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Archive for January, 2009

January 31st 2009

Daschel Watch

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t’s 2:18 P.M. PST and do you know where Tom Daschle is? I know where he should be following the revelation that he, like Tim Geithner, is a tax dodger. Tom and Tim; how sweet. How crooked. He should be at the top of the page, the lead story – but gosh, it’s hard to find him there.

The NYT home page at this hour has him, but it’s buried at the bottom of the page, a link that doesn’t exactly explode with outrage: Daschle Pays 3 Years of Tax on Use of Car. No mention of overstating charitable contributions or failing to pay tax on consulting income. (In the print edition, the story was above the fold, but liberal NYT readers didn’t care enough to make it one of the most-read stories of the day.)

WaPo, being the house organ of American politics, does a little better.  The story is a sub-story under “Gregg on tap for Cabinet,” near the top of their home page.  The headline:  Nominee Daschle Owed Back Taxes. That’s better – and it’s also WaPo’s most viewed story.

The once mighty LA Times, the only east coast paper on the west coast, has the story on the first screen of its home page under the headline Daschle failed to pay $128,000 in taxes.  It’s the LAT’s sixth most downloaded story … but you know that Suleman woman just had octuplets here.

So what have we learned?  Nothing new.  The NYT is a sewer of liberalism intent on protecting Obama at all costs.  And its readers, so engaged in attacking Bush in the name of American ideals, is on board with Pinch and the bunch.

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January 31st 2009

Apologies From Hell: The Unrepentent Bishop

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ewly reinstated Roman Catholic Bishop Richard Williamson, who recently said in a Swedish TV interview that 6 million Jews were not murdered during the Holocaust, has issued a letter of “apology.” Uh. Huh.  Here it is, from Williamson’s blog:

To His Eminence Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos

Your Eminence

Amidst this tremendous media storm stirred up by imprudent remarks of mine on Swedish television, I beg of you to accept, only as is properly respectful, my sincere regrets for having caused to yourself and to the Holy Father so much unnecessary distress and problems.

For me, all that matters is the Truth Incarnate, and the interests of His one true Church, through which alone we can save our souls and give eternal glory, in our little way, to Almighty God. So I have only one comment, from the prophet Jonas, I, 12:

Take me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you; for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.”

Please also accept, and convey to the Holy Father, my sincere personal thanks for the document signed last Wednesday and made public on Saturday. Most humbly I will offer a Mass for both of you.

Sincerely yours in Christ

+Richard Williamson

OK, class, what word is missing?  that’s right!  “Jews!”

Williamson is only concerned that he offended Cardinal Hoyos the Pope and not the least bit concerned that he offended Jews and others who are offended by antisemitism and holocaust denial. Why is the apology due the Pope? Because he signs, figuratively, Williamson’s paychecks? Because the Catholic church is the great campaigner against the holocaust and antisemitism? The apology, such as it is, is offered to the unoffended party, which makes it something other than an apology.

Then there’s the preface: “Amidst this tremendous media storm,” and the scripture from Jonah, which tells us that if the world weren’t watching, no apology would be forthcoming. If only the Jews were offended, creating a mere media breeze, there would be no apology; but since it’s a storm and includes non-Jewish media, then an apology is needed.

This tells us that Bishop Williamson’s views have not changed one bit, that he remains a holocaust denier, an idiot and a fool.

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January 31st 2009

The End Of Gay Activism?

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n Salon today, Thomas Rogers, a gay man who came of age in the 1990s, talks of his expectations as a gay: Dancing shirtless in a crowded dance hall, “a disconcerting number” of overly-flashy shirts, and of course, drag queens.

It’s odd to think of such a cultural emergence and one is tempted to feel sorry for Rogers for having such a sorry, sex-driven existence. But actually his coming of age wasn’t all that different from mine. As an 18 year old, I thought a lot about the important thing ahead of me: dances crowded with attractive women, all of whom would leave their blouses on (sigh!). I came to realize that some of my peers would not take to the freedom to dress themselves as well as others, and that there’d always be a guy with his shirt unbuttoned to his navel and a gal dressed like a street-walker.

