Blog Recommendation

I've been reading The Unreligious Right blog for some time now.

Ironically, considering the title of that blog, I am not really interested in the athiesm vs. religion topic. I understand that some people, Penn Jillette for example, get really worked up about it. The whole debate seems to be pointless to me.

However, there is plenty of other interesting content there. I highly recommend it.

Homosexual Afghanistan

Is this a valid study, or brilliant psy-ops?

We're not idiots, Mr Davis

I used to think that Lanny Davis was a relatively smart political operator, but his article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday was mind-blowing in its silliness.
According to polls, fears about the Democrats' health-care proposal played a prominent role in Mr. Brown's victory yesterday. In the last several months, the minority congressional Republicans have dominated the message on health care—and stamped on the Democratic Party the perception that we stand for big government, higher taxes, and health insecurity when it comes to Medicare.

How is that possible? The Democrats have a simple message on health care that has still not really gotten through: If our bill passes, you never have to worry about getting, or losing, health insurance for the rest of your life. How is it that so few people have heard that message?
Oh, we heard it, Mr. Davis. But unlike your perceptions of the American public, we are not idiots. You promise to give us guaranteed health insurance with one hand, but we know full well, that the other hand will be extracting the price. And it's a rather big price. We know that should you get your way, we'd be facing: 1) vastly higher taxes, 2) less availability of care with longer lines, 3) slower adaptation of new and breakthrough medicine, 4) losing our freedom to choose the level and price of our insurance on our own (or negotiate our healthcare with our employers.) We know the game, and we don't want to play. We don't want to be told which insurance we can and can not have. We don't want to be denied medicine because some government bureaucrat decided that what we need isn't on the approved list.

We also have been around the block more times that we can count. The Democrats started ramping up their spending programs several generations ago. And over the years the American public has learned one thing above all else: regardless of how much the politicians say something will cost, the real cost will turn out to be many times greater. With massive debt already crippling our country, the American people know in our bones that we can't pile more trash on the heap.

"How can this happen?" Mr Davis? Simple, we aren't the dupes you take us for.

Davis has more priceless comedy later in his article too:
In 1996, Mr. Clinton was the first Democrat to win re-election since FDR... He did so by creating a new ideological hybrid for a still-progressive Democratic Party: balanced-budget fiscal conservatism, cultural moderation, and liberal social programs administered by a "lean and mean government." ...

Then, in 2008, Barack Obama added something extra: a commitment to a "new politics" that transcended the "red" versus "blue" partisan divide. He explained this concept clearly in his 2004 Democratic Convention keynote speech and during his 2008 presidential campaign. It meant compromise, consensus and bipartisanship, even if that meant only incremental change.
Davis makes a simple mistake. He's equating giving speeches in favor of bridging the red/blue divide with actually wanting to bridge the divide. Again, the American people aren't dupes. Or, at least you can dupe them for a while during a campaign, but once you get elected and completely overturn all of your brilliant rhetoric in favor of one sided, so blue it's ultraviolet, politics and policies, people's eyes have a tendency to open wide. In a sense, we are all Missourians, once you're in office, all the talk in the world doesn't matter so much as what you Show Me. Obama has showed us all that he doesn't really give a damn about bridging the divide between Cambridge and the bitter clingers, the Tea Partyers and gourmet chai drinkers, he wants to drive this country as far to the left as he can.

Sorry, Mr. Davis, the American people--always a center-right public--aren't buying what your selling.

The Results are In

The special election is over. Results from Brookline MA:
Brown received 5,217 votes in Brookline, or 25.3 percent, while Coakley's earned 15,264, or 74.1 percent.

Wow! one out of four Brookline voters chose Brown. Hell hath surely frozen over!

Mass-ive political earthquake

Just 4 months ago on September 12, 2009, I stood with 100,000+ people on the lawn of the Capitol in Washington DC.

That day, the biggest rallying cry, shouted at the top of our lungs was simple:

"Do you hear us now!!!"

The Tea Party Movement is about being sick and tired of the politicians in Washington ignoring the will of the people and trying to slam through their agenda--not for our benefit, but most-often for their own.

Well, thanks to Massachusetts tonight, the whole country is shouting together:


(Next on the block: Barbara Boxer!!!)

Political Analysis

A comment from Jonah Goldberg, with whom I often agree:
It looks better and better for Brown, but it's worth repeating that even if he loses, the mere fact that it was close is a massive repudiation of the White House and the Democrats. Everyone's trying to come up with historical analogies.
Even if Brown loses, the message to the Democrats should be deafening.

