March 30, 2013

Saturday Learning Series - Calvin Coolidge

Do a youtube search for Calvin Coolidge and the top videos returned are some musician of little fame.  What about the one who was president?  Has his legacy been buried by progressive historians?  Two videos below explain Coolidge's less government legacy and lessons for today, as well as possibly explaining why it's been buried.

Don't Eat Your Dog!

Government keeps growing -- and freedom keeps shrinking -- because we fail to make the moral case for free enterprise. Based on his best-selling book "The Road to Freedom," AEI President Arthur C. Brooks explains how we can win the fight for free enterprise by articulating what's written on our hearts. "We have to see that we're not in an economic battle for the future of America," Arthur says. "We're in a moral battle."

Celebrity Culture Dampens Reality

If Lady Gaga is more important to your life than the price of gas, taxes, liberty, education or a job, give your head a shake.  Unfortunately there are a lot of people who hang on every word of a celebrity, whose only qualification for celebrity is the ability to play guitar, sing or act.  Sometimes they really don't even possess those skills.  Via PJM : Col.Allen West and the hipster doofus-ification of America.

Celebrity does not equate to moral authority.  Their voices on issues outside their area of talent at best should be met with skepticism as to their knowledge of the subject they are speaking about.  Unfortunately in the real world, celebrity equates to influence.  When real heroes - doctors, soldiers, engineers, pastors, factory workers, firefighters, police, scientists, etc.* - go mostly unheard.

By the way, there is nothing hip about progressivism.  The word progressive is a contrived way to make their ideas sound like progress.  Typically when they say progress, they mean social progress. But:

  • Social progress is not the same thing as technological progress.  Progress in fighting cancer is a good thing.  Progress in granting government more power at the expense of individual liberty, is a bad thing.
  • Social progress is clearly not always a good thing - for example legalizing cocaine might be considered social progress but really it's devolution. 
  • Some areas of society do not require improvement.  While improvements are always possible, many things work very well and do not require full changes, where tweaking, at best, is required.  Taking away the Second Amendment is a full change that isn't desireable, enforcing existing gun laws is a better option but that wouldn't qualify as progress in the eyes of progressives.
  • Social progress is uni-directional.  Not only do progressives not want to go back if their ideas fail (indeed they will argue we didn't go far enough), often society cannot go back once a new social policy (e.g. gay marriage) has been enacted.  A can of worms once opened cannot be closed. 
  • Progressives put their agenda ahead of consequences.  If they can't prove their ideas represent an improvement, they just shout louder than those who question their agenda and call them names in order to denigrate their opposition.  Real debate is not possible.

*I'd add teachers to that list if there weren't so many of them who were hipster doofuses.  Teachers deserve respect, but they also require better vetting.

March 29, 2013

Ha, and ha, ha. Explain this, global warming nuts.

There's nothing I need to add to this story.  For years I and others have been arguing that there really is no scientific consensus on man made global warming, and in fact warming itself is questionable.  Now there's this:
In a lengthy article this week, The Economist magazine said if climate scientists were credit-rating agencies, then climate sensitivity - the way climate reacts to changes in carbon-dioxide levels - would be on negative watch but not yet downgraded.

Another paper published by leading climate scientist James Hansen, the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, says the lower than expected temperature rise between 2000 and the present could be explained by increased emissions from burning coal.

For Hansen the pause is a fact, but it's good news that probably won't last.

International Panel on Climate Change chairman Rajendra Pachauri recently told The Weekend Australian the hiatus would have to last 30 to 40 years "at least" to break the long-term warming trend.

But the fact that global surface temperatures have not followed the expected global warming pattern is now widely accepted.

Research by Ed Hawkins of University of Reading shows surface temperatures since 2005 are already at the low end of the range projections derived from 20 climate models and if they remain flat, they will fall outside the models' range within a few years.

"The global temperature standstill shows that climate models are diverging from observations," says David Whitehouse of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

"If we have not passed it already, we are on the threshold of global observations becoming incompatible with the consensus theory of climate change," he says.
Ha, and ha, ha. 

