September 11, 2013 - September 4, 2013
Friday, June 22, 2012
Arguments even Liberals might
latest uninspired album is nevertheless aptly named. What Obama has been and will be
even in a second term. The truth.
YOU SO. I'm thinking even the most secular among us can
appreciate that life offers lessons. Something about physics if not
justice. Despite all their flailing and excuse-making, the MSM has
an opportunity to learn an important lesson for their cause before
it destroys their hopes for an entire generation. All those
journalists who joined the profession to make the world a better
place never learned that the first responsibility of a profession is
not for its members to follow their hearts and aspirations but to do
their duty. Like attorneys who learn in law school that their duty
is not justice as they see it or wish it but providing the best
possible advocacy for their clients. All defendants deserve the best
possible legal representation, regardless of what defense attorneys
think about their guilt or innocence. Prosecutors have an additional
burden. Yes, they need to fight just as hard for
convictions, but they cannot misrepresent or conceal facts in such a
way that an innocent defendant is convicted of a crime he did not
commit. For the system to work, both sides must follow the facts and
trust the judge and jury to make the decisions. Journalists also have a duty to follow the facts. All of them.
The simple truth of the matter is that in 2008 the MSM did not do
their duty as journalists. They did not vet the candidate Obama.
Regardless of their good intentions -- desire for a post-racial
transformation of American life, a belief in idealistic rhetoric
that appealed uniquely to professional connoisseurs of rhetoric --
their failure to do their duty had two effects, both calamitous.
First, the Obama we got was not the Obama promised by his campaign,
a uniter, an honest visionary, a gifted leader, a post-partisan and
transparent idealist, an empathetic citizen of the world. In most
ways, what we got was the exact opposite of this. A divisive
fomenter of lefty grievances against the right, an utterly uncompromising
ideologue, a distant and inattentive narcissist, a bitterly partisan
inciter of class/racial/ethnic/religious conflicts, an inveterate
cynic about all things American, and a cold-blooded politician -- and dare I say it, a personally cold cold man -- who
would stoop to any tactic to get his way.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, we got a president for whom it
all came too easily. Easy money. And you know what happens to easy
money. It goes away as quickly as it comes. Ask any gambler. You
can't hold on to easy money. You didn't work hard enough to get it. Why
Obama started his term with a commanding majority in the house and a
filibuster-proof majority in the senate and pissed it all away
without accomplishing anything that helped the economy, which was
the number one issue facing him from the beginning. And I'll say
what no one else will. From his inauguration on, he has acted more
like Al Pacino's Scarface than a president of the United States. The
man doesn't actually do any work. He doesn't meet with his cabinet,
he doesn't meet with members of congress, even leaders of his own
party, and there's no sign whatever that he ever dug into any
details of the frightful stimulus legislation or even ObamaCare.
Yeah, he jetted around making speeches about healthcare, but he's
had more face time with union bosses and celebrities and sports
stars than he's ever had with the people who are supposed to make
things work in Washington. The only attention to detail I've ever
seen from this president is the bracket analysis he provides each
year before the March Madness of NCAA basketball playoffs.
The rest of the time he plays golf, works out, schmoozes with
Hollywood multi-millionaires, accompanies his wife (or not -- another
story) on lavishly expensive vacations to the world's most elite
tourist venues, and steps to his relentlessly telepromptered microphone only to blast
Republicans. He doesn't even want to have press conferences anymore,
and when he does, so-called journalists aren't allowed to ask
tough questions. (He's the president, don't you know?) Bush used to
get his daily presidential briefing every morning at 7:30 am. Obama gets
his anymore somewhere between 10 am and 3 pm. Then it's off to golf
or Beverly Hills.
Easy money. Everyone's afraid to tell the truth. He's a lazy,
good-for-nothing president. Not because of any racial stereotype.
But because the MSM made it all too easy for him. Most presidents
spend their first two years learning how to be president. This one
never bothered. Why should he? He's been taught by ridiculous
adulation that it's his birthright and everyone should simply
conform to his divine wishes.
