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    Sunday, August 31, 2008

    Brazil Will Build Nuclear Submarine

    The Brazilians are going to build a nuclear submarine, with help from the French. They hope to have it done by 2020, at a cost of $3.5B. Why don't we just build them a decontented Virginia and sell it to them, with a training package, for $3B and take the profits with us?

    Doris Kearns Goodwin is an idiot

    Doris Kearns Goodwin just said on MTP that "Nearly 1 out of 3 vice presidents have actually become president, mostly because of the death or assassination or the resignation of a president."

    • John Tyler succeeded WH Harrison, who died in office
    • Fillmore succeeded Zachary Taylor, who died in office
    • Andrew Johnson succeeded the assassinated Lincoln
    • Chester A Arthur succeeeded Garfield, who died in office
    • McKinley was assassinated and succeeded by TR
    • Silent Cal Coolidge succeeded Harding
    • Truman succeeded FDR, who passed in office
    • Johnson succeeded JFK, who was assassinated
    • Ford succeeded Nixon, who resigned

    So, Doris Kearns Goodwin, that exceptional presidential scholar and master of the obvious makes a statement that VP's succeed presidents on the heels of their death, assassination (isn't this death?), or resignation, then she demonstrates why she wasn't a math major by inflating the number of VP's who have succeeded Presidents for those causes, it's less than 1 in 4, not nearly 1 in 3.

    She's another Democratic partisan hack and always has been.

    Pawlenty on Meet the Press

    I haven't watched MTP in a while, since Russert died. It's amazing how partisan and left-wing Tom Brokaw is.

    Fortunately, today, I am seeing Tim Pawlenty (Republican governor of Minnesota) also for the first time, who is giving it to Brokaw on his questions passed to him this morning by the DNC.

    I would swear that Pawlenty has been reading this blog, since he's giving my answers. I also find Brokaw to be very defensive himself. Pawlenty gave a great defense of he Palin choice, and went on the offensive comparing her to Barack Obama, and pointing out it's the top of the Democratic ticket that has absolutely ZERO foreign policy experience, and began running for President on day one when he entered the Senate. Brokaw also brought up some stupid Liberal talking points (must've also been on the morning Moveon fax) about Intelligent Designand Palin's views on it. I thought Pawlenty gave a reasonable defense and passed his own view that he believes ID. If the Dems think they're going to woo white, suburban women by disparaging their religious views, then I guess they all share Barack's views about those who cling to their religion and guns.

    Brokaw - please, the Economist is an anti-conservative magazine. Don't try to sell it as some kind of right-wing oracle.

    All in all, Pawlenty would have been a good choice as well, and he basically ate Brokaw's lunch.


    McCain on Fox News Sunday

    How McCain should address Palin's lack of foreign policy experience:

    "The top of this ticket will be setting the foreign policy agenda, and I didn't feel the need to choose a VP to improve my foreign policy knowledge."

    When you're comparing the VP choice on one side of the ticket to the Presidential choice on the other side, that Presidential candidate is diminished.


    McCain for Change in Energy Policy

    This is going to be an incredibly long post, and I apologize in advance.

    There's a great discussion going on over at Bubblehead's site following his post on the Palin selection and I encourage all to read it. This post will focus on Obama's and McCain's energy policies, as expressed on their campaign web sites. So let's get to the specifics.

