March 31, 2008
— Gabriel Malor I may die of popcorn lung before the convention.
Jon Henke is guestblogging for Megan McArdle this week and he has an impressive list of recent "oops" moments for both Clinton and Obama , some of which I had never heard of and all of which are worthy of repeating.
But one that caught my eye promises to be a more than satisfactory follow-up to the Rev. Wright drama. Meet Obama's next major miscalculation when it comes to choosing spiritual counsel and campaign adivsors: Rev. James T. Meeks, another firebreathing racewarrior and a virulent homophobe.
Obama is going to face some tough questions about this guy and it will resuscitate the media's flagging interest in Rev. Wright since now we have a pattern. Meeks' sermons are just as stunning as Wright's and are also available on CD, which makes me think we'll be seeing more arm-flapping goodness in the near future. (BTW, is it common for churches to sell recorded services?)
That's right, he said:
"We don't have slave masters. We got mayors. But they still the same white people who are presiding over systems where black people are not able, or to be educated."
"You got some preachers that are house niggers. You got some elected officials that are house niggers. And rather than them trying to break this up, they gonna fight you to protect this white man."
This Meeks fellow is simply amazing. In the video, he tries to claim that he doesn't see why people would be upset about him calling black members of the city counsel "house niggers." He goes on to claim that the n-word is not a "bad word" for blacks and is actually a term of endearment!
He's also got quite a track record when it comes to anti-gay sentiment, something that got Obama in trouble once before. But best (worst?) of all, this albatross is securely tied around Obama's neck:
Described in a 2004 Chicago Sun Times article as someone Barack Obama regularly seeks out for spiritual counsel, James Meeks, who will serve as an Obama delegate at the 2008 Democratic convention in Denver, is a long-time political ally to the democratic frontrunner.
When Obama ran for the U.S. Senate in 2003, he frequently campaigned at Salem Baptist Church while Rev. Meeks appeared in television ads supporting the Illinois senators campaign...
Since that time, not only has Meeks himself served on Obamas exploratory committee for the presidency and been listed on the Obama's campaign website as one of the senators influential black supporters, but his church choir was called on to raise their voices in praise at a rally the night Obama announced his run for the White House back in 2007.
Interestingly, the Chicago Sun Times has also reported that both Meeks and Obama share a history of substantial campaign contributions from indicted real estate magnate Tony Rezko.
And still people think that Clinton will be easier to beat in the general. What are you guys smoking?
— Ace Submit or die.
More [Gabe]: A couple of things about this. First, I can't find any other reports that Dutch prosecutors are planning to take legal action against Wilder except for the report Nice Deb links, a Russian news service. So don't get bent out of shape until it actually happens. In other accounts of the Dutch Foreign Minister's comments, it appears he said that diplomats inquired whether Wilders would be prosecuted for violating hate speech laws and that the prosecutors office hadn't decided yet.
The Dutch government has condemned the violent acts depicted in the film, but also rejected Wilder's interpretation of Islam. But there is no indication that Wilder has run afoul of any criminal laws. Some parts of the Islamic world are calling for him to be prosecuted for "paying tribute to terrorism", allegedly a crime in the Netherlands.
It's possible that the news agency was confused about another lawsuit in the works against Wilders this one by the Danish Union of Journalists. Wilders used without permission images of one of the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that led to all the rioting and carrying on two years ago. But it sounds like that lawsuit has already been dropped:
Wilders' spokeswoman Daphne Rozenboom said in an e-mail that Wilders would replace the cartoon and make other minor edits. She could not give details on how Wilders would change a film that has been dispersed widely over the Internet and downloaded millions of times since its release late Thursday.
In Denmark, Westergaard [the cartoonist] said he was happy with Wilders' decision and believed the lawsuit would be dropped.
He added that Wilders might have won his permission to use the cartoon if he had asked.
No word on when the re-edited version will be released.
UPDATE and BUMP [Gabe]: Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard has drawn a political cartoon of Geert Wilders in support of freedom of expression. It uses elements of the cartoon that Wilders appropriated for his film.
