Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Obama Is Really a Most Successful President

Even if you do not agree with my past comments in which I say that Obama's main objective in life is to make successful Americans pay dearly for the history of racism and colonialism that he (Obama) believes in, you must admit that from a certain perspective, he has been a most successful president. The following article explains what I mean:

President Obama's Civilian Soldiers

January 31, 2012 By Christopher Chantrill American Thinker
Everybody is outraged and disgusted by our divisive politics, from Jewish bubbies in Florida to AT's own Rick Moran. The rest of us just think that President Obama is incompetent. "Obama doesn't have the experience, character, or personality to be president. To put it flatly: he's in over his head." That's Barry Rubin.

And if he's not incompetent he is polarizing, writes Peter Wehner. And that from the candidate whose "core claim" wasn't simply that he would heal the planet; he would also heal the nation's political breach. He would elevate the national debate.

Reason would prevail over emotion... Obama would "turn the page" on the "old politics" of division and anger.

Sorry to disagree, but I am not disgusted. I don't believe that the president is incompetent. And I don't believe he has reneged on his promise of bringing us together. To me, everything about President Obama makes sense.

First of all, the division. Our national politics is in a space very like the 1850s just before the showdown over slavery. You remember the history. For 60 years, ever since the ratification of the Constitution, the South had refused to discuss slavery, and would stage a tantrum if anyone raised the subject. Eventually the North got fed up and organized an explicitly anti-slavery party. It was called the Republican Party.

But why was the South so intransigent when "everybody knew" that slavery was immoral? The simple answer is that business was too good. Slavery was profitable, very profitable for the South.

The same thing applies to today's America. "Everybody knows" that the welfare state is finished, but the peculiar institution is profitable, very profitable -- for liberals. Look at Liberals get to spend $4 trillion a year on their favorite programs. Conservatives get $1 trillion a year for defense. Why would liberals give up on a deal like that without a fight?

Nor is the president incompetent. He is doing exactly what his liberal base wants him to do. He is doing Keynesian stimulus, taking care that most of it goes to Democrats. He is doing clean energy, regulating the environment, canceling pipelines, carrying water for unions, cutting defense. He has held off Republicans that want to cut and slash spending. He is a liberal dream.

Polarizing? Look, if you are a liberal, the problem is Republicans. We would have sweetness and light if only those bigoted, mean-spirited, racist Republicans weren't opposing the president at every turn. What this nation, this anti-intellectual nation, needs is a national conversation on civility, led by its educated class.

In this 1850s rerun, the Republican Party is reinventing itself as the anti-liberal party. That means division, because liberals are the ruling class that has run America as a very profitable plantation for the last 70 years, and they are not going without a fight. What's ahead for America, in consequence, is a classic Clausewitzean "decisive battle."

President Obama's State of the Union speech last week was about battlefield preparation. He is taking his party back to the old Progressive totem of the "moral equivalent of war." Jonah Goldberg: "Ever since William James coined the phrase 'the moral equivalent of war,' liberalism has been obsessed with finding ways to mobilize civilian life with the efficiency and conformity of military life."

George Will chimes in as well: "Onward civilian soldiers, marching as to war."

Likewise the president's fairness argument. "Fairness" is how liberals talk to the American people. To each other, they talk about "inequality." There is another word they like: "exploitation." They use that one on the masses. But the words all mean the same thing. Liberals don't like the economic results of 200 years of capitalism in which the daily income went from $3 per head per day to over $100 per day, and they don't like the results of the 20th century which began with the rich fatter than the poor and ended with the poor fatter than the rich. Invisible hand? It's a myth, say liberals. What we have here is exploitation:
In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, [capitalism] has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.

There's a harsh logic to this. Ever since Karl Marx, liberals have rebelled against the fat, sloppy way of voluntary cooperation that leaves no room for political power and civilian soldiers. So voluntary cooperation must go. Forget about humans as social animals. Think soldier ants.

The great achievement of President Obama is to present his vision so clearly: America as a progressive ant-hill.

Here's an alternative vision. How about America as a city on a hill, a beacon, a magnet for all those who must have freedom?