    • Obama wants to enact a windfall profits tax to provide a $1000 rebate to American families. McCain has no analog to this. While I am always in favor of giving the American people more of their money back to them, I am not in favor of taking from one group and redistributing their money to others, even if I'm one of them. How about just reducing our tax burden by $1000? Inasmuch as this will remove money that would have been used for R&D or pulling oil out of the ground, or investing in new technologies, I have a newsflash - oil companies have a responsibility to their shareholders, and they'll deliver on that promise to them by keeping their net income growing - so, they will cut somewhere else to make up for that new tax. So, we'll all get $1000, but we'll get less of something that we really need - energy. Advantage: McCain.
    • Obama will crack down on excessive energy speculation. McCain doesn't advocate this. Since the FCTC allowed much broader rules for oil speculation in 2003, it has soared and much more money is invested in energy speculation. Dick Morris argues passionately that this is one of the biggest problems we have with high oil prices. Of course, this is true as long as speculators are betting that oil prices will go up. We saw recently, when the President lifted the executive ban on offshore drilling what can happen to oil prices driven by speculators. In theory, speculation ought to just reflect what investors see as the future of oil prices. Speculators take risks and are rewarded if they bet right, just as in any market. However, for years prior, there were tighter rules around speculation in oil commodities. I guess I could live with this as part of an approach, but, I don't see it as something that will have any real meaningful impact. Advantage: Neutral
    • Obama will release oil from the strategic petroleum reserve, McCain is silent on it (I assume he wouldn't). Again, I don't have a major problem with this, it's been done by presidents of each party to address short term spikes in oil prices. It could help in a very short term, but, as a long term solution, it's a meaningless feel good measure. Advantage - neutral.
    • Obama will increase CAFE standards 4% per year. McCain supports CAFE, but instead of increasing the standards, he wants to enforce them where automakers can't just pay the penalties for non-compliance, but have to comply, by making the penalties severe. I guess if we believe the automakers can meet the 4%/yr requirement, it's not a rotten approach, but I don't generally support either of these, since I'm against CAFE to begin with. Since both candidates support CAFE, if we're going to have it, let's make it meaningful, and I suppose the 4%/yr requirement is technically feasible, so it would be ok. Beware the law of unintended consequences here, though. If the 4% requirement drives up prices on those new cars so much that they are too expensive to replace an existing car, it could find people holding on to their less economical older cars longer, and would have the ultimate effect of not improving conservation. It will also result in lighter and smaller cars. Do Americans want these? With $4/gal gas, I think there's a market. Advantage: Slight for Obama
    • Obama would get 1M plug-in hybrids on the road by 2015. He claims they will get up to 150MPG. I don't know where that 150MPG figure is coming from. McCain is proposing a $300M prize for for full commercial development of plug-ins and fully electric cars to spur battery development. I actually think McCain's idea more accurately reflects the current state of technology here and is more likely to produce results than Obama's mandate. And, it's much more of a free-market approach. Auto state representatives will resist any mandate, and they're mostly Democrats, so that's a non-starter for Obama. McCain's idea is much more likely to produce results. Advantage: McCain
    • Obama is going to give a $7000 tax credit for purchasing advanced vehicles. He doesn't have any specifics on this. Is this to entice us to buy those plug-in hybrids? Of course, McCain is going to give a $5000 credit for purchasing no-carbon cars. He's going to pro-rate the credit for really low carbon emitters. McCain's credit is lower, but it's going to more purchasers. Advantage: Neutral
    • Obama is going to establish a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard - McCain has no analog to this. If Obama is proposing this to put a national standard in place of the hodgepodge of state laws around oxygenated fuels, then I think this is a good idea and will help refiners to make one standard of fuels. If that's what he means, good idea. Advantage: Obama
    • Obama will place a "use it or lose it" requirement on oil leases - we already have this. I believe oil leases expire after 10 years today. Does he mean to shorten it? Since Democrats all love to tell us it takes 10 years to get oil to market, isn't 10 years the right length? Anyway, meaningless since it's already in place. Advantage: Neutral
    • Obama will "promote the responsible domestic production of oil and natural gas." He says he'll remove barriers to production in fields that are already being exploited. I believe this is good, but it's pablum. McCain is silent on this, but it's so obvious as to not need stating and something Congress could do tomorrow (if they were in session). Advantage: neutral
    • Obama will reduce domestic energy consumption by 15% by 2020. He doesn't say how, but we might be able to reduce the growth in energy requirements, but I don't see us using 15% less without either seriously slowing immigration or somehow cutting population, or a serious change in our lifestyles. Maybe since we'll be providing so much less health care (since it'll be rationed following an Obama administration) we can cut their energy consumption? It's unrealistic. Fortunately, McCain is a realist and doesn't have such a goal. Advantage: McCain
    • Obama will weatherize one million low income homes annually for ten years. Good idea, but how are you going to pay for this? It's a good idea for individuals, but I don't support a government program to do this. We already have tax credits for energy efficient appliances and windows (among other things). Advantage: McCain
    • Obama will develop clean coal technology. McCain will devote $2B annually to this same goal. Obama is short on specifics, but, the goal is the same. Advantage: Neutral
    • Obama will accelerate completion of the Alaskan natural gas pipeline. McCain is for increased production of natural gas, particularly from offshore sources. Again, Obama wants to help get an existing source to market quicker, while McCain is going after new sources, while Obama is silent on this. I think the ANGP sounds like a good idea to speed up, but McCain adds the new sources, so Advantage: McCain
    • Obama wants to institute cap and trade to reduce greenhouse emissions 80% by 2050. See McCain-Lieberman. He's Mr. Cap and Trade. I'm opposed to cap and trade, so, Advantage: Neutral (actually, bad for both)
    • Obama will re-engage the US in the UN's ridiculous UNFCC. McCain's silent on this. There's a reason we voted 98-0 in the senate against Kyoto. The UN is only interested in limits on the West. Advantage: McCain
    • McCain will commit to increased oil exploration from domestic sources. Obama is silent (but has expressed limited willingness to drill). Advantage: McCain
    • McCain wants to increase our sales of Flex Fuel Vehicles from the pledged 50% by 2012, to sooner, in the Brazilian model. Obama is silent. Advantage: McCain
    • McCain believes alcohol based fuels hold great promise and he wants to remove tariffs that prevent us from importing non-corn based alcohol-based fuels, and subsidies that promote the creation of these fuels from corn, vice cellulosic ethanol. If one believes that alcohol based fuels are part of the solution, then one needs to accept that cellulosic fuels are our best hope, not corn-based. McCain's approach would allow us to get these fuels from sources such as Brazil, and ultimately develop them here ourselves, vice subsidize corporate farmers and raise the cost of corn. Obama is silent. Advantage: McCain
    • McCain wants to build 45 new nuclear plants by 2030, eventually building 100 new plants. Now, these are the kinds of high-paying jobs I can get behind. Advantage: McCain
    • McCain wants to make a 10% tax credit for R&D permanent. Obama is silent. Advantage: McCain
    • McCain wants to rationalize the tax credit system that exists for wind, solar, and hydro power. It's a small step, but one Obama is silent on (I expect he wouldn't resist this, though). However, his silence makes it Advantage: McCain.

