Friday, December 31, 2010

10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Technology

Helpful:

10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Technology - NYTimes.com: "Your gadgets and computers, your software and sites — they are not working as well as they should. You need to make some tweaks.

But the tech industry has given you the impression that making adjustments is difficult and time-consuming. It is not.

And so below are 10 things to do to improve your technological life. They are easy and (mostly) free. Altogether, they should take about two hours; one involves calling your cable or phone company, so that figure is elastic. If you do them, those two hours will pay off handsomely in both increased free time and diminished anxiety and frustration. You can do it."

Alabama Republicans Come to Power, Pass Ethics Law

Good:

Alabama Republicans Come to Power, Pass Ethics Law | The Weekly Standard: "Elections have consequences, and in Alabama the consequences have come quickly and decisively.

On November 2, Republicans captured the Alabama legislature for the first time in 136 years and within days the new members were sworn in. Then Republican governor Bob Riley called a special session of the legislature and, just before Christmas, it passed and the governor signed a sweeping ethics law that’s one of the strongest in the nation."

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Second Time is Farce: Frances Fox Piven Calls for a new Cloward-Piven Strategy for Today

Very interesting:

Ron Radosh » The Second Time is Farce: Frances Fox Piven Calls for a new Cloward-Piven Strategy for Today: "Writing in The Nation magazine on May 2, 1966, sociologists Richard Cloward and his wife Frances Fox Piven published what was to become in later years one of the most famous and influential of leftist articles. Titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty,” the two socialist intellectuals developed a new so-called “crisis strategy” — that of trying to use the existing welfare system to create chaos that would weaken the corporate capitalist state and eventually foment revolution. “Discover the Networks” has a good summary of their thesis."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In Mexico, only one gun store but no dearth of violence

What a country with extreme gun control looks like:

In Mexico, only one gun store but no dearth of violence: "To buy a gun, clients must submit references and prove that their income is honestly earned, that their record is free of criminal charges and that their military obligations, if any, have been fulfilled with honor. They are fingerprinted and photographed. Finally, if judged worthy of owning a small-caliber weapon to protect home and hearth, they are allowed to buy just one. And a box of bullets.

Mexico has some of the toughest gun-control laws in the world, a matter of pride for the nation's citizens. Yet Mexico is awash in weapons."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

In The Worst Economy Ever, People Are Quitting Their Jobs With Nothing Else Lined Up

The unintended consequences of extended unemployment benefits:

EXCLUSIVE SURVEY RESULTS: In The Worst Economy Ever, People Are Quitting Their Jobs With Nothing Else Lined Up: "One piece of career advice has been ingrained in all of us: never quit a job without another opportunity lined up. It is much harder to get a new job when you don't already have one.

In the crummiest economy ever, this advice is losing its luster."

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Handel's Messiah

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.  May the Son of God be the center of your life.

Why the Terrorists Can Never Win

Kind of puts things in perspective:

Federalist Paupers » Blog Archive » Why the Terrorists Can Never Win: "The state of Wisconsin has gone an entire deer hunting season without someone getting killed. That’s great. There were over 600,000 hunters.

Allow me to restate that number. Over the last two months, the eighth largest army in the world – more men under arms than Iran; more than France and Germany combined – deployed to the woods of a single American state to help keep the deer menace at bay.

But that pales in comparison to the 750,000 who are in the woods of Pennsylvania this week. Michigan’s 700,000 hunters have now returned home. Toss in a quarter million hunters in West Virginia, and it is literally the case that the hunters of those four states alone would comprise the largest army in the world."

Big Dupes at Big Peace: Religious Left Dupes

Very interesting:

Big Dupes at Big Peace: Religious Left Dupes: "This is the most recent installment of exclusive interviews with Dr. Paul Kengor, professor of political science at Grove City College, on his book revealing how communists, from Moscow to New York to Chicago, have long manipulated America’s liberals/progressives. Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century is based on an unprecedented volume of declassified materials from Soviet archives, FBI files, and more.

“Face it,” says Michael Novak, “you are going to have to read this book.” Big Peace’s own Peter Schweizer calls Dupes the “21st century equivalent” to Whittaker Chambers’ classic Witness."

Friday, December 24, 2010

Would global warming be so bad?

A good question:

Would global warming be so bad? - CSMonitor.com: "What has always troubled me the most with the view that we needs to stop 'climate change' in the form of 'global warming' is the idea that it would be bad if the Earth became warmer.

Sure, that could be negative in some areas for some reasons, but it would also be beneficial in other areas for other reasons. Suppose for example that Antarctica, or at least parts of it, would become habitable due to a warmer climate, wouldn't that be a good thing that could possibly outweigh possible problems elsewhere?"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Will DADT repeal cause problems for American troops serving in Muslim countries?

Interesting:

Will DADT repeal cause problems for American troops serving in Muslim countries? - Yahoo! News: "Though President Obama signed the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ Wednesday, critics of repeal say important questions remain about the external problems the new policy may create, such as those revolving around gay troops serving in Muslim countries.

Will DADT repeal aid America in pushing these countries down a path of cultural openness, or inspire a harmful backlash? This concern, critics say, was not dealt with in the Pentagon’s report on the DADT repeal and was overlooked in the rush to pass the repeal legislation."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Top 50 Blogs by Theology Professors

Good resources:

Top 50 Blogs by Theology Professors: "You might think that professors would have little time for blogs, but it appears that many theology professors use their blogs to announce news, to test out new theories about religious faith, practice, experience and spirituality, and for communicating with students and peers. While not all the professors listed in our top 50 blogs by theology professors focus entirely on theology in their blogs, the authors are at least current in their updates. And, they often are engaging, sometimes controversial, and many have been blogging away in the blogosphere for quite some time."

Muslims in Pakistan Burn, Beat Evangelist Unconscious

Unfortunately we will be hearing more of these reports:

Muslims in Pakistan Burn, Beat Evangelist Unconscious: "Area Christians said they found the Rev. Wilson Augustine, 26, of Village No. 44-SB, unconscious with burns on his head, hand and arm on Nov. 22 near the bus stop of Village No. 101-NB on the outskirts of Sargodha."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Astronomer Sues University of Kentucky, Claiming Faith Cost Him a Job

This is going to be great publicity:

Astronomer Sues University of Kentucky, Claiming Faith Cost Him a Job - NYTimes.com: "In 2007, C. Martin Gaskell, an astronomer at the University of Nebraska, was a leading candidate for a job running an observatory at the University of Kentucky. But then somebody did what one does nowadays: an Internet search.

That search turned up evidence of Dr. Gaskell’s evangelical Christian faith."

Doctoral degrees: The disposable academic

Interesting:

Doctoral degrees: The disposable academic | The Economist: "There is an oversupply of PhDs. Although a doctorate is designed as training for a job in academia, the number of PhD positions is unrelated to the number of job openings. Meanwhile, business leaders complain about shortages of high-level skills, suggesting PhDs are not teaching the right things. The fiercest critics compare research doctorates to Ponzi or pyramid schemes."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

‘Unprecedented’ Drone Assault: 58 Strikes in 102 Days

Change:

‘Unprecedented’ Drone Assault: 58 Strikes in 102 Days | Danger Room | Wired.com: "Even as the Obama administration’s assessment of its war strategy nodded to the primacy of the CIA’s drone campaign, Predators underscored the point. Over the past two days, four Predators or Reapers fired their missiles at suspected militants in North Waziristan, with three of the strikes coming early today.

They represent a geographic expansion of the drone war. Today’s strikes come in Khyber, an area abutting Afghanistan’s Nangahar province, that’s been notably drone-free. It has become an area for militants fleeing military action in South Waziristan to take succor."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

AND YET APOLOGISTS IN AMERICA WERE COMPARING HIM TO THE EARLY CHRISTIANS: Mao’s Great Leap To Famin…

Read the whole thing:

Instapundit » Blog Archive » AND YET APOLOGISTS IN AMERICA WERE COMPARING HIM TO THE EARLY CHRISTIANS: Mao’s Great Leap To Famin…

AND YET APOLOGISTS IN AMERICA WERE COMPARING HIM TO THE EARLY CHRISTIANS: Mao’s Great Leap To Famine: “The worst catastrophe in China’s history, and one of the worst anywhere, was the Great Famine of 1958 to 1962, and to this day the ruling Communist Party has not fully acknowledged the degree to which it was a direct result of the forcible herding of villagers into communes under the ‘Great Leap Forward’ that Mao Zedong launched in 1958. To this day, the party attempts to cover up the disaster, usually by blaming the weather. Yet detailed records of the horror exist in the party’s own national and local archives. . . . Starvation was the punishment of first resort. As report after report shows, food was distributed by the spoonful according to merit and used to force people to obey the party. One inspector in Sichuan wrote that “commune members too sick to work are deprived of food. It hastens their death.”