But here's the rub.
A second Obama term will be a disaster for Democrats and an absolute
cataclysm for black politicians. Reasons why even the MSM should
start covering their collective ass and covering the president the
way they would a Republican candidate:
1. No more Democrat presidents.
Forget the first two years when most new presidents set about
learning how to be president. Only the time since the 2010 elections
is relevant. That's what the entire second Obama term would look
like. He'll never again have the commanding majorities he had at first. Inconvenient, even impossible, for a latter day Napoleon. (Oops. Problem. Not nearly as smart as Napoleon. But even more intransigent.) Inevitable result? Total paralysis in congress. He will not compromise on
anything EVER. He will not win back enough of the house or senate to
get any legislation passed. He doesn't want to have anything to do
with congress. He will rely increasingly on dictatorial end-runs
around the congress and hence the Constitution. There is nothing
whatever to suggest that he knows enough about representative
government to make anything happen beyond stalemate. Result? More
economic stagnation and a repudiation of the Democratic Party in
2016 that could finish the party in presidential politics for a
2. No more black presidents.
Eight years of grievances, policy folly, government stalemate,
trumped up racial anger, and ostentatiously high living will be enough. Post-racial utopia will be toast.
3. Romney is the best bet to make
compromises that will make Democrats relevant again. He'll
at least talk to the opposition, negotiate with them, and foist some
legislation on his own party that will make them as unhappy with the
final result as you will be. And what's the real bet? Republicans
may not at this point be able to fix the economy any faster than
Obama did. The clock ticks, and there's at least a chance that a
Democrat can run against Romney and Republicans the way Romney is
running against Obama and the Democrats now. I don't think so, but if
you're a Democrat, this is a bet you more or less have to take.
4. The MSM might actually return to
life -- if the lessons of Obama have been learned.
Call it Return to Duty. In a Romney term, the MSM starts being
objective. Reporting facts. Covering both sides. Earning back some
trust from the voters. Not every economic report is spun exclusively
in terms the Democrats approve of. Not everything the Republicans do
is purely political and partisan. Not everything the Democrats do is
a last ditch stand against the racist, sexist, soul-destroying
fascists of the right. Then, when the 2016 campaign begins in
earnest, the Great Unwashed might start paying attention again.
Sure, everything I've said is probably a waste of time. But maybe
some of you have liberal friends who aren't complete moral and
intellectual idiots. I keep hearing people say this is so. Give it a
I'm prepared to be pleasantly surprised. But I'm skeptical.
Something about easy money. A lot easier to assume you're right
about everything than think about anything.
I know nobody reads my introductory links. This time, I linked to
what I said the week of Obama's election, when I said he wasn't my
president. One of the comments on that post provides context for my
thoughts about those of you who can't bear to offend your liberal
This blog post has converted me. Or perhaps more aptly put, it has
AWAKENED me. It is almost as if you articulated the voice of my
subconscious. I have not wanted to accept that Obama at core is
who he certainly must be based on his well established history,
associations, and chosen peer group. Instead I have wanted to
believe that all that Obama was, must have been washed away by the
trial of campaigning for and winning the Presidency. Indeed I
wanted to believe that the awesome responsibilities of the office
and the Constitution would convert him. I have not wanted to admit
to myself that there is every reason to doubt that Obama has been
or can be converted to a Constitution honoring American.
You are correct, it is he who has much to prove regarding love of
America and its Constitutional foundation. And I believe it
unlikely that he will make any such effort. Why should he? He won
despite his open and unapologetic associations with the likes of
Ayres and Acorn. America has unwittingly given its imprimatur to
who Obama is. America told him, "You're fine just they way you
are." Awash in Presidential power and democratic mandate, he will
feel the need to prove nothing.
So while Obama is to be the President, I need not accept him as my President. I would not
have accepted FDR either. (Just FDR's effort to pack the Supreme
Court with jurists sympathetic to his governance was an explicit
violation of his oath to uphold and protect the US Constitution
and therefore worthy of impeachment.)