— Dave in Texas From Nashville!
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Former Vice President Al Gore launched a three-year, multimillion- dollar advocacy campaign Monday calling for the U.S. to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
The Alliance for Climate Protection's campaign, dubbed "we," will combine advertising, online organizing and partnerships with grass- roots groups to educate the public about global warming and urge solutions from elected officials.
There's "we". And there's "you". And in three years and $300MM dollars later, "you" better get with the program.
My favorite part:
An advertising campaign will equate the climate-change movement with other grand historic endeavors, like stopping fascism in Europe during World War II, overcoming segregation in the United States and putting the first man on the moon.
That's. How. Important. This. Is.
I think I would rather be watching the endless stream of pre-primary campaign advertising you just know is happening in Pennsylvania right now than watch this crap. With my eyelids peeled back. And to give it the perfect ending, a little of the Ludwig Van.
Yeah. I'm that pumped.
— Ace Oh, what's the big deal? It's not like anyone ever dies or suffers brain damage from a seizure.
Oh wait, they actually do?
RyAnne Fultz, a 33-year-old woman who suffers from pattern-sensitive epilepsy, says she clicked on a forum post with a legitimate-sounding title on Sunday. Her browser window resized to fill her screen, which was then taken over by a pattern of squares rapidly flashing in different colors.
Fultz says she "locked up."
"I dont fall over and convulse, but it hurts," says Fultz, an IT worker in Coeur dAlene, Ohio. "I was on the phone when it happened, and I couldnt move and couldnt speak."
After about 10 seconds, Fultzs 11-year-old son came over and drew her gaze away from the computer, then killed the browser process, she says.
It's especially witty that they did this in an epilepsy support forum, where one could expect the most severely stricken to gather.
Well, played gents. Enjoy prison. There are a lot of funny hi-jinks that go on in prison, too, and I'm sure you guys are tough-guy studs and should have no problem fitting in.
Thanks to dri.
I find your lack of faith... beat-worthy
Jedi Master Jonba Hehol - known to family and friends as Barney Jones, 36, of Holyhead - was giving a TV interview in his back garden for a documentary when a man, dressed in a black bin-bag and wearing Darth Vader's trademark shiny black helmet, leapt over his garden fence.
Wielding a metal crutch - his lightsaber presumably being in for repairs - the Sith Lord proceeded to lay about his opponent, whose Jedi powers proved inadequate for the task of defending himself.
After besting Master Hehol in single combat, Vader, who The Sun reports was under the influence of alcohol, went on to assault the camera crew and a hairdresser.
— Ace Got this off Hot Air's headlines, and I have to figure Ed Morrissey found it, or else Allah would have headlined it like I did.
Six female bloggers sound off about mistakes men make in dating, and three of them are put off by... overconfidence and braggin' on what hot shit they are. (Not Karol, of course!)
So, basically, if more women were like female bloggers, Allah and I (and most of you) shouldn't be able to leave the house without raincoat & rubbers for all the downpour of female attention and the splashing in puddles of adoring women.
Which leads me to believe 1) women bloggers are nothing like normal women or most likely 2) women bloggers are exactly like normal women in that they lie their pretty asses off.
Hmm... Since Allah linked this I guess I'll write more than just a name-check.
I kind of get what they're saying: I don't dig on unsolicited bragging myself, from anyone. Ices me over, no matter what the situation.
On top of that, I think if anyone is really interested at all they're going to start an intelligence-gathering mission to determine how happening you are. So they're going to ask things to elicit information about what kind of stud you might (or might not) be; you really don't have to offer that up from the get-go.
Besides, no one believes anything anyone says. Unless they actually like you anyway.
The other thing is I think guys still all smart from the "strategy" employed by the middle-school studs (I say middle school because that's where the most intense memories of rejection and the unfairness of life began; by high school it was already just accepted... mostly). That "strategy" seemed to be: Act like you don't give a shit, act like you could have anyone else you wanted, act like you're doing a girl a favor to be seen with her.
