Thursday, October 30, 2008

death and taxes

in one convenient package.

forget the bear market

the donkey market is worse:
Unlike Barack Obama, the stock market has learned a thing or two from history’s mistakes. Five major policy errors helped turn the 1929 downturn into a full-blown Depression lasting over ten years, and Barack Obama has promised to repeat all five of these. No wonder investors are running for the doors.
read the rest.

the amazing race

Mark Steyn:
This is an amazing race. The incumbent president has approval ratings somewhere between Robert Mugabe and the ebola virus. The economy is supposedly on the brink of global Armageddon. McCain has only $80 million to spend, while Obama's burning through $600 mil as fast as he can, and he doesn't really need to spend a dime given the wall-to-wall media adoration. And tonight Chris Matthews' doctors announced that his leg tingle has metastasized leaving his entire body like a vibrating cellphone whose ringtone is locked on "I'm In Love, I'm In Love, I'm In Love, I'm In Love, I'm In Love With A Wonderful Guy." And yet an old cranky broke loser is within two or three points of the King of the World. Strange.

A Modern Paraphrase


After a request to post this video (but before I actually watched it), I was inspired to update Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech to suit modern conditions. Many parts remain as-is.


Two score and five years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the "I Have A Dream" speech in our nation's capitol. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Hyphenated-Americans who had been poisoned by the fruit of white liberal guilt. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But forty-five years later, these Hyphenated-Americans are still not free. Forty-five years later, the life of the Hyphenated-American is still sadly crippled by the manacles of affirmative action and the chains of reverse racism. Forty-five years later, the Hyphenated-American lives behind a facade of material prosperity, yet drowns in a vast ocean of spiritual poverty. Forty-five years later, the Hyphenated-American is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in this great land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, regardless of color, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that the Democratic Party has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens-of-hyphen are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, the Democratic Party has given the Hyphenated-American people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to be lulled into laziness by the drone of demagoguery. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of the welfare state to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand of socialism to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. These ongoing seasons of the Hyphenated-American's perpetual discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Two thousand and eight is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Hyphenated-American needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the Democratic Party continues to enslave the Hyphenated-American on its socialist plantation. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Hyphenated-American understands that the many rights he has been granted come with responsibilities. The hammer of truth will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. Let us not advance our cause through race-baiting and finger-pointing. Let us not swear allegiance to false hopes and false religions. Let us not seek to demand those reparations to which we have no birthright and which no one now living owes.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our legitimate complaints to snowball into illegitimate greed. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The personality cults of irreverent "reverends" which have engulfed the Hyphenated-American community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Hyphenated-American believes the demagoguery of the Democrats. We can never be satisfied as long as every single one of our achievements are held suspect due to the spectre of affirmative action. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Hyphenated-American's basic mobility is from a physical ghetto to a welfare ghetto. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are murdered in the womb by abortion clinics that target the poor. We can never be satisfied as long as our community is robbed of its dignity by the voices of violent rappers and illiterate gangstas. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Hyphenated-American in Florida is too ignorant to properly use a ballot box and a Hyphenated-American in New York mindlessly votes in lockstep with vapid drug-addled celebrities. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the lies of the left which enslave your mind. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. But remember that America is a nation of laws, and do not claim that your suffering is unjust if you have broken those laws. Some of you have come to this shining city by illegal ways, by land, sea, or air. You have no rights as citizens here until you enter it by the straight and narrow, yet even in that situation you are still safer in this city on a hill than you would be in the same situation virtually anywhere else on earth.

Go back to California, go back to Chicago, go back to Massachusetts, go back to New York, go back to the slums and ghettos surrounding our nation's capitol, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day the sons of blue states and the sons of red states will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Massachusetts, a state suffering under excessive taxation, sweltering in the reek of lesser Kennedys, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that our children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, in the House of Representatives, with its closet racists, with its Speaker weaving words to ensnare all Americans; one day right there in Congress, our elected officials can ignore party affiliation to do what is good, what is right, what is just for our great land.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to blue states with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to silence the yammering yahoos of the media-infotainment-complex so that we may all sing the beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the great spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"


I do not like that bailout plan
I do not like it, Uncle Sam
Dr. Seuss and the bailout plan

By Bryan Fischer

Uncle Sam & Congress-man
By Joy Hubbard, Bryan Fischer and Debbie Fischer, with apologies to Dr. Seuss

