Thursday, April 26, 2007

Jim Jones -- Marxist, Democratic official, murderer

This is the same colum linked in the previous post. So much interesting stuff in there, it deserved two headlines.

Remember the MSM telling you all this about Jim Jones? Nah, that would implicate marxism and the Democratic party. Better to write him off as a religious wacko.

How many blacks died at Waco assault?

Jack Cashill has details the MSM will never let you know.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The law of unintended consequences

.. or "there is no such thing as a free lunch."

Halberstam's folly

It is sad that David Halberstam died in an auto accident the other day. It is even sadder that his reporting on Vietnam was as faulty as it was. And perhaps saddest of all is that, despite the massive evidence to the contrary, he never re-evaluated the erroneous conclusions that he had reached about the war. America is much the worse for his folly.

Mark Moyar has written a book about how wrong Halberstam's reporting was and how much damage it caused. Here is an opinion piece with a short summary of his book.

Halberstam's Vietnamese interpreter turned out to be a colonel in North Vietnam's intelligence service. When Halberstam was informed of this years later, he wasn't bothered by the news. One has to wonder how much the spy was able to use Halberstam to place misinformation in the NY Times and how much Halberstam got wrong on his own.

One of the standard talking points employed by anti-war activists was that the war in Vietnam was a war of liberation from colonialism which was supported by the South Vietnamese peasants. While the communists in the North hoped it was true, their Tet offensive, which depended on local uprisings to join them, was smashed when the people did not. Several years later, John Kerry's testimony to the Senate repeated the obviously false claim. Kerry claimed that only the elite, upper class people in South Vietnam were interested in the survival of the South and only a few thousand would be required to flee if the North conquered the country.

Kerry was wrong, of course. Millions died and even more were tortured and repressed.

Somehow, decades later, Halberstam still clung to the notion that Vietnam was really just a war of independence. How he could do so, in light of what happened following the fall of Saigon, causes one to wonder at his ability to comprehend.

Friday, April 20, 2007

There is none so blind ...

as a liberal who is immune to the lessons of history and unwilling to be constrained by rational logic. Here is a good example of senseless ranting against trade.

Today, with Iraq, we hear an endless repetition of the same flawed predictions we heard before pulling out of Vietnam. It is hard to imagine anyone being more wrong, with more devastating results, than liberals like John Kerry were about Vietnam. Yet, still today they are convinced that they were right. The millions dead and millions more subjected to repression and torture that resulted because Kerry's prescription was followed are simply rendered non-people -- airbrushed out of the history taught by PC liberals.

NY Times -- "a cesspool of wrong and vicious ideas"

Don Luskin links to a great job exposing the unintentional humor of the Times. A summary:
"Such is the intellectual and moral state of The New York Times, a veritable cesspool of wrong and vicious ideas serving day in and day out to poison the minds of its readers against the capitalist economic system and economic freedom."

We are all foot soldiers for civilization

ESPN on Davidson hoops

ESPN's Andy Katz has now listed Davidson as likely to be ranked nationally as a top 25 team in the preseason next fall. Yesterday, ESPN's Andy Glockner had a long story explaining that major powers were making a mistake not playing teams like Davidson:
Quick: Name the best "RPI opponent" in the country last season.

Ohio State was atop the RPI at the end of the regular season, but the Buckeyes didn't provide the best bang for your RPI buck. Neither did Memphis, Florida, UCLA, Kansas, Wisconsin or North Carolina, even though all six of those elite programs also finished in the top 11 in the RPI. Why? Because all those teams were very likely to beat you, negating some of the benefit their strong win/loss records and strengths of schedule provided for your RPI.

As your own winning percentage is 25 percent of your RPI, you must add relative "beatability" into the equation. When you do, the answer probably will surprise you: It's Davidson. In addition to finishing the regular season with a 25-4 Division I record, the Wildcats' overall schedule (including games in the underrated Southern Conference, which ended up 19th of the 31 conferences in RPI) was strong enough to give the Wildcats the 10th-best combination of winning percentage and SOS in the country (measured with winning percentage being worth twice as much as SOS, per the RPI formula). Now weigh the fact that most Top 25 teams would be strongly favored over Davidson at home, and it's a no-brainer.