The trouble with our stupid male brains is, I think, we got the idea those dudes were scoring because of that strategy, whereas, in fact, they were going to score no matter what they did, being studs and all, and thus they weren't scoring because of that strategy, more like in spite of it. They were scoring because they were richer, better-looking, more athletic and more popular than everyone else. Their attitude wasn't getting them all that tail tail, it was getting so much tail that was giving them that attitude.
Anyway: It occurs to me that that strategy only works if, in fact, the woman is ga-ga for you anyway and nothing short of being arrested by the police for serial murder in the middle of chatting her up is going to put her off you. And anyone attempting to emulate what they thought worked in seventh grade is going to find out life is even more unfair than they previously imagined.
Related: Video kinda fits (I think; who knows what it's really about, I sure don't, but I assume anything vague is about sex) and I had it open anyway so... more...
— Ace January 2008 featured the most snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere in since the previous anomalous year of 1984.
I was actually looking for data on global temperatures the past three months. I didn't find it, so perhaps it's not yet fully compiled and vetted.
It sure seems like the record chill of the past year is continuing.
January 2008 has been an exceptional month for winter weather, not only in North America but across the globe, according to numerous indicators.
We've had anecdotal evidence of odd weather in the form of wire reports from China, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, and record-setting cold and snow have been felt with intensity not seen for 30 to 100 years, depending on the region.
We also have reports of significant negative anomalies in the global satellite data for the lower troposphere. There has been a global drop in temperature of 0.63º Centigrade in the past 12 months. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA} has announced that January 2008 was below twentieth century temperature averages.
Arctic sea ice has quickly recovered from the record low extent of summer 2007. Although a massive La Niña weather pattern might be the driver behind all of this, the changing weather may also be a harbinger of a more long-term phase shift, according to veteran forecaster Joe Bastardi.
Said Bastardi, "The maturation of the La Niña to its classic major cold look, both in the equatorial Pacific waters and the amazing amount of the Northern Hemisphere troposphere that is covered by colder-than-normal temperatures, is not only a major driving force in the everyday weather picture of Earth, but is a sign that in the end, it is nature, not man, that will have its way with the weather.
"It is straight out of the book of climate," Bastardi adds. "The pattern is so much like the 1949-1950 La Niña, which was signaling the start of the reversal of the warming of the Earth's climate in the 1930s, '40s, and early '50s. Only someone choosing to ignore it, or not wanting to see it, would not be cognizant of it."
If there are articles out there hyping a springing-back of temperatures back up above average, or even at the average, a quick search didn't find them.
And you know, of course, how much the MSM likes to trumpet one or three month temperature changes if they're in the right direction.
Let me give you my own report on global warming in the northeastern United States: It's cold and miserable, and it has been cold and miserable for as long as I can remember. At some point spring is supposed to come, right?
I'm beginning to wish global warming were in fact true.
Maine Breaks Record For Snowfall: Yes, I realize this is just anecdotal and a local phenomenon, except it's not just anecdotal and local, it seems to be happening everywhere (or at least the northern hemisphere).
Furthermore, the Warmistas have never been shy about championing a one-off weather event as proving general full-earth long-term global warming. Turnabout is fair play.
Yes yes, I know, it's not global warming, it's "climate change," and now global warming can mean global cooling too.
Basically, any time the temperature is more that .1 degree away from average, in either direction, it's global warming/global cooling/global nearly averaging.
— Gabriel Malor No thanks, boss, I'd rather you didn't. Oh, laptopless. That's a different story.
Distractions from laptops and other devices are causing many San Francisco companies to say they are going "topless" -- no electronic devices at meetings.
Many companies are banning electronics during meetings after getting increasing complaints of sidetracked workers slowing down productivity, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
"Laptops, Blackberries, Sidekicks, iPhones and the like keep people from being fully present. Aside from just being rude, partial attention generally leads to partial results," said Todd Wilkens of Adaptive Path, a San Francisco design firm.