That Uncle Sam!
That Congress-man!
We do not like your bailout plan!
We do not like your taxing plan!
Should we pay so stocks don't tank?
Should we pay for Barney Frank?
We should not pay so stocks won't tank.
We should not pay for greedy banks.
We do not like your bailout plan,
We should not pay it, Congress-man.
Mr. Paulson made a call
For a plan to soak us all.
Could you, would you Mr. Bush,
Could you, would you push, push, push?
We should not pay you, Mr. Bush,
So Mae won't fall upon her tush.
We should not pay you, AIG,
Though you ask on bended knee.
We should not pay you, Freddie Mac,
Just to lighten up your pack.
We should not pay for any bank,
Even one that's in the tank.
We should not pay for umpteen years
Just because the market fears.
We do not like your bailout plan.
We do not like it, Uncle Sam.
We should not pay you, Mr. Raines,
You, the source of all our pains.
Franklin Raines don't give a hoot,
He got a golden parachute.
We should not pay you, Mr. Dodd,
You should not get a big fat wad.
We should not pay you, Speaker Nan,
When you have dumped us in the can.
We should not pay this big old tax
For people who ignored the facts.
You said the rules were just a joke
And now the banks are just flat broke.
They loaned to those who cannot pay
And backed it up with Fannie Mae.
You set it up for them to fail,
Then said to us, "Your turn to bail!"
Could you, would you, Street of Wall,
Support a plan to soak us all?
Our kids will pay for ninety years
Just to calm your self-made fears.
We do not like your bailout plan,
We do not like it, Uncle Sam.
We should not pay for all those acts
When you ignored the credit facts.
The CRA made this bind
Now we get kicked in the behind.
Sub-prime loans — what a crock!
And you wonder why we balk!
You made some new accounting laws
And we got bit by shark-like jaws.
Mark to market — what a joke!
Now our banks begin to croak.
Sarbanes-Oxley gored us all
And now you make us take the fall.
We do not like your bailout plan,
We do not like it, Congress-man.
We do not like your bailout plan.
We do not like it, Uncle Sam.
You loaded it with lots of pork,
And cranked us all with lots of torque.
Arrows, rum and big fast cars
Why not add a trip to Mars?
We pay our debts with little thanks,
Now we're paying foreign banks!
We pay our debts and you don't care —
You make us pay — that's hardly fair!
The Golden State is next in line,
The bucks they want are yours and mine.
You think our money grows on trees?
You have us begging on our knees.
And now we see through mire and murk
That the plan won't even work.
Adam Smith says "Not, Not, Not!"
While Karl Marx just laughs a lot.
Could you, would you Messiah Man,
Go along with this bad plan?
Could you, would you, John McCain
Go along with all this pain?
It's sad your votes we can't ignore,
So what to do, November 4?

© Bryan Fischer

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

relatively relative

relativism is self-refuting:
  1. All truth is relative
    1. If all truth is relative, then the statement "All truth is relative" would be absolutely true. If it is absolutely true, then not all things are relative and the statement that "All truth is relative" is false.
  2. There are no absolute truths
    1. The statement "There are no absolute truths" is an absolute statement which is supposed to be true. Therefore it is an absolute truth and "There are no absolute truths" is false.
    2. If there are no absolute truths, then you cannot believe anything absolutely at all, including that there are no absolute truths. Therefore, nothing could be really true for you - including relativism.
read the rest.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

it's wabbit se... it's duck se... it's election season!

...and just in time for halloween.

read 'em all:best quote:
And now these same people want to put a marxist in the White House and increase the power of Congress. Oh yes, that will help, thanks for that guys. Good Work Kids!, 7,000 years of western civilization completly undone in one generation and its all to be replaced with a governmental system that incorporates the social dynamism found in "Lord of the Flies" and fiscal soundness that's found in each and every PBS pledgebreak.
scariest quote:
"You're shocked that the market is going down? Really? I'm shocked that its holding up as well as it is. You understand when a politician says that he wants to 'spread the wealth' that what he is going to do is confiscate your wealth and give it to other people. You understand that, right? Confiscate...Your...Wealth! Your home, your property, your 401k, your bank accounts, your stocks and bonds, your health accounts - all are in the process of becoming the property of 'the state'. All of it. Thats what "spread the wealth" actually means, it means CONFISCATE and then "distribute along party lines'. This is no longer about this tax rate or that tax rate or what party has a better plan to grow the economy, its about the Government of the United States - all three branches of it - that is now actively and aggressively pursuing and acting on a plan to confiscate private wealth (your wealth) and punish those who create it (you).

