Thursday, January 29, 2009
Yahoo Answers is kind of addictive. I love going on and reading the questions and answers -- occasionally adding my .02 to the mix.
There was a question tonight I could not resist responding to. Although I kind of doubt this was the answer the questioner had in mind. ;-)
How would one become a conqueror in today's world?
Step 1. Become part of a corrupt political machine.
Step 2. Run for statewide office in safe (i.e., liberal) district.
Step 3. Keep your head down, don't take any controversial stands, vote "present" a lot.
Step 4. Make friends with rich liberals who can loan you money in exchange for favors.
Step 5. Run for national office on empty platitudes and meaningless slogans. Depend on a fawning media to slobber all over you and not question your non-existent record or lack of qualification.
Step 6. Repeat Steps 3 - 5.
Step. 7. Run for president.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Which Team Has the Worst Fans?Cub fans -- they are the worst fans in baseball. I heard that some sportswriter said this a few years ago and it caused a quite a stir at the time. His rationale was that Cub fans, rather than being "die hards" or "true blue", were demonstrating ignorance and stupidity with their continued loyalty to a perpetually losing team.
It sounds harsh, but think about it this way: What if there was a local restaurant that consistently had bad food and/or bad service. At first you might think the cook had a bad day, or maybe they hired an incompetent server. But, if they continued to provide bad food and bad service for a year, for two years, for ten years -- you'd stop going to that restaurant and wasting your money.
Now, if you had a friend who continued going to that restaurant -- and who also complained of the awful food and terrible service -- you might think it odd if they kept going back saying they were sure things would improve "next time". You wouldn't admire their stoicism, you wouldn't say "what a "die hard", "true blue" loyal fan of that restaurant you are". No, you'd say, "quit being an idiot and go find a decent restaurant!"
Sunday, January 25, 2009
What's the difference between Obama and the Wizard of Oz? Well one is larger than life, breathing fire and blowing lots of smoke in the air, but in actuality is a just a fraudulent windbag hiding behind a curtain mouthing high-toned but meaningless platitudes -- and the other is, er, well, never mind.
Anyway, I was on Yahoo Answers today and saw an intriguing question about comparing / contrasting Obama and Martin Luther King. One of the responses, written by Patti Charron, was so good that I sent her a note asking if I could post it here. She gracefully said "yes". Here is the question and response:
Q: If you were given Obama and MLK's speech, would you compare them or contrast them?
A: (by Patti Charron) I don't know which speeches you propose to compare, but the point is moot because there is no comparison.
MLK was a great orator who spoke with heartfelt conviction. He had an immense vocabulary from years of reading and studying other great orators. He had a very special gift and terrific way of finding just the right words for any occasion. He inspired everyone.
Obama reads from a teleprompter and can't put together a two-word sentence on his own. Uhhhhhhhhh. Uhhhhh. He's a complete idiot who can't think on his feet.
MLK was dyed-in-the-wool Republican who voted for Nixon twice.
Obama's only political conviction is to expanding the Dependency Class that Roosevelt started in the 1930s. And to getting rich and more famous in the "American Idol" culture of American politics.
MLK was a man of God. Obama thinks he IS God.
MLK expected people (all people, but most especially black people) to break out of the Dependency Class, to raise their children in two-parent homes with values and integrity and self-respect. He was against welfare, disability, a sense of entitlement and general whining. He encouraged people to act in a dignified manner to secure the dignified treatment they deserved. He knew it would take time and he pleaded with everyone to get behind him to achieve these goals.
Obama is all about dependency, whining and blaming somebody else for all the problems, including drugs, single parenthood, laziness, violence and crime.
MLK wanted to shake off the past and move forward, again with dignity and self-respect.
Obama, the product of a middle-class white woman and a ne'er-do-well African polygamist, has no connection whatsoever to oppression or slavery, and yet whines about it all the time, even in his inaugural address. And Americans are stupid enough to buy into it! He went to Harvard, for God's sake. I am not sure when he "felt the whips on our backs." I'm not sure what oppression he's experienced. Moron.
