Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sounds about right to LITD

The UK orders Iran to close its embassy and all Iranian diplomatic personnel to get the hell out of the country within 48 hours.

A great refutation of Reasonable Gentleman Syndrome

I was greatly heartened to see Thomas Sowell's resolute smackdown of Michael Medved's recent Townhall column in which Medved said that that Pubs must nominate a centrist candidate to defeat the Most Equal Comrade next year. Sowell looks at a number of past races in which principle clearly trumped mushy stand-for-not-much-of-anything-ness.
Medved is irritating at least as often as he is insightful, and it's gratifying when he's called on it. Especially by a towering intellect like Dr. Sowell.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Whole lotta not perfect here"

Ladd Ehelinger, blogger, filmmaker, and talk show host, who is a principled conservative, has had substantial fact time with Herman Cain and believed in him long after many another rightie pundit had soured on the Hermanator phenomenon, is now officially through with him. The lawyer's statement on the latest claim (the 13-year affair) seems to be the straw that broke the camel's back.

How about me? As painful as it is to admit it, I think it looks like a case of a guy's libido being far stronger than his principles. Might be able to keep a radio-host career from sinking under such weight, but a presidential run at a time when uncompromised seriousness is a requisite? Uh-uh.

At war with the West since 1979

Iranian "students" storm the British embassy in Tehran.

"The worst job approval rating of any president at this stage of his term in modern political history"

The MEC finally sinks lower than Jimmuh.

The political twilight of Mr. Pay-for-Play

The editors at NRO say that Barney Frank will be remembered for three things. Read what they are here.

Green-ism: going the way of all dead religions

Great Bret Stephens piece in the WSJ about how radical environmentalism, like Zoroastrianim and Greek Zeus-worship before it, is croaking from its own implausibility.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Oh, sheesh - today's edition

Now the IMF is looking at bailing out Spain and Italy with loans at well below their actual cost of borrowing.

Keep in the forefront of your mind the fact that the US contributes 45 percent of the IMF's money. Also the US government's 15 trillion dollar debt.

The money has to come from somewhere.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I can tell you what it is

What's behind the Black Friday mayhem this year? The same breakdown in public order we've seen in the flash mob robberies, Occupy Wall Street occurences, state-capital stormings by public-sector union thugs, and the general filth that passes for entertainment these days. We're clearly a less civilized society than we were 50 years ago.

What it would really take

A new Mark Steyn column that really only covers new territory in the sense that it's written at the end of a week in which the West's economic prospects grew palpably dimmer.

I haven't seen any comments on comment threads - or columns by lefty or just plain jaded pundits - saying "Isn't Steyn aware that his doom schtick is wearing a bit thin?", but I'll bet they're out there. I have seen some - both comments on threads and reason-to-be-optimistic pieces by well-credentialed rightie pundits - countering his outlook with one that focuses on celebrating that time-tested can-do American spirit. Victor Davis Hanson and John Podhoretz come to mind in this regard.

The glaringly undeniable truth, however, is that Steyn has the numbers on his side. The US government is spending at twice the rate it's taking in money, and even the best proposals put forth so far are, as he says in a sinking-ship metaphor, arguments about whether to use a thimble or an egg cup to address the situation.

If there is anything truly fresh in his latest column, it's this uncomfortable truth: that even if we elect the coolest, most Reaganesque Republican president this nation could come up with next November, he or she would not be able to enact the kinds of policies necessary to stave off a descent into Somalia-level chaos because the American people no longer have the maturity to say to themselves that such policies are necessary.

And the options only get more stark as we put this off another hour.

Euro death watch - today's edition

Italy's cost of borrowing at a record 6.5 percent.

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's just not so

Great American Thinker piece by Randall Hoven that puts the lie to the notion that our current debt / deficit crisis is due to "Bush's wars" or any kind of Pub spending spree in the last 50 years.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Euro on "death watch"

Weaker than expected - by a whole lot - demand for German debt at Wednesday's bond auction.

It's an ideological cause and not a scientific inquiry to these people - today's edition

Climategate 2.0 - a new flurry of e-mails among Michael Mann, Phil Jones and the other leading climate-change hucksters - is upon us.

It's about time

NBC apologizes to Michelle Bachmann for the Jimmy Fallon fiasco.
The layers of cultural rot in this episode are myriad, going back at least to the fact that some rock band called Bonefish back in 1988 thought it was clever to title a song "Lyin'-ass Bitch," and right up to NBC's delay in apologizing, which indicates to me that there is an element at the network that really didn't want to, because it is so consumed with hate for those who champion freedom and decency.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

There are still those who get it

. . . such as Lech Walesa.

The MEC's damage to America, by the numbers

Poverty rate, housing prices, unemployment rate both literal and U6, length of unemployment, inflation rate, debt, deficit and more - a comparison of January 2009 and now.

What killed the supercommittee?

The Freedom-Haters' insistence on seizing ever more of productive Americans' assets at gunpoint, of course.

Not a great time for this to happen

Two CIA espionage rings, one in Lebanon and one in Iran, have been busted. I shudder to think of what those guys are being subjected to along about now.