Rogers gets to the meat gist of his story:

But something funny happened on my way to the gay ghetto: The drag queen disappeared not only from mainstream popular culture, but also, to a large extent, from the gay culture of my generation. Most young gay men I know are far more likely to head to a gay-friendly straight bar than take in a drag show, and while drag queens remain a fixture in many bars and clubs, especially those catering to older gay men, those venues appear to be dwindling.

Nearly all of New York’s mammoth gay dance clubs have shut their doors since the ’80s, and demographics suggest that gay men are increasingly leaving behind gay neighborhoods, like the Castro in San Francisco. Half of Boston’s gay bars closed between 1993 and 2007. New York’s Wigstock and San Francisco’s Trannyshack, the two best-known drag revues in the country, have ended their runs.

Should we lament the passing of the drag queens? Those who love campiness can if they wish, but campy or not, they are symbols of skewed sexuality, promiscuity and corrupted morals, so society will not suffer their demise. But …

The drag queens are disappearing because of the mainstreaming of homosexuality in our culture.  As Rogers says, the demographics show the gays leaving their protected enclaves and moving into the lofts or suburbs of their choice, without fear of how straight society will react. Yet the language of “homophobia” continues, as we saw in California where gays accused people who don’t care if their insurance broker, hairdresser or neighbor is gay were accused of homophobia merely because they stood up for the institution of marriage.

Activist gays who have made their living off of the gay rights movement and their diehard supporters are in the same boat as the false prophets of black victimhood who are confronted with a popularly elected black presidential non-victim.  They see favorable portrayals of gays on television, gays living together comfortably in suburbs and cities, a lack of discrimination in jobs and benefits, no need any more for drag queens, yet they fail to accept their victory and fight for what’s already won.

The headline says “the end of gay activism” with a question mark.  I don’t think it is, even though it appears to be moving toward an end. Gay activists will continue to perceive persecution, try to force their sexuality into our school curricula, and pursue the unholy gay grail of holy matrimony.  But like black victimization activists, they will become more marginalized over time.

Traditionalists have reasons to be uncomfortable with the mainstreaming of gay culture.  We fear moral breakdown, worry about too much sexuality being forced too early on our kids, and abhor judicial activism and the legislating of issues that offend our morality.

Morality means a lot to traditionalists, much more than it does to those who flaunt immorality, and because of the disgusting exhibitionism that goes on with gay pride parades, we fear immorality will spread virus-like into our families. The sooner we can get rid of these worries, the better – and no matter where we are on the morality-meter, we know that repression and legislation won’t make gays go away.

But we traditionalists also have reason to be comfortable with gay mainstreaming.  A gay couple in a committed, long-term relationship is less threatening to us than a couple leather-clad gays having sex in stall next to ours.  A gay doing well in his job even as his bosses are aware of his sexual preferences is less threat than one hiding his sexuality and seething with anger.  If it’s “love the sinner, hate the sin” we profess, then we should be happy that the sinners aren’t suffering.  Persecution harden walls, driving people to activism and anger; acceptance and success bring them to a complacent acceptance of society as it is.

This all started with a couple quick thoughts on Rogers’ story of drag queens, and as you can see it became complex, troubled, even contradictory.  Such is the fate of deep moral issues.  It’s much easier to just float through life without asking tough questions – to hate or accept without much thought.  Thank God that’s not my life; it’s the pondering and probing that makes life worth living.

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January 31st 2009

Quotes From The Iraqi Front

“T

hese are the people we need now: people who represent everyone in Iraq and have no sectarian bias.” – Zaid Abdul-Karim, 44, an Iraqi government employee voting in today’s provincial elections.

