Saturday, August 23, 2008

"Clinton Wasn't Vetted, Chet Edwards Was" and "If You Don't Vote For Obama, You're A Racist"

I try to at least browse the offerings on Salon and Slate every day, kind of like some Lefties claim to "monitor" Rush Limbaugh.
It helps innoculate me from getting enthusiastic about anything done, said, typed, or attempted by Republicans, plus their Arts & Entertainment essays are usually top notch.
And even though I know going in that I'll see some political opinions (which shouldn't have survived The Dark Ages) labeled as "Progressive", the trip is usually worth it.

Not today.

Let's start with this somewhat breathless investigation by Alex Koppelman, from "Clinton wasn't vetted, Chet Edwards was".

Let me retype that. "Hillary Clinton, who got almost as many votes in the Democratic primaries as Obama, wasn't seriously considered as a plausible Vice-Presidential candidate but obscure Texas congressman Chet Edwards got to turn in all his documents and answer a lot of questions from the vetting committee and that's not fair."

(Politico's Mike) Allen quotes one unnamed Democratic official as saying that Clinton "was not asked for a single piece of paper. She and Senator Obama have never had a single conversation about it." The source also says that Clinton never met with Obama's vetting team. In his article on all this, Allen pointedly contrasts this report with Obama's having frequently said Clinton "would be on anybody's short list."

Responding to the story, a Democrat sympathetic to Clinton told Salon, "If Mike's right, the PUMAs (a delightful acronym that means "Party Unity, My Ass") are going to burn down the Pepsi Center" (where the Democratic convention is being held). Many Democrats have believed, however, that a formal vetting process wasn't really necessary when it came to Clinton, as all the information that would normally be examined is already public.

Once again, can you imagine what questions a vetting committee would have for The Clintons? Click here for my shortlist.

Moving on to's crime against logic, someone named Jacob Weisberg has written "IF OBAMA LOSES: Racism is the only reason McCain might beat him".


I like Obama ok, considering that he's a Democrat from the Chicago machine who has the foreign policy experience of Emily Dickinson. His most significant executive experience was with former terrorist William Ayers, and you're not going to get to see the documents relating to that experience until December. The guy just hasn't done a lot yet. McCain has.

What would happen if we did a reverse "Lincoln Osiris" treatment on Obama, and turned him white? What if we gave him the name Barry O'Reilly? And what if we gave him the identical thin resume? Does anyone believe that generic two-year senator Barry O'Reilly could've beaten The Clintons, much less go up against John McCain?

Mr. Weisberg doesn't understand that Obama's race has helped get him this far, and if he wins the presidency it will be because his race was seen as a positive that outweighed his lack of experience. No white candidate could've defeated the Clintons. Impossible.

As a former Mississippian who grew up in a racist environment, with segregated schools and doctor's offices, I'm glad to see a black man get this far. I think our first black president will do a lot to finish healing the damage. I'd be happier, though, with a first black president named Colin Powell.

The fact that I'm going to vote for Bob Barr instead of Barack Obama doesn't make me a racist.

And someone needs to point out to Jacob Weisberg that they're having a big sale at Clues-R-Us. Maybe he'll get one.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Joseph Biden is Barack Obama's pick for Vice President of The United States

Joseph Biden is Barack Obama's pick for Vice President of The United States.
I hope.

Let's look at his other options:
*The Clintons - They're too divisive. Barack ran on "Change", and these two don't represent that. These two are the only thing that could rally the Republicans. Yes, they've been vetted, but so has Mussolini.
*Al Gore - I can't see it happening. He'll be making millions cooling the earth. All the future graft from his consulting work would have to go into a blind trust.
*John Edwards - He had it all, and blew it.
*Tim Whats-his-name from Virginia - Obama needs someone with some experience and reputation to balance his lack of both. This guy makes Obama look like Henry Clay.
*Evan Bayh - Dan Quayle defeated his father (Senator Birch Bayh) in the 1981 Indiana Senate race. There's no telling what something like that can do to a family.
*Tim Pawlenty - seems like a good guy, but he's only a year older than Obama. He would bring a lot to the ticket. Oh, wait, never mind. He's on the Republican shortlist.
*Bill Richardson - another good guy, but wouldn't bring much to the ticket. Would've been a better fit with The Clintons, who now despise him.