Of course, as the Cats showed in the NCAA tourney when we were beating Maryland by 8 in the second half, actually beating us is no easy feat.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Broadcasters proud of Katrina coverage

Hugh Hewitt spoke at a broadcasters convention. Apparently, they think that their coverage of Katrina's aftermath in New Orleans was one of their finest hours. As has been pointed out before, they got just about everything wrong in their coverage. Pretty much tells you all you need to know about the MSM.

For all the media myths see the Popular Mechanics cover story of March 2006 (having trouble linking).

Just a reminder

Remember how Ron Brown died:
Eleven years ago tomorrow, a United States Air Force plane carrying the body of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and those of 32 other Americans left Croatia for Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

The 33 Americans had died, not all of them immediately, when their U.S. Air Force aircraft crashed "inexplicably" into a mountainside less than two miles from the Cilipi Airport near Dubrovnik.

An hour after the plane departed, and a day before the Air Force was to question him, Croatian Niko Jerkuic, the man responsible for the Cilipi Airport's navigation system, showed up dead with a bullet hole through his chest. Authorities claimed suicide.

The next day, Easter Sunday that year, an Armed Forces Institute of Pathology forensic photographer, U.S. Navy CPO Kathleen Janoski, mounted a stepladder at the Dover mortuary and began to shoot Ron Brown's body.

"Wow," said Janoski upon spotting a circular indentation in Brown's skull, "that looks like a bullet hole."

The pathologists who heard her cry and heeded it would soon enough wish they hadn't. It would cost them and Janoski their careers.

"Political" Science

Most readers here are familiar with the extraordinary demonization of
Bjorn Lomborg by the scientific community following the publication of his book documenting the dishonesty of the environmental litany. Jack Cashill describes how a scientist has been demonized at the Smithsonian simply because he agreed to publish a paper in the magazine he edits. The article, carefully peer-reviewed, argued that evolution failed to adequately explain the origin of certain species.

One obvious reason for Sternberg's special treatment was what the House Report describes as "a general anti-religious culture existing at the Museum." Once the Meyer article was published, Coddington and others began to probe into Sternberg's background, asking around to see if he were a closeted "religious fundamentalist" or, God forbid, a "Republican."

In an e-mail of solidarity sent to Coddington, Research Associate Sue Richardson openly complained about her own unhappy tenure in the "Bible Belt." Wrote Richardson, "The most fun we had by far was when my son refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance because of the 'under dog' part."

The House report asks rhetorically, "Would similar expressions of disparagement have been tolerated by Smithsonian officials if directed at a racial minority?" That answer is obvious. A more pointed question would be whether Smithsonian officials would have tolerated comparable comments about Muslims or even Jews. That answer is obvious, too.

No room for religion or Republicans in science.

How could she write that with a straight face?

Justice Ginsberg wrote this in the partial birth abortion case:
As the Court wrote in Casey, “overruling Roe’s central holding would not only reach an unjustifiable result under principles of stare decisis, but would seriously weaken the Court’s capacity to exercise the judicial power and to function as the Supreme Court of a Nation dedicated to the rule of law.” 505 U. S., at 865. “[T]he very concept of the rule of law underlying our own Constitution requires such continuity over time that a respect for precedent is, by definition, indispensable.” Id., at 854. See also id., at 867 (“[T]o overrule under fire in the absence of the most compelling reason to reexamine a watershed decision would subvert the Court’s legitimacy beyond any serious question.”).

Though today’s opinion does not go so far as to discard Roe or Casey, the Court, differently composed than it was when we last considered a restrictive abortion regulation, is hardly faithful to our earlier invocations of “the rule of law” and the “principles of stare decisis.” ... A decision so at odds with our jurisprudence should not have staying power.

You gotta be kiddin' me.

The most liberal justice on the Court, comfortable with some of the most extraordinary precedent-shattering decisions imaginable, is trying to claim that precedents shouldn't be overturned. Dan gets it perfectly, "stare decisis is treated as a one-way street."

