Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stuff White People Like

If you blog long enough, you'll discover that there are at least 100 people out there saying the same thing you are, and the vast majority of them are saying it better than you do. This isn't to discourage the 20 loyal readers I have, but to point to this book review of Stuff White People Like (which is also a blog).

The very funny Stuff White People Like holds up an unflattering mirror to upper middle-class liberals. You know the type: dressed in shorts and Free Tibet t-shirts, they drive their Obama bumper sticker-adorned Toyota Priuses – iPods blazing ‘black music that black people don’t listen to anymore’ – to their local farmer’s markets. There, they stuff organic veggies and free-range chicken into reusable shopping bags, before getting ready for yoga class, followed by an oh-so-ironic 80s night or a dinner party with friends.

Of course, you don’t have to be white to be one of the ‘white people’ that Lander satirises. As he says, ‘this is fundamentally about class, though there is a race element to it for sure’. He explains that ‘white people’ is shorthand for those ‘who don’t have to worry about paying the rent, who have followed college degrees that are based more on their interests or appearing smart than on any actual economic application. They are people who are doing things that appear to be beneficial to the world but are essentially just being used as status symbols.’

Stuff White People Like sounds like every poster and commenter on virtually every liberal blog I've read in the last five years.

I'm often astonished at the ridiculousness of comments on sites like Pandagon or Echidne of the Snakes, where suggestions include making all children's shot records available to all other students or allowing the government to dictate your health care. As Lander explains, these people feel superior by virtue of driving a Prius or eating organic veggies while planting their asses on an IKEA Ektorp sofa, not because they've actually done anything worth doing. For them, the superiority comes with not buying things from Wal-Mart, even if those things are affordable.

We all desire to see ourselves as unique, yet long to fit in. That's just part of human nature. But as Nathalie Rothschild notes, White People are concerned with not enjoying the best of modern society, whether it is technology, lifestyles, or food. Instead, they exhibit an odd sort of Puritanism, bent on societal regression (in arguing for smaller and smaller housing, for example, or forcing people to have smaller and smaller cars) as opposed to celebrating our advances. Stuff White People Like examines the silliness of these upper middle class behaviors.

12 Days of Global Warming

Courtesy of Flopping Aces,

Bristol Palin's Baby

I'm happy to hear that Bristol Palin gave birth to a healthy baby boy. But like others, I'm wondering when having the baby first, getting married later became the norm?

It isn't just semi-famous daughters of vice presidential candidates doing this. I know several people who have sat by in frustrated silence while their children planned fantasy white weddings which occasionally included their own children as flower girls and ring bearers (I'm not making this up).

Every generation thinks the one following is selfish and short-sighted, but I can't imagine anything more self-centered than putting off getting married because you have to have a gigantic reception complete with three-course wedding dinner and a four-piece band for the dance. Unfortunately, I've watched many people do this for the past 15 years or so, and the reasoning seems to be that because they want the white wedding, nothing--including parenthood--should interfere.

Perhaps this is just the culmination of our no-shame culture. We've gone from branding scarlet A's on people to applauding nonsense like this, all in the name of preserving self-esteem and not being judgmental. And while I certainly don't want to go back to the days where illegitimate children couldn't inherit from their parents, it seems to me that some shame is a good thing. We just shouldn't be having baby showers and wedding showers for people who thumb their noses at those quaint traditions of marriage and legitimate birth. The old joke that the first child comes any time after the wedding but all others take nine months still holds some truth to it.

And before the pro-choicers chime in, this is not a call for the abortion of illegitimate children. It just seems to me that if you find out you're pregnant and you and the father want to get married, then you shouldn't wait until the kid is walking before making it legal. A Justice of the Peace can perform a wedding with as many memories as any other officiator.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Coming to a City Near You: The Police Mommies

I guess fining people for bad manners wasn't enough. Now, a Michigan city has banned annoying people.

Ticking someone off could get you a ticket in one Michigan city. The Brighton City Council on Thursday approved an ordinance allowing police in the Livingston County community to ticket and fine anyone who is annoying in public "by word of mouth, sign or motions."

The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus of Howell reports the measure is modeled on a similar ordinance in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak.

A city attorney says there could be situations where the measure would violate freedom of speech, but that those cases will be reviewed by the city.

The ban takes effect Jan. 2.

I can think of a few people who better not go to Michigan!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pandagon Watch: Abortion Arguments

I really love it when Amanda Marcotte decides she's going to rebut pro-life arguments. Her answers are filled will twisted logic or just utter fallacies, but I'll run through them here:

1. A baby isn't unique because of its DNA because there are identical twins. Oh, and babies don't have consciousness before 29 weeks, so they aren't people, either. This misstates the use of separate DNA from the parents as proof that the baby inside his/her mother is, in fact, a separate human being. While there is truth to the idea that both sperm and eggs have different DNA from the whole person, I've yet to hear that cells in and of themselves are humans deserving of protection. The argument is that, unlike one's appendix--which Pandagonistas have compared abortion to--a baby is actually a separate being from the mother. And while the child is dependent for about 40 weeks inside the mother, he or she isn't a bodily organ over which Mom should simply decide to get rid of. We don't typically allow Mom to take out, say, her kidney, her intestine, her lungs without a lot of counselling and paperwork. To treat the killing of an infant with less concern is barbaric.

Now for the consciousness argument. People in comas aren't conscious either. And Alzheimer's patients have an enormously limited sense of consciousness. To take people who are not conscious off life support requires more paperwork and what can amount to a court order. We don't allow "consciousness" to be the rationale for killing Grandma, so it's hard to see how this is acceptable for the abortion argument.