I may have forgotten some others, but for the sake of our nation I hope it's Biden. The Mommy Party will need to prove that they have an adult in the room, and Biden can handle a debate. He's been in the Senate longer than almost anyone who still has his wits about him, he's helped with the vetting of more Supreme Court justices than anyone.
He's a good foreign affairs guy.
He once got into trouble for plagiarizing something, a vice that I regularly practice on these pages. I've liked him ever since live-blogging this debate back in October.

I hope that its Gore, just to add excitement to my life. My money's on Biden.

Update from 3:00 a.m. on Saturday. It looks like I nailed that one ! Joe Biden is the nominee. I just got the text message announcement from the Obama camp.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

William Ayers and Barack Obama and 132 boxes at The University of Illinois at Chicago

Former terrorist William Ayers is finally getting some attention from The Daddy Party (also known as The Republicans).

I wondered at great length in a previous post about when this was going to happen. (Actually, I've been wondering if a Republican campaign against Barack Obama would ever happen....) Here's some analysis of the video from a great site called "The Campaign Diaries", a site that's worth bookmarking if you're a political junkie.
The ad’s goal could not be more explicit, and this is the clearest attempt yet to define Obama as a Manchurian Candidate. It strokes voters’ perception of Obama as a mystery that is simply too dangerous to go for, a mystery so huge that Obama could in fact be an anarchist terrorist looking to get in power to bomb to destroy the Capitol. (The moderators of the ABC debate in April had already raised the Ayers connection.) The Washington Post fact-checking division provides some details as to the Obama-Ayers relationship, which it describes as a “tenuous” one.

As of today, I wouldn't trust the Washington Post's fact-checking department to review the orders at the McDonald's drive-through in Yazoo City, Mississippi. Their bias in favor of The Mommy Party (also known as the Democrats) has been established for a while, and then we get to this, an editorial is by John Kass, writing for the Chicago Tribune, about the adventures of journalist Stanley Kurtz and his efforts to review various documents related to the "tenuous" Obama/Ayers relationship:

When Daley says shhh, library is quiet on Obama
John Kass

....Kurtz's research was to be done in a special library run by the University of Illinois at Chicago. The library has 132 boxes full of documents pertaining to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a foundation vested heavily in school reform. Kurtz believes the documents may show Obama and Ayers were close—far closer than Obama has acknowledged—over oodles of foundation gifts on education projects the two worked on together.

First the librarians told Kurtz yes, come look.

But by the time Kurtz landed in Chicago, the librarians changed their minds. The donor of the documents hadn't cleared his research.

Perhaps they'll let him look at the documents on Nov. 5.

The relationship between the ambitious Obama and the unrepentant Ayers is a subject that excites Republicans, who haven't really thwacked that pinata as hard as they might.

It really irritates Obama and his political champion, Chicago's sovereign lord, Mayor Richard M. Daley. "This is a public entity," Kurtz told us Wednesday. "I don't understand how confidentiality of the donor would be an issue."

Kass goes on to explain that if Mayor Daley doesn't want the review of the documents to happen, it ain't gonna happen.

But wouldn't it be fun to go through those boxes?

Here's the Kurtz article on his difficulties with gaining acces to The Ayers Archive. For the sake of future generations with time of their hands, I'm also copying the entire piece here.

Alisa In Wonderland on Iowa and Beijing

As a public service, I try to alert everyone when Alissa In Wonderland starts typing in English instead of Hebrew.

