Friday, October 31, 2008

Need Another Reason to Vote for John McCain?

Here is a letter I received today, forwarded by my friend Tom Roughneen, himself an Iraq vet, from a New Jersey man asking people to vote for John McCain.

On October 1, 2006, I came home to find two United States Marines sitting on my couch. As I entered the house, they rose to greet me and advise me that my 23 year old son had been killed in action. We had just spoken to him the morning before. He was due home in a few weeks but had volunteered to stay behind to train the new troops sent to replace him.

I saw the government vehicle parked facing the wrong way on our street and thought Christopher might be surprising us. Instead, I walked in to be advised of his death. For those who wonder, it was "just like the movies", except it was real. "I regret to inform you that your son was killed in the line of duty this morning." It felt like 1000 knives cutting through me all at once. We exchanged contact information and I was left to deal with the reality of what I had been told. I had to advise Chris' brothers of his death, a moment that I will never forget. The next 11 days were a whirlwind of emotions and events. We went down to "greet" the plane carrying his body, and watched as they reverently removed his coffin from the plane. Several days later, we went to Dover Air Force Base to escort his body home. It is an experience I wish on no one. Yet through it all, patriotic Americans were there with us.

Our family and friends could not have done more for us. People waited for hours on line to pay their respects to our family. The day of the funeral, people lined the streets for the processional from the funeral home to the church. As we left the Funeral Home, I told the boys to look out the window because they would remember this for the rest of their lives. There were police everywhere. As we drove, there were school children lining the streets. The Whippany Fire Department had set up a huge flag and the Whippany Park High School students lined the streets to honor him. The football players were in their jerseys all holding American flags. There were women with their small children standing on the side of the road with their hands over their hearts. There were old men wearing their Veteran’s hats, there were families with their hands over their hearts. Some saluted, some blessed themselves and the rest honored his life.

We drove up past Christopher’s house where members of the Whippany American Legion stood in tribute to Christopher outside his house. As we continued on to the church, there were police officers saluting as they blocked intersections. There were more people standing in silent tribute to Christopher. When we arrived at the church, we passed a long line of Patriot Guard Riders at attention with their flags out. Most of the Patriot Guard are Vietnam Veterans who refuse to allow our military to be treated the way they were when they returned from Vietnam.

After the funeral, the outpouring of support was equally impressive. The ride from the church to the cemetery was unbelievable. There were more people standing along the way in tribute to Christopher. We saw more school children, people from nursing homes, construction workers with their red, white and blue flag hardhats, EMT’s and First Aid Squads standing along the way in tribute. There was one lone woman in Florham Park, standing on the side of the road with a sign that read “Thank you Lance Corporal Chris Cosgrove for your ultimate sacrifice to keep us free”. We will never forget her.

For months after his death, I believed he died for nothing. Iraq was spiraling downward and the violence was escalating. It wasn't until John McCain supported the Troop Surge that things began to turn around. On September 1, 2008, Anbar Province was turned over to Iraqi control because of the success of the surge. Twenty-three months after my son was killed, his death was avenged. Iraq was well on their way to being free.

We all still miss Christopher terribly. Our lives have been changed immeasurably. However, Chris was a true Marine. He believed in Honor, Duty, and Country. He died so the children of America could have the same freedoms he grew up with.

I support John McCain because he "Supports our Troops". John McCain supports our children and he supports the United States of America. John McCain will not let the sacrifices of our soldiers be in vain. John McCain will win in Iraq. John McCain will continue to fight the Global War on Terror. Our economy, while important, becomes irrelevant when dealing with issues of terrorism. If we are no longer free, our economy will be of little consequence.

Please vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin on November 4, 2008. Our lives depend on it.

Christopher B. Cosgrove, Jr.
Father of LCpl. Christopher B. Cosgrove III

"Obama and the Politics of Crowds"

This piece from yesterday's WSJ, "Obama and the Politics of Crowds" is one of the best long-view things I've seen in a while. I've been reading Eric Hoffer's "True Believer" and Hannah Arendt's "Origins of Totalitarianism", and much of what Ajami says here resonates strongly with these Cold War era books, with their clear-eyed view of twentieth century psycho-politics ("psycho" as in psychological, not psychopathic, although one could be forgiven for making the assumption).

Karl Lowith, a student of Martin Heidegger, long ago tagged Marxism as essentially a Christian heresy in his book, Meaning in History. Attempts to posit an end of history outside of Christian eschatological categories inevitably take on the religious connotations that come with those categories and symbols. The unholy alliance of Christianity and Marxism that is Black Liberation Theology, for instance, is one expression of this strange hybrid. The total, life-long commitment shown by many adherents of the hard left bears witness to the religious quality of their devotion, and to the deliberately inculcated "imminent transcendence" of bringing heaven down to earth. Think of "Dear Leader"Kim Jong Mentally Il of North Korea and his captive herd of worshippers. A world closed to the transcendent is a violent one, with no mercy, no grace.

But all forms of fascism are also in this category; rebellion against transcendence, and a violent propensity for the imminent here and now, mixed with a usurping messiah figure, as Ajami discusses, typify what we know of fascist movements: Hitler, of course, and Mussolini, but also Juan Peron, Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, and and a whole host of other South American dictators (what is it about South America and dictators?). Crowds--as distinguished from audiences-- are not rational; an orator cannot reason with them, but a skillful demagogue can produce images that substitute for thought.

Hope. Change. We are the change we have been waiting for. Fill in the blank with your own dream...while standing next to ten thousand others projecting their own images and dreams onto the One.

It's no real comfort to know that they would come down off this drunk after the election to find he is nothing like their conjured image. And though that would be Obama's problem at that point, we would all be sharing the hangover.

Got Ten Minutes?

This is the most entertaining political piece you're going to come across this year...make yourself feel better.

I especially enjoy the description of the democrat herd as "ballot cattle".

D.C. Innes adds:

This fellow appears to be someone named Alfonzo, or "Zo." He describes himself as Christian, conservative Republican, and no one is pulling the wool over his eyes.

You can see his other videos at

Thursday, October 30, 2008

What You Can Do For Your Country.

At the encouragement of my blogging associate, Harold Kildow, I have just donated to the McCain campaign. And you should too.

After laying out the case for how radical Barack Obama is--from monstrously fierce advocacy not just of abortion rights but of abortion itself to his economically suicidal commitment to the redistribution of wealth and the punishment of prosperity--how could I not put my money where my mouth is? What is your country worth?

Or take a strictly economic point of view. Anything you contribute now is miniscule compared to what you will lose under an Obama presidency--not only directly in taxes, but also indirectly through economic slowdown, perhaps even economic depression. Remember, recessions have economic causes. Depressions have political causes.

Obama has just spent $5 million on a half hour infomercial. Send McCain-Palin $25 or $100 to help the ole' fighter pilot snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with some more ads of his own.

$25 is less than you pay when the credit card company surprises you with a late fee. It's a haircut. It's an oil change. It's not too much to give to help save the country from becoming European. As Daniel Henninger said today, "Once it's done, it's done."

Click here. Donate Now.

Harold adds:

"Recessions have economic causes; depressions have political causes." That is Brilliant my friend. That should have been a part of the campaign. It will certainly remain germaine if we get a unified democrat despotism in our Christmas stockings this year. Rather have a lump of coal.

Obama's Coming Economic Justice

If you vote for change, it is reasonable to expect change. It is also reasonable to anticipate what change your chosen candidate is likely to bring based on his past behavior and statements. George Newman in "The Markets Are Weak Because the Candidates are Lousy" (Wall Street Journal, Oct. 29, 2008) helps us with that.