2. People who think women use abortion as birth control just hate women and think they are sluts. Amanda's reasoning here is so golden that I have to quote it directly:
It’s assumed that a woman who chooses abortion for the simple reason she doesn’t want to have a baby is somehow getting away with something, and that something is having sex. However, the underlying assumption is that there’s a rational reason to oppose sexual liberation for women, and so far, I haven’t seen it. What few and tenuous social benefits we get from controlling women’s sexuality and shaming it are minor compared to the damage that this control visits upon women. Shaming and controlling female sexuality may make a few men’s lives easier because they can keep women in unhappy, servile relationships by invoking slut shame if they leave, but it makes women’s lives much harder. Sexual shaming of women contributes to bad outcomes on a number of levels: worse health care, lower incomes, lower self-esteem, and even violence against women. Sexual shaming also hurts the majority of men at the expense of the few. Most men are better off in a system where people can try partners on without shame until they find one that suits them best. If half the human race can’t engage in sexual contact freely, the other half has pretty limited options, except for the few that are gay, and even that presumes that misogyny doesn’t lead to homophobia, and we know in the real world that it does.

This is the argumentation I point to when I say how utterly out of touch Amanda and many feminists are with the pro-life position. Pro-lifers don't disagree with abortion as birth control because they want to punish women for having sex. Pro-lifers disagree with abortion as birth control because it is killing a human being for the convenience of someone else and life should be considered more precious than that. It's just not complicated. This has nothing to do with not wanting women to enjoy sex. Plenty of women with children still enjoy having sex. Not only this, but many women actually think that their ability to help create and nurture life makes them more powerful, not less. The pathetic attempt to white wash abortion as woman hatred is delusional.

3. Abortion has nothing to do with self-loathing. I actually agree with this statement, but it isn't what Amanda actually means. Here's what she says:
Abortion is the behavior of neurotic women who don’t enjoy being women. This one very rarely trickles up to the official discourse (emphasis mine), but there’s still this lingering belief that motherhood is every woman’s destiny and that abortion must therefore be a neurotic rejection of your biology. Pointing out that most women who have abortions have children already---and that the rest probably will eventually---shuts this avenue down pretty quickly. But it’s worth noting, because it used to be, from what I can tell, a very popular secular anti-choice argument.

I have never, ever heard this argument from a pro-life supporter. Not in any form or fashion. No one on the pro-life side argues that women who have abortions hate being women. This is the type of argument pro-abortion supporters like Amanda use to dismiss the logical arguments against abortion.

Here's a little warning. Whenever Amanda says "there's this lingering belief" without giving a link to some reasonable, normal source of information (as opposed to a church with three members that she found in a Google search), it means "no one thinks this but I gotta lie about it anyway."

This is the first time in a while that Amanda has actually tried to rebut pro-life arguments, and it's obvious why. She would never be able to actually debate pro-life supporters in any forum that wasn't heavily stacked in her favor (say, her blog where she can lie to people and shut down debate when she loses). Instead, she builds the kinds of strawmen not seen outside of corn fields in Iowa. Pro-lifers don't hate women and they don't spend too much time thinking about whether a pregnant woman is a slut or not. Instead, they spend their time and energy on helping to preserve life, particularly the innocent life of children. If this is the best argument Amanda has, it's no wonder she shuts down debate as often as she does.

The French Revolution

Anyone wishing to understand the abject contempt many liberals on the web have for America and its institutions need to study the French Revolution.

Today, I watched The French Revolution on the History Channel and realized that the Pandagonistas are the philosophical direct decendants of the blood-thirsty leaders who overthrew the monarchy. This is in no way a defense of the behavior of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, but when you look at the anarchy which arose, you have to wonder if it is not the sort of thing many advocate.

Oddly, to read Daily KOS or Pandagon, one would think we actually had Louis XVI reincarnated as George W. Bush. And I can't help but wonder who, exactly starved or had their Constitutional protects shredded by the 43d president? Other than the inconvenience of removing one's shoes at the airport, I can't find many "liberties" banned. We still have a free--and ultra-critical--press at work (at least when a Republican is president). One can still travel without enormous difficulty both within the country and without. And despite what you hear, food and health care are both readily available.

But having read the hysterical writings regarding trivial matters (Rick Warren's invocation invitation comes to mind), I have to wonder if these radicals wouldn't fit better in 18th Century France.

Video Game Science

Perhaps I've spent too much time at feminist blogs, but this story on why video games are more addictive to men than women doesn't smell right to me.

Scientists have found answer to the question that intrigued women for years: Why men are 'hooked' on video games? According to the researchers, the 'passion' stems from a deep-rooted urge to conquer.
Through the magic of brain-scanning, scientists at the Stanford University have determined that playing on computer activates parts of the male brain which are linked to rewarding feelings and addiction. The more opponents they vanquish and points they score, the more stimulated this region becomes, the scans revealed.
In contrast, these parts of women's brains are much less likely to be triggered by sessions on the Sony PlayStation. Professor Allan Reiss of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research at Stanford University, California, said, “Women understood computer games just as well as men but did not have the same neurological drive to win.”

For the record, I love video games, particularly computer games and MMORPGs. But the reason I've never played games with the same persistence on the GameCube or whatever is that, for me, most of the games were boring. Is it simply possible that more women see MarioKart as uninteresting, as opposed to their inability to appreciate competitiveness? No one in my family would accuse me of being laid back or uncompetitive, and I hardly think I'm unusual. But driving around a track avoiding obstacles (or running over them, for that matter) isn't particularly interesting.

Global Warming

I don't remember when I noticed the term "global warming" had been replaced with "climate change," but it was some time after a number of prominent scientists had declared their skepticism of man-made global warming.

There are still liberals claiming that Barack Obama is the second coming of Christ because he's appointing "real scientists"(i.e., global warming believers) to his cabinet. These fools continue to argue that skepticism that humans have that much to do with any particular warming trend across the globe constitutes a blind allegiance to religion or something. I use the word "fools" pointedly, because stories like this one point that the trend is in favor of skeptics, not against them.

Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming. Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed, to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects.