    All this data was taken directly from the candidates' web sites (except any mention of cap and trade on McCain's site, whichI expect he wants to soft pedal since so many conservatives oppose it). It doesn't take much reading to see that, much like Obama, his plans are short on specifics, while McCain's are detailed enough, and his plan is much, much more comprehensive. Obama is going to rely largely on conservation measures, doesn't talk at all about new domestic sources, and specifies several mandates.

    It's pretty clear that unless you believe the conservation goals Obama sets can be reached, his plan has little chance of reducing our dependence on foreign oil by very much. This is both a supply and demand problem, and Obama really on focuses on demand. If you want a lower standard of living, with reduced energy consumption, Obama's your man. If you want the same, or greater standard of living, with continued growth in the economy, and less greenhouse emissions, then McCain's ideas are superior, and much more of a change to the way we do business today.


    Saturday, August 30, 2008


    In my previous post about the McCain "surprise," I was a whopping 0 for 4 in my predictions. However, happily so.

    Learn a little more about Palin here (h/t: Big Sis).

    The Obama camp was quick out of the gate to blast Palin for her inexperience in foreign affairs. Well, Obamaniacs, Palin isn't being chosen for her expertise in foreign policy (unlike Joe Biden). I think John McCain has plenty of experience here, and has plenty of successful things to talk about in his foreign policy views. Plus, every time the Obama camp tries to emphasize Palin's relative inexperience (in foreign policy to Biden/McCain), they are going to be emphasizing also their own standard bearer's lightness of being here, and that's something they don't want to do.

    Anyway, what has Palin got over Obama/Biden in spades:
    1. She has executive experience and is the only candidate among the four who has this (though, I believe McCain's military command as a Captain is pretty good executive experience, too, and more than either Obama or Biden has)
    2. She has actually fought for reform, and against her own party, something she shares with McCain, and for which there is absolutely no analog among Obama or Biden.
    3. Did I mention she's a woman?

    Friday, August 29, 2008

    CSS Hunley Replica Tour

    The full-size CSS Hunley replica is touring California. September 5-7, it will be at the Benicia Historical Museum in Benicia, Ca, Sept. 12-15 it will be stopping in Nevada City, California. I tried searching for information about this tour without luck. If you have any, please send it along.

    Update 8/30:
    The Hunley replica is in Virginia City, Nevada this weekend. Excellent article here. Still looking for details about this exhibit's schedule!

    Visit the Hunley web site.

    Thursday, August 28, 2008

    Comcast Sucks

    Ok, I am going to take a break from Obama/Democrat bashing to bash one of my favorite targets, the horribly run and disgusting company known as Comcast.

    They have finally made it official. If you're a Comcrap customer and are seriously addicted to Internet file sharing (and you'd have to be to transfer 250Gb/month), you're getting cut off.

    Hey, guess what, there are other ISP's still out there. Go get one and run as far away from Comcast as you can.

    Exciting McCain Stuff Tonight

    Drudge is reporting some pretty exciting stuff in the McCain campaign that is going to happen tonight as the Obamamessiah delivers his acceptance speech. It is said he will directly address Obama. Drudge is also threatening to leak the McCain VP announcement around 6PM.