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Monday, January 30, 2012

Some Reminders on Global Warming

Some recent articles reminded me that, with liberals, you can shoot down an idea with facts, put it in a grave and bury it – and it will still keep popping up. Everyone is aware of socialism’s collapse everywhere, but Obama keeps trying to impose it, and global warmists also keep trying (under the new name of Climate Change).

Despite the release of the hacked e-mails that revealed that top global-warming scientists at East Anglia were well-aware that world temperatures have not risen since 1997 (as reported by the IPCC body of the UN), and in fact these scientists were fraudulently revising data to hide that fact, still the Associated Press recently published a story that said that NASA records showed that the last 35 years were the warmest since records were kept. I don’t believe this, but maybe somehow, the average of the last 35 years was very warm, despite the fact that the last 15 years experienced cooling or level temperatures. From experience I don’t believe anything the AP says anymore, but others do.

Another fact that liberals ignore is the lesson history tells us of the correlation between mankind’s progress and warming and cooling periods. Whenever there has been a warming cycle, mankind has prospered and flourished; whenever there has been a cooling cycle, mankind has faced famine, plagues and declining populations. We have much more to fear from global cooling than from global warming.

Forget global warming - it's Cycle 25 we need to worry about

Met Office releases new figures which show no warming in 15 years

By David Rose January 2012 Daily Mail

The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.

The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.

Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.

Meanwhile, leading climate scientists yesterday told The Mail on Sunday that, after emitting unusually high levels of energy throughout the 20th Century, the sun is now heading towards a ‘grand minimum’ in its output, threatening cold summers, bitter winters and a shortening of the season available for growing food.

Solar output goes through 11-year cycles, with high numbers of sunspots seen at their peak.

We are now at what should be the peak of what scientists call ‘Cycle 24’ – which is why last week’s solar storm resulted in sightings of the aurora borealis further south than usual. But sunspot numbers are running at less than half those seen during cycle peaks in the 20th Century.

Analysis by experts at NASA and the University of Arizona – derived from magnetic-field measurements 120,000 miles beneath the sun’s surface – suggest that Cycle 25, whose peak is due in 2022, will be a great deal weaker still.

According to a paper issued last week by the Met Office, there is a 92 per cent chance that both Cycle 25 and those taking place in the following decades will be as weak as, or weaker than, the ‘Dalton minimum’ of 1790 to 1830. In this period, named after the meteorologist John Dalton, average temperatures in parts of Europe fell by 2C.

However, it is also possible that the new solar energy slump could be as deep as the ‘Maunder minimum’ (after astronomer Edward Maunder), between 1645 and 1715 in the coldest part of the ‘Little Ice Age’ when, as well as the Thames frost fairs, the canals of Holland froze solid.

Yet, in its paper, the Met Office claimed that the consequences now would be negligible – because the impact of the sun on climate is far less than man-made carbon dioxide. Although the sun’s output is likely to decrease until 2100, ‘This would only cause a reduction in global temperatures of 0.08C.’ Peter Stott, one of the authors, said: ‘Our findings suggest a reduction of solar activity to levels not seen in hundreds of years would be insufficient to offset the dominant influence of greenhouse gases.’

These findings are fiercely disputed by other solar experts.

‘World temperatures may end up a lot cooler than now for 50 years or more,’ said Henrik Svensmark, director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at Denmark’s National Space Institute. ‘It will take a long battle to convince some climate scientists that the sun is important. It may well be that the sun is going to demonstrate this on its own, without the need for their help.’

He pointed out that, in claiming the effect of the solar minimum would be small, the Met Office was relying on the same computer models that are being undermined by the current pause in global-warming.

CO2 levels have continued to rise without interruption and, in 2007, the Met Office claimed that global warming was about to ‘come roaring back’. It said that between 2004 and 2014 there would be an overall increase of 0.3C. In 2009, it predicted that at least three of the years 2009 to 2014 would break the previous temperature record set in 1998.

So far there is no sign of any of this happening. But yesterday a Met Office spokesman insisted its models were still valid.

