Instapun*** Archive Listing

Archive Listing
December 13, 2009 - December 6, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What Obama doesn't
know about America

I'll explain why this is as important as the Army-Navy game...

STILL MORE SERENDICITY. It's Sunday. Which means Fox News Sunday, ESPN wrap-ups of Saturday sports, and NFL coverage on what is increasingly the most illuminating source, the NFL Network.

So there was the panel on the Chris Wallace Fox News Sunday show, where we saw a 180-degree flip-flop on Barack Obama's latest speech -- three conservatives offering qualified praise for the Nobel acceptance address and Juan Williams expressing unqualified outrage that the president would depart from his practice of unmitigated bashing of America on foreign soil even once. Personally, I wasn't that impressed by the intended irony. Williams hews to far-left talking points more than I think he believes in his heart because it so embarrasses him to agree with conservatives in public that he tends to overstate his differences with them. Something about credibility with the liberal base, I suspect. And something about protesting too much. The conservatives, on the other hand, appear to be trying to play nice with Obama in this instance because they would like to see more expressions of the president's alliance with his own country, not deter him from same by ripping into him when he takes a baby-step toward actual American citizenship.

Then there was the ESPN reportage of the annual Army-Navy confrontation in Philadelphia. I admit I'm finessing this part of the Sunday theme. Like many others, I watched as much of the football game as I could bear to. For several years now, I've been rooting all out for Army because they're on a losing streak that shows no sign of ending anytime soon. The CBS coverage was indifferent at best. We don't get to see the grand entrances of the cadets and midshipmen into the stadium, and thanks to TV avarice, we don't get to see any half-time activities at all. The announcers (Vern Lundquist and Gary Danielson) were almost boasting about their determination to cover the event "as a football game," which is weaseling to an astonishing degree, because it is clearly far more than that. As this clip from a post-game interview with the Navy coach made clear:

So maybe I imagined more than saw the ESPN post-mortem of another dismal performance by Army -- their third straight year without a touchdown against Navy -- and the complete silence on what I considered the biggest story of the game. The absence of the Commander-in-Chief for whom the game's trophy is named. I know that presidents usually attend only a game or two even in eight years of office, but surely this was a year in which Obama should have attended. Barely a week ago, he ordered 30,000-plus new troops into Afghanistan, choosing as his backdrop for the announcement West Point and its corps of cadets. Cynics accused him of using the U.S. Military Academy as a prop. Defenders said, as is their wont, "Oh stop it."

But I refuse to stop it. When the president attends the Army-Navy game, halftime is no longer a toss to the network for a roundup of Heisman hype, basketball scores, and Division II playoff games between schools no one's ever heard of. It's the moment when the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. military crosses the field at the fifty-yard line to demonstrate ceremonially what the Navy coach expressed emotionally -- that a game is only a game and that we all owe impartial, non-partisan support to both of these great, heroic branches of the service which have done so much to defend our freedoms.

But the president wasn't there. Secretary of Defense Gates tossed the coin before the game. Cool. But where was the president? Resting up between his overseas trips to Norway for personal honors at the Nobel ceremonies and to Copenhagen for another egoistic commitment to spend American treasure on behalf of the 'world community' while his own country languishes in economic adversity and uncertainty. So much for fine words at West Point and Oslo. But I haven't heard a single solitary word of recognition, let alone criticism, that the president of the United States didn't see fit to honor the youth, vitality, and humanity of the U.S. military by participating in the pageantry of the great annual contest in Philadelphia.

Does any of this begin to explain the YouTube video above? Well, to me it does. The final portion of that video I saw on the NFL Network this morning. It moved me. In its own right and in the context of Fox News Sunday and ESPN. Our president is fond of implying that capitalism is somehow a bane of American existence, that it crushes rather than ennobles American experience. That business interests and the profit motive are antithetical to the ideal of human aspiration and self-actualization. Well, in some sense, the NFL is corporate capitalism at its worst. Isn't it? Tycoon owners, ruthless manipulative factotums below them who exploit the naive and vulnerable for their own gain...? Isn't it at least roughly analogous to the autocracy of the military? A bunch of dumb victims commanded by soullessly mean men who like killing and brainwash their troops into criminal acts?

Which is the exact point at which the video above becomes Exhibit A of what President Obama doesn't understand about America. Matthew Stafford, quarterback of the Detroit Lions, the losingest team in football, has a multi-million-dollar contract as a franchise player in the NFL. He gets hurt at the end of a game whose loss won't materially change his team's season. He is in tremendous, obvious pain. There isn't anybody, not even in the NFL, who could say a word of rebuke if he allowed himself to be hustled into the dressing room while his team goes down the drain. He is surrounded by trainers and coaches who want to know only how and how badly hurt he is.

Then he hears the other side call time-out. His immediate response has nothing to do with his contract, his money, his future with the team... It's about the sudden possibility of winning the game and believing that he is in a position to do exactly that.

So he switches, in an instant, from being an agonizingly hurt player to a player demanding ("Let me up. Get off me.") that he be allowed to return to the game and win it.

Which he does.

That's the American story to me. One could claim that the extraordinary discipline and self-sacrifice of Army-Navy footballers is a function of a certain kind of propaganda. (Hell, as Obama might observe, it could be the same with the Republican Guards of Iran. Give the military a long enough leash...) But Stafford is simply a more gifted and high-profile version of an American mentality that is spread throughout the land. An American cliche that isn't a cliche because it's so often true. Americans respond to crisis. They ask more of themselves. They demand of themselves what no external agent can. They're there -- they're here -- to win.

Obama doesn't know anything about this aspect of the country he was born in. I don't believe he will ever learn it. Which is why he has to be turned out of office at the first opportunity. I mean, when all is said and done, where was he during the Army-Navy game?

Dissenting from Doctor Zero

He usually wins. Not this time.

WRONG. A lovely piece, really. Of fiction. Go ahead. Read the whole thing. It has a kind of periodic, Samuel Johnson inevitablity about it. Except that it's entirely and completely wrong. A sample:

We’ll never be foolish enough to allow a band of fanatics to use “peer review” to rule all dissenting opinion out-of-bounds, then declare themselves the proud owners of a mighty consensus. You global-warming fanatics underestimate how much you needed those tactics to gain power. You’ll never have that kind of unchallenged authority again, because we will never stop demanding the raw data, and we’ll drown you in laughter when you mutter something about deleting it by accident. We will never forget that you began with a conclusion and sought to harvest data that supported it – the exact opposite of the scientific method.

He even specified, without recognizing it, why he's wrong about his premature triumphalism:

Things seemed to be going well. You’ve got the cap-and-trade bill lurking over the United States, ready to shatter an already weakened economy plagued with unemployment problems, and effectively end America’s role as a dominant industrial power. Your beliefs have been instituted in public schools as the official state religion, whose rituals and incantations are forced upon millions of school children. The wealthy royalty of popular culture is pleased to produce an endless string of movies, music, and television programming to market your beliefs. Your critics were marginalized to the point where the presidential candidate from the 2000 Democrat ticket felt comfortable referring to them as Nazis.