Bear in mind what Barack Obama has said regarding "fairness" as a principle to guide public policy, as well as "economic justice," "redistribution of wealth," and "empathy."

Newman foresees:

• "a gradual doubling (and indexation) of the minimum wage" giving us the predictable inflation and unemployment;

• "a Transparency in Labor Relations law that does away with secret ballots in strike votes" and gives us continual and ever more widespread labor unrest;

• "the double taxation of the multinationals' world-wide profits" and the consequent flight of capital to foreign shores;

• "a trillion-dollar reparations-for-slavery project;"

• price controls on pharmaceuticals that prevent the future discovery of lifesaving drugs;

• a "Department of Equal Opportunity for Women mandating 'comparable worth' pay practices for every company doing any business with government at any level -- where any residual gap between the average pay of men and women is an eo ipso violation;"

• "confiscatory 'windfall profits' taxes on oil companies" leading to less exploration, a smaller supply and higher prices; and

• in health insurance, "the mandated coverage of ever more -- and more exotic -- risks, the forced reimbursement for excluded events, and the diminished freedom to match premium to risk," which will drive private companies out of the industry, leaving only the government to cover us.

He anticipates an economically unhappy situation under the government of either candidate. The "prospects for a flourishing, competitive, growing and reasonably free economy in a McCain administration are bad, and in an Obama administration far worse." Though McCain "has a penchant for business bashing," Obama has a "visceral hostility to business." So "a McCain win would merely count as damage control."

Standing back from the policy details, you can see the spirit of Obama's economic policies.

Picture throngs of people--economically, educationally, socially and morally marginal--rampaging through wealthy and prosperously middle class neighborhoods, pillaging what was legally acquired through talent and hard work and with cascading benefits to employees, consumers, and communities, but which the looters are convinced is their entitlement simply out of class envy and egalitarian sloth.

That will not happen, because Barack Obama will do the pillaging for them through the federal government. And it will become the new American Way.

We will soon regard Cuba as an ally because we will soon be no different from them: poor and blaming the greed of capitalist counter-revolutionaries for all our ills. And the whole world will suffer.

Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?

Dan Henninger makes clear the economic implications of the imminent transition we face: American Cowboy Capitalism is going on the shelf, and under Democrat hegemony, we're going to wheel out a Euro style hammock, put our feet up, and retire from our status as world leader of anything. Hans Morganthau, dean of the "realism" school in international relations knew that power consists, only and always, in all three of its expressions: political, economic, and military. No nation can be a world power without excelling in all three, and this is why America has been the world hegemon--much to the discomfiture of the Left--for almost a century, despite the aggressive rise of totalitarian governments throughout the 20th century. We are now set to kiss it all goodbye, and as Henniger ruefully points out, once it's done, it's done. We're done.

Several other commentators have put together their parade of Barackian horribles, some listed by David below, and here is Henninger's partial list:

Obama's federalized medical insurance system starts the transition away from private medical care and toward Obama's endlessly promised "universal health care." This has always been the sine qua non of planting a true, managed-market economy in the U.S.
Obama's refundable tax credits are direct cash transfers from the federal government. This would place some 48% of Americans, nearly half, out of the income tax system. More than a tax proposal, this is a deep philosophical shift, an American version of being "on the dole."

His stated intent to renegotiate free-trade agreements such as Nafta is a philosophical shift. It abandons the tradition of a hyper-competitive America dating back to the Industrial Revolution, toward a protected, domestic workforce, as in Western Europe. The Democratic proposal to eliminate private union votes -- "card check" -- ensures the spread of a static, Euro-style workforce.

Eliminating the ceiling on payroll taxes changes Social Security from an insurance to a welfare program. Obama's tax credits requires performing government-identified activities, the essence of a "directed economy."

All this would transform the animating American idea -- away from creation and toward protection.

This and the other scenarios predicted is what it looks like when a democratic people choose equality over liberty. The tragic thing is, we will end up with neither equality nor liberty, since we will have made ourselves into just another flabby and useless Euro welfare state unable and unwilling to lead, follow, or get out of the way.

But what an elegant class of mandarins we will have lording it over us!

Moral-Political Lessons From Dubai

A South African drive-time disc jockey in Dubai has been fired for imitating God as part of his morning banter. (AP story here.)

He was not fired for violating Sharia Law. Dubai, one of the principal cities and one of several semi-autonomous states in the United Arab Emirates, is a diverse international community. He was fired because his irreverence, that is, his careless treatment of this divine subject matter, offended the religious sensibilities of the people who live in Dubai. He was responding to someone's failed attempt to sue God in a U.S. court. (See my post on that: "The Audacity of Suing God.") "He intended to be funny, not to offend anybody," said Arabian Radio Network Chief Operating Officer Steve Smith. "However, what he did was highly offensive to the Muslim and Christian community in the UAE."

No doubt this shocks many American readers who see it as an example of religious fundamentalism in the benighted Arab world.

But this was our world not so long ago, and I think that in that respect it was a better world. People were more self-controlled and respectful of one another when we inhabited that world.

In 1966, John Lennon had to apologize publicly for saying that the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus." The remark made no impression on the British when it was first published in London's Evening Standard. But when DATEbook published the Maureen Cleave interview in America it was a huge scandal.

Lennon's full statement from the interview was this:

'Christianity will go,' he said. 'It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first-rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me.'

In some ways, of course, we are a better society now than we were. We're more accepting of racial differences among us, for example. But that improvement has not grown out of our rejection of God. Indeed, the civil rights movement was, in significant measure, motivated by Christian faith.

When people turn away from God and focus on themselves, they actually dehumanize themselves and each other.

Consider this post from November 7, 2007: "An Atheist Ally of Religion? Sounds Reasonable."

Dalrymple, noting the rarity of religiously motivated cruelty, draws attention to the decency that the eternal perspective engenders in by far most people who genuinely embrace it. After quoting from a meditation by Bishop Joseph Hall (1574-1656) on contentment and self-control, Dalrymple concludes that, “moderation comes more naturally to the man who believes in something not merely higher than himself, but higher than mankind. After all, the greatest enjoyment of the usages of this world, even to excess, might seem rational when the usages of this world are all that there is.” It is at least arguable that unsentimental, atheistic rationalism leads logically to debauchery and ultimately to tyranny.

He drives home this connection between piety and moderation by comparing the genuine fruit of Christian faith with what these grumpy anti-theists have to offer:

“Let us compare Hall’s meditation “Upon the Sight of a Harlot Carted” with Harris’s statement that some people ought perhaps to be killed for their beliefs:

With what noise, and tumult, and zeal of solemn justice, is this sin punished! The streets are not more full of beholders, than clamours. Every one strives to express his detestation of the fact, by some token of revenge: one casts mire, another water, another rotten eggs, upon the miserable offender. Neither, indeed, is she worthy of less: but, in the mean time, no man looks home to himself. It is no uncharity to say, that too many insult in this just punishment, who have deserved more. . . . Public sins have more shame; private may have more guilt. If the world cannot charge me of those, it is enough, that I can charge my soul of worse. Let others rejoice, in these public executions: let me pity the sins of others, and be humbled under the sense of my own.

“Who sounds more charitable, more generous, more just, more profound, more honest, more humane: Sam Harris or Joseph Hall, D.D., late lord bishop of Exeter and of Norwich?”

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Laughing Off Obama's Economic Policies

For anyone who does not understand the economic implications of Barack Obama's policies, let's try a couple of illustrations. If we can laugh now, perhaps we won't be crying later.

How would an Obama supporter distribute candy at Halloween?

I am told that the following is a true story.