‘The ten-year projection remains groundbreaking science. The period for the original projection is not over yet,’ he said.

Dr Nicola Scafetta, of Duke University in North Carolina, is the author of several papers that argue the Met Office climate models show there should have been ‘steady warming from 2000 until now’.

‘If temperatures continue to stay flat or start to cool again, the divergence between the models and recorded data will eventually become so great that the whole scientific community will question the current theories,’ he said.

He believes that as the Met Office model attaches much greater significance to CO2 than to the sun, it was bound to conclude that there would not be cooling. ‘The real issue is whether the model itself is accurate,’ Dr Scafetta said. Meanwhile, one of America’s most eminent climate experts, Professor Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology, said she found the Met Office’s confident prediction of a ‘negligible’ impact difficult to understand.

‘The responsible thing to do would be to accept the fact that the models may have severe shortcomings when it comes to the influence of the sun,’ said Professor Curry. As for the warming pause, she said that many scientists ‘are not surprised’.

She argued it is becoming evident that factors other than CO2 play an important role in rising or falling warmth, such as the 60-year water temperature cycles in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

‘They have insufficiently been appreciated in terms of global climate,’ said Prof Curry. When both oceans were cold in the past, such as from 1940 to 1970, the climate cooled. The Pacific cycle ‘flipped’ back from warm to cold mode in 2008 and the Atlantic is also thought likely to flip in the next few years.

Pal Brekke, senior adviser at the Norwegian Space Centre, said some scientists found the importance of water cycles difficult to accept, because doing so means admitting that the oceans – not CO2 – caused much of the global warming between 1970 and 1997.

The same goes for the impact of the sun – which was highly active for much of the 20th Century.

‘Nature is about to carry out a very interesting experiment,’ he said. ‘Ten or 15 years from now, we will be able to determine much better whether the warming of the late 20th Century really was caused by man-made CO2, or by natural variability.’

Meanwhile, since the end of last year, world temperatures have fallen by more than half a degree, as the cold ‘La Nina’ effect has re-emerged in the South Pacific.

‘We’re now well into the second decade of the pause,’ said Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. ‘If we don’t see convincing evidence of global warming by 2015, it will start to become clear whether the models are bunk. And, if they are, the implications for some scientists could be very serious.’

Meanwhile we in the lower United States seem to be experiencing unseasonably warm temperatures while Alaska is setting records for low temperatures.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

My First Airplane Ride

It was in the winter of 1954, when I was a student at Northeastern University. My wife, Lois, and daughters, three month old Sharon, and 15 month old Connie, and I shared a tiny apartment on Francis Street in Boston, when, in Rhode Island and in Massachusetts, there developed a polio epidemic. The Salk vaccine had not yet been made available, and large numbers of children were coming down with this dreaded, paralysing disease

Lois and I decided to protect our girls by taking them to Towson, Maryland to stay with Lois’ parents until the epidemic had run its course. I drove them down in my 1940 Plymouth (which had an Edmunds hot head and was chopped and with dual exhausts), and then I drove right back alone. After a few weeks I decided to fly down for a weekend visit. I left Boston on an Eastern Airlines’ Silver Falcon (DC 3).

In those days there were machines in the lobby of an airport where you could buy trip insurance by feeding in quarters. I put in two quarters, looked at the two quarters I had left, and decided that was enough. After take-off, we had just been served dinner on trays that sat on your lap when the plane hit an air pocket that all the airlines say don’t exist. All our dinners ended up on the ceiling of the plane, and when we hit the bottom of the pocket it felt like we were hitting the ground. I thought that we were going to crash, and the next thought that came into my mind was,”Why didn't I put those other two quarters in the insurance machine?”.

Obviously we didn’t crash, and the rest of the trip and the trip back were routine. I don’t remember whether I went for my family or whether Lois’ parents brought them back to Boston, but in a few more weeks the epidemic seemed over, and they returned.


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Thursday, January 26, 2012


Unfortunately some of my friends have been moved by the oratory of Newt Gingrich into forgetting that we can't win the Presidency without the support of independents. Just what we need: another super-smart, narcissistic orator with massive grievances and scores to settle.