A classic conservative error. Confusing the state of "being right" with the state of "winning."

Now it's time for a demonstration of the doctrine of preemption. Nobody admires Doctor Zero more than I do, but I proved this particular attempt at persuasion doomed before he wrote it. Go here and see.

Sorry. Logic, reason, and reality have nothing to do with their insane religion. They will never stop.

Never ever ever stop. They're the dead man who just can't stop cumming on images of disaster.

Why we can't celebrate. Just reload our guns.

Click click.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Verge of a New Dark Age

THANKS, ANDREW. My commentary on a couple of recent posts. InstaPunk didn't quote what I thought was the best excerpt from Andrew Klavan's interview. It has to do with the real mission of conservatives:

[L]isten, death comes eventually to us all, right?  Countries die, civilizations die, nothing made by man’s hands lasts forever.  Conservatives are sort of like the doctors who are trying to keep America alive as long as we can and the question is:  how long?  My own feeling is that the country right now is in some danger from radical Islam, but that the real and present and terrible danger is to our republic, our system of individual liberty under limited government -- and that danger comes from within.  Bread and circuses -- or as we call them today, entitlements and the mainstream media -- are being employed to poison our will and moral seriousness.  I foresee many years of American power yet to come, maybe more American power than ever before -- but will it be republican power, the power of a free people over themselves, or will it be imperial power, the bloated strength of a slave state on the march?  We’ll see.

It's interesting to note that TruePunk's post "Got the Picture yet...?" drew only one comment while his comical rant about the female journalist who wants, absurdly, to establish a worldwide one-baby policy got at least some traction with readers. The first post was far more important and dire in the immediacy of the threat it described, of course, and its one comment was, perhaps predictably, cynical and defeatist:

 "What we have to fight back with is elections" [quoting TruePunk]

Sounds good to me. Which party should I vote for? To put it another way, we are to abolish the tyrant's means of control: the EPA, the Education Department, etc. Which party has promised to do this and will carry out that promise?

I don't mean to be too disingenuous, but I voted for Reagan, who promised to abolish the Department of Education. It's still here. He's not. In my experience Republicans talk a good game, then, once in D.C., "conserve" the Democrats' "gains."

Strangely passive, don't you think? Some party has to come up with a plan, present it to me, and convince me to take the hour or two out of my day required, on some future Tuesday in November, to vote for them. Yes, the republic is being demolished day by day before our eyes, but I seem to remember that Reagan didn't accomplish everything he intended to, either. Why bother?

There are several good responses to the 'Why bother?' question, and that's the purpose of this post. To lay them out so that cynics who prefer to see themselves as detached, superior observers might contemplate a different level of engagement.

The most direct answer is that Klavan is right. "Conservatives are sort of like the doctors who are trying to keep America alive as long as we can." The patient is always on the table, threats to his life never end, and the victories we earn are always partial and temporary. Because the death we're seeking to delay is always on the offensive, always probing for weaknesses, always eager to seize on the one unguarded moment and strike the fatal blow they imagine to be justice.

The notion that the battle for life can ever be finally won and lead to 'happily ever after' is a Utopian fantasy. And Utopia is not a conservative concept. It's a left-wing conceit, very probably the most flawed of a panoply of weak-minded conceits they exalt in place of common sense.

Utopia is a dangerous fiction created by arrogant abstraction. It is a fiction because it forces life into a static model in which matters of life and philosophy are treated like constant terms in an algebraic equation. All the good and bad things of life are distributed unequally. Justice equals rectifying the inequities, balancing the equation. This is a purely intellectual concept, which is why -- despite their poverty of clever or innovative policy ideas -- they continue to believe that they are the smart ones and conservatives are ignorant neanderthals. The arrogance -- apart from their blind faith in a doomed analogy between math and life -- lies in their belief that some small percentage of the right people can deduce from the messy reality of the human condition a set of terms and precise relationships that can be summarized on a blackboard.

But when you think you can solve life like an equation, you are the very worst kind of fool, which is why every left-wing social construct has resulted in financial ruin, human disaster, and unspeakably shocking violence. They see end results in terms of answers that come out even, not as a cascade of unintended and accelerating consequences with infinities of repeating remainders. That's why the Utopian fiction is dangerous. The math is all wrong, the equations are all false, and the intellectual insights they produce are all off the mark. Their misbegotten brilliance consists of over-analyzing snapshots of a movie that keeps rolling and changing in proliferating complexity, literally without end. There is no 'happily ever after.' Only 'after.'

The current climate change hysteria is, in fact, a perfect microcosm of liberal hubris. Climate scientists have created mathematical models of climate, which produce discrete calculations via set algorithms of phenomena that are not discrete. The models are not the climate of the earth, which is so vast, complex, and loaded with so many variables that even the most complicated model represents a gross oversimplification of what occurs in reality.

[An aside: some National Review editor or commenter spoke slightingly of the "English majors" who have mucked up the internet with skepticism about climate science. I'm an English major. But guess what. English majors know something about writing. Which is exactly what a mathematical model is. It's an edited version, hopefully stripped down to the right essentials, of the whole it purports to represent. Choices are involved. Stuff is left out. Whether it's the right stuff or not is not a matter of science; it's a matter of talented judgment. English majors may be exactly the right people to point out that a 'model' of any kind, like a short story or a novel, is not nearly the same thing as a coldly controlled and spotlessly objective scientific experiment. Did you know that many of the best software programmers -- computer modelmakers -- started out as English majors? The talents required are very similar. Just saying.]

Another complicating factor. Climate science is occurring in what is pompously called "The Academy," meaning universities that are so stuffed with lefties it's more than likely that the liberal confusion between social equality (i.e., justice) and mathematical equations might very well affect the incentives of ambitious academics if not the very use of the scientific method. How many of the current ruling powers of the scientific establishment began their journeys toward PhDs as Vietnam draft dodgers? Not an idle question. A lot of them. People who always told themselves they wanted to "make a difference," just like the post-Woodward and Bernstein journalists who are now reporting on what they do.

What can we expect from the terrible union of science and ill-conceived notions of social justice that look very much like algebraic equations? More static 'solutions' that fail completely to anticipate real world consequences.

That's the point of the YouTube video above. All the 'liberals' who are trying to save us from ourselves via dramatic totalitarian impositions on an economy they can't help regarding as a static machine which can be tinkered into faultless compliance have never given the slightest thought to what will happen when they drive a stake into the heart of the world's capitalist, life-saving and life-enhancing organism.