I have to disagree here somewhat. I think that personality and charisma are often more important than pundits admit. Let's not pretend that both candidates in this election have similar personal appeal. Coakley is prickly, and has a reputation for being ruthless and nasty. It shows in her campaign. Scott Brown seems like a decent guy you'd like to have as a neighbor, coworker of friend. That will translate into many votes for Brown. Most people simply want a moderate candidate who seems to have a head on his shoulders, who has experience with which they can relate, and who is trustworthy and likeable. That's Scott Brown in a nutshell.

Frankly, I don't have a problem with that sort of voting. Critics may think it naive, and say we should all vote on the issues. I say voting on issues are fine, if you believe what the candidate is saying. Naive are those who thought that the b.s. President Obama was shoveling on many issues during the campaign was how he felt on those issues, or how he would act on them. If you think the candidate can't be trusted to act the way he says he will, how does it make sense to vote according to his statements on the issues?

Scott Brown for Senate

One regret about leaving Brookline MA this year: I won't be able to vote for Scott Brown. It looks like he might have a chance to win the open Senate seat, and it would have been great to cast a vote that mattered. I remember discussing with friends in Boston about the feeling of disenfranchisement that comes from not being ultra liberal in MA. You look down at the ballot and there is no one to vote for. The vast majority of elections involve liberal Democrats running unopposed.

I also remember telling friends I didn't think it healthy for any party to have such a lock on a state. The party with that power will become corrupt and take their power for granted. I think that was true in MA. So even if Brown wins I think there will be an up-side for my liberal friends back east. The Democrats will be shaken up a bit.

Wow, a letter from a person in Brookline appears in the Corner. I never thought I'd see that.

Idiot reporters

As a regular watcher of documentary television, such as the Discovery Channel (is there anything else on TV worth watching?) I figure I've known for at least a dozen years that the pyramids in Egypt weren't built by slaves. It was probably decades ago that they found the living-quarters of the builders, which clearly showed them to be free craftsmen and not slaves.

Of course:
Films and media have long depicted slaves toiling away in the desert to build the mammoth pyramids only to meet a miserable death at the end of their efforts.
But we don't actually look to films for our facts, do we?

Well, maybe Reuters reporters do:
New tombs found in Giza support the view that the Great Pyramids were built by free workers and not slaves, as widely believed, Egypt's chief archaeologist said on Sunday.

Films and media have long depicted slaves toiling away in the desert to build the mammoth pyramids only to meet a miserable death at the end of their efforts.

"These tombs were built beside the king's pyramid, which indicates that these people were not by any means slaves," Zahi Hawass, the chief archaeologist heading the Egyptian excavation team, said in a statement.

"If they were slaves, they would not have been able to build their tombs beside their king's."
Wow! Alert the media! Especially credulous reporters...of course at the bottom of the story is this:
"The first discovery of workers' tombs in 1990"
You know, it used to be that reporters had beats, and they would at least be slightly familiar with the subject they were reporting on. Apparently, that type of reporting has suffered from budget cuts.

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to my beautiful little two year old girl.

You are truly a joy!

Last year here.

CA headed for bankruptcy, says...

I give you Willie Brown, the last person in CA you'd expect to hear this from...maybe second-to-last, after Grey Davis:
If we as a state want to make a New Year's resolution, I suggest taking a good look at the California we have created. From our out-of-sync tax system to our out-of-control civil service, it's time for politicians to begin an honest dialogue about what we've become.

Take the civil service.

The system was set up so politicians like me couldn't come in and fire the people (relatives) hired by the guy they beat and replace them with their own friends and relatives.

Over the years, however, the civil service system has changed from one that protects jobs to one that runs the show.

The deal used to be that civil servants were paid less than private sector workers in exchange for an understanding that they had job security for life.

But we politicians, pushed by our friends in labor, gradually expanded pay and benefits to private-sector levels while keeping the job protections and layering on incredibly generous retirement packages that pay ex-workers almost as much as current workers.

Talking about this is politically unpopular and potentially even career suicide for most officeholders. But at some point, someone is going to have to get honest about the fact that 80 percent of the state, county and city budget deficits are due to employee costs.

Either we do something about it at the ballot box, or a judge will do something about in Bankruptcy Court. And if you think I'm kidding, just look at Vallejo.