Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The law of unintended consequences...

This is a perfect example of why government politicians and bureaucrats should not be making decisions on how to conform and shape our society to the latest idealistic faddish goal, whether having to do with the environment, healthcare, or the economy... The purpose of a traffic light is to shine brightly and accurately in order to ostensibly direct traffic safely in all kinds of weather. The moment that is compromised by another so-called important purpose (saving energy) then... well, read on. From the Associated Press - Energy-efficient traffic lights can't melt snow:

Cities around the country that have installed energy-efficient traffic lights are discovering a hazardous downside: The bulbs don't burn hot enough to melt snow and can become crusted over in a storm — a problem blamed for dozens of accidents and at least one death.

"I've never had to put up with this in the past," said Duane Kassens, a driver from West Bend who got into a fender-bender recently because he couldn't see the lights. "The police officer told me the new lights weren't melting the snow. How is that safe?"

Many communities have switched to LED bulbs in their traffic lights because they use 90 percent less energy than the old incandescent variety, last far longer and save money. Their great advantage is also their drawback: They do not waste energy by producing heat.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A good word from...

Fr. Robert Hart at The Continuum, regarding the path to unity in the Christian church.

Authority can bring uniformity; but only the truth brings unity, and then only among those who love it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Copenhagen, we have a problem....

For those wanting some insight as to the so-called "Climategate" check out this detailed examination of temperature data and charting that begins to show that the "consensus" on man-made global warming maybe needs another look... (compliments of Watts Up With That?)

Politicians and statists of varying stripes are gathering in Copenhagen to save the world from the impending doom of man-made global warming. The idea of ramming through worldwide costly programs and provisions of dubious effectiveness (not to mention the resultant loss of freedoms and the mushrooming growth of government powers) based on science that is possibly of an even more dubious nature borders on... should I say... blind faith.

The Smoking Gun At Darwin Zero

Here is an excerpt and just one of many charts:

Intrigued by the curious shape of the average of the homogenized Darwin records, I then went to see how they had homogenized each of the individual station records. What made up that strange average shown in Fig. 7? I started at zero with the earliest record. Here is Station Zero at Darwin, showing the raw and the homogenized versions.
Figure 8 Darwin Zero Homogeneity Adjustments. Black line shows amount and timing of adjustments.

Yikes again, double yikes! What on earth justifies that adjustment? How can they do that? We have five different records covering Darwin from 1941 on. They all agree almost exactly. Why adjust them at all? They’ve just added a huge artificial totally imaginary trend to the last half of the raw data! Now it looks like the IPCC diagram in Figure 1, all right … but a six degree per century trend? And in the shape of a regular stepped pyramid climbing to heaven? What’s up with that?

Those, dear friends, are the clumsy fingerprints of someone messing with the data Egyptian style … they are indisputable evidence that the “homogenized” data has been changed to fit someone’s preconceptions about whether the earth is warming.

One thing is clear from this. People who say that “Climategate was only about scientists behaving badly, but the data is OK” are wrong. At least one part of the data is bad, too. The Smoking Gun for that statement is at Darwin Zero.

So once again, I’m left with an unsolved mystery. How and why did the GHCN “adjust” Darwin’s historical temperature to show radical warming? Why did they adjust it stepwise? Do Phil Jones and the CRU folks use the “adjusted” or the raw GHCN dataset? My guess is the adjusted one since it shows warming, but of course we still don’t know … because despite all of this, the CRU still hasn’t released the list of data that they actually use, just the station list.

Another odd fact, the GHCN adjusted Station 1 to match Darwin Zero’s strange adjustment, but they left Station 2 (which covers much of the same period, and as per Fig. 5 is in excellent agreement with Station Zero and Station 1) totally untouched. They only homogenized two of the three. Then they averaged them.

That way, you get an average that looks kinda real, I guess, it “hides the decline”.

Oh, and for what it’s worth, care to know the way that GISS deals with this problem? Well, they only use the Darwin data after 1963, a fine way of neatly avoiding the question … and also a fine way to throw away all of the inconveniently colder data prior to 1941. It’s likely a better choice than the GHCN monstrosity, but it’s a hard one to justify.

Now, I want to be clear here. The blatantly bogus GHCN adjustment for this one station does NOT mean that the earth is not warming. It also does NOT mean that the three records (CRU, GISS, and GHCN) are generally wrong either. This may be an isolated incident, we don’t know. But every time the data gets revised and homogenized, the trends keep increasing. Now GISS does their own adjustments. However, as they keep telling us, they get the same answer as GHCN gets … which makes their numbers suspicious as well.

And CRU? Who knows what they use? We’re still waiting on that one, no data yet …

What this does show is that there is at least one temperature station where the trend has been artificially increased to give a false warming where the raw data shows cooling. In addition, the average raw data for Northern Australia is quite different from the adjusted, so there must be a number of … mmm … let me say “interesting” adjustments in Northern Australia other than just Darwin.

And with the Latin saying “Falsus in unum, falsus in omis” (false in one, false in all) as our guide, until all of the station “adjustments” are examined, adjustments of CRU, GHCN, and GISS alike, we can’t trust anyone using homogenized numbers.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

US Media Ignores Obama’s Muffed Japan Visit

So how does the left now square Obama’s many failures in representing America to the various countries of the world (England, Russia, Israel, Iran, China, Japan…)? Given their ridicule toward George Bush with his so-called lack of diplomatic finesse, it may be hard to swallow that Mr. Obama by their own measure makes “W” appear to be quite the statesman.