First, all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models which have been used as the main drivers of the scare. Last winter, as temperatures plummeted, many parts of the world had snowfalls on a scale not seen for decades. This winter, with the whole of Canada and half the US under snow, looks likely to be even worse. After several years flatlining, global temperatures have dropped sharply enough to cancel out much of their net rise in the 20th century.

Ever shriller and more frantic has become the insistence of the warmists, cheered on by their army of media groupies such as the BBC, that the last 10 years have been the "hottest in history" and that the North Pole would soon be ice-free – as the poles remain defiantly icebound and those polar bears fail to drown. All those hysterical predictions that we are seeing more droughts and hurricanes than ever before have infuriatingly failed to materialise.

Even the more cautious scientific acolytes of the official orthodoxy now admit that, thanks to "natural factors" such as ocean currents, temperatures have failed to rise as predicted (although they plaintively assure us that this cooling effect is merely "masking the underlying warming trend", and that the temperature rise will resume worse than ever by the middle of the next decade).

Secondly, 2008 was the year when any pretence that there was a "scientific consensus" in favour of man-made global warming collapsed. At long last, as in the Manhattan Declaration last March, hundreds of proper scientists, including many of the world's most eminent climate experts, have been rallying to pour scorn on that "consensus" which was only a politically engineered artefact, based on ever more blatantly manipulated data and computer models programmed to produce no more than convenient fictions.

Thirdly, as banks collapsed and the global economy plunged into its worst recession for decades, harsh reality at last began to break in on those self-deluding dreams which have for so long possessed almost every politician in the western world. As we saw in this month's Poznan conference, when 10,000 politicians, officials and "environmentalists" gathered to plan next year's "son of Kyoto" treaty in Copenhagen, panicking politicians are waking up to the fact that the world can no longer afford all those quixotic schemes for "combating climate change" with which they were so happy to indulge themselves in more comfortable times.

It hasn't simply been "greed" that caused the Bush administration to reject the draconian measures Kyoto and other measures would place on American business, although the effects would be devastating to our GDP. As skyrocketing gasoline prices showed last summer, high prices and caps hurt the poor far worse than "the rich" they are aimed at, and it seems a little absurd that the same people constantly railing about equality and justice see absolutely nothing wrong with crushing the poor in order to punish "the rich."

More to the point, pulling the emergency brake on our economy isn't (or wouldn't) necessarily have stopped global warming. That's one reason so many scientists didn't jump on the Inconvenient Truth bandwagon. There are plenty of reasons to explain the warming of the planet (normal cyclical changes comes to mind), but American use of CO2 isn't necessarily one of them.

BTW, this is not to say that searching for alternatives to gasoline is a bad thing. I support the interest in other technologies. But the liberal whingeing that George Bush is personally responsible for every tornado, hurricane, tsunami, and mudslide of the last eight years is not only delusional but gives us one more reason to ignore them and leave them to their delusions while the rest of us move in more logical and normal directions in terms of energy use.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Conservatism Is

Not what liberals think.

(C)onservatism defends a positive and fully integrated view of the individual and his role in society. True, conservatives are too skeptical of the power of abstract reason to believe that politicians can improve human nature, though they believe that politicians may corrupt it. True, conservatives believe that the individual, shorn of his inherited social ties, will act less morally because he will lose the bonds of affection that keep pride and selfishness in check. But these are mere defensive responses to the overreaching claims of liberalism and its radical outgrowths. The roots of conservative opposition to liberalism lie in a very positive conception of the human person and the possibilities of social life.

Conservatives are attached, not so much to any particular regime or form of government, as to what they believe are the requirements for a good life for all peoples. In the American context, conservatives defend the ordered liberty established by the Constitution and the traditions and practices on which that constitution was built. In particular, the common law understanding of custom as a necessary basis for law and public action and the primary role of local associations in framing the character and lives of the people are central to the conservative vision of America. Because conservatives believe that people live in their families, associations, and communities more than in their government, they seek to maximize the number of important relationships available to individuals as they seek to minimize the role of particular politicians and policies in dominating, destroying, or displacing these associations.

Bush Doubled Number of Community Clinics

Hard to believe the New York Times could write anything good about President Bush, but this story says that the number of community health clinics have doubled in the last eight years.

In Mr. Bush’s first year in office, he proposed to open or expand 1,200 clinics over five years (mission accomplished) and to double the number of patients served (the increase has ended up closer to 60 percent). With the health centers now serving more than 16 million patients at 7,354 sites, the expansion has been the largest since the program’s origins in President Lyndon B. Johnson’s war on poverty, federal officials said.

“They’re an integral part of a health care system because they provide care for the low-income, for the newly arrived, and they take the pressure off of our hospital emergency rooms,” Mr. Bush said last year while touring a clinic in Omaha.

With federal encouragement, the centers have made a major push this decade to expand dental and mental health services, open on-site pharmacies, extend hours to nights and weekends and accommodate recent immigrants — legal and otherwise — by employing bilingual staff. More than a third of patients are now Hispanic, according to the National Association of Community Health Centers.

Don't expect the cries from the Left about how people are dying in the streets because of George Bush to abate, though.

It's Supposed to be 77 in Fort Worth Today

In Grand Rapids? Not so warm.

We're going to a Christmas village today. Should be fun!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

They Can't Let the Church Off Even on Christmas

There's only one thing that bugs the moonbats more that Christmas and that's the Catholic Church at Christmas. Geez, don't these people ever give it a rest? Doesn't Pam Spaulding have a gay winter solstice service to attend or something?

If ever there was proof of the pathetic, self-absorbed nature of leftwing crazies, it's their sad and lonely attempts at humor because, like the Grinch, they can't stop Christmas from coming. If people like Amanda weren't already bitter, puckered and alone, you'd almost wish that on them. Well, if you weren't enjoying loving family and friends, that is.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

So, Does the Pope Get to Give an Alternative Message During Ramadan?

Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivers his alternative message on the second holiest day in the Christian year.