Our nation, and the global economy, is not a machine that can be fine-tuned like a mathematical model. It is the most complex and highly sophisticated form of life on earth. When you deprive it or starve it of the food it needs to survive, it will move, like all life forms, into 'fight or flight' mode. Its component cells will begin to break down, disease will ensue, and the symptoms will not be modestly reduced GDP figures, but a variety of convulsive reactions that will lead, inevitably, to scenarios like the one depicted in The Road Warrior. Yes, you can PhotoShop a snapshot to make it look the way you want. But you can't drop a trillion ton anvil on the head of civilization itself and expect anything but terrifying death throes.

Nothing new for the lefties. They never anticipated the 50 million killed by Stalin. Or the like number killed by Mao Tse Tung. And I'm not talking just the ones these arrogant social engineers deliberately ordered murdered. I'm talking about the deaths by famine, incompetent emergency response and medical care in the face of real natural disasters, the plain bad service of a system without incentives to do good work, the permanently blighted lives of those who received no education, hope, or meaning in their oh-so rational lives as units of a perfectly rational social equation.

Now the United States -- of all nations that have reason to understand the disastrous mistakes of relying on technocrat math as a substitute for individual human aspiration -- is moving aggressively to turn its own people into units of a grand mathematical equation of social justice. Utopia awaits. With all its horrors, breakdowns, miseries, and slaughters.

But, uh, Reagan didn't entirely succeed at what he set out to do. So we should, uh, like, wait for Perot or Paul or Palin or someone else to convince us that it's really time to vote...

No. Reagan quite unexpectedly trounced Carter because Carter was an incompetent little self-righteous prick. That situation was utterly unlike OUR situation. Obama is incompetent, yes, but he's also a malevolent, malignant narcissist who's set on a vision of marxist Utopia that will, if it succeeds, bring about the civil breakdown imagined above in The Road Warrior. That's worth getting off your ass about if you're a conservative OR a liberal.

Why the latter? You liberals... Who do you want to bet on in the survival sweepstakes that will follow the dissolution of the global technological economic system? When it collapses because capitalism is crushed by suicidal ideologues and their thralls in the world of academe and government? The federal bureaucrats, attorneys, journalists, professors, tree-huggers, and Hollywood faces that constitute your home team? Or the flyover entrepreneurs, farmers, welders, gun-huggers, criminals, religious fanatics, and ex-military types who know how to hunt, how to fix broken mechanical equipment, how to make do in straitened circumstances, and how to take what they need from those who never knew that anything was worth defending?

O you jaded ones... this is why the tea party people are out there. They know in their bones what's at stake. If you don't, you're way behind the curve and falling farther behind every day.

Time to think about catching up? Ya think? Maybe?

Time to tell the people running for office exactly what we expect -- and how swift the punishment will be if they fail to keep their promises...?

You tell me.

Tiger, Tiger

No more Mr. Nice Guy. Burn BRIGHT.

GOLF IS TORTURE. Are you listening, Mr. Woods? We're the only ones who have any good advice for you. Forget all the PR crisis consultants. They're viewing you as a commercial property. You've always been, first and foremost, a figure of sporting history. Remember that. Your sex life is your own business. If they could do what you can, most of them would.

Some very specific recommendations:

1. Don't do the Oprah/Barbara Walters/Bryant Gumbel/60 Minutes interview. Don't cry on camera, don't confess, don't apologize. Privately, you can confess and apologize all you want. But you don't owe it to your 'public.' Your life off the golf course is none of our business.

2. Don't respond, in anger or otherwise, to comparisons between you and Jack Nicklaus (a bore), Ben Hogan (a prick), or Bobby Jones (a hot-tempered eccentric a lot like you). You are the best who has ever played the game. Period. No one can ever take that away from you.

3. Don't respond to the scuttlebutt from the PGA tour that might seek to tear you down. Every single one of them owes you a slug of their paycheck, because when you play people watch; when you don't they don't. Don't ever forget it.

4. Don't think that most of your fans admired you because you were some kind of moral example. They didn't. They admired you, and still do, because you compete as ferociously as only a handful of athletes in any sport ever have. They admire you because you have a talent for winning, not because they want you to retire to some post at the United Nations or the United Methodist Church. They will still yell "in the hole" when you tee off at any tournament.

5. DON'T QUIT THE GAME OF GOLF.  Come back, but come back different. You used to be our friendly Spiderman, superhuman but somehow accessible. Come back now as the unstoppable, dark, and unpredictable version of Spiderman,who was infinitely more remote and lethal:

And far more intriguing.
Make them all pay. This is a tip from your Scottish friends -- the ruthlessly murderous ones who invented golf in the first place-- you never said you were a saint. You said, only, come try to beat me and they couldn't. Now it's your turn to say, don't even try to stop me.

Dress in black. Completely. Even on Sundays. GO WIN THE GRAND-SLAM. This year. Then tell them, "Bobby Jones did it his way. This is MY way." Then do it again next year. And every year. In silence.

You don't need to do a damned thing more than that. Ever.

P.S. Could somebody please forward this to Tiger Woods? He's not going to get any better advice anywhere else.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Got the picture yet...?

All you need to watch are the last 40 seconds.

INSIDE/OUTSIDE ACQUIRING NEW MEANINGS. Just to correct the record, it wasn't only Glenn Beck who expressed alarm, or at least misgivings, about all the czars in the Obama administration who are empowered to make policy without being accountable to congress:

President Obama's czar system concerns some

He has 'super aides' for healthcare, the economy, energy and urban issues, with more to come -- prompting some lawmakers and groups to worry that he may be concentrating power and bypassing Congress.

March 05, 2009|Tom Hamburger and Christi Parsons

WASHINGTON — As President Obama names more policy czars to his White House team -- high-level staff members who will help oversee the administration's top initiatives -- some lawmakers and Washington interest groups are raising concerns that he may be subverting the authority of Congress and concentrating too much power in the presidency...

But some lawmakers and outside experts fear that Obama is setting up a system that is not subject to congressional oversight and creates the potential for conflict among his many advisors.

Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) became concerned enough to send a cautionary letter to Obama last week. At times, he said, past White House staffers have assumed duties that should be the responsibility of officials cleared through the Senate confirmation process. He cited President Bush's naming of homeland security czar Tom Ridge as an example.

"They rarely testify before congressional committees and often shield the information and decision-making process behind the assertion of executive privilege," Byrd wrote of past czars and White House staffers in similar positions. At times, he said, one outcome has been to "inhibit openness and transparency, and reduce accountability."

"The rapid and easy accumulation of power by White House staff can threaten the constitutional system of checks and balances," Byrd said.

Of course, Tom Ridge did eventually appear before congress to be confirmed as Secretary of Homeland Security when the congress created a cabinet-level department of homeland security. But there's little sign that the Obama administration is willing to let congress have any access to so-called White House staffers, even those who are not as regally titled as czars. For example, it appears that the concept of "executive privilege" now applies even to the White House social secretary whose ad hoc approach to guest screening permitted gate crashers admission to a state dinner attended by a foreign prime minister.