The “lightness of being” that is Mr. Obama is becoming more apparent with time. And it appears his administration is over-populated with the same like minded, light-weights who are out of their league in the world arena.

Wasn't Obama's raison d'etre vis-a-vis Bush how he would better represent America to the world?

Well, check out this bit at Big>

US Media Ignores Obama’s Muffed Japan Visit

According to the mainstream Japanese weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun the visit was the “worst” one ever... and additionally-
“To tell you the truth, it had to have been the worst US-Japan Summit Meeting in history,” from a source at the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

In the words of dear Gilda Radner...

Update (11-23-09):
N.Y. Times - Assessing The China Trip

Germany's Der Spidgel Onlne - Obama's Nice Guy Act Gets Him Nowhere on the World Stage

Times of London - Barack Obama dream fades as China visit fails to bring change

Hat tip to Hot Air

Friday, November 20, 2009

Further Fort Hood thoughts...

Following up on my post "When is a mosque not a mosque?", here is a link to a an article at National Review Online by Cliff May entitled Lessons of Fort Hood.

May's troubling conclusion:

The revolutionary jihadis also have this advantage: the reluctance of so many in the West to accept that a serious war is being waged against them — even after an American military base in Texas has been turned into a killing field by what appears to have been a turncoat furious over Islamist grievances, driven by Islamist dreams.

In his remarks at the memorial in Fort Hood last week, President Obama said: “No faith justifies these murderous and craven acts.” But the faith embraced by Major Hasan, al-Aulaqi, and millions like them has been invoked to justify the slaughter of Christians, Jews, and Muslim dissidents for decades. It would be enormously helpful if our political leaders would acknowledge this reality and consider its policy implications. But that’s not going to happen, at least not any time soon.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

When is a mosque not a mosque?

Or, when does a place of worship relinquish it’s Constitutional protections of “free exercise” of religion? The recent revelations concerning the Fort Hood terrorist, Nidal Hasan, and his association with a Virginia mosque that Nawaf al-Hazmi and Hani Hanjour–two of the 9/11 terrorists–also frequented, has gotten me to thinking along these lines…

A bank forfeits its legitimacy as a lawful financial institution when behind the scenes it serves as the means of laundering money gained from criminal activity. That bank no longer is serving its legal business function and therefore should be brought to justice in order that the illegal financial operations be ended and the underlying criminal activity exposed and prosecuted.

In the same way, doesn’t a mosque (or any other religious institution) cede its legitimacy as a place of religious worship, protected under the First Amendment, when it functions as a vehicle for the laundering of terrorists bent on carrying out their murderous vision of religion in the United States?

In the example of the bank, the bad money is given a cover of legitimacy through deceptive financial accounting. This allows the illicit money to have the cover of honest gain in order that it can be used to further illegal activities without exposure.

So too with the laundering mosque cited above, bad actors or otherwise jihadists (those waging a holy war on behalf of Islam as a religious duty) are afforded a veneer of peaceful, legitimate religious beliefs (in this case a misguided application of cultural diversity one might say) by the deceptive “house of worship” in order that those individuals can plan and carry out their terrorist intentions. When this occurs then that religious institution is likewise a criminal accesory and, I dare say, a treasonous enterprise. Such organizations should be broken up with the same or even more conviction exercised in law enforcement toward money laundering banks; exposed for what they are and those responsible brought to justice.

I am aware of, and sympathetic to, the objections of our government sticking its nose into private religious affairs. But when evidence of the above surfaces, then that evidence should be followed by investigation and, if warranted, indictments and the cessation of the bogus religious operation. The terrorist considers his mosque related activity as obligatory religious warfare. How are we to view it?

My gut tells me that we entertain squeamishness in this matter at our own peril.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The art of debate coninued...

More of my thoughts on the matter...

Frequently finding insult and impugning motive in others when in debate reveals the paucity of one's argument.

Corollary: Lacking the persuasiveness of fact, he moralizes.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Art of Self-Righteous Debate

My verse written for today,


It seems righteous umbrage is on the rise,
In those who ironically patronize.
Through pc contrivance they demonize,
Eschewing debate to marginalize.

... I take some solace in having diagnosed my frustration with debate in today's open square.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cranmer, martyred for Justification by faith...

Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, principal author of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer and the 39 Articles, burned at the stake on March 21, 1556 in England by the Roman Catholic Church under Bloody (Queen) Mary... from his sermon on the salvation of man:

"Three things must go together in our justification. In these aforesaid places, the Apostle touches specially three things, which must go together in our justification. Upon GOD'S part, his great mercy and grace: upon Christ's part, justice, that is, the satisfaction of GOD'S justice, or the price of our redemption, by the offering of his body, and shedding of his blood, with fulfilling of the law perfectly & throughly; and upon our part true & lively faith in the merits of Jesus Christ, which yet is not ours, but by GOD'S working in us: so that in our justification, is not only God's mercy & grace, but also his justice, which the Apostle calls the justice of GOD, & it consists in paying our ransom, & fulfilling of the law: & so the grace of God doth not shut out the justice of God in our justification, but only shuts out the justice of, that is to say, the justice of our works, as to be merits of deserving our justification. And therefore S. Paul declares here nothing upon the behalf of man, concerning his justification, but only a true & lively faith, which nevertheless is the gift of GOD, and not mans only work, without GOD: And yet that faith doth not shut out repentance, hope, love, dread, & the fear of God, to be joined with faith in every man that is justified, but it shuts them out from the office of justifying...