First, check out her post about our ongoing ethanol scam. (Note to Iowa senators Tom Harkin and Charles Grassley: They've figured you out everywhere but in the United States. Great job, guys!)

Then check out what she wrote about the Olympics Opening Ceremony in Beijing, and the trade-offs between collectivism and individualism.

I hesitate to jump into the comment fields on Alissa's posts, because the threads toggle back and forth between English and Hebrew. If English was good enough for Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Jesus, why can't these people use it? Can you imagine how difficult it would be to translate something like Genesis, Exodus, or Leviticus from English into Hebrew? Why can't they use the King's English like King David did?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ungrateful 70-Year-Olds Who Don't Appreciate The Blessings Of Socialism

Here's the New York Times:
BEIJING — In the annals of people who have struggled against Communist Party rule, Wu Dianyuan and Wang Xiuying are unlikely to merit even a footnote.
by Ng Han Guan/Associated Press

The two women, both in their late 70s, have never spoken out against China’s authoritarian government. Both walk with the help of a cane, and Ms. Wang is blind in one eye. Their grievance, receiving insufficient compensation when their homes were seized for redevelopment, is perhaps the most common complaint among Chinese displaced during the country’s long streak of fast economic growth.

Those weren't their homes. The land and everything on it belonged to the state. That's one of the blessings of Socialism. It makes it easier to achieve the greater good.

But the Beijing police still sentenced the two women to an extrajudicial term of “re-education through labor” this week for applying to hold a legal protest in a designated area in Beijing, where officials promised that Chinese could hold demonstrations during the Olympic Games.
They became the most recent examples of people punished for submitting applications to protest. A few would-be demonstrators have simply disappeared, at least for the duration of the Games, squelching already diminished hopes that the influx of foreigners and the prestige of holding the Games would push China’s leaders to relax their tight grip on political expression.
But, but, but....why? When socialism is so pure and wholesome?

"The Jewel of Medina", Sherry Jones, Random House, and Censorship in the name of safety

Here's something about an act of intimidation, censorship, political correctness, and whichever fourth horse of the apocalypse you want to add. I worked in the Literary Retail industry (which puts a premium on Free Speech) for quite a while, and this kind of thing makes me sick.

US publishers cancel book on Prophet Mohammed's wife
NEW YORK (AFP) — A US publisher has cancelled the publication of a novel about the youngest wife of the Muslim prophet Mohammed amid a growing controversy over the book.
"The Jewel of Medina," a debut novel by journalist Sherry Jones about Mohammed's child bride A'isha had been due for release in the United States last week.

Random House is the publisher that now puts out "The Satanic Verses" by Sir Salman Rushdie. I wonder how long they're going to keep that one in print.

But publisher Random House released her from the contract amid the controversy and her agent said Jones is now looking for a publisher in another country to pick up the rights.
"Random House made the decision to cancel its US publication of the novel 'The Jewel of Medina' after much deliberation and with great reluctance," a statement from the publisher sent to AFP said.

This is what the whimper of whipped dogs sounds like. Listen closely. You'll be hearing more of it during the next decade.

"The decision was based on advice from scholars of Islam, among several creditable sources, that publication of this book might be offensive to some in the Muslim community and could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment."

Mark Steyn's book "America Alone" was widely ridiculed for predicting this type of organized sensitivity. Then Steyn's book was banned in Canada. By Canadians who sit on "Human Rights Commissions" and believe that if the head of someone's religion marries a 12-year old, the delicate sensitivity of the adherents of that religion trump the free speech/free press rights of everyone else.
(I'm not talking about Mormon fundamentalist Rulon Jeffs and his 12-year old fiance, either.)

Reports said Monday that a Serbian distributor, BeoBooks, had ordered bookshops to remove from bookshelves some 1,000 printed copies of a local edition of the novel under pressure from Islamic leaders.

And let us go and do likewise. We should ask ourselves more often...."What would the Serbs do in this situation?"