    There's much speculation, but here are my ideas:
    • He will challenge Obama directly to a series of joint town hall meetings to begin immediately after the GOP convention.
    • He will choose Joe Lieberman as his running mate (who will switch to be pro-life), and he will challenge Obama to similarly show he is willing to risk his base by pledging to work in a truly bipartisan basis to tackle some of the pressing problems of our generation, particularly tackling health care and entitlement reform.
    • We will make some reference to the success of the surge and Obama's continued denial of its success.
    • He will bring up Obama's refusal to accept federal matching dollars for the campaign
    I am going to have to say that I am pleased with the way McCain's camp has run the campaign the last couple weeks. As an underdog, McCain has run a kind of guerilla campaign that I have never witnessed. Maybe because I watch Fox, I see the McCain ads every night, and we hear about him every night, but this year, it seems the McCain camp has been really pushing cloudying the message coming out of the DNC. Of course, it helps that the DNC has no message, and that no one is watching it anyway.

    Let me also say something about Lieberman. He is the only pro-choice VP choice that I can live with for McCain. I personally love Lieberman, and I think his pro-choice stance is a necessity that he was forced to adopt when he decided to be a Dem. I wouldn't be surprised, if selected, to hear him actually come out and say that and that personall he is opposed to abortion and he can get behind policies and support judges who will overturn Roe.

    Wouldn't it be refreshing to see the Presidential candidate and the VP candidate actually speaking their minds and being honest, rather than pulling the wool over our eyes as the Dems are going to try to do.

    Hey Romney evolved on abortion, how about Joe going back to his roots?

    Doc riles me again

    I'm going to point my readers to this post over at Doc MacDonald's blog. I freely admit I have personal problems with Doc's Objectivist anti-religious scribes. Sure, Ayn Rand was an atheist, but you don't have to hold any kind of religious view to know that we can, and should, and have an obligation to be able to draw a line somewhere to define when life begins.

    I appreciate that Doc and other Objectivists hold and express these opinions, however wrong I believe they may be. I appreciate the purity of thought that this reasoning displays. And, we need a debate about this in this country, because Roe cut that debate off.

    Unfortunately for Objectivist, Western Civilization and this country were not founded on Objectivist principles, they were founded and evolved largely on Judeo-Christian principles, and Western society has succeeded quite well under those principles for 100's of years. We do need thinkers like these, because we share a common belief in limited government, both in its use of our tax dollars, and in its ultimate intrusion in our lives and on our liberties, but, conservatives find a rightful place for government intervention in enforcing some of the basic tenets of human rights, as stated in the Declaration of Independence that among these are the right to life, one of those inalienable rights endowed to us by our Creator. I would like to frame this argument as a technical one over when does that life begin, and how do we balance that right with the same rights (not less, not more) held by the mother.

    Unfortunately, Roe is a horribly reasoned piece of jurisprudence that doesn't really help draw that line, instead it really draws no lines, leaving us in a position where the "right" to abortion, or, as Doc would euphemize it, the "right to self-determination," is whatever the mother declares it to be. Doc posits that somehow, Laura Ingraham and others of her ilk, from conception forward, want to confer more rights on the baby (or "clump of cells" to use their phraseology) than on the mother. This is a patently false statement. We want to confer equal rights on the mother and on that "clump of cells." This is clearly not an easy or pleasant task for anyone, but amongst reasonable people, we can agree that mothers that find themselves in this situation as a result of some act beyond their control (rape, incest, a credible threat to the mother's life) should be able to avail themselves of abortion technology. Only the most ideological would argue against that, and in a national debate, I think they'd find it very tough going selling that argument. So, while we might be disappointed that not ALL life could be protected, regardless of its genesis, again, reasonable people would likely have to accept some compromise to reach national consensus, because, yes, the mother does have rights, too.

    The problem is that abortion has come to be a favored method of birth control, of rolling back the clock, to somehow allow the mother to "regain control of her own existence." I just find this argument extremely uncompelling. Except in the unusual and rare instances above, women in today's sexed-obsessed society know that pregnancy is a risk of intercourse. In case no one's looked, they're teaching sex ed before kids reach puberty these days. In my opinion, and I think it's quite reasonable, the decision about "control of her own existence" was already made at the time of the act.

    Doc's post elevates "self-determination" to the highest level of concern, and, I guess, on re-reading, and understanding a little of Ayn Rand's Objectivist philosophy, I can see where Objectivists, being ideologically pure, would actually support abortion up until the moment a child is born, maybe beyond (which you can see, I am attempting to draw out of Doc in my reply to him). After all, at what point is a human actually capable of really considering their right to "self-determination?" Are we born with it? Or, do we learn it? If the latter, at what point does one become truly capable of making self-determinant decisions? I mean if a Down's Syndrome child, or a child born with some horrible birth defect or illness, or even into seemingly downtrodden and hopeless circumstances can't make their own decisions about self-determination, why shouldn't their parent, or even the state make the decision of whether they should live? Or, how about a panel of Objectivists, they seem to be doing a higher level of thinking than the rest of the proletariat?