So, in response to your post, I'd say "contrast" is the way to go, although, in terms of discussing these two men in the same paper, it's like comparing apples and Volkswagens.
From the Onion:
Hillary Clinton Mouthing Along To Presidential Oath
January 20, 2009 | Issue 45•04WASHINGTON—Network news cameras covering Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony Tuesday captured Hillary Clinton silently moving her lips along with each word of the minute-long presidential oath of office. As she stood watching several yards from Chief Justice John Roberts, the former Democratic presidential candidate could be observed placing her left hand on a leather appointment book and raising her right hand slightly from her hip. Clinton, who carefully followed the swearing-in procedure with her eyes shut tightly, only varied from the president's words once, when she soundlessly mouthed her name instead of Barack Obama's. Clinton was later seen at an inaugural ball pretending she was dancing with first lady Michelle Obama.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Saw this on one of my favorite blogs, Moonbattery. So a French poodle of a leader gets taken down by his own "clinically depressed" French poodle.
Clinically Depressed Poodle Mauls Former French President
Thursday , January 22, 2009
Former French President Jacques Chirac was rushed to a hospital after being mauled by his pet dog who is being treated for depression, in a dramatic incident that rattled the ex-president's wife.
The couple's white Maltese poodle, called Sumo, has a history of frenzied fits and became increasingly prone to making "vicious, unprovoked attacks" despite receiving treatment with anti-depressants, Chirac's wife Bernadette said.
"If you only knew! I had a dramatic day yesterday," she told VSD magazine. "Sumo bit my husband!"
Mrs. Chirac, 74, did not reveal where the former president was bitten, but said, "the dog went for him for no apparent reason."
"We were aware the animal was unpredictable and is being treated with pills for depression. My husband was bitten quite badly but he is certain to make a full recovery in weeks."
Chirac was taken to a hospital in Paris where he was treated as an outpatient and later sent home.
The 76-year-old was president of France for 12 years until 2007.
Monday, January 19, 2009
MR. GREGORY: Tavis Smiley, tomorrow's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.
MR. TAVIS SMILEY: Mm-hmm.
MR. GREGORY: He would have been 80 to see the inauguration of the first African-American president.
MR. SMILEY: And you can't escape that. What a, what a, what a 48-hour run it's going to be, celebrating the person who I regard as the greatest American we've ever produced, my own assessment, Dr. King; and then Mr. Obama's inauguration the next day. There have been so many King-Obama comparisons as, as evidenced by your question. I think, though, it's important to state that Obama's election is a down payment on King's dream, it is not the fulfillment of King's dream, and that's a crucial, I think, and critical distinction we have to make. A significant down payment to be sure, and King would certainly be celebrating this moment. But the closest thing in King's lifetime to this Obama moment was the election of the first black mayor of a major American city, Carl Stokes in
. King went to Cleveland and, if I can paraphrase it this way, talked about this notion of black faces in high places. And while that's something to celebrate, there is work to be done and we have got to keep the focus on the issues. And where Mr. Obama is concerned, while black Cleveland Americaand all of will certainly celebrate this, because King is, again, not just a black leader, he's the best of what Americais all about. America
So, the message is: L
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Record snowfall, plunging temperatures hit the areaAnd this:
A new record was set Wednesday when Chicago had its ninth consecutive day of measurable snowfall, according to the National Weather Service.
The previous record was eight consecutive days set from Dec. 13 to 20,
Snowfall records in Chicago date back to 1884.
A wind chill warning has been issued as temperatures as temperatures will not
reach single digits until Friday.
The forecast for Thursday is: Sunny and cold, with a high near -3. Wind chill values as low as -33. West northwest wind between 10 and 15 mph.
Thursday Night: Clear, with a low around -16. Wind chill values as low as -34. West wind around 10 mph.
Wicked: Coldest Temps In Over A DecadeOK, it's cold, really cold. So what? Well, what does this mean for global warming alarmists? You'd think they'd be sheepishly distancing themselves from their hysterical pronouncements of imminent disaster.
First Day With A Low Colder Than -10
In Chicago Since 1999
CHICAGO (CBS) ―
The typical exercise of bundling up for winter won't cut it on Thursday.