All Prophets called for the worship of God, for love and brotherhood, for the establishment of justice and for love in human society. Jesus, the Son of Mary, is the standard-bearer of justice, of love for our fellow human beings, of the fight against tyranny, discrimination and injustice.

All the problems that have bedevilled humanity throughout the ages came about because humanity followed an evil path and disregarded the message of the Prophets.

Now as human society faces a myriad of problems and a succession of complex crises, the root causes can be found in humanity's rejection of that message, in particular the indifference of some governments and powers towards the teachings of the divine Prophets, especially those of Jesus Christ.

The crises in society, the family, morality, politics, security and the economy which have made life hard for humanity and continue to put great pressure on all nations have come about because the Prophets have been forgotten, the Almighty has been forgotten and some leaders are estranged from God.

If Christ were on Earth today, undoubtedly He would stand with the people in opposition to bullying, ill-tempered and expansionist powers.

If Christ were on Earth today, undoubtedly He would hoist the banner of justice and love for humanity to oppose warmongers, occupiers, terrorists and bullies the world over.

If Christ were on Earth today, undoubtedly He would fight against the tyrannical policies of prevailing global economic and political systems, as He did in His lifetime. The solution to today's problems is a return to the call of the divine Prophets. The solution to these crises is to follow the Prophets - they were sent by the Almighty for the good of humanity.

Jesus Christ wasn't just a prophet. Not to Christians. Jesus Christ was God come to Earth in human form. He lived a perfect life, died on the cross for the sins of mankind and rose again from the dead. To call him simply a prophet on the same level with Mohammed is an insult to Christianity.

As is trying to weave a narrative whereby the U.S. taking out an evil dictator and trying to establish democracy in a country which never had it with tyranny.

If Ahmadinejad wanted to display the peace and understanding of Christ, he could start with not denying the most horrific event of the 20th Century. He could stop threatening Israel. He could stop suppressing freedom in his own borders.

From Hot Air:
If it’s all about insight into “alternative world views,” why not just interview him and run it on Friday? Why give him the Christmas slot? There’s no way to read this except as a middle finger.

Question of the Day

Do liberals ever cite an example where a liberal isn't making mincemeat of a conservative? I mean, if liberals were actually that effective, wouldn't they be more prominent on talk radio and other programs where debate skills are useful?

Obama: I've Investigated Myself and Found Myself Not Guilty

That's the gist of Obama's self-investigation.

Is he serious? It's not April 1, so I assume this isn't a joke, not that Teh One's sense of humor has been documented, anyway.

My first thought was that this reminded me of O.J. Simpson's book If I Did It. I mean, after all, if he says there was nothing shady about contacts with Blago, we should just believe him, right?

Oh, wait, the useful idiots are. It will be a sad and pathetic four years watching them cry, "But--but--but he said he didn't have anything to do with that scandal!"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

If You Lie to Yourself Often Enough

You become Dan Rather.

I'm in Michigan...

So blogging will be light this week. We are expecting about 6 inches of snow tonight and another 8 inches tomorrow. There's at least 3 feet of snow on the ground. I've never seen this much snow in my life!

Today, we went out to buy snowpants, boots and gloves for the kids. They've been playing outside since (nice to see them doing something other than playing on the computer), and we'll be going sledding tonight.

UPDATE: Here are pics:

Monday, December 22, 2008

Decline in Day Care?

I'm sure Barack Obama will have a day care subsidy somewhere in his stimulus economic recovery plan to combat the decrease in day care use.

In the Prince George's County community of Riverdale Park, town officials have noted a distressing sign of the national economic downturn: more children left home alone to fend for themselves by working parents too strapped to afford child care...

"I've never seen anything like this before," said Phyllis Waters, president of the Professional Child Care Provider Network of Prince George's County. "You're seeing people just dropping out. . . . They're taking them out of day care and putting them into homes with grandmothers and neighbors and whoever else."

For families with young children, day-care costs can rival a rent or mortgage payment, with an average that can approach almost $1,000 a month for one infant at a child-care center. But as hard times hit home, advocates and parents worry about what children stand to lose in the scaling back, both in early education and, even more, in safety.

$1,000 per month for day care? What are they doing during that time? Teach 9-month-olds the Gettysburg Address?

When I used day care, I always preferred home care to institutionalized care because home care most resembles a family. Workers come and go with alarming frequency at big day care centers. But a woman who interacts with your child in a home setting creates a more positive experience, at least, in my opinion. Nor did any of my kids suffer developmentally because they weren't reading at 3 or doing long division by the time they hit kindergarten. I always thought school was supposed to be the place where they learned these things. And kindergarteners who can't read The Tales of Despereaux aren't a cause for alarm; if the same child can't read that book by fifth grade, maybe there's a reason to worry.

I find it amusing that day care supporters shun the idea that aunts, uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers are qualified to lovingly care for their own relatives. What, exactly, does a child get from care from a stranger that is more beneficial than spending extra time with Grandma and Grandpa? My only regret is that my kiddoes didn't get to spend even MORE time with their grandparents. Heck, I wish I'd gotten to do that.

A Different Perspective on the Rick Warren Flap

This HuffPo piece shows an interesting, but different, perspective on the whol Rick Warren and gay marriage flap. Bob Ostertag says that it is ridiculous to focus solely on gay marriage and to ignore every good thing Rick Warren does because of his opinion on this one issue.

Rick Warren reverse tithes, giving away 90% of his money and living on 10%. That money is used in a variety of causes that liberals should be championing, from AIDS outreach to poverty programs to global warming stuff. But a huge number of liberals are up in arms because Warren is a Christian who actually thinks homosexual marriage is wrong.

I grew up a Southern Baptist, and my problems with that church are manifold. And I suppose it's easy for me to blow off gay marriage as an issue since I'm not gay. But there are worse things to get upset with Southern Baptist theology than gay marriage. But that's not really the point.