A man was entering a restaurant in New York City. Outside the restaurant, he noticed a homeless man who was wearing an Obama sticker. He thought nothing more of it and went in. When he ordered his meal he noticed that the waiter was also wearing an Obama sticker.

When it came time to pay the check, the man gave the waiter precisely the cost of the meal, but no tip. The waiter was quite angry at this. Expecting this response, the man approached the waiter and explained:

"I see that you support Barack Obama for President. You must also therefore support the forcible redistribution of wealth from those work to those who don't. So I am giving your tip to the homeless man outside."

The New World Obama Will Make

Pat Buchanan (quite reasonably) sees this as President Obama leaves the starting blocks ("Obama's First 100 Days").

• Swift amnesty for 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens and a drive to make them citizens and register them, as in the Bill Clinton years. This will mean that Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona will soon move out of reach for GOP presidential candidates, as has California.

• Border security will go on the backburner, and America will have a virtual open border with a Mexico of 110 million.

• Taxes will be raised on the top 5 percent of wage-earners, who now carry 60 percent of the U.S. income tax burden, and tens of millions of checks will be sent out to the 40 percent of wage-earners who pay no federal income tax. Like the man said, redistribute the wealth, spread it around.

• Social Security taxes will be raised on the most successful among us, and capital gains taxes will be raised from 15 percent to 20 percent. The Bush tax cuts will be repealed, and death taxes reimposed.

• Two or three more liberal activists of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg-John Paul Stevens stripe will be named to the Supreme Court. U.S. district and appellate courts will be stacked with "progressives."

• Special protections for homosexuals will be written into all civil rights laws, and gays and lesbians in the military will be invited to come out of the closet. "Don't ask, don't tell" will be dead.

• The homosexual marriages that state judges have forced California, Massachusetts and Connecticut to recognize, an Obama Congress or Obama court will require all 50 states to recognize.

• A "Freedom of Choice Act" nullifying all state restrictions on abortions will be enacted. America will become the most pro-abortion nation on earth.

• Affirmative action – hiring and promotions based on race, sex and sexual orientation until specified quotas are reached – will be rigorously enforced throughout the U.S. government and private sector.

• Universal health insurance will be enacted, covering legal and illegal immigrants, providing another powerful magnet for the world to come to America, if necessary by breaching her borders.

• A federal bailout of states and municipalities to keep state and local governments spending up could come in December or early next year.

• The first trillion-dollar deficit will be run in the first year of an Obama presidency. It will be the first of many.

Your children will grow up (and themselves have children) in a radically different America.

The only hope for some moderation in this Pelosi-Reid supported agenda is ...

(1) Obama has run as a centrist, covering over many of these issues, such as abortion, homosexual marriage and amnesty for illegal aliens;

(2) popular outcry against some of these measures by (oddly) surprised middle America will restrain House and Senate members facing re-election in marginal districts within two years;

(3) his natural concern to maintain his legislative majority by not repeating Clinton's mistakes leading up to the 1994 GOP midterm Congressional victory, and of course to see himself re-elected in 2012.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Republic of Obama

It seems like there is always something darker in prospect when considering the One. From what Steven Calabresi points out here, Oprah Winfrey would be a typical Supreme Court justice on an Obama court.

Speaking in July 2007 at a conference of Planned Parenthood, he said: "[W]e need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges."

Just what we need--like we need a bunch of little Marxist, William Ayers types infesting all the lower federal courts, where a significant amount of constitutional doctrine is worked out--remember only a small number of cases make the docket of the Supremes. Much of what lower federal court judges do is not only permanent, but unreviewed.

Imagine a raft of these whackos serving up social policy as judicial diktat, flooding the zone with so much constitution-subverting drivel that, in league with a Congress newly immune from re-election hazard by way of their own legislative derring-do, we have a permanent Democrat government with no popular control--merely symbolic rituals of voting. Something like the hapless European publics.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Barry's Constitution

One of the few facts about Barack Obama's past that has been allowed out of the closet is that he spent twelve years teaching "constitutional law." Oh, and that he held the prestigious editorship at the Harvard Law Review, but without ever publishing anything during all this time.

The audio clip from this 2001 radio interview shows a shocking misunderstanding--and worse--an utter disregard--for the constitution as written. It is clear that Obama was radicalized early in life, and was one of those students who sat through all the courses he had to take in constitutional law with pre-formed and impervious opinions of the sort held by what Eric Hoffer calls the "true believer."

What comes out of this early interview is a clear disdain for the work of the Founders--they only established "negative liberties" and no "positive liberties". "Freedom from" or negative liberty is indeed the hallmark of classical liberalism, and the cry of political adults who want to live their own lives in dignity and, yes, FREEDOM. But to the radical Left, beginning with their godfather, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, it is the positive liberty of "freedom for" and, like the old Genevan, they have no qualms about "forcing men to be free". That sentiment is one of the roots of the radical reaction against the bourgeois liberalism of John Locke--the one that appeals naturally not only to Americans, but all of those "teaming masses yearning to be free" who have beaten a path to this country by the millions, escaping regimes variously informed by notions of positive liberty and how to apply it, notions like Obama's and Rousseau's.

One of those positive freedoms is for Obama and his ilk reparations for blacks. It is a "tragedy" that the Warren Court, in taking up the civil rights cases in the 1960's did not include wealth redistribution. This is pure and unadulterated socialism of the kind that is absolutely incompatible with our Constitution. But Barry is on the way; he does have doubts that the Court can take the steps he envisions to right the ship, but he ominously states in this interview that it can be taken care of "administratively," i.e., by executive fiat. Of course, the Congress he is likely to have--should he gain the presidency, may God forbid it--is unlikely to hinder anything like what he has in mind. They might even be driving the bus in an Obama administration--we'll have to see what kind of "executive" this naif will be.

This is perhaps the most revealing interview yet to surface; one wonders where the Hillary campaign was on this, or the McCain campaign, for that matter. This is devastating stuff--and old Joe Biden needs to get a follow-up on his denial in his interview with Barbara West--see below--where he denies Obama ever said anything about redistribution of wealth. Yeah, that'll happen. This is the next Joe the Plumber episode for Obama--and bears out the accusation of socialism they have been busy batting away since that tragic (for Barry) moment on that rope line.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Joe on the Grill

I don't know who this woman is, but she should get a raise. Here is an interview with Joe Biden the way they all should have been conducted. And guess what: the Obama campaign has cut this TV station off from further interviews. Biden answers every question with demonstrable lies, and steam is visible coming out his ears as the thing progresses. Incredible.

Innes adds: Here's the Obama campaign's objection that I got from the YouTube video information. Barbara West of WFTV in Orlando, Florida, did the interview.

There's nothing wrong with tough questions, but reporters have the very important job of sharing the truth with the public -- not misleading the American people with false information. Senator Biden handled the interview well; however, the anchor was completely unprofessional. Senator Biden's wife is not running for elected office, and there are many other stations in the Orlando television market that would gladly conduct a respectful and factual interview with her.

This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election.
I must say that I was as surprised by the Karl Marx question as Biden was. He says, "Are you joking? Is that a serious question?" I thought it was a bit much. If Obama is a Marxist, so is the entire Democratic Party, Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Roosevelt. Let's not act surprised. Nonetheless, I don't see what they're complaining about. Ole' Joe got to bluster on with his campaign rhetoric at length. He just didn't like it that the interviewer so rudely drew attention to Obama's "spread the wealth around" remark, his ACORN connections, and Biden's own reminder to those of us who are aware that America has powerful and profoundly evil enemies in the world that they will test young Barry's backbone and judgment very soon after he assumes office.

