Wednesday, September 30, 2009

 

Thought of the Day

So it would have been OK if Manson skipped out and never served time for Sharon Tate’s murder? After all, he was a songwriter? Doesn’t that make him an artist?

commenter jls here

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Even More on Polanski

Here is a good article by Steve Lopez on the Polanski crime, in the LA Times recently. It is a good account of the background and I think it is part of the growing backlash against the liberals who believe protection of a member of their artistic elite trumps the common decency to recognize a real crime when shown it.

Here is the money quote:

There's little question that this case was mishandled in many ways. According to a recent documentary, the now-deceased judge inappropriately discussed sentencing with a prosecutor who wasn't working the case. And Polanski's lawyers allege that the director fled only because he believed the judge would cave under public pressure and renege on a promise that he would serve no more time.

Regardless of whether there was such a deal, Polanski had not yet been sentenced, and under state law at the time, he could have been sent away for many years. Does anyone really believe 42 days was an appropriate penalty given the nature of the case?

Yes, Polanski has known great tragedy, having survived the Holocaust and having lost his wife, Sharon Tate and their unborn son, to the insanity of the Charles Manson cult.But that has no bearing on the crime in question.

His victim, who settled a civil case against Polanski for an unspecified amount, said she does not want the man who forced himself on her to serve additional time.

That's big-hearted of her but also irrelevant, and so is the fact that the victim had admitted to having sex with a boyfriend before meeting Polanski.

Polanski stood in a Santa Monica courtroom on Aug. 8, 1977, admitted to having his way with a girl three decades his junior and told a judge that indeed, he knew she was only 13.

There may well have been judicial misconduct.

But no misconduct was greater than allowing Polanski to cop a plea to the least of his charges. His crime was graphic, manipulative and heinous, and he got a pass. It's unbelievable, really, that his soft-headed apologists are rooting for him to get another one.


And my two cents:

Because there was no sentence, there was no judicial misconduct. Talking about the alleged bad conduct of the now dead judge is merely a rationalization for Polanski's fleeing the jurisdiction after pleading guilty. That judge won't be involved in any sentence Polanski is given. Death cured any defect. Polanski was told the range of the sentence he could receive. He, I believe, was also told that the Judge would impose the sentence he felt was appropriate. (I believe this based on slightly sketchy contemporary accounts and because I have helped take the pleas of thousands of defendants and that's what we did). Now, if the Judge was going to renege on a specific promise, made to Polanski, regarding the length of the sentence he would receive, and give Polanski more time, then the Judge would have had to allow Polanski to withdraw the plea. Otherwise Polanski could have successfully appealed the sentence and withdrawn his plea. What I believe is that the prosecutor agreed to make the recommendation for a very light sentence (in order to sell the deal to Polanski to avoid the supposed trauma to the victim from testifying) but it was merely a recommendation and if the Judge rejected it and imposed at sentencing a number of years, for example, Polanski would have had no chance of withdrawing his plea. (Look at the trouble Senator Craig (R-ID) had trying to withdraw his plea in Minnesota. He never got it withdrawn). So faced with the possibility of a failed gamble that he'd get only 42 days in the prison diagnostic center, Polanski refused to try to withdraw his plea and refused to be sentenced. He fled to a long time of self-imposed exile (in Paris--poor baby). His rejection of the remedies the legal system afforded him was solely the decision of Polanski. Now his arrest for fleeing the system has perhaps put an end to that exile.

He's had his dance, time to pay the piper.

UPDATE: Here is a list of people who support Polanski. No real surprises.

UPDATE 2: I believe I'm right about the plea, there was a promise of recommendation of little jail time if any but an understanding by Polanski that the Judge would do what he wanted up to the maximum allowed by law. My source? Not, unfortunately the NYT, but a left-wing journalist, Gerald Posner, who gets the facts right but doesn't know the justice system well enough to draw the right conclusions. Behold:


At his 1977 hearing, the prosecutor asked Polanski if he understood that if he pleaded guilty, he could be sentenced from probation to 15 to 20 years in state prison. Polanski said yes. And since the victim was under 14, California law required that mentally disordered sex offender proceedings be commenced to determine whether Polanski should be sent to a “state hospital for an indeterminate amount of time.” Polanski acknowledged he understood this, and that only the judge, Laurence Rittenband, could determine his ultimate sentence. Finally, the prosecutors asked Polanski if he understood that since he was not a U.S. citizen, the immigration service could deport him and bar him from re-entry as an undesirable alien. He again said yes.

"The district attorney will make a motion to dismiss the remaining pending charges after sentencing,” said Assistant District Attorney Roger Gunson. “Other than that promise, has anyone made any promises to you, such as a lesser sentence or probation, or any reward?”

“No.”


This is precisely the language prosecutors use to take a plea. These paragraphs have the ring of truth to me beyond the quote marks that Posner uses. And so Polanski acted rationally when he committed the crime of flight to avoid the sentence above the ADA's recommendation which he feared he would get. It is also pretty clear that he will never be able to withdraw his plea and, if he gets back to LA, he will be sentenced at a time when we are much harsher on child rapists than we used to be.

He'll always have Paris, though.

Oh, Posner writes about Polanski's answer to the last question above:


Of course that was a lie. The promise made to Polanski was that if he pleaded guilty he would walk free after his mandatory mental evaluation. In September, the judge ordered Polanski to jail for a 90-day psychiatric study. He spent 42 days in Chino State Prison for those tests, which also were favorable and recommended probation.

What is it about the charge of lie with lefties? The prosecutor could have said that he would recommend probation after the 90 day evaluation or he could have said that he would go with the Probation Department's recommendation. He could not promise the Judge would only give Polanski the 90 days and he did not. He probably was perfectly willing to make the lenient recommendation up to the time Polanski ran away to Paris. Polanski doesn't get to complain about the ADA's actions here. He doesn't get to complain about the dead judge's actions either for the obvious reason that the dead judge won't be sentencing Polanski if he ever gets back to LA--an option looking a little more likely today.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

 

I'm Digging a Hole Where My Integrity Was

Anne Applebaum breaks the first rule of ethical crises by continuing to try to defend her indefensible, HUGE conflict of interest. In this instance she feigns ignorance. It was a plausible defense, for sure.

Applebaum is a child rape apologist for film director Roman Polanski who, in 1978, fled the United States after pleading out in a real rape case to statutory rape (the victim was 13). Aplebaum called the recent arrest of Polanski outrageous and said he had been punished enough by his European self imposed exile. She failed to mention that her husband is the Polish Foreign Minister spear-heading an effort to have the plea withdrawn and the charge against Mr. Polanski dropped. Must have slipped her mind.

Today, after mentioning she disclosed her husband's title in a post she wrote days before, she writes:

I will also note that at the time I wrote the blog item, I had no idea that the Polish government would or could lobby for Polanski's release, as I am in Budapest and my husband is in Africa. (My editors later added a link to a news story that mentioned him.) The implication, in any case, that I am a spokesman for my husband --while not quite as offensive as the implication that my daughter should be raped -- is offensive nevertheless.