Rick Warren is very popular not just for some theological brilliance, but for pointing out the obvious truth about making your life revolve around more than personal satisfaction and materialism. These are two things even secularists like Amanda Marcotte should be able to agree with. Yet Amanda, like so many others is more concerned with why people oppose gay marriage (and bashing them for it) than she is about appreciating areas of agreement.

Amusingly, Amanda's argument--that Warren (and by extension, other Christians)--are just jealous of all the sex they think homosexuals are having, is undermined by Ostertag's post.

Is this really where decades of struggle for sexual freedom ends? With the state granting its blessing to homosexual nuclear families emerging from City Hall, husband-and-husband or wife-and-wife, with the photographer and the rice and the whole bit, finally having become just like them?

Not for me. Not for my family, with its various men, each of whom I love in a different way, a child, and two moms. Not that my family is any sort of queer norm. But that's the beautiful thing about queer culture: there is no norm. We piece together our families, holding on to those relationships that work.

The fact is most of us won't marry even if we have the right to. We are putting all our resources into winning a right that only the few of us in long-term conventional couple relationships will enjoy. What's more, we are creating a social climate in which young queers are encouraged to recast their vision of the relationships they seek to favor the married couple. This is not only a loss for the vibrancy of queer culture, it is a disservice to young people who will not be well served by their nuclear family ambitions. Just consider the high number of gay and lesbian divorces (yes, the rate is already high despite the fact that we have not even fully won the right to marry yet).

Ostertag admits what most demanding gay marriage acceptance won't: their lifestyles do not conform to any traditional monogomous couple ideal. This isn't to say there aren't monogomous gay couples; we've all known some of those. But Ostertag hints at something quite well-known, that gay families frequently include couplings and groups, and that the monogamous lifestyle advocated by marriage doesn't fit this behavior.

My own particular views on the subject are evolving, but I don't have a big problem if people in any state want to authorize same sex marriage. When people don't want it, it shouldn't be a big deal, either.

But regardless of what the angst-riddled on the left will tell you, there's more to accept about Warren than dislike. The focus on Warren's very conventional views of marriage is just the latest way to try to bash anyone who disagrees with them.

Best Quote of the Year

Cheney: I told Leahy to ‘f*ck’ himself because ‘I thought he merited it.’
God, I'm gonna miss him.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The $800 million Pony

Obama has already proposed putting all those laid-off sales clerks, data entry people, lawyers and waitresses back to work building bridges and changing lightbulbs--two things we're not sure the unemployed are either qualified for or willing to do. I suppose to the Obama administration, a job's a job and with the news that we could lose 3.5 million jobs next year, he might have to demand that people accept whatever job is out there, a shockingly conservative viewpoint and one likely to have him castigated by the left.

Now, don't get me wrong. I think taking any job is better than sitting around collecting unemployment. But that doesn't mean I think an attorney recently cut from the firm is qualified to go repair bridges. Or that a paralegal is going to want to change lightbulbs for $9 an hour. We are, indeed, a spoiled lot, where we want jobs that dovetail with our experience and education, rather than just putting bread on the table.

If Democrats have their way, the $800 million now being proposed for "middle-class tax cuts, aid to strapped state governments and investments in domestic priorities such as infrastructure, health-care technology and education" is sure to persuade more than a few laid-off call center workers to pursue new careers as elementary school teachers. But don't for a minute assume there won't be a few goodies (read: pork) for the constituents back home, even though Democrats claim to be banning the practice.

According to congressional sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan is not yet final, the money is expected to be split into three pots, with at least $100 billion going to the states, primarily to cover the rising cost of health care for the poor.

Roughly $350 billion would be invested to rebuild roads and bridges, modernize schools and help hospitals and doctors switch to computerized patient records. That category also would include projects aimed at improving energy efficiency, such as weatherizing buildings, as well as aid to the poor through expanded unemployment and food-stamp benefits.

Obama's team has also laid out a substantial tax-cutting agenda that will include a $1,000 tax credit for working families, Obama advisers said, a provision that congressional sources said is estimated to cost about $140 billion over two years. Other tax provisions could include tax breaks for businesses, an expansion of the earned-income tax credit for the poor and new credits for tuition and alternative energy, congressional aides said.

Yes, I can see all those journalists and bankers now weatherizing buildings. And I can't wait to see who qualifies as a "working family." Where's my pony? I was promised a pony!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Democrats are three times more corrupt than Republicans.

Argument by Exception

In a more expansive post, Robert Stacy McCain points out how argument by exception has become the strongest tool in the liberal arsenal.

Furthermore, academia seems to be teaching young people to argue by exceptions, to naysay any general observation by responding, "Yeah, but what if . . .?" The "what if" is always some hypothetical case intended to disprove the general observation. You see this all the time in the abortion debate.

The overwhelming majority of abortions are merely retroactive contraception to terminate an adult woman's inconvenient pregnancy. Yet pro-choicers are always conjuring up the specter of the 14-year-old incest victim, or the woman whose pregnancy presents potentially fatal medical complications. One might allow for every such exceptional case and still prohibit 97 percent of abortions -- reducing the annual number of U.S. abortions from more than a million to less than 50,000 -- but in the mind of pro-choicers the existence of a relatively few exceptional cases justifies unlimited abortion.

Often, in my debates with pro-choicers, I am accused of being anti-contraception, anti-woman (indeed, frequently assumed to not be a woman), heartless, stupid and against any possible exceptions for abortion. This isn't the case; I think contraception is a good thing if you don't want children, and even though I personally wouldn't have an abortion for rape or incest (perhaps not even the life-threatening pregnancy), I could allow those exceptions if it meant barring the 97% of abortions done for other reasons.

But this never seems to be enough for the hardliners. Because if you point out where you might agree with them--on contraception, for instance--they will simply keep moving the goalposts. What about the morning after pill? What about babies born to abused women? What about all those babies already born but living in orphanages?