March 28, 2013

Three problems with two Obama paragraphs

Dukakis in a tank - part 2. Still only for the gullible.
The President was just doing a stump speech at the White House at noon EDT today.  He said that 90% of Americans support stricter background checks:
Right now ninety percent of Americans...ninety background checks that will keep criminals and people who've been found to be a danger to themselves or others from buying a gun. More than eighty percent of Republicans agree.  More than eighty percent of gun owners agree. Think about that.  How often do ninety percent of Americans agree on anything?  It never happens.    Many other reforms are supported by clear majorities of Americans. 
And I ask every American to find out where your member of Congress stands on these ideas.  If they're not part of that ninety percent who agree that we should make it harder for a criminal or somebody with a severe mental illness to buy a gun, then you should ask them 'Why not?  Why are you part of the ten percent?'
There are a number of problems with this statement.  Here are three.

Finally - Someone Paying Attention To China's Espionage

America is asleep at the wheel on debt, on illegal immigration and of course on China. I've argued that something needs to be done about China and their efforts to not play fairly in the global economy (most recently here or here).

Maybe though someone is waking up, as National Review's Rich Lowry discusses on Fox News today:

I don't think any rational person wants a trade war with China, but in too many arenas the United States appears to be going down without a fight, or even standing up for it's own interests.  That has got to stop.

March 27, 2013

Hitler survivor: "Keep your guns, buy more guns."

This Hitler survivor argues that people in America should not only keep their guns, but buy more.  Her reasons are chilling.  Her, message is compelling.

What would Phil say?

After a string of unfortunate and sickening mass killings, there's been a misguided and ongoing push from the left to make gun ownership by law abiding citizens who may be bitter clingers, much more difficult and limited in scope.

What do you think this guy would have to say about that?

You want to take my guns?
He's probably not "happy, happy, happy".  Maybe this quote would be more appropriate:

That about covers it.

March 25, 2013

Jim Carrey, wrong on guns

Jim Carey grew up in part in Scarborough (part of Toronto), not far from where I grew up.  For a while, it is said that his family lived in a van there.  So a little empathy might be in order - from me at least.  He is of course entitled to his opinion as well.  

God complex?
But this tweet is absurd, offensive, crude and just plain simpleminded. The last point is the one I can comment on without losing my grip on my own connection to calmness.  It wasn't his only tweet on the subject either.

Carrey implies in his latest tweet that children's safety requires further limitations on guns.  His side has slowly seen their grip on polling favorability slip away.  Perhaps that inspired the insulting profanity.  But the premise itself is incorrect.  No one wants children to be at risk.  No one wants children hurt or killed.  He assumes that people who believe in gun rights are against child safety as an adjunct to their own desire for gun rights.  The two positions he seems to think, as do many liberals apparently, are mutually exclusive.

But gun free schools are inviting targets for homicidal sociopaths.  Why is that?  Because the people there are defenseless.  The truth is, more gun laws won't stop gun crimes.  Outlawing guns entirely won't stop gun crime.  It just won't.  Illegal guns will continue to exist.  Carrey in fact, has taken the typical liberal position of unilaterally disarming the good guys, in order to disable the bad guys (think unilateral Cold War nuclear disarmament).  It won't work.

Meanwhile Carrey has likely alienated at least 40% of his audience with his outlandish remarks.  That's not a good idea when your star power is dwindling. Move back to Canada Jim, if you dislike what the country you are living in stands for with respect to guns or any other issue. 

Just saying.

Love the new layout, it's gotta go.

A lesson in conservatism.

Since I changed my blog layout a couple of months ago, I've really enjoyed the new look. It needs only a bit more tweaking to get exactly where I'd like it to be.  But it's got to go.  Blogger doesn't seem to like the customization and while I have been posting less than normal of late, the traffic levels have really plummeted since the change.  I must have interfered with blogger somehow.   So I'm going to try to change it back for a while to test my hypothesis.  If I am correct, the change will amount to a failed experiment in web design.  That's not a bad thing, in fact, it's a lesson in conservatism.

March 19, 2013

Hillary Rodham Clinton - disaster in waiting

Hillary Rodham Clinton will run for president.  Hillary Rodham Clinton will be a formidable opponent for any Republican nominee - she's female, she's a liberal, and she will be the media darling that Obama was in 2008.   That's because she was treated like a second class citizen by them when Obama ran against her.  They'll feel guilty.  They'll hate the Republican no matter whom it might be.  They'll lover her liberalness.  They will re-find her and start the meme that there are two Democrat superstars who have run back-to-back and that the country is so lucky that this is the case.