The MEC sees no political value . . .

. . . in actually getting involved in the messy process of trying to resolve the nation's debt / deficit crisis.

He's nowhere to be found when the Simpson-Bowles Commission submits its recommendations or the current "supercommittee" would welcome a little executive-branch input - beyond the class-envy / social-justice bromides he dispenses in his Saturday-morning radio addresses before he heads out to the links or the ice-cream shop.

Even Chris "Thrill-up-the-leg" Matthews has had it with the MEC's inaccessibility to Congress.

Two words: time frame

So the US, Canada and the UK are to unveil a new round of sanctions against Iran, targeting its ability to refine petroleum into gasoline, among other measures.

But then there is the cold hard fact that we have months at best for any such measures to stop Iran from the point of no return, and there is still the matter of Russia's and China's intransigence.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

History is beginning to render its verdict

Another entry in the ongoing societal conversation about the erosion of maturity. This Walter Russell Mead essay at The American Interest focuses on the countercultural ethos and how pervasively it infected the boomer generation, which, in comparison to the contributions of generations of the past several centuries to human progress, doesn't add up to much.

Well, then what does hydrate a dehydrated person?

Here's a story that combines all - or at least most - of the elements that point to the demise of Western civilization: bureaucracy that permeates every last aspect of human life, nanny-state-ism, technocratic blindness to common sense and the patently obvious, and preoccupation with the silly while real crises go completely unaddressed.

See eif you're not embarrassed for your species after reading it.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The untethered man-child

There has been an abundance of examination of the erosion of maturity in our society. Joseph Epstein's 2004 essay for Commentary entitled "The Perpetual Adloscent" contributed much to the conversation, as did Diana West's 2007 book Death of the Grown-Up.
Pundit & Pundette weigh in with a link-rich post on the subject. It specifically looks at the modern status of marriage as a superfluous institution as a major factor.

The world's most ubiquitous musical statement

A muscian friend of mine posted this on Facebook. What a hoot.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

File this one under "He doesn't really expect you to believe what he's saying"

Harry Reid says that the flurry of regulations that the MEC regime has imposed on the business world don't harm the economy. Did he consult the Small Business Administration or the Heritage Foundation before he opened his pie-hole?

Relax and have some pumpkin pie

This is one of those stories that points up why I am a conservative and not a libertarian. Conservatism has three pillars: free-market economics, a foreign policy based on what history tells us about the behavior of nation-states ("strong defense" for shorthand) and a fealty to the essence of Western civilization ("traditional values" for shorthand).
Conservatives are often taunted by those who aren't with scenarios along the lines of, "Hey, you guys with your purist free-market stance asked for Lady Gaga and cage fighting. If that doesn't fit with your cultural principles, that's up to you to deal with."
Well, along comes a story with similar implications. It seems a young man who works for Target was scheduled to clock in at 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is very special to him. He propsed to his fiance on Thanksgiving last year and her family was most excited to have him at the table this year. Alas, he'd have to spend the day sleeping if he adhered to his Target schedule.
Target, like a lot of store chains, is opening earlier for the holiday shopping season earlier than it ever did.
Enough, already.
Yes, I am aware that these companies are excited about the prospect of recouping profits they have not seen much of during a dismal year. But the whole point of human prosperity is to enable us to enjoy life, and the richest sense of the phrase "enjoy life" presupposes time spent with loved ones commemorating special occasions, engaging in rituals that express thanks to the Creator, laughing, eating the bounty of the harvest.
You cannot, in the end, have a truly vibrant economy in a society full of disspirited, empty automatons manically selling and buying an endless stream of gadgets, apparel and vulgar amusements. A free market uncoupled from a moral foundation will not last.
The young man has drafted and sent around a petition imploring Taget to keep Thanksgiving sacred. LITD likes this.
A Target spokesperson said that the young man is not currently scheduled to work on Thanksgovong or Black Friday. That's encouraging, but a bit tepid. It's corporate-public-relations-speak for "We don't want any bad publicity, so we've changed the guy's schedule in hopes that this will all go away quietly."
Here's a novel question: Would we all not perhaps prosper a bit more - in the richest sense of the term - if we as a society slowed down enough to savor the specialness of days like Thanksgiving and the opportunity it offers for us to reflect on what we truly need, and thereby see more clearly what we don't?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Think about it; we have at least one Supreme Court justice who is on record as hating basic human freedom

Kagan gets all wet in the britches over the passage of FHer-care.

Whether this rises to the level of meeting the criteria for recusal, it ought to leave all Americans horrified.

I smell the desperation of good, principled people

Boehner, Jeb Hensarling and Paul Ryan are speaking favorably about the proposal put forth by the Pub side of the Supercommittee. It includes what cannot be construed as anything but a tax increase, and for that reason, at least Perry and Gingrich among Pub prez candidates oppose it.

Steady nerves and steadfast adherence to your principles, guys. The Freedom-Haters would love nothing more than to make you blink.