This linguistic trap is often used when discussing crisis pregnancy centers. As I pointed out in a previous post, for the radicals, it isn't enough that an organization offer ultrasound, pregnancy information, baby supplies and even names, addresses, and phone numbers of churches and people willing to help pregnant women. If the organization isn't discussing abortion and birth control, it's only purpose is to "trick" women into having their babies.

Such arguments are only persuasive to the naive and those already prone to believe them. Fortunately, there aren't too many of those around.

Pandagon Watch: Radical Secularists and Christianity

Friend and frequent commenter Chuck sent me an e-mail regarding a current Pandagon post by Amanda Marcotte titled "Hard times for you, happy times for Bible thumpers." His comment was,

Amanda really seems delusional when it comes to religious faith. Do you think that she actually believes what she has written in the attached blog?

In a word, yes.

I don't say that just to bash Amanda, although that can be fun, too. But Amanda is representative of the radical secularists which inhabit so much of the moonbatosphere. These people are completely irrational when it comes to religion and religious expression, particularly of the Christian variety. Go to the most popular lefty blogs (and Andrew Sullivan's blog, as well), and you will invariably find plenty of posts and comments which completely and harshly distort the views and behaviors of most Christians.

For example, this rather positive story discussing how more people go to church during bad times became a chance to rant about how "Bible thumpers" exploit the poor and needy.
In general, this story demonstrates why, even if Obama reaching out to Rick Warren is merely a symbolic gesture, it’s silly to try to reach out (except maybe to discredit Rick Warren, which this probably won’t do). I know the Democrats are chomping at the bit to chip off evangelical voters, and maybe they did that to a degree because of the severity of hard times, but in the end this story demonstrates that the evangelical churches will never, ever side with Democrats. It’s not in the pastors’ self-interest to do anything but shill for the Republican party, and it’s not just because the Republicans are warmer to hating on women and gays. It’s because Republican rule means more desperation, and more desperation means more people who turn to the Sky Fairy for hope, and the more that happens, the more money and power these pastors amass. And no amount of inaugural prayer will change that.

See, ministers don't support Republican candidates because those candidates more closely reflect Christian views on family, life, and other social issues. It's actually just an evil plot to ensure more people are poor and desperate. And, of course, Republicans always cause economic turmoil and hurt more people, thus providing more needy for the churches to exploit. See? And fire doesn't melt steel.

I have to admit that I'm no longer surprised at the hateful, angry, nasty attitude on display by many liberals on the web. After all, anonymity allows them the freedom to take off the mask they have to wear by day and display their blood-dripping fangs instead. But it's always off-putting to notice how utterly and completely void of logic these people are.

The New York Times article, for example, doesn't paint churches and ministers as opportunistic jerks capitalizing on the misfortune of others.
At the Shelter Rock Church, many newcomers have been invited by members who knew they had recently lost jobs. On a recent Sunday, new faces included a hedge fund manager and an investment banker, both laid off, who were friends of Steve Leondis, a cheerful business executive who has been a church member for four years. The two newcomers, both Catholics, declined to be interviewed, but Mr. Leondis said they agreed to attend Shelter Rock to hear Mr. Tomlinson’s sermon series, “Faith in Unstable Times.”

“They wanted something that pertained to them,” he said, “some comfort that pertained to their situations.”

Mr. Tomlinson and his staff in Manhasset and at a satellite church in nearby Syosset have recently discussed hiring an executive pastor to take over administrative work, so they can spend more time pastoring.

“There are a lot of walking wounded in this town,” he said.

This isn't the section of the article emphasized by secularist jerks, but it explains more about how churches approach bad times. Christians believe in ministering to the needy in a variety of ways, including taking care of bodily needs and spiritual ones, and government handouts aren't going to help those issues.

Many times, the secularists scream and harangue that Christians aren't taking care of the poor when they get involved in politics and policy-making, particularly in the area of abortion. Yet when churches, as demonstrated in this story, are working to help physical needs and spiritual ones, then they are simply exploiting the needy. Secularist jerks reveal their actual beliefs in times like this: they would rather religious people not participate in civic life at all.

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's Supposed to be 72 Here Today

And my sister-in-law in Michigan just sent pictures of snow-covered cars and the information that the high there, where we will be next week, is 27.

The World Will Hate Us Even With Obama

One of the more annoying arguments for voting for Barack Obama was that the rest of the world would like us better. This was always a lot of hooey, because no matter who has been president, the world despises us. Regardless of our foreign policy, the rest of the world dislikes us because of our power and influence, two things Americans shouldn't be so willing to give up easily. But don't believe me, read this.

One hates to spoil a good party, but here's a bet that's far safer these days than a U.S. Treasury bill: Even with Obama at the White House, they won't really like us any more than before.

It's not because America's not a special country, a City upon a Hill, from the Pilgrims to Obama, the Blagojevich couple and other American horrors notwithstanding. It's because it is. And as ever, our earnest assertion of our superior ontological uniqueness--not to mention its reality in and of itself--is exactly what always grated on the unfriendlies grouped together under the banner of anti-Americanism.

The past few years for sure were especially happy ones for the flag burners, intellectual bomb throwers and suicide attackers. George W. Bush gave this crowd a great excuse to hate America--and the Democrats a highly effective partisan political weapon against the ruling party.

At home, Bush played well into the favored narrative of an America Lost. Namely, that this administration squandered all that good will overseas we earned after 9/11. But remember how the good will was earned, and from whom. Everyone loves to cite Le Monde's opening editorial line that day, "Today we're all Americans!" I was in Paris that day. Here's what I read: "Today, when that arrogant colossus across the sea lies prostrate and bloodied and humbled, we're all Americans, but let them stay down or ..."

They like us when we are weak, not strong.

The Flap Over Rick Warren

Ok, the seething Left needs to get a grip about Rick Warren.

There is no three dimensional chess here or political calculation that makes sense on this point. If the argument is that sacrificing the rights of another group on the altar of political power is a reasonable choice, then you should remember that a society that callously denies one group their humanity can just as easily deny you yours.

