Friday, January 30, 2009

Attacking Rush Limbaugh

Never get in a debate with someone who sells air time by the megawatt.

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Not that there's anything wrong with that.

W/t Gateway Pundit

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

I don't do stock tips.

And I don't play the market. I don't know anything about banks, except that they keep money there.

But these guys turned down TARP.

At least five banks said this week that they had decided against selling preferred stock to the government. They included United Bankshares Inc., which was approved for $197.3 million in aid, and Bridge Bancorp Inc., which was approved for $15 million

Buy their stock. You'll be glad you did.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Light Blogging Alert

It's going to be a difficult semester at the Academy, so I'm not going to blog much. I do have some longer thought pieces in the pipe, but I don't know if I'll get to any of those.

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Joshua Will Not Save the Times

Josh TreviƱo is a terrific writer who confidently strides the ridgeline of his own convictions, while maintaining the vision to change his path when seeing a better way.

If the rumors are true and Josh gets picked to write in the New York Times, I would read the opinion section, at least on the days his columns appeared.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Barack Periander Obama

There are parallels between Barack Obama and Periander, second of the tyrants of ancient Greece.

Both are patrons of the arts, swept into power by befriending the masses against the rich.

He fostered wealth by the steady encouragement of industry and by drastic legislation against idleness, luxury and vice; and the highest prosperity of the Corinthian handicrafts may be assigned to the period of his rule. At the same time he sought to check excessive accumulation of wealth in individual hands and restricted the influx of population into the town. Employment was found for the proletariat in the erection of temples and of public works. Periander further appears as a patron of literature, for it was by his invitation that the poet Arion came to Corinth to organize the dithyramb.
If you include his desire for mandatory civilian service, that bit about legislation against idleness even fits.

If he were the slightest bit willing to curtail illegal immigration, Obama would be a dead ringer for a 3,000-years-gone dictator.

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Obama to Arabs: We Are Weak

We will listen first.

I listened on 9/11, pally.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Obama Stops Denying Facts by Denying Facts

President Obama declared that the days of denying the facts (of Global Warming) are over.

Has he not gone outside for the last ten years?

Because it's been getting colder, not warmer.

Unserious, incurious, and power mad.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

The President's Mental Box

Barack Obama is in a box. He has declared, for a long time now, that we should get out of Iraq in 16 months.

But there is nothing magical about the number of months for moving troops, or shifting the remainder of territorial control to the Iraqis. The only thing special about 16 months is that Barack Obama has used that figure for so long.

Now his generals have come to him and said that he should pay attention to the conditions on the ground, and not to some arbitrary spot on the calendar.

Obama should have come out on November 5, the day after his election, and said that the target is 16 months from January 20, 2009, but that if we could get out sooner, we would. And furthermore, he should have claimed Iraq as a US ally.

But none of that was possible, because Obama is hemmed in on all sides by his supporters on the left, the troops on the right, reality on the ground, and his own public insistence. He can't be wrong, he can't change his mind.

But neither can he change, with his empty words, the reality on the ground in Iraq.

And neither can he change the desire of men who have seen their comrades fall in battle to see their blood mean something.

But the thing he is really unable to change is his own need to be right. He cannot be wrong about the efficacy of the war in Iraq, General Petraeus' surge, or the proper use of military force in foreign policy. To admit that we could be out of Iraq sooner than his 16 months by winning battles than by folding our tents and slithering away would be to admit that he was wrong all along. And with this President, that will never happen.

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Who Says Barack Obama is a Miserable Failure?

That would be an awful thing to say. So why are people trying to say that Barack Obama is a miserable failure? It isn't right. It isn't fair.

OK, so maybe it's fair.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama Facts, Post-Inauguration Edition

Barack Obama took the oath of office for the first time since Abraham Lincoln.

Barack Hussein Obama can spell his own name.

Jesus walked on water; Barack Obama can emerge from the cesspool of Chicago politics and not smell like sewage -- (Rush Limbaugh).

Barack Obama has arms so long he can put one around Michelle and walk alongside.

George Bush liberated Iraq; Barack Obama fixed that by liberating Gitmo.

Barack Obama was elected, and now Global Warming is not a problem.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

The President Is Not the Leader of the Free World

To the extent that the world has a leader, it is not free.

I should end this post there, but something else occurs to me.

Obama, by virtue of his international and liberal upbringing, Muslim father, and not least his African lineage, may be tempted to see Southwest Asian and African leaders as more like himself than not.

Perhaps that will be a net positive for civilization in the long run, but there remains a distinct possibility that he will presume a false familiarity. Like an undercover agent trying to infiltrate a criminal operation, there are shades of loyalty and of distrust that no American can ever cast aside, as long as he remains such. Will the mullahs and warlords play on his heritage, and if so, will he play along as the cat or as the mouse?

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Hosanna! Crucify!

Right now, two days past his inauguration, the media are all shouting hosannas at Barack Obama.

But I wonder how long it will be before the shouts of "Hosanna! Glory to Obama in the Highest!" turn to "Crucify!" or "Impeach!".

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Oh, Dear.

The megolobamania has begun. Barack Obama personifies change.