I didn't elect this technocratic one-worlder to anything and I'll be damned if he's going to get his hands on my wallet

UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon implores that august body's member nations to set up a world-side fund to address climate change.

Time to keep a watch out for US government officials who speak in favor of indulging him in this.

This is especially galling in light of the fact that more facts refuting the warmist fraud come to light all the time.

Now, this is a lovely development

Hours after cops removed the OWS sub-humans from Zucotti Park, the National Lawyers Guild - a Communist front organization - obtained a court order to let the snot-nosed ingrates return.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dan Carol is none too keen on Steven Chu

. . . per a February e-mail the former MEC campaign staffer sent to various West Wing offices regarding the deep you-know-what that the Department of Energy was tepping in with its loan guarantee program.

Just when you think the Most Equal Comrade can't sink to any disgustingly lower depths

He tells a group of US corporate executives that they've become "a bit lazy" about aggressively marketing America as a great place to do business.

This, from the socialist thug who has overseen more taxation and regulation of American business than any administration of what was until 2009 the United States of America ever imposed. This, from an utter phony who never had a job with an organization that made anything of any value to anybody.

He must go, the instant it's possible by Constitutional means.

Nigel gives 'em an earful

Nigel Farage, who represents southeast England in the European Parliament, lets that august body know what is at the root of the continent's cornucopia of crises.

Completing the process of our conversion from free human beings into docile cattle

Consider the spirit in which the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created - what kind of person champions it and what kind of person has been nominated to run it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Political calculation beats a desire to free up ready-to-go normal-people energy

It's pretty evident to anyone who cares to see that the MEC's decision not to decide on givign the go-ahead to the Keystone XL pipeline until - oh, maybe sometime around late November 2012 is based on a desire not to ruffle the feathers of his green base. But if developments in the Arab / Muslim world have an upward effect on the price of oil between now and then, it could turn out not to be so advantageous after all.

Layer upon layer of civilizational rot

Which layer represents the rot's most advanced staged? The act(s) that Sandusky performed on the boy(s) he overpowered? The silence of witnesses? The attempts by Paterno and the school administration to make the whole thing go away quietly? The rioting by entitlement-mentality students who felt gypped out of getting to go to a school with a legend for a football coach?

We have descended so far from such now-seemingly-innocuous harbingers as "no shirt no shoes no service." The gossamer-thin partition between human nobility and the chaos of unbridled savagery may have frayed irreparably.

Talk about a fox in the henhouse

Shortly before the Port of Oakland was shut down by OWS radicals, a new port authority commissioner was sworn in. His latest professional position? He had succeeded Van Jones as the head of the revolutionary Marxist Ella Baker Center.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A major smackdown for FHer-care

Tom Blumer at PJ Media says that while Ohio's ballot issue number two, which opened public-sector organized labor back up to collective bargaining, got the lion's share of the lamestream media coverage today, issue three, which hardwires the assertion that no one can be made to buy a product as a condition of citizenship in to Ohio's constitution, was at least as noteworthy, probably more so.

LITD likes this

A coalition of small businesses and trucking-related trade associations is challenging the EPA's greenhouse-gas emissions regulations for trucks.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The dubious-credibility spectre is back to being weighted toward the accuser side

Since last we posted about Herman Cain's sexual-allegation firestorm, two new accusers have come forth. The one making the rounds this morning is apparently turning out to be lazy, whiny and opportunistic and not above ruining people's reputations to ensure her own gravy train.

The fifth accuser seems to fall into the category of a political-correctness policewoman, who is trying to make something unsavory out of a dinner invitation at a business convention in Egypt nine years ago.

We haven't heard so much about campus and workplace speech codes lately, and their expansion to include facial expressions and voice inflections, but that kind of tyrannical micromanaging is clearly still prevalent.

What time is Cain's presser today? I have a lot on the plate, but I'd sure like to tune it in.

The difference between a leader trying to preserve Western civilization and decadent caretakers of nations in steep decline

The live microphone gaffe that caught the MEC and Nicholas Sarkozy bad-mouthing Benjamin Netanyahu speaks volumes about our prospects. I used to think that Sarkozy was a man of principle, particularly in comparison with the MEC, but this episode indicates to me that he has no more sense of what we are about to lose than any of the other clowns who preside over failing Western nation-states.

Would he care to explain what he thinks Netanyahu lies about? Would he care to identify this element of the Palestinian political spectrum that is supposedly cool with Israel's survival as a Jewish state?

The hour is fast approaching when the courageous prime minister of Israel is going to be the last person among Western leaders to make any kind of a substantive move to save the bacon of the whole sorry lot of them . . . the whole sorry lot of us.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The point of no good options

Israel seems to have all but decided to pre-emptively attack Iran's nuclear facilities.

Thirty years of looking the other way, various types of sanctions, and diplomatic overtures have not lessened the danger from the most threatening regime in the world, and now it's crunch time.

Forty years of rot

Brian Calle at the Orange County Register looks at the changes in American culture that really insinuated themselves circa 1970 and, over the years since then, have wrought a government behemoth education complex that is eroding the foundations of our society.