"... But this saying, That we be justified by faith only, freely and without works, is spoken for to take away clearly all merit of our works, as being unable to deserve our justification at GODS hands, and thereby most plainly to express the weakness of man, and the goodness of GOD, the great infirmity of our selves, and the might and power of GOD, the imperfectness of our own works, and the most abundant grace of our Savior Christ, and therefore wholly to ascribe the merit and deserving of our justification unto Christ only, and his most precious blood shedding."

Nothing like Obama to cause one to long for...

the Clinton years...

those were the days...

Friday, October 9, 2009


I'll be teaching a study on Paul's epistle to the Romans in a couple weeks. In the meantime I am so enjoying reading commentaries by John Stott, Martin Luther, and John Calvin.

Luther writes:
This letter is truly the most important piece in the New Testament. It is purest Gospel. It is well worth a Christian's while not only to memorize it word for word but also to occupy himself with it daily, as though it were the daily bread of the soul. It is impossible to read or to meditate on this letter too much or too well. The more one deals with it, the more precious it becomes and the better it tastes. Therefore I want to carry out my service and, with this preface, provide an introduction to the letter, insofar as God gives me the ability, so that every one can gain the fullest possible understanding of it. Up to now it has been darkened by glosses and by many a useless comment, but it is in itself a bright light, almost bright enough to illumine the entire Scripture.

Also John Calvin opines:
If we gained the true understanding of this Epistle, we have an open door to all the most profound treasures of Scripture.

What a comfort we have - Justified through faith alone, by grace alone, in Christ alone....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Thomas Friedman, a Liberal Fascist?

(so says Jonah Goldberg, and I happen to agree)

If ever there was a present day example of the the historical truth that fascism has its roots in the political thinking of the left it is in the person of Thomas Friedman, liberal columnist for the New York Times.

For those who are reacting in shock at the last sentence... breathe in and breathe out, and then go to Jonah Goldberg's explanation at The Corner. And then, better still, get a copy of his book via the link on the right.

Here's just one small bit from Friedman's column:
"One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century."

How convenient and efficient... so not messy like those backward liberal democracies with their all too many different opinions and voices mucking up things.

Jonah sums up his take on Friedman's column (and thinking) with this:
"I cannot begin to tell you how this is exactly the argument that was made by American fans of Mussolini in the 1920s. It is exactly the argument that was made in defense of Stalin and Lenin before him (it's the argument that idiotic, dictator-envying leftists make in defense of Castro and Chavez today). It was the argument made by George Bernard Shaw who yearend for a strong progressive autocracy under a Mussolini, a Hitler or a Stalin (he wasn't picky in this regard). This is the argument for an "economic dictatorship" pushed by Stuart Chase and the New Dealers. It's the dream of Herbert Croly and a great many of the Progressives."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Somehow, the last 8 years, the media missed this...

You gotta go to this link at zomblog where there a many more such pictures. Following up on my last post on the "outrageous" Obama-Joker poster, the pictures on zomblog of protesters calling for the death of President Bush is a needed splash of cold water in the face of anyone concerned about the "tone" of the healthcare debate.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Barack Obama's Brazen Dishonesty - Rich Lowry - The Corner on National Review Online

Barack Obama's Brazen Dishonesty - Rich Lowry - The Corner on National Review Online

When it comes to ObamaCare... Apparently, Obama-don't-care to speak truthfully about the legislation he is trying to push onto the American people.
Here's Rich Lowry's lede from the above link:

"Maybe I'm naïve, but I continue to be shocked by Obama's willful and blatant dishonesty on health care. Again today, he said, "If you like your current plan, you will be able to keep it. Let me repeat that: If you like your plan, you'll be able to keep it." This is just not true..."

Read the whole thing (link above).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Separation of Church and State

Matthew J. Franck from Bench Memos at NRO offers insight to the much misunderstood topic of separation of Church and State and the so-called "legislating morality" issue. The case under discussion is the one being brought by David Boies and Ted Olsen to overturn California's Proposition 8 (now a CA state constitution amendment) which enshrines in law marriage between one man and one woman. Here is the excerpt that exposes the fallacy of needing to segregate religiously informed arguments out of the public square when considering legislating any law. His comments below have another case in mind as the reference point.

Because of the diversity of religious commitments in our society—and because it violates our constitutional morality, and no little part of our dominant religious morality, for anyone to be coerced in matters of faith and practice—we must express our moral opinions to one another in a shared language of reasons and arguments. This does not and cannot mean that the connection of our moral arguments to our religious sentiments is severed when we meet in the public square. But when all the arguments have been aired out, the moral view that prevails at the ballot box and in the legislative halls is entitled to have its way in public policy, barring any explicit constitutional obstacles to its enactment. The “separation of church and state” is not one of those obstacles. If it were, no law with any moral purpose that happened to coincide with the view of any religious community could ever be upheld.