These Obama people just cannot deal with criticism or pointed questioning of any kind. I don't mean to be inflammatory, but Obama and his followers act as though their critics are blaspheming the prophet Mohammed, not a candidate for political office. Look at the Terry Tate videos. He responds to political opposition the way Muslims do toward Christian evangelistic activity. Shout them down! Express outrage! Burn their churches! OK, yes. I'm off on a tangent.

Harold adds:

Perhaps it was a tangent, but not a wild one. This is just another expression of the deep affinity the hard Left has with radical Islam. It's not so much that they--the hard Left or radical Islam--cannot take criticism; it is that they do not allow it. And when they have the juice to make it stick, free speech is not on the menu. The Obama campaign has a long list of threatening gestures and attempts to silence opposition; when they have their hands on the knobs controlling the government, you can bet they will brook no opposition--and will be checking back over the list they are making now to see who they can best make an example of. Perhaps, dear readers, you thought show trials were an artifact of 1930's Stalinism; get ready for a return.

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Get in Their Faces"

Obama told his followers several weeks ago "I want you to argue with them and get in their face,", and we have seen a general uptick in aggression, as several of David's posts here have shown. Here is another example of the thuggishness that has always typified hard Left. It is now going mainstream, apparently.

After releasing this morning’s numbers showing McCain ahead in Ohio and Florida, the Strategic Vision polling company received several death threats through the contact e-mail on the company’s web site. David Johnson, the CEO of Strategic Vision, shared the messages with National Review Online.

One of the messages stated:

My goodness, your polls stinks. There are 3 polls that have Obama by double digits and only yours has Obama down. WOW!. How come your poll is the only one giving Palin high favor ratings? I think you need to be careful tonight when you get in your car and might want to check underneath your car. SCRAP YOUR IDIOTIC POLLS OR ELSE!

Another stated:
A poll that gave Sarah Palin and Barack Obama the same favorability rating is wrong off the bat. Be careful going outside tonight because you might not see tomorrow.

A third message stated:
Why would your presidential election poll results be so drastically different from every other reputable poll taken over the same time period? Are they that dumb or are you guys that smart? Smart guys wind up dead.

The company has contacted the FBI and appropriate authorities, Johnson said. There was, thankfully, nothing in the messages that indicated that the sender had actually sought out the location of the company or its employees. Johnson noted that while the messages came from different addresses, they all came within a short period of time, and that it was possible they were from the same person. Johnson said he’s not fearful, but taking appropriate measures.
“It’s probably just a bunch of nut cases, but this is first time we’ve ever experienced something like this,” Johnson said. “It’s highly, highly unusual. We get messages in the vein of 'your numbers are wrong, the other guy's numbers are right' all the time. But this has never happened before.”

That's because we are into a new and despicable era in our political history; never before has the fascist Left been this numerous, and this out in the open. Force and fraud: the time-honored way of the world prior to the American experiment's first ever attempt at government through reflection and choice. The constitution and polity described by the Federalist Papers recede ever further into the rear view mirror.


Gerard Baker, in his own inimitable style, gets it right once again.

So, the Palinphobia is so shot through with condescension and ideological incomprehension on the media's part that trying to cut through to the reality of her political message is not easy. Her performance on the campaign trail has been shaky, it's true, though it has significantly improved of late (she is now talking directly to reporters more frequently than any of the other candidates). But in the absence of much hard experience of national politics it does seem as though she and her Republican handlers fell back on the Sarah Palin Story as a substitute for a political argument.

This has harmed her and distorted what she could bring to a Republican Party inrenewal. There's still a better story to be told about her record as politician inAlaska, where she has achieved more of substance than Barack Obama has in Washington.

As for the anti-intellectualism she seems to represent, this is a favourite old saw not only of the Left but also of the whole Establishment crowd. There's an unshakeable view among the coastal elites that real wisdom is acquired only by circulating between the ivy-encrusted walls of scholarship and the Manhattan and Hollywood cocktail set. But there's real wisdom among those derided Americans who have never even ventured to the coasts, but whose steady consistent voice and values have been truly responsible for America's many successes.

Say hello, Joe.

Government, Beer, and Our Tax System

Someone putting himself forward to be President of the United States should know at least the basics of economics. But the Democrats in general show little evidence that they know anything of the subject. They seem more concerned about what they call "fairness" than about general prosperity.

For example, after the Democratic Congress passes Barack Obama's tax increases on "the wealthy" and sends checks to everyone else--thus establishing "fairness"--48% of the voting population will be paying no federal income tax. Another 11% will be paying very low taxes.

Surely, you can see the problem. What do you think happens in a democracy when the majority of the people pays no taxes, and yet has the power through Congress to raise the taxes of those who do pay, and gives itself ever increasing benefits with other people's money?

After passing that tipping point is there any going back? Why would people who pay no taxes vote for going back to paying taxes? They will view freedom from taxation as an entitlement. Tax cuts will become a thing of the past. Any proposed tax cut would be a "giveaway" to the rich because they would be the only people left paying any taxes.

But as government spending for those who pay nothing goes up and up, and the tax rates on an ever shrinking minority get increasingly burdensome, those who pay the bills will have ever incentive to work, or at least to work in America. Again, you see the problem. Eventually, in the throws of national bankruptcy and poverty, seeing that we have killed the goose that lays the golden egg, or driven her into exile, we will have to mend our ways and resume the broad civic responsibility of paying taxes. In the meantime, we will see likely two generations of unnecessary suffering.

Adam Lerrick, economics professor at Carnegie Mellon University, explains this crisis in "Obama and the Tax Tipping Point" (Wall Street Journal, Oct. 22, 2008). Michael Boskin mentions the same point today in "Our Next President and the Perfect Economic Storm" (WSJ): "[Obama's] refundable tax credits will raise the share of those making no contribution to the funding of general government to 48% from 38%, hastening, perhaps cementing, the unhealthy budgetary dynamic of a majority of voters receiving more in public payments than they pay in taxes."

Here is a different approach to the same lesson stated more playfully and perhaps for that reason more effectively:

How Taxes Work ― or, 'How to Pay for Beer'

"Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good customers,' he said, 'I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.' Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free.

But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

'I only got a dollar out of the $20′ declared the sixth man. Then he pointed at the tenth man, 'but he got $10!'

'Yeah, that's right,' exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!'

'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!'

'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!'

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

This illustration has been attributed to David R. Kamerschen, a professor of economics at the University of Georgia, but on his webpage he denies authorship. has investigated all leads on the authorship of this brilliance and come up dry.

Always check your sources! Always footnote!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Anticipating the Obama Anti-Climax

David Brooks anticipates one or the other of these two Obama presidencies based on his historical and psychological assessments ("Thinking About Obama," New York Times, October 17, 2008):

And it is easy to sketch out a scenario in which he could be a great president. He would be untroubled by self-destructive demons or indiscipline. With that cool manner, he would see reality unfiltered. He could gather — already has gathered — some of the smartest minds in public policy, and, untroubled by intellectual insecurity, he could give them free rein. Though he is young, it is easy to imagine him at the cabinet table, leading a subtle discussion of some long-term problem.

Of course, it’s also easy to imagine a scenario in which he is not an island of rationality in a sea of tumult, but simply an island. New presidents are often amazed by how much they are disobeyed, by how often passive-aggressiveness frustrates their plans.

It could be that Obama will be an observer, not a leader. Rather than throwing himself passionately into his causes, he will stand back. Congressional leaders, put off by his supposed intellectual superiority, will just go their own way. Lost in his own nuance, he will be passive and ineffectual. Lack of passion will produce lack of courage. The Obama greatness will give way to the Obama anti-climax.

This dispassionate observer stance is ideal for a lawyer or professor, but not for a president. Obama has passed through life while barely touching it. You can read how this has been true at every stage of his life in "Obama is All About Obama."