First, there are no rights being sacrificed on any altar here. Gay marriage has never been a part of marriage in any society before ours. Never. Not once. And gay men, have always enjoyed the rights and privileges associated with their status as males. This is something that no woman, straight or gay, had in virtually every society before about the 20th century. This is where the "we have been persecuted just like women!" pisses me off.

Gay men have never been told that they lacked the capacity to sue, own property, or act in their own names. Women, specifically married women, have in every society. They've been subjected to the sorts of gender science that have said things like women are too stupid to go to college or hold certain jobs or whatnot because we have two X chromosomes instead of one X and one Y.

And so now, just because homosexuals aren't being allowed to marry--in the same way they haven't ever been allowed to marry in this country--that's denying one's humanity?

Rick Warren's opposition to gay marriage represents the majority opinions of Americans in this country. It also represents the opinions expressed in the Bible and held by most Christians. That doesn't mean those attitudes won't change or that homosexuals, still smarting from the Prop 8 loss, don't have a right to be disappointed. But this is, in no way, comparable to the struggles women have faced over the generations just to be treated the way men are.

On a related note, Amanda Marcotte is displaying her endless cache of stupidity regarding Warren, abortion, women's rights, and hyperbole.

I actually agree with the part of her post that suggests comparisons between abortion and the Holocaust are insulting and insipid. But, frankly, I find any comparisons with the Holocaust to be a form of demogoguery designed to cheapen what exactly occured during the Holocaust.

The insipid part of Amanda's post comes, as usual, with her insistence that people who oppose abortion and support babies do so because they hate women. Given that more abortions across the world are done on female babies as opposed to male ones, it's a bit difficult to follow the logic here. I suppose her idea of "hating women" means thinking life is valuable, regardless of its convenience. Oddly, the founders of feminism didn't think that women's equality was to be gained by killing the inconvenient.

This carping that a Southern Baptist minister espouses Southern Baptist theology is annoying. If Billy Graham were to give the invocation, would these same people be screaming that it was "denying their humanity"? Graham has met with every sitting president since Harry Truman, and gave the benediction at George H.W. Bush's inauguration. No one complained that it was a slap in anyone's face that this happened. It's time for the luny left to act a little more maturely.

Bush Bails Out Auto Industry

In yet another move to piss off Republicans, President Bush has decided to give the Big 3 a $17 billion Christmas gift. At least these are loans, as opposed to just giving 'em the money. But who really believes this will work better than a bankruptcy would?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Misinformer of the Year? That's Media Matters

Media Matters, the George Soros-backed liberal echo chamber, has named Sean Hannity as its "Misinformer of the Year." Here are examples of "misinformation," according to Media Matters:

1. Hannity said Obama made a "rookie mistake" by saying he would invade an ally. But Obama's own speech shows that Hannity's characterization is accurate.
If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will.

How else do you describe Obama's point but that we would invade an ally? This is no "misinformation." It's accurate.

2. Air-raiding villages. Obama said, "We've got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there." Media Matters goes to great lengths to try to explain this statement as not being an indictment of our troops. But as Don Surber states, air-raiding means that we're targeting the people in the villages, namely civilians. And that is something we didn't do.

3. Most liberal senator. Media Matters takes umbrage that Sean Hannity quoted the National Journal, which stated that Barack Obama was the most liberal senator in the U.S. MM argues that a different survey finds Obama to be only the tenth most liberal senator. Oh, that's so much better. That really refutes the point, which is that Obama is a classic liberal. Oddly, MM doesn't bother coming up with competing evidence when they attack Republicans as too conservative.

There are multiple other examples of supposed "misinformation," mostly the sort of nit-picking that Media Matters has become famous for, including that when Sean Hannity noted Franklin Raines's role as economic advisor for Obama, it was supposedly inaccurate because the WaPo Fact Checker said it was "exaggerated."

The list is ridiculous and simply disingenuous. I've posted before (see here, here and here) about the lying and obfuscation of Media Matters, so this latest stunt is not surprising. Like most liberal outlets, Media Matters attacks Hannity (and other conservatives) not because they're wrong, but because they're effective.

Redefining Away a Negative Trend

The New York Times had a story yesterday on the positive trend of fewer black single-parent homes.

The number of black children being raised by two parents appears to be edging higher than at any time in a generation, at nearly 40 percent, according to newly released census data.

Demographers said such a trend might be partly attributable to the growing proportion of immigrants in the nation’s black population. It may have been driven, too, by the values of an emerging black middle class, a trend that could be jeopardized by the current economic meltdown.

This was encouraging news! And as the black middle class expands, this trend should continue, right?

Except that the trend is a lie. Black single-parent homes haven't declined. The Census Bureau just changed the definition of family.
The Census Bureau attributed an indeterminate amount of the increase to revised definitions adopted in 2007, which identify as parents any man and woman living together, whether or not they are married or the child’s biological parents.

You get that? Parents can be two strangers living in the same household. Or a father and his daughter who are raising her children. Or a sister and brother, raising their kids. Or stepparents raising a spouse's children.

Now, I'm all for recognizing the role of stepparents in the family equation. My husband raised my daughter for 10 of the first 12 years of her life before she decided to live with her father. Yet the system didn't even recognize him as any sort of parental figure, even a quasi-parental one. Family law isn't designed to handle the complexities of 21st century parents. In our hearts, though, we always knew my husband was my daughter's other father (my daughter, now 17, acknowledges this, as well).

But having said that, redefining a family isn't going to change the fact that more children are being raised by only one of their parents, and that there are real consequences to that.

James Taranto has a good column on that subject today.
Why not redefine together to mean "on the same planet"? So long as at least one man and one woman live on Earth, whether or not they are married or the child's biological parents, every child is being raised by two (or more) parents, and this will remain true at least until we begin colonizing space. Hey, it takes a village!