Mufti Muamer Zukorlic, one of Serbia's main Islamic leaders, had compared the book with the controversial Danish cartoons that sparked Muslim outrage and violent protests when published in 2005.
"This is a work that absolutely stopped at nothing in order to desecrate something that all Muslims hold sacred," Zukorlic said in a report by the Serbian broadcaster B92.

The controversial Danish cartoons weren't controversial. A small group of Sand Preachers tried to make them controversial. At first they failed. They tried again. They failed. Then they had someone draw a cartoon of Mohammed with the body of a pig, which turned out to be an AP photograph of a French pig-squealing contest, and added it to their collection of offensive material. Then, and only then, did they succeed in creating "controversy".
Random House added that it stood "firmly by our responsibility to support our authors and the free discussion of ideas, even those that may be construed as offensive by some.
"However, we must weigh that responsibility against others that it also bears, and in this instance we decided not to go forward with this publication out of concerns for the author, employees of Random House, booksellers, and anyone else who would be involved in distribution and sale of the novel."

Disregard the fact that those two sentences are total contradictions of each other. Disregard the weasel phrase "those that MAY be construed as offensive to SOME". Go ahead and say what you're afraid of. Say it. Say it. Awww....Never mind.

This is the whimper of whipped dogs.

Jones, writing in the PostGlobal blog moderated by Newsweek magazine and the, said she had been stunned when Random House told her a university professor had warned the company of possible reprisals if the book were published.

A university professor warned them? A representative from our last bastion of free speech, diverse opinions, respect for the views of others, and tolerance of the "other"? Say it ain't so.

She added that she had expected to stir some controversy as her novel was about "women's empowerment, never a popular theme among fundamentalists of any faith."
But Jones wrote: "Given the respect with which I treat the Muslim prophet, however, I never expected to be killed because of it. I still don't."

Well, they sure killed your book.
Thanks to here and here for the pictures.

Caption This

It's Wednesday, so I need an electrifying caption for this picture.
Congratulations to Gar, who submitted the best caption last week. A two dollar donation has been made in his name to The Whited Sepulchre Foundation For Those Still Incapable Of Getting Digg Icons To Appear On Their Websites.

Photo from Flikr.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Tortilla Curtain

A few days ago, Marvel Variants and I were talking about The Maginot Line, France's failed attempt at keeping the Germans at bay prior to WWI. The Maginot Line was a lot more than a fortified wall. Here's the group-effort Wikipedia description:

Although the name "Maginot Line" suggests a rather thin linear fortification, the Line was quite deep, varying in depth from between 20 to 25 kilometers. It was composed of an intricate system of strong points, fortifications, and military facilities such as border guard posts, communications centers, infantry shelters, barricades, artillery, machine gun, and anti-tank gun emplacements, supply depots, infrastructure facilities, observation posts, etc.

It was quite an undertaking for its time. I've always imagined someone like The French Knight from Monty Python And The Holy Grail, peeking over the walls and hurling insults at the German army.

According to The Coyote Blog, "the 350 mile long Maginot line cost France about $150 million in the 1930s, or about $2.3 billion in today's dollars. This puts the cost of the Maginot line, underground tunnels, bunkers, gun emplacements, and all, at $6.5 million current dollars per mile...."

It was quite an accomplishment. Parts of it were linked via a system of underground railways.

But when the German army decided to invade France, they just went around it. If I remember correctly, they actually drove through it in a few places. The big guns couldn't do a 360-degree rotation and were useless once an enemy had passed through the line.
But I digress. According to Mr. Coyote, $6.5 million per mile was nothing. Chicken feed. Pocket change.
The latest section of Border Wall going up between San Diego and Mexico? $57 million for 3 1/2 miles of wall. That's $16.3 million per mile, or two and a half times the cost per foot of the greatest defensive structure of its time.