But behind Barack is the very angry and activist Michelle whom Barack said would be his chief advisor. Expect a Michelle driven domestic policy. Look out, America! You're going to make her proud! And you won't recognize yourself when she's done with you.

Looking Over the Obama Horizon

So what will the Obama years bring us? Here are two reasonable projections, one domestic and the other international.

The Wall Street Journal projects what an Obama led, liberal Democrat government will do based on the bills that failed to pass the recent Congress ("The Liberal Supermajority," Oct. 17, 2008).

Medicare for all - "the Obama plan would shift between 32 million and 52 million from private coverage to the huge new entitlement. Like Medicare or the Canadian system, this would never be repealed."

The business climate - "Democrats could cause the economic downturn to last longer than it otherwise will by enacting regulatory overkill like Sarbanes-Oxley. Something more punitive is likely as well, for instance a windfall profits tax on oil, and maybe other industries."

Union supremacy - "The "Employee Free Choice Act" would convert workplaces into union shops merely by gathering signatures from a majority of employees, which means organizers could strongarm those who opposed such a petition. ... This would be the biggest pro-union shift in the balance of labor-management power since the Wagner Act of 1935."

Taxes - "Taxes will rise substantially, the only question being how high."

The green revolution - "Cap and trade would hand Congress trillions of dollars in new spending from the auction of carbon credits, which it would use to pick winners and losers in the energy business and across the economy. Huge chunks of GDP and millions of jobs would be at the mercy of Congress and a vast new global-warming bureaucracy."

Voting rights - "national, election-day voter registration. This is a long-time goal of Acorn and others on the "community organizer" left and would make it far easier to stack the voter rolls."

Free Speech - "the Fairness Doctrine is likely to be reimposed either by Congress or the Obama FCC. A major goal of the supermajority left would be to shut down talk radio and other voices of political opposition." On this last issue, read "Dems Get Set to Muzzle the Right" by Brian Anderson of City Journal (New York Post, Oct. 20, 2008).

On the international front, Joe Biden himself said recently, "Remember, I said it standing here, if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy." Obama is known to be not only inexperienced, but also an appeaser, a talker, a man eager to be liked in foreign affairs. Enemies around the world who are not nearly as enlightened as the Harvard educated Obama will seize the opportunity the gain ground on America and on their neighbors while the pup's eyes are still opening.

Ralph Peters ("America the Weak: US risks turmoil under Prez O", New York Post, Oct. 20, 2008) foresees "an avalanche of confrontations."

Al Qaeda - "al Qaeda will pull out all the stops to kill as many Americans as possible - in Iraq, Afghanistan and, if they can, here at home - hoping that America will throw away the victories our troops bought with their blood."

Pakistan - "the save-the-Taliban elements in the Pakistani intelligence services and body politic will avoid taking serious action against "their" terrorists...The Pakistanis think Obama would lose Afghanistan - and they believe they can reap the subsequent whirlwind."

Iran - "Even without nukes, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would try the new administration's temper in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf."

Israel - "Obama's election would be read as the end of staunch US support for Israel. Backed by Syria and Iran, Hezbollah would provoke another, far-bloodier war with Israel. Lebanon would disintegrate."

Saudi Arabia - "Convinced that Obama will be more "tolerant" toward militant Islam, the Saudis would redouble their funding of bigotry and butchery-for-Allah - in the US, too."

Russia - "Vladimir Putin, intends to gobble Ukraine next year... 2009 may see the starkest repression of freedom since Stalin seized Eastern Europe. Our Georgian allies should dust off their Russian dictionaries."

Venezuela - "Hugo Chavez will...export his megalomaniacal version of gun-barrel socialism. He'll seek a hug-for-the-cameras meet with President Obama as early as possible."

North Korea - "will regard an Obama administration as a green light to cheat." (DCI - as they did with the Clinton and Bush administrations)

Peters states the obvious when he says, "an Obama administration would be a second Carter presidency - only far worse." The most catastrophic foreign policy blunder of the Carter foreign policy was the mishandling of Iran leading up to the fall of the Shah. That was thirty years ago. We are still living with the consequences and perhaps we have yet to see the worst of them should Iran obtain nuclear weapons. Even just four years in power will very likely bring immeasurable suffering to the world and far-reaching compromise of American security.

Having Joe Biden at the young president's elbow will only make matters worse.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Black Swan Author Fears Global Economic Collapse

Here is an ominous prediction of global economic collapse from Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan, and Benoit Mandelbrot, known for his work in fractal geometry and chaos theory.

Listen to Paul Solman's PBS interview on the News Hour here.

Says Taleb, "I don't know if we're entering the most difficult period since -- not since the Great Depression, since the American Revolution."

Says Mandelbrot, "The word 'turbulence' is one which actually is common to physics and to social scientists, to economics. Everything which involves turbulence is enormously more complicated, not just a little bit more complicated, not just one year more schooling, just enormously more complicated. ... In fact, the basis of weather forecasting is looking from a satellite and seeing a storm coming, but not predicting that the storm will form. The behavior of economic phenomena is far more complicated than the behavior of liquids or gases."

Taleb's fear is chilling: "Now you understand why I'm worried. I hope I'm wrong. I wake up every morning -- actually, I don't wake up every morning now. I start to wake up at night the last couple of weeks hoping that I'm wrong, begging to be wrong. I think that we may be experiencing something that is vastly worse than we think it is. ... Of all the books you read on globalization, they talk about efficiency, all that stuff. They don't get the point. The network effect of that globalization, OK, means that a shock in the system can have much larger consequences."

This is a British interview with Taleb on the same subject:

You can read the PBS interview: "Top Theorists Examine Rippling Economic Turbulence." You can also find a video link to the interview.

Foreshadowing Liberal Fascist Violence

Here is another example of the sort of violence that seems to come naturally to the left, and without the slightest moral hesitation. Most of this is Sarah Palin's "political reading" interview with Katie Couric, but then a football player suddenly creams her, and then shouts condemnations over her broken body. Get it? That's funny! Well, some people think so, but we won't be laughing after the election. Palin's crime, of course, is daring to stand in Obama's way to the White House.

This Terry Tate linebacker fellow assaults the Alaska governor in this video too. Advance forward to the one minute point. The "hit" comes at about 1:21.

Part of the shock for me is that he hits a lady. She whimpers pitifully that she's hurt, but he just shouts down at her that she talks too much. We can't have people talking, can we. Certainly not if they are blaspheming the Prophet Obama or undermining political progress. Isn't the freedom of speech that is guaranteed by the First Amendment only for people who say things that are true? In other words, understanding the Constitution as a living document and thus interpreting its provisions in the context of our more enlightened age, shouldn't the value of social progress outweigh the individual right to free speech when that speech threatens our social progress, for example electing Barack Obama to the White House?

Oh, hold on. That's a European view.

Follow-up: A reader has drawn my attention to a possible alteration of these Terry Tate videos since I posted them. (By the way, I got them from I'm hearing no "saucy comebacks" to which he refers, but a voice-over adds "No Governors were hurt in the filming of this video." Of course, that makes doesn't change how appalling these videos are. Of course, the viewer knows that Tate's hits are just video trickery. But it is still the intentionally shocking image of a huge man assaulting a lady, a public official, and a rival to his political favorite.

More political violence from the Obama's de facto Sturm Abteilung.

John McCain backer: Mugger carved 'B' in me after noticing my sticker in Pittsburgh (October 23, 2008)
PITTSBURGH (AP) — A woman robbed at knifepoint at a Pittsburgh ATM told police her attacker knocked her down and carved a ‘‘B’’ in her face after noticing a John McCain sticker on her car.