All of this escapes the Iowa justices, whose view seems to be that if a moral argument finds support in any religious commitment, then the promulgation of that argument in law is a violation of the principle of religious disestablishment. This is logically fallacious, historically illiterate, and politically brutish.

The whole thing is worth reading...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

National Healthcare anyone??

Yes, in the same way that trillions of dollars have been spent on the Great Society programs legislated in the 1960's under LBJ to "wipe out" poverty... what's that you say?... Poverty increased in the U.S. after Welfare and all it's sister programs were enacted?! And crime went up?... by how much? 20% or so?! Out-of-wedlock births skyrocketed?? Well, anyway the same people (Liberals, in case you aren't sure) who brought us those "successful" programs now have a new offering (chart above and link below)... National Healthcare, or is it ObamaCare?... for all... overseen and administered by the same "efficient" and "farsighted" politicians and entrenched bureaucrats that have proven time and time again that Nanny state knows best... at how to mess up things up and all the while stealing aspects of our liberty and "allowing" us to pay for it all through higher taxes.

So get in line and take a ticket stub, 'cause if this thing passes then the privilege of waiting in line for diminished healthcare services while paying higher taxes is surely something we all need to get in practice for... sheesh!!

To view an enlarged version of the above chart go HERE!

Dr. Jack

Monday, July 13, 2009

Leahy, a lying sack of...

Well whatever... below is Ed Whelan's fisking of Senator Patrick Leahy's disingenuous Orwellian clarification, i.e. lie, today regarding the Democrat Senate's abuse of Miguel Estrada's nomination from 2001 to 2003. I am posting the full excerpt from Bench Memos at NRO as posted by Ed Whelan.

Senator Leahy’s Level of Integrity [Ed Whelan]

When Senator Lindsey Graham used the example of Republican support for President Bush’s D.C. Circuit nominee Miguel Estrada to make the elementary point that Republican concerns about Judge Sotomayor are based on her judicial philosophy, not on her Hispanic ethnicity, Judiciary Committee chairman Pat Leahy saw fit to respond in this way:

I'd just note, just so we make sure we're all dealing with the same facts, Mr. Estrada was nominated when the Republicans were in charge of the Senate, was not given a hearing by the Republicans. He was given a hearing when the Democrats took back the majority in the Senate ….

Well, let’s “make sure we’re all dealing with the same facts,” Senator Leahy:

1. President Bush announced his nomination of Estrada to the D.C. Circuit on May 9, 2001. Fifteen days later, Senator Jeffords left the Republican Party and flipped control of the Senate from the Republicans to the Democrats. Leahy surely remembers that well, both because Jeffords was his fellow Vermonter and because the flip made him chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

2. When Leahy says that Estrada “was not given a hearing when the Republicans were in charge of the Senate,” he is technically accurate in that Senate Republicans did not try to hold a confirmation hearing on Estrada’s nomination within its first 15 days. Had they tried to do so (even before the ABA completed its evaluation of Estrada), Democrats never would have permitted it.

To put this timing in context: During the Bush 43 administration, the average time from nomination to hearing for federal appellate nominees was 166 days overall, and 197 days while Leahy was chairman. No federal appellate nominee other than Clinton renominee Helene White (the beneficiary of a special deal) received a hearing in less than 30 days. And of President Bush’s first batch of nominees, the first to receive a hearing waited 62 days.

3. Leahy finally gave Estrada a hearing on September 26, 2002—more than 16 months after his nomination—but it was clear that Democrats would not vote Estrada out of committee. Once the Republicans regained control of the Senate in 2003, the Judiciary Committee promptly voted Estrada out of committee on a party-line vote (Republicans in favor, Democrats opposed). Democrats then filibustered his nomination on the Senate floor, defeating a record seven cloture votes.

4. It is outrageous of Leahy to give his grossly misleading account of the Estrada nomination in a context that vilely insinuates that Republican opposition to Sotomayor is based on her Hispanic ethnicity.

The "Caring" Tyranny of the Liberal State

Mark Steyn has a good article on the 'all-encompassing justification' of the ever-increasing tyranny of the modern western state... all for the good of mankind, mind you... But the main cost, if you take time to notice, is the shrinking liberty of real individuals.

Here's an excerpt:

Environmentalism... seeks to return us to the age of kings, when the masses are restrained by a privileged elite. Sometimes they will be hereditary monarchs, such as the Prince of Wales. Sometimes they will be merely the gilded princelings of the government apparatus — Barack Obama, Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi. In the old days, they were endowed with absolute authority by God. Today, they’re endowed by Mother Nature, empowered by Gaia to act on her behalf. But the object remains control — to constrain you in a million ways, most of which would never have occurred to Henry VIII, who, unlike the new cap-and-trade bill, was entirely indifferent as to whether your hovel was “energy efficient.” The old rationale for absolute monarchy — Divine Right — is a tough sell in a democratic age. But the new rationale — Gaia’s Right — has proved surprisingly plausible.

Beginning with FDR, wily statists justified the massive expansion of federal power under ever more elastic definitions of the commerce clause. For Obama-era control freaks, the environment and health care are the commerce clause supersized. They establish the pretext for the regulation of everything: If the government is obligated to cure you of illness, it has an interest in preventing you from getting ill in the first place — by regulating what you eat, how you live, the choices you make from the moment you get up in the morning. Likewise, if everything you do impacts “the environment,” then the environment is an all-purpose umbrella for regulating everything you do. It’s the most convenient and romantic justification for what the title of Paul Rahe’s new book rightly identifies as “soft despotism.”