She's done everything right by her party, and more importantly for her own political fortunes.  She stood by cheating Bill.  She didn't run against Obama in 2012 though arguably she very well could have defeated him for the nomination and beaten any and all comers from the weak Republican field.

March 18, 2013

Questions and Sensible Answers

Link for geeks.
Here are a few questions that you or I have asked or pondered along with links to some answers that thankfully, we don't have to come up with on our own.

Has government finally borrowed enough?  Depends on whom you ask.

Conservative and not digging Facebook's unequal application of its policies?  Read this.

Liberal and convinced gun-grabbing is a good thing? Here's an example why not.

Still not convinced - maybe Dianne Feisnstein is carrying your banner? Here's Proof she's not.

Who might be Obama's worst possible pick for Labor Secretary?  This guy (the one he nominated).

Conservative and want to see some just desserts? How often do you think this has happened?

Ever wonder about libertarian lifegaurds?  Me neither but there's an interesting post discussing a cartoon on the concept.

Did the devil spawn a son?  Sure looks like it.

March 17, 2013

Palin at CPAC 2013. Full speech

I'm not as enamored of Palin as I used to be, or others, but this is still a speech with some very worthwhile moments and Palin still has some cache.  Her opportunity for the presidency may have passed, but she still makes sense and can make points effectively -  at times, very effectively.

Here's her speech from yesterday.

March 16, 2013

Saturday Learning Series - Data Modeling and Mining

Stay with me on this one. I can't stress enough how important this episode is for the conservative movement.   In the past I've argued that there is a much smarter way to use data in everything, but it's particularly true in politics.  Conservatives can argue until they are blue (or red) in the face about what could have defeated president Obama in the 2012 election, or what is needed to win in 2016, but what made a big difference for Obama was targeted tactical efforts in key areas, maximizing their results to spectacular effect.
Barack Obama won the 2012 presidential election, defeating Mitt Romney in nearly all battleground states, securing a total of 332 electoral votes and winning 51% of the popular vote. Following the election, several prominent media outlets reported the Obama campaign’s effective mining of the large databases of voter information was a major factor in the president’s victory. In fact, during the election, Time Magazine interviewed several of the Obama campaign’s “data crunches” and estimated their efforts “helped Obama raise $1 billion, remade the process of targeting TV ads and created detailed models of swing-state voters that could be used to increase the effectiveness of everything from phone calls and door knocks to direct mailings and social media.” Obama strategist David Axelrod told news reporters “nothing happened on election night that surprised me — nothing. Every single domino that turned over was in keeping with the model that our folks had projected.”

...Data was continually collected through cookies and tracker programs on Obama’s website and social media apps. Using data mining, the Obama campaign’s data scientists were able to comb through all the information to discover important patterns and draw conclusions about potential voters. They assigned potential swing state voters numbers of a scale of 1 to 100 in four metrics: the likelihood that they would support Mr. Obama, the likelihood they would show up at the polls, the likelihood an Obama supporter who did not consistently vote could be motivated to go to the polls, and finally, how persuadable someone was by a conversation on a particular issue.

The Obama campaign then utilized advanced statistical algorithms to run test models predicting what actions or messages would persuade the most voters to swing democratic.

...David Axelrod stated that because of the 2012 results he would: “invest in people who understand where the technology is going and what the potential will be by 2016 for communications, for targeting, for mining data, to make precision possible in terms of both persuasion and mobilization.” Because of the crucial role data mining played in Obama’s victory, “guys sitting in a back room smoking cigars, saying ‘We always buy 60 Minutes’ is over.” Fundamentals and gut feelings are being replaced by the information driven insights of data scientists and technology.

Obama making it hurt

A point raised by Bill Whittle.  Is Obama making it hurt deliberately? If so, why?