So, she's nearly totally incommunicado in Budapest, where she became immediately aware of Polanski's arrest, just as quickly wrote and published her blog piece in the Washington times, but did not read anything else, including the article she says her editor linked to (more on that later) and she certainly did not have any contact with her husband who is nearly completely incommunicado in Africa from where he is able to get his reactions to the arrest out to the World Press but is unable to contact his wife who is writing in a sort of self-imposed factual vacuum regarding the case.

Tough to believe and if true, it doesn't show Ms. Applebaum in a good light, although it does explain her lack of knowledge about some of the essential facts of Polanski's case she demonstrated throughout the original piece.

Here is what the linked piece in her original piece said four paragraphs in:

Polanski also received support from Poland, where he moved as a toddler and avoided capture by the Nazis, who put his mother to death in a concentration camp. "I am considering approaching the American authorities over the possibility of the U.S. president proclaiming an act of clemency, which would settle the matter once and for all," said Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, according to the PAP news agency.
The quote is from the Washington Post, the paper for which Ms. Applebaum works and to whom she was somehow able to send her writing from the apparent communications black hole of Budapest. Radoslaw Sikorski is her husband.

Ms Applebaum takes offense that we, who note the conflict of interest she was silent about, are thinking of her as a spokesman for her husband. We think no such thing, Ms. Applebaum, so spare us the sense of outrage. What we think is that you have a HUGE conflict of interest in publishing your uninformed opinion in the Washington Post which conflict you failed to mention. We think undisclosed HUGE conflicts of interest make us think less of the journalist who fail to disclose them and it bleeds into a growing contempt for all journalists. Journalists used to get fired for incompetence and undisclosed conflicts of interest. Ms. Applebaum is probably safe.

So now, instead of thinking Ms. Applebaum is a sloppy researcher and writer without a reliable ethical compass, I think she is just a liar, as well as a sloppy researcher and writer without a reliable ethical compass. Not that I ever read or thought of her much at all.

UPDATE: Applebaum and the Washington Post continue to shred what's left of the their crediblity by changing the post after it was first published without acknowledging the change. That's positively Orwellian. Why do I say this. Here is what she originally wrote, according to Patterico:

Also, when I wrote the blog I had no idea that my husband, who is in Africa, would, or could do anything about it, as Polanski is not a Polish citizen.

Now it reads thus:
I will also note that at the time I wrote the blog item, I had no idea that the Polish government would or could lobby for Polanski's release, as I am in Budapest and my husband is in Africa. (My editors later added a link to a news story that mentioned him.) The implication, in any case, that I am a spokesman for my husband --while not quite as offensive as the implication that my daughter should be raped -- is offensive nevertheless.
So she hears the criticism of the original response and changes her response to meet it retroactively. Nice trick if you can get away with it.

And of course Polanski, born of Polish parents, is indeed a Polish citizen. Anne gets the basic facts wrong yet again. It's getting a little tedious.

UPDATE 2: Applebaum is solidly anti-Comunist and generally right thinking at least about foreign policy. I don't know her work at all. I don't take back a thing I've written; this information just makes her actions regarding her pro-Polanski posting and response posting all the sadder.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

 

Part of What's Wrong With the Media

Here is what Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum says about the recent arrest of fugitive-from-justice film director Roman Polanski. She calls it outrageous. Money quote:
Polanski's crime -- statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl -- was committed in 1977. The girl, now 45, has said more than once that she forgives him, that she can live with the memory, that she does not want him to be put back in court or in jail, and that a new trial will hurt her husband and children. There is evidence of judicial misconduct in the original trial. There is evidence that Polanski did not know her real age. Polanski, who panicked and fled the U.S. during that trial, has been pursued by this case for 30 years, during which time he has never returned to America, has never returned to the United Kingdom., has avoided many other countries, and has never been convicted of anything else.
Much of what she says is untrue. His crime was real rape and sodomy, not just statutory rape. In other words, the drugged 13-year old did not consent and made her lack of consent known.

There was no trial and there almost certainly won't be in the future because Polanski pled out to the least of the charges--statutory rape. In other words, he admitted in open court, knowing it could get him 50 years in prison, that he had sex with a girl too young to be able to give consent when he knew that she was too young,

There is no evidence of judicial misconduct: No plea bargain binds a judge's hands. The judge can always reject it in the whole, or can not go with a recommended sentence if the judge doesn't think justice will be served by the agreement. Polanski was told all this at the time he entered his plea. Applebaum is alluding to the HBO special about Polanski which was shameless in its one-sidedness. There was no trial. Polanski received the favorable treatment celebrities in Hollywood often receive. His civil rights vis a vis the justice system were never abridged.

There was evidence that Polanski did not know her real age? Yeah, Polanski saying so on TV (I remember seeing it in 1977) "She was a woman" Oh right, many people mistake 13 year olds for 18 year olds, so few changes take place in that 5 years. Oh and in the same breath that Polanksi falsely stated that he could not tell her age (false because he was getting permission from her mother to take photographs of her and admitted he knew she was underage) he was also saying "she was willing" when she was not willing, particularly regarding the anal sex.

Polanski didn't panic. He fled from the jurisdiction to avoid jail time and went to France from whence he knew he would never be deported. That is logic, not panic. There was no trial.

He's never been convicted of anything else. True enough, but let's look at the relative ages of some of the women we know Polanski has had sex with:

Nastasia Kinsky 15--Polanski 41
Emmanuel Seigner (now his wife) 20--Polanski 54

He still liked them pretty young even after his arrest, but was in places where such an age difference was not merely not a crime, but no big deal. Not the ringing endorsement, perhaps, Ms. Applebaum was hoping for.

So all in all not a completely accurate or fair representation of the facts. Biased towards the long suffering artist. Child molester, schmild molester she seems to be saying. Polanski could have moved to have the plea withdrawn had he been unfairly treated. He fled the jurisdiction instead.

Oh, and Applebaum has a huge, no, let me write that more accurately, HUGE conflict of interest which she fails to reveal. Not only the French but the Poles want the whole thing over and the Polish government has been working to get the plea withdrawn and the charges dismissed. Applebaum is married to the Foreign Minister for Poland.

People are turning off the alphabet news broadcasts in droves and the papers are losing readership and profitability at an alarming rate. The journalists don't appear to know why.

This is why.

Oh, and Roman, love your movies, particularly Cul-de-Sac, Macbeth and Chinatown, but time to face the music there, kitty kat.

More here.

UPDATE: Is there a single child rape apologist on the right? Is there a single left winger saying he must face his sentencing, and about time too? This is a political blog, after all.

UPDATE: Kate Harding at the left wing site Salon, speaks truth to Leftie power. Well done.

