently have found a mutation which took place 6-10,000 years ago and is the cause of the eye color of all blue-eyed humans alive on the planet today.

But aren’t the divergences of the predominant European Ydna and mtDNA haplogroups a good deal older than that?

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

30 Jan 2008

Email Humor of the Day

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Dear Ma and Pa,

I am well. Hope you are.

Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all of the places are filled.

I was restless at first because you got to stay in bed till nearly 6 A.M. but I am getting so I like to sleep late.

Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing.

Men got to shave but it is not so bad,there’s warm water.

Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and other regular food, But tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the city boys that live on coffee.Their food plus yours holds you till noon when you get fed again.

It’s no wonder these city boys can’t walk much. We go on “route marches,” which the platoon sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it’s not my place to tell him different. A “route march” is about as far as to our mailbox at home.

Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks.

This will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for shooting.I don’t know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head and don’t move, and it ain’t shooting at you like the Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don’t even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes.

Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain’t like fighting with that ole bull at home.

I’m about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake.

I only beat him once.

He joined up the same time as me, but I’m only 5’6″ and 130 pounds and he’s 6’8″ and near 300 pounds dry.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Your loving daughter,

30 Jan 2008

Surprisingly Liberal

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0:30 video

Hat tip to Kevin Drum. We on the Right have not yet begun to fight.

30 Jan 2008

What Could Really Matter More…

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Michael Graham is despairing at The Corner:

Assuming there is no shocking revelation or health issue, the GOP nomination is over. Conservatives need to start practicing the phrase “Nominee presumptive John McCa…..”

I’m not quite so pessimistic. I think Rush and the rest of Conservative Talk Radio will yet marshal the base and put up a fight.

And, of course, we can’t really count on Romney or McCain with assurance to defeat either Lady Macbeth or the Magical Minority Man.

But, if John McCain were to capture the GOP nomination, and, you never know, something (like a successful act of terrorism) happened to turn public opinion away from its current course, and he was elected, think about it: the man is going to be 72 in August.

William Henry Harrison, the oldest man elected president who was not Ronald Reagan, was 68, and he caught cold during his inauguration and promptly died. Needless to say, John McCain is no Ronald Reagan.

In the event that McCain is nominated, we should probably be focusing very carefully on whom the GOP nominates for the vice presidency.

30 Jan 2008

Day-By-Day on Florida Results

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30 Jan 2008

Non-Republicans Produced McCain’s Florida Win?

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Michelle Malkin (and apparently Rush Limbaugh) are hot on the trail of a story of Independents voting in yesterday’s Florida GOP primary.

A CNN exit poll (page 4) listed GOP primary voters in Florida by Party ID, as:

Democrat (3%)

Republican (80%)

Independent (17%)

So, according to CNN exit polls, 20% of the voters in the Florida Republican Party primary were non-Republicans. If so, no wonder McCain won.


Captain Ed Morrissey, though, says that “voter identification” (with the other party or no party) is routine in closed primary state polling. It is actual voter registration which is determinative, and this kind of polling result is normal.

30 Jan 2008

Yankee Doodle Closes its Doors

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Those who attended Yale in the second half of the previous century will be saddened to learn that yet another landmark of their youth has succumbed to the ravages of Time. The Yankee Doodle Coffee Shop, established in 1950, closed permanently yesterday.

Hat tip to Brian Hughes.

29 Jan 2008

Obama Campaign: Share Feelings, Avoid Substance

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The Sacramento Bee reveals the fundamental strategy of the Obama campaign: warm, fuzzy emotionalism and no specifics about policy.

It’s obvious that Obama can charm, but is that any reason to promote a State Senator who got into the US Senate by a fluke to the White House? The more I see of him the more convinced I am that he should be selling cars.

On the verge of a hectic few weeks leading to Super Tuesday, the crucial Feb. 5 multistate primary including California’s, Mack wanted to drill home one of the campaign’s key strategies: telling potential voters personal stories of political conversion.

She urged volunteers to hone their own stories of how they came to Obama – something they could compress into 30 seconds on the phone.

“Work on that, refine that, say it in the mirror,” she said. “Get it down.”

She told the volunteers that potential voters would no doubt confront them with policy questions. Mack’s direction: Don’t go there. Refer them to Obama’s Web site, which includes enough material to sate any wonk.

The idea behind the personal narratives is to reclaim “values” politics from the Republican Party, said Marshall Ganz, a one-time labor organizer for Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers who developed “Camp Obama” training sessions for volunteers.

When people tell their stories of how they made choices and what motivates them, they communicate their values, Ganz said in an interview.

“Values are not just concepts, they’re feelings,” Ganz said. “That’s what dropped out of Democratic politics sometime in the ’70s or ’80s.”

To convey these values, the Obama campaign claims to be taking grass-roots organizing to a new level, harnessing what they describe as a groundswell of enthusiasm.

29 Jan 2008

How Conservative is John McCain Really?

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Randall Hoven examines John McCain’s 82.3% ACU rating. His conclusion is “not very.”

Senator John McCain’s lifetime rating of 82.3% from the American Conservative Union is often cited as proof that he is conservative. Here is a closer look at that 82.3 rating.

First, a rating of 82.3 is not really that high. It puts Senator McCain in 39th place among senators serving in 2006, the latest year for which the ACU has its ratings posted online. For that most recent year in particular, McCain scored only 65, putting him in 47th place for that year. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE), for example, scored 64 and 75, respectively, in 2006.

Generally, McCain has voted less conservatively in more recent years. His average for 1990-97 was 88, but was only 74 for 1998-2006. …

So where did McCain differ from the ACU? The big areas were taxes, campaign finance reform, the environment and, most recently, immigration. There was also a smattering of support for trial lawyers; federal intervention in health, education, safety or voting issues; internationalism; and some social issues. He was more consistently conservative on spending and defense issues. …

Many of the votes were close. In one third of these votes, a swing of only two senators would have changed the outcome. In over two thirds, a swing of ten senators would have changed the outcome. As someone remarked, McCain is like a baseball player who gets all his hits after two outs and no one on base, and all his outs with men in scoring position. …

McCain’s ACU ratings since 1998 put him on the liberal side among Republicans. The few Republicans consistently more liberal than McCain would be Chafee (formerly R-RI), Collins (R-ME), Snowe (R-ME) and Specter (R-PA). One could expect senators from northeastern states to be more liberal since their constituencies demand it, but McCain represents the fairly conservative state of Arizona. (Arizona’s other senator, Kyl, has a lifetime rating of 96.9, and half the representatives from there have ratings of 94.7 or higher.)

How much more liberal would McCain vote if his constituency put even the slightest pressure on him in that direction?

29 Jan 2008

Dave Barry Explains the Florida Primary

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Seattle Times:

On Tuesday, millions of Florida voters will head for the polls. Being Floridians, many of them will become confused and drive into buildings, canals, cemeteries, other Floridians, etc. But some will actually make it to the polls, where they will cast ballots that will play a crucial role in the presidential election. Or, in the case of Democrats, not.

It turns out that the 2008 Florida Democratic primary doesn’t count. Florida will be sending the same number of delegates to the 2008 Democratic convention as Uzbekistan.

This may seem unfair, but there’s a simple, logical explanation: The whole primary system is insane. Consider the process so far …

First Iowa held “caucuses,” in which Iowans gathered in small groups at night and engaged in some mysterious Iowan ritual that for all we know involves having intimate relations with corn. Right after that, Wyoming had a primary, but it was only for Republicans, because Wyoming Democrats (apparently there are at least two) will hold their primary on March 8.

Most of the candidates ignored Wyoming and focused on the New Hampshire primary, except Rudy Giuliani, who’s following a shrewd strategy, originally developed by the Miami Dolphins, of not entering the race until he has been mathematically eliminated. After New Hampshire came Michigan, where the ballot listed all the Republicans, but only certain Democrats, including Chris Dodd, who had already dropped out of the race, but NOT including Barack Obama or John Edwards.

After Michigan came the Nevada caucuses, in which Hillary Clinton got more votes, but Barack Obama got more delegates. (If you don’t understand how that could happen, then you have never been to a casino.)

Then came the South Carolina Republican primary, which of course was not held on the same day as the South Carolina Democratic primary, which will be Monday. Then comes Florida, in which Republican voters will elect some delegates, although the total will only be half the number Florida was originally supposed to get.

Meanwhile Florida Democrats, as I mentioned, will have the same impact on their party’s nomination as if they fed their ballots to ducks. …

How did we end up with this ridiculous system? We got it through endless petty squabbling, in both parties, over the issue of which states get to go first. That’s right:

When confronted with what should be a minor procedural problem, the leaders of our major political parties can’t even work intelligently with their own allies, let alone their opponents. This is why, no matter who wins in November, I am optimistic about the future of the nation. …

So that’s the situation, Floridians. On Tuesday, it’s your turn to stand up and be counted, unless of course you’re a Democrat. But whatever you are, you should get out there and vote, even if you have no earthly idea what or whom you’re voting for, or why, because that’s what democracy is all about.

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