Powerpoint Is The Downfall of The West

If you've ever worked in an office environment, you've more than likely been exposed to someone's Powerpoint presentation.  Whether it be on marketing objectives, sales forecasts, corporate culture, or the new network infrastructure, you've sat through a Powerpoint discussion, presentation or maybe even a lecture. Powerpoint, part of Microsoft's Office suite is a great tool for organizing thoughts and presenting ideas for discussion or explanation.  The problem with Powerpoint is not the tool itself but rather the behaviors it enables.  That behavior will lead to the downfall of the West.

Would Powerpoint have helped put Neil Armstrong on the moon?  No.  It might in fact even have slowed the moon mission down.  I've been in a number of companies and every Powerpoint presentation I've ever seen has two things in common; (1) It makes, or tries to make, a point and (2) it draws a number of people with a combined hourly salary that would shock you, into a room to discuss that point.  What Powerpoint does not do,  is demand an outcome from that discussion.  Too often Powerpoint presentations are static versions of television shows. The result of that meeting or discussion too often does nothing to advance a corporate agenda, it simply ends up being a time waster.  It takes productive people and mis-allocates their time.

People do not use Powerpoint effectively, that is to say, they don't meet with an objective or a desired outcome.  People also spend too much time perfecting a presentation and not enough time engaged in real productivity.  That's not all Powerpoint's fault.  People have long been disorganized and without clear objectives long before Microsoft came along.  But Powerpoint enables a corporate culture that encourages misguided energies.

Powerpoint was created no doubt, with the objective of simplifying and and improving communication.  Communication is one of the fundamental building blocks of any organization, private or public. Other fundamental building blocks may vary from organization to organization but could include things like innovation, efficiency, flexibility, creativity or productivity.  But communication has been over-emphasized in relation to these other fundamentals. Too many businesses have skewed their efforts to the point that too many people are presenting too many things too each other and not enough people are engaged in productive real work.  Crops do not grow via Powerpoint.  Assembly lines do not use Powerpoint.  Planes do not need Powerpoint to fly.

It's obviously not true for every company but it is all too common.  There is some point at which it becomes too common and too repetitive in its application.  Powerpoint doesn't actually suck.  Powerpoint is a tool, and it is an innovative one at that.   It can be used effectively, and there are times it can be very useful.  What it does not need to do is turn everyone into storytellers instead of workers, and that depends on those who use it, not the tool itself.  If we get stuck in the mindset that the pinnacle of our work is the Powerpoint presentation about the actual work, our downfall is assured.

March 15, 2013

Obama statement vs. the Constitution

The president issued a statement yesterday regarding gun control, or as the president put it, gun violence.  Let's for a second disregard the fact that a gun is incapable of violence, it's just a tool that can be used for violence just as it can be used for defense and security.

We've entered the matrix?
Here's the president's statement in full.  I've added the emphasis for discussion purposes.  It is not emphasized in the original.
I thank the Senate for taking another step forward in our common effort to help reduce gun violence by advancing a bill that would reinstate and strengthen a ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons and set a 10-round limit for magazines. These weapons of war, when combined with high-capacity magazines, have one purpose: to inflict maximum damage as quickly as possible. They are designed for the battlefield, and they have no place on our streets, in our schools, or threatening our law enforcement officers.

The Senate has now advanced legislation addressing three of the most important elements of my proposal to help reduce the epidemic of gun violence in this country. Now the full Senate and the House need to vote on this bill, as well as the measures advanced in the past week that would impose serious penalties on anyone who buys a gun as part of a scheme to arm criminals, improve school safety, and help keep guns out of the hands of criminals, people with a severe mental illness, and others who shouldn’t have them. Each of these proposals deserves a vote.
The highlighted section sounds powerful at first blush, but not as powerful as this, the Second Amendment to the Constitution:

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
The part people tend to focus on is "shall not be infringed".  Infringed: Act so as to limit or undermine. Seems like the president's proposal (notice he takes credit for a liberal plan but won't take the blame for his own liberal failures?), tends to infringe the public's second amendment rights.

But what about "being necessary to the security of a free state"?  It is quite necessary that weapons that are in fact designed for the battlefield be available to the people.  Whether the framers were arguing that the security is to face an external threat or to the face an overbearing domestic government, does not matter.  The intent was to allow people to both keep and bear (carry) arms.  Further, if the purpose is to raise a militia when needed, then should not the arms suitable to a battlefield be not only available but indeed required?