When I look at the market, I can't help but think that the Democrats misunderstood the chant 'drill baby drill' from a rallying cry for more oil into a rallying cry for drilling the whole idea of markets into the ground. People keep asking 'when the housing market will come back?' but they dont seem to understand that there is no housing market anymore. There is no up, no down. No gain, no loss. With no up and down, no loss or gain, then what is it? That is not a market, that - is a morgue. That is just a small sample of what is happening to each and every market in the United States. And incredibly, this destruction is entirely by design. By destroying your faith in markets, that faith can be supplated by a newly-found faith in government. This is their plan, their design, and they will sell it you by promising to remove all uncertainty and volatility from the market (It's for your own good dontcha know!). What they dont say is that by removing all uncertainty then there is no 'market'. The market has now been replaced by the 'committee'. A committee that is chaired by Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, The Media and Barack Obama.

You ever heard of Richard Matheson? He wrote some pretty good science fiction back in the day, lots of Twilight Zone Episodes and a whole host of short stories back in the 50's and 60's. He's most remembered for one short story that's been made into a movie about a half a dozen times. It's called "I AM LEGEND". It's the story of the last man on earth after a plague wipes out most of the population. What parts of the population the plague doesn't wipe out, becomes transformed into what can best be described as 'vampires'. Most people know that narrative of the story, but most every filmed version and most retelling of the story forget is the main point of the story. The point is this; When you live on a planet where humans are normal and vampires are the monsters, that's something we understand. What Matheson's story forces the reader to come to grips with is the opposite, that when you live on a world where the vampires are the normal, then you, as the last remaining human, have become the monster.

This is what we conservatives and libertarians have become. With the plague of 'fairness' now loose in the ecosystem of public ideas and discourse, we have become the monster. They are working to destroy our nest (the markets) and after that is destroyed, they will come for us."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

stand up while you can

Spartacus 2008:

Remember, Obama came to (Joe the plumber's) house. Joe just asked Obama a question and for that, they took his job. The Press and the media hounded this man out of the life he made for himself and his son.

All he did was ask a question. He didn't insult him, throw a pie, call him names or any of the things that the Bush administration has to deal with every day for the past eight years, he just asked a question.

If they can do this to him before the election, what will they do to you afterwards? If they have no shame, if they have no "checks and balances" on their power, if the media (who normally report such an abuse of the electorate as an abuse) are the ones that are actually perpetrating the crime, what makes you think it will all go away after the election?

Stand with Joe. Stand up while you still can.

But be careful, instead of firing you, Obama's thugs may shoot your house or beat you up.

(update: the beating turned out to be a hoax. the litany of fraud, intimidation, and other assaults are as real as ever.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

to lefists, on divisiveness

I must refrain from specifics, but during my Austin trip I heard someone make the claim that the Republicans were being hateful and divisive.

I offer this evidence for your perusal:

Allegations of death threats to Obama at Palin rally were unfounded.

Leftists attacked buses carrying Republicans.

Sarah Palin's e-mail hacked by leftist.

Kos' leftist commentors rejoice at the cancer and death of Tony Snow.

BDS is an epidemic at my workplace.

The Democratic machine rigs elections by any means necessary.

Despite claims to the contrary, Obama, his wife, mother, father, mentor, former pastor, benefactor, teacher, and numerous supporters hate America and everything that makes America great.

And even were none of this true, the Democratic Party platform endorses socialist policies which would destroy America if implemented. Division will - by definition - occur between America's patriots and America's enemies.


After several years of declines, the US suicide rate has increased since the Democrats regained control of Congress.

Coincidence? Yes. Just reporting the facts as fairly as the MSM, when they associate bad news with Republicans and dissociate the same news from Democrats.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Colin Powell

What a racist.

(according to dnc policy, that's the only possible rationale to vote for or against someone, right?)

Friday, October 17, 2008

In Austin this weekend

Maker Faire

update: the fair itself was very cool. the hippie-freakshow vibe from some of the attendees, not so much. the slavish adherence to non-conformity, complete intolerance of the 'intolerant', etc., and more body piercings and weedwacker haircuts than i ever want to see again.

"how rigged is it?"

Triton Unleashed:
"Let's see...

We've got Mickey Mouse taking part in our oh-so-wonderful democratic process.

We've got senior citizens getting into scuffles because of improperly marked ballots.

We've got teenagers who have managed to turn voting into a part-time job.

And at the center of it all, we've got ACORN and you-know-who.