    This "mystic" can't convince atheists of the existence of God. They can't touch Him, or feel Him, or see any objective evidence (despite it being all around them), so, therefore, He doesn't exist, and we're all derided as "mystics" who want to deprive women of their rights to correct their mistakes through a specious right to self-determination which legalizes abortion on demand and send them to back rooms where they will be butchered (trust me, if we overturned Roe tomorrow, that would not happen, and to think otherwise demonstrates a massive misunderstanding of the ruling).

    About Doc's slippery-slope argument about masturbation and gay sex and condom use - it's easy to use extreme arguments to prove a point, but the fact that extreme arguments have to be used to prove the point should tell you something about the point being made. This part of his post is just meant to be sensational. Read it though, it's interesting.

    To the kinds of people that rail at the legislation of morality, I posted on this days ago. That train long ago left the station.

    If anyone's reading, feel free to chime in.

    Mississippi named

    I know it's old news, but it's nice to see another Southern state get a submarine named after it, with the newest Virginia class being named USS Mississippi.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008

    McCain Camp Reads this blog, evidence herein

    Sunday, I gave the McCain campaign advice on how to deal with the "homes" issue.

    Last night, they took my advice.

    Also last night, did anyone notice Barack Obama, who doesn't know how many states there are (57?) also didn't know whether he was in Kansas City or St. Louis? But, hey, it's a long campaign, we're prone to mistakes.

    Can we afford these mistakes in the White House?

    Obama hates the first amendment...

    Once again, Democrats are showing their hatred not just of the Second amendment of our Constitution, but also of the First.

    Barack Obama's campaign is trying to block the American Issues Project (a 501c4 organization, just like Moveon.org) from running the ad below that calls into question his relationship with unrepentant Weather Underground murderer and bomber, William Ayers, whose home and hospitality was used by Barack Obama in 1995 for a meet and greet for the up and coming Obama and Chicago area intellectuals.


    The Obama campaign, in a letter to radio and TV stations, said, "Your station is committed to operating in the public interest, an objective that cannot be satisfied by accepting for compensation material of such malicious falsity."

    To the Obama campaign, what specifically is false in this ad? I have viewed the ad, and it merely states known, given facts. To any of my readers who support Obama, please specify the falsity in this ad?

    Obama campaign attorney Bauer also wrote to Deputy Assistant Attorney General John C. Keeney, noting that the ad is a "knowing and willful attempt to evade the strictures of federal election law."

    I'd like to know, also, Obamaniacs, what stricture of federal election law this ad is knowingly and willfully violating. Apparently, so would Mr. Bauer, since he fails to point that out.

    Finally, while the McCain campaign can legally have no coordination with the American Issues Project (just as the Obama campaign can have none with Moveon), that didn't stop them from accusing McCain of trying to further this link, in an Obama attack ad, they say, "With all our problems, why is John McCain talking about the 60s, trying to link Barack Obama to radical Bill Ayers. McCain knows Obama denounced Ayers' crimes, committed when Obama was just 8 years old." As though the fact that Barack was only 8 when Ayers was killing somehow absolves him. Geez, if Joe Biden gets to be a Pennsylvanian because he lived there until he was 11, then Barack Obama should have known something about Bill Ayers when he was 8.

    I hate to keep harping on this, but if the Obama camp is going to continue to use his youth as an excuse for why he did stupid things (or why we should dismiss them as things "of the past"), let me remind all that while Bill Ayers was blowing up or plotting to blow up the Pentagon, NYC PD, and the Capital, and Barack Obama was learning to divide, Joe Biden was cavorting around some college campus somewhere, and John McCain was in his second year at the Hanoi Hilton.

    Who would you trust to lead your country?

    Monday, August 25, 2008

    Michelle, ma belle...

    Tonight, Michelle Obama will introduce the world (ok, America, since the world has already had its introduction) to Barack Obama. Swell.

    And, no, I have no intention of listening to the speech (unless I can catch it on my ipod while I work out!), I'll just let the media (well, Fox) tell me what gaffes she says.

    I previously posted about Michelle's being open to scrutiny, and how Barack's desire to have everyone "lay off" his wife, needs to be ignored, since she is being made a centerpiece of his campaign. We've all by now heard her thoughts about pride in her country and hopefully, tonight, will represent another episode of "real" pride.