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Jonah Goldberg on the 4th of July:

I read this over at The Corner and thought it the best thing I had read today:

"I Wish the Fourth of July Would Never End" [Jonah Goldberg]

I just returned from the annual 4th of July parade (and party) in my neighborhood. It's really becoming one of my favorite traditions, in part because it's one of the few times when DC feels like any other American town. My daughter loves to lunge for candy thrown from the amateurishly decorated cars and trucks. We all applaud the local swim team and the boy scouts and the "different drummer" marching band (complete with lavish gay patriotism), we even cheer — or at least smile — when Marion Barry comes up MacArthur blvd like an American general liberating some French town. The kids dance when the Bolivians come by, and they cheer when the DC horsemen (all African-American) trot past like cowboys heading home. There was a small scare at the fair when the moon bounce briefly deflated and the five-and-older kids nearly rioted. But otherwise, fun was had by all. The lines for the free hotdogs were too long and the balloon animal tent too. But everyone was in good cheer and parents did their best to keep kids from cutting in line. Lucy got an American flag painted on her face and chased bubbles from the bubble machines on the old fashioned fire engine. On the way home, I bought her a lemonade from a stand on someone's porch and told her we still had fireworks to look forward too, as well as the noisemakers we bought her. She squeezed my hand and said, "Daddy, I wish the Fourth of July would never end."

I squeezed her hand back, just a little, and said: "Me too."

Me: it doesn't get much better than that...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Kodachrome taken away...

An end of a photography era.... Kodachrome immortalized in the Paul Simon song--

"... Mama don't take my Kodachrome away!"


Eastman Kodak Co. (EK) will discontinue its iconic Kodachrome color film this year due to tumbling sales as photographers embrace newer Kodak films or digital imaging technology.

Kodak introduced the amateur color film in 1935 and it became the first commercially successful color film.

But sales are just a fraction of 1% of the company's still-picture film revenue. The company doesn't break out such figures, but the segment in which Kodak's film sales are recorded had first- quarter revenue of $503 million.

That 31% drop from a year earlier highlights the woes the company has been undergoing. The company thought that when it completed a wrenching multi-year transition to having a digital focus at the end of 2007 that its restructuring was behind it. But a continued sales slump has resulted in more retrenchment - Kodak in January announced plans to cut another 3,500 to 4,500 jobs, as much as 18% of its work force, this year.

Kodak estimates that current supplies of the film will last until early this fall.

The last rolls of the film will be donated to George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, N.Y., which houses the world's largest collection of cameras and related artifacts. In addition, Steve McCurry - known for a 1985 photo of a young Afghan girl peering from the cover of National Geographic magazine - will shoot one of those last rolls and the images will be donated to Eastman House.

The Kodachrome output stoppage is another sign of the company's transition - by 2004, the company that marketed its first snapshot camera in 1888 had stopped making film cameras.

Kodak shares closed Friday at $2.85 and were inactive premarket. The stock is down 57% this year.

Friday, June 19, 2009

DeVore's geurilla campaign...

... for U.S. Senator from California is having some fun at his opponent's expense, Mrs., er... Senator Boxer:

Monday, June 15, 2009

David Letterman "Apologizes"... Not

Here's the LINK to the article. Below is his second explanation. You be the judge.

“All right, here – I’ve been thinking about this situation with Governor Palin and her family now for about a week – it was a week ago tonight, and maybe you know about it, maybe you don’t know about it. But there was a joke that I told, and I thought I was telling it about the older daughter being at Yankee Stadium. And it was kind of a coarse joke. There’s no getting around it, but I never thought it was anybody other than the older daughter, and before the show, I checked to make sure in fact that she is of legal age, 18. Yeah. But the joke really, in and of itself, can’t be defended. The next day, people are outraged. They’re angry at me because they said, ‘How could you make a lousy joke like that about the 14-year-old girl who was at the ball game?’ And I had, honestly, no idea that the 14-year-old girl, I had no idea that anybody was at the ball game except the governor and I was told at the time she was there with Rudy Giuliani … and I really should have made the joke about Rudy …” (audience applauds) “But I didn’t, and now people are getting angry and they’re saying, ‘Well, how can you say something like that about a 14-year-old girl, and does that make you feel good to make those horrible jokes about a kid who’s completely innocent, minding her own business,’ and, turns out, she was at the ball game. I had no idea she was there. So she’s now at the ball game, and people think that I made the joke about her. And, but still, I’m wondering, ‘Well, what can I do to help people understand that I would never make a joke like this?’ I’ve never made jokes like this as long as we’ve been on the air, 30 long years, and you can’t really be doing jokes like that. And I understand, of course, why people are upset. I would be upset myself.