“I just voted and I’m very happy. We could not do the same thing the last time because of the insurgency.” – Mukhalad Waleed, 35, Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province.

“We were not able to vote during the 2005 elections because of the deteriorating security situation. But now we feel safe enough to go out and vote.” – Ahmed Jassim, 19, from Baqouba, in violence-prone Diyala Province.

“[This vote is] “very important.  I want to ensure my future and the future of my children.” – Yaqdhan al-Hassani, 36, Baghdad, a married father-of-three.

“I feel great.  I feel like I am doing this for Iraq.” – Ali al-Fayath, 18, who has just turned old enough to vote.

“I am so happy. I chose the person that will represent me.” – Raad al-Shimari, 30, Baghdad

Of course all these news reports included some quotes from people frustrated by the voting process and there were scattered anti-American quotes to be found as well (NYT, anyone?), but all balanced the negative with positive.  Well, my bet is that “balanced” is a gross overstatement, that reporters had to work hard to find negative quotes and cull through reams of positive quotes to select one or two.

All of the stories reported on a lack of violence during the voting – just one incident of a couple injuries when police fired to stop people from carrying cell phones into the polling booth, since cell phones can be used to trigger bombs. As could be expected, all of the MSM stories skirted the obvious, never coming right out and stating the obvious:  In the last elections, al-Qaeda orchestrated an unsuccessful campaign of terror in an attempt to keep people from voting.  In this post-surge election, al-Qaeda was gone, vanished, irrelevant.

Here’s what they’re all avoiding saying: We won. We planted a functioning and popular Democracy in Iraq.

Sources: AP, NYT, Times of London, Int. Herald Trib, WaPo.

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January 30th 2009

Another Obama Admin Tax-Dodger

We’ve heard all about what a great citizen Tom Daschle is – selfless, patriotic, dedicated to the well-being others. Sounds like the definition of a guy who would take seriously his obligation to pay his taxes so the feds can take care of all the Little People.

And since Daschle’s new gig is Secretary of Taking Care of the Little People, aka Sec of Health and Human Services, there’s all the more reason for us to believe he is a faithful and honest taxpayer.

Yeah, well I never believed all that laudatory Daschle-drivel anyway.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Former Sen. Tom Daschle, picked by President Barack Obama to lead his health reform efforts, recently filed amended tax returns to report $128,203 in back taxes and $11,964 in interest, according to a Senate document obtained by The Associated Press.

The White House acknowledged Friday that “some tax issues” had emerged in connection with the nomination, but a spokesman said the president is confident the former Senate Democratic leader will be confirmed as the new health secretary.

Daschle filed amended tax returns for 2005, 2006 and 2007 to reflect additional income for consulting work, the use of a car service and reduced deductions for charitable contributions. He filed the returns after Obama announced he intended to nominate Daschle to head the Health and Human Services Department.

Let me guess, Part I: These are common, honest errors. You know, you consult (like I do), get paid for it (like I do), then don’t pay taxes on it (like I don’t). Then you overstate your charitable contributions just because it’s a perfectly honest and common thing to do. But I’ll forgive him the car service – that’s probably a common mistake and maybe even once in a while an honest one.

Let me guess, Part II: Unlike the shameful job John McCain did vetting Sarah Palin (who, ya know, had a charge against her … that was later dropped), the well oiled, beautifully functioning Obama transition team vetted Daschle up one side and down the other.

It all raises the question:  Are there any honest Democrats?

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January 30th 2009

Watcher’s Winners, Blago Week

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ooks like the Midwest-domiciled Watcher of Weasels has de-iced enough to tabulate the votes in this week’s Watcher’s Council Quest for the Holy Flail, wherein bloggers of note push themselves mercilessly to achieve brilliance on the topics du jour.

