June 29, 2010

We're just trying to help you wing-nuts...

Jay Valentine: Rolling the Conservative Movement:

...Though Democrats don't agree with the concepts of individual liberty and limited government, they understand their powerful appeal to most Americans. They are terrified Republicans will pick a candidate who espouses these ideals. They would like nothing better than for Republicans to nominate another moderate from the Mitt Romney-David Frum wing so they can avoid fighting a campaign on a battlefield of ideas they can't possibly win.

Let's be clear, if Republicans choose another moderate, Democrats will have successfully avoided that battlefield altogether and the election will be over whose candidate can deliver more freebies to more people more efficiently rather than whether or not the freebies are a good idea in the first place. This is Democrat turf and explains why they are, even as we speak, seeking to get Republican candidates to disavow core conservatives like Governor Palin. If Republicans fall for this, they will have squandered a once-in-a-generation opportunity and will richly deserve the electoral wilderness to which they will have consigned themselves...
.

I'm willing to be open-minded about which rock-solid conservative carries the party's banner in 2012... except there only seems to be one possibility at the moment...

Take no prisoners. Palin/Christie 2012...


Posted by John Weidner at 8:30 PM

June 28, 2010

From those wonderful folks who brought you...

Veronique de Rugy:

...Since the beginning of the recession (roughly January 2008), some 7.9 million jobs were lost in the private sector while 590,000 jobs were gained in the public one. And since the passage of the stimulus bill (February 2009), over 2.6 million private jobs were lost, but the government workforce grew by 400,000.

I will leave it up to you to draw conclusions....
Posted by John Weidner at 8:28 AM

June 27, 2010

Hard choices...

From The Church and the Culture War: Secular Anarchy or Sacred Order, by Joyce A. Little...
...To act as though inclusivity were an end in itself is to deny the fact that, until we are able to make some judgement about the nature of reality itself, we have no basis at all for knowing what ought to be welcomed and what ought to be rejected. We do not after all welcome cancer cells or the AIDS virus on the grounds that to reject them would be an insensitive and uncaring act of intolerance. Before we are in a position to make judgements as to what to include and what to exclude, we must first answer some very hard "either/or" questions. Either there is an objective reality, or there is not. Either there is an intrinsic order to this universe, or there is not. Either there is absolute good, or there is not.

[Walker] Percy stated quite flatly, with regard to his novels, that they are "an attack on the 20th century, on the whole culture. It is a rotten century, we are in terrible trouble." Few would want to have to defend this century. But if there is any silver lining to be found in its closing years, it is the realization that an either/or choice has become virtually unavoidable. With every day that passes, it becomes more and more apparent that one cannot have both the Christian faith and secular liberation.

As Chesterton, himself a convert to the Catholic faith, wrote more than seven decades ago: "The present writer . . . is personally quite convinced that if every human being lived a thousand years, every human being would end up either in utter pessimistic skepticism or in the Catholic creed." Were he still alive, I think he would grant that today the choice between the two is so much clearer that an ordinary lifetime would more than suffice to arrive at that conclusion. Walker Percy, in a self-interview for Esquire, explained that he had become a Catholic because , as he put it, "what else is there?" He then posed to himself the question, "What do you mean, what else is there? There is humanism, atheism, agnosticism, Marxism, behaviorism, Buddhism, Muhammadanism, Sufism, astrology, occultism, theosophy." His answer: "That's what I mean."
.

   

Posted by John Weidner at 8:39 AM

June 26, 2010

What I've been telling you...

The Unengaged President - Mark Steyn - National Review Online:

...Raising the problem, Senator Lemieux found the president unengaged and uninformed. "He doesn't seem to know the situation about foreign skimmers and domestic skimmers," reported the senator.

He doesn't seem to know, and he doesn't seem to care that he doesn't know, and he doesn't seem to care that he doesn't care. "It can seem that at the heart of Barack Obama's foreign policy is no heart at all," wrote Richard Cohen in the Washington Post last week. "For instance, it's not clear that Obama is appalled by China's appalling human rights record. He seems hardly stirred about continued repression in Russia. . . . The president seems to stand foursquare for nothing much.