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Son of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to Bring Down Democrats

President Clinton is a skirt chaser and probably has been since puberty. His wife of several decades, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was certainly aware of her husband's serial betrayals of her. For several months between November 1995 and March 1997, President Clinton had an affair with intern Monica Lewinsky. Apparently it involved only fellatio and not intercourse. Clinton, as was his wont, denied it, but there are Democrats who say that no one believed him, most notably his long suffering wife, Hillary. Despite her near moral certainty that her husband had indeed had sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky, Hillary went on the Today show and, after admitting that if the allegations regarding Lewinsky were true, it would be bad for Bill and his party, she denied that her husband had had sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky. Worse, she made up, out of whole cloth, the existence of what she called "a vast right-wing conspiracy" out to get her husband, who were making up these "false" allegations which in fact were true and which, I believe, she knew were true at the time she first used the term.

Hillary Clinton's claim was absurd on its face. We Right-wingers were opposed to President Clinton for our own uncoordinated reasons and we were opposing Clinton right out there in the open. 'Vast' and 'conspiracy' were laughably wrong. No one was making up that Clinton had sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.

And the term became, at least among the Republicans, both a badge of honor and the butt of jokes made at Hillary's expense. Vast right-wing conspiracy became a joke on its fabricator, as was appropriate.

So it was very interesting what President Clinton said recently on TV when asked whether the vast right wing conspiracy still existed:


You bet. Sure it is. It's not as strong as it was because America has changed demographically. But it's as virulent as it was....their agenda seems to be wanting him to fail.

La plus ça change...

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

 

Roman Polanski Miscalculates

The news is that noted (and really good) film director Roman Polanski is under arrest in Switzerland and could be extradited back to the United States to face punishment for his admitted, real rape (not just statutory) and sodomy of a 13 year old in 1977.

You see, Polanski was safe in France, where he was born of Polish parents, which will not extradite its citizens, at least those with artistic merit, for mere sex crimes outside France. But the Swiss don't have any ties to him and, in truth, they are a little more Germanic in their respect for and adherence to the law. I don't know if Polanski had gone to Switzerland before, but he did so apparently at his peril.

The guy, as a homeless child, survived the Holocaust in Poland, where his mother died in Auschwitz, and decades later had his beautiful wife and unborn son slaughtered by the Manson crazies (one of the actual knife wielders died in prison just this past week, may she burn in hell forever). He's made some great movies. You want to cut him some slack

But it was a 13 year old girl, saying no, don't do that to me. Over and over and over.

Time to face the music, pal.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

 

Thought of the Day

A few nations walked out during Ahmadinejad’s rant, but most delegates stayed glued to their seats. Russia and China — the former recently appeased by the missile deal, the latter recently rebuffed with the tire tariff — are flush with cash and enjoy the notion that Iran bothers us more than it does them; they have not yet been hope-and-changed into helping Obama with his grand vision on the grounds that he is not Bush. Some look at our president and see a messiah; these two see a rookie in charge of a now-bankrupt country with $2-trillion-a-year deficits that is unsure what to do in two wars and in dire need of both imported oil and trillions in cash.

Victor Davis Hanson

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The No Energy Economy

In a hopeful sign, some in the Democratic party seem to be waking up to the fact that natural gas, although a fossil fuel, is much cleaner burning than coal, and is plentiful here; and, right now, it's pretty darn cheap. That's good news amid the bad about Iran and a new Mid East Embargo. The best fuel for an oil deprived future is uranium, but because of some social psychosis (and our government's inexplicable policy against reprocessing spent fuel) that's not in our near future. Big dams are definitely out of favor (and few sites exist for them anyway). So, if we're to save the planet from the wholly imaginary CO2 thermageddon, all the arrows we have in our quiver are wind and solar.

I'm sorry to slight the algae growers and the drillers for planetary heat, but to do more than just mention them here would be like discussing The Godfather and spending all the time on the guy who played the toll booth collector where Sonny got whacked (played by Merril E. Joels, by the way), they are that inconsequential (as are the other brewers of bio-diesel, the generators of methane, and the exploiters of the tides).

As you can see in the pie chart to the left, the World renewables, excluding hydroelectric generation, is a mere 3%. That's not a lot. If you were to equate that to the 98 yards of The Drive against Cleveland, it would be less than 3 yards, sort of like a minor gain.

But how much of the 3% is solar and how much is wind. The figures are a little different for the United States versus the World, but the federal government keeps track of those figures as well, as the pie chart below shows.




Solar energy is 1% of 7% or .07%. That's really tiny, less than 2.5 inches of The Drive. Wind is more with 7% of 7% or .49%, just over 17 and a quarter inches.

The President and the Governor of Colorado are all excited about getting rid of the non renewables, that is, oil, natural gas, coal and nukes, and going on with just renewables alone. They call this The New Energy Economy. Do you really think that, nearly alone, windmills and solar panels are going to provide us with the energy we need?

Let's say a miracle happened and solar and wind were overnight increased by 100 times. That's not possible--it won't be possible to increase them by a factor of 10 by the year 2020--but let's play the same sort of pretend game they do. Solar would then provide (if my math is right, which is suspect) 7% of what we need and wind would supply 49%. Except at night and when the wind didn't blow or blew too hard. 56% is obviously not 100%; the main sources of the New Energy Economy would not provide much more than half of what we use today. And our power needs are expanding. By 2020 we will need to produce 32% more electricity, for example, to avoid brown and black outs (sorry for the unavoidable, unconscious racism in those terms). If solar and wind can't catch up to our current needs with a miracle, there's just no chance when the target is steadily moving away.

Our governor and a former Senator, now Secretary of the Interior, have individually taken steps to lock up the oil, gas and kerogen in this state so we can't use it. They offer us windmills and solar arrays instead.

Welcome to the No Energy Economy.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

 

This Is the Would Be Dictator Obama Backs


What a loony! and by definition, I hope, a loser, the former President of Honduras Manuel Zelaya who lounging on chairs in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, attended by tens of supporters, said the following in serial interviews recently:

...he claims his throat is sore from toxic gases and "Israeli mercenaries'' are torturing him with high-frequency radiation.

"We are being threatened with death,'' he said in an interview with The Miami Herald, adding that mercenaries were likely to storm the embassy where he has been holed up since Monday and assassinate him.

That's right. The guy the Obama Administration backs is fantasizing about being killed by Jews.
We are lengthening the semi-crisis by backing the wrong guy and hinting that we won't recognize the November elections (in which Zelaya would not have participated, as you only get one term in Honduras as president).

This must be some of that smart diplomacy we were hearing about recently.

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Good Points

Here is a down to Earth, little room for spin, assessment from James Delingpole, of the current state of Warmie anti-AGW campaign. Their current state is not pretty, thank the Lord. Money quotes:
Three months to go until the UN climate summit in Copenhagen. Three months in which we will be repeatedly assured by climate fear promoters such as Al Gore, George Monbiot, Ed Miliband and the risible Ban Ki-moon that this really is absolutely, definitely, totally and irrevocably the very last chance the world’s leaders will have to save the planet from ManBearPig.

(Just like they said at Rio and Poznan and all the other “let’s see who can rack up the biggest carbon footprint” global shindigs that eco-campaigners insist on staging, the better to stoke up their self-flagellatory eco-guilt).