That said, most of my friends are liberal. They are overwhelmingly
clueless as to the value of the Constitution. And they would not
understand my reasoning for rejecting Obama as my President. True,
they never accepted Bush (whom they considered a
‘retarded-criminal-lying-war mongering-fascist') as their
President. But I simply value their friendship too much to take
serious issue with their hypocrisies and delusions. And I want to
keep them as friends too much as to futilely try and explain why
Obama is the President but he is not my President. They already
know that I am an unapologetic conservative who will never vote
for a liberal. - And that is tough enough for them.
So I hope to (and believe that I can) simply avoid the denying
versus affirming of my allegiance to President Obama.
All the same, I thank you Instapunk for getting me to consciously
acknowledge and accept what I already knew deep down about our
next President: that there is every reason to suspect that Obama
will maintain a tacitly subversive disposition to the
Constitution; and that therefore he is not a President that I can
accept as mine.
Some reality for all of you to remember. Despite all the hysteria
and media adulation -- and the incredibly incompetent McCain
campaign -- Obama won 53% to 47%. Romney needs 4% more of the total
votes to win the presidency. This is, uh, not much. From messiah to
failed president presiding over a rotten economy, multiple scandals,
and both Europe and the middle east in collapse, can we not agree
that retaking the White House is a doable thing? And that a few
pungent words to your very dear liberal friends might be worth the
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Simulators can't simulate real
catastrophic stalls. Think about it.
BACKGROUND. This is going to be a messy, meandering post, but
I trust you to burrow down to the gist. I had another of my "serendicity"
events yesterday. My wife was not well and sleeping because sleep is
medicine, and so I postponed my posting plans and went exploring
On-Demand instead. The first thing I found was on one of my new
favorites, the Smithsonian Channel, and it was the story of Flight
447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in June 2009. The Airbus never made
it to Paris. Somewhere over the South Atlantic it disappeared. The
Nova documentary whose final act is shown above attempts to piece
together what happened to that flight. Evidence suggests that the
crew was so mesmerized by state-of-the-art automation that it
actually forgot how to fly an aeroplane (I've always loved that
archaic word, which fits here.) They failed to recognize an
incipient stall situation, which every cloth-winged barnstormer of
the 1920s knew was the first rule of not dying in an aircraft, and
when the stall occurred, they were too late in taking the elementary
step (second rule of not dying in an aircraft) of initiating a
shallow power-on dive that would restore the necessary airflow over
the wings. Result? Everyone died.
My dad -- yeah, I've been thinking of him lately -- did a lot
of international air travel in the late 1950s and 1960s. As a former
fighter pilot, he was convinced he'd used up all his luck. So he was
mighty particular about who he allowed to fly him. He had an
ironclad rule about airlines: American, British, or German. Their
pilots had war experience. They had seen the worst situations that
can happen. They knew what to do when the shit hit the fan. Air
France was the last
airline he would ever fly. Pilots are superstitious and they pay
attention to anecdotal evidence. He had a friend who was a BOAC
pilot and RAF veteran who was taking a courtesy flight on Air France
when the Air France captain came back to welcome him aboard, sat
down, and had a drink with him.
Wild horses couldn't have gotten my father on board an Air France
My wife is actually a fan of Airbus because she's so suspicious of
McDonnell Douglass and shares my own trepidations about the Lockheed
L-1011. Not a Boeing fan, either, but I think that's an
understandable objection to monopolies. I, however, have always
detested Airbus. It's a multinational, government-subsidized
monopoly of its own, and I hate the name. Airplanes are not buses.
You don't hire Ralph Kramden to fly them. Except that's what Air
France apparently did. Pilots who really don't know the two most
important rules about flying and therefore get themselves and
everyone in their charge killed. With an abundant assist from too
much wrongheaded automation. I don't like grammar checkers, which
are almost always wrong even though they're included in so-called
state-of-the-art word processors. And I suspect that Airbus's
advanced automated flying systems are no better than grammar
checkers. Which is to say they are no replacement for pilots.