It's time to break out the long underwear and the electric gloves, for what is expected to go down as the coldest day in more than a decade.
Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning until noon Friday. The forecast
high for Thursday is expected to linger in the negative range at -2, dropping to -15 overnight. Strong northwest winds are producing wind chill factors of -25 to -40.
But, you'd be wrong. I saw this comment on a blog yesterday:
Let's cut the crap. The ice caps are melting as we speak. We are talkingI'm not kidding -- you can't make this stuff up. Talk about being unhinged! At some point, these people are going to have to wake up and realize that reality is not conforming itself to their political agenda.
massive, catastrophic, irreversible (in the lifetimes of us and the next few
generations, at the very least) climate change. I don't doubt that Obama wants
to address the problem, but we saw in September how Congress reacts when they
believe a real crisis is at hand. So far, Obama is not demonstrating that level
Isn't it curious? You'd think they'd be happy: crisis averted! Nope. Instead, they're furious. Hmm. Perhaps they're not as much interested in saving the planet as they are in running our lives.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
If you haven't read Atlas Shrugged, you should. I have only two caveats regarding the book, one practical, one substantive. First, it is a long read. The book is over a 1,000 pages, so it can be daunting to pick it up. Take my word for it though, the effort will pay dividends.
The second caveat is that Ayn Rand is an atheist and her animus towards religion comes through loud and clear. Normally, I would recommend not reading someone like Rand for this reason. However, this is not a 'normal' book, and we certainly are not living in 'normal' times. So, ignore Rand's bigotry and focus on her scathing, prescient analysis of big government -- if you have not read her before, her assessment will blow you away; you will find it hard to believe this book was written 50 years ago because she is describing what is happening in this country as if she were writing the book today.
Here is an interesting article on Atlas Shrugged from Stephen Moore published in the WSJ:
'Atlas Shrugged': From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years
Some years ago when I worked at the libertarian Cato Institute, we used to label any new hire who had not yet read "Atlas Shrugged" a "virgin." Being conversant in Ayn Rand's classic novel about the economic carnage caused by big government run amok was practically a job requirement. If only "Atlas" were required reading for every member of Congress and political appointee in the Obama administration. I'm confident that we'd get out of the current financial mess a lot faster.
The art for a 1999 postage stamp.
Many of us who know Rand's work have noticed that with each passing week, and with each successive bailout plan and economic-stimulus scheme out of Washington, our current politicians are committing the very acts of economic lunacy that "Atlas Shrugged" parodied in 1957, when this 1,000-page novel was first published and became an instant hit.
Rand, who had come to America from Soviet Russia with striking insights into totalitarianism and the destructiveness of socialism, was already a celebrity. The left, naturally, hated her. But as recently as 1991, a survey by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club found that readers rated "Atlas" as the second-most influential book in their lives, behind only the Bible.
For the uninitiated, the moral of the story is simply this: Politicians invariably respond to crises -- that in most cases they themselves created -- by spawning new government programs, laws and regulations. These, in turn, generate more havoc and poverty, which inspires the politicians to create more programs . . . and the downward spiral repeats itself until the productive sectors of the economy collapse under the collective weight of taxes and other burdens imposed in the name of fairness, equality and do-goodism.
In the book, these relentless wealth redistributionists and their programs are disparaged as "the looters and their laws." Every new act of government futility and stupidity carries with it a benevolent-sounding title. These include the "Anti-Greed Act" to redistribute income (sounds like Charlie Rangel's promises soak-the-rich tax bill) and the "Equalization of Opportunity Act" to prevent people from starting more than one business (to give other people a chance). My personal favorite, the "Anti Dog-Eat-Dog Act," aims to restrict cut-throat competition between firms and thus slow the wave of business bankruptcies. Why didn't Hank Paulson think of that?
These acts and edicts sound farcical, yes, but no more so than the actual events in Washington, circa 2008. We already have been served up the $700 billion "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act" and the "Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act." Now that Barack Obama is in town, he will soon sign into law with great urgency the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan." This latest Hail Mary pass will increase the federal budget (which has already expanded by $1.5 trillion in eight years under George Bush) by an additional $1 trillion -- in roughly his first 100 days in office.