But, for the global warming deniers among us at least, the panic’s off. Nothing scary or dangerous is going to happen as a result of the Copenhagen summit.
And why are the Deniers all happy and smug?
Here are few reasons why:

1. A bit like one of those mutant pandas I mentioned yesterday, the science has turned viciously against the warmists. Not that it wasn’t against them before. But they have their work seriously cut out if they’re ever going to recover from the speech given at the UN world climate conference in Geneva last week by Professor Mojib Latif of Germany’s Leibniz institute.

National Post columnist Lorne Gunter explains:

“Latif is one of the leading climate modellers in the world. He is the recipient of several international climate-study prizes and a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He has contributed significantly to the IPCC’s last two five-year reports that have stated unequivocally that man-made greenhouse emissions are causing the planet to warm dangerously.”

Yet in Geneva, Latif was forced to admit that all those An-Inconvenient-Truth-style fantasy projections showing global temperatures rising inexorably with C02 levels were wrong. The world is getting cooler, not warming. It will continue to cool, Latif reckons, till 2020 or possibly 2030. By how much he doesn’t know: “The jury is still out.”

Which begs the rather obvious question: if the IPCC’s doomsday computer models didn’t predict this cooling phase, how can we be sufficiently confident in their other assertions to start basing major economic and social policy decisions on them?
And it just keeps getting better and better from there.

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Disaster at the United Nations

There was a whole lot not to like about the President's speech yesterday before the UN, and better minds than mine have taken President Obama to task for some of his worst excesses. I think the silver lining* one could see is that the President revealed some of his core beliefs, clearly visible among the pathological narcissism, the historical ignorance, and general disdain for the country of which he is the Commander in Chief. That's part of why it was a disaster. But I just want to talk about one subject, Israel. Here is what the President said:


We continue to call on Palestinians to end incitement against Israel, and we continue to emphasize that America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.
The time has come to re-launch negotiations - without preconditions - that address the permanent-status issues: security for Israelis and Palestinians; borders, refugees and Jerusalem. The goal is clear: two states living side by side in peace and security - a Jewish State of Israel, with true security for all Israelis; and a viable, independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967, and realizes the potential of the Palestinian people.
Let's start with the obvious. Israel is a staunch, long term ally, one of our very few in the Middle East. Israel is one of the few democracies in the Middle East. Israel gives equal civil and political rights to Palestinian and Arab citizens of Israel. The Palestinians, on the other hand, have sporadic elections at best and insist that the territory they inhabit must be Judenrein. Israel has been attacked several times during its 61 year existence and has been successful in defense each time and has, as a result of these serial attacks on them, taken over land from the attacking nations, from Egypt, Jordan and Syria, much of which has already been returned. Egypt didn't want Gaza back, and recently Israel has unilaterally withdrawn therefrom, even forcibly removing long time Jewish residents so it could be the required Jew free Palestinian territory. That's a short primer of accurate history.

...America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.

We don't accept as legitimate the 40 year settlements in the West Bank? I do. I believe there are millions of Americans who do. Our President supports ethnic cleansing of the West Bank. We Americans do too? Really? I don't.

...re-launch negotiations - without preconditions - that address the permanent-status issues:

No preconditions? Not even a precondition that the leadership organizations, Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank, accept Israel's right even to exist? It seems that without that small precondition, any discussion of peace vis a vis Israel's security is a complete waste of breath.

...a viable, independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory...

Wait, Gaza is on the Mediterranean coast and the West Bank is east of the Jordan River with all of Israel in between. How can a reconstituted Palestine possibly have contiguous territory with-out bisecting Israel?

...that ends the occupation that began in 1967...

Wait, the Egyptians seized the Gaza strip and the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan seized the West Bank in the 40s. That was a near 20 year occupation. Then these occupiers of so called Palestinian territory attacked Israel in 1967, and lost big time. Israel ended up in control of the territory at the end of a successful defensive war. Occupation is the wrong word. Here's more history. Japan attacked us in WWII, we fought back, won and had troops in Japan as of September, 1945 and for years after. Had we conquered Japan? Did we occupy it? Japan occupied the Philippines for more than 3 years after its troops invaded and conquered it. We liberated the Philippines from the Japanese occupation and had troops there. We did not occupy it. That's not the right word. It's not the right word for us in Japan post 1945 and it's not the right word for Israel winning territory from actual occupiers in a defensive war. And is the President insisting that Israel retreat to the less secure borders that existed in 1967? Sure sounds like it...that's not working for the security interests of our ally Israel.

President Obama went out of his way to disparage our ally Israel. It was a stark contrast to his silence on the actual torture and political murder of citizens of Iran and North Korea, for example. He ignores the tiny fact that Hamas, specifically, and the Palestinian people overwhelmingly don't want a two state solution. They want a one state solution--Palestine, a Judenrein Palestine east of the Jordan River to the sea. President Obama trots out the very tired, never happen Middle East Peace negotiations--but with a worse starting point and a worse end point for our ally, the praiseworthy Israel.

Good luck with that, Commander in Speech.

*Silver lining for Republicans and the rapidly wising-up Independents.

 

Nazis Invade the Soviet Union

This news, Acorn suing the secret tapers, is on the same order of the magnitude of the mistake made by Adolf Hitler in 1941, not that Acorn's decision will kill millions of people, bring suffering to tens of millions more, and embroil Germany in the dreaded, fatal two front war. But Acorn will have to give up in discovery a lot of things the organization would not otherwise willingly reveal. The lawsuit will give the very damaging undercover tapes news-story legs the tapes would not otherwise have. Even the President is pretending not to know who Acorn is. This won't bring them running back.

Acorn will eventually rue the day this decision was made.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

 

More Evidence of Liberal Dissembling and Projection

Remember when all the Democrats opposed the Iraq War right after it became difficult--What did they say? Afghanistan was the real war, the Good War, the central front, the necessary war where we should have put all our efforts. President Obama has said just those things even recently. See here.
So I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future. That's the goal that must be achieved. That is a cause that could not be more just. And to the terrorists who oppose us, my message is the same: We will defeat you.
Well, as we on the right wing suspected, it was all a ploy, a front for making political points and pretending to be butch and patriotic. But don't let me put words in their mouths. Here is the quote of the day from the left wing site Hullabaloo via Ace of Spades.
Escalation is a bad idea. The Democrats backed themselves into defending the idea of Afghanistan being The Good War because they felt they needed to prove their macho bonafides they called for withdrawal from Iraq. Nobody asked too many questions sat the time, including me. But none of us should forget that it was a political strategy, not a serious foreign policy.

There have been many campaign promises "adjusted" since the election. There is no reason that the administration should feel any more bound to what they said about this than all the other committments [sic] it has blithely turned aside in the interest of "pragmatism."

Here is what Ace said:

But none of us should forget that it was a political strategy, not a serious foreign policy.

You claimed to support a war in which American soldiers were fighting and dying, leaving friends and limbs on the battlefield, as a cynical political strategy?