Coming in first on the Council side of things … well, let me just turn it over to the Watcher, who wrote up a pretty good little summary of the winning entry from Mere Rhetoric, NJDC Tool Aaron Keyak Helpfully Illustrates How Liberal Activists Sneeringly Cocoon Themselves In Asinine Arguments And Dishonest Smears:

We all know that the terms “Huffington Post” and “Intellectually Dishonest” are synonymous but that particular lib playground never seems to disappoint when looking for ways to lower the bar on journalistic integrity let alone a contextual presentation of the facts. Thus NJDC Press Secretary Aaron Keyak’s hit piece usher’s in a new era of self aggrandizing bile that rivals even the most devoid collection of pseudo-intellects that regularly appear in that corner of the internet.

Coming in tied a third of a point behind were me – after two weeks in a row of being skunked out! – with my answer to a Lib reader who asked me what we “won” in Iraq, What, Indeed, Did We Win? and a really good piece from The Provocateur, The Shadow Government of the Obama Administration, about the amazing number of czars and advisors at the pinnacle of the Obama power, none of whom received Congressional review and approval.

On the non-Council side, the run-away winner was Spiked Online’s After Gaza: what’s behind 21st-century anti-Semitism?, a lengthy look at this blight on human behavior that continues to grow and spread.

For all the winners and a nice little introductory essay, check out the Watcher’s site.

I know you like that cold weather, Watcher, but did I mention I’m wearing a short-sleeved shirt today? Whatever.  Thanks for bundling up and doing a fantastic job with the weekly Flail.

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January 30th 2009

Zombie Alert!

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ncredible Daughter #3 dared me to blog about this, so I’m taking up the dare. And what the heck, who wouldn’t blog about zombies being spotted in Texas? An no, my Leftist readers, there is no connection between this incident and the recent return of our former president to the Lone Star state.

He’s in Houston or Crawford; this was in Austin.

But … where … is … Rove?

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Austin drivers making their morning commute were in for a surprise when two road signs on a busy stretch of road were taken over by hackers. The signs near the intersection of Lamar and Martin Luther King boulevards usually warn drivers about upcoming construction, but Monday morning they warned of “zombies ahead.”

“I thought it was pretty funny,” said University of Texas sophomore Jane Shin, who saw the signs while driving down Lamar Bouelvard with friends Sunday night. “We wondered who did it.”

The City of Austin does not own the signs, but they are responsible for the message. The contractor on the construction project owns the signs. A city spokesperson said the hacked messages were only up for a few hours, until the construction project manager saw them during his morning commute and immediately ordered them to be changed back.

The bureaucrats were not amused, noting that highway-sign hacking is a misdemeanor in Texas because it could endanger the public. But not as much as zombies wandering around.

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January 30th 2009

The Hansen Slap-Down

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ames Hansen is the First Acolyte in the Algorian Church of Global Doom, first breaking out of the warmie scientist clutter and into media stardom by – what else? – Bush bashing. Here’s the NYT at the time:

The top climate scientist at NASA says the Bush administration has tried to stop him from speaking out since he gave a lecture last month calling for prompt reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming.

The scientist, James E. Hansen, longtime director of the agency’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in an interview that officials at NASA headquarters had ordered the public affairs staff to review his coming lectures, papers, postings on the Goddard Web site and requests for interviews from journalists.

Despite swift and complete denials from NASA, Hansen’s charge has become Algorian Church canon, chanted in a steady drone by acolytes, altar chicks, scribes and high pundits around the world ever since, and has served as the primary anti-Bush church dogma ever since.

Except, of course, it’s just not true.

Sen. James Inhoff, always ready to throw the Whore of Babble-On out of the temple, has busted Hansen by publishing on his Environment and Public Works Committee Minority Blog a letter from Hansen’s former supervisor, Dr. John S. Theon.  Let’s first establish who’s boss here:

Yes, one could say that I was, in effect, Hansen’s supervisor because I had to justify his funding, allocate his resources, and evaluate his results. I did not have the authority to give him his annual performance evaluation. He was never muzzled even though he violated NASA’s official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind’s effect on it). He thus embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claims of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress.