Next up, redefining rich, poverty, middle class, and race.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I Didn't Tell You?

Holder omitted Blagojevich link from questionnaire.

Six degrees of separation.

"He was very lucky that it was Mr. Bush...and not Saddam Hussein"

So says the Iraqi ambassador Samir Sumaida’ie to Code Pink nutjobs who applauded insulting their president.

Mr. Muntader al-Zaidi is very lucky that it was Mr. Bush and Mr. Maliki and not Saddam Hussein. Because, had it been Mr. Saddam Hussein he'd be (inaudible). Number 2, in our country, I know that people have told you that showing shoes at someone is an insult. But, it is a bigger insult to the host; in our culture anyone who insults a guest is insulting the host. So in our culture we believe that what Mr al-Zeidi did was reprehensible.

Via Gateway Pundit.

The worst part is that these jerks don't realize the insult is to them, as well.

Obama Chooses Rick Warren for Invocation

So far, Barack Obama hasn't done a lot to hack me off. I'm not in the Obamabot camp, and I don't believe for a moment that he's going to become a conservative, but his choices for cabinet posts have been tolerable.

Today's announcement was golden.

President-elect Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony will feature big names like minister Rick Warren and legendary singer Aretha Franklin, the Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies announced Wednesday.

Warren, the prominent evangelical and founder of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, will deliver the ceremony's invocation. The minister hosted a presidential forum at his church last summer that challenged both Obama and Arizona Sen. John McCain on a host of faith-related issues. Warren did not endorse either presidential candidate.

His public support for California's Proposition 8 — the measure that successfully passed and called for outlawing gay marriage in the state — sparked the ire of many gay rights proponents, who seized on a comment in an October newsletter to his congregation: "This is not a political issue — it is a moral issue that God has spoken clearly about."

The reason Obama is interested in Warren is clear from the next paragraph.
But Warren has long sought to broaden the focus of the evangelical agenda to include issues like the reduction of global poverty, human rights abuses, and the AIDS epidemic.

Obama's economic justice philosophy dovetails nicely with issues like global poverty, human rights abuses and the AIDS epidemic, which probably has a lot to do with why Obama wants to be publicly aligned with the Saddleback Church crowd. Not to mention the sort of religious left crowd Warren represents.

But picking Warren has the moonbats screaming and frothing in such a delightful manner.
I understand that Warren isn't going to be driving policy, that he's only leading a prayer at the inauguration (and why there is a prayer at the presidential inauguration is a whole other post), but I also know that there are, literally, thousands of other religious leaders from multiple religions and Christian denominations, who aren't anti-choice, anti-gay, and anti-science, whose presence at the inauguration wouldn't be a sharp stick in the eye to progressive women and GBTQ men, and all their allies, so it would have been really f*cking nice if any one of them could have been selected for this prominent opportunity instead of Rick bloody Warren.

I wish we had the list of approved ministers!

More harrumphing here and here, including the first official call for Obama's impeachment.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cleavage in the Workplace

Some days, you need a good laugh, and The Other McCain has a post up about how sexist dress codes prevent women from showing as much cleavage as possible.

The original post at Cassy Fiano is hilarious, as well as pointed. In a nutshell, a woman wore a blouse to work which exposed too much of her breasts. A supervisor sent her an e-mail, informing her that the shirt was too low-cut and that, in the future, she should either wear something else under it or not wear that piece of clothing to work. Embarrassing? Sure, but not particularly political.

Unless you're a feminist.

If you're a feminist, asking a woman not to expose her chest to the world is sexism. Why? Because only women have boobs. Or, as one commenter at feministing put it,

Ok, looking at this from a feminist perspective, first off, enforcing a dress code is only OK if it is enforced uniformly for all employees of any gender. Whatever men can/can’t reveal, the standards for women must be the same, and they must be clearly defined, like for example, “no one should wear any garment that exposes more than 2 inches of skin below the bottom edge of the collar bone.” Otherwise, you get cases like this of random enforcement delivered in passive-aggressive emails that say “you’re showing a little too much cleavage.”

That implies that some amount of cleavage is OK, but that there is a limit. So what is the amount? How do you measure that amount? It’s been arbitrarily defined by a supervisor, yet that standard has not been shared in this offensive email.

So what has happened is that this woman has been singled out and told that she is being held to a certain nebulous standard, one of being able to show some cleavage, but not “too much” cleavage. Thus, the reality of living in a perpetual state catch-22 (one of the patriarchy’s strongest tools) which is inherent to having a vagina is perpetuated on an individual, personal and physical level.

And that is why this is bad.

I hate to point this out to these people, but there was a time, in the not too distant past, where women didn't try to show their cleavage at work. It was considered unprofessional to hang out of one's clothing, and was distracting to men as well as women. And it was embarrassing. There was no "right" to wear whatever the hell one wanted at work. You wore either a uniform or avoided wearing the clothing included in the dress code (no shorts or flip-flops, for example).

But given that we are in a day and age where people (ok, specifically women) wear clothing that reveals as much of their tops, middles and bottoms as possible without being arrested (regardless of whether they actually fit into the clothing), employers probably do need to be more specific about how much cleavage is permissible. Is it ok to show everything but the nipple? The cresting of the breast? We could, of course, have a field day with the creation of such a dress code.

Or we could stick to laughing at feminists who think popping out of one's clothing at work is a sign of professionalism. I prefer laughing, so here's another comment:
I hate things like this. A lot of bigger women, pregnant or no, don’t have a choice: plus size clothing seems to assume “if you have it, flaunt it”. Which I don’t personally mind some of the time, but many people are uncomfortable doing.

Additionally, in some situations wrap shirts and v-necks which reveal cleavage would be considered unprofessional, or even slutty: I’ve gotten overt whistles from random strangers and warning “that looks a bit sleazy” comments from my own parents.

Women shouldn’t have to be subjected to that kind of judgement. Body does not = sexuality does