You... um... voiced support of a real serious-as-death war to cadge votes out of a duped public?

We won't forget, champ. And we won't let you forget, either.

Again we see a leftist projecting his pathological darkness on to others. They accused Bush of fighting wars for this very reason. And now, when it's safe to say so (they think), they concede: We supported a war for the reason we accused Bush of doing so for 8 years.

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Report on the American War Dead in Afghanistan and Iraq

This is a little late, sorry.

According to Department of Defense releases for the month of August: Despite an upturn in the number of terrorist bombings of Iraqi civilians and police, serious fighting, and other military things we are involved in, continue to wind down in Iraq, two months after our withdrawal from Iraqi cities. We had just one fewer war deaths than last month (in which we had 8 war dead), and only suffered 7 deaths there (of which only 4 were from combat, if that's the right word for IED and rocket attacks). In Afghanistan, it looks like we're fighting a real war, as there were more battle deaths and again, well over twice the battle deaths this month as in June.

Here is further breakdown. In Iraq, three were killed by IEDs, one died from a rocket attack; and three died from non combat causes.

In Afghanistan, 28 died from IEDs (twice as many as in July), two from non-combat causes, five died from small arms, fifteen in combat operations, and two were killed in accidents. One died from indirect fire. The total in Afghanistan was 53, about ten more than the number from last month, and all but four were combat related. The total during August for the wars being waged against us is 60, approaching two a day.

One woman warrior was killed, Tara Smith, 33, of Nashville, NC from a non combat cause in Afghanistan. It was yet another deadly month for officers, particularly Captains. These dead were: Captain Ronald Luce, Jr., 27, of Fayetteville, NC, from an IED in Afghanistan, 2nd Lt. Joseph Fortin, 22, of St. Johnsburg, VT, dead from an IED in Iraq; Capt. Matthew Freeman, 29, of Richmond Hills, GA, killed by combat operations in Afghanistan; Capt. John Tinsley, 28, of Tallahassee, FL, dead from an IED in Afghanistan; Capt. John Hallett, III, 30 from California and Capt. Cory Jenkins, 30, from Arizona, killed by the same IED in Afghanistan.

Our thoughts and prayers go to the families and loved ones of these fallen warriors, and all our hopes for their continued success goes to our men and women, mainly men, fighting overseas.

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A Personal Note on a National Story


I have represented a lot of Muslim residents of Colorado regarding car wrecks over the past decade. I fear it is because I do not have a Jewish name, but it may be that I did a good job for the first one and the word spread. That being said, the first thing I thought when I heard about the arrest of Najibullah Zazi for terrorist activities, was "I hope he wasn't a client of mine."

I am happy to report that, although his face seems familiar to me, he was never a client. Not that there's anything wrong with representing a person in a civil matter who later commits a crime.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

 

More Democratic Wilful Historical Ignorance

Here is the column from Friday of NYT columnist Bob Herbert. Here is the end of the column... which is just the beginning of his historical ignorance:


After all these years of race-baiting and stirring the pot of hatred for political gain, it’s too much to ask the leaders of the Republican Party to step forward and denounce this spreading stain of reprehensible conduct. Republicans are trying to ride that dependable steed of bigotry back to power.

I'll have to forgo comments on the serious lack of evidence in the piece about the purported bigotry of the Republican party, but, back on track, one could ask, Mr. Herbert, why should we avoid the so called race-baiting and stirring the the pot--what could happen? Mr. Herbert has the answer:

Think about the Oklahoma City bombing, and the assassinations of King and the Kennedys. On Nov. 22, 1963, as they were preparing to fly to Dallas, a hotbed of political insanity, President Kennedy said to Mrs. Kennedy: “We’re heading into nut country today.”

First off--what is bigotry if not attributing a certain bad aspect to a general segment of society? There, it was 'Texans are nutbags' from cheatin' Jack via bigot Bob. Second, despite some misgivings, I'll continue to cop to Timothy McVeigh being right wing. He certainly belonged to the not the brightest bulb in the marquee crowd. But the rest of the paragraph provides no support for worries about the political incivility on the right, as all that remainder of the so called evidence provided is lefty violence.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican. His confessed* assassin, career criminal James Earl Ray, was a Democrat and a fan of white supremacist Gov. George Wallace. Although there was clearly a never fully discovered conspiracy, at least to get Ray out of the country, it's very unlikely that it was Republican based and far easier for me to believe that the murder was the result of racial animus from the party of the KKK and "Bull" Connor rather than from the party of abolition and Abraham Lincoln.

Herbert is not the only one repeating these historical lies, wrongly, but he is perhaps the latest. As I've discussed before, John Kennedy was killed by a Communist, Lee Harvey Oswald, who hated the right wing, and Robert Kennedy was killed by a socialist Palestinian, Sirhan Sirhan, to whom the Weather Underground dedicated their manifesto.

Lefty violence is that out for which we need to watch. For all the vapors the Democrats have been having over the sheer, non-violent passion at the town halls last month, the only victims of actual violence were Republican Kenneth Gladney, beaten up by SEIU thugs in South St. Louis, MO, apparently and the poor 65 year old in Thousand Oaks, CA, whose finger was bitten off by a knuckle craving lefty during the former's protest of a pro Obamacare rally.

Final note--as a so-called example of the racial animus of the right recently, Bob Herbert trots out this example:
Among the posters at last weekend’s gathering of conservative protesters in Washington was one that said, “The zoo has an African lion and the White House has a lyin’ African.”
Except for the repeated word "African," what's racist about that poster? Short answer: Nothing.

Did I mention that the Democrats have been having a case of the vapors, lately, along with their usual projection and important historical ignorance?

*Ray entered an Alford plea in which he agreed he was complicit in the murder, although he claimed that he did not personally murder Reverend King. He spent the rest of his life in jail unsuccessfully trying to withdraw his plea.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

 

Chris Matthews and the Democratic Amnesia

Here's little watched Chris Matthews talking about the terrible, horrible, no good era of Presidential disrespect we now inhabit. (He also blamed Communist Lee Harvey Oswald's decision to kill Kennedy and Democrat Dan White's decision to kill Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk on right wing hatred):
You can go to a rally and hold up a sign talking about the man in the White House being some kind of animal, that he’s a Hitler guy, the fact that somebody would know they can get away with carrying a sign like that without being shunned, pushed aside, even beaten up, tells me there’s a license out there. … You wouldn’t hold up a sign like that a few months ago.
Really, no animal or Hitler comparison to the President in the past? All those guys were shamed, shunned or beaten up? Let's show Matthews a little bit of planet Earth, shall we:





























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International Talk Like a Pirate Day

I'm sorry that I can't join in; I don't speak Somali.