The current economic strategy is right out of "Atlas Shrugged": The more incompetent you are in business, the more handouts the politicians will bestow on you. That's the justification for the $2 trillion of subsidies doled out already to keep afloat distressed insurance companies, banks, Wall Street investment houses, and auto companies -- while standing next in line for their share of the booty are real-estate developers, the steel industry, chemical companies, airlines, ethanol producers, construction firms and even catfish farmers. With each successive bailout to "calm the markets," another trillion of national wealth is subsequently lost. Yet, as "Atlas" grimly foretold, we now treat the incompetent who wreck their companies as victims, while those resourceful business owners who manage to make a profit are portrayed as recipients of illegitimate "windfalls."
When Rand was writing in the 1950s, one of the pillars of American industrial might was the railroads. In her novel the railroad owner, Dagny Taggart, an enterprising industrialist, has a FedEx-like vision for expansion and first-rate service by rail. But she is continuously badgered, cajoled, taxed, ruled and regulated -- always in the public interest -- into bankruptcy. Sound far-fetched? On the day I sat down to write this ode to "Atlas," a Wall Street Journal headline blared: "Rail Shippers Ask Congress to Regulate Freight Prices."
In one chapter of the book, an entrepreneur invents a new miracle metal -- stronger but lighter than steel. The government immediately appropriates the invention in "the public good." The politicians demand that the metal inventor come to Washington and sign over ownership of his invention or lose everything.
The scene is eerily similar to an event late last year when six bank presidents were summoned by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to Washington, and then shuttled into a conference room and told, in effect, that they could not leave until they collectively signed a document handing over percentages of their future profits to the government. The Treasury folks insisted that this shakedown, too, was all in "the public interest."
Ultimately, "Atlas Shrugged" is a celebration of the entrepreneur, the risk taker and the cultivator of wealth through human intellect. Critics dismissed the novel as simple-minded, and even some of Rand's political admirers complained that she lacked compassion. Yet one pertinent warning resounds throughout the book: When profits and wealth and creativity are denigrated in society, they start to disappear -- leaving everyone the poorer.
One memorable moment in "Atlas" occurs near the very end, when the economy has been rendered comatose by all the great economic minds in Washington. Finally, and out of desperation, the politicians come to the heroic businessman John Galt (who has resisted their assault on capitalism) and beg him to help them get the economy back on track. The discussion sounds much like what would happen today:
Galt: "You want me to be Economic Dictator?"
Mr. Thompson: "Yes!"
"And you'll obey any order I give?"
"Then start by abolishing all income taxes."
"Oh no!" screamed Mr. Thompson, leaping to his feet. "We couldn't do that . . . How would we pay government employees?"
"Fire your government employees."
Abolishing the income tax. Now that really would be a genuine economic stimulus. But Mr. Obama and the Democrats in Washington want to do the opposite: to raise the income tax "for purposes of fairness" as Barack Obama puts it.
David Kelley, the president of the Atlas Society, which is dedicated to promoting Rand's ideas, explains that "the older the book gets, the more timely its message." He tells me that there are plans to make "Atlas Shrugged" into a major motion picture -- it is the only classic novel of recent decades that was never made into a movie. "We don't need to make a movie out of the book," Mr. Kelley jokes. "We are living it right now."
Mr. Moore is senior economics writer for The Wall Street Journal editorial page.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
I initially thought the Obama administration was going to be like revisiting the Jimmy Carter administration; however, instead it's looking like a third Clinton administration.
Look at a sampling of the Clintonistas who've been selected by Obama for his team:
- Hillary Clinton as Sec State
- Leon Paneta, Clinton Chief of Staff as head of the CIA
- Lawrence Summers, Clinton Treasury Sec as head of Nat'l Economic Council
- Rahm Emmanuel, Clinton "senior advisor" as Obama Chief of Staff
- Bill Richardson, Clinton Energy Sec as Obama Commerce Sec (before withdrawing)
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