Police say the victim refused medical attention for the wound. An officer saw the injury, but a police report does not describe its size or severity. Authorities say the woman is from Texas, but aren’t identifying her.

Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richards says the woman was withdrawing money at 9 p.m. Wednesday when a man approached her from behind, put a knife to her neck and demanded money. She says she gave him $60.

The woman told police the robber then noticed the bumper sticker, punched her in the back of the head, knocked her down and carved a ‘‘B’’ on her face.



The carved "B" incident was apparently a hoax, i.e. a lie. What was this silly girl thinking?

It is sad, however, that her fabricated story fit into a larger pattern of violent Democratic rhetoric, including the visual rhetoric of hanging Gov. Palin in effigy.

Let's Hear from Obama-Palin Supporters in New York City

Someone sent me this audio link to a radio show that interviewed Obama supporters in Harlem, but attributed McCain policies (and running mate) to Obama. These citizens cluelessly and enthusiastically support the pro-life, pro-war Obama-Palin ticket.

Listen here.

There is a simple history and civics test for people applying for citizenship. Why not one for voting?

We don't allow children or the insane to vote. They can't understand either the candidates, the issues or their own interests, much less connect these things in a meaningful way. The moral foundation and utility of democratic elections is the ability of people to understand these things and their relation to one another at even the simplest level. How are the hopelessly confused and appallingly uninformed any different?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Flash! Cracks a Joke

This Obama video looks like the one's I posted in "McCain's Political Eloquence Deficit," and it's really funny. Who would have thought that has a sense of humor. It just doesn't extend to self-deprecation or humility of any sort whatsoever.

I am actually a member of by virtue of having signed up for a free Obama campaign button and bumper sticker. (I collect political items.) So if they boast of having tens of millions of members, you'll know that those numbers are inflated with people like me. It may also have scooped up people who joined thinking it was an organization to incorporate Ontario (ON) into the United States. I was a click away from that one not long ago, but they finally got me with the button.

McCain's Political Eloquence Deficit

These are some polished ads that a group called Let Freedom Ring is releasing as part of a $5 million campaign. Of course, Barack Obama raised $150 million in September alone.

"Part of the Problem"

"Income Tax"

"Middle Class"

"Punished With A Baby"


"Nice Try, Senator"

You can view others at

If John McCain had been able to explain these matters with this simple clarity, he would be five points ahead in the polls instead of ten points behind. But McCain's tragic failure seems to be the failure of every senator who has run for president in my lifetime. (JFK ran just before I was born. LBJ doesn't count because he ran against Sen. Barry Goldwater.) They can't talk. Or they talk too much. They've had no need to talk to ordinary people because they have generally had no serious opposition in their re-election campaigns which themselves are infrequent--every six years. Governors, on the other hand, face more serious challenges and more frequently have to defend themselves before the people.

It is painful to watch John McCain in debates. When criticizing his opponent, he begins a point but does not finish it. He assumes we all know what he is talking about and will make the necessary connections on our own. For example, in one debate he poked Obama with a reference to Herbert Hoover. Who is Herbert Hoover? Most people have never heard of him. He did not go on to complete the point by saying that like Hoover in 1930-32, Obama will lead us into a depression.

Gov. Reagan never made that mistake in 1980. These ads do not make that mistake.

How does Senator Obama fit into this thesis? Perhaps his experience in training ordinary people in Chicago to be political radicals as well as his experience as a law school professor were more formative than the few weeks he spent in the U.S. Senate before running for president.

So in 2008, both George W. Bush and John McCain serve as examples of how necessary it is to master the art of rhetoric if you hope to lead people in a free republic.

Is Moneybags Obama Buying the Election?

The New York Times reports that because Barack Obama is swimming in a sea of cash, he is running four TV ads for every one that McCain can run.

With advertisements running repeatedly day and night, on local stations and on the major broadcast networks, on niche cable networks and even on video games and his own dedicated satellite channels, Mr. Obama is now outadvertising Senator John McCain nationwide by a ratio of at least four to one, according to CMAG, a service that monitors political advertising. That difference is even larger in several closely contested states.

Under ordinary circumstances, we are always hearing that when a well-funded candidate wins an election over a more cash strapped opponent (e.g. Michael Bloomberg against anyone), it is proof that money buys elections in America. Obama raised $150 million in September alone! But I promise you that no one will be making that charge in November if Barack Obama wins the election.

I explained in these posts why it is I do not accept the allegation.

Obama has a lot of money because a lot of people support him. This is also the reason he is likely to win the election. Do you see the connection?

Of course, the reason John McCain has only $84 million in total is no reflection on how many people support him. It indicates only that he took federal campaign funding on the confidence that Barack Obama said he would do the same. He should have known better.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Politics of Citizen Destruction

Bill Clinton was the master of what in the 1990s came to be called "the politics of personal destruction." But unless you were one of the several woman who accused him of rape or of unwanted sexual advances, his targets were always public political figures. (Am I forgetting something?)

Barack Obama, or perhaps just the sort of people who follow him (is there a connection?), has turned this practice on ordinary citizens. We are already seeing the rise of what Michael Barone has called the Obama thugocracy.

When I recently saw a story on Joe the Plumber that revealed various unflattering features of his private life, I immediately made the connection ("Unlicensed? Say It Aint't So, Joe!," New York Post, October 17, 2008). It wasn't difficult. This poor guy had the audacity to confront the One on his proposed tax policies and then permit the One's audacious political opponent to use his story in the presidential debate.

(The "spread the wealth" line comes at about 4 minutes and 42 seconds on this full length video of Joe's audience with His Serene Majesty President-designate Barack the Healer [a Steynism].)

In addition to Barone's "The Coming Obama Thugocracy," you can read Lee Cary's "Thugocracy Attacks Joe the Plumber's Audacity" over at American Thinker.

In "Bring Me the Head of Joe the Plumber," Power Line gives you a number of links to news and opinion coverage, including "First They Came For Joe the Plumber..." by Claudia Rosett at Pajamas Media.

Mark Steyn tries to awaken the liberal conscience with brilliant mockery. He ends with:

I’m with Joe the Plumber, not Joe the Hair-Plugger. He’s articulated the animating principles of America better than anyone on either side in this campaign. Which is why the O-Bots need to destroy him. As Obama’s catchphrase goes: “Joe the Plumber! Can we fix him? Joe the Plumber! Yes, we can!” For the record, I am not a government-licensed pundit. But I expect they’ll fix that, too.

The message to the rest of us is clear. Do not criticize Master Obama or the same thing might happen to you. Treatment like this, not only by the Obama people but also by his glassy eyed followers in the press, is intended to have a chilling effect on the freedom of political speech in this country. And it's indirect, so you can't sue.

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann explain why Obama and his loyal worshipers are going after this ordinary citizen with such deadly force in "A Whole New Game: Plumber's Gift to McCain." Imagine how much worse it will be when he has the power of the federal government at his disposal.

Once again, this is very dangerous indeed. We still have time. We haven't elected him yet.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Obama and Abortion: Radical Again

Prof. Robert George at Princeton has written these articles on Barack Obama's profoundly radical position on abortion. Both articles are posted at an online journal recently established by the Witherspoon Institute called Public Discourse: Ethics, Law, and the Common Good.

Public Discourse: Ethics, Law, and the Common Good is an online publication of the Witherspoon Institute that seeks to enhance the public understanding of the moral foundations of free societies by making the scholarship of the fellows and affiliated scholars of the Institute available and accessible to a general audience.