Liberal decisions which overturn conservative legal doctrines are good. Conservative decisions which overturn liberal legal doctrines are unconscionable. Brilliant!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Mortgage defaults reach levels of Clinton years

Econopundit notes that in California:
Mortgage lenders filed 46,760 notices of default from January through March, marking an increase of 23.1 percent from the previous quarter and 148 percent from the year-earlier period, according to a report by DataQuick Information Systems, a real estate information service.

The first quarter's default level was the highest for the most populous U.S. state since the second quarter of 1997.

Things are as bad as during the Clinton years.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Milton vs. Hillary

Do you believe in freedom or not? One example:
"The unfettered free market has been the most radically destructive force in American life in the last generation."

-- First Lady Hillary Clinton on C-Span in 1996 stating her troubles
with the free market

"What most people really object to when they object to a free market is that it is so hard for them to shape it to their own will. The market gives people what the people want instead of what other people think they ought to want. At the bottom of many criticisms of the market economy is really lack of belief in freedom itself."

-- Milton Friedman, Wall Street Journal, May 18, 1961

History lesson, courtesy of George McGovern

Thomas Lifson reminds us of what happens when we let liberals run foreign policy. Read it all.

Liberals celebrate their roles in causing death, misery and poverty

Rachel Carson's birthday is being used to celebrate the impact of environmentalism around the world. I saw a flyer at my local library inviting people to come to a celebration of her life.

What will the lefties be celebrating? Thirty million dead, billions of people living lifes of suffering and abject poverty.

All over the Western World well-meaning, but misguided, souls marked that day with choruses of praise for the woman who almost singly-handed created the modern environmental movement. Her book, Silent Spring, warned us that man-made pesticides would kill our kids with cancer and eliminate our wild birds.

Rachel Carson’s major impact on the planet has been to discourage the use of a safe, cheap pesticide called DDT to suppress disease-bearing mosquitoes. North America and Europe used DDT to eradicate malaria. After our children were safe, we told the Third World not to use it because it might harm their bird populations.

The absence of DDT has led to the needless deaths of at least 30 million people from malaria and yellow fever in the tropics. (Five times as many as Hitler killed in his concentrations death camps, albeit inadvertently). Most of them were helpless African children. In addition, malaria has been allowed to blight the lives of perhaps 1 billion chronic malaria sufferers, who are too often unable to work and further erode economic resources by requiring family nursing care. The millions of malaria cases in the tropics may, just by themselves, explain half of the poverty and human degradation on the planet today.

"Don't feel sorry for Dukies" -- Liberal reaction

Liberal attitudes in the MSM.

Reminder of the ecology tax you pay at the pump and grocery

Much of the increase in higher prices is due to Congress' subsidy of ethanol. IBD explains.

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson

Lori Byrd discusses another of the bizarre consequences that result from the corruption and incompetence of the MSM -- Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson being presented as arbiters of right and wrong. It certainly has to hurt the cause of blacks in the USA that these two corrupt bozos are always trotted out by the MSM to speak on behalf of an entire race.

Nazis, Commies, Liberals

Not a lot of difference. Lockstep thinking and a fervent belief in the cause above all else. Here's more.

Imus and Rutgers

I could care less about Imus. If a liberal gets himself fired from his radio show, fine. I think it is a shame that the coach and athletic director at Rutgers allowed their players to make fools of themselves. Baseball Crank summarizes the situation very well. Paul at Powerline rounds up a number of similar takes on the issue.

The coming Real Estate boom in 2012

Congress is about to screw up the economy big time, if Democrats succeed with plans to raise taxes on capital gains and dividends. Here is an analysis which seems right on:
Hundreds if not thousands of company's will be recapitalizing in 2009, paying out huge special dividends just before the dividend tax rate goes up. Many will lever up and many will cease dividends altogether post 2010 and use the cash flow to reduce the debt, in essence pulling profits forward in time to give their shareholders cash at the 15% rate and reduce the level of future profits that would be subject to higher rates of taxation. Imagine that, receiving your little slice of US corporate profitability for years 2011-2015 in 2010, cash money! The implications for the Treasury are that there will be a surge of revenue in 2010 and a cratering of revenue beyond. Private equity types are doing this already. When the outlook for capital gains is cloudy (or even when it is not) they sell bonds to pay themselves a fat dividend. As 2010 approaches, everybody will be getting in on this game. You've got to own stocks to get your share of the cash tsunami but massive capital losses would be in the offing. Start learning now about buying long dated puts on the market indices and/or selling calls.