The president seems to view the Constitution, at best, as malleable or unequally applicable.  At worst he sees it as archaic and not up to snuff.  He did  say at one point that the Constitution was a document of negative rights.
“We still suffer from not having a Constitution that guarantees its citizens economic rights.” By positive economic rights, Obama means government protection against individual economic failures, such as low incomes, unemployment, poverty, lack of health care, and the like. Obama characterizes the Constitution as “a charter of negative liberties,” which “says what the states can’t do to you (and) what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn't say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf.”
Disdain for the Constitution is unbecoming for a Commander-In-Chief.  The president is as agenda driven as he is political, and as much as he is eager to take credit and eschew blame.  This simple release, shows once again each of those first three points.  He's attempting to sound-bite himself into convincing the public to support his 'perfectly reasonable' position.  He is eager to take credit for the work being done by Senate Democrats.   And finally his agenda is a pure liberal agenda.  Rolling back gun rights is a progressive liberal wish list item, and Obama is fully on board with it.

As for eschewing blame - he's had over four years of track record showing that.

What is classical liberalism?

Are you a classical liberal?  Test yourself using the points in this video.  How many of the 10 points do you agree with?

I scored quite high, so I would classify myself as a classical liberal.  However I didn't get a 10 out of 10. More like 9.5.  There are a few points in there that I'd argue need a more robust definition.  For example on tolerance, does it imply that we should tolerate intolerance?  (Modern, progressive) Liberals cannot tolerate conservative ideas. There are some who are intolerant of conservatives' views.  Should they be challenged on their hypocrisy and intolerance rather than just tolerated?  Arguably yes.

At least it's something to think about.  I'm going to review my views on these in the future as well as the implications of each of the 10 points raised, in a little more depth.  But if you are a conservative, a liberal or a libertarian, review the video and score yourself a point for each of the ten elements you agree with.  If you're brave, post your score in the comments section.

March 13, 2013

Rove, Romney and Ridiculousness

Go here, read this if you are interested in why Romney lost and why the GOP are still on track to repeat their mistakes.  It seems many of us know the problem but some of the "right" people still don't.  Know the problem before you try to solve it or else you will fail.

Here's an excerpt from King Shamus.  He definitely gets it, but he's not in Karl Rove:
This should be an iron-clad rule in politics: If your ideological positions are not helping you, they will be used by your opponent to hurt you. This is especially true when it comes to abortion, which is far more emotional and polarizing then an issue like energy independence or entitlement reform. Mitt and his team forgot this law of partisan warfare and it cost them dearly.

I’ll admit that this post is a lot of gussied-up Monday morning quarterbacking. On the other hand, the Republican Party consultant class gets paid to figure this out before the election and they still don’t know how to play the game. If you listen to Karl Rove and his ilk, they still think the GOP’s problems are caused by being too right-wing. They’ve had just as much time as I’ve had to do a post-game analysis of the November debacle. Their strongest recommendations involve letting Obama get his way on everything, then lather-rinse-repeat until 2016.

Go here for now...

Things have been chaotic lately and I have not had any time to blog.  I am missing it.  Unfortunately it will be a little longer before I have time to get back to regular blogging.  In the meantime, I have had some time to read a few other blogs and thought I'd share some links to some interesting and good posts.

I just read on Bob J's Rants an interesting post about Islamic world domination. Here's an excerpt.  If you find it interesting, you can read the rest of it here.
I truly believe that this world will soon be ruled by Islam, and I think it will happen soon. With so many people questioning Christianity and turning away from the Bible, as well as Islamic countries and religious leaders doing everything they can do to push Islam and eradicate or marginalize other religions, it's happening already. Islam will take over the world much sooner than we might expect.

There was a story on Fox New last week about a college that shut down dorm room Bible study. This was a college in Florida, not Egypt. Almost every day now, you hear about something of this sort. People seem to be turning more and more against Christianity. You can say "well, that's the stupid government and not the people", but in North America we choose our government and leaders. So if people were against not allowing Christmas displays on government property, they should elect different people, or at least speak out against the actions of the government (or college leadership in this Florida case - I'm not sure if this was a government or private college) That’s why I say Islam is going to take over the world if this keeps up. Undermining our own foundations and not challenging the views of a religion that seems driven in large part by radicals is not helping us keep our way of life, it's weakening our ability to defend our way of life...