January 25, 2012

To talk with Gingrich supporters is to enter a world where words have no meaning. They denounce Mitt Romney as a candidate being pushed on them by "the Establishment" -- with "the Establishment" defined as anyone who supports Romney or doesn't support Newt.

Gingrich may have spent his entire life in Washington and be so much of an insider that, as Jon Stewart says, "when Washington gets its prostate checked, it tickles [Newt]," but he is deemed the rebellious outsider challenging "the Establishment" -- because, again, "the Establishment" is anyone who opposes Newt.

This is the sort of circular reasoning one normally associates with Democrats, people whom small-town pharmacists refer to as "drug seekers" and Ron Paul supporters.

Newtons claim Romney is a "moderate," and Gingrich the true conservative -- a feat that can be accomplished only by refusing to believe anything Romney says ... and also refusing to believe anything Gingrich says.

-- Romney's one great "flip-flop" is on abortion. (I thought the reason we argued with people about abortion was to try to get them to "flip-flop" on this issue. Sometimes it works!)

Nearly two decades ago, when Romney was trying to defeat champion desecrator of life Sen. Teddy Kennedy, he sought to remove abortion as a campaign issue by declaring that he, too, supported Roe v. Wade.

(Nonetheless, Kennedy ran a campaign commercial against him featuring a Mormon woman complaining that Romney, as a Mormon elder, had pressured her not to have an abortion, but to give the child up for adoption. Are you getting the idea that Massachusetts is different from the rest of America, readers?)

Romney changed his mind on abortion -- not when it was politically advantageous, but when it mattered. As governor of liberal, pro-choice Massachusetts, he vetoed an embryonic stem cell bill and "worked closely" with Massachusetts Citizens for Life. The president of MCL recently issued a statement saying that, "since being elected governor, Mitt Romney has had a consistent commitment to the culture of life."

He didn't defend his changed position by saying he was a "historian," or denounce people who raised the switch as "fundamentally" dishonest asking "absurd" questions, or go back and forth and back and forth. He just said he changed his mind.

Meanwhile, Gingrich, who has run for office only in a small, majority Republican, undoubtedly pro-life congressional district, lobbied President Bush to support embryonic stem cell research.

-- Romney is now the only remaining candidate for president who opposes amnesty for illegals. (Ever since President Bush's amnesty plan cratered on the shoals of public opposition, no Republican will ever use the word "amnesty," despite wanting to keep illegals here -- just as Democrats refuse to say "abortion," while supporting every manner of destroying human life.)

Romney supports E-Verify and a fence on the border. As governor he promoted English immersion programs for immigrants, signed an agreement with the federal government allowing state troopers to enforce federal immigration laws, and opposed efforts to give illegal immigrants in-state tuition or driver's licenses.

At the same time, Romney says he'd like to staple a green card to the diploma of every immigrant here on a student visa who gets a higher degree in math or science.

Gingrich supports importing a slave labor force from Mexico under a "guest worker" program and wants to create government "citizen review boards" to grant amnesty on a case-by-case basis (i.e. all at once) to illegal aliens.

-- Romney supports entitlement reform along the lines of the Paul Ryan plan, as he has said plainly, but without histrionics, in the debates.

Just last year, Gingrich went on "Meet the Press" and called Ryan's plan -- supported by nearly every House Republican -- "right-wing social engineering."

He apologized for those remarks, then took back his apology, still later doubled down, calling the Ryan plan "suicide," and now -- currently, but it could change any minute -- Gingrich supports Ryan's entitlement reform efforts

For the latest updates on Newt's position on the Ryan plan, go to http//

-- As for crony capitalism, Romney made all his money in the private sector by his own diligence and talent -- even giving away all the money he inherited from his parents. He's never lived in Washington or traded on access to government officials.

Meanwhile, without the federal government, Gingrich would be penniless. He has been in Washington since the '70s, first as a congressman, then becoming a rich man on the basis of having been a congressman.