What's also becoming evident is that the Obama administration is fully prepared to work around congress on any issue the president thinks he knows better about, which is, basically, all of them. Here's an end-run not too many have heard about:

MOSCOW — With the clock running out on a new US-Russian arms treaty before the previous Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, expires on December 5, a senior White House official said Sunday said that the difficulty of the task might mean temporarily bypassing the Senate’s constitutional role in ratifying treaties by enforcing certain aspects of a new deal on an executive levels and a “provisional basis” until the Senate ratifies the treaty.

The most ideal situation would be to finish it in time that it could be submitted to the Senate so that it can be ratified,” said White House Coordinator for Weapons of Mass Destruction, Security and Arms Control Gary Samore. “If we’re not able to do that, we’ll have to look at arrangements to continue some of the inspection provisions, keep them enforced in a provisional basis, while the Senate considers the treaty.

Yeah, this kind of thing has been done before, but it gets more concerning when the administration is pursuing a radically new foreign policy -- kowtow to our enemies and snub our friends -- that has even our oldest and most loyal allies in a state of near shock.

It gets even worse when the willingness to bypass congress becomes an expression of actual contempt and naked blackmail. Here's an excerpt from last night's panel on Special Report:

BAIER: Well, the day after the EPA ruled that carbon dioxide endangers the public's health, this is what a senior advisor to president Obama told reporter, issuing this warning to Congress that you remember the House passed cap and trade but the Senate has not yet.

"If you don't pass this legislation, then the EPA is going to have to regulate this area, and it will not be able to regulate in a market based way, so it's going to have to regulate in a command and control way, which will probably generate even more uncertainty.

"Continued uncertainty over what the country's energy and environmental policies will be is probably the biggest deterrent to investment of all. Passing this legislation so you're not in a situation where you have continuing uncertainty is key."

It sounded like a threat to us. We're back with the panel. Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: A threat and an amazing admission. It admits, [first], how bad the law in the Senate today that is being held up on cap and trade is [which] in and of itself is going to kill jobs.

But secondly, if you don't do that, we will do something worse, impose the EPA regulations, which is cap without trade. There isn't a market mechanism. You can't sell or purchase a permit to emit CO2.

So it's command and control, which is a polite way of saying Soviet control, meaning it's all regulation, it's all sort of arbitrary on the part of the EPA. And it is an amazing admission, and it is a kind of blackmail. Either you do this in the Senate and pass a bill or we will do it unilaterally.

The problem here is, it really is constitutionally obscene. If you are going to revolutionize our economy, as you will by regulating and taxing carbon, we are a carbon-based economy, it will affect every aspect of American life.

You ought to do it in a way that is through the Congress as an expression of popular will and not by arbitrary administrative action. I think what Congress ought to do is to pass a one-page law amending the EPA, the original legislation which would say and restore its original intent, this law doesn't apply to CO2 and exclude it from the jurisdiction of the EPA, and then the blackmail ends.

BAIER: Mort, we assume that these comments, these discussions happened behind closed doors, but to hear it being told to reporters is pretty stark.

KONDRACKE: It was an ultimatum to Congress, that either you do what we want you to do or we're going to blow up the whole country.

BAIER: Or the economy fails.

KONDRACKE: Exactly. I mean, here we are in the midst of a recession, and you're going to have the EPA now -- what exactly the regulations are going to be like, we don't know. And Lisa Jackson, the head of the EPA, said she would be "sensible" about all this and it was not going to apply to small businesses and medium-sized businesses. So we don't know exactly how draconian she is going to be.

But this threat from the administration sounds very draconian, that they want the EPA to go full force, command and control, that kind of word. I mean, it is meant to be a whip on the Congress.

But what can the Congress do? I mean, they're bogged down in healthcare right now. The year is going to end. They won't be back until January. It is going to take forever for the Senate to pass cap and trade. So I don't know why they made this threat at this point.

BAIER: Exactly. What is behind this, Steve? The prospects politically on Capitol Hill for cap and trade legislation, climate change legislation right now are dim, at best.

HAYES: Sure. I think there was a domestic audience and an international audience. The domestic audience was Congress. The international audience is in Copenhagen.

And what they basically wanted to be able to say was, look, we are getting tough. We making threats to Congress and telling them they need to pass cap and trade legislation or else.

And Lisa Jackson, interestingly on Monday, she said we really wanted this finding before we went to Copenhagen so that we could sort of tout it there. And then today, in a speech today, she said, well, no, this is all just a coincidence. So they're not even clear on that.

But importantly on the actual threat, I think Republicans would be wise at this point to call their bluff. It takes so long to go from this kind of a finding to the point where these regulations would actually be implemented that there is no way they could do it within the next couple of years.

BAIER: Not to mention the lawsuits involved here.

Quickly, Charles, there is this disconnect between the president talking about jobs, jobs, jobs, and how he is going to turn the economy around, and then a threat like this on Congress to act on something that even this administration official says could potentially threaten jobs.

KRAUTHAMMER: Yes -- pass the bill I want or I will destroy the American economy. Interesting threat....

Interesting indeed. It also, I think, reveals the administration's real modus operandi regarding healthcare. If EPA is willing to brazenly, retroactively rewrite the 1970 Clean Air Act to give itself the power to regulate emissions not even remotely seen as dangerous when the bill was passed, how will The HHS department approach the task of implementing any healthcare bill passed by the congress? The slapped together nature of any legislative language passed under the current artificially breakneck deadline will, of course, require the writers of the enforcing regulations to sort out what it all means. The bill, regardless of its incoherent content, will become what the administration wants it to be. Meaning that if the real objective is to destroy private health insurance and compel everyone to accept a monolithic single-payer system, that objective can easily be accomplished in the fine print of Obama's appointed bureaucrats. That's why the president endorses every single version of the bill that surfaces momentarily from the boiling congressional cauldron. He's not indifferent to the outcome. He's indifferent to what congress ultimately passes because he can make what congress passes into what he wants it to be.

[You see, for all his well advertised lack of executive experience, the president does excel in one sinister skill -- subverting the democratic political process for anti-democratic ends. That's perhaps the best possible definition of the term 'community organizer.' It consists of playing the democrat in public and manipulating the enforcement mechanics behind the scene. That's how feelgood ideas like "home ownership for the underprivileged" become catastrophic bubbles and sinkholes of institutional corruption. "Let me be clear." The man has "unprecedented" talent at this kind of dirty work.]

The same is conversely true of cap-and-trade legislation. The EPA can do what it wants by diktat. A piece of legislation would be convenient cover for what EPA is going to do anyway. The only remaining question is, just how big a dupe congress is willing to be. Pass a bill that EPA will nonetheless rewrite in the fine print to "destroy the economy" or resist the presidential extortion threat and pretend somehow that they won't be blamed for the terrible consequences regardless.