"This, of course, is the Obama enigma: Who is this guy? What are his core beliefs?"

Gee, if only your newspaper had thought to ask those fascinating questions oh, say, a month before the Iowa caucuses....

There ARE no core beliefs! That's what I keep writing, over and over. And our oh-so-wise pundits keep touching lightly on questions like: "Who is this Obama chap? What are his core beliefs?" If they read Random Jottings they would know precisely what's going on. [Link to my blog-posts on the subject of nihilism.]

Most liberals, especially the "activist" types, have no core beliefs. Nothing. It's all drained away. What are Nancy Pelosi's "core beliefs?" There are none. (Except they all have the belief that government must grow. But that's a "belief" only in the way the addict believes in Heroin.)

I feel like a combination of that boy who said the emperor has no clothes, and Cassandra. Although in this case the clothes have no emperor! Like Cassandra, I keep saying, "You damn fools, you just that wooden horse be!" but nobody listens...

And I keep telling you all that China and Russia are not real to our liberal nihilists. In their view of the world, only America and Israel exist. Why? Because these are the two countries that are beliefs. Are ideas. And belief is an irritant and an affront to the person who has no beliefs. The rest of creation only exists when touched by America or Israel. We see this every day, yet people won't "see" it. For instance the "Palestinians" only exist for Western liberals when Israel does something to them. Arab countries do far worst things to them than Israel does, yet those are invisible.

China's appalling human rights record means absolutely nothing to most leftists. But if I, an American, went to China with my ice cream cart and sold ice cream cones to Chinese children... and they got belly-aches... That would be a big deal! China would suddenly exist! We see this all the time. And if you listen to me, it will make perfect sense to you. (How's that for hubris! It doesn't matter; no one will notice ol' Cassie.

Smelly hippie lights cig on burning American flag
Posted by John Weidner at 10:17 AM

June 24, 2010

The deep perniciousness of "social justice"

I saw this quote by one Jerry H. Tempelman in an amazon.com review of Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 2: The Mirage of Social Justice, by F. A. Hayek...

...The following passage sums up the entire book quite well: "[I]n...a system in which each is allowed to use his knowledge for his own purposes the concept of 'social justice' is necessarily empty and meaningless, because in it nobody's will can determine the relative incomes of the different people, or prevent that they be partly dependent on accident. 'Social justice' can be given a meaning only in a directed or 'command' economy (such as an army) in which the individuals are ordered what to do; and any particular conception of 'social justice' could be realized only in such a centrally directed system. It presupposes that people are guided by specific directions and not by rules of just individual conduct.

Indeed, no system of rules of just individual conduct, and therefore no free action of the individuals, could produce results satisfying any principle of distributive justice...In a free society in which the position of the different individuals and groups is not the result of anybody's design—or could, within such a society, be altered in accordance with a generally applicable principle—the differences in reward simply cannot meaningfully be described as just or unjust." (pp. 69-70) ...

Thanks, I'm glad I don't need to read the book    ;-)

Actually, I'm posting this mostly because a blog is a good place to store this sort of thing. And I may need it someday because the term "social justice" is heard a lot in the Catholic world. I never say nothin' but I could someday, and I think 'social justice' is a deeply wicked idea.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:05 PM

June 22, 2010

"The poetry of the counting-house and wharf..."

How are these two things the same?

From the memoirs of Fanny Kemble...

...While we were acting at Liverpool an experimental trip was proposed upon the line of railway which was being constructed between Liverpool and Manchester, the first mesh of that amazing iron net which now covers the whole surface of England and all the civilized portions of the earth. The Liverpool merchants, whose far-sighted self-interest prompted them to wise liberality, had accepted the risk of George Stephenson's magnificent experiment, which the committee of inquiry of the House of Commons had rejected for the government. These men, of less intellectual culture than the Parliament members, had the adventurous imagination proper to great speculators, which is the poetry of the counting-house and wharf, and were better able to receive the enthusiastic infection of the great projector's sanguine hope that the Westminster committee...[Thanks to David Foster at Chicagoboyz]

The Space Review: Individuals pick up the space development torch:

...Wealth follows a Pareto distribution where 80% of the wealth is owned by 20% of the people, 64% of the wealth is owned by 4% of the people, and so on. At $1 million and more, there are about 110 times as many people as at $30 million and more. So if wealth continues to double every generation and the price of rocket development shrinks modestly, so that ten percent per year growth continues, there may be millions of people who can afford to develop a rocket in fifty years time—about the same number as the 8.6 million millionaire individuals in 2009.