Having to make eye contact will probably be a new experience for a lot folks. Let's be honest, nobody likes meetings and most people are skeptical about their usefulness. Half of every company or firm meeting I've ever been in is spent simply helping the slowest person catch up. Once whoever is in charge decides that meetings are supposed to give everyone a complete situational awareness of activities in the office, you might as well hang up a sign: "Not Doing Anything Today."
That's the whole point of having a laptop or other device that connects to the outside world. Now, you can get some actual work done while everyone else is getting filled in on the Important Action Alerts. Or, y'know, play a little Text Twist, check your email, and make dinner plans.
— Ace Good.
What annoys me most about this is that were we dealing with any other group making death-threats against fair (if inflammatory) speech, the rest of the media would immediately all post the "offensive" material in solidarity with those who are threatened, to demonstrate that such threats will simply not work.
Even if they found the material in question beneath their normal editorial standards, they would recognize the threat to free speech generally and act accordingly. And, of course, the very fact that death-threats had been made regarding the material would instantly make it newsworthy, even if it had not been previously (in their judgment, of course).
And here? Nope. The MSM is perfectly willing to self-censor and embargo for fear of angering the
wrong right people, and perfectly comfortable letting tiny companies like LiveLeak fight single-handedly for the right to free expression.
In fact, they won't even cover this... because to draw attention to the affair also draws attention, simultaneously, to their own cowardice.
— Ace Good post from Dave Price.
Although the standard take here is that this is merely a fight between two thuggish groups -- Maliki's alliance and Sadr's militias -- it has to be borne in mind that Sadr is one of the worst thugs in the country. And Maliki, whatever his motivations, does in fact represent the government. And governments generally enjoy an exclusive right to organized, armed forces within their territories, or else they don't really control that territory at all.
The Sadrists challenge this and want to impose their own "government" -- corrupt and Islamofascist -- through force of arms. So this isn't merely some political dispute between Maliki and Sadr; the political dispute, as Dave Price points out, was already settled when Maliki and his allies won the most votes and took control of the government.
March 30, 2008
— Gabriel Malor Rick Moran riffs off of this NY Times piece to speculate about the dangers of scientific progress. First, let's talk about the Times' article and then we'll get to Rick's comments.
It's really quite simple. A couple of guys think that CERN's nearly completed Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland might cause the destruction of the Earth when it is activated. They think our options are either being sucked into a black-hole or fused into one big lump of strange matter, Ice-nine style. Their solution is to sue the Department of Energy and Fermilab (both of which are alleged to contribute to the project) for failure to file an environmental impact statement. That should be enough, they think, to derail the collider. They included CERN as a defendant, but it's doubtful the federal courts have jurisdiction over a European physics lab.
Fear about supercolliders is nothing new. In fact, one of these guys tried this particular strategy before:
This is not the first time around for Mr. Wagner. He filed similar suits in 1999 and 2000 to prevent the Brookhaven National Laboratory from operating the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. That suit was dismissed in 2001. The collider, which smashes together gold ions in the hopes of creating what is called a quark-gluon plasma, has been operating without incident since 2000.
Which is not to say that there won't be an incident. It's just that I'm much more likely to believe, y'know, actual scientists who tell me that the risk is low or nonexistent than I am a lawyer and a self-described "researcher on time theory" (the example of global warming "consensus" notwithstanding).
My own reading on the subject leads me to conclude that these fellows have some things in common with the folks who fear Gray Goo and genemod organisms and artificial intelligence. The complaint is always "We Just Don't KNOW!" They want us to bury our heads in the sand since the mere act of scientific inquiry may result in the destruction of humanity. The problem is that they always end up labeling as "propaganda" scientific evidence that so-called existential risks are small or nonexistent (as the plaintiff told the Times reporter in this case). That indicates to me that they aren't going to be satisfied regardless of what science uncovers which therefore makes them particularly unqualified to judge the risks involved.