Conclusion: this election is so rigged it could pass as a clipper ship."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I hope the change changes

Viewpoint: we can't take much more of this kind of change.
George Bush has been in office for just under eight years. For the first of them the economy was pretty good. For example, a little over one year ago:
  • Consumer confidence stood at a 2 1/2 year high
  • Regular gasoline sold for $2.19 a gallon
  • The unemployment rate was 4.5%
  • The DOW hit a record 14,000+
  • Americans were buying new cars, taking cruises, overseas vacations overseas, etc.
But we wanted change. So, in 2006 we voted in a Democratic Congress. Since then:
  • Consumer confidence has plummeted
  • Gasoline rose to over $4 a gallon
  • Unemployment rose to 6.1% (a 10% increase)
  • Americans have seen their home equity drop by $12 trillion dollars and prices are still dropping
  • 1% of American homes are in foreclosure
  • The DOW is below 8500. $2.5 trillion dollasrs has evaporated from stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investment portfolios
The president has no control over any of this. Only Congress could have done anything to prevent it but Congress has been preoccupied with trying to find Bush administration officials that they can put in jail.

In 2006 America voted for change and we got it.

Now Barack Obama promises that he is going to deliver real change.

Just how much more change can we stand?
And speaking of hockey-stick graphs, it looks like we should be battling global socialism rather than global warming.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

to voters, on obama

update 2: also read this extensive list of quotes.

Molten Thought has many links to stories proving that neither B. Hussein Obama nor Joe Biden should be president:

ACORN is committing voter fraud on their behalf
, and uses taxpayer funds to do so.

Obama's memoirs were written by a known terrorist, and he has many ties to communist organizations.

Obama's henchmen deny freedom of speech to dissenters, and suppress evidence of his corruption.

update 1: The Jawa Report ties the loose ends together.
One interaction with one old communist isn't particularly troubling. A handful of sporadic interactions with a handful of radical left-wingers may not be particularly troubling. But a lifelong pattern of extended associations and alliances with scores of fringe, America-hating radicals is very, very troubling indeed. Just to be clear:
  • It's not just that Barack Obama's father was a Marxist economist or that his mother Stanley came from radical far-left roots.
  • It's not just that Obama's childhood mentor Frank Marshall Davis was a famous communist poet.
  • It's not just that Jeremiah Wright, Obama's pastor, counselor and spiritual mentor of 20 years is a racist, America-hating radical.
  • It's not just that Michael Phleger, Obama's other spiritual mentor is every bit as extreme as Wright.
  • It's not just that his wife Michelle has never been really that proud of America, or that she thinks this country is "mean".
  • It's not just that Obama refused to wear a flag, or that he refused to salute it during the national anthem.
  • It's not just that Obama's political and financial benefactor William Ayers is an unrepentant radical socialist terrorist.
  • It's not just that Bernadine Dohrn regrets that she didn't kill more people back in the 1960s.
  • It's not just that Alice Palmer, Obama's political mentor in Chicago, was a communist propagandist.
  • It's not just that Obama was a member of the radical socialist New Party or that he ran as a candidate for public office under their far-left platform.
  • It's not just that Obama was an agitator, trainer and attorney for the corrupt and radical-left ACORN.
None of these facts, by itself, tells you that much about Barack Obama. A reasonable person should, however, be able to look at this motley crew of left-wing communists and America-haters, realize that Barack Obama's rolodex is a veritable Who's Who of American Socialism, be very, very disturbed by that fact and ask some very probing questions about WHO Barack Obama is, WHAT he believes, and WHY this gang of radical America-haters considers Barack Obama such a good friend.

Monday, October 13, 2008


If you thought '68 was bad, look (if you dare) at this disgusting lineup of hate from the '08 "peaceloving" party.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hasta la vista, Vista

Via Computer World:
Microsoft has extended the availability of Windows XP on new PCs by six months, the company confirmed today.

Computer makers that "downgrade" machines from Windows Vista Business or Vista Ultimate to Windows XP Professional will be able to obtain media for the latter through the end of July 2009, a Microsoft spokeswoman said Friday.

The new date is a change in policy. Previously, Microsoft had planned to halt XP Professional media shipments to major computer makers after Jan. 31, 2009...

It's also possible that XP will be widely available long after July 31, 2009. "Downgrade rights do not expire," Microsoft's spokeswoman said Friday.

The longer availability puts Microsoft in an unusual position; the new time line will make it possible for users to purchase XP-powered PCs through next July, just months before Microsoft plans to roll out Windows 7, the successor to Vista.
The best part is this quote, which lies somewhere between doubleplus ungood and the memory hole:
"As more customers make the move to Windows Vista, we want to make sure that they are making that transition with confidence and that it is as smooth as possible. Providing downgrade media for a few more months is part of that commitment."
Which would be like saying something along these lines 40 years ago: "As more komrades are movink to glorious East Berlin, das Party are vantink to make schure they are make transition smoothski. Allowink them remain in korrupt West Berlin for few more months ist part of das kommitment."