Socialism starves. Capitalism enriches. It’s been proven over and over again. But remember: Communism is about “human dignity.” See:

In all, the records I studied suggest that the Great Leap Forward was responsible for at least 45 million deaths.

Between 2 and 3 million of these victims were tortured to death or summarily executed, often for the slightest infraction. People accused of not working hard enough were hung and beaten; sometimes they were bound and thrown into ponds. Punishments for the least violations included mutilation and forcing people to eat excrement.

Communists are as bad as Nazis, and their defenders and apologists are as bad as Nazis’ defenders, but far more common. When you meet them, show them no respect. They’re evil, stupid, and dishonest. They should not enjoy the consequences of their behavior.

Is the Evangelical Left Fizzling? | The Weekly Standard

I never really considered it a major part of Evangelicalism, we're a pretty conservative lot:

Is the Evangelical Left Fizzling? | The Weekly Standard: "Exit polls of actual voting by evangelicals indicate that the evangelical left remains primarily a phenomenon among evangelical elites on seminary and college campuses and among some parachurch and activist groups. The prolonged wars, culture clashes, and ultimate financial collapse during the George W. Bush years undoubtedly moved some evangelical elites and young people to the left. But the ongoing recession, explosion of government spending, and liberal stances on abortion and homosexuality by the Obama administration (the NAE quietly opposes revoking “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”), along with the president's discomfort with American exceptionalism, have likely solidified grassroots evangelicals overall within their traditional conservative politics. Like left-leaning mainline Protestant elites starting decades ago, evangelical elites increasingly will probably denounce their own constituency for its lack of political enlightenment."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

TaxProf Blog: Estate Tax Commentary

A listing of various up to date estate tax articles:

TaxProf Blog: Estate Tax Commentary :

Time For Real-Estate Watchdogs To Start Howling Again

I am seriously hoping not:

Watchdog Blog » Time For Real-Estate Watchdogs To Start Howling Again: "You might not know it from reading the news, but the nation’s housing prices are in free fall again.

For the many Americans who have (or had) most of their wealth tied up in their homes, the consequences of this will be profound. The effect on nationwide consumption will inevitably be severe. In fact, there are some not inconceivable scenarios in which the housing market could just take the economy down with it again."

Monday, December 13, 2010

ShrinkWrapped: The Morality of the Übermensch

The logical conclusion of postmodernism and a post Christian society:

ShrinkWrapped: The Morality of the Übermensch: "There is almost no way to construct a rational, legally based morality that forbids incest between adults. Most of us have a visceral reaction of disgust when we think about incest because the taboos are so deeply ingrained but the incest taboo can not be supported by rational argument alone."

Wikileaks – Anti-Israel Foreign Policy Experts Got Saudi Arabia, Other Arab Countries 100% Backward On Iran Attack | Mere Rhetoric

Not surprising the experts are "agenda" driven:

Wikileaks – Anti-Israel Foreign Policy Experts Got Saudi Arabia, Other Arab Countries 100% Backward On Iran Attack | Mere Rhetoric: "So two theories about happened at the Obama/Abdullah meeting. One theory says that the Saudis were literally screaming their heads off about Iran, the implication being that experts who describe overarching anti-Israel outrage are more manufacturing it than commenting on it. It’s not that Arab leaders don’t care about the Israeli/Arab conflict, or that they wouldn’t want to see a Palestinian state, or that they won’t pay lip service to linkage. It’s just that they really, really care about stopping Iran by any means necessary – something that foreign policy experts who obsess over Israel’s ostensibly central regional role can’t have be true, lest their insistence that a Palestinian state is a necessary prerequisite to action on Iran seem more like personal fantasy than objective analysis."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Crisis of the Middle

This is fascinating:

The Crisis of the Middle - Rich Lowry - National Review Online: "Our elites, broadly defined as the top third of our society, aren’t nearly as decadent as advertised. According to Wilcox’s data, the highly educated (with a college diploma or higher) are less likely to divorce, less likely to have children out of wedlock, and less likely to commit adultery than the moderately educated (high-school degree or some college) and the least-educated (no high-school diploma)."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Economic Storm Clouds on the Horizon

I certainly hope not:

» Economic Storm Clouds on the Horizon - Big Government: "The experts charged with determining when recessions begin and end tell us that the latest of these unpleasant events ended a while ago. Technically, they are no doubt right. But that does not mean that the economic crisis we have been facing is over. I suspect that we have thus far only seen its first act. The drama to come may be far, far worse. To see why, one must recognize that economic downturns come in two different forms."

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Abandoned on Everest

A gripping and disturbing story:

a sea of lead, a sky of slate: Abandoned on Everest: "In 2006, a lone climber attempting the summit of Mount Everest for the third time was, purely by chance, caught in an amateur photograph taken by another climber of the scenic mountaintop ahead. The climber in the photograph was making his way up what is known as the Final Push of the Northeast ridge, between Camp VI at 8,230 m and the summit. It was late in the afternoon, a foolishly reckless time to undertake the lengthy and dangerous route."

Stuxnet Worm Still Out of Control at Iran's Nuclear Sites, Experts Say

Must read:

FoxNews.com - Stuxnet Worm Still Out of Control at Iran's Nuclear Sites, Experts Say: "Iran's nuclear program is still in chaos despite its leaders' adamant claim that they have contained the computer worm that attacked their facilities, cybersecurity experts in the United States and Europe say.

The American and European experts say their security websites, which deal with the computer worm known as Stuxnet, continue to be swamped with traffic from Tehran and other places in the Islamic Republic, an indication that the worm continues to infect the computers at Iran's two nuclear sites."

From the Archives | The Weekly Standard

From after the election in 1994 and the consternation reporters had about what a "Republican" was. Very funny.

From the Archives | The Weekly Standard

Here, then, are the results of my reporting.

The days when moderates like George Mitchell controlled the Hill are gone, at least for now. Most of the new Republican congresspersons and staffers are adherents of the right-wing philosophy of "conservatism." Conservatism can be traced to such right-wing thinkers as Franco, Pinochet, and William F. Buckley Jr. Conservatism, in brief, calls for dismantling the entire government while simultaneously controlling the most intimate decisions of a person's life. Contradictory? Sure: like cutting taxes, increasing defense, and balancing the budget, all at the same time! Let's make sure our readers understand the impossibility of doing this.

Several sources emphasized that in reporting our stories, we should take care not to call staffers or congresspersons on Sunday morning, when the vast majority of Americans stay home to watch Brinkley. But apparently many Republicans "go to church." Some of you will be familiar with churches in Cleveland Park for their marvelous chamber music concerts. Our new Republican friends, however, go to church for "services" -- patriarchal rituals that date back to the early 1900s or even earlier. This also has something to do with "turning back the clock," another right-wing tenet of conservatism.

Over the years you have been able to develop relations with congressional sources through your kids' schools -- at soccer games, Earth Day ceremonies, Condom Fairs, and the like. But beware! I'm told that many of the new Republicans will be sending their kids to "public schools" in the suburbs, where they don't even charge tuition. As one waggish source put it to me, "Half these clowns have never heard of Sidwell Friends or Georgetown Day!" Good news for you as parents; bad news for you as reporters, who will have to create new avenues of informal communication.

Again, not easy: Many of the Republicans will be living in Virginia, the state across the Potomac from Bethesda (see map attached). These suburbs are usually 1980s-style wastelands of tract houses -- "one step up from the trailer park," another source quips -- that have destroyed irreplaceable historic landscapes. If there's sufficient interest, the paper will be happy to arrange a bus tour. They must be seen to be believed.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Why Religion Makes People Happier

Very interesting. While I may not agree with everything it does point out the importance of relationship within a Church setting:

Why Religion Makes People Happier | Life Satisfaction & Spirituality, Happiness & Church | LiveScience: "Religious people are more satisfied with their lives than nonbelievers, but a new study finds it's not a relationship with God that makes the devout happy. Instead, the satisfaction boost may come from closer ties to earthly neighbors."