That brings me to Rick's post, where he gives far too much leeway to crack-pot naysayers for my taste:
The fact that scientists are not laughing at the idea of destroying the earth as a result of an experiment shows the wisdom of taxpayers like Wagner questioning everything even though his expertise and knowledge may fall short of those he is criticizing. I would hope the same holds true for some bio-medical research that has the potential to loose upon the planet something that could destroy life as well as those working in the artificial intelligence field who some have theorized could end up being quite unfriendly to their creators.
He's giving Wagner (the plaintiff in this case) too much credit. Wagner isn't "questioning everything." Even as a philosophical exercise, "questioning everything" hasn't been all that successful a strategy; contemporary philosophy has been stuck in a rut ever since Descartes, trust me. What we really need to be doing is seeking answers, something that Wagner is doggedly opposed to. He's already made up his mind.
We shouldn't be glorifying neo-luddism, Rick.
Bonus: For those who are interested in this kind of thing, the complaint in this case is here (PDF). If you guessed that this fellow was representing himself, you guessed right and you know what they say about lawyers who represent themselves. This is the type of stuff they hand out to 1L research and writing classes to spot the problems.
On the other hand, if this thing is going to destroy the world, do you think we could get that done before the last week in July? I'd just as soon not take the bar exam if I don't have to.
— Dave in Texas The family of Sgt. Keith Matthew Maupin was informed today by the United States Army that the remains of their son have been recovered and identified through DNA testing.
BATAVIA, Ohio (AP) - The father of Matt Maupin, a soldier listed as missing-captured in Iraq since 2004 said today that the military had informed him that his son's remains were found in Iraq. Keith Maupin said at a news conference in suburban Cincinnati that an Army general told him DNA testing had identified the remains of his son, Sgt. Keith Matthew Maupin, or "Matt" as he was commonly known.
Sgt. Maupin was captured almost four years ago in an ambush west of Baghdad. He was a graduate of Glen Este High School, near Cincinnati, and was a student at the University of Cincinnati when he joined the Army Reserves.
Words fail. They just do. I wish I could find some, something. Instead I just grieve with his family, and pray for their healing from such a difficult ordeal, and their painful loss.
Requiescat in pacem Sgt. Maupin.
Thanks for the tip Kevlarchick
— Open Blog Given his comments on the state of the Democratic Party it sure seems like he isn't interested in staying there anymore:
Well, I say that the Democratic Party changed. The Democratic Party today was not the party it was in 2000. It's not the Bill Clinton-Al Gore party, which was strong internationalists, strong on defense, pro-trade, pro-reform in our domestic government. It's been effectively taken over by a small group on the left of the party that is protectionist, isolationist and basically will --and very, very hyperpartisan. So it pains me. I'm a Democrat who came to the party in the era of President John F. Kennedy. It's a strange turn of the road when I find among the candidates running this year that the one, in my opinion, closest to the Kennedy legacy, the John F. Kennedy legacy, is John S. McCain.
So where does he go? Well he could just hold on to his Senate seat, but if he really wants to angry up the Kos Kiddies he takes a run at VP.
I know most of the people here wouldn't be crazy about such a ticket, but I am an incrementalist. I believe that as long as the country's politics are headed in the direction I like I can live with small gains consistently made. I think that at least in the areas that I believe are most important at the moment, Iraq / Afghanistan and the Supreme Court, a McCain / Lieberman ticket would be pretty solid. I am also realistic enough to know that the Republican Convention would never nominate a McCain / Lieberman ticket.
Of course I would prefer it if McCain chose Dick Cheney but that's never happening so...
As Bartle and James would say thank you for your support.
— Open Blog I was doing some googling to see if I could find some info on Obama and the Million Man March he reportedly marched in and helped organize, and I found this interview of Obama in the Chicago Reader from December 1995, after he (yes!) attended the march. What stands out to me is his unapologetic love affair with collectivism. I guess thats not surprising for a Democrat, but still ..wow!
Here are some highlights:
— DrewM If so, I think weve found our man!
A pastor whose disappearance from a small town in upstate New York triggered a search by police and the FBI was found earlier today (Friday) inside an Ohio strip club.
Police said that when the Rev. Craig S. Rhodenizer, 46, was confronted by an officer, he began crying and said he couldn't remember anything about the 36 hours he was missing.