    I wonder how much Michelle's lack of pride in America is driven by the fact that, apparently, Barack and a white girlfriend were very much in love long ago (Dreams from My Father), but he could not find his way to marry her because she was white?

    It might be interesting.

    Sunday, August 24, 2008

    McCain and homes...

    What McCain should have said about how many homes he owns:

    "I spent a few years in a place that made me appreciate my home, this country, and my family. And, yes, I was fortunate enough to marry a woman who's family provides a product people enjoy (beer!), and that has enabled us to maintain several homes for ourselves and our children. I won't apologize for my own success or the success of Cindy's family. I wish the same for everyone in this country."

    Or something like that.

    Friday, August 22, 2008

    Joe Biden, the Clinton's choice...

    According to PMSNBC, Va Gov Kaine, and Indiana Senator Bayh have been told they are not Obama's choice for VP.

    If you believe the press, that leaves Joe Biden (Sen, DE) as the remaining top candidate.

    Why Biden?

    The guy who wanted to break Iraq up into three partitions (instead of win the war and keep the country united) is thought of (by Democrats) as a foreign policy guru who will lend sufficient gravitas (a la Dick Cheney) to the neophyte Obamamessiah's candidacy.

    I guess otherwise, he's pretty much a standard fare Democrat liberal. We can likely count on him saying some stupid stuff during the campaign season. He's got diarrhea of the mouth, and has some tendencies to spout racist things. He's certainly not an outsider, and doesn't represent any kind of real change. Plus, during the primary season, he had some less than flattering things to say about the Obamamessiah,
    • "Having talking points on foreign policy doesn't get you there."
    • "I think he can be ready, but right now I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training."
    • “Barack Obama hasn’t passed any [bills]." (Note - when Biden said this in December 2007, it was actually false, Obama did get one bill passed)
    • “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." (Biden later apologized for this statement)
    • Biden wonders whether Americans will elect “a one-term, a guy who has served for four years in the Senate,” and added “I don’t recall hearing a word from Barack about a plan or a tactic.”
    • In August 2007, the Biden campaign said in a statement that Obama had belatedly arrived at “a number of Senator Biden’s long-held views on combating Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Much of what Senator Obama has proposed Senator Biden has already initiated or accomplished.”
    Anyway, those are just what you find in the first 20 minutes of research.

    But, I think there is something more sinister in this nomination, and it has to do with...The Clintons.

    If Obama is elected, the VP normally would become the likely frontrunner for the nomination. Hillary has to be thinking that if Obama is lucky enough to serve 8 years, the VP will then by 73, and probably too old to run for president. She'll still be relatively young, and can be the frontrunner again. Of course, with Biden as the VP choice, and Obama's continued free fall in the polls, if he's not elected, he's revealed as a weak candidate in the most democratic of years, and she takes the reins. Both Obama and Biden are hurt in that case. And, of course, if he proves to be a rotten president, in 4 years, Hillary mounts a save the party campaign to replace him as the Dem nominee.

    I'm telling you, Biden is the Clinton's choice. They do not want a Bayh, Kaine, or Sebelius raised to the level of national prominence.

    Full Post

    Boomers eligible for VFW

    Today I learned that all those deterrent patrols were good for something, membership in the VFW. If you likewise qualify and want to join, go to the VFW's web site.

    Wednesday, August 20, 2008

    Legislating Morality. What's the Problem?

    I have friends on the left who always rail against the "Religious Right" or "Fundamentalists" or "Religious Fanatics" and how they want to "legislate morality."

    Today, on The Regular Guys show, someone called in to their FU line (you know what it means) and railed that if the republicans won the White House, our women would all be wearing Burkhas (I thought that was one of the things women no longer need to do in Afghanistan, thanks to a Republican war?). And, the Left wants to call us dirt ignorant!

    I don't really get this irrational fear of "Fundamentalist" Christians. Is it that a single Supreme Court justice stands in the way of these supposed nuts and all your freedoms, or is it that the left is just paranoid? I don't know.

    Anyway, what they used to mean was they were scared that if conservative republican presidents continued to get elected, the national "right" to abortion (usually defined as abortion on demand, as codified in Roe) would be repealed and states would have to enact their own laws regarding abortion. They like to use the argument that the government shouldn't tell women what they can do with "their" bodies, even though the government already tells us plenty of things we can't do with or to our bodies - things like stuff them full of illegal drugs, sell them for sex, heck, if the Left had their way, you wouldn't be allowed to ingest cigarette or cigar smoke, or trans fats. The right has no monopoly on telling people what they can do with their bodies.

    I'm not going to take the Libertarian view that we should be allowed to do anything we want to ourselves, sometimes moderated by Libertarians with the caveat, "as long as it doesn't harm anyone else."