What's happening here is raw and in-your-face. The Obama administration is systematically dismantling the separation of powers, rendering congress irrelevant. The Democratic leadership, inflated by its own lunkheaded hubris (God, what f___ing fools they are), thinks it's leading the charge for Obama liberalism. Instead, they're playing directly into the hands of Obama, the relentless terminator of American economic power and individual liberty. Why does he prefer Chavez, Castro, Ahmadinejad, the Emperor of Japan, and the King of Saudi Arabia to Gordon Brown, Maliki, Karzai, the Queen of England, and the King of Norway? There is an answer that makes sense. It involves power, divinity, and contempt for compromise. You work out the rest. But the biggest part of it is power.

In the modern high-tech world, what do you need to establish totalitarian power beyond the administrative capacity to control absolutely the prospects for economic success (or failure) and the bodies, lifestyles, and access (or lack of it) to medical treatment of the citizenry? Play ball and win, and live, or resist and fail and die in a dirty hallway. (An aside: have you ever seen the man shed a tear?)

Well, maybe you'd want some additional control over the right to free expression. Heard about this, have you?

A sweeping international treaty to regulate how knowledge and creativity may flow on the Internet is now being negotiated. Haven’t heard of it? Funny thing, that’s exactly what the backers of the treaty want. The film, music, publishing and information industries don’t want a public debate about the issues or an open debate in Congress. So they have been working hand-in-glove with the U.S. Trade Representative to move U.S. policymaking offshore and throw a dark cloak of secrecy around everything. The next stop: draconian penalties for anyone who is accused of violating copyright law.

Details about the treaty are murky. But the latest draft, according to a leak summarized on the Boing Boing website, would require:

    * That Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have to proactively police copyright on user-contributed material. This means that it will be impossible to run a service like Flickr or YouTube or Blogger, since hiring enough lawyers to ensure that the mountain of material uploaded every second isn’t infringing will exceed any hope of profitability.
    * That ISPs have to cut off the Internet access of accused copyright infringers or face liability. This means that your entire family could be denied to the internet — and hence to civic participation, health information, education, communications, and their means of earning a living — if one member is accused of copyright infringement, without access to a trial or counsel.
    * That the whole world must adopt US-style “notice-and-takedown” rules that require ISPs to remove any material that is accused — again, without evidence or trial — of infringing copyright. This has proved a disaster in the U.S. and other countries, where it provides an easy means of censoring material, just by accusing it of infringing copyright.
    * Mandatory prohibitions on breaking DRM [Digital Rights Management systems], even if doing so for a lawful purpose (e.g., to make a work available to disabled people; for archival preservation; because you own the copyrighted work that is locked up with DRM).

Who would have guessed that such nasty stuff was embedded in a treaty called the “Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)”? That title was presumably meant to reassure people that it’s a non-controversial measure. But fighting counterfeits seems to be just the cover story. The real goal is to win a backdoor expansion of copyright law, much stronger enforcement powers and greater corporate control of the Internet — all without having to go through that pesky process known as democracy.

If the first subterfuge was the misleading title, the second subterfuge was to call ACTA a “trade agreement” rather than a multilateral intellectual property treaty. A trade agreement can be implemented by the Executive Branch on its own, and does not require congressional approval. An intellectual property treaty would require a congressional vote.

We all know that the real resistance to Obama isn't to be found in the MSM; it exists primarily on the Internet. Maybe this is how you get reelected even when everything you've done as president is directly contrary to the interests of the people. As Kyle Reese said, "It can't be bargained with, it can't be reasoned with, it doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear, and it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead."

What we have to fight back with is elections. It's time for us to make some electoral miracles happen. And, no, the answer isn't third parties. Remember, the Americans and Brits hooked up with some sorry-ass allies to win World War II. When they're coming for you like this, you better be willing to hold your nose and remember the sad truism, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." Obama and his dupes must be turned out of office, legally, convincingly, and above all, peacefully. That's the only definition of victory that will stand the test of time.

A Must Read

KLAVAN. Years ago, we pointed in passing at a necessary read by David Horowitz, because the best way to understand the left is to read the process by which leftists become conservatives. That's why this interview with Andrew Klavan is a signal opportunity. Everyone should read the whole thing, but I'll produce a few excerpts just to make the whole more tantalizing:

How liberal friends reacted to his change of mind...

A lot of friends dropped away and a lot of business opportunities disappeared.  Working in Hollywood became much, much more difficult.  The worst time, I think, was during the Bush/Kerry election when passions were running so terribly high.  Liberals would say things to me, like, “I hope the war goes badly so Kerry wins.”  When I would point out that they were essentially wishing Americans dead so that their candidate would win, they felt I was being cruel and uncivil.  The left is fine with calling you racist, sexist, a pig, a Nazi – but if you point out the simple inarguable consequences of their words and actions, they feel you’ve just gone way too far!

What the change is like personally...

 It’s a lot like the Matrix, you know:  once you take the red pill, once you see that leftist virtue is an illusion created by an ideologically driven media and academy, once you see what leftist policies have really done to black people in this country, how they’ve appeased and encouraged tyranny, destroyed cities, ruined economies, blasted cultures it’s just impossible to re-submerge yourself in the left’s self-righteous illusion.

Expanding on quotes that 'leftists' are “secretly ashamed and guilt-ridden and self-hating”...

Shame and guilt and self-hatred are universal.  Whether you chalk it up to original sin or to Oedipus or call it Jewish guilt or Catholic guilt or white guilt or black guilt, every single one of us knows he is not the person he was made to be.  There are honest ways to confront that.  You can kneel before God and pray for forgiveness and live in the joy of his love.  Or you can drink heavily and make sardonic remarks until you destroy everyone you care about and then keel over dead – that’s honest too.  But what a lot of people do is try to escape their sense of shame dishonestly by constructing elaborate moral frameworks that allow them to parade their virtue and their lavish repentance without any real inconvenience to themselves while simultaneously indulging in self-righteousness by condemning others for their impenitent evil.  That’s the bad version of religion – the sort of religion Jesus came to dismantle.  And that’s exactly the sort of religion leftism is:  an elaborate system for hiding shame behind a cheap mask of virtue.  That’s why they demonize any opposition.  To them, we’re not just disagreeing with them, we’re threatening to tear off the mask of their virtue and reveal them to themselves.

Well. Read it all. It's the gold nugget of the day.

Hey, Let's Be China...

One baby means babies who are "little emperors."

POST-CIVILIZATION. There's only one thing I want. I want the left to realize that they hate themselves, civilization, and the whole human race. Then I'll be content. Until then, I have to keep citing crap like this:

The real inconvenient truth

The whole world needs to adopt China's one-child policy

Diane Francis, Financial Post

Ironically, China, despite its dirty coal plants, is the world's leader in terms of fashioning policy to combat environmental degradation, thanks to its one-child-only edict. Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images Ironically, China, despite its dirty coal plants, is the world's leader in terms of fashioning policy to combat environmental degradation, thanks to its one-child-only edict.

The "inconvenient truth" overhanging the UN's Copenhagen conference is not that the climate is warming or cooling, but that humans are overpopulating the world.