The increase in the population of potential financiers in the last 50 years is likely to be the main reason that rocket development is now becoming a personal pursuit. In addition to Elon Musk’s orbital venture, many people have used the proceeds from other businesses to fund suborbital rocketry in the past 10 years (and perhaps orbital in the future), including Paul Allen, Jeff Bezos, John Carmack, and David Masten. As successful developments conclude, the pursuit may become more popular and competitive. Keeping up with the Joneses amongst yuppie rocketeers may someday mean launching settlers to Mars....

By the way, I wrote back in 2006:

Having these proud-as-Lucifer dot-commers competing with each other to get into orbit is just too utterly cool. "Last guy into space is a girl!"

Well, it seems to be working...

Delta Clipper experimental rocket
That fascinating might-have-been, Delta Clipper. Image from space.com

They are the same because many of the real poets are, then and now, entrepreneurs.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:03 PM

June 21, 2010

You're a racist if you even read this...

Excerpts from President Obama media doubles down on doublespeak - BostonHerald.com:

...Criticizing Bush - the highest form of patriotism. Criticizing Obama - hate speech. Who caused Bush's problems? - Bush. Who causes Obama's problems? - Bush.

Cindy Sheehan under Bush - a future recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Sheehan under Obama - give it up already, you old bag.

Bush playing a rare round of golf - complete video coverage, showing his utter indifference to the suffering of the American people.

Obama playing one of his endless rounds of golf - only still photos allowed, yet another glowing indication of our dashing president's youth and physical fitness.

Media reviews of Bush's handling of Katrina - he hates black people. Media reviews of Obama's handling of the oil spill - Halliburton did it.

Bush on Air Force One - junkets, fund-raising for GOP fat cats. Obama on Air Force One - fact-finding missions, reassuring the American people of his tireless FDR-like commitment to them.

Two hundred-point midday drops on the Dow under Bush - ominous plummet. Same drops under Obama - the market is seeking direction.

Democrat women elected under Bush - a triumph of feminism. Republican women elected under Obama - a setback for feminism...
Posted by John Weidner at 5:41 PM

Highly recommended book...



I love books that take me behind the scenes to find out what really happened. And I love books that explain tricky things in a way I can understand. And I love mysteries and whodunits. AND, I love to witness that rarest of treats, the downfall of the wicked. SO, this book, The Hockey Stick Illusion, by A. W.Montford, is pure jam to me.

Did you ever wonder how climatologists can tell us things about the climate of the world many centuries ago? When there were no thermometers or weather stations? They use various "proxy data," such as isotope counts in ice cores or lake-bed cores. Also dendrochronology, which is the study of tree rings. But this is a very tricky and controversial business, and it involves intense statistical analysis of masses of very noisy data.

In 1998, an obscure young climatologist named Michael Mann wrote a paper claiming that global temperatures over the last 1,000 years had been very stable until there was a sharp upturn in the latter 20th Century. The graph he presented looked like a hockey stick—a long straight handle, then a sharp turn upwards that formed the blade.

This was fairly outrageous since the consensus view had always included the Medieval Warm Period, when temperatures were higher than now, and farms flourished in Greenland, and winemaking in England. Mann ought to have been greeted with extreme skepticism. Instead he was lauded, and his graph instantly became an icon of AGW—the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming.

Why? Because the hockey stick was a "Reichstag Fire" for the leftists and fake-environmentalists who are dreaming of unprecedented power-grabs.