"Obama's Abortion Extremism" by Robert George (October 14, 2008)

Sen. Barack Obama's views on life issues ranging from abortion to embryonic stem cell research mark him as not merely a pro-choice politician, but rather as the most extreme pro-abortion candidate to have ever run on a major party ticket.

Barack Obama is the most extreme pro-abortion candidate ever to seek the office of President of the United States. He is the most extreme pro-abortion member of the United States Senate. Indeed, he is the most extreme pro-abortion legislator ever to serve in either house of the United States Congress. ...

He has promised that "the first thing I'd do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act" (known as FOCA). This proposed legislation would create a federally guaranteed "fundamental right" to abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, including, as Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia has noted in a statement condemning the proposed Act, "a right to abort a fully developed child in the final weeks for undefined 'health' reasons." In essence, FOCA would abolish virtually every existing state and federal limitation on abortion, including parental consent and notification laws for minors, state and federal funding restrictions on abortion, and conscience protections for pro-life citizens working in the health-care industry-protections against being forced to participate in the practice of abortion or else lose their jobs. The pro-abortion National Organization for Women has proclaimed with approval that FOCA would "sweep away hundreds of anti-abortion laws [and] policies."

It gets worse. Obama, unlike even many "pro-choice" legislators, opposed the ban on partial-birth abortions when he served in the Illinois legislature and condemned the Supreme Court decision that upheld legislation banning this heinous practice. He has referred to a baby conceived inadvertently by a young woman as a "punishment" that she should not endure. He has stated that women's equality requires access to abortion on demand. Appallingly, he wishes to strip federal funding from pro-life crisis pregnancy centers that provide alternatives to abortion for pregnant women in need. There is certainly nothing "pro-choice" about that.

But it gets even worse. ... It gets worse yet. ... You may be thinking, it can't get worse than that. But it does. ... Can it get still worse? Yes. ... (Follow the link to read on.)

He opposes legislation to protect babies that are accidentally born alive. He supports the industrial production of embryos for research purposes. He opposes spending any federal money for research into finding the functional equivalent of embryonic stem cells. As Prof. George says, "From any rational vantage point, this is unconscionable."

Read this stirring yet chilling glimpse into "Obama's America." This is not Borking. This is reading Obama's public record and foreseeing Obama's presidency on that basis.

What kind of America do we want our beloved nation to be? Barack Obama's America is one in which being human just isn't enough to warrant care and protection. It is an America where the unborn may legitimately be killed without legal restriction, even by the grisly practice of partial-birth abortion. It is an America where a baby who survives abortion is not even entitled to comfort care as she dies on a stainless steel table or in a soiled linen bin. It is a nation in which some members of the human family are regarded as inferior and others superior in fundamental dignity and rights. In Obama's America, public policy would make a mockery of the great constitutional principle of the equal protection of the law. In perhaps the most telling comment made by any candidate in either party in this election year, Senator Obama, when asked by Rick Warren when a baby gets human rights, replied: "that question is above my pay grade." It was a profoundly disingenuous answer: For even at a state senator's pay grade, Obama presumed to answer that question with blind certainty. His unspoken answer then, as now, is chilling: human beings have no rights until infancy - and if they are unwanted survivors of attempted abortions, not even then. (emphasis mine)
This charming fellow is a monster.

As an aside, if you look forward to electing the first black president of the United States one day, as I hope we all do, don't let it be this one.

"Obama and Infanticide" by Robert George and Yuval Levin (October 16, 2008)

Obama's latest excuse for opposing the Illinois Born-Alive Infants Protection Act is that the law was ''unnecessary'' because babies surviving abortions were already protected. It won't fly.

In last night's presidential debate, Sen. John McCain finally found an opportunity to confront Sen. Barack Obama on his vote against protecting children who were born alive after an attempted abortion. Obama's response followed the pattern of his approach to this subject throughout the campaign: deny the facts and confuse the issue. He said:

''There was a bill that was put forward before the Illinois Senate that said you have to provide lifesaving treatment and that would have helped to undermine Roe v. Wade. The fact is that there was already a law on the books in Illinois that required providing lifesaving treatment, which is why not only myself but pro-choice Republicans and Democrats voted against it.''
But the facts of the born-alive debate tell a different story. ... (Follow the link to read on.)

Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He is a member of the President's Council on Bioethics and previously served on the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He sits on the editorial board of Public Discourse.

Yuval Levin is a Fellow and Director of the Program on Bioethics and American Democracy of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and senior editor of The New Atlantis.

Friday, October 17, 2008

If Only the Senate Were Like This

Here is full coverage of those presidential candidate yuck up at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. McCain had Hillary Clinton splitting her sides with his Bill jokes.

Here is part II of the McCain routine:

I'm surprised that a guy with so many cool, entertainment industry friends couldn't get better writers. But the ear joke against himself and the age joke on McCain were good.

He's just a very serious guy.

You can see the greatest hits version on the post below with another funny video.

Post Election Liberal Refugees

Here are two funny political videos for your weekend enjoyment.

If John McCain somehow wins in November, American liberals really need to make good on their promises and move north to Canada which I understand will admit anyone. Such a migration would serve two enlightened purposes. In view of Stephen Harper's recent electoral victory up there, this "surge" could prevent Canada from becoming a haven for the Conservative Party on our northern frontier. In addition, correct thinking people could more easily prosecute Mark Steyn for his thoughtcrimes.

Here are the two candidates for president yucking it up at the 63rd annual Alfred E. Smith fundraising dinner for Catholic charities.

It is a testimony to all the nations of the earth that the two men who are vying for the American presidency, the most powerful office in the world, get together every four years in this spirit just a few weeks before the election. It's because of who we are. Citizens would do well to study what that is, how we came to be this way, and what is required for preserving that character.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Connecting the Dots on Comrade Obama

One of the tragedies of this election is that I cannot be an Obama supporter. It is not just that his supporters seem to have more fun, and get to be more stylish, and enjoy those Obama music videos on a deeper level than the rest of us do. It is above all that Barack Obama is an impressive man with an obvious potential for national leadership that can unify us in the way he boasts he will. The fact that I could at the same time vote for the first black president would just enhance the pleasure.

But I cannot support him because I am increasingly convinced that he is as radically left wing as I feared he might be. In his most public settings, like a national presidential debate for example, he is all moderation and centrism. He surrounds himself with establishment Democrats like former treasury secretary Robert Rubin and stock market tycoon Warren Buffett, and even some retired generals on occasion. But behind the election season facade is a threatening gang of communist (yes, I use the word advisedly) associates. Connecting the dots on Barack Obama's submerged radical political sentiments has become like viewing a pointillist painting. (Thus, my use, or in a sense misuse, of the December 2007 cover of The Atlantic.)

Amir Taheri ("The O Jesse Knows") quotes Jesse Jackson saying, "He is the continuation of our struggle for justice not only for the black people but also for all those who have been wronged." On its own, that testimony is just a dot. But I have noted before that while McCain says that government needs to be reformed, Obama sees America itself as the problem, i.e., our political, economic and social systems. Thus, Jackson foresees Obama bringing a "radical change of direction." His indictment is this:
We have lost confidence in our president, our Congress, our banking system, our Wall Street and our legal system to protect our individual freedoms. . . I don't see how we could regain confidence in all those institutions without a radical change of direction

Think of "radical" in the leftist political sense. Jesse Jackson says he is neither an advisor nor confident of Obama, but his son has been a close friend of Obama for years, and it would be naive to think that Jesse is not in the know.

Michael Barone, senior writer for US News & World Report and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics, draws our attention to the record of intimidation and suppression of free speech among Obama operatives ("The Coming Liberal Thugocracy").
Obama supporters seem to find it entirely natural to suppress speech that they don't like and seem utterly oblivious to claims that this violates the letter and spirit of the First Amendment. In this campaign, we've seen the coming of a thugocracy, suppressing free speech, and we may see its flourishing in the four or eight years ahead.