There are people in the U.S., smart people, people who can feed themselves, who actually believe these projects are about keeping illegals out of the country.
These projects are about contractors, donors, pork barrels, make-work, bureaucracy, and unfortunately, making a visible but useless effort to fight an unfortunate group of scapegoats who are merely trying to find a better life.
Later on in his post, Mr. Coyote has another epiphany about the U.S./Mexico border fence and France's doomed Maginot Line:

" end of this San Diego wall hangs in the air, meaning it just ends hundreds of miles before the border does, allowing it to be easily flanked."

Well, yeah. They're not going to kill the goose that can lay $16,000,000.00 golden eggs. There are more elections coming up, with new rounds of donors and lobbyists to be rewarded. Getting this thing across the entire border could take up another dozen election cycles. At that point, public sentiment toward illegals will have probably changed. (Heck, somebody has to pay into the Social Security system....) Who knows how much we'll then be paying per mile to have the wall torn down.

You'll have to go to The Coyote Blog to see the comparisons he makes with government run healthcare.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Sincere, Heartfelt Prayer

Dear God,
I know that I am a sinner.
I know that I don't live according to your rules and laws, and I have a tendency to disregard the rules I don't like.
I know that in the post before this one, I ridiculed the very idea that someone/something as big and powerful as you could ever get involved in politics, or any of our other concerns. I take it all back.
God, please, please, please, let this one thing happen for me.
It would bring a level of intense focus, purpose, and determination to my next 80 days that has perhaps been lacking in my previous 47 years.
You see, I need this. I need it badly. There would be a kick in my step and a twinkle in my eye, if you could just intervene one time and make this happen.
I would miss meals to sit down every night and type about this, God. I'll give the world delirious rants and foam-at-the-mouth fiskings the likes of which they've never seen.
Napoleon supposedly wrote that one should never interrupt his enemy when he is in the process of making a mistake.
So if they're planning on making this mistake anyway, never mind. I'll give you credit however it happens. I'll make a pilgrimage to Baylor Baptist in Waco, or at least the Seventh Day Adventist college in Keane. I'll stop bearing false witness during our morning production meeting. I'll honor my mother by playing Skip Bo with her more often. I'll stop coveting my neighbor's ass, if that's what it takes.

Please let this one thing happen.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Praying For Rain On Obama's Parade

Here's a video from Focus On The Family's Stuart Shepard asking like-minded believers to pray for rain in Denver at Mile-High Stadium on August 28th.

Shepard specifically wants "torrential rain". What my father called a six-inch gully-washer. A chunk floater.

If you don't get the significance, that's when and where Barack Obama is going to be addressing the Democratic Convention.

Shepard claims he's doing this because “I’m still pro-life, and I’m still in favor of marriage being between one man and one woman. And I would like the next president who will select justices for the next Supreme Court to agree.”

This guy wants you to pray for God to send rain at a specific time and place in Denver so Barack Obama's appearance at the Democratic Convention will be cancelled and that will increase the odds of McCain being elected and preserve marriage as between one man and one woman, disregarding the earlier biblical model of marriage as "one man and as many wives as he could afford".

I think I got that right.

Ok, let's stop there for a moment. Let's assume that there is a higher power. We could know this higher power as God, Jesus, Allah, Zeus, Thor, or the little girl on the planet Nekthar whose Grow Your Own Planet Earth Kit we all inhabit.

Take it a little further, and assume that the higher power cares about us.

Let's assume that this higher power cares so much that he/she/it occasionally intervenes in our everyday chain of cause and effect. We're not talking about The Blind Watchmaker of Richard Dawkins. This higher power wakes up in the morning busy, and stays busy.

Take another step. The higher power intervenes in response to prayer. We can influence this higher power if enough of us ask in unison, in the right way, for things the higher power cares about.
And then we have to throw in the assumption that the higher power is benevolent.