China's credit bubble on borrowed time as inflation bites - Telegraph

All bubbles will eventually burst:

China's credit bubble on borrowed time as inflation bites - Telegraph: "China drew a false conclusion from the global credit crisis that their top-down economy trumps the free market, failing to see that the events of 2008-2009 did equally great damage to them – though of a different kind. It closed the door on mercantilist export strategies that depend on cheap loans, a cheap currency, and the willingness of the West to tolerate predatory trade.

China is trying to keep the game going as if nothing has changed, but cannot do so. It dares not raise rates fast enough to let air out of the bubble because this would expose the bad debts of the banking system. The regime is stymied."

Monday, December 06, 2010

Southern Poverty Law Center: Social conservative organizations are hate groups

Good grief:

Southern Poverty Law Center: Social conservative organizations are hate groups | The Daily Caller - Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment: "The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) says it will not back down from its decision to label the Family Research Council and other socially conservative groups as hate groups, on par with the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Nations, for their views about homosexuality.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins recently asked SPLC to retract the hate group designation, but SPLC Intelligence Project Director Mark Potok told The Daily Caller that will never happen."

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Coming soon: the loud thud of a gold bust

I'm cautious on gold:

Coming soon: the loud thud of a gold bust | Analysis & Opinion |: "Some time in the future the price of gold will crash and it won’t have a fairy-tale ending for the millions of investors who piled on in recent months.

If I could tell you when gold was going to bust, I’d likely be wrong or bigger than Warren Buffett, so I won’t even try. Just be incredibly cautious now. There are too many signs that gold is frothier than a Starbucks cappuccino."

Thursday, December 02, 2010

How to Beat Customer Service Lines - Tech Support Phone Tips - Popular Mechanics

Good advice for those annoying waits:

How to Beat Customer Service Lines - Tech Support Phone Tips - Popular Mechanics: "First step is to make sure you're calling the best possible number. The number published prominently on the website is more likely to lead you into a Kafkaesque labyrinth than toward a human voice. I suggest starting out by going to GetHuman.com to find the best number to call for just about any com­pany. The site will also give you company-­specific tips for getting a person on the line. LucyPhone.com takes it even further—not only does the site include a database of company contact numbers, but it actually does the waiting for you. When you select the company you want to call and enter your number on the site, it makes the call, then rings you back when it finally gets somebody on the line, allowing you to jump in at the last minute. There's also a LucyPhone iPhone app for on-the-go calls."

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

President Obama: 'I'm a Blue Dog Democrat'

Yeah right:

President Obama: 'I'm a Blue Dog Democrat' - The New Editor: "The body of Mr. Obama's writing and experiences before he became a presidential candidate would suggest that he is instinctively pragmatic, typical of an emerging generation that sees all political dogma -- be it '60s liberalism or '80s conservatism -- as anachronistic. Privately, Mr. Obama has described himself, at times, as essentially a Blue Dog Democrat, referring to the shrinking caucus of fiscally conservative members of the party."

Photographs of Native Americans by Edward Curtis

Fascinating:

Photographs of Native Americans by Edward Curtis | Plog — World news photography, Photos — The Denver Post: "In 1906, American photographer Edward S. Curtis was offered $75,000 to document North American Indians. The benefactor, J.P Morgan, was to receive 25 sets of the completed series of 20 volumes with 1,500 photographs entitled The North American Indian.

Below are selected images of the Native American way of life chosen from The Library of Congress’s Edward S. Curtis Collection. Some were published in The North American Indian but most were not published. All the captions are original to Edward Curtis."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holland: Gas companies refuse to fuel Iranian FM's plane

Ag shame:

Holland: Gas companies refuse to fuel Iranian FM's plane: "Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki dropped his planned visit to the Netherlands on Tuesday because US sanctions meant his Iran Air plane might be refused fuel.

“Mr. Mottaki canceled his visit because the government of the Netherlands could not guarantee that his plane would be refueled by private fuel firms at Schiphol airport, which follow US sanctions,” Ward Bezemer, a spokesman for the Dutch Foreign Ministry, wrote The Jerusalem Post."

The Leavers: Young Doubters Exit the Church

This is disturbing and needs to be addressed by the Church:

The Leavers: Young Doubters Exit the Church | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction: "Some striking mile markers appear on the road through young adulthood: leaving for college, getting the first job and apartment, starting a career, getting married—and, for many people today, walking away from the Christian faith."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

U.S. Army Unveils 'Revolutionary' XM25 Rifle in Afghanistan

Buck Rogers:

U.S. Army Unveils 'Revolutionary' XM25 Rifle in Afghanistan - FoxNews.com: "After years of development, the U.S. Army has unleashed a new weapon in Afghanistan -- the XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System, a high-tech rifle that can be programmed so that its 25-mm. ammunition does not necessarily explode on impact. Instead, it can be set to detonate either in front of or behind a target, meaning it literally will go through a wall before it explodes and kills the enemy.

It also has a range of roughly 2,300 feet -- nearly the length of eight football fields -- making it possible to fire at targets well past the range of the rifles and carbines that most soldiers carry today."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mystery Surrounds Cyber Missile That Crippled Iran's Nuclear Weapons Ambitions

Fascinating:

FoxNews.com - Mystery Surrounds Cyber Missile That Crippled Iran's Nuclear Weapons Ambitions: "Intelligence agencies, computer security companies and the nuclear industry have been trying to analyze the worm since it was discovered in June by a Belarus-based company that was doing business in Iran. And what they've all found, says Sean McGurk, the Homeland Security Department's acting director of national cyber security and communications integration, is a “game changer.”

The construction of the worm was so advanced, it was “like the arrival of an F-35 into a World War I battlefield,” says Ralph Langner, the computer expert who was the first to sound the alarm about Stuxnet. Others have called it the first “weaponized” computer virus."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Latest Gallup poll: Barack Obama gets another shellacking from the Tea Party

Strength:

Latest Gallup poll: Barack Obama gets another shellacking from the Tea Party – Telegraph Blogs: "Just about as many Americans want Tea Party-backed members of Congress to take the lead in setting policy during the next year as choose President Obama, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds.

In a survey taken Friday through Sunday, 28% say Obama should have the most influence on government policy next year while 27% say the Tea Party standard-bearers should. GOP congressional leaders are chosen by 23%, Democratic congressional leaders by 16%.

The results reflect the strength of the Tea Party movement as the GOP prepares to take control of the House of Representatives in January."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Vance, 3 other House Dems switch to GOP

This happened in Alabama:

Vance, 3 other House Dems switch to GOP | oanow.com: "State Rep. Lesley Vance of Phenix City and three other House Democrats switched parties Monday, saying they identified more with Republicans.

“We have been kidded over the years that y’all are more conservative than some of the Republicans,” Vance said.

The moves give the GOP 66 votes in the House, or a super-majority allowing them to pass legislation without support from Democrats.

House Democrats Mike Millican of Hamilton, Steve Hurst of Munford and Alan Boothe of Troy joined Vance to announce the switch at a news conference Monday in Montgomery. The four represent Republican-leaning, mostly white areas."

Constitutional Amendment proposal to streamline legislative repeals to hit Congress soon

Very interesting:

Constitutional Amendment proposal to streamline legislative repeals to hit Congress soon | The Daily Caller - Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment: "The Repeal Amendment calls for allowing states to band together to repeal, or overturn, federal legislation. As it is written now, if approved and ratified, two-thirds of states’ legislatures would need to vote in favor of a repeal.

The proposed amendment reads: “Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed.”"

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Gettysburg Address

Happy Birthday, Gettysburg Address « Hot Air

Four-score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

These Are The 15 Housing Markets That Will Get Crushed The Hardest By 2012

I hope not:

These Are The 15 Housing Markets That Will Get Crushed The Hardest By 2012: "The firm that makes the Case Shiller Index has joined the consensus that 2011 will be a terrible year for housing.