“And then I was watching the Jim Lehrer ‘Newshour’ – this commentator, the columnist Mark Shields, was talking about how I had made this indefensible joke about the 14-year-old girl, and I thought, ‘Oh, boy, now I’m beginning to understand what the problem is here. It’s the perception rather than the intent.’ It doesn’t make any difference what my intent was, it’s the perception. And, as they say about jokes, if you have to explain the joke, it’s not a very good joke. And I’m certainly – ” (audience applause) “– thank you. Well, my responsibility – I take full blame for that. I told a bad joke. I told a joke that was beyond flawed, and my intent is completely meaningless compared to the perception. And since it was a joke I told, I feel that I need to do the right thing here and apologize for having told that joke. It’s not your fault that it was misunderstood, it’s my fault. That it was misunderstood.” (audience applauds) “Thank you. So I would like to apologize, especially to the two daughters involved, Bristol and Willow, and also to the governor and her family and everybody else who was outraged by the joke. I’m sorry about it and I’ll try to do better in the future. Thank you very much.” (audience applause).

To me, this is just Letterman essentially saying, "My intent was OK (I was joking about Bristol), but because it was a flawed, poorly constructed (kind of coarse?) joke people heard it as aimed at Willow. My bad for the misunderstanding." He starts to go in the direction of what was objectionable when he says that the "joke, in and of itself, can't be defended." But after that he is off into a longer rationalization that at the core this was a Bristol - Willow confusion thing. This is not much more than a wordy explanation that repeats what he said in his first attempt to put out the fire. He does offer a direct apology of sorts to the Palin's and their two daughters. But unfortunately that is completely undercut by his obfuscation of what was offensive (the problem as he says), which was NOT to whom the joke was directed nor the perception of it, but the actual vile nature and content of the so-called joke... period, end of discussion!

Maybe Dave needs to go on an apology tour like Obama.

[Update] Governor Palin accepts Letterman's apology which is, at this point, the gracious thing to do. She knows it's time to move on.

Original post on his joke... Diddling Dave, Don Imus, And The Media

Follow up after the Letterman's first attempt to quell the growing anger and outrage... Letterman Joke Update: Man or Worm?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Letterman Joke Update: Man or Worm?

Tonight, Dave Letterman explained his "jokes" about Sarah Palin's daughter...
“We were, as we often do, making jokes about people in the news and we made some jokes about Sarah Palin and her daughter [Bristol]… and now they’re upset with me…” Letterman says on tonight’s show. “These are not jokes made about her 14-year-old daughter. I would never, never make jokes about raping or having sex of any description with a 14-year-old girl…. Am I guilty of poor taste? Yes. Did I suggest that it was okay for her 14-year-old daughter to be having promiscuous sex? No.” Saying he hopes he’s “cleared part of this up,” Letterman extended an invitation to Palin to come on the show as a guest.

Pathetic. Way to not man up David. This fails miserably on several levels:

1. His writers got the items for this stand up drive-by hit on Palin's daughter from news accounts. There were no mentions of Bristol, the 18 year old daughter, being with Sarah Palin in New York. So...
2. At worst it was definitely about sliming the 14 year old Willow Palin.
3. At best, Letterman was willing to use Willow as a foil for sliming Bristol... but content to let anyone out there who "didn't get it" think it was about Willow.
4. So making jokes about raping an 18 year old single mother of a new born is OK?
5. On a non-related point, Letterman stopped being funny years ago.
6. As I said, this explanation by Letterman fails miserably, and...

Letterman fails miserably as a human being... more like a worm.

By the way here is the outrage being voiced by NOW and other defenders of women out there in the MSM:

Diddling Dave, Don Imus, And The Media...

Given the DEFCON 1 national fury in 2007, I wonder how Don Imus feels about the "equal" outrage filling the media over Letterman's calling Gov. Palin's underage daughter a "ho!"... and his other guttural flatulence regarding Sarah Palin and her daughter (here and here).

Oh, that's right, diddling Dave didn't use the word "ho" did he... hmmm. When am I going to learn the media's sophisticated rules of etiquette on how to slur, demean, and crap on a teenage girl... and otherwise engage in spewing misogynistic vulgarisms as diddling Dave has?!

And by the way, when will President Obama register his outrage about Letterman as he did regarding Imus shown in the first link above?

- the Management

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Obama, Our First "Post-American" President?

I have been mulling over the question of whether Barack Obama is our first "post-American" president. By that I mean he may be the first person to occupy the Oval Office who seems more comfortable as a "world citizen" than as an American; who tends to reflexively see U.S. history mainly in terms of injustices perpetrated by America on various groups or nations rather than mainly a record of freedom and good. Any way, you get the idea. Here are several items that would lend support to that thesis:

1. His compulsive ongoing apology tour of the world, in which he panders to Muslim countries, ignores enemy threats such as Iran and North Korea, casts the U.S. use of the atom bomb to end WWII as an atrocity, equates Guantanamo which holds illegal combatants (as defined by the Geneva Convention) during wartime with the political prisoners of various totalitarian regimes around the world, bows to Saudi King Abdullah, reaches out to our enemies (Chavez, Iran, Hezzbulah, Hamas) while disrespecting longtime allies (Israel, England).

2. His nonchalant violation of the property rights of investors in GM and Chrysler, breaking legal contracts protected under the Constitution, and taking federal government ownership control of those two companies... all of which show a disregard for the rule of law and constitutionalism, the bedrock of our civil society.

3. His longtime close association with mentors (William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright) who, for years, have openly expressed hatred for America.

4. The ease with which he portrays America as a country that "tortures", that "imposes its values" on other countries, is "justly" opposed by our enemies due to our past actions.