So he wasn’t muzzled. If you still want to believe Hansen’s teachings after finding out that he’s a grandstanding liar, you might want to consider what the guy with more cred at NASA than Hansen has to say about the teachings of the Algorian Church:

My own belief concerning anthropogenic climate change is that the models do not realistically simulate the climate system because there are many very important sub-grid scale processes that the models either replicate poorly or completely omit. Furthermore, some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results. In doing so, they neither explain what they have modified in the observations, nor explain how they did it. They have resisted making their work transparent so that it can be replicated independently by other scientists. This is clearly contrary to how science should be done. Thus there is no rational justification for using climate model forecasts to determine public policy.

You’d think that would put an end to James Hansen and his brand of science charlatanry – but you’d be wrong. Being a warmie scientist means never having to say you’re sorry. Here are excerpts from a letter Hansen sent to John Holdren, science adviser to Obama – and to Obama and his wife, concerning his recommendations for global warming policy, starting with the letter to Holdren:

Dear John:

A few weeks ago in London, where Anniek was running after me from one meeting to another, she had a heart attack (fortunately we were near a very good hospital — the problem should be permanently fixed via the stent they inserted plus a better diet). As we waited a week for her to be able to fly I wrote the attached letter to the Obamas. Could you possibly forward this letter to them? I realize that it is a long letter (4 pages + a page of footnotes). But global warming likely will be, eventually, the problem of their lifetime. His presidency may be judged in good part on whether he was able to turn the tide — more important, the futures of young people and other life will depend on that. …

The critical need to cut off the coal source soon must be recognized. …

A carbon tax (across all fossil fuels at their source) is essential, I believe, for effectiveness. Any less comprehensive cap will reduce the price of the fuel for any other uses. A rising tax (with all the other needed measures such as building codes, vehicle efficiencies, renewable energies…) will help constrain demand for the fuel. …  A rising tax will help keep the price paid for the oil itself (or other fossil fuel) lower …

Yes, a rising tax will constrain demand – by placing economic hardship on everyone, especially the poor.  But constrained demand will lead to lower prices for oil?  Not if the tax is high enough to accomplish what Hansen wants it to.  By definition, fuel + carbon tax must always be much higher than the old price of fuel, or people will return to their old fuel-buying habits.  In other words, you can’t talk about just the price of oil if consumers and industry must pay for oil + carbon tax.

And the letter to the Obamas, which was co-signed by Hansen’s wife Anniek:

Dear Michelle and Barack,

We write to you as fellow parents concerned about the Earth that will be inherited by our children, grandchildren, and those yet to be born.

Barack has spoken of ‘a planet in peril’ and noted that actions needed to stem climate change have other merits. However, the nature of the chosen actions will be of crucial importance.

We apologize for the length of this letter. But your personal attention to these ‘details’ could make all the difference in what surely will be the most important matter of our times. Jim has advised governments previously through regular channels. But urgency now dictates a personal appeal. Scientists at the forefront of climate research have seen a stream of new data in the past few years with startling implications for humanity and all life on Earth. …

Science and policy cannot be divorced. It is still feasible to avert climate disasters, but only if policies are consistent with what science indicates to be required.

Remember what Theon said of the “science” proffered by Hansen and his fellow monks:

They have resisted making their work transparent so that it can be replicated independently by other scientists. This is clearly contrary to how science should be done.

Nevertheless, Hansen pleads with the Obamas to make critical and extremely costly policy decisions based on his brand of science.  He goes on to use his dirty science to call for a moratorium and phase out of most coal-burning power plants, a tough carbon tax, and more nuclear plants.  (Kudos on the nukes.)  The carbon tax is the most onerous, a club in the hands of regulators …

A rising carbon price is the one practical way to obtain compliance with codes designed to increase energy efficiency.