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Thought of the Day

It is interesting to contrast the administration's "wise" diplomacy abroad with its willingness to go nuclear at home. If you go to a "town hall" meeting and express misgivings about the effectiveness of the stimulus, you're a "racist" "angry" "Nazi" "evilmonger" "right-wing domestic terrorist." It's perhaps no surprise that that doesn't leave a lot left over in the rhetorical arsenal for Putin, Chavez and Ahmadinejad. But you've got to figure that by now the world's strongmen are getting the measure of the new Washington. Diplomacy used to be, as Canada's Lester Pearson liked to say, the art of letting the other fellow have your way. Today, it's more of a discreet cover for letting the other fellow have his way with you. The Europeans "negotiate" with Iran over its nukes for years, and, in the end, Iran gets the nukes, and Europe gets to feel good about itself for having sat across the table talking to no good purpose for the best part of a decade. In Moscow, there was a palpable triumphalism in the news that the Russians had succeeded in letting the Obama fellow have their way.

Mark Steyn

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Friday, September 18, 2009

 

Lovecraft Abides


(h/t The Corner)

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Thought of the Day

While there are any number of Jews and even Israelis who side with the Palestinians, or whose longing for international respectability causes them to lean over backwards in criticizing Israel, there are no Palestinians who openly sympathize with Israel. Where do you find Palestinian moderates? In the graveyards.

Mona Charen

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Scientific Nonsense From NSIDC in Boulder

Here is the press release from the National Snow and Ice Data Center affiliated with the University of Colorado at Boulder. Here is the new posting on the blog of the NSIDC. Here is what they predicted at the end of July, 2009 (about 7 weeks ago).

The Warmie scientists of the NSIDC admit the bleeding obvious--that probably the extent of the Northern Ocean sea ice has reached its Summer minimum. They also admit that the minimum is larger than last year, which was larger than the 2007 minimum, which was the lowest minimum ever recorded by satellite in the 30 years satellites have been measuring sea ice extent. That's about all they admit.

They use different numbers than those recorded with the new, state of the art ASMR-E satellite but they're not that different.

So, what do they say?

While this year's September minimum extent was greater than each of the past two record-setting and near-record-setting low years, it is still significantly below the long-term average and well outside the range of natural climate variability, said NSIDC Research Scientist Walt Meier. (Emphasis added).

"Long term average", that's rich. With only 30 years of data, which is like a mere microsecond of even the current climatic epoch, how can any real scientist say he or she knows what really is "the range of natural climate variability"? No real scientist would say that. A propagandist would say that. The NSIDC is hamstrung by the lack of long term precise measurement, but won't admit it. It is a severe limit on its ability to state anything as even a probability, much less with certainty; yet the scientists state things about the 30 year record with certainty, which is fatal to their credibility. Here's more:
The minimum 2009 sea-ice extent is still about 620,000 square miles below the average minimum extent measured between 1979 and 2000 -- an area nearly equal to the size of Alaska, said Meier. "We are still seeing a downward trend that appears to be heading toward ice-free Arctic summers," Meier said. (Emphasis added).
Wait, if the Arctic sea ice extent minimum has been improving each of the last two years from the 2007 record low minimum, wouldn't the current trend be away from an ice-free Arctic Summer? Using either the higher ASMR-E numbers or the lower NSIDC numbers, 2009's minimum is 23% higher than the 2007 minimum. Isn't that a significant trend away from zero ice? Isn't that a recovery trend rather than a trend towards ever lower minimums?

The obvious Warmie response to this short recovery is to say two years is too short a time period to say definitively there is a trend, but the NSIDC scientists don't go there. I believe they don't because 30 years is an absurdly short period of measurement to use to set, definitively, what is the range of natural climate variability. They know not to take that route, and merely state they see things the data doesn't, well, actually support.

Oh, and how did our NSIDC scientists do with their predictions about 7 weeks ago? They said the minimum would be 4.69 million square Km, and it was 5.10 million square Km, using their numbers, much higher on ASMR-E. Their prediction was at least 8.74% wrong.

Can I now say that I see a downward trend in their ice minimum prediction accuracy?

UPDATE: Let's see if I can predict more accurately than the NSIDC scientists: The Arctic Sea Ice Extent (as measured by ASMR-E) will peak on March 8, 2010, at 14.42 million square Km and will reach minimum September 15, 2010, at 5.68 million square Km.

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Still Ignorant of History

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-SF) got all misty eyed verklempt yesterday thinking about political violence and remembering (and recalling specifically) the unpleasantness in the 70s when Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were killed by former Supervisor Dan White. But wait, was Mr. White a Republican ordinary citizen angered to violence by the executive actions of Moscone and Milk? No, he was a Democrat, who felt underpaid, betrayed and slighted by the Mayor and Milk. Had he been able to find Willie Brown, he would have killed three that day.

If I were Nancy, I'd watch my back.

UPDATE: Here is more about left wing violence in California during the 70s of which Speaker Pelosi was not probably thinking.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

 

Report on Arctic Ice (and the Broader Fight Between Warmies and Deniers)


It appears that the Northern Ocean's sea ice has ceased net melting, and that the Arctic ice cap is now getting larger, which growth should continue for the next 6 months of Autumn and Winter. The minimum reached this year was 5,249,884 square Km, which is about 440,000 square Km above last year's minimum and nearly a million square Km, 23%, above '07's somewhat alarming minimum. It is still below the 'average' 1979 to 2000, but it is risky to base an average on so short a time period of measurement, much less a trend. Even with that caveat in mind, it looks like a continued Arctic sea ice minimum recovery in the face of continued increased atmospheric CO2 levels. Pretty good news, I would think.

The press continues to lie, or, at least, to be very mistaken about things in a way which supports the Warmie theory. Most recently, news accounts told us about a so-called unprecedented use of the Northwest (sic) Passage, namely, that European container ships were, for the first time ever, using the ice free Northern Ocean to ship goods from the East to Europe along an ice free Siberian coast. In reality, the ships were ice hardened speciality heavy lift and carry ones, accompanied by two Russian nuclear ice breakers. The two ships were always carrying large components of a power plant from South Korea to Novy Port on the Ob estuary in Siberia, on the coast of the Kara Sea, which sea currently is about 98,000 square Km below the 'normal' of 1979 to 2000. The reality is a little less sensational and, accordingly, less supportive of the Warmie AGW fraud. What are the odds?

The Warmie scientists continue to fudge the numbers. Most recently, they have abandoned the Argo system in their measurement of sea temperature. The Argo system is newly deployed, state of the art, and able to record the ocean temperature from all over and from surface to 700 m deep. Who wouldn't want not to use that expensive resource? As a result of relying on only air and sea surface temperature measurements, the fixed result is warmer than what almost certainly is the truth. And why are they fudging the numbers?

Because they are losing the arguments based on the true facts.

Here is a chart which includes the work of two scientists--one Warmie, one Denier--showing the slight cooling of the ocean as detected by the Argo system since deployment. The up lines were Warmie projections using their computer models. Hmmm.

Meanwhile the sea ice around Antarctica is about 500,000 square Km above the 1979-2000 'average' and it will maintain that level, or perhaps even higher, for about another 6 to 8 weeks. It's really cold in and around Antarctica.

So it's not, perhaps, global warming.