Enter Steve McIntyre. Once upon a time there was a brilliant young Canadian lad who planned to go to MIT for a PhD in Math. Family problems sent him into the business world instead, and he became a mining executive, using his statistics talent to delve into thousands of mining proposals. He saw the hockey stick, and immediately thought of many bogus schemes he had seen. They tended to have the shape of.... hockey sticks!

The book is the story of McIntyre's relentless insurgency fought in tangled thickets of statistical analysis. Which the author manages to make crystal clear, and utterly fascinating. (I blogged about one skirmish of the war here.)

Posted by John Weidner at 9:03 AM

June 20, 2010

Number for the day....

RealClearPolitics - BP, the White House and Congress Are All Dirty:

...Consider this: American companies are sitting on an astonishing pile of $1.5 trillion in unused cash. Why aren't they investing to create new jobs? Well, it's because massive tax and regulatory threats coming out of Washington have created a tall barrier of disincentives and uncertainty that is blocking the normal efficiency of the free-market capitalist system.

The instincts of our free economy are to promote growth. But when government blunts these instincts, the system ceases to work efficientl...

1.5 trillion will capitalize a lot of pop stands...

Posted by John Weidner at 9:05 AM

June 19, 2010

"And she grows young as the world grows old..."


THE TOWERS OF TIME
    By GK Chesterton (An excerpt)

Under what withering leprous light
The very grass as hair is grey,
Grass in the cracks of the paven courts
Of gods we graved but yesterday.
Senate, republic, empire, all
We leaned our backs on like a wall
And blessed as strong as strong and blamed as stolid—
Can it be these that waver and fall?
And what is this like a ghost returning,
A dream grown strong in the strong daylight?
The all-forsaken, the unforgotten,
The ever-behind and out of sight.
We turned our backs and our blind flesh felt it
Growing and growing, a tower in height.

Ah, not alone the evil splendour
And not the insolent arms alone
Break with the ramrod, stiff and brittle,
The sceptre of the nordic throne;
But things of manlier renown
Reel in the wreck of throne and crown,
With tyrannous tyranny, tyrannous loyalty
Tyrannous liberty, all gone down.

(There is never a crack in the ivory tower
Or a hinge to groan in the house of gold
Or a leaf of the rose in the wind to wither
And she grows young as the world grows old.
A Woman clothed with the sun returning
to clothe the sun when the sun is cold.)

Ah, who had guessed that in a moment
Great Liberty that loosed the tribes,
the Republic of the young men's battles
Grew stale and stank of old men's bribes;
And where we watched her smile in power
A statue like a starry tower
the stone face sneers as in a nightmare
Down on a world that worms devour.
(Archaic incredible dead dawns breaking
Deep in the deserts and waste and wealds,
Where the dead cry aloud on Our Lady of Victories,
Queen of the Eagles, aloft on the shields,
And the sun is gone up on the Thundering Legion
On the roads of Rome to the Battlefields.)....
Posted by John Weidner at 9:04 PM

June 17, 2010

Subsidiarity in action...

If nothing else, this is sure making the case for limited government. And demolishing the crappy socialistic idea that government can take care of you. This oil spill is precisely the sort of job that is a federal responsibility. Both by statute and by the simple logic of the situation. But the feds are paralyzed by their monstrous size and complexity and by their bad philosophy...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:26 PM

Leaders lead...

Flash: Mitt Romney Endorses Sarah Palin For President — A Time For Choosing:

By Gary P Jackson

A couple of days ago noted "Profile in Courage" Mitt Romney came out of hiding, basically copied the last couple of Sarah Palin�s Facebook posts on Obama, leadership, and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, then submitted them to USA Today in the form of an op-ed.

In this stellar piece of writing Romney reveals to a shocked nation that Barack Obama is not a leader.

I know! I for one, was like totally and completely blown away by this monumental revelation.

Romney also proclaimed that America needed a leader, not a politician. Mitt you are so right about that, and I am sure that Sarah Palin will proudly accept your endorsement for President of these United States.

Mitt doesn�t go away empty handed though, as he�s been awarded the prestigious Captain Louis Renault Award for those who are shocked �. shocked at the obvious....

What a scrub Mitt Romney turned out to be. But I predict Sarah will be a sport, and offer him Treasury.