No way I have the guts or the sheer crazy of this kid, but it still
rings a bell with me and my youth. And probably with a lot of you
and yours. I had a friend who mixed with me like nitro does with
glycerine, and we raised hell in every way possible that involved
moving things and risk. Cars, motorcycles, trucks, tractors,
motorboats, sailboats, airboats, steamboats, and even pistols, but
mostly cars, cars, cars, and more cars. If our parents had known
what we were really up to, they'd have spared themselves the worry
and killed us outright. We were completely out of control. We once
flipped an XKE Jag so completely that we were able to do our
own forensic research after the fact and discover that it had
traveled 20 feet upside down in midair (convertible!) before landing
safely on all four wheels with both of us intact.
So I got to thinking about these two On-Demand programs. Where my
idea of the Third Force comes in. Isn't Flight 447 the new
government model? The smart ones can automate everything to
eliminate all the risk from our lives except the danger of idiots
who no longer have any experience of risk or knowledge of what to do
when the shit hits the fan?
But where do pilots come from, meaning the ones who can land that
plane safely on the Hudson when all the odds say it can't be done
because it never has been done. It comes from the risk takers who
are braver or crazier than we are, meaning superior to us or at
least different from us in important ways, and there has to be a
realm where they can develop the talents the rest of us need from
them. Which isn't in a
world without apparent risk.
That's what the free enterprise system really is. A place where
those people can experience risk and bring back the lessons of risk
to the rest of us. The costs and
the rewards. Both of which can and should be huge.
Note that I haven't even mentioned politics. The first two "forces"
implied by the title are the left and the right of the political
advocates battling for control of the government. What is the Third
Force? No, it's not the Tea Party or the Internet or the Occupy
Whatever movement. They all belong to the first two forces.
The Third Force is those of us who know that living life is about accepting
risk and confronting it pro-actively, not as passive tools of policy
and technology but as warriors of vitality. You are one of those
warriors or you have cheered them -- the 8-year-old junior bull
riders, the high school football teams, the unlikely restauranteur
who becomes a franchise, the "homeless to Harvard" story, the
"Defiance Ohio" mom, the blind cook on Master Chef, the guy without
legs who climbed Kilimanjaro, and the everyday dads and moms who
fight their way out of deprivation to send their kids on to good
schools and rewarding careers.
Completely apart from politics, this is the force that needs to be
heard from in this election season. People willing to stand up and
say, "We do not need more government and its handouts to make our
lives rewarding. All we need is less of the Global Warming that
comes exclusively from government Hot Air."
Find a way for the Third Force to get its message across and we
won't need Romney to make the case for Big Government Lite.
Friday, June 15, 2012
I admit it. I identify with the dude. Sue me.
IN CASE YOU FORGOT.
Going into the weekend, does anyone care about dueling bores of
economic speeches by the Dull Ones? Obama still believes in government.
Romney still believes in the market. Yawn.
What would be news? One of the best sequels ever. Not talking here
about the vigorous debate about whether Godfather I or Godfather II is superior. I'm
talking about the kind of discrepancy that existed between Mad Max and The Road Warrior. You know. The Wow
Factor. Who could believe that the first led to the second? Night and
So the good news is, I have a candidate. Which just hit DVD and On
Demand. Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of
The sequel is every bit as good as the original was bad. Nicholas Cage
is what he is, sometimes good, sometimes slumming, but this time he's
got help from Ciaran Hinds, Idris Elba, and even a good cameo turn by
Christopher Lambert. The special FX are better, the plot better, the
pacing, cinematography, and characters better.
Not that it's Road Warrior
(which it borrows from, along with Terminator
2). It isn't. But there's something to be said for hot
motorcycle chases, hot flaming skulls, and the possibility of angels. A
good thrill ride.
If you want to get away from it all for 95 minutes, you could do a lot
Have a nice weekend.
Here's my Flag Day moment. Got involved in personal business yesterday.
Please remove your hat while you take in the video. For a video, hand
over your heart is optional....