Furthermore, congress will interpret the revenue surge as a permanent increase in the tax base, and they will rapidly increase spending. The post 2010 federal budget deficits could be huge when the tax receipts dry up. With guys like Max Baucus at the wheel, I say it's a safe bet. Won't be good for treasuries.

With treasuries and stocks looking bad, usually what happens is capital flows to real estate (think 2002). I think it is fair to say that 2011 is far enough away for the collective memory of where we are today with real estate to have faded by then. I predict another real estate boom circa 2012.

Remember when they wanted you to increase greenhouse gases?

In the 70s, the ecology wackos were predicting that we were doomed by global cooling. But curiously, they weren't encouraging people to increase greenhouse gases as a way to heat up the atmosphere. Don Luskin points us to an interesting question:
Suppose we discovered that the earth was cooling rather than warming due to a natural cycle. Would you encourage people to drive more and use more carbon-based energy as a way of warming the earth?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Because lying and slander are standard practice

Glenn noted this about liberals trying to claim that Imus is now a conservative. This isn't really that big a deal -- precisely because it is so very typical. Try to remember a Democratic political campaign that wasn't based on slander and lies. Can't do it, can you. Doesn't happen.

In big things and small, the essence of the liberal/left in America is the lie. It is their foundation. David Horowitz talks about this in one of his books. Socialism is based on a lie. It is fundamentally at odds with human nature. Liberalism is a lie about the lie -- that somehow government can control every aspect of our lives without impinging on our freedom.

Horowitz's point (which I am oversimplifying) is that lying becomes fundamental tactically because the entire political philosophy is dishonest at its core.

John Kerry -- traitor, liar, fool

Beldar is too kind:
In Sen. Kerry's eyes, 'tis better to treat with, to fawn over, to snuggle up close and tight with the sworn enemies of the United States than to be seen as supporting the President of the United States (whoever, of whichever party, happens to hold that office at the time). Of course, "hand[ing] ... a dangerous victory" to the Ba'athist or Communist Parties is perfectly fine with the junior senator from Massachusetts.

As I wrote in the comments to his post:
This is the same John Kerry who sent anti-war audio tapes to the North Vietnamese to be used in the torture of American POWs. The same John who not only perjured himself in slandering the members of our military service, but also suborned the perjury of others in furtherance of his slander. The same John who was part of a group which conspired to assassinate a number of US senators in the Capitol building.

And the same John who said that our abandonment of the South Vietnamese would have little effect on the country other than having to evacuate a few thousand people.

John is now, and was then, a traitor. He is now, and was then, a liar.

And he is now, and was then, a fool whose judgment should never be allowed to affect US policy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What the global warming nuts don't want you to know

Stuart Buck points out one problem with the idea that Carbon Dioxide heats up the atmosphere. It seems that all the evidence shows that the causation is actually the opposite -- Carbon Dioxide goes up after periods of warming, not the other way around.

Yankee fans

A-Rod is the greatest shortstop in baseball history. When he went to the Yankees, Derek Jeter (a mediocre defensive player with limited range) insisted that he had to continue to play short. A-Rod moved to 3d base and the Yank's defense has been weaker than it should be.

Ever since Jeter's selfishness (which continues to this day), the Yankees have failed to win a world series.

Yankee fans have responded by booing A-Rod unmercifully. Of course, the Yankee fans treated Mickey Mantle like dirt for the first 10 years of his career (the majority).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

An iPod in every pocket

Michael Barone can't believe the foolishness of Democrats in Michigan. Having wrecked the state's economy with high taxes, they intend to boost the economy by giving away free iPods to kids.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Amen to that

Beldar explains how to resolve the British standoff with Iran.