A planetary law, such as China's one-child policy, is the only way to reverse the disastrous global birthrate currently, which is one million births every four days.

The world's other species, vegetation, resources, oceans, arable land, water supplies and atmosphere are being destroyed and pushed out of existence as a result of humanity's soaring reproduction rate.

Ironically, China, despite its dirty coal plants, is the world's leader in terms of fashioning policy to combat environmental degradation, thanks to its one-child-only edict.

The intelligence behind this is the following:

- If only one child per female was born as of now, the world's population would drop from its current 6.5 billion to 5.5 billion by 2050, according to a study done for scientific academy Vienna Institute of Demography.

- By 2075, there would be 3.43 billion humans on the planet. This would have immediate positive effects on the world's forests, other species, the oceans, atmospheric quality and living standards.

- Doing nothing, by contrast, will result in an unsustainable population of nine billion by 2050.

Humans are the only rational animals but have yet to prove it. Medical and other scientific advances have benefited by delivering lower infant mortality rates as well as longevity. Both are welcome, but humankind has not yet recalibrated its behavior to account for the fact that the world can only accommodate so many people, especially if billions get indoor plumbing and cars.

The fix is simple. It's dramatic. And yet the world's leaders don't even have this on their agenda in Copenhagen. Instead there will be photo ops, posturing, optics, blah-blah-blah about climate science and climate fraud, announcements of giant wind farms, then cap-and-trade subsidies.

None will work unless a China one-child policy is imposed. Unfortunately, there are powerful opponents. Leaders of the world's big fundamentalist religions preach in favor of procreation and fiercely oppose birth control. And most political leaders in emerging economies perpetuate a disastrous Catch-22: Many children (i. e. sons) stave off hardship in the absence of a social safety net or economic development, which, in turn, prevents protections or development.

China has proven that birth restriction is smart policy. Its middle class grows, all its citizens have housing, health care, education and food, and the one out of five human beings who live there are not overpopulating the planet.

For those who balk at the notion that governments should control family sizes, just wait until the growing human population turns twice as much pastureland into desert as is now the case, or when the Amazon is gone, the elephants disappear for good and wars erupt over water, scarce resources and spatial needs.

The point is that Copenhagen's talking points are beside the point.

The only fix is if all countries drastically reduce their populations, clean up their messes and impose mandatory conservation measures.

I could cite a lot of stuff here. Mark Steyn on the catastrophic decline of the populations of the only civilized nations. Other authorities on the relatively small earth area even occupied by human beings. But I won't. All I'll do is observe that when someone comes up with a truly lunatic notion of human social organization, no matter how murderous it is, its leading exponents are somehow always women. Why is that? Is it related to the phenomenon that when alpha males like Tiger Woods set about exploiting women for sex his partners are somehow always convinced that he actually loves them?

The answer is yes. When the ultimate deathlord descends and decides that he will lead mankind to species-wide suicide, his most ardent followers will be half-smart, half-educated women who are absolutely committed to the cause. They will be eloquent, articulate, and totally f___ing nuts on his behalf. Why? Because a small percentage of women are wise and wonderful, but a far greater percentage are permanently, completely, absolutely OUT OF THEIR F____ING MINDS about absolutely f___ing everything. Especially their conviction that the deathlord loves them in the deepest possible way, even though they only see him on alternate Tuesdays. The saddest thing of all is the plight of smart women. They don't want to blow the whistle on their sad sisters. But they know -- believe me, they know -- that most women are out of their f___ing minds.

It's worse when you let them pretend they're journalists. Enough said, Diane. Francis.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

American Woman

    Fake but accurate.

OUR NEW WAY OF GIVING YOU MUSIC. Of course the picture's a phony. She's had five kids and makes jokes about stretch marks. But American men still love her. Witness the latest poll, which has the intelligentsia running, as Stephen Leacock would say, "madly off in all directions."

Shocker polls: That Sarah Palin-Barack Obama gap melts to 1 point

Lordy, Lordy, Lordy, look what the pollsters just brought in.

A pair of new surveys revealing that President Obama is still declining and has hit a new low in job approval among Americans just 56 weeks after they elected him with a decided margin.

And -- wait for it -- Republican Sarah Palin is successfully selling a whole lot more than books out there on the road. Even among those not lining up in 10-degree weather to catch a glimpse of pretty much the only political celebrity the GOP has these days.

Kewl. Yeah. I know. It doesn't mean that Sarah would beat Obama head to head in a real election. But I LOVE it. She's causing me to rethink everything. Which, at my age, is like a shot of adrenalin mixed with crystal meth.

So here's the gamut of what I'm (re)thinking.

Credentials. She got her college degree from (WTF?) Idaho State or Boise Barber College? Truthfully, this part of the slams against her never bothered me. The oh-so-democratic Democrats who ridicule her academic credentials would be hard put to explain why a hardworking woman with a bachelor's degree from the University of Idaho is somehow less qualified on that basis than Lyndon Johnson (Southwest Texas State Teachers' College) or Harry Truman, who had no college degree at all. Wasn't it the Democrats who wanted us to believe that George W. Bush was an idiot because he graduated from Yale with less than a magna cum laude degree, and the only fit leaders of the masses were Democrat graduates of Harvard, Yale, Yale, Yale, and Yale? Excuse me? How many of you sanctimonious liberals actually went to Yale? Please step forward. Good. Now explain why your brainiac institution thought it made sense to "go for it" on fourth down and twenty-two. Sarah Palin wouldn't have done that. She'd have relied on what is probably the only NFL-caliber player on the Yale squad -- the punter who had already booted one eighty-five yards in the air to pin Harvard inside its five yard line. But that's just me. And Sarah.

Credentials. She let Katie Couric make a monkey of her on TV. What was she supposed to do? Deck the bitch? (Yeah. Sorry. Still my favorite fantasy outcome of that exchange.) But ask yourselves this:  In future years, who will be remembered for what? Will Sarah Palin be remembered chiefly as a takedown in the Mencken/Murrow-like career of Katie Couric, or will Katie Couric be remembered primarily as a speed bump in the otherwise Reagan-like career of Sarah Palin? Huh. Or, more precisely, boo-yah!

Credentials. She quit her job as governor of Alaska. I admit it. This was my biggest problem with her. You just don't quit. Unless you live in a country where it used to be the case that anyone could become president and now it's the case that any millionaire could become president. You see, I now have to consider the possibility that Sarah Palin is just plain smarter than me. (I only went to Harvard, after all.) "Time on the job" obviously didn't play a big role in Obama's ascension. Why should it hold Palin back? She got elected, she did well enough that her popularity earned her a spot on the presidential ticket, and damn. Look at her. Maybe a cavalier attitude about public office is exactly what today's rebellious voters are looking for. She's honest enough to say, "oh, fuck it," when professional political opponents make it clear that they'll sue you over every single damn thing every damn day for no other reason than injuring you and your family. Would I quit under those circumstances? uh YEAH. So would most of you. The idiot candidate Sarah Palin has figured out that average voters don't require their politicians to be crazed masochists. uh. What kind of intelligence is that? Maybe common sense? Why would any American voter prize common sense? Precisely.