… as a social(ist) engineering tool of grand proportions:

A rising carbon price is essential to “decarbonize” the economy, i.e., to move the nation toward the era beyond fossil fuels. The most effective way to achieve this is a carbon tax (on oil, gas, and coal) at the well-head or port of entry. The tax will then appropriately affect all products and activities that use fossil fuels. The public’s near-term, mid-term, and long-term lifestyle choices will be affected by knowledge that the carbon tax rate will be rising.

In other words, price the cheap energy that fuels the pursuit of happiness so the pursuit becomes futile and we return to a more primitive, less productive, less bountiful time.  If the world were about to die because of global warming, all Hansen’s draconian measures were be justified – heck, let’s take it even further.  But it’s not.  The global climate system isn’t playing by the rules set by the warmies sacred computer models, a fact that has only made them more shrill:

An urgent geophysical fact has become clear. Burning all the fossil fuels will destroy the planet we know, Creation, the planet of stable climate in which civilization developed.

Note that Hansen has taken to the Algorian Church irritation of renaming the Earth “Creation,” as if Earth were our creator instead of Almighty God, who created the Earth and all on it.  Godless, running on empty science, Hansen pleads his case to Obama and his science czar.

Holdren, the science advisor, is definitely indoctrinated enough in Algorian dogma to buy Hansen’s letter hook, line and sinker.  Obama’s the question mark.  Was the whole Warmie platform just a political consideration, no more to be stuck to than the now broken platform of bipartisanship? Or does Obama really believe this stuff?

In either case, he ought to spend more time reading Theon than Hansen.

Hat-tip: Watt’s Up With That. Top photo: Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

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January 30th 2009

Coincidence?

I

‘m not conspiracy theorist (except for that “Great Left Wing” thing), but you can’t just read stuff like this and wonder if maybe there isn’t something cloak-and-dagger going on here:

Obama Hosts Labor Leaders

Labor leaders were to visit the White House for a second consecutive day Friday, where, a union official said …

And:

Obama Baby Bump Watch Begins

Apparently, [Michelle Obama] pregnancy rumors have been circulating the last few days in Washington and PerezHilton has broadcast it nationwide with a post titled “White House Baby????”

I’m just sayin’.  9/11 Truthers Whack-Jobs have done more with less.

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January 29th 2009

Judge Abets Harassment Of Prop 8 Supporters

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.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. curtly rejected a frantic attempt by supporters of Prop. 8 – California’s marriage protection initiative – to keep late donor names separate, saying dismissively:

“The court finds that the state is not facilitating retaliation by compelling disclosure.” (source)

Interesting finding, with “interesting” being polite for “lame, ridiculous, unintelligible.”  While California law is straightforward, stating that disclosure is required, Prop. 8 supporters made a compelling argument for privacy protection – you know the protection they give women who want to kill their pre-borns -  claiming donors have been ravaged by hateful and threatening e-mails and phone calls, confrontations, and even death threats.

Now the judge could have ruled that the California Political Reform Act requires disclosure of contributors of more than $100 and the Prop 8 donors failed to make a compelling case for not enforcing it, but instead he said the state “is not facilitating retaliation by compelling disclosure.”

On what planet?  Prop 8 supporters aren’t going around in Yes on Prop 8 T-shirts, bating violent straightophobes who want to punch someone out for supporting traditional marriage, so how else will the No on 8 die-hards find victims?

Does England really think putting the names of contributors into the hands of people who have done plenty to prove their capabilities in thuggery and harrassment will have no consequences?  He must be a liberal intellectual, because only a liberal intellectual could be that dense.

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With Obama winning the presidency by seven percent, we can't blame the media. Their laudatory coverage and refusal to extensively probe into Obama's background and [lack of] experience was at best responsible for five percent of his vote, the pundits tell us. Here is a compilation of over 100 significant instances of pro-Obama/anti-McCain bias during the 2008 campaign.

For all 'Media Bias 2008' – Click Here

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