March 8, 2013

Dictator Watch - March 2013

It's been a long time since three's been a Dictator Watch post on Nonsensible Shoes and a lot has happened on that front since the last one.  Too much in fact, since time restrictions require that I combine the Dictator Watch with the Two word opinion format.

Hugo Chavez - Dead. Definite zombie.

Kim Jong Un - Insane and preparing for an offensive war against America. Not happening.

Mahmud Ahmedinejad - insane and proving it.  See above.

Vladimir Putin - investing in Syria just because he can. Prevent defense.

10 liberal agenda websites you might not know about

NOTE:  This list is not intended as endorsement of any of the following websites.

You know about DailyKos, and The Huffington Post.  Maybe you know about Mother Jones and Media Matters.  But there are a number of liberal websites out there that could be influencing the national debate that you might not know exist. Size matters. But influence matters more.  You might wonder why it matters to you - after all, they are liberal sites, you're not going to be reading them.  The answer is that you need to know your opponent.  Many of the arguments that you face, or will face, can be seen at sites like these before you hear about them in the media or face-to-face.  It gives you time to prepare a counter-argument to talking points you are sure to face.  Then again, it might just give you a laugh.

Here are 10 liberal agenda websites that you might not know about, that nevertheless hold sway in some way that deserves pointing out.  These are in no particular order.

(10) Climate Desk - a liberal climate change website, that has an opinion on everything even remotely related to energy - from wind turbines to China being ahead of the U.S. on climate change, to fracking, to wolves.  The website's banner links it to some highly left-leaning high profile sites - Slate, The Atlantic and Mother Jones among them, and it leads directly to dubious stuff like this.

Click to enlarge (and laugh).

(9) Center for American Progress.  They must have taken the "ives" off the last word.   They cover every imaginable topic from gun rights violence to energy and environment (two issues they not surprisingly, group together).  Watch out for their push on the new catch phrase buzz word (courtesy of president Obama) Middle-Out Economics.  The slick presentation will convince many of those who pay little attention but happen to see the video and don't question the premise or the approach.  Don\t watch this on a weak stomach or with an empty head. (It's sickeningly wrong and misleading).

Seriously,  the video was so rife with propaganda, it made my blood pressure rise.  Thankfully only a little over 1000 visitors have seen it on Youtube, so there's that.

Nevertheless, they realized that they could beat economics with demographics in the 2012 election if they pursued a focused approach, and Team Obama clearly did exactly that.  We didn't see that on the republican side.  Yes the argument about economics was the right one, but the GOP failed to engage in demographic modeling and targeted marketing efforts.

(8) World Socialist Website.  Don't go there, it's truly a waste of your time.  The rhetoric is so far left, that you can't even try to converse with someone with such out-there viewpoints.  Nevertheless , you'll be sure to hear some of their philosophy turning up in the 'august' works of Micheal Moore and his ilk.  It seems that like journalism school, film school and art school preclude any attention to real economics classes.  Yet somehow they have time to get all this socialism stuff in.

(7) Democracy Now! brands itself as a news channel.  It's a hard left organization that today is mourning the death of Hugo Chavez, yet is more than happy to deride the outgoing Pope and describe the church's structure as passe and argue that it needs to adapt "liberation theology".  If that's not an agenda, and some Alinsky tactics at work, I don't know what is.  I'm not a big fan of the outgoing Pope, he certainly couldn't fill the shoes of his predecessor, and the Catholic church is not without its problems.  But to harbor an attack on the man is out of line.  That is, unless you've got a progressive agenda to propagate.

At 35:55 they launch into all of the negatives and then bring on Matthew Fox, who clearly has an ax to grind. They have no shame.