See what I mean? The song isn't favorable to American women, is it? But we all appreciate the non-irony: Men don't like it when women see though them. Which they usually do. Isn't that at least part of the liberal fondness for Hillary Clinton? Except that Hillary has two strikes against her in the 'wise woman' sweepstakes. She hitched her wagon to a compulsive cheater who humiliated her at every turn. And she's obviously -- even to liberals -- not macho enough to be the imitation man she so wants to be.

Which is where the genius of Sarah Palin kicks in. She's not an imitation man. She's the woman some of us know, some of us wish we knew, some of us dream of, and some of us would do anything to believe in the possibility of. What's that? [Drumroll please: it's got to be BIG, given that liberals of every stripe, especially feminists, hate her so much that they're anxious to accuse her of not even being a woman...] Sorry to disappoint. She's the woman you'd go to with a personal problem in your home town. You'd be embarrassed to tell her what you did. But you'd tell her anyway because she'd understand and give you the right advice, even if it seemed too hard to do before she told you you could do it. Because you had to. And that's why you went to her in the first place. Because sometimes you have to hear the obvious truth all the smart folks won't tell you.

When did we get the idea that being president of the United States meant going to Harvard and Yale? They were the only two colleges I applied to, but I never thought going to either of them would qualify me for the presidency. I wanted to be a writer. Which has nothing whatever to do with being president of the United States. I can't emphasize enough how different these two ambitions are. Presidential candidates can come from Harvard or Yale. But they can also come from Eureka College and the University of Idaho.

I've written before about my prep school days. The ones who went on to Ivy League schools were a significant percentage of the graduating class, but guess what? They were never the student body presidents. They didn't necessarily get good grades, even in a grade-obsessed culture like ours. They weren't even always football stars or other kinds of jocks. They were the ones people liked because they liked other people in return, and everyone knew it.

I remember the president of my class. He was a big big boy, which is not to say fat, though you can draw your own conclusions.  I liked him. So did everyone else. Which could not be said of me and my friends. He starred in a 'Stony Batter' production (where Jimmy Stewart and Benicio del Toro also got their start), and I recall as if it were yesterday that the stage collapsed under him when he stepped upon it. Mind you, I don't remember the play, some one-act melodrama, but I remember his incredible aplomb when the audience erupted in hilarity and he walked the tightrope of saying his lines while acknowledging the silliness of the situation. He never left his character, and he never pretended that a disaster hadn't happened onstage. HE KNEW EXACTLY HOW TO PROCEED. His name was Scott Bliss.

I don't know where he wound up going to college. I don't care. I always knew that he would be a success in his career and his life. There was something genuine about him, something sincere, something lovable. That's what we hope for in our political leaders. It's the most important thing.

I'm not saying that the kids who went to Ivy schools necessarily didn't have this combination. I knew one who did. When I was a freshman, the captain of the swim team, who went on to become captain of the Harvard swim team, was the kindest of all seniors to lowly freshmen. Mike Cahalan was a gentleman. Nature produces, well, rations, them out to us just to remind the rest of us what virtue is. But Mike Cahalan didn't have what Scott Bliss did. Mike was smarter, handsomer, more talented, and equally kind to his fellows... but Scott just glowed when you gave him an audience. (I think Mike Cahalan is now a doctor, still kind but nowhere near celebrity.)

So. Am I just blathering? Hardly. Presidents of the United States aren't the Mike Cahalans of this world. They're the Scott Blisses. Change the sex, the weight, etc, of Scott Bliss and you have Sarah Palin.

Now. Consider. The journalists are the ivy types like me who never got elected to anything. Not only did they not get elected to anything in high school, they burned with envy of the, uh, Sarah Palins of their schools -- the ones who were obviously destined for success because they were gorgeous and everybody loved them.

Let me ask you a question. Do you think that a degree from the Columbia School of Journalism eliminates that kind of hatred and envy?

I don't either.

Monday, December 07, 2009


ClimateGate II

Funny. Not like Chevy Chase, though. More like Duck Soup.

FOLLOWUP. Not going to do a lot of writing here. It's called mixed feelings. I can understand never taking AGW seriously as a scientific theory. But I don't understand passionate opponents of the Obama administration choosing to be passive about the biggest conceivable misdirection move of the attempt to impose statism in the name of the common good. I'd sort of expect you all to care about that. The chief new value-added in this post is links to the media (non)response to this stupefyingly huge story, which I urge (insist) that you read to bring yourselves up to date:

The New York Times. [No story here... please, move along]

The Wall Street Journal. [Yes. It's RatherGate but bigger.]

The Dead Tree Media. [Still d(en)ying there's any problem]

George Will. [A brilliant summary of absurdity]

Jets and Limos. ['ypocrisy, 'ilarity, and irony]


This is an aside that really isn't. About atheists debating Christians in the U.K. It's called, Are Atheists Really Fundamentalists? Appropriate both for its subject matter...

The motion that had them standing in the aisles and dangling from the rafters at Wellington College was: "Is atheism the new fundamentalism?" True, this was an Intelligence Squared debate, and there was a good line-up: Lord Harries, the former Bishop of Oxford, and Charles Moore of The Daily Telegraph for the motion, Professors A C Grayling and Richard Dawkins against. But still. Atheism? When did this become such a crowd-puller?

The answer seems to be: "After September 11." At one point, indeed, Dawkins said that the next atheist slogan he would like to see on the side of a bus is: "Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings." He got a cheer for that, as he did for most things, the atheists in the audience outnumbering the believers by a wide margin. That didn't surprise me. What did was their lack of courtesy. There was even the odd jeer when the Christians were speaking. I had assumed that part of the point of being an atheist was that you were tolerant of the views of others.

In fact, while it was a gripping debate, I was struck by how little empathy there was between these two groups of wise and worldly men. The professor of philosophy seemed to have no idea how insulting he was being to the bishop when he compared his belief to the belief a child has in fairies, pixies and goblins. The bishop, meanwhile, seemed unable to appreciate that, to the professor, a belief in God is as ridiculous as, well, a belief in fairies, pixies and goblins.

...and the final [f___ing screaming denial] pronouncements of its pedestrianly predictable chronicler Nigel...

Nevertheless, like the majority in that draughty hall, I voted against the motion. Atheists are not fundamentalists, because they are open to any hypothesis, provided that it can be substantiated by evidence. And atheism is not a religion. It doesn't want followers. The irony is, it gets them anyway. And increasingly, it looks like a cult, with Dawkins its leader. No doubt to his irritation, his The God Delusion has become something of an atheist's Bible.