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The Party of Surrender (and Stabbing Our Allies in the Back)

I was explaining last night to a younger member of my household the truth about the Viet Nam War, namely, that under a Republican Commander in Chief, after the earlier gift of the Tet Offensive had made the Viet Cong combat ineffective for the remainder of the war, we had all but won it. To be specific, we had changed tactics and fought the NVA along lines more like counterinsurgency, pushed them back to the fringes of South Viet Nam, trained and toughened up the ARVN to the point that we could remove almost all our combat troops, but they could still stop a determined invasion (the Easter Offensive in 1972) with our air support. Indeed, we got the Paris Peace Accords in 1973 and pulled out all our combat troops shortly thereafter. By all normal measures, that was victory. We were not supplying combat troops, the other side had signed a peace treaty and our ally's troops were sufficiently strong--all they needed was resupply and our air power. That all smells distinctly like victory. To argue that we had not won because we still had air force bases in and around South Viet Nam and our air support was still necessary is kindof like arguing that we did not win WWII because we maintained military bases in the Philippines, for example, and in Europe, and protected Taiwan et al. and Europe during the Cold War with our nuclear weapons delivered by air, although that's not a perfect analogy. Still, by all normal measures, we won the Viet Nam War.

But then the Democrats in Congress cut off nearly all military aid to our ally South Viet Nam (indeed, we could hardly even sell them any arms) and then, their numbers swelled by the Watergate Scandal, the Democrats in Congress prohibited our using any military force, including the air force, to support our ally if attacked by the North. That last was through the Case-Church Amendment. This legislation was to throw away our hard fought victory and to stab our ally in the back. The North disregarded the treaty and South was overwhelmed by an NVA blitzkrieg in Spring, 1975. Thus, the Democrats chose defeat and dishonor. That's the sad, real history of which so many are completely and, I believe, wilfully ignorant today.

So it is no surprise to see the Obama administration do a similar thing--surrender to the newly aggressive Russians, betray our allies, specifically Poland and the Czech Republic, and chose, yet again, defeat and dishonor.

Nothing new here, but still sad.

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Thought of the Day

Biting-fingers-off angry. They’re screeching about how all the people opposed to Obama are racists and neo-Nazis and stupid, and they’re using sexual slurs against protesters and boycotting everyone who disagrees with them. They’re still nuts, but why?

See things from their point of view. The most fundamental principle liberals have is that they are all very, very smart, and everyone should listen to them. Nothing angers them more than something that challenges them to reexamine that core tenet. And that’s why they were so delighted by the election of President Obama and further wins in the House and Senate. For a moment they thought the American people had recognized liberals as their superiors and said to them: “Please! Smart people! Lead us and tell us what to do!”

Of course, it is quite obvious right now that that’s not at all what the election was about. The Republicans had been screw-ups for a while, and with the failing economy (people tend to vote for the president based on the economy, which is only a tad smarter than voting based on the weather, but whatcha gonna do?), most people just felt they couldn’t reward the Republicans with leadership again. Also, many people were tired of the hostility between conservatives and liberals (though I’m not sure why Republicans got the blame, since we could have had bipartisanship if at any time liberals had decided to stop being a bunch of screeching ninnies who mindlessly opposed whatever Bush was for). Then came along Barack Obama, who promised non-specific hope and change, and everyone was like, “Non-specific hope and change sounds like a great idea!”

Frank Fleming

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

 

The Delusion is Spreading

In a nearly incoherent piece today at Yahoo News, cracked voiced liberal stalwart (and formerly usually somewhat reasonable) Susan Estrich joins the Dowd 'voices' crowd trying to insulate our fumbling President from further effective, deserved criticism by throwing out the race card. Liberally. Money quotes:
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd was right on Sunday when she said out loud what so many of us have been thinking. "Boy." That's the subtext here. I don't use the term lightly. Just because you disagree with someone who is black doesn't make you a racist. John McCain is not a racist. Cal Thomas is not a racist. Mike Huckabee is not a racist. These are men I know, whose integrity I respect, even if we disagree. But Joe Wilson? And others who shall remain nameless here, but you can easily fill in the blank?
What? When Maureen Dowd accused Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC) of racism for pointing out a lie, the evidence for her accusation was a word only she heard in her head ("Boy"). Now Susan Estritch is admitting that she heard it in her head too, and so did a lot of other liberals, she says. Perhaps I'm being too literal, but the gist of her thought is clear. Republicans have a racial animus. The Democrats are hearing a racial epithet in their heads, it wasn't said or even implied, but we're the racists? Yeah, right.

Estrich gets back on the rational track when she says mere disagreement is not racism, but then she accuses Joe Wilson of being racist with a rhetorical device and says there are others, who are easily discerned. And her evidence? None stated. There is none, just base, invidious innuendo. But there are more nearly unhinged statements from Susan Estrich:
Obama has made mistakes. Every president does. But thousands of brave men and women died as a result of George W. Bush's mistakes, and no Democrat ever stood in the back of the Congress and attacked him as a liar during a joint session of Congress. Respect? Dignity? Integrity? Honor? These people have none.
What mistakes? Finishing Gulf War I properly? Freeing 26 million Iraqis from Hitler lite despot Saddam Hussein? Defeating a major al Qaeda franchise on the battlefield decisively? Proving to be a strong horse? What mistakes are you talking about?

Susan Estrich continues the delusion, evidenced by Ms. Dowd, that Democrats never disrespectfully called President Bush a liar. She, again like Ms. Dowd, limits the name calling in time and space to during a joint session, but where or when it happens is not a defense to calling the President, falsely, a liar. There is the same disrespect, the same lack of dignity, integrity and honor by such a false accusation. After all, Bush, like Obama and every other president, made a mistake, specifically about WMD. A mistake is not a lie; and it is a lie to turn a mistake into a knowing falsehood.

Liberals seem to be seeing a huge difference between one person yelling out the word 'lie' and many Democrats booing the President during the 2005 state of the union speech. There is too little difference between the yelling at the two speeches, vis a vis, respect, dignity, integrity and honor, for the minor difference to be any comfort the Democrats for their boorish behavior. And I extend that sort of behavior to the President himself during the joint session.

Projection--it is a cruel malady.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

 

A Rebuttal for Poor, Deluded Maureen Dowd

In the recent piece, where she admitted that she hears racist voices in her head while watching political speeches by our President, Maureen Dowd managed to make this transparently untrue appositive phrase:


...no Democrat ever shouted “liar” at W. when he was hawking a fake case for war in Iraq...

Oh really? Here is a partial list of Democrats (other than Ms. Dowd herself in the quoted phrase) who called President Bush a liar vis a vis Iraq:

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)

Late Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA)

Representative Pete Stark (D-CA)

Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA)

Representative Jim McDermott
(D-WA)

Now she can hide behind the qualifier in her phrase and say these listed Democrats called President Bush a liar after he tried to drum up support for ending Gulf War I properly, but that doesn't make her statement any truer.

And this list was just some of the Democrats in the legislature...the list of ordinary citizens who were Democrats and called President Bush a liar would be millions of names long.