(6)  Al Jazeera isn't exactly a progressive organization, but by buying out Al Gore's liberal Current TV, Al Jazeera does have an agenda to promote an agenda of an Arabic-centric view of news around the world, with the American audience in mind.  Al Jazeera has shared terrorist video and interviews on it's non-English network, and they are clearing coming from a place that is not truly aligned with the American principles of liberty and dissent.  From that perspective they are promoting change in a way that could be described as progressive.  As a conservative, I would not argue their opportunity to purchase the network, nor try to promote themselves or even their agenda, whatever it might be.  That said, I hope they fail.  An Arabic-centric viewpoint in America will only pull the anti-war left crowd even further left, having them pushing the U.S. entirely out of the Middle East and abandoning Israel in the process.

For the record, in Canada, Al Jazeera has so far had little impact, though they pull no punches when it comes to criticizing Canada.  Not exactly a reasonable portrayal in the linked piece.

(5) Truth-Out is really putting out stories without truth.  The truth is out - of their articles.  Any publication that would argue,
I am blaming President Obama and his administration for trying to be cute and clever rather than telling the public the truth about the economic crisis. The result is that the vast majority of the public, and virtually all of the reporters and pundits who deal with budget issues, do not have any clue about where the deficit came from and why it is a virtue rather than a problem.

The basic story is incredibly simple. Demand from the private sector collapsed when the housing bubble burst. We lost $600 billion in annual demand due to residential construction falling through the floor. We will not return to normal levels of construction until the vacancy rates return to normal levels. Vacancy rates are still near post-bubble record highs.

We also lost close to $500 billion in annual consumption spending due to the loss of the $8 trillion in housing-bubble-generated equity that was driving this consumption. This demand will also not come back.

This creates a gap in annual demand of more than $1 trillion. The stimulus, which boosted demand by roughly $300 billion a year in 2009 and 2010, helped to fill part of this gap, but was nowhere near big enough. Furthermore, stimulus spending fell off quickly in 2011, and the stimulus is now pretty much gone altogether. This means that we are still faced with a huge hole in private-sector spending.
So after arguing that the stimulus was too small, and that it's now used up, the author wants you to believe that the solution was to spend a lot more.  But by pointing out that the effect were temporal, he's implying that the crazy level of deficit spending would have to continue, at a much higher level than it was at, to be able to keep the economy going.  Wow. Talk about spend-yourself-rich thinking.  There's no consideration given to cutting spending, creating business incentives and trying to drive up supply and demand in a natural, free market type approach.  That's because it's completely outside of their thought processes.  In fact, it sounds a lot like the White House in that regard.

It's the type of thinking that espoused by many Democrats and it led to their losses in 2010.  Unfortunately, it is a view still held by enough people, that the 2012 elections were a mini-rebound from 2010.

(4) Common Dreams.  This picture captures their entire way of thinking.  It's a mentality that there is a massive cliff wall that separates the top 1% of the population from the remaining 99%.  If ever there were a land of opportunity it is America - a nation where it is indeed possible to make something of yourself. That doesn't make it easy.  It requires a lot of hard work, and some luck to make it.  But it IS possible. I'm pretty sure that's not the case in most nations in the world, and those where it is possible, it isn't as easy as it is in America.  In addition, that 99% metric is silly simply because there is no massive gap between 99% and 98%, or 98% and 97%.  It's a bell curve of income.  Those who are in the 50th percentile are pretty well off.  In fact it's been argued that those in the bottom 10% are still better off than people in other nations or even wealthy people in history.  Bill Whittle tells it well. I strongly urge you to watch that video first before continuing.

Why the big preamble?  Because when you watch this video from Common Dreams about wealth distribution (and re-distribution) you'll see the difference between a factual approach and a feelings-based approach to wealth.  It's the sneaky way the left - from Common Dreams to the president - make it seem like right is on their side, when really it's only manipulation of your perception that is in play.

What's important is their ability to present a slick, influential view of the world, and based on perception. Even if every visual they provide is 100% accurate, Bill Whittle's counter-point shows that "scraping by" isn't exactly what it used to be.

(3) ThinkProgress.  You've probably heard of ThinkProgress.  It's as progressive as it gets.  But they put memes out there and hope that their version of the truth can take hold.  Recently they posted a story about how corporations are artificially inflating the NRA's membership numbers.  In the story they included a Bass Pro Shop discount for NRA members. Of course if you really don't want to be an NRA member you can bypass this coercive, 'evil' promotion and spend your own money - because clearly only government should be giving out freebies. Oh, and also, people can't think for themselves - they are going to all be duped into NRA memberships.