2012 will be pretty bad too."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Charles Krauthammer - Don't touch my junk

Thus a new phrase enters the lexicon:

Charles Krauthammer - Don't touch my junk: "John Tyner, cleverly armed with an iPhone to give YouTube immortality to the encounter, took exception to the TSA guard about to give him the benefit of Homeland Security's newest brainstorm - the upgraded, full-palm, up the groin, all-body pat-down. In a stroke, the young man ascended to myth, or at least the next edition of Bartlett's, warning the agent not to 'touch my junk.'"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pretty in Pink? Obama’s Dark Night of the Soul

Someone's having a very bad Presidency:

Pretty in Pink? Obama’s Dark Night of the Soul | Via Meadia: "Life keeps getting worse for President Obama. It is not just that the conservative press, which never liked him, has a new note of confidence and even joy as it pursues a quarry whose blood reporters think they can smell. It is not just that he lost control of Congress in the midterms. No: the mainstream, liberal press and the American left are deserting him now. The San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, and even Michael Moore have turned on the Messiah. “Take off your pink tutu!” Moore commanded the President on Bill Maher. Jeremiah Wright must feel vindicated down under the bus; now the rest of the left increasingly sees Obama as weak, opportunistic, and unprincipled."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Westboro Baptist Protesters Get Tires Slashed Following Protest Saturday

What a bummer:

HotAirPundit: Westboro Baptist Protesters Get Tires Slashed Following Protest Saturday: "Members of a Kansas church that protests at military funerals may have found themselves in the wrong town Saturday.

Shortly after finishing their protest at the funeral of Army Sgt. Jason James McCluskey of McAlester, a half-dozen protesters from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., headed to their minivan, only to discover that its front and rear passenger-side tires had been slashed."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Secret Walmart Survey Shows Inflation Already Here

Anyone who shops has already noticed this:

CNBC's Fast Money: Secret Walmart Survey Shows Inflation Already Here - CNBC: "There might not have been a second round of quantitative easing, if Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke shopped at Walmart."

American Narcissus

This is very enlightening:

American Narcissus | The Weekly Standard: "People have been noticing Obama’s vanity for a long time. In 2008, one of his Harvard Law classmates, the entertainment lawyer Jackie Fuchs, explained what Obama was like during his school days: “One of our classmates once famously noted that you could judge just how pretentious someone’s remarks in class were by how high they ranked on the ‘Obamanometer,’ a term that lasted far longer than our time at law school. Obama didn’t just share in class—he pontificated. He knew better than everyone else in the room, including the teachers. ”"

A bad news week for AGW proponents | Watts Up With That?

Interesting:

A bad news week for AGW proponents | Watts Up With That?: "This is a collection of news story excerpts this past week. AGW proponents and environmentalists is general are taking hit after hit in the media this week."

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dems extol facts and science but act on ideology

For some emotions trump all:

Dems extol facts and science but act on ideology | Washington Examiner: "In the course of the Obama administration we have seen examples of Democrats in the White House, Congress and across the government pursuing ideological goals that are not only not based on facts and science and argument but actually fly in the face of facts and science and argument. Some examples:"

Obama's economic view is rejected on world stage

It's one thing after another...

Obama's economic view is rejected on world stage - San Jose Mercury News: "President Barack Obama's hopes of emerging from his Asia trip with the twin victories of a free-trade agreement with South Korea and a unified approach to spurring global economic growth ran into resistance on all fronts Thursday, putting Obama at odds with his key allies and largest trading partners.

The most concrete trophy expected to emerge from the trip eluded his grasp: a long-delayed free trade agreement with South Korea, first negotiated by the Bush administration and then reopened by Obama, to have greater protections for U.S. workers."

And as officials frenetically tried to paper over differences among the Group of 20 members with a vaguely worded communique to be issued today, there was no way to avoid discussion of the fundamental differences of economic strategy. After five largely harmonious meetings in the past two years to deal with the most severe downturn since the Great Depression, major disputes broke out between Washington and China, Britain, Germany and Brazil.

The rest of the world goes West when America prints more money - Telegraph

Not good:

The rest of the world goes West when America prints more money - Telegraph: "America is now isolated and the rest of the world is furious. The widespread use of capital controls and even a lurch into 1930s-style protectionism are both far more likely than just a few days ago.

The Federal Reserve's words may have been anodyne. 'We will adjust the programme as needed to best foster maximum employment and price stability,' said the US central bank's Open Market Committee. But by announcing another round of 'quantitative easing', America is rightfully incurring the wrath not only of the emerging giants of the East, but the eurozone too."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

BBC News - Vatican warns of 'wayward' Opus Angelorum sect

Amazing the beliefs that some have. I'm glad the Vatican is sending out a warning:

BBC News - Vatican warns of 'wayward' Opus Angelorum sect: "The Vatican has warned Catholic bishops around the world to monitor carefully a secretive traditionalist sect which prays to angels to combat demons.

Opus Angelorum, which means 'the work of angels' in Latin, was founded by an Austrian housewife who died in 1978.

She claimed to have identified the angels and demons who were battling for the control of human beings."

Christian woman sentenced to death in Pakistan 'for blasphemy' - Telegraph

Scary:

Christian woman sentenced to death in Pakistan 'for blasphemy' - Telegraph: "A Christian woman has been sentenced to hang in Pakistan after being convicted of defaming the Prophet Mohammed."

Sunday, November 07, 2010

A President At Bay

The crash to earth:

A President At Bay - Walter Russell Mead's Blog - The American Interest: "All pundits, including yours truly, get it wrong sometimes, and normally there would be little point in dwelling on past blunders. But it this case, it is worth exhuming these vaporous and embarrassing stupidities for a few moments. Many of our nation’s intellectual leaders wonder why the rest of the country isn’t more respectful of their claims to be guided by and speak for the cool voice of celestial reason. That so many of them gushed over Barack Obama with all of the profundity of reflection and intellectual distance of tweeners at a Justin Bieber concert should help them understand why their claims of superior wisdom are sometimes met with caustic cynicism."

Thursday, November 04, 2010

What, Exactly, Is The Federal Reserve Up To?

Hmm...

What, Exactly, Is The Federal Reserve Up To?: "Yesterday afternoon, the Federal Reserve announced its latest effort to try to inject some life into what has been a fairly stagnant economy:"

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

California Conundrum

They did it to themselves:

California Conundrum - By Kevin D. Williamson - The Corner - National Review Online: "This election means two things for California: 1. It is now more likely to end up needing a federal bailout, and 2. It is less likely to find Congress receptive to that idea."

Durban III Set for New York City in September 2011

Governmental antisemitism:

Durban III Set for New York City in September 2011 | The Weekly Standard: "The United Nations is planning to hold “Durban III” in New York City in September 2011, marking the tenth anniversary of the 2001 Durban conference, and the non-governmental forum which preceded it, held in Durban, South Africa in 2001."

Monday, November 01, 2010

Pfeifer-Zeliska .600 Nitro Express Handgun

I have no desire to shoot this.  HT: Ken
Pfeifer-Zeliska .600 Nitro Express Handgun
"How much gun is TOO much gun?!"
I have seen little handguns and I have seen big handguns, but until now I have never seen too much handgun. This is TOO MUCH HANDGUN!
Forget everything you've heard about magnum revolvers; this is the ultimate.
Caliber .600 Nitro Magnum - Measured by muzzle energy, it is the most powerful in the world.






Confessions of a Price Controller

Interesting:

Confessions of a Price Controller — The American, A Magazine of Ideas: "The Wall Street Journal reports that Medicare pays too much for specialist services and too little for primary care—even though doctors themselves decide how the money should be divvied up. That drives up the cost of the program and intensifies the shortage of primary-care doctors needed to care for the 32 million people who will get health coverage over the next few years.

This is neither surprising nor new, at least to me. I oversaw the study that created Medicare’s physician payment mechanism during the 1980s; I oversaw the implementation of that mechanism during the early 1990s; I am currently an appointed member of a state commission that sets prices for hospitals—and for those 25 years, I have been arguing that price controls are the wrong way to go."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Disappearance of the The Emerging Democratic Majority: The Failure of a Thesis

Interesting:

Ron Radosh » The Disappearance of the The Emerging Democratic Majority: The Failure of a Thesis: "In 2004, John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira wrote an acclaimed and seemingly prescient book, The Emerging Democratic Majority. Their thesis was based on a demographic analysis, which led them to predict the end of any future Republican ascendancy. As Judis summed up their thesis after the Obama landslide of 2008, Obama’s “election is the culmination of a Democratic realignment that began in the 1990s, was delayed by September 11, and resumed with the 2006 election. This realignment is predicated on a change in political demography and geography."

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Demographic Problem

I would like to know where they are getting all of their stats.  Also it is not taking into consideration the rate of Christian growth among Muslims in Europe (those born Muslim are counted Muslim forever) and the political climate that is changing in Europe with the rise of Geert Wilders and the admission by Merkel in Germany that multiculturalism has failed.

Concerning the North American continent.  I don't know what the Canadian demographics are but the US is in no danger of becoming Muslim.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Horror, The Horror... and the Pity | Foreign Policy

Other countries are clueless on what makes the US the US.