Look, Mitt. It's really simple. A leader leads, and people follow. The algorithm is NOT "The leader runs for Leader, and people follow."

Posted by John Weidner at 7:20 AM

June 15, 2010

Is we so surprised?

And That�s How You Keep Health Care Costs Down When Government Runs the System — Penraker:

A high proportion of deaths classed as euthanasia in Belgium involved patients who did not ask for their lives to be ended, a study found.

More than 100 nurses admitted to researchers that they had taken part in �terminations without request or consent�.

Although euthanasia is legal in Belgium, it is governed by strict rules which state it should be carried out only by a doctor and with the patient�s permission.

The disturbing revelation� -� which shows that nurses regularly go well beyond their legal role� -� raises fears that were assisted suicides allowed in Britain, they could never be properly regulated.

Since its legalization eight years ago, euthanasia now accounts for 2 per cent of deaths in Belgium� -� or around 2,000 a year....

The really scary thing about this is not the deaths but that one sub-group of humanity can be killed without formality. Can become non-persons, NOT by debate or decision, but just by a swing in public opinion. Those nurses didn't listen to debates on euthanasia, and then reach a decision. I'd be willing to bet money they didn't give it any thought at all. People don't. They absorb popular ideas, and treat them like truth. if the popular whim includes killing people, then the modern miss will kill them with less squemishness than whe killing cockroaches.

And I bet if you had told the Belgian legislators who debated and passed the law that they were on a slippery slope, and that soon inconvenient oldsters would be whacked with no more formality than killing a fly—they would have scoffed at you.

AND, I bet a lot of those "nurses" would describe themselves as pacifistic or "anti-war," and deride as barbaric the idea of killing people. And probably donate to prevent cruelty to animals and the wearing of fur coats..

AND AND the sort of people who like this kind of thing will assure us that tis is the very last situation in which termination of the unwanted will even be contemplated. Babies, check. Old people, check. But nothing else will happen. Scout's honor.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:48 PM

June 14, 2010

Worse than we can imagine?

The Oil Drum — Deepwater Oil Spill - A Longer Term Problem:

...First of all...set aside all your thoughts of plugging the well and stopping it from blowing out oil using any method from the top down. Plugs, big valves to just shut it off, pinching the pipe closed, installing a new bop or lmrp, shooting any epoxy in it, top kills with mud etc etc etc....forget that, it won't be happening..it's done and over. In fact actually opening up the well at the subsea source and allowing it to gush more is not only exactly what has happened, it was probably necessary, or so they think anyway.

So you have to ask WHY? Why make it worse?...there really can only be one answer and that answer does not bode well for all of us. It's really an inescapable conclusion at this point, unless you want to believe that every Oil and Gas professional involved suddenly just forgot everything they know or woke up one morning and drank a few big cups of stupid and got assigned to directing the response to this catastrophe. Nothing makes sense unless you take this into account, but after you do...you will see the "sense" behind what has happened and what is happening. That conclusion is this:

The well bore structure is compromised "Down hole".

That is something which is a "Worst nightmare" conclusion to reach. While many have been saying this for some time as with any complex disaster of this proportion many have "said" a lot of things with no real sound reasons or evidence for jumping to such conclusions, well this time it appears that they may have jumped into the right place...

This makes me queasy. We may be at just the beginning of the problem.

To every lefty environmentalist wacko who blocked drilling in ANWR or blocked extraction of tar sands or oil shale, who blocked development of nuclear energy...we've left a pistol and whiskey in the study.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:36 PM

Happy Flag Day!

Actually I love our flag but I'm philosophically not happy with having a "flag day." It came from a trend of the late 19th Century to turn Americans towards the false faith of nationalism. Back then men like Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt were busily trying to make Americans more like Prussians. Our true spirit would be much better expressed with a "Constitution Day."

Or in this, the words of Lincoln in his Eulogy on Henry Clay:

He loved his country partly because it was his own country, but mostly because it was a free country; and he burned with a zeal for its advancement, prosperity and glory, because he saw in such, the advancement, prosperity and glory, of human liberty, human right and human nature. He desired the prosperity of his countrymen partly because they were his countrymen, but chiefly to show to the world that freemen could be prosperous.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:00 AM

She's an "across the board" conservative...