It's to Dawkins's "irritation" that atheism is becoming a religion of its own? Really? uh, right. Tell me another one, Nigel. Coincidentally(?), I wrote a piece years back in February 2007 called A New Fundamentalism for Narcissists. Because I'm a total dumbass. Which reminds me of an another dumb Instapunk post called A Step Too Far. (Dawkins and his company of angry atheists aren't evangelists?) And one called The Secular Death Wish. Contrary to the burlesque irony of "Nigel," atheists are the new fundies, intolerant, Bible-literal when it comes to peer-reviewed propaganda, and as mightily vengeful as they are idiotically irrational: God Blames Bush.

But, as I said, that's just an aside. Make up your own connections between AGW and the personal need to believe with all your heart, soul, and mind in the absence of heart, soul, and mind in the workings of the universe. What does it do to your environmental, "save the planet" hard-on to realize that your hard-on is but the tiniest footnote in the tiniest most insignificant corner of a universe so huge its birthing vagina never even knew your infinitesimal prick existed? Only a Dawkins could live happily in that kind of universe. I'm sure he tells that to all the girls.


Which brings me to my final, factless point. The AGW story is not a science story. It's too much intertwined in our politics, culture, seasonal weather, and celebrity tracking systems to be what you'd call strictly science. That's why I'm doing what none of our readers bothered to do -- call out the many posts InstaPunk has recorded touching on the subject of Global Warming.

They display what none of the apocalyptic scientists has ever displayed: a sense of humor. AND a sense of topicality and chronology. This is not a subject which exists in some realm independent of daily news, weather, celebrities, political issues, and axes to grind. Look through the years of posts. Take note of the dates. Consider the political agendas that intersect with what's supposed to be pure science. As I look at them, the only constant I can discern is my own deep skepticism about a field of science I doubted from the start.

Predicting the Weather. [Humor]

Welcome to the Post-Apocalypse. [Humor]

History Channelling. [Humor and scientific skepticism]

Gaia's Paradise. [Science and cultural delusion]

Global Warming Experts Use Desperate Measures to Fix Hurricane Deficit. [Humor]

The Importance of Being Ernesto. [Humor]

The Warming Thing. [Science essay]

A New Fundamentalism for Narcissists. [Cultural essay]

What You DO Need to Know. [Political essay]

Searching for Context. [Media essay]

Sheryl Has that 'Pesky' Feeling. [Celebrity humor]

You Greenies want to cut CO2? We're calling your bluff. Today. [Humor]

Why Global Warming is a Fake Issue. [Political essay]

The Butterfly Effect. [scientific essay]

The Superior Conservative. [Humor... Mostly irrelevant but for one remark:

I can't speak to the Global Warming thing. I never trusted scientists any more than I trusted politicians. As far as I'm concerned, summers have been more or less hot all my life. When winters get hot enough to require a gin and tonic before five o'clock, I'll let you know.]

Some Logical Implications. [Passant. Skip ahead to the GW discussion.]

Crashing the Global Warming Jet Set. [Humor]

The Friday Follies: The Iowa Presidential Debates. [Humor and politics: excuse the oxymoron]

The Civilization Freeze Movement. [Cultural essay]

Emergency Tweaks Required in Human-Climate Interface. [Humor]

Today's GW Scare Story. [Scientific skepticism]

O Catastrophe! O Disaster! [Humor]

Questions for Your Liberal Friends. [Political humor... Question 6.]

A Statue of Al Gore??? [Humor]

The Loony Bin. [Political essay]

ClimateGate. [Explosion]

As a final note, I'll observe that of all the recurring topics at InstaPunk which could be assembled into book length manuscripts (c. 20 or more), this is the topic that has registered the fewest comments. Don't like science, my friendlies? Or don't believe that bad science can ever matter?

Think again.


Cash for Wallflowers

A federal hotline is now open... Thank God!!!

EIGHT. A brand new Obama administration offensive is underway to redistribute unfairly concentrated sexual desire by the billionaire Tiger Woods. The new social justice initiative -- purportedly sponsored by Michelle and Barack Obama and Attorney General General Eric Holder and his wife Dr. Sharon Malone -- represents a follow-on to the incredibly successful "Cash for Clunkers" program which put thousands of dollars into individual consumers' pockets for a cost of only billions to millions of recession-strapped taxpayers.

As spokesthing for the new program, Michelle Obama said, "It's about time that somebody compensated the millions of victimized women who were never ogled, hit upon, leered at, or seduced into sexual ecstasy by the tiny one millionth of one percent of the most sexually attractive billionaires in this rigged capitalist system.

"It's long past time that the tiny minority of the world's most sexually attractive men be compelled to offer their wares to the millions and millions of women who have never waited table in Vegas, poured syrup in diners, strutted their stuff on reality TV shows, or starred in pornographic movies. What justice is available for those women who are taller than Alan Iverson, wider than an RV, flatter than the Great Smoky mountains, or chained to some empty-suit weed who thinks par is once a year? Is this democracy?"

President Obama added, in response to his wife's statement, "What she said." Mrs. Obama went on to say, on 60 Minutes or whatever microphone was turned on at the time, "It's not right. It just isn't. Why weren't we told that he was sexually unsatisfied? Something could have been done about this. Believe me. Something could have been done about this. No scandal was necessary."

In a separate statement, Dr.Sharon Malone said, "The U.S. Justice Department is going to right all the wrongs. I told Eric what to do and he's doing it. He better. With a phony hairline like that. Every woman who has NOT had an affair with Tiger Woods is entitled to compensation from the federal government of the United States. If I get my way, no money will be involved. Reparations will be in the form of 'hot, steamy sex' between Tiger and all the women he has disappointed."

The senate leader of the reparation effort, Charles Schumer, quickly dashed hopes that the senate bill under consideration would involve actual sex. "I've never had sex with my wife," he said. "And I'm a [bleeping] U.S. Senator. Fact is, the U.S. Senate has never guaranteed sexual congress to anyone but sitting -- or possibly squatting -- senators and congresspeople (obviously), and it would be an unpardonable projection of our power to extend coital rights to those who are perfectly capable of extorting sexual favors from their gay or straight economic partners without congressional coercion. The most we could offer in these circumstances is a "Medal of Freedom" and a, well, 'uninhibited night' in the Lincoln bedroom, pending the First Lady's permission, of course."

It was left to senator Dick Durbin to announce that the new federal program meant that women "could do pretty much whatever they wanted to," because we all know that "women always always get what they want," especially when they're years younger than "tired, married, old whores who are married to women who always hated you in the first place."

All that's left is picking out the particulars. Women who have not been [blanked] by Tiger can call the Hotline. If you're (really) lucky, Hillary will answer. In the other 118,800,000,000 cases, you'll get someone else. But Michelle may call you for sexual advice. Sound fair?

We thought so.

The number is: 1-800-MAX-LEWD.

[You might think I'd be too tired of everything to respond to such a call volume. You'd be wrong. The only thing I've seen better than live Aerosmith is the Stones, and them only five times. There's absolutely no doubt I can refer you to reliable sources for what you need.]

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