What sort of delusional bubble does Ms. Dowd live in?

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Evidence of Republican Racism

Here is an instructive posting by David Neiwert at the lefty site Crooks and Liars, which predates the racist voices in Maureen Dowd's head.

The bulk of support for David Neiwert's calling Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) a racist is that he is a member of Sons of Confederate Veterans and wanted to keep flying the Confederate Battle Flag near the capitol in Columbia, SC. That's pretty much it. Let's look closer at both those.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (no possibility of bias there) the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) has been hijacked from a traditional roll of restoring Confederate graves and re-enacting battles into a neo-secessionist group. The Traditionalists are still predominant, but they are called Grannies by the hijackers, the Lunatics, who are well self named and number about 2000. Any guess as to which group inside the SCV Joe Wilson belongs? There's no mention of his specific affiliation in the Crooks and Liars report. The author perhaps hears voices in his head telling him that Joe Wilson is a Lunatic SCV member.

Then there's the flag. I have long concluded that the Confederate Battle Flag has become a racist symbol. A lot of people continue to think it is a symbol of the battle prowess of the southern troops during the Civil War, but the constant use of the flag by the KKK over the past hundred and forty years has morphed it into a symbol of racial intolerance. And who did that to the flag? Why, it was Democrats, who were the nearly exclusive members of the KKK during all the time it was an active political force, rather than the tiny, backwater, hateful detritus it is now.

So why did Joe Wilson want South Carolina to continue to fly the flag at the Confederate Soldier's monument? Was he in support of memoralizing the fighting spirit and skill of the Confederate soldiers? Or was he in support of the Democratic KKK agenda? David Neiwert at Crooks and Liars doesn't care and doesn't say. For most of the far left, merely being southern is enough to be branded a racist.

I prefer a little evidence to support such a charge.

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A Dog's Breakfast in the Sky


NGC6888, the Crescent Nebula, in a composite photo from an observatory on the Canary Islands. It is a bubble of effluence, 25 light years across, from a truly massive star. Really ugly. Not everything in space is beautiful. The wispy blue is quite nice, however.

Its 5,000 light years away in Cygnus.

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Thought of the Day

[President Obama] says America's health-care system is going to wrack and ruin and requires root-and-branch reform—but that if you like your health care (as a large majority of Americans do), nothing will change for you. His slippery new formulation is that nothing in his plan will "require" anyone to change coverage. He used to say, "If you like your health-care plan, you'll be able to keep your health-care plan, period." He had to stop saying that because various disinterested analysts agree that his plan will give many employers incentives to stop providing coverage for employees.

He deplores "scare tactics" but says that unless he gets his way, people will die. He praises temperate discourse but says many of his opponents are liars. He says Medicare is an exemplary program that validates government's prowess at running health systems. But he also says Medicare is unsustainable and going broke, and that he will pay for much of his reforms by eliminating the hundreds of billions of dollars of waste and fraud in this paragon of a program, and in Medicaid. He says Congress will cut Medicare (it will not) by $500 billion—without affecting benefits.

George Will


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Monday, September 14, 2009

 

Pretend Hunting and the Craziness in the San Louis Valley


Went last weekend to "scout" our bull elk hunting grounds near the New Mexico border in the southeastern arm of the San Juan mountains. It was a lot like pretend hunting except that we met real hunters, from Ohio, who had paid ten times what we pay for the privilege of stalking the giant deer. We felt like we were getting in their black powder way so we left early. Here are some photos from 11,000 feet above sea level.





This is one of my brother in laws showing his tension between camo and blaze orange. I have to admit that his coffee is a treat, with lots of brown sugar and cream. I cooked one night-- "the chain" from a cow para spinal, the tenderloin, I believe. With julienned onions and Basmati rice, it was pretty good. Oh, and we had some beer, too, as none of us pretend hunters had any firearms (except my brother in law).





It snowed a little (in a lightening storm no less) and it was pretty getting out. Here are some more photos of the drive home.










That's Mount Blanca without the eponymous snow. That's quite a cloud boiling up over it and along the whole of the Colorado Sangre de Christo mountains.



Then I drove past an interesting two or three miles of Route 17 in the Eastern center of the San Louis valley north of Mosca. There was a very large photovoltaic array.

They named it SunEdison, playing on the New York electricity provider Con Edison. It's the biggest array I've seen live and it was working. These smaller panels rotate as the sun moves across the sky and the bigger ones (really out of focus in my photos--sorry) both rotate and spin to present a big face to the sun all day. It's an 8.2 megawatt station. Yawn. If they built a hundred more of these they would equal a single big coal fired plant except the coal fired ones provide power at night, early in the morning, late in the evening and on cloudy days as well. Gov. Bill Ritter signed a bill two years ago mandating 20% of our energy sources be like this (or wind, etc.) by 2020. Good luck with that, Bill.

This is the UFO viewing tower. Not quite the hotbed of activity its builders were hoping for. I have nothing more to say about it. As Jack Nicholson once said: Go sell crazy somewhere else, we're all full up here.

Finally there is an alligator farm, in Colorado. They raise the critters in the water from underground warm springs. They sell the meat to restaurants (tastes a lot like very chewy chicken) and the skins to hand bag and shoe manufacturers. I don't know where they get the gator chow. It's certainly not elk meat.


OK, which idea was the dumbest?

Which one has wasted the most money?

UPDATE: I've done the third grade math and the SunEdison array was slated to cost 60 million dollars with a 20 year life of the panels. That's $7 Million per megawatt. By comparison the new Comanche Station, part three, coal fired generator near Pueblo cost about $1.3 Billion and generates 750 megawatts. That's $1.7 million per megawatt for a plant that should last 60 years. Thus, if my arithmetic is correct, the solar array cost 12.3 times more than the coal fired plant (that's 7 divided by 1.7 equals 4.1 and then multiplied by 3 because the coal fired plant lasts three times as long as the solar array). This New Energy Economy is not making a lot of sense, fiscally, but that never was the Democrats' strong suite anyway.

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Belief: Left/Lying Eyes

Here, here, here and here are a sampling of what the left is reporting the turnout of the 9/12 protest in DC this past Saturday. They say about 20,000 to 30,000, perhaps three times that. Here is what the parks police said (since they have been allowed to estimate crowd size again).

It is a record…. We believe it is the largest event held in Washington, D.C., ever. *

Here are photos of the Mall on Saturday.


Here is a more rational range of estimates. Here is a video showing people going down Constitution Ave to the front of the Mall, near the Capitol, which would be to the left in this photo.

Looks like a lot of people to me.








My best guess: Two Woodstocks.*

Here is a more telling set of pictures.


This is a photo of what the million or so Obama fans left behind on Inauguration Day


Here is a photo of what the 9-12 protesters left behind on Saturday.

Sometimes a photo is indeed worth a thousand words.

* UPDATEs and corrections: The quote attributed to the Parks Police appears to have been about the 900,000 or so who attended the Inauguration, not the recent 9-12 protest. I'm down to 2/3 of a Woodstock, but less messy than Woodstock.

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