Jay Nordlinger, Sarah Palin, Forbesian:

A few days ago, I did a post in which I linked to an article about Sarah Palin. The article was published shortly after Palin was nominated for vice president. My purpose in citing the article was to say something about Palin and Israel. But I noticed something else in the article that I thought I'd bring up here.

In the 2000 presidential cycle, Palin was mayor of Wasilla. And she was formally with … whose campaign? Steve Forbes's. I think that most people think of Palin as a "social conservative," as indeed she is. But she's also a raging free-marketeer — in fact, one of the most robust, full-hearted, and full-throated proponents of a free market in American politics today.

Funny that she's so seldom described this way. Many of the "cool" Republicans disdain her. You know the type of Republican I mean: the type that wants the party to drop abortion and other icky, discomforting issues. But, if entrepreneurial capitalism's your thing, Palin is your woman, or at least someone to appreciate. She ought to have the appreciation of the entrepreneurially minded everywhere. It's just that some people can never forgive her for not aborting a Down-syndrome child. Believe me, I know such people (I'm sorry to say).

Sarah is always going to frustrate the hyphenated conservatives. She will never be pure enough for them, in her support of their particular flavor. I personally think that all the conservative issues are inter-dependent. The economy is not something you can "get right" independently of social issues, because ultimately the economy rests on billions of individual decisions. If people's souls are corrupted it will manifest in the economy.

This works the other way around, too. Our characters and souls are partly trained by economic factors. If entrepreneurism and risk-taking are held in esteem, for instance, rather than statist caution and paralysis, then people will have more boldness and courage in their personal and spiritual lives.


Posted by John Weidner at 6:31 AM

June 13, 2010

Subsidiarity...

From Pope Benedict's Encyclical Deus Caritas Est:

...Love—caritas—will always prove necessary, even in the most just society. There is no ordering of the State so just that it can eliminate the need for a service of love. Whoever wants to eliminate love is preparing to eliminate man as such. There will always be suffering which cries out for consolation and help. There will always be loneliness. There will always be situations of material need where help in the form of concrete love of neighbour is indispensable. The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person—every person—needs: namely, loving personal concern.

We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need. The Church is one of those living forces: she is alive with the love enkindled by the Spirit of Christ. This love does not simply offer people material help, but refreshment and care for their souls, something which often is even more necessary than material support. In the end, the claim that just social structures would make works of charity superfluous masks a materialist conception of man: the mistaken notion that man can live "by bread alone" (Mt 4:4; cf. Dt 8:3)—a conviction that demeans man and ultimately disregards all that is specifically human....

I could write a long screed about how subsidiarity should be our organizing principle in public life, but what's the use. The people who would "get it" will tend towards that sort of thing anyway. And anyone else who reads... their minds will just glaze over.

Word Note: Many Catholic terms that seem portentous and alien are just nicknames retained when other groups have moved with the times. "Encyclical" just means circular letter. In olden times there were no bulk-mailings. A letter from a leader to the people would be passed from one person to the next. In this case from one bishop to the next.

More Important Word Note: (Wikipedia)
Subsidiarity is an organizing principle that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority. The Oxford English Dictionary defines subsidiarity as the idea that a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed effectively at a more immediate or local level. The concept is applicable in the fields of government, political science, cybernetics, management, military (Mission Command) and, metaphorically, in the distribution of software module responsibilities in object-oriented programming (according to the Information expert design guideline). Subsidiarity is, ideally or in principle, one of the features of federalism, where it asserts the rights of the parts over the whole.

The word subsidiarity is derived from the Latin word subsidiarius and was first described formally in Catholic social teaching (see Subsidiarity (Catholicism)).[1] The concept or principle is found in several constitutions around the world (for example, the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution which asserts States rights)...
Posted by John Weidner at 7:47 AM

June 11, 2010

Bush accomplishments... Add this to the long list

John B. Bellinger III — Without White House muscle, treaties left in limbo:

...But the priority the Obama administration has placed on START contrasts sharply with its approach to other international agreements pending before the Senate.