Most egregiously, he took $1.6 million to shill for Freddie Mac, one of the two institutions directly responsible for the housing crash that caused the financial collapse. (Or one of three, if you consider Barney Frank an institution.)

If the tea party stands for anything, it stands in absolute opposition to government insiders shoring up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at the very time those institutions were blowing up the economy.

-- Romney could not be more forceful in saying he will issue a 50-state waiver to Obamacare his first day in office and then seek its formal repeal. Whether you like a state-wide insurance mandate or not, it's a world of difference when the federal government does it. Conservatives, having read the Constitution, ought to understand this.

It was on account of the difference between state and federal powers that the Supreme Court overturned the federal Violence Against Women Act. The court was not endorsing rape, but reminding us that states make laws about rape, not Congress.

To act as if Obamacare is the same thing as "Romneycare" is just a word game, on the order of acting like a "gun" has the same properties as a "gunny sack," or "fire" is the same thing as a "firefly."

Romney supported the idea of other states doing something along the lines of his health care bill, but always opposed insurance mandates from the federal government (just as I oppose the federal government issuing general laws about rape, but support state laws against rape.)

For those of you who still think Romneycare is the worst possible sin a Republican candidate could commit -- even worse than taking money from Freddie Mac as it destroyed the economy -- that doesn't help Gingrich: He supported Romneycare.

(While we're on the subject, the nation's leading conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation, helped draft Romneycare. Indeed, Bob Moffit, Heritage's senior fellow on health care issues, can be seen in the picture of the bill-signing ceremony, standing proudly behind Romney.)

But Gingrich did more than support Romneycare. As former senator Rick Santorum has pointed out, Gingrich supported a FEDERAL individual mandate to purchase health insurance from 1993 until five minutes ago -- i.e., at least until a "Meet the Press" appearance just last May.

Asked by Maria Bartiromo in the CNBC debate last November to explain what he would do to fix health care, Newt attacked the question as "absurd" and said he would need a "several-hour period" to answer it.

In a world where words have meaning, Mitt Romney is not the "moderate" in this race. He is the most conservative candidate still standing, with the possible exception of Rick Santorum, who is bad on illegal immigration. (Santorum voted in the Senate against even the voluntary use of E-Verify by employers, which means he doesn't want to do anything about illegal immigration at all.)

Romney is "moderate" only in demeanor -- which is just another word game. His positions are more conservative than Gingrich's, but he doesn't scare people like Gingrich does. Ronald Reagan and Jesse Helms were moderate in demeanor, too. No one would call them political moderates.

Romney is the most electable candidate not only because it will be nearly impossible for the media to demonize this self-made Mormon square, devoted to his wife and church, but precisely because he is the most conservative candidate.

Conservatism is an electable quality. Hotheaded arrogance is neither conservative nor attractive to voters.


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Monday, January 16, 2012

Gingrich Reverts to His Normal Self

I have been in such a state of melancholy over the state of our nation and the political process that I haven't wanted to post anything for quite a while. If you love America and the Constitutional process, the daily ourages by Obama eventually sweep over you and overwhelm you like a tsunami. I have been so angered, however, by Gingrich's campaign tactics that I felt compelled to publish this piece. Gingrich and his idiot buddy, Perry, may have thrown a winnable election to Obama this year.

Bane Capital and the GOP's Dark Night

By JED BABBIN on 1.16.12 American Spectator (Excerpt)

Newt's bad narrative has made a mockery of this presidential race.

The media always has an established theme -- a narrative -- into which the coverage of political stories is shoehorned. Sometimes that results in important stories being ignored because they just don't fit. That's okay with the media bosses this year because they're not in the news business. They're in the business of helping Obama get re-elected.

The narrative is important because it shapes the flow of information voters get and thus defines the political debate. If the narrative controls what the voters hear, read, and see -- and it usually does -- then the voters are thinking and deciding on the basis of the information to which they're exposed. Were it not for conservative talk radio and publications such as the Spectator, the media would be pretty much in total control of that information flow leading up to the election.