But dancers at the club remembered Rhodenizer. They told investigators that Rhodenizer spent two hours drinking, soliciting dances and making threatening comments. He also said he wanted to take the dancers back to his motel, according to the police report. In his car was a bottle of Bacardi rum.
Okay, the rum is a problem but if we can get him to take up Valu-Right Vodka and get him out on a hobo hunt or two, I think hes perfect for us.
— Ace So cool. more...
— Ace By the way, if you're a blogger, you really should give a link to your site when you put up a post.
Either put it at the end or stuff it into the headline with the a href command.
— Gabriel Malor For the past three days ABC News has been pushing this story at the top of their business section and on the front page. Apparently, "right-wing ideology" is going to cause the U.S. government to "fail to ward off a major depression." So says Professor of Finance Robert Parks, who thinks there is a 60 percent chance that we are headed for a "Bush depression."
The Fed, under Chairman Ben Bernanke, has taken several orthodox and unorthodox monetary actions to prevent the credit freeze-up from spreading and damaging further the basic economy.
Mr. Parks, however, doubts the cuts will do much to boost the economy. Rather, he sees a further steep fall in housing prices, continued major deficits in the federal budget and in the international trade balance, a tumbling dollar, and a weak stock market leading to a genuine depression with 30 to 35 percent unemployment, greater poverty, more loss of homes, plunging bond and stock prices, even some starvation.
This is just a happy continuation of the Democrats' election strategy. They desperately want to convince people that Bush is Hoover and that we very much need a savior like FDR. If Park's reference to "right-wing ideology" wasn't too much of a giveaway, his proposed solutions to the impending economic disaster should make this clear.
Parks would like the federal government to step up outlays to fix rickety bridges, repair pot-holed roads, improve schools, and more to provide more jobs, more income, and thus more spending to cure any economic downturn.
This is a Keynesian pipe-dream. What Parks is missing is that measures like the RFC and the WPA worked when unemployment rates were already higher than 16% in the case of the RFC and almost 25% in the case of the WPA. The financial industry had already collapsed and world-wide trade had slumped to a third of its previous high. There were plenty of unemployed and desperate people who were willing to build roads and bridges and libraries. In other words, FDR's policies contributed to pulling the U.S. out of a depression, not to preventing one in the first place. It is the sloppiest kind of thinking to assume that what worked to end a depression will also work to avoid it.
Parks and ABC News leave untouched the question of how the government is going to pay for these projects, which is especially telling since the Democrats have made such a ruckus about federal deficits and the national debt. Perhaps it bears mentioning that during the Great Depression, the top tax rate was 63% (later raised to 91% at the end of WWII). It wouldn't surprise me if the Democrats want to resurrect that FDR policy along with the rest.
In the end, we should all be deeply suspicious of a Keynesian finance professor who thinks about economics in terms of political ideologies and who seems devoted to reliving the FDR years. I estimate that there is a 60 percent chance that he's just trying to get his name in the headlines.
Thanks to genghis for the tip.
— Ace You can read it. I can't bear.
I see now where I went wrong. This blog has always been, since day one, What White Men Fear (vagina, brown people).
If only I'd realized that the the positive sells better.
— Ace Correction: I just added the question mark because I'm not sure the authority here -- biography.com -- is sufficient. Thanks to genghis for suggesting I check the original source.
More: Genghis says the site to by the below blogs linked is "wormy" and lights up security measures. Looking even shakier than it did before.
It's not so much the march, but marching under the flag of degenerate lunatic Louis Farrakhan.
For a different kind of politician, set to heal our racial wounds, Obama sure does seem to carry a lot of old school racewarrior baggage.
Was this seen as a more-or-less mainstream event in the black community itself? Well, maybe, maybe not, but not among the black political leadership, which almost entirely sat the event out.
Only two members of Congress attended, as did a couple of mayors (including Marion Barry), Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton. President Clinton gave a speech endorsing the goals of the march, but condemning its organizer.
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