Despite the presence of 59 Democrats, the Senate has approved only one treaty (a tax agreement with France) during the 112th Congress. The Obama administration must make more vigorous efforts with respect to the many important treaties awaiting Senate approval.

Although the Bush administration was criticized for its alleged lack of respect for international law, it had a particularly good record on seeking and obtaining treaty approvals. It secured Senate advice and consent for 163 treaties from 2001 to 2009. These included 20 treaties during the administration's first two years and a record 90 treaties during its last two years -- more treaties approved by the Senate than during any single previous Congress in U.S. history.

Treaties approved by the Senate during the Bush years included more than a hundred bilateral agreements on such diverse subjects as the protection of polar bears in the Arctic and the return of stolen automobiles from Honduras. There were more than two dozen multilateral conventions on human rights, environmental and marine protection, arms control, nuclear proliferation, cybercrime and sports anti-doping rules. And senior Bush officials testified in favor of treaties restricting the involvement of children in armed conflicts, protecting the ozone layer and creating a marine preserve in the Caribbean....

I'm sure the Bush family will enjoy sitting up in Heaven looking down on their pygmy defamers cooking in the infernal toaster-oven...

Barbara, Laura and Jenna Bush

Posted by John Weidner at 10:00 PM

June 9, 2010

Last verse...

Posted by John Weidner at 8:00 PM

June 8, 2010

If I throw rotten tomatoes at you...

...during your speech, it is a compliment. It says you are impactful.

If free speech is to have any value, then what you say must have consequences. Just as Ms Thomas is free to speak her mind we are all free to withdraw our business from her based on that speech. To argue that what you say can have no effect on how others interact with you is to say that speech has no value.
    — Orrin Judd
Posted by John Weidner at 7:43 PM

June 7, 2010

"wringing their hands and wetting their pants"

Jay Nordlinger:

...Enjoy Christie while you can, folks, because we may not see his like again soon.

I felt the same about George W. Bush on Social Security (and other issues). I had been waiting for a politician — a major politician — to grab the "third rail of American politics" and urge reform, liberalization. Bush did. And, in the campaign of 2000, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Joe Andrew, said that the Democrats would "fry" Bush on that third rail. They almost did. If Bush had kept mum about Social Security, he would have had a very clean win in Florida, I think. DUI and Social Security: That’s what helped Gore, in those final days.

Anyway, when Bush won reelection in 2004, he went for Social Security reform full-bore. He was pretty much alone. Most Republicans and conservatives sat on the sidelines, wringing their hands and wetting their pants. And then we all picked at Bush, for not pursuing reform with tactical perfection. Well, great, guys: Hope you don’t get run over by the teeming mass of politicians itching to reform Social Security...

Amen, brother Jay. I'm still disgusted at the way conservatives failed to support President Bush when he proposed one of the most conservative measures of our lifetime. And of course I'm still angry about the way affluent middle-class "liberals" attacked a reform that would help humble ordinary workers most of all--by putting some of their retirement money into the very same sort of investments that those "liberals" use themselves. That moment rolled over the rotting log and exposed EVIL, folks.

Human beings sacrificed to maintain a political system. That's the ugly reality of liberalism.

Posted by John Weidner at 11:54 AM

June 5, 2010

Not a "tragedy"

Statement By Liz Cheney On President Obama's Response To The Flotilla Incident:

...Yesterday, President Obama said the Israeli action to stop the flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip was "tragic." What is truly tragic is that President Obama is perpetuating Israel's enemies' version of events. The Israeli government has imposed a blockade around Gaza because Hamas remains committed to Israel's destruction, refusing to recognize Israel's right to exist and using territory under their control to launch attacks against Israeli civilians. The Israeli blockade of Gaza, in order to prevent the re-arming of Hamas, is in full compliance with international law.