Friday, October 10, 2008

Tonight's "News"

Years ago, a telemarketer offered me a "free prize", which only cost $14.95 shipping. Before declining the offer, I repeated back her statements in hope that she would notice the logical disconnect. The conversation proceeded something like this:

"So this thing is free?"
"Yes sir."
"But it costs $14.95."
"Yes sir."
"I thought you said it was free?"
"It is sir."
"How can it be free if I have to pay $14.95 to get it?"
"It's free but you do have to pay to receive it."
etc... for a few minutes (I was bored that day)

Polite, yes. Sensible, not so much.

Tonight's local news gave me that same sense of disbelief, when these two back-to-back stories were presented without any apparent sense of irony:?!?!?

Also, as part of their fair and balanced reporting, these political headlines were somehow missing:I'm shocked - shocked! - that those headlines were omitted...

Saturday, October 04, 2008

An American Carol

review update: Unless a) you are easily offended by David Zucker's "Airplane"-&-"Police Squad"-type humor, or b) a card-carrying leftist, go see An American Carol*.

It's above-average for the spoof movie genre, with plenty of slapstick, lowbrow puns, and lots of (often deserved) stereotyping. There were a very few jokes that fell flat**, and it used the "A _____ Carol" premise that was probably cliche when Dickens wrote it. But it's definitely worth seeing for its pro-American stance, and even a few really touching moments.

During one slight break in the action, it occurred to me that this movie succeeded in a way that Frasier (another Kelsey Grammer role) succeeded - by catering to both high-brow and low-brow tastes simultaneously. While everybody was laughing at the parody of Moor.. er, Malone's gluttony, lechery, etc., the observant were rewarded with lots of inside jokes and subtle digs. For instance, and almost in passing, when the know-it-all windbag Malone tried to insult the spirit of JFK by saying "For a minute there you sounded like Ronald Reagan", JFK responded "Thanks".

On a scale of one to ten, it's really good. Go see it. If you've already seen it, see it again.

* and/or buy it when it comes out on DVD - there's lots of extras to catch going on in the background.

** including the one after the credits, which I reeeeeeally wish I hadn't stayed for.

p.s. I don't really like country music either, but that's okay here ;)

p.p.s. That was just the first part of a good day.


original post: This looks promising:
"The American spirit is celebrated in the outrageous and totally irreverent comedy An American Carol from David Zucker, the master of movie satire... (In the movie, a cynical anti-American) filmmaker sets out on a crusade to abolish the 4th of July holiday. He is visited by three spirits who take him on a hilarious journey in an attempt to show him the true meaning of America."
...if it's not a double-whammy.

Opens this weekend - Oct 3rd.

buried by other news 2

snow on mars


Steyn: Palin - change you can believe in; Biden - not so much:
A lot of the grandees in the post-debate analysis reviewed the lyrics and missed the music. Whereas, I would wager, a big chunk of uncommitted voters out in TV land listened to Governor Palin, and liked the tune they were hearing. If you’re one of those coastal feminists who despise Alaska’s sweetheart as a chillbilly breeder whose knowledge of foreign policy is as full of holes as the last moose to make the mistake of strolling past her deck, Thursday night’s folksy performance isn’t going to change your view. But, if your contempt for her wasn’t already chiseled in granite, she came over as genuine, confident, and different...

I hadn’t seen her for awhile, not since the halfwits at the McCain campaign walled her up in the witness protection program and permitted visitations only by selected poobahs of the Metamucil networks...

If I’d been in charge of “coaching” Governor Palin, I’d take her out back, and set up the various Obama policy platforms as cardboard elk, lurking in the protective undergrowth of the mainstream media but still eminently hittable to a crack shot...

Senator Biden was glib and fluent and in command of the facts — if by “in command of the facts” you mean “talks complete blithering balderdash and hogwash.” He flatly declared that Obama never said he would meet Ahmadinejad without preconditions. But, on Debate Night, the official Obama website was still boasting that he would meet Ahmadinejad “without preconditions”. He said America spends more in a month in Iraq than it’s spent in seven years in Afghanistan. Er, America has spent over $700 billion in Afghanistan since 2001. It’s spending about $10 billion a month in Iraq. But no matter...

Sarah, at her best, sounded like the citizen-politician this country’s Founders intended. She hasn’t voted 397 times against this or that in the U.S. Senate, because she’s been running a state, and a town, and a commercial fishing operation. She’s a doer, not a talker, which is why so many of my fellow professional talkers disdain her. When Regular Joe Six-Pack Bluecollar Biden tried to match her on the Main Street cred, it rang slightly wacky...