If such a scenario were true, would we have to pray for rain to prevent Barack Obama from being President? If a benevolent higher power was going to intervene in the Denver weather, wouldn't he do so because it was the right thing to do, and not because Stuart Shepard and James Dobson's Focus on The Family convinced enough of us to pray?

Or can you imagine Obama getting elected and after two years of horrific one-party government, with a Clinton on the Supreme Court and Al Gore as Energy Czar, and then we ask "God, how could you let this happen?"

And God says "Hey, I coulda made it rain in Denver on 8-28-08. But nobody asked me to."


I Can't Believe People Still Fall For This, Part 3

About once a week I get emails that are variations of "The Spanish Prisoner" con game.
Somebody has died, and left me all their money. Their law firm needs access to my bank account so they can deposit some of the money. A little bit of money would go in, and I'd get to spend it. Then all of my money would disappear, usually to Nigeria.

I've been posting the emails here, just to get Google search hits from the thousands (out of the millions of people who get spammed) who are curious enough to research the names involved.
Most of the emails originate from Nigeria, with a few coming out of London, and the spelling and grammar make me look like Henry James.

Very few of them make me laugh out loud. But then I got this:

ADDRESS: Edgware Road,
London W2 2HZEngland.

PRUDENT CHAMBERS? PRUDENT CHAMBERS? As in, I don't want to make out in the middle of the street. Let's rent a Prudent Chamber....????
I looked up Prudent Chambers (I might name our next dog Prudent Chambers) and came up with this law firm Suleyman Consulting (Formarly Prudent Chambers). Of course, they're in Nigeria.

Re: Attention,

Re means "in regards to" or "what the letter is about". This one is apparently about "Attention".

This message is intended only for the use of the individual or organization to whom it is addressed. It contains information that is privilege and confidential but exempts from disclosure under the applicable law(s). If you are not the intended recipient, employee or agent responsible for delivery of this message to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that dissemination or copying of this message is strictly prohibited.

No, let's go ahead and show it to the world. If they don't really know if I'm an individual or an organization, I don't think Prudent Chambers is going to sue me.

NOTIFICATION OF BEQUEST We act as solicitors and our services have been retained by MR ANDREAS SCHRANNER now late herein after referred to as our client. On behalf of Late MR ANDREAS SCHRANNER....

Andreas died? NOOooooo..... Not Andreas ! ! ! We were at band camp together ! I helped him with the trombone part to "Make Me Smile" and "25 or 6 to 4" by Chicago, and helped him learn to march and play scales at the same time.

I write to notify you that my late client made you a beneficiary to the bequest sum of US$5,500, 000.00 Million (FIVE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS)....

Just in case we were having trouble counting all those zeros. I like it when law firms spell those things out in huge capital letters for me. the codicil to his will and last testament. My client, Late MR ANDREAS SCHRANNER who died on 31st July, 2000 in a plane crash with his entire family at the age of 64.

He left all that money to me? To me? His mother (Old Lady Schranner) always told me that Andreas came back from band camp saying I was the best friend he'd ever had ! ! !

Until his death, he was a member of several non-governmental organizations and he was also a great philanthropist and a property magnet.

Dorky little Andreas became a property magnet. Unbelieveable.

You can find more information from this link:

I also like it when law firms put links to newspaper articles in their emails. Helpful.

This bequest is for support of your activities, humanitarian services and help to the less-privileged.

I'm gonna spend it all on activities.

In accordance with our inheritance laws you are required to reply back to me for documents of proof as the bonafide beneficiary.

I'll have to spend the rest of the day looking through my old scrapbooks for that letter from Andreas, the one where he thanked me for being his best friend ever.

We are perfecting arrangements to complete the lodgement of this money into your desired bank account.

Yes, yes, keep perfecting arrangements for that lodgement. I bet the real Andreas Schranner's surviving friends and family (hit the link above) wish they could perfect arrangements for the lodgement of a brick up your rear end.

Please acknowledge the receipt of this letter immediately.


Best regards,

Consider the letter acknowledged.