If you want the coupon info, go here. I'm not sure if the deal is still being offered, but a search for the offer meant going to a number of bulletin boards because it wasn't on the Bass Pro Shop site as far as I could tell. (Let me know if that's not correct).

(2) Talking Points Memo.  The name says it all.  Remember the JournoList?  Talking Points Memo is essentially a JournoList for the liberal masses.  It is fairly well known in the blogosphere but for the rest of society it's not really well known.  Want to know how to treat the issues and apply liberal spin?  Go to TPM and find out why GOP senators are praising Obama's outreach on a grand bargain for deficit reduction.  Wait, what?  That can't be real. But it is real - real spin that is.  If it's about the president or a liberal it will be presented as all sunshine and rainbows, but if it's about a conservative or Republican, it's bound to be dirt. Talking Points Memo is the very definition of spin, and the very definition of how to spin for liberals.

(1)  Wonkette.  Okay, Wonkette is reasonably popular and well known by those of us interested in politics (or not). I'm not sure her blog is all that influential though.  Ad there are plenty of posts that simply use news reports as an opportunity to dive head first into name-calling or to pile onto the name-calling or to infer some name-calling.  So what's the agenda? I guess to insult conservatives, a la Alinsky, incessantly.  But hey, she's got an image of a woman in a Catwoman suit as part of her current logo, and who doesn't love that? .

March 6, 2013

Conservative Comedy - Part 3

A continuation of conservative comedy posts (here are parts one and two)  with Brad Stine - conservative Christian comedian.  The first clip has more emphasis on conservatism and Christianity with some comedy.  The second clip is more about pure humor. Both are good.

Male cheerleaders.

March 4, 2013

Conservative Comedy - Part 2

Maybe Joe Biden was right.  Buy a shotgun...

Bill Burr is not a conservative but he's right, and funny here.

Warning - some offensive language.

March 3, 2013

James Burke, brilliant idea

Over at Proof Positive, Proof has started posting a series by James Burke  entitled Connections.  I also posted the series along with others by Burke a while back on the on-going Saturday Learning Series (you can find the links here).  The series was made back in 1978 I believe but it's brilliance holds up to this day, if not the picture quality (which is at least, decent).  Check out the videos if you are interested, they are profound and relevant to this day.

But in addition to the series Burke produced, he has updated his idea to the 21st century.  He is working on creating a Knowledge Web, that connects people, hopefully everyone eventually, across time and space by their interactions and dependencies.  In the future, when the knowledge web is fully functional, you could conceivably create your own journey through connections, in essence, writing your own episodes of Connections.  That would be amazing.

Here, Burke demonstrates the possibilities of his brilliant idea.

"Buy a shotgun."

The vice president's unassailable logic leads to some great advice.

Funny, but be sure to watch to the last part to see the irony of the statement.

Biden is the conservatives' gift that keeps on giving.

March 1, 2013

Sequestergeddon has arrived! Hide your women.

We're gonna need this guy now.
Well, it's a post-sequester world now, isn't it?

You know what that means.  Unexpected unemployment surges.  Laid off postal workers going postal.  Airline flights constantly crashing head on in mid-air. Cities in flames.  Americans fighting each other for scraps of food.  National Guard patrols.  Martial Law.  Drive by shootings.  Looting.  Stampedes of people.  Bodies in the streets.  Cannibals feeding on the corpses. Snake Plisskin coming to the nation's rescue (if he feels like it). A new Pope. Truly these are strange days.  Protect your women, children and food and water.

On a more serious note, was it just me or did the presidential retreat on the impact of the sequester being actually further down the road smack of retreat and being caught out in spin mode for the scare tactics he has ermployed?  Listen to the clip below and tell me it isn't some world-class backpedaling.

Combine that with the story on the White House clash with Bob Woodward and the executive branch sounds like it is in disarray over the sequester. Panic, lies, a called bluff, and threats.  It makes Nixon look positively positive by comparison.

But it's okay America.  You did the right hope and change thing.  All will be well.  The smartest man on the planet is in charge.
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