In a conventional presidential environment, Bidenesque fake authenticity would be enough. Up against Sarah Palin’s authentic authenticity, I’m not so sure. All I know is that the McCain campaign should have her out on the road and doing every interview she can over this final month.

that sure worked out

i guess congress just didn't throw enough money at the problem :P

Friday, October 03, 2008

flying cars?

I'm tired of people trotting out the cliched quip of "Where's my flying car?" whenever they talk about the future not living up to expectations. And I got to say, what's the big deal about flying cars? The future is certainly living up to my expectations without them. I carry over 7k songs around in my pocket in something smaller than a pack of cigarettes - that's every CD I've bought since 1985. I talk for free every other day to my buddy George Mann in the UK, on a "videophone" called Skype, and I read all my news off the same screen, and the pictures next to the columns of words all move. If I want to know the complete lyrics to a song that's rattling around in my head and I can only remember three or four words, I can call it up within 30 seconds on something called "Google"..., and just about anything else I need to know too. And I never get lost because my car, which admittedly doesn't fly, plots out all my guidance routes and then tells me where to go. It also tells me when it needs service and when the air pressure in my tires gets low. My television records things it thinks I might like without being asked, and it forwards them to my laptop. There's an International Space Station over my head right now. Meanwhile, when they aren't trying to sell me my next communicator, there are hard-&-software billionaires falling over themselves to commericialize space tourism.

buried by other news

Sept 28 2008: Falcon 1 becomes the first privately developed liquid fuel rocket to orbit the Earth.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

to atheists, on allegations of Biblical contradictions

I wish this article had been around during an earlier discussion:
Many people have the impression that the Bible is simply an outdated book of fairytales and contradictions. We are told that biblical stories are fine for children, and perhaps they even contain some moral value. “But, surely” says the critic, “such stories cannot be taken seriously in our modern age of science and technology.”

After all, the Bible speaks of floating ax-heads, the sun apparently going backwards, a universe created in six days, an earth that has pillars and corners, people walking on water, light before the sun, a talking snake, a talking donkey, dragons, and a senior citizen taking two of every animal on a big boat! On the surface, these things may seem absurd, particularly to those unfamiliar with the Christian worldview. But to make matters even worse, it is alleged that the Bible contains contradictions. That is, the Bible seems to say one thing in one place, and then the opposite in another. Which are we to believe? Obviously, two contradictory statements cannot both be true...

(many good points follow, then a great one i hadn't heard before)

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this claim (of Biblical contradictions) is that it actually backfires on the critic. The reason is this: only if the Bible is true, would contradictions be unacceptable! Most people simply assume the law of non-contradiction; they take it for granted that a contradiction cannot be true. But have you ever stopped to think about why a contradiction cannot be true?

According to the Bible, all truth is in God (Colossians 2:3; Proverbs 1:7), and God cannot deny (go against) Himself (2 Timothy 2:13). So, it makes sense that truth cannot go against itself. Since the sovereign, eternal God is constantly upholding the entire universe by His power (Hebrews 1:3), the Christian expects that no contradiction could possibly happen anywhere in the universe at any time. The universal, unchanging law of non-contradiction stems from God’s self-consistent nature.

But, apart from the Bible, how could we know that contradictions are always false? We could only say that they have been false in our experience. But our experiences are very limited, and no one has experienced the future. So, if someone claimed that he or she has finally discovered a true contradiction, the non-Christian has no basis for dismissing such a claim. Only in a biblical worldview can we know that contradictions are always false; only the Christian has a basis for the law of non-contradiction.

The Bible tells us that all knowledge comes from God (Colossians 2:3), and when we reject biblical principles, we are reduced to foolishness (Proverbs 1:7). We see this demonstrated in the critic who tries to use God’s laws of logic to disprove the Bible. Such an attempt can only fail. The law of non-contradiction is a biblical principle. Therefore, whenever anyone uses that law as a basis for what is possible, they are tacitly assuming that the Bible is true. The critic of the Bible must use biblical principles in order to argue against the Bible. In order for his argument to be meaningful, it would have to be wrong.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

on the black monday

final update count: 23

1) Fox News Commentary, ~2:45pm Monday:
"It seems to me that the markets are taking the worst dives when the politicians are talking, then they recover when the politicians shut up."
2) via Dustbury:
"Rather than use the $700 billion (or whatever...) to bail out failing banks, why not take that money and pay off the mortgages of every single American who makes under $1 million a year?