Before the Iowa caucuses, the media narrative of the Republican primaries was pretty much a personality contest about who was more electable, who was more conservative -- or, as the media phrase it, more radical -- and who was going to score in Iowa's beauty contest in which social issues usually play a disproportionate role.

Mitt Romney's campaign had launched a barrage of negative ads against Gingrich and when Gingrich finished fourth, it was clear that the former speaker needed to do something to change the narrative. It was the right moment for him to do it, and he could have with -- for example -- a speech critical of the media I suggested on this page some weeks ago.

But Gingrich's ego was injured. The fact that Romney's negative ads worked really got under his skin. On the morning of caucus day, Gingrich called Romney a liar on a talk radio show, and in the thirteen days since the Republican primary campaign has followed a script that could have been written by David Axelrod. It has formed a media narrative around the top two candidates that is so damaging that both of them need to do everything in their power -- which may not be enough -- to change it.

For two weeks, Gingrich and Rick Perry have stuck to the theme that Romney, as a venture capitalist in the Bain Capital firm in the 1990s, destroyed jobs and hurt people in ways that the two intimate (but don't say directly) were unethical, unfair, and possibly illegal. The two -- directly and through an independent "SuperPAC" supporting Gingrich --- have carpet-bombed Romney for his role in Bain, but making themselves collateral damage.

Perry, whose campaign has already failed, lashed out at Romney for "vulture capitalism." That undefined term implies financial corruption and worse. Gingrich has ranted against Romney's form of capitalism in terms (such as accusing Romney of "looting" companies) previously unheard among conservatives. It's the language of the Occupy Wall Street riffraff. Many conservatives have called on both to cool down, but neither has.

Now we have a 30-minute hit video titled "King of Bain" supposedly documenting Romney's actions at Bain Capital published by "Winning Our Future," a Gingrich-supporting "SuperPAC."

"King of Bain" is comprehensively vile. I watched it. You should too. It looks and sounds like an MSNBC feature story replete with every lefty cliché and "Occupy Wall Street" theme there is. And it's so full of falsehoods that the Washington Post's "Fact Checker" column awarded it four "Pinocchios."

Winning Our Future hasn't corrected or withdrawn the video in light of the publicized problems. Instead, WOF managing director Greg Phillips issued a smarmy "open letter" to Romney on January 13 offering to revise the video if Romney answers -- to Phillips -- five questions he poses in the letter and threatening to keep pushing the unchanged video if he doesn't.

Gingrich has called on WOF to fix the errors in the video or take it off the air. But after Phillips's letter to Romney, that's not enough. Gingrich should have condemned the video and issue a statement that any independent groups supporting him must not engage in smearing his opponents. On Meet the Press yesterday, Gingrich unconscionably defended the WOF open letter to Romney. The video is now Newt's version of the Ron Paul newsletters.

In the Democrat-media culture, Republicans are always the heartless big business-Wall Street-rich man's party. Now we have two supposedly conservative Republicans attacking Romney starting from that point and taking a quantum jump into terms used only by the most radical lefties.

Gingrich and Perry have created a media narrative that says Romney and Bain were vulture capitalists and corporate looters. If you buy that and watch "King of Bain" you might confuse Romney's old company with something run by Bane, the super-villain in the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. From the movie trailer we know that Catwoman will meow lines taken from the Occupy Wall Street crowd. I can hardly wait to see how the Dems will combine "King of Bain" with the movie ("Bane Capital"?) this fall.

The context in which the Gingrich-Perry narrative has to be judged is the underlying Obama campaign narrative from which the media will never vary. It is class warfare, pure and simple. Obama has identified himself -- and his administration -- with the Occupy Wall Street groups. They exist only to attack capitalism. Romney's Bain Capital is the perfect symbol of it for them to attack because it benefits Obama to do so and is bespoke tailored to Obama's class warfare politics.

It's too late to change the narrative before the South Carolina primary this Saturday. The damage has been done. The media will ensure that it is repeated many times because it will damage whoever is the Republican nominee, Romney or Gingrich. Nevertheless, both Gingrich and Romney have a duty to try to move the narrative away from Bain Capital. But to what?" American Spectator

To see "King of Bain" click here


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