    Instead, my view is that the "You can't tell us what to do with our bodies" ship has sailed. We've already crossed that line, and for good reason. What we do with our bodies in large measure effects society as a whole, sometimes in macro ways (the costs of addiction, the impact to our children, the health costs borne by society), and sometimes in personal, micro ways (the same, just at the personal level). I think these effects give us plenty of good reasons to debate legislation.

    If you agree with me that it is appropriate for us to "legislate morality," or, at the very least, debate the legislation of morality, then we should seek to legislate as we always should, at the level closest to the legislated. We have 50 states and thousands of municipalities, which offer thousands of places to experiment with laws to test their effectiveness, and thousands of places from which to have debates about the merits of those laws.

    In our Federalist model, we have a Constitution which guides us on when to elevate those laws to the federal level. I, for one, wish we would return to our Federalist roots. Big issues like abortion, need to be debated. In 1973, Roe closed that debate by elevating a mystical right to "privacy" to something in the Constitution. All else since then has been steady chipping away at that right. For the right, it's a similar tactic to what the Left used to use succesfully with gun laws and the second amendment. Of course, the big difference here is the Constitution actually gives guidance on guns, while abortion, or even privacy, is not mentioned in the Constitution.

    So, where do I stand on "legislating morality?"

    I stand with the people. If we the people decide, through our elected representatives, to legislate morality, then so be it. That's the way our system works. Unfortunately, in too many cases, courts are creating rights out of whole cloth to legislate their own version of morality.

    I don't care if you're Left or Right, wouldn't you rather give voice to your positions, have them debated, and let the chips fall where they may?

    Immigration and dirt poor ignoramouses

    David over at ramblinboy has a post that I agree with part of and disagree with another part of (like many of his posts, it presents some interesting thoughts, then becomes polemic).

    The part I agree with (sort of):
    "Hispanics are here to stay. They work hard. They are naturally conservative, politically. They appreciate a stable, safe society. They don't really mind if it's not particularly democratic. They don't mind if the rich get richer. They don't mind if it's a police state. Best of all, they are Christian and a large number are even observant, unlike most Americans that identify as Christians. Moving the Hispanic vote into their party, should be the number one priority of the Republicans. It would guarantee them political ascendancy for generations to come."

    I don't think Hispanics are ok with a non-democratic police state, and I refute the implied argument that only "the rich" get "richer" (the poor get rich, too, after working hard or exercising their natural mental acuity,or in the case of athletes, their physical prowess), but, the rest of this is true, and leads one to need to consider that this nation needs to figure out a way to welcome the large number of immigrants we need for our economy, while respecting the territorial integrity of our borders.

    To ramblinboy, I suggest that many on the right get this, but, we're wary of past efforts that promised an orderly immigration process, then reneged on that promise. Like many things our government has promised, that was botched, and we're tired of it. I think McCain heard that loud and clear last year, and he's not a nativist, as many on the right are. It is certainly true that most of our immigrants from South of the border are conservative (90% Catholic, and practicing, indeed), work hard, and inclined to be Republicans. The GOP is best positioned to both satisfy the people who already live here and obey our laws (us), and those we need to bring here, while all the Democrats offer is more unlimited illegal immigration, in the hopes of buying votes, while still satisfying their wealthier constituents (the farm lobby mostly).

    It's interesting to me that two of the blocs that most reliably support Dems are those most likely to be hurt by the continued influx - blacks and union members.

    Now, I disagree with this part:
    "The problem is that the majority of their [the GOP's] coalition are black dirt ignorant, ethnocentric racist, sexist, scum..."

    You might win that argument by saying that "some" of their coalition fit that mold, and I might also argue that black dirt ignorant, ethonocentric racist, sexist, scum need to vote for somebody.

    But, when you make the assertion that it's a majority, I have to say, "Huh????"

    W won in 2004 (I'll use the last national election as it's the best data we have) by 3 million votes, and he didn't win a majority in the portions of the electorate where you might think that black dirt ignorant people come from. Kerry won a majority of those making between $15k and $50k. Bush doesn't pick up majorities until we get to the $50-$75k bracket, where he took 56% of the vote. I don't know, maybe a lot of "black dirt ignorant" people are able to pull down $50k/year. Somehow, I think not. Interestingly, Bush's majority is greatest in the >$200k bracket, where he won 63%. Maybe he won all the black dirt ignorant (but no longer poor) lottery winners??

    Looking at education, Kerry won the non-HS crowd (barely) and Bush carried the HS and college demos. Only until you get to the post-graduate group does Kerry win again. Surprise, surprise.