THAT would stimulate your economy, right there. If my mortgage were paid off, we would immediately start building a big carriage house/garage with an apartment above it. I’d also buy a Wii."
3) via Vodkapundit:
Free markets didn’t get us into this mess, and so it seems unlikely that they’d react quickly enough to get us out of it. Especially given the political climate of the last, oh, century. Washington and markets have been in bed together since at least the time of Teddy Roosevelt. And the offspring have turned out even uglier than predicted.
4) Thaddeus (McCotter?) on Fox News, ~3:45 Monday:
"There are two things that can happen when artificial deadlines are set on legislation during a crisis: either bad laws are proposed which do not become law, or bad laws are proposed which do become law."
5) Belmont Club: read it all.

6) Varifrank 1, John Galt Lives!:
Shocking Poli-sci students the around the world -- American taxpayers refuse to continue fund banks that give out bad loans!

(First question of the day) - Why Nancy Can't Count?

Second question of the day - "Hey, if this is such bad news, why do I feel so good"
7) Varifrank 2, Saturday worries:
Tonight I found myself thinking that the fate of 8 billion people around the world rests in the hands of 100 people in the Senate and 440 in the House and there probably isnt 10 of them that any of us would not find ourselves not immediately repulsed from and in dire need of a shower afterwards, if we simply shook their hands.

Worse, its in these law school rejects, half-wit pseudointellectuals and failed businessmen which comprise the whole of the body of the federal legislature, each of whom hates the other more than the man next to them; that the world is hoping that they will all work together to create a solution...

I honestly have more anxiety tonight than I have had at any point since September 11th 2001. I have to sit here quietly and hope that congress essentially nationalizes the banking industry, this is supposed to be the upside. This is supposed to be the good news. The alternative is we go into another depression. Gee, thats some sort of choice we got there, slow death by strangulation or all at once with poison...

And it all happened because someone said that it should be as easy to buy a house as it was to rent an apartment and then set about passing legislation to see that the entire banking system of the world could be made worthless because people with no basic economic common sense or credit rating were given more money than they even begin to handle. Then they passed legislation to make sure that no one was penalized for foreclosure or bankruptcy. Did they do it on purpose? Did they set about to wreck the joint when they went down this route? Or was it all just an accident?
8) This WSJ article could inspire me make a movie "Bonnie, Clyde, Fannie, & Mae".

9) One week later shows that the veto-wielding Bush didn't show up (and didn't have to).

10) Oliver Kamm:
I'm not going to defend the bankers and I certainly favour strong regulation. Moreover, Sarkozy's remarks are patently more sensible than those of - to take a random example - a Holocaust-denying millenarian with a doctorate in traffic management. But they are still platitudes. The financial crisis is not due to an absence of regulation - it derives rather from bad economic policy allied to bad regulation...

In short, we are not seeing the crumbling of capitalism. We've seen scandalous behaviour by some bankers, who packaged good assets up with dubious ones and sold them on to investors who didn't understand those risks. We've seen incompetence by ratings agencies that misvalued those financial instruments. And we've seen an inherent problem of what economists call asymmetric information within financial markets. But the most fundamental weaknesses have been in policy - in economic management and in regulation. There is no painless route out of the mess we're in; but the mess is not intrinsic to the Western financial system and could have been avoided. Policymakers will learn from the experience.

That may sound a feeble conclusion, but the lesson will be important in future financial crises. Recall that the 1987 stock market crash did not lead to recession, let alone anything comparable to the Great Depression, because central bankers - unlike their counterparts after the 1929 crash - flooded the financial system with liquidity. Financial capitalism - more accurately, the system of voluntary exchange - is a resilient arrangement because its practitioners and regulators learn from past mistakes. The same will be true of this crisis, bad though it is, and bad as it will get.
11) Anchoress on Pelosi's re-barks:
First off - all the headlines are blaming the House Republicans for killing the bill - that is wholly predictable of the press - but it was The Pelosi’s own Democrats who backed away from the bill and kept it from passing. The Democrats could have done this on their own, and did not. If the bailout bill was everything good they said it was - and it was apparently good enough for the fearless leader Obama to claim all the credit for it - then Pelosi-the-Vicious should have had her usual lockstep results from her crew; she did not have that.

Increasingly Vicious Pelosi reminds me of the chihuahua that used to sit on my neighbor’s porch and snarl at everyone in her rhinestone collar. We children used to wonder what it would be like to just walk up to that creature and boot her in the *** - to send her sailing across the road. But none of us had the nerve, or the stomach, to kick a dog.

The woman is incompetent, petty and unworthy of her high office. She should be made to step down.
12) IBD summary: read it all.

13) What hath the fear industry wrought?
There isn't any recession. The latest figures show that we clearly were not in one as of midsummer, whether you use the rule-of-thumb definition - two consecutive quarters of GDP shrinkage - or the looser concept of a sustained and significant economic decline.