Just wondering...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sotomayor, a political pick?

... On May 3, 2009, responding to an ABC analysis that Obama's pick to replace Souter would not be based on politics, I wrote in part:

Obama's pick to replace Souter may be a woman... may be a Latino... may be an African-American, or any combination of the three. But one thing is absolutely bedrock sure: the most left-wing senator of the last four years who is now the President will definitely pick a nominee every bit to the left as he is. This is the predominant criteria under consideration. If there is anything that should have been learned over the course of Obama's first 100 days, it is that he will take our nation as far to the left politically, socially, economically, and judicially as he can.

Here is Ramesh Ponnuru (of National Review and The Washington Post) summarizing his take on Obama's pick of Judge Sotomayer to replace Justice Souter on the Supreme Court:

--Judge Sotomayor believes that the courts are "where policy is made."

--She has Democratic colleagues who wonder if she has the intellect to be on the high court.

--She was picked by a president who has announced that he has a pro-abortion litmus test and that he wants judges who will rule with empathy, at least for some groups.

--She has a high reversal rate. In one case, the Supreme Court has voted unanimously to reverse her.

We will doubtless learn more about Sotomayor, both good and bad, in the days to come. But based on the early signs it appears that President Obama has made the crassest of political picks.

And over at NRO's Bench Memos:

Sotomayor for the Court [Wendy Long]

Judge Sotomayor is a liberal judicial activist of the first order who thinks her own personal political agenda is more important that the law as written. She thinks that judges should dictate policy, and that one's sex, race, and ethnicity ought to affect the decisions one renders from the bench.

She reads racial preferences and quotas into the Constitution, even to the point of dishonoring those who preserve our public safety (link added). On September 11, America saw firsthand the vital role of America's firefighters in protecting our citizens. They put their lives on the line for her and the other citizens of New York and the nation. But Judge Sotomayor would sacrifice their claims to fair treatment in employment promotions to racial preferences and quotas. The Supreme Court is now reviewing that decision.

She has an extremely high rate of her decisions being reversed, indicating that she is far more of a liberal activist than even the current liberal activist Supreme Court.

Is anyone really surprised?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Opine for the day...

A Catholic friend of mine recounted to me how he has been more focussed on his business of late after letting it slide over the last 5 years as he pursued a pipe dream. He's a husband and father... and a good guy. He was telling me how he has so much happening work-wise, making money to pull himself out of debt, thus better providing for himself and his family. He asked, rather rhetorically, "does that make me a better person?"

My reply to him:
Your reorientated priorities do not make you a better person per se, as relates to righteousness before God (of course you already knew that ;-). But you are a better person as relates to bringing home the bacon... providing... and I imagine it is more satisfying and esteem building. God made man to have dominion over the earth. To rule it wisely. Our little piece of the earth is made up of our families, our jobs, our relationships, our time, etc. It seems the non-glamorous stuff of life is what constitutes our path of growth and glory, depending on how we handle it. That's not to say it's the path to salvation from sin and death. That alone is the free gift of our God, by grace through faith in Christ. But this stuff of life is the path God has given for our sanctification and entering into practical godliness. And it is the struggle of life. Our short-sighted desires pull us away from this high calling that is soooo mundane and full of everyday drab, disappointments, and challenges (thorns and thistles from the curse in Gen. 3). But as our Lord taught, "He who saves (keeps) his life shall lose it, but he who loses his life for My sake shall find it." The right path often doesn't feel good at the moment, but as we continue to walk it we find a growing deposit in us that is His work. And as we often fail, we take refuge in the knowledge of God's full acceptance of us in His Son our Saviour who lived the perfect life that we can't and has credited it to our account... and then we enter the battle once again.

He wrote back, "Amen friend."

Friday, May 15, 2009

Our National Debt Road Trip...

This says it all regarding the fiscally "more responsible" Obama:

Friday reading (May 15th)...

Social Security... in worse shape than you thought

Our Economy... on a certain path to hell in a hand basket

The Pelosi-CIA dance - U.S. security - the tortured saga

Grace and Sacraments

Majority of Americans identify as pro-life

I remember hearing this song for the first time in the late sixties on FM radio. The FM band was fairly new and the place to hear new music that played longer than the AM band 3 minute limit. Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton were two members of the short-lived Blind Faith. Here they are years later performing "In The Presence of the Lord."


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bring out your dead... (or almost dead?)

In an Washington Times editorial, Obama's health care rationing, Obama is quoted as saying, "There's always going to be an asymmetry of information between patient and provider," he said. "And part of what I think government can do effectively is to be an honest broker in assessing and evaluating treatment options." He stated that "the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here."

The editorial concludes with this: "The time to really worry about your health is when a government bureaucrat, not your personal doctor, tells you what treatment you can have. Yet that's exactly the scenario endorsed by Mr. Obama. This position clearly leads to health care rationing. Nobody in the government or in any "political channels" should tell individuals how to make decisions about "the end of their lives." The only conversations happening should be personal, not democratic. It's not up to government to pull the plug."

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Craven "Age of Enlightenment" in Europe...