Consider Jonah Goldberg's study of "liberal fascism." (Read Ron Pestritto's review in the Claremont Review of Books, "A Nicer Form of Tyranny.")

Obama the Chicago community organizer is closely tied to ACORN, infamous for their physical intimidation of elected officials, widespread voter fraud and abuse of public funds. Read Stanley Kurtz's extensively researched, "Inside Obama's Acorn," and "Obama and Acorn" from the Wall Street Journal. Kurtz also shares the story of ACORN's gestapo-style assault on Newt Gingrich's legislative attempts to limit their influence ("Spreading the Virus").

House Speaker Newt Gingrich was scheduled to address a meeting of county commissioners at the Washington Hilton. But, first, some 500 protesters from the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) poured into the ballroom from both the kitchen and the main entrance. Hotel staffers who tried to block them were quickly overwhelmed by demonstrators chanting, "Nuke Newt!" and "We want Newt!" Jamming the aisles, carrying bullhorns and taunting the assembled county commissioners, demonstrators swiftly took over the head table and commandeered the microphone, sending two members of Congress scurrying. The demonstrators' target, Gingrich, hadn't yet arrived - and his speech was cancelled. When the cancellation was announced, ACORN's foot soldiers cheered.

He reports other frightening incidents of violence. These are Obama's associates, people he has defended and with whom he has worked closely. This is what community organizing means in Chicago. Obama's wife, Michelle, told us, "Barack is not a politician first and foremost. He's a community activist exploring the viability of politics to make change."

The WSJ editorial ended with this:
The Obama campaign is now distancing itself from Acorn, claiming Mr. Obama never organized with it and has nothing to do with illegal voter registration. Yet it's disingenuous to channel cash into an operation with a history of fraud and then claim you're shocked to discover reports of fraud. As with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers, Mr. Obama was happy to associate with Acorn when it suited his purposes. But now that he's on the brink of the Presidency, he wants to disavow his ties.

The great exposé, however, is Joshua Muravchik's article, "Obama's Leftism," in the recent Commentary. From the evidence he assembles, the reader can trace a pattern of communist (yes, I mean Marxist, communist) associations in Obama's personal and profession life.

His mentor in high school was poet Frank Marshall Davis, a member of the Communist Party.

In college, Obama has written that "I chose my friends carefully. ... The Marxist professors and structural feminists...." That was not just a phase he went through in college.

Moving to Chicago and throwing himself into community activism, he joined himself to Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his politically charged Trinity United Methodist Church. "The first time Obama attended services at Trinity, Wright delivered a sermon (it was titled “the audacity of hope”) whose theme was: “white folks’ greed runs a world in need.”" Obama told us he was "shocked" to learn of these radical, America hating, Marxist (liberation theology) views. But they was as hard to miss as beer in a bar. "[N]ot only was he aware of Wright’s views, they were what had drawn him to Trinity church in the first place."

Community organizing in Chicago was invented by leftist radical Saul Alinsky. In those years, Obama was schooled in the art of professional radicalism and he schooled others in turn.

Obama's connection with the murderous, bomb-throwing 1960's domestic terrorist William Ayers is harder to pin down. Information on this connection has been suppressed. But the connection is sufficiently clear that a responsible press would dig for greater details. Muravchik uses the words "likely," "most likely," "apparently," "conceivable," "could only have been," and "these facts suggest" in reporting the relationship. But when you put it all together and in the context of all of Obama's radical associations, it is a compelling and, given his chance at the presidency, a disturbing case. On it's own, a snow flake is of no consequence. But the cumulative effect of many snow flakes in coincidence is a deadly storm.

Ayers became an English professor and community activist in the Saul Alinsky tradition. Remember Michelle Obama indiscreet words: “Barack is not a politician first and foremost. He’s a community activist exploring the viability of politics to make change.”

Obama's political career started in the Illinois state senate when he took over the seat of Alice Palmer who chose him as her successor. Clearly, she expected him to carry on in her tradition. Palmer was a communist...literally.

Like others among his mentors or patrons, Palmer, too, was a radical, a member of the executive body of the U.S. Peace Council, the least disguised of Soviet front organizations. She had made multiple pilgrimages to the Soviet Union, and in 1986 attended the 27th Congress of the Soviet Communist party, telling the party paper on her return that the Soviets “plan to provide people with higher wages and better education, health and transportation, while we in our country are hearing that cutbacks are necessary in all of these areas.”

During that campaign, Obama received the endorsement of "the New Party (NP), a coalition of socialists, Communists, and other leftists," a favor for which he later thanked them in person.

It is generous to think that, if there is any truth to these indicators, Barack Obama will be moderated by the office and by some of the establishment Democrats around him. On the other hand, as Muravchik observes, there is nothing in his intellectual development nor in his career path--from his professional radicalism in Chicago to his almost monolithicly liberal voting record in the Senate--to suggest any hope of moderation in an Obama presidency.

Muravchik sums up,

"Obama comes to us from a background farther to the Left than any presidential nominee since George McGovern, or perhaps ever. This makes him an extremely unlikely leader to bridge the divides of party, ideology, or, for that matter, race. If he loses, it will be for that reason (though many will no doubt adduce different explanations, including of course white racism, to which every GOP victory since Nixon’s election in 1968 has been attributed)."

"And if he wins? Without a doubt, it will be a thrilling moment. But the enduring importance of that landmark event will depend on the subsequent effectiveness of his presidency. If his tenure—like that of, say, Richard Nixon or Jimmy Carter—should end by inviting scorn, then it may open as many wounds as it heals. On the other hand, it is not unimaginable that he may rise to the challenge of the office and govern from the center, as he will have to do to succeed. This, however, would truly involve reinventing himself, a task for which his intellectual and ideological background furnishes few materials."

On this subject, there is also David Feddoso's book, The Case Against Barack Obama: The Unlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media's Favorite Candidate (Regnery, 2008).

Honestly, given John McCain's shortcomings, if Barack Obama were an ordinary, left of center Democrat, I might very well support him. My hope would be that it would be worth suffering the minimal harm he would do for the sake of the reconciliation he could bring the nation and for the benefit the Republicans would experience during their wilderness reflection. But given his consistent history of leftist and even radical politics, I foresee no reconciliation, huge growth of government at the expense of our economic and political liberties, and the emboldening of our enemies around the world.

Looking at Barack Obama soberly, I see nothing but a tragedy waiting to happen. He could have been great.


David Brooks anticipates one or the other of these two Obama presidencies based on his historical and psychological assessments:
And it is easy to sketch out a scenario in which he could be a great president. He would be untroubled by self-destructive demons or indiscipline. With that cool manner, he would see reality unfiltered. He could gather — already has gathered — some of the smartest minds in public policy, and, untroubled by intellectual insecurity, he could give them free rein. Though he is young, it is easy to imagine him at the cabinet table, leading a subtle discussion of some long-term problem.

Of course, it’s also easy to imagine a scenario in which he is not an island of rationality in a sea of tumult, but simply an island. New presidents are often amazed by how much they are disobeyed, by how often passive-aggressiveness frustrates their plans.

It could be that Obama will be an observer, not a leader. Rather than throwing himself passionately into his causes, he will stand back. Congressional leaders, put off by his supposed intellectual superiority, will just go their own way. Lost in his own nuance, he will be passive and ineffectual. Lack of passion will produce lack of courage. The Obama greatness will give way to the Obama anti-climax.

From "Thinking About Obama," New York Times, October 17, 2008)