The economy shrank marginally (-0.2%) in the fourth quarter of 2007, but otherwise it's been growing steadily for years. In the most recent quarter it grew at a vigorous 3.3%... The OECD has just raised its forecast of U.S. growth for the full year from 1.2% to 1.8%... the fastest growth of all the G-7 countries.

So if we're not in a recession, why does everyone think we're in one? Partly it's because in a global economy, it's possible to produce economic growth that many people don't feel...

A more profound reason that people believe we are in a recession can't be found in the GDP tables at all. It's in their minds, what psychologist and author Judith M. Bardwick calls the psychological recession - "an emotional state in which people feel extremely vulnerable and afraid for their futures."

The No. 1 cause, she says, is not falling incomes - most people's incomes aren't falling - but rather people's worry about job security, "the mother lode of anxiety poisoning their view of reality." Even if they keep their jobs, they know that benefits may well be cut. Then add the lack of confidence in financial institutions and market swoons that have eaten into investors' portfolios.

What's so insidious about it, she says, is that "as people try to gain some sense of having control through knowledge, they increase their fears and sense of vulnerability by seeking out and therefore exaggerating the bad news. In this way the psychological recession is self-fulfilling."

So the feeling of vulnerability trumps the statistics.
After all, not only is the economy growing, but the unemployment rate, now 6.1%, is still not high by historical standards (after the 1990--91 recession it hit 7.8%, and after the 1982 recession it hit 10.8%). Yet it doesn't matter... If I'm afraid that my sky may be falling, then the sky itself is falling.

(read this related scrappleface article)
14) Random thought:
(inner pessimist) My company's stock has lost a third of its value.

(inner optimist) My company's stock is having a 33%-off sale. Better buy some now!
15) Sabotage, a la october surprise?
Is it too hard to believe that (washington democrats) would stoop to sabotaging the market to win the election? Its revolting, but the more I think about it, the more evidence I see. And trust me, its not something I want to see. I've spent the afternoon trying to figure out why Nancy Pelosi acted the way she did with this vote... sometimes the best way to kill a bill is to make it so distasteful that even its supporters wont vote for it... You can flap your arms and say you tried real hard, but what the President said he wanted to do is going down in flames. It's going down in flames not because it isn't actually necessary but because some people want to see Bush lose...

Since 2006, Democrat leadership in the legislature have demonstrably:

1. Tried sabotage the American Military so that it would be seen to lose in Iraq.

2. Deny Americans access to their own oil.

3. Destroy the American Financial System. They spent three months telling us we were dead certain in a recession earlier this year. We weren't. What they seem to have learned is that they needed to go
further in the effort to scare... you.

4. Do we all remember Senator Chuck Schumer and his role the Indymac bank failure? I'm wondering how many bank failures have started because of "whispering campaigns". How many banks were shorted because of an engineered effort to cause the bank to crash?

To what benefit? None of this to benefits America or the American People. Its not as part of an idealogical dispute, but purely to benefit the Democrats.

I cannot get past the idea that the Democrats have engineered this whole scene...
16) The Gingrich Plan?
Gingrich did have a suggestion on Fox tonight that would almost instantly free up the markets before these beasts consider another bill: the Secretary of the Treasury can experiment with relaxing the spectacularly stupid Mark to Market accounting scheme. Gingrich thinks he should do it tomorrow morning, because it would work and because Congress could not do a damn thing about it. Gingrich issued this challenge to Paulson and Cox: just try it for two weeks. If it works--if it frees up the world's credit as most people believe it will--then keep it in place. If the markets continue to tank, then you can always reinstate the (arcane and divorced from reality) rules.

But if the markets do heat up, the Republicans are in a much stronger position to demand what they want in any bailout bill--and the Dems would really be walking the plank to do something stupid without them.
17) Vodkapundit:
It’s one of those strange paradoxes of the modern economy. When things go (down), everybody flocks to the dollar — even when the (problem) began right here in the US... Why? Because despite all our problems, we still have the freest, most dynamic economy in our weight class — which means we might be the first to get into trouble, but we’ll go in less deep and stay in for a shorter time.
18) Cry fraud and let loose the hounds of investigation.

19) Observation: Yesterday's slide - up to the second coverage. Today's rebound - not so much.

20) Another good one from Scrappleface.

21) Following the first post - Monday's Fox News Commentary:
"It seems to me that the markets are taking the worst dives when the politicians are talking, then they recover when the politicians shut up."
Congress on holiday = major rebound. Someone should tell Pelosi to "talk to the hand".

22) ex AIG head turns down $22M severance package. That's nice.

23) because dipsticks vote. lemmings too.

global warming q&a

many questions, one answer.