Had the Turkish flotilla truly been interested in providing humanitarian aid to Gaza, they would have accepted the Israeli offer to off-load their supplies peacefully at the Israeli port of Haifa for transport into Gaza. President Obama is contributing to the isolation of Israel, and sending a clear signal to the Turkish-Syrian-Iranian axis that their methods for ostracizing Israel will succeed, and will be met by no resistance from America. There is no middle ground here. Either the United States stands with the people of Israel in the war against radical Islamic terrorism or we are providing encouragement to Israel's enemies—and our own. Keep America Safe calls on President Obama to reverse his present course and support the state of Israel immediately and unequivocally...

Thank you Liz.

And I'm sure I don't have to remind you of another event that Leftists keep labeling a "tragedy." Instead of an act of war.

WTC falling

Posted by John Weidner at 7:54 AM

June 2, 2010

The Blue Beast...

(I wrote this a month or two ago, and got busy and never posted it. I actually start a lot more things than I post.)

Jim Geraghty, History Is Calling, but the Phone Keeps Ringing at 3 a.m.:

...It's not sustainable. Of course, as I said earlier this month, "unsustainable is the new normal." We're having a reckoning, but President Obama isn't all that interested in it; he wants to believe that a full, thriving economic recovery, along with rejuvenated tax revenues, is just around the corner.

I'm willing to bet that Walter Russell Mead's grocery list is full of fascinating historical allusions, but he's hit some similar notes in a few lengthy posts about what he calls "the blue beast" — a social model that defined our country for much of the last century, based upon large, stable entities — unionized oligarchies, big corporations, an ever-growing civil service, lifetime employment, etc. But that era has come to an end, and much of our political debate in the past decades is about trying to artificially extend the lifespan of the blue system by taking from the non-blue parts, or moving on to some other way of doing things:
Democratic policy is increasingly limited to one goal: feeding the blue beast. The great public-service providing institutions of our society — schools, universities, the health system, and above all government at municipal, state and federal levels — are built blue and think blue. The Democratic wing of the Democratic Party thinks its job is to make them bigger and keep them blue. Bringing the long green to Big Blue: that's what it's all about...

(There's more. I recommend reading it.)

"Based upon large, stable entities." That was the model of the Industrial Age. The reason was to have an organization that could transmit information reliably. Industrial Age organizations all worked vertically. Information was gathered at the bottom, and passed to the next layer to be organized and consolidated into reports, which were then passed up to the next layer. The retail level reported to the district, which reported to the region, which reported to headquarters, which reported to the top brass. Then instructions went back in the other direction.

In the old days the people on the sales floor might discover something important. Perhaps "Housewives are bored with pastels this Spring; they are asking for bright solid colors." But it could take a month for the news to pass up the levels. And then months for instructions to be pondered and then passed down to buyers and designers and the advertising agency. And months more before that resulted in finished goods and ads.

Today the private sector is increasingly horizontal, and the decision makers are, or should be, scanning blogs and forums, and noticing new trends quickly. And being closely in touch with their own workers, who know a lot. Designers can now send CAD or graphics files to factories, which may be able to shift production immediately. And the elements can be anywhere. The designer might be in San Francisco, the ad agency in London, the factory in Indonesia. UPS might contract for warehousing and fulfillment. And if the company is a lively one, every part of it will be able to simply vibrate with the moods of the market, and change instantaneously if needed.

But that's only where competition forces people to move quickly. Few of us act that way naturally. In the public and quasi-public sectors the Industrial Age model still prevails. And as the pubic sector has become cut-off from the spirit of the age, it has become cancerous. [link]

If you are aware of these changes you start to see them everywhere. For instance in the way David Brooks or Peggy Noonan whine about the loss of respect for elites and grand old institutions. But the "blue-blood establishment" of old was just another of those "large, stable entities." It was like GM, but the product was not cars, it was elite members of the "top brass." And its product, in the form of Ivy League grads, might be slotted into leadership positions in government, or industry, or the academy, or the press, or the "mainline" churches. Even unions! Those were all among the "large, stable entities" of the Industrial Age.

One of the biggest challenges of our age is to somehow transform all the public and quasi-public institutions into Information Age organizations.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:34 PM