Mark Steyn has written an excellent article summing up the reality of things in Europe and England regarding current and future demographics and its impact on the Jews of those nations. The sooner-than-you-think to be Muslim controlled countries have essentially already abdicated their moral authority to a new craven age of enlightenment. The result is the rise of a Muslim consensus in these countries through intimidation and violence that is bringing about their new reasonable and pragmatic solution to the Israeli problem. The article is Israel Today, The West Tomorrow found at Commentary online.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Souter to retire from Supreme Court

Speculation is in the offing throughout the press this past weekend as to who President Obama will nominate to replace Justice Souter. ABC News Online has an article entitled Diversity, Not Politics, Key To Court Pick. Don't bet on it...

Obama's pick to replace Souter may be a woman... may be a Latino... may be an African-American, or any combination of the three. But one thing is absolutely bedrock sure: the most left-wing senator of the last four years who is now the President will definitely pick a nominee every bit to the left as he is. This is the predominant criteria under consideration. If there is anything that should have been learned over the course of Obama's first 100 days, it is that he will take our nation as far to the left politically, socially, economically, and judicially as he can.

Don't doubt it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Democrats on steriods...

... spending yours and your childrens' and your childrens' childrens' money by creating it (borrowing it) out of thin air. With no attempt at fiscal responsibility to the present or future taxpayers, the Dems put into high gear the destruction of the dollar via a reckless inflation of the money supply.

Another chart from Policy Watch:

Obama: The 100 day mark...

How are we feeling about the course set by our new President? Getting a little nervous?


Chart compliments of Policy Watch.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Santa Barbara Tea Party Pt. 2...

In addition to the videos of the previous post, here are some photos:

(click on photos to enlarge)

Santa Barbara Tea Party...

Below are 4 very short videos I took of the Tea Party in Santa Barbara as it gathered in front of the IRS on Anacapa.

Everyone gathered at Alameda Park (Sola St. a & Anacapa St.) at 1:00 PM and then march down one block the IRS office building to hold the party. I guess there were four to five hundred people in attendance with police directing traffic. A number of cars, as they passed by, were honking in support. Different individuals got up and addressed the crowd extemporaneously, explaining their complaints and concerns with Washington D.C.'s handling of the current financial downturn and the ever growing power and control of the federal government. The crowd was cheering and chanting slogans against high taxes, run away federal spending, and the fed's heavy hand, all in an orderly fashion. I couldn't stay long as I had to get back to work. But all in all it was heartening to see so many turn out here in a city that overwhelmingly voted for Obama and the Democrats last fall.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

an Easter hymn...


In the morning light
Radiance of his face
There in glory bright
His shadow I can trace

I bow down on bended knee
I bow down, bow down before him

He, my filthy rags
Turned to garments white
Thus my heart was freed
From the soul’s dark night

I bow down on bended knee
I bow down, bow down before him

Middle Refrain:
Emptied himself, became a man
Humbly served, poured out in love
On the cross, he bore our sin
His name now far above all

When the evening comes
And the night draws near
In his word he speaks
Truth and grace I hear

I bow down on bended knee
I bow down, bow down before him
2009 - Jack Miller

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Smiley face diplomacy...

Abe Greenwald, in a post at Commentary (Don’t Think They’re Not Keeping Score, Mr. President) draws attention to what has become an Obama obsession and a real security concern for the U.S.

Greenwald's key point:
We’re in uncharted territory. Never - the Carter years included - has an American administration been so deliberate and thorough in spreading the word of an America with its guard down. If you’re Moscow or Pyongyang or Tehran, it’s a free-for-all. No one is minding the store. Take what you want, work in groups, work in shifts, pretend you’re law-abiding or be brazenly criminal. You’ll get the same “have a nice day” from the shopowner either way.

William Kristol follows up here with a more in depth critique of Obama's diplomacy for a world free of nuclear weapons: A World Without Nukes -- Just Like 1939


Monday, February 2, 2009

This bears watching...

Hat tip to Powerline Blog

America... don't minimize and rationalize what is beginning to happen here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thank you President Bush...

From Steve Schippert over at NRO's The Tank:

... as can be witnessed in the images and verses this tribute video — written, performed and compiled by James Hooker — there was and remains a very special, unique and reciprocated connection between President Bush and the men and women of the military.
A thoroughly intelligent and decent man so loudly and unjustly derided as dumb, arrogant and negligent, we should all pray for and aspire to the grace he consistently displayed in the ugly face of it all.
May we never afford President Obama such debasing, venomous and cruel treatment as we debate and criticize the policies and practices that we disagree with.

History, I am confident, will be kind to President Bush. For it will not be written by the American or international media, nor by the classless who booed as he entered for the last time to "Hail to the Chief."

But America, the nation he served and protected to the best of his ability, has been most unkind.

It compels then, for those of us who have harbored no hatred and angst — even in disagreement — to offer our hand in gratitude for service to our great nation.

On my way to wanna be,
I had my share of heart broke.
I took my lumps, and dished some out
Tempered by the thought,
That we, all men of good cheer,
Teach the men who follow.
There's more here than the eye could see,
On your way to wanna be.

Farewell, Mr. President, and thank you for your honorable service. Carry on, sir.

Me: I have had my disagreements with President Bush, mainly on domestic issues. But I will miss him as our President, as will so many... even some of those who at this moment are cheering his departure.

Thank you President Bush for taking the slings and arrows as you worked tirelessly to keep this country safe from her enemies.