    So, I don't think there's any way to really defend that statement. Lots more interesting info here.

    Tuesday, August 19, 2008

    Obama Wife Fair Game?

    Remember when Barack Obama told the GOP to "lay off my wife?"

    Maybe he really only meant to "lay off" her when she said something stupid that required one of the Obama campaign's many clarifications, but, I got the sense he felt criticism of her was off-limits, as he was going to be the nominee, not her.

    Meanwhile, at the Saddleback forum, his wife was number one on his list for people he'd go to for advice, followed closely by his grandmother, who we know he thinks is a racist.

    So, if we're not to look into the backgrounds of these people and scrutinize them and their views, then let's have Obama stop going to them for advice.

    I think they're fair game, especially as he continues to inject them into the process.

    Sunday, August 17, 2008

    Why we need to create real requirements for voting

    With the political season about to enter its final, full swing, it's time I started laying out my case against Barack Obama.

    Today's entry was prompted by something I heard on Sean Hannity's radio show during his "man on the street" session this past Thursday. During it, Sean interviews people on the streets of New York, and you get a real feel for just why we really need poll taxes, or a competency test to allow people to vote. Honestly, I, and likely anyone who encounters this post, spend quite a bit of time staying informed on issues, and have formed opinions of my own, based on my personal political philosophy. I really don't like my vote being canceled out by idiots.

    I am frustrated at some people who are supporting Obama, and are willing to vote for a man and a party, who openly are trying to hurt them. If you believe we all vote in our own self-interest, you have to wonder what these people are smoking, or if they are just willing dupes....

    In the recent segment, Hannity spoke to a reasonably intelligent sounding 22 year old recent graduate who, when pressed, stated as her reason for voting for Obama, that he is going to "end this war" and bring our troops home immediately. Clearly, by "this war" she was referring to Iraq, where she has undoubtably heard some of the constant drumbeat by the Obamedia the last three years that it is not going well, and is, of course, all about oil, and Bush's cronies in the oil business. She may, in fact, even know people who are there. But, does she know that it is but one front on the war on terror, and that it is being won, in large part due to a strategy championed by the Obamessiah's opponent, John McCain? A strategy that coupled with recent strides taken by the Iraqis themselves, will lead to the return of most of our troops, and a functioning democracy in the Middle East.

    Now, let's face it, anyone who has listened to Obama lately, or has a dint of sense about how we are going to get out of Iraq, knows that the troops are not coming home immediately. Even Obama has only spoken of a 16 month timetable, in between his flopping around and leaving wiggle room for "conditions on the ground." Plus, he would be a certain one term president if he precipitously brought the troops home and Iraq became a royal mess, and required him, Obama, to resend troops back there.

    Plus, this particular person, and, I believe, most of the 18-25 year olds who want their friends home, don't care whether their friends are in Iraq or Afghanistan or Sudan or South Korea. They only care that they are overseas, fighting a war, risking their lives, and they won't be happy when Obama commits some of those troops currently in Iraq, to Afghanistan, where Obama has agreed that we need to increase troop levels to bring order back to that particular front on the war on terror.

    If these people actually thought about this issue, they would understand that we must win both these battles, and that it will continue to cost precious national treasure. They would also understand that we are now winning in Iraq, that we are on the path to turn the country over to the Iraqis, but that we have more work to do in Afghanistan, and that conflict is going to be bloody for a while, before we're able to leave there as well.

    Not even the Obamessiah, backed by the Obamedia, is going to be able to pull the wool over their eyes on that.

    Friday, August 15, 2008

    Sunday, August 10, 2008

    Submarine tech gets into everyday life

    Remember the space program? Yes, it provided all sorts of great spin-off technologies, teflon, velcro, satellites for everything, increased computing power, etc.

    Now, the submarine world can add something of value. A chair that uses technology from reloading torpedoes. When you look at this chair, you'll ask, "Why?"

    But, nice to see we can reuse some of the stuff that goes into our boats in commercial applications.

    Does anyone know of any other developed for submarine technologies that have made their way into everyday use?

    Full Post

    Wednesday, August 6, 2008

    South African Submarine Force Sets New Record...

    Seems the South African navy is having to dodge some reports that their submarines, purchased from the Germans, are POS's, while their president is accused of accepting bribes from his German supplier. At the same time, have they set some kind of deep submergence record?

    I report, you decide.

    Friday, August 1, 2008

    Global Warming, More Lies Debunked

    Bothenook has an important post today on global warming, and how it is pseudo-science, with a great discussion of this article by Christopher Monkton. These are both required reading for those opposed to the drastic changes being considered by the Left to combat non-existing global warming.