Thanks, but I liked the old America.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Hotaru Is An American

He can't speak English, and doesn't know anything about our history, customs, or way of life. In fact, up until now in his life he has allowed others to care for his every need and want. He has lived his entire life thousands of miles distant from the United States.

But Michael has one thing that above all entitles him to American citizenship: the blood of a hero in his veins.

That's him, there on the right.

Because Michael H Ferschke III is the infant son of Sgt Michael H. Ferschke, Jr., a Marine killed in Iraq in 2008. He ought to grow to maturity among those who appreciate the sacrifice his father made for liberty.

And his mother Hotaru Ferschke is just the one to teach him.

[Originally posted at 20090114.0902, updated 20090116.1040
Thanks to FM in comments, I fixed the stupid name SNAFU.]

w/t Dan Collins

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I Fear a Backlash

Now that a goose group has claimed responsibility for the forced landing in the Hudson, I fear a backlash against all geese. We must know that this is only a splinter faction, and doesn't respresent the attitude of all geese, and certainly not of fowl generally.

So I will not tolerate any intolerance against geese, ducks, loons, chickens, or turkeys here.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

What's the Use?

Ross Douthat at The Atlantic writes of Armageddon, and the choice to retaliate or not to retaliate after the fall of a national capitol.

As Douthat has it, the British Prime Minister has break-the-glass orders with nuclear submarine commanders at the bottom of the ocean for what to do in case London were vaporized, King and Parliament with it. Ross wonders what Reagan would have done, and speculates that after his country were razed, Reagan may not have retaliated. He suggests that the Lion of Reykjavik would have lain down with the Wolf of Glasnost, saying that at that point, "What's the use?"

The utility of following through with destruction of their following destruction of ours is simple: lovers of liberty must oppose tyranny with every tool at their disposal. If the submarine fails to deliver retribution, evil men will dictate the history books. There, done.

The more interesting question is if the submarine commander would be bound to follow the orders of a dead Prime Minister.

Military doctrine, upon which the Geneva Conventions are based, holds that an officer's legitimacy stems from his loyalty to the State. Supposing that State no longer to exist, or to have been captured by opposing forces, the commander would be a rogue actor, or a member of the armed resistance, should he choose to obey the orders written in the safe.

But does the State no longer exist once its administrative offices and its Head are so much glowing dust? I think no easy answer to this question is possible, because there are levels of existence. If a State loses its monarch, bureaucracy, executive leadership and entire flag officer corps, does the State exist? Perhaps the question can only be answered post hoc, should the citizens of the State reformulate it into something able to control its territory.

Supposing the entirety of the nation's is land rendered inhabitable, or during the time in which the State is nonfunctional, we still have our submarine (or lunar base) commander, out of communication with the rest of the race. He may have information as to the source of the destruction that came upon his nation, or he may lack it, and in any case he will be confronted with some amount of uncertainty.

During the Cold War, he might safely have assumed that the former Soviet Union were the responsible party, and could be counted blameless for expending his arsenal against any high-value targets he could reach.

But in the 9/11 era, even a worldwide intelligence network may fail to uncover the source of mass destruction. An incommunicado commander, wishing to remain hidden, would have somewhat less certainty over how to retaliate, and against whom.

But such a commander would be loyal not just to a chain of command or the laws of a particular nation, but first to the noblest lady of our civilization: Liberty herself. If he could band together with like-minded warriors at sea, and perhaps find some undefended shoal to call home, they could once again breath the air as free men. Their war would continue until victory or defeat, by enemy or age.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Key Unemployment Forecast Rises as Illinois Leads Nation

Unemployment among the nation's governors is expected to rise by 2% next month, a level not seen since the 1980's. The Illinois rate is forecast at 100% following action by the State Legislature.

Gubernatorial unemployment has been at a historical low of 0% for the past two decades or more. The move in Illinois is expected to dramatically increase the unemployment numbers, experts agree.

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (D-Chicago) blamed the move on a conspiracy by those who oppose his efforts to take care of sick people. The conspirators, meanwhile, blamed the move on the Governor's personal inability to tell the truth.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Kudos to Senator Burris -- And to Rod Blagojevich

I'm not a supporter of Governor Rod Blagojevich. In fact, his politics are about as far away from mine as I can imagine for a fellow American.

But I have to give the guy credit when due. In the instance of the selection of Roland Burris as Senator to replace Barack Obama, Blagojevich, having been publicly tarred with arrest by Federal authorities, continued on in the performance of his duties. And he made a very good choice in Roland Burris.

I'm not a supporter of Burris, either. It's just that of the pool of established Chicago Democrats who are well-known in Illinois politics, Burris is the best available.

Burris showed his ability by going to Washington and telling Harry Reid that he would sue to claim his rightful seat in the Senate. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) said to seat Burris not because of any great statesmanlike respect for the rule of law but because she saw no way around his eventually being seated. Illinois law says the Governor appoints replacement Senators, whether the Secretary of State wants to certify them or not. So Burris is a Senator, whether Reid likes it or not. And the State Legislature can't unseat a Senator to have a special election.

At this point Reid's only option is to impeach Burris or let him serve his term. Burris can promise not to run in 2010, but he's not legally bound by that.

So well done, Governor and Senator.

By the way, I would have liked a special election in this one instance, but how often will these circumstances recur? The current law worked well enough.

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