The Horror, The Horror... and the Pity | Foreign Policy: "Thanks to outsized personalities like Sarah Palin and Christine O'Donnell -- as well as recent controversies over immigration and Islam -- this year's midterm elections have attracted more international attention than usual. But as this survey of the foreign press shows, each country seems to have its own unique take on America's anti-incumbent movement."

Midterm blowout: 50 or more Democratic seats set to fall in Tuesday's election - TheHill.com

Yes! But let's not get cocky:

Midterm blowout: 50 or more Democratic seats set to fall in Tuesday's election - TheHill.com: "Republicans are headed for a blowout election win that seems certain to seize more than enough seats to knock out the Democrats and take control of the House.

The Hill 2010 Midterm Election poll, surveying nearly 17,000 likely voters in 42 toss-up districts over four weeks, points to a massive Republican wave that, barring an extraordinary turnaround, will deliver crushing nationwide defeats for President Obama’s party."

Dems getting outspent? Not so fast

And their still losing:

Dems getting outspent? Not so fast - POLITICO.com Print View: "To hear top Democrats tell it, the party is being wildly outgunned this year in the fight for campaign cash as Republicans rely on outside groups to funnel money to GOP contenders.

But the numbers tell a different story.

It’s true that conservative third-party groups are outspending their Democratic rivals. But the Democrats still have a sizable cash advantage in their party committees – making this year’s elections a lot more of a fair fight than Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi let on.

So far, the latest figures show that the Democratic Party machinery has outraised its Republican counterpart in this campaign cycle by almost $270 million."

Monday, October 25, 2010

2010 Election: Five Signs Your Party is Doomed - The Daily Beast

Very good:

2010 Election: Five Signs Your Party is Doomed - The Daily Beast: "Democrat or Republican, party leaders and pundits all turn to the same spin when they’re staring down a tidal wave. Benjamin Sarlin offers this handy list of signs that your team is in deep trouble, from mythical last-minute surges to impotent attacks on the next Speaker."

Rep. DeFazio Investigating Impeachment of Chief Justice Roberts

Another reason I'm not voting for DeFazio:

The Volokh Conspiracy » Rep. DeFazio Investigating Impeachment of Chief Justice Roberts: "The Huffington Post reports that Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Or) is investigating articles of impeachment for Chief Justice Roberts in response to the Court’s decision in Citizens United."

“I mean, the Supreme Court has done a tremendous disservice to the United States of America,” Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) told The Huffington Post on Tuesday. “They have done more to undermine our democracy with theirCitizens United decision than all of the Republican operatives in the world in this campaign. They’ve opened the floodgates, and personally, I’m investigating articles of impeachment against Justice Roberts for perjuring during his Senate hearings, where he said he wouldn’t be a judicial activist, and he wouldn’t overturn precedents.”

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Malaria deaths in India 10 times as many as thought

This makes the ban on DDT look criminal:

Malaria deaths in India 10 times as many as thought - health - 22 October 2010 - New Scientist: "Malaria has always been one of humanity's biggest killers, but it may be far bigger than we realised. An unprecedented survey of the disease suggests that it kills between 125,000 and 277,000 people per year in India alone. In contrast, the World Health Organization puts India's toll at just 16,000.

Other countries using similar accounting methods, such as Indonesia, may also be underestimating deaths from malaria. That means it could be killing many more than the WHO's official estimate of nearly 1 million people a year worldwide, suggesting more money should be spent to fight it."

Estimates of malaria deaths in India are based on death rates recorded in clinics. They are corrected in an attempt to account for people missed by the health system, but a new study by an international team of researchers has found that these numbers have been vastly underestimated. This is partly because so many cases never make it to a clinic and because these people are more likely to die than those that get medical help.

Senator Mam (video)

Gateway Pundit

Friday, October 22, 2010

TaxProf Blog: Rasmussen: Only 25% Prefer a Government With More Services, Higher Taxes

Not surprising:

TaxProf Blog: Rasmussen: Only 25% Prefer a Government With More Services, Higher Taxes: "Most voters (65%) say they prefer a government with fewer services and lower taxes rather than one with more services and higher taxes. A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that only 25% of Likely U.S. Voters favor a government with more services and higher taxes instead.

Consistent with past polling, most Republicans (86%) and the majority (77%) of voters not affiliated with either political party prefer a smaller government, while most Democrats (50%) favor a more active one. But nearly one-third (32%) of Democrats now like a government with fewer services and lower taxes."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

DeMint Threatens To Leave GOP If Agenda Is Not Limited Government

Hmm:

RealClearPolitics - Video - DeMint Threatens To Leave GOP If Agenda Is Not Limited Government: "'I don't want to be in Washington another six years and watch the Republican party betray the trust of the American people again. I mean, we had the White House. We had a majority in the House and the Senate. We voted for more spending and more earmarks. Most of our senior members seem to be focused on taking home the bacon. I'm not going to be in a Republican party like that and that's not what the Republican Party is across America,' Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) told FOX News."

New theory links depression to chronic brain inflammation

Interesting:

New theory links depression to chronic brain inflammation: "According to the new theory, severe stress and adverse life events, such as losing a job or family member, prompt neurobiological processes that physically alter the brain. Neurons change shape and connections. Some die, but others sprout as the brain rewires itself. This neural remodeling employs basic wound-healing mechanisms, which means it can be painful and occasionally incapacitating, even when it's going well."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Glenn Harlan Reynolds: Tea Party dominance was inevitable -- and I told you so | Washington Examiner

This pretty well sums it up:

Glenn Harlan Reynolds: Tea Party dominance was inevitable -- and I told you so | Washington Examiner: "For now, Republicans are (sort of) the beneficiaries. Though Tea Partiers aren’t happy with the GOP, they’re much less happy with the Democrats. In this election cycle, Republicans will benefit. But Tea Partiers are also taking over the GOP from the bottom up, running for precinct chairs and state committee seats.

This makes sense: There are barriers to entry for third parties, and it makes more sense to take over an existing party than to start from scratch, if that’s possible.

But those establishment GOP figures who think that they’ll cruise to victory and a return to the pocket-stuffing business-as-usual that marked the prior GOP majority need to think again. This election cycle is, in a very real sense, a last chance for the Republicans. If they blow it, we’re likely to see third-party challenges in 2012, not only at the Presidential level but in numerous Congressional races as well.

For the national GOP, it’s do-or-die time. So guys, you’d better perform -- unless you want me to be writing another “I told you so” column in 2013. And trust me, you don’t."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tea Party Rocks the Right and Left

Yep, they just don't get the tea party:

Commentary » Blog Archive » Tea Party Rocks the Right and Left: "One should never underestimate the historical illiteracy of the liberal intelligentsia. And it is also the case that the left did not merely misunderstand the Tea Party movement but actively distorted and vilified it. When unsubstantiated claims of “racism” start flying, you know the left is running scared. Certainly the Tea Party was the repudiation of the notion that the recession and the election of Obama had moved the country to the left. It simply couldn’t be that there was a broad and principled objection to this hypothesis. And when the rabble — that would be fellow citizens — showed again and again that the movement was genuine, determined, and deeply principled, the left had a collective meltdown, railing at the supposedly crazy citizenry."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Who Suffers From the Foreclosure Mess? Just About Everyone

Wow, I didn't realize it was this serious:

Who Suffers From the Foreclosure Mess? Just About Everyone - Megan McArdle - Business - The Atlantic: "Already, it's apparently impossible to sell a foreclosure--and people who have bought foreclosed homes are starting to sweat, wondering if they're going to get embroiled in a lawsuit. But what about short sales? Again, if a company doesn't have the authority to foreclose, it doesn't have the authority to authorize you to sell it for less than the value of the mortgage. Things seem cleaner with ordinary sales, but what if some other company comes out of the woodwork to claim that the note wasn't properly registered, and you paid the wrong guy? Does the lien go back on the house? Who owes the money?"

Friday, October 15, 2010

American Thinker: Faith and the Rescued Chilean Miners

Lesson to be learned from South America:

American Thinker: Faith and the Rescued Chilean Miners: "Chilean President Miguel Juan Sebastián Piñera Echenique, Ph.D, declared that what 'started as a possible tragedy' ended up 'as a real blessing from God.' Piñera, in contrast to American President Barack Obama's actions during the BP oil spill disaster in the United States, was intimately involved in the rescue operation. The Chilean president, his wife, and his top-level staff -- Mining Minister Laurence Golborne, Health Minister Jaime Manalich, and the engineer who coordinated the rescue, Andre Sougarret -- were visibly present and obviously competent throughout the crisis, informing and rallying the nation and declaring their commitment to the miners' rescue. Piñera said, 'It will take time, but it doesn't matter how long it takes to have a happy ending.' As 'experts' from around the world began second-guessing the Chilean plans, Golborne showed his competence: 'There is no need to try to start guessing what could go wrong. We have done that job, and we have hundreds of different contingencies.' One of the miners' relatives summarized the determination of the nation: 'This won't be a success,' she said, 'unless they all get out.'"

Xenophobia grows in Germany towards Turks, Arabs and Jews

I don't buy his entire premise but the rise of xenophobia is definitely on the rise:

Xenophobia grows in Germany towards Turks, Arabs and Jews: "From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, unfortunately none of this is a surprise. The survivors of WW II saw how 1930s xenophobia led to wars of extermination, and as long as they were in charge, xenophobic tendencies have been kept to a minimum. That’s why we would have seen very few of these tendencies in the 1990s. What we’re seeing today is truly remarkable — the rapid growth of xenophobia around the world, in many different forms, for the first time since the 1930s. The path to world war is becoming clearer and clearer."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Anatomy of Petulance

Change:

Works and Days » Anatomy of Petulance: "I was fascinated watching the recent Obama campaign stops, particularly the contrast with 2008. Gone are the faux columns and classical backdrops. There are no more vero possumus seals (now they fall off the podium). All pretense of “no more red states, no more blue states” nonpartisanship has long ago been dropped. Even the shrill, boilerplate evocation of “Bush-Cheney did it” sounds strained. The blatant divisive appeal to unions, young people, and “black folks” is now unapologetic. Them versus Us is the new theme. Gone is the pretense of inclusivity. Even the fainting now seems rigged rather than spontaneous, the faux cadences forced and more Rev. Wrightish rather than inspired. The eyes of the crowd roll, and have lost their glazed zombie look of 2008. It all reminds me of the failed comeback tour of the proverbial fading rock star, the desperate promos for the sinking supposed blockbuster Hollywood movie, or perhaps something akin to Jerry Ford’s WIN buttons or the Carter desk thump."

Few signs at tea party rally expressed racially charged anti-Obama themes

Confirmation of what we already knew:

Few signs at tea party rally expressed racially charged anti-Obama themes: "A new analysis of political signs displayed at a tea party rally in Washington last month reveals that the vast majority of activists expressed narrow concerns about the government's economic and spending policies and steered clear of the racially charged anti-Obama messages that have helped define some media coverage of such events."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Global warming fraud: the tide begins to turn

Read the whole thing. HT: Ken

Global warming fraud: the tide begins to turn – Telegraph Blogs: "The true hero of the hour is Professor Lewis for having the courage to stick out his neck and say what so many thousands of other scientists around the world would dearly love to say too: that the global warming industry is a scam and sham.

But they can’t because, like all of us, they have to make a living. I’ll leave it to a commenter called Scotchman to explain how it works:"

The Boycott We Need - Walter Russell Mead's Blog - The American Interest

This is a boycott I endorse:

The Boycott We Need - Walter Russell Mead's Blog - The American Interest: "Boycotts can be profoundly meaningful and morally compelling; they can also be pointless and trivial. But there is one boycott I wish would catch on among Hollywood actors, college activists and idealists of all ages: a boycott of the international industry in illegal drugs.

There is no commercial product widely consumed in the United States whose production, sale and distribution does more harm than the illegal drug industry. I am not referring to the harm that drug users do to themselves, or even the harm that the drug dependencies that so often grow from the use of illegal drugs do to the family and friends of the drug user."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Michael Totten » The Muslim Brotherhood’s Declaration of War

Hmm.

Michael Totten » The Muslim Brotherhood’s Declaration of War: "In August 1996, al-Qaida declared war on America, the West, Christians and Jews. Nobody important paid much attention to this. Almost exactly five years later, September 11 forced them to notice. Let it be said that in September 2010 the Muslim Brotherhood, a group with one hundred times more activists than al-Qaida, issued its declaration of war. What remains is the history of the future."

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Rise of Conservative Christian Women

True:

The Rise of Conservative Christian Women: "Like it or not, the rise of the evangelical women of the GOP signals a power shift that is here to stay. Evangelicalism shows no sign of flagging, culturally or politically, and women have a more prominent place in the evangelical firmament than ever. Whatever her faults as a politician, Sarah Palin has tapped into a formidable segment of the American electorate: conservative Christian women (along with legions of admiring evangelical men). She has also helped to dissolve remaining hesitations some evangelicals felt about the public role of women in American politics. The Left will no doubt successfully brand some of these candidates -- O'Donnell is the ripest target -- as 'extremists.' But these are candidates who represent the public faith of many average churchgoers, including tens of millions of American women."

Friday, October 08, 2010

Gary Hubbell: The Redneck tree hugger

Heh:

Gary Hubbell: The Redneck tree hugger | AspenTimes.com: "Barack Obama is the best thing that has happened to America in the last 100 years. Truly, he is the savior of America's future. He is the best thing ever.

Despite the fact that he has some of the lowest approval ratings among recent presidents, history will see Barack Obama as the source of America's resurrection. Barack Obama has plunged the country into levels of debt that we could not have previously imagined; his efforts to nationalize health care have been met with fierce resistance nationwide; TARP bailouts and stimulus spending have shown little positive effect on the national economy; unemployment is unacceptably high and looks to remain that way for most of a decade; legacy entitlement programs have ballooned to unsustainable levels, and there is a seething anger in the populace."

He Lives: Fundy Irony on Young earth creationism

This is something that comes up periodically. It is ironic that Scofield can no longer be "trusted".

He Lives: Fundy Irony: "So, back to the fundy churchs that demand fealty to both dispensationalism and YEC-ism.

What about the hero of dispensationalism, the undisputed heavyweight champion, C. I. Scofield? He needn't apply. Maybe the Methodists will take him. Why?

Because C. I. Scofield was an Old Earth Creationist.

It is interesting--dispensationalism is the only systematic theology developed in the scientific era. As such, Scofield was well aware of fact that geology teaches us that the earth is old. So he embedded a particular form of OEC into his notes: the gap theory. He taught of an unknowable (from scripture, at least) long period of time between the first verse of the bible and the second. When he picks it up in the second verse he sounds like a YEC--he taught literal 24-hour days and even included Bishop Usher's calculations (with the dreaded 4004 BC result) in his original notes. So many people think was a YEC. But he wasn't."

John Sweeney revisits the Church of Scientology

Very interesting:

BBC News - Panorama - John Sweeney revisits the Church of Scientology: "In 2007, while investigating the Church of Scientology for Panorama, reporter John Sweeney had a dramatic on-camera confrontation with a church spokesman named Tommy Davis. The church was accusing the reporter of bias and it attempted to stop the documentary from being broadcast - a campaign backed by Scientology A-lister John Travolta. Sweeney has returned to investigate the church again."

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Obama as Roman emperor -- the rise and fall of the propaganda master

Very interesting:

Obama as Roman emperor -- the rise and fall of the propaganda master - CSMonitor.com: "To understand Obama's fall, we must understand his rise; and to do that, we must look to ancient history. It was neither for his resume nor his policies that America fell in love with him. In fact, Obama's policy priorities have turned out to be quite unpopular.

It was instead by following the lead of Rome's greatest emperors that Obama won (temporarily) America's awe and devotion. This sort of ruler cult begins to crumble, of course, when the ruler is required to make decisions and take positions under unprecedented media scrutiny."

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Tax hikes to drive a second collapse?

Let's hope not:

Tax hikes to drive a second collapse? « Hot Air: "Congress left Washington without addressing the massive tax hikes that will come at the end of the year as the tax-rate reductions of 2001 and 2003 expire. Absent action on Capitol Hill, those increases will take $4 trillion out of the economy over the next ten years — and even if the lower tax bracket reductions get extended, $700 billion of capital will get redirected from the private sector to Washington. How will that impact economic growth in the US? Peter Ferrara argues that it will create not just a double-dip recession, but a second economic collapse — one worse than what we experienced in 2008."

Monday, October 04, 2010

British columnist: Sure, I’d put a pillow over my child’s face if it was “deeply suffering” « Hot Air

Lovely.

British columnist: Sure, I’d put a pillow over my child’s face if it was “deeply suffering” « Hot Air: "Miss Ironside said: ‘If a baby’s going to be born severely disabled or totally unwanted, surely an abortion is the act of a loving mother.’…

The writer said she recognised that disabled people could lead active and fulfilling lives.
But she said there were millions of disabled and unwanted children around the world who were left suffering in institutions.

‘To go ahead and have a baby, knowing that you can’t give it some kind of stable upbringing, seems to me to be cruel,’ she said."

To Cram or Not to Cram: 10 Recent Studies on Studying and What They Tell Us

Timely advice:

To Cram or Not to Cram: 10 Recent Studies on Studying and What They Tell Us: "“Sit up straight in a well-lit area with no distractions” is what we’re told when it’s time to prepare for that big exam, presentation, or similar task. But how well does that old chestnut work? With more sophisticated technology in their hands, scientists have been able to uncover new advances in the field of how people learn like never before.

For once, you can actually take a break from studying or preparing to actually read ten recent studies on studying and what they tell us. Conducted by scientists, universities, and international experts, “cram” is a word you may grow to love or hate."

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Video: Greta vs Gloria « Hot Air

This is good:

Video: Greta vs Gloria « Hot Air: "It’s every bit as good as rumored from the Twitter stream. Greta van Susteren calls Gloria Allred “insane” and “delusional,” and even gets Allred to admit at one point that her client, illegal immigrant Nicki Santillan, won’t ever end up in court on this complaint. Susteren calls Allred’s ethics into question for exposing the woman and her children — “putting a big neon sign” on them, in van Susteren’s words — for a case that Allred not only admits she can’t win but won’t even survive to an actual trial."

Friday, October 01, 2010

How Stuxnet is Scaring the Tech World Half to Death

Wow:

How Stuxnet is Scaring the Tech World Half to Death | The Weekly Standard: "The computer worm Stuxnet broke out of the tech underworld and into the mass media this week. It’s an amazing story: Stuxnet has infected roughly 45,000 computers. Sixty percent of these machines happen to be in Iran. Which is odd. What is odder still is that Stuxnet is designed specifically to attack a computer system using software from Siemens which controls industrial facilities such as factories, oil refineries, and oh, by the way, nuclear power plants. As you might imagine, Stuxnet raises big, interesting geo-strategic questions. Did a state design it as an attack on the Iranian nuclear program? Was it a private group of vigilantes? Some combination of the two? Or something else altogether?"

But it’s worth pausing to contemplate Stuxnet on its own terms, and understand why the tech nerds were so doomsday-ish about it in the first place. We should start at the beginning.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Great U-Turn - James C. Bennett

Very good:

The Great U-Turn - James C. Bennett - National Review Online: "Admirers and detractors of the United States agree on one point: This country is unusually resistant to the social consensus and set of structures broadly known as “social democracy” or “progressivism.” (Social democracy leans more toward state ownership, progressivism toward state regulation.) Various versions of such schemes have prevailed in Western Europe and Japan, and to a lesser degree in Britain, Canada, and Australia. The characteristics include a wider scope and role for the state, centralization of decision-making in a national bureaucracy, monopolization of power by a set of large institutions, including state-champion corporations and labor unions, and a wide variety of social entitlements for all citizens."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why the Stuxnet worm is like nothing seen before

Interesting, and a little scary:

Why the Stuxnet worm is like nothing seen before - tech - 27 September 2010 - New Scientist: "On 26 September, Iran's state news agency reported that computers at its Bushehr nuclear power plant had been infected by Stuxnet.

New Scientist explains the significance of the worm."

ARE MORMONS CHRISTIANS: Glenn Beck and that Question Again

This is a very good synopsis of the theological problems inherent in Glenn Becks understanding of God:

Parchment and Pen » ARE MORMONS CHRISTIANS 19: Glenn Beck and that Question Again: "Mormon doctrine in two minutes

The main objection to viewing Beck as an advocate for the gospel is that the theology of the LDS Church, of which Beck is a member, is radically incompatible with the biblical gospel. The divide between biblical teaching and Mormon doctrine is so wide that from an evangelical perspective Mormonism falls outside the circle of acceptable, authentic expressions of the Christian faith. The crucial problems with LDS doctrine that impinge directly on one’s view of Jesus Christ and the gospel include the following unbiblical claims:"

  • All human beings preexisted in heaven, where they were the offspring of heavenly parents (God the Father and a “heavenly mother”), before their natural conception here on earth.
  • Our Heavenly Father was a man who became a God—proving that we, too, can become gods.
  • Jesus Christ is the “firstborn” of God’s billions of spirit children and the first of those children to become a God.
  • As such, Christ is one of three Gods in the “Godhead,” as is the Holy Spirit, another of God’s spirit sons.
  • Christ is the “Only Begotten,” which means that he is the only human being whom God the Father literally begat in the flesh. God is Jesus’ literal father in the flesh (allowing Jesus to “inherit” some divine powers other humans do not have) and Mary is his literal mother.
  • Christ’s atonement guarantees immortal life in some heavenly kingdom to virtually all human beings, including those who willfully reject Christ.
  • Christ (and God the Father) appeared to Joseph Smith to tell him to join none of the churches because all of them were wrong and their creeds were an abomination.
  • Through Joseph Smith, God restored lost scriptures (e.g., the Book of Mormon) and inspired new ones (Doctrine & Covenants), from which Mormons learn the doctrines that set them apart from the rest of Christianity.
  • Christ organized the only true Church in these latter days with a hierarchical system of “priesthood authority” required to teach or baptize others.
  • Full forgiveness of sins and entrance into the highest heavenly kingdom, where God and Christ live, come to those who become members of the LDS Church, follow its teachings, and participate in its temple rituals, notably baptisms and other rites performed on behalf of the dead.
  • The ultimate goal of the gospel and of LDS religion is to become gods, with the same powers and potential as the Heavenly Father.

Monday, September 27, 2010

60% of Economists: Extend Bush Tax Cuts for Everyone

Hopefully someone's listening:

TaxProf Blog: 60% of Economists: Extend Bush Tax Cuts for Everyone: "[A] majority of a panel of leading economists surveyed by CNNMoney.com said that the tax cuts should be renewed for everyone."

Obama Justice Department Rocked

It's about time this is going mainstream:

Commentary » Blog Archive » Obama Justice Department Rocked: "The former head of the Justice Department’s New Black Panther trial team, Chris Coates, testified Friday before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. See here and here and here (subscription required). Before Coates broke his silence, the commission’s critics, a minority of the commissioners, and the mainstream media insisted that the dismissal of a slam-dunk voter-intimidation case had no significance beyond the single incident on Election Day 2008. However, Coates’s account of the administration’s hostility to race-neutral enforcement of voting laws and refusal to enforce Section 8 of the Voting Rights Act (requiring that states clean up their voting rolls to prevent voter fraud) blew that assertion to smithereens."

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Patriotism Falsely Impugned

Grayson is a real piece of work:

Patriotism Falsely Impugned | FactCheck.org: "Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida is falsely accusing his opponent of evading the Vietnam War draft, claiming 'he doesn’t love this country.'

Republican candidate Daniel Webster didn’t 'refuse the call to service,' as claimed in a vicious TV ad featuring pictures of military graves and the sound of 'Taps' being played on a bugle. In fact, the former Florida Senate majority leader was given routine student deferments until he completed his undergraduate degree. He then reported for a military physical and was disqualified for medical reasons."

Friday, September 24, 2010

Block-I chant portrays ‘neither patriotism nor remembrance’

A classic example of why the education bubble is long overdue. These are the kind of people teaching our kids in Universities, and they wonder why they aren't trusted.

Block-I chant portrays ‘neither patriotism nor remembrance’ | The Daily Illini: "The observance at Saturday’s football game was no different. A moment of silence was followed by a military airplane flyover; in between, Block-I students chanted “USA, USA.” This was neither patriotism nor remembrance in any justifiable sense, but politicization, militarism, propaganda and bellicosity. The University is a public institution that encompasses the political views of all, not just the most (falsely) “patriotic.” Athletic planners should cease such exploitation for political purposes. They might at least consider how most Muslim students, American or otherwise, would respond to this nativist display; or better, Muslims and others that live their lives under the threat of our planes, drones and soldiers.

The overwhelmingly white, privileged, Block-I students should be ashamed of their obnoxious, fake-macho, chicken-hawk chant, while poverty-drafted members of their cohort fight and die in illegal and immoral wars for the control of oil. University administrators need to eliminate from all events such “patriotic” observances, which in this country cannot be separated from implicit justifications for state-sponsored killing."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DISCLOSE vote will wait for high-dollar fundraiser

You can't make this up:

DISCLOSE vote will wait for high-dollar fundraiser - Ben Smith - POLITICO.com: "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just scheduled a vote on the DISCLOSE Act, which would force donors to publish their involvement in political ad campaigns, for Thursday.

Why not tomorrow, you might ask? Because there are no votes in the Senate scheduled for tomorrow. And that may be, in part, because there's something else going on tomorrow: A big New York fundraiser for the Senate Democrats."

Fundraiser: Jesse Jackson Jr offered Blagojevich millions for Obama’s Senate seat

Why am I not surprised:

Hot Air » Fundraiser: Jesse Jackson Jr offered Blagojevich millions for Obama’s Senate seat: "This would be the same Jesse Jackson Jr who was first identified almost two years ago in connection with pay for play vis-a-vis the appointment. A direct quote from the time: “It is impossible for someone on my behalf to have a conversation that would suggest any type of quid pro quo or any payments or offers. An impossiblity to an absolute certainty.” Not only that, but he then turned around and insisted — unconvincingly — that he was actually an informant in the case helping the feds to stamp out corruption. Now this."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Unions Find Members Slow to Rally Behind Democrats

This isn't surprising:

Unions Find Members Slow to Rally Behind Democrats - NYTimes.com: "Labor leaders, alarmed at a possible Republican takeover of one or both houses of Congress, promise to devote a record amount of money and manpower to helping Democrats stave off disaster. But political analysts, and union leaders themselves, say that their efforts may not be enough because union members, like other important parts of the Democratic base, are not feeling particularly enthusiastic about the party — a reality that, in turn, further dampens the Democrats’ chances of holding onto their Congressional majorities."

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Entitlement Bubble: The Bust Is Going to Be a Nightmare

Very interesting:

The Entitlement Bubble: The Bust Is Going to Be a Nightmare - Exchequer - National Review Online: "In the course of arguing that our real national debt is around $130 trillion — as opposed to the official number of $14.7 trillion — I have frequently encountered the argument that I’m wrong to include unfunded entitlement liabilities in the total. Here’s a typical example from the comments to this post:

Kevin Williamson, expected spending 75 years in the future, based on current policies and projects that are certain to change anyway, is NOT debt. No amount of calling it “debt” or calling it “our REAL debt” changes that fact. Project funding gaps are not debt. DEBT is debt.

About that, a few things.

The first and most obvious thing is that in much of the real world, liabilities of that type are defined as debt, as your favorite corporate accountant will tell you. One of the reasons that American companies started filing all those unhappy financial restatements after the passage of Obamacare was that they had a whole lot of new, measurable, real-world financial liabilities, and they are obliged to include those in their disclosures."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Something-for-nothing Quandary

Hmm...

The Something-for-nothing Quandary | Cato @ Liberty: "Most of the debate over extending the Bush tax cuts has focused on whether to extend slightly lower marginal rates for higher earners who already bear a huge burden. But at the other end of the income spectrum, a growing share of Americans don’t pay income taxes. Indeed, the Bush tax cuts increased the share of U.S. households that pay no income taxes.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Efforts to tame America’s ballooning budget deficit could soon confront a daunting reality: Nearly half of all Americans live in a household in which someone receives government benefits, more than at any time in history.

At the same time, the fraction of American households not paying federal income taxes has also grown—to an estimated 45% in 2010, from 39% five years ago, according to the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research organization.

A little more than half don’t earn enough to be taxed; the rest take so many credits and deductions they don’t owe anything. Most still get hit with Medicare and Social Security payroll taxes, but 13% of all U.S. households pay neither federal income nor payroll taxes."

The Fleming Health Care Repeal Update

It's starting:

The Fleming Health Care Repeal Update: "Earlier this month, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) (an independent and nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress) issued a report finding that the Administration’s Medicare mailer, which cost American taxpayers almost $20 million, inaccurately claimed that the new health care law would not negatively impact seniors’ benefits. Specifically, the GAO found that '[T]he brochure overstates some of [health care reforms’] benefits” (emphasis added).

For example, the mailer promises seniors that the new health care reform “will provide you and your family greater savings and increased quality health care.”

Instead, the GAO found:

* “In our view, the brochure presents a picture of [the new reform law] that is not universally shared. For example, two government analyses have determined that [the health care reform law] reductions in funding for Medicare Advantage may decrease enrollment and result in less generous benefit packages,” and “…significant increases in premiums for some beneficiaries may be necessary” [emphasis added]."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Assemblies of God Denomination Responds . . . but What Does It Really Mean? - Persevero!

More Ken Ham. I probably shouldn't be linking to him, oh well. I must say that the more he argues the better the AOG position appears. I am always suspect when someone becomes so enamored with their own pet theology they lose sight of the really important things for the Christian...

Assemblies of God Denomination Responds . . . but What Does It Really Mean? - Persevero!: "Recently, I wrote a blog post in which I detailed what I declared was a change that had occurred in the Assemblies of God (AG) denomination’s “Doctrine of Creation” statement. Last month, AG, based in Springfield, Missouri, released this document as an update of its 1977 creation statement.

For reference purposes, here are the two official AG position papers:

* http://ag.org/top/beliefs/Position_Papers/pp_downloads/PP_The_Doctrine_of_Creation.pdf (2010 statement)
* http://ag.org/top/beliefs/position_papers/pp_downloads/pp_4177_creation.pdf (1977 statement)

In my blog post, I claimed the following:"

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Obama Is Borrrring!

Yep:

Commentary » Blog Archive » Obama Is Borrrring!: "Obama’s public persona is so predictable and his image so overexposed that even the left is over him. He’s gone from fascinating and cool to a crashing bore in less than two years. Greg Sargent: “Seems the consensus is that Obama’s presser [Friday] was way too boring, substantive and unemotional to produce an abrupt and massive enough turnaround in the polls to guarantee in advance that Dems hold their majority.” Ditto, hisses Maureen Dowd: “How did the first president of color become so colorless?” Well, he ran out of catchphrases and revealed himself to be less articulate than George Bush."

Americans have good reason not to believe in Obamanomics

Read the whole thing:

George F. Will - Americans have good reason not to believe in Obamanomics: "Looking back with pride, the British are commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, when Churchill said of the pilots fighting the Luftwaffe: Never 'was so much owed by so many to so few.' Looking ahead with trepidation, Americans are thinking: Never have so many of us owed so much."

Thursday, September 09, 2010

A Sad Day for the Assemblies of God Denomination

Contrary to what Ken Ham may think the new position put out by the A/G is balanced and I believe correct. I'm always amazed by those Christians that seem to equate a young earth literal creation with salvation. The two do not go hand in hand.

A Sad Day for the Assemblies of God Denomination | Around the World with Ken Ham: "The general presbytery of the Assemblies of God (AOG) denomination, in session August 9–11, 2010, adopted a revised statement on “The Doctrine of Creation.” Here is an excerpt from the official AOG position paper, that opens the door to evolution and millions of years, and the various compromise positions on Genesis held by some in the church (such as gap theory, day age, progressive creation, theistic evolution, etc):"

The advance of scientific research, particularly in the last few centuries, has raised many questions about the interpretation of the Genesis accounts of creation. In attempting to reconcile the Bible and the theories and conclusions of contemporary scientists, it should be remembered that the creation accounts do not give precise details as to how God went about His creative activity. Nor do these accounts provide us with complete chronologies that enable us to date with precision the time of the various stages of creation. Similarly, the findings of science are constantly expanding; the accepted theories of one generation are often revised in the next.
As a result, equally devout Christian believers have formed very different opinions about the age of the earth, the age of humankind, and the ways in which God went about the creative processes. Given the limited information available in Scripture, it does not seem wise to be overly dogmatic about any particular creation theory.
Whatever creation theory we individually may prefer, we must affirm that the entire creation has been brought into being by the design and activity of the Triune God. Moreover, we also affirm that the New Testament treats the creation and fall of Adam and Eve as historical events in which the Creator is especially involved. We urge all sincere and conscientious believers to adhere to what the Bible plainly teaches and to avoid divisiveness over debatable theories of creation. (“The Doctrine of Creation,” 2010, http://ag.org/top/beliefs/Position_Papers/pp_downloads/PP_The_Doctrine_of_Creation.pdf)
Update:  Rusty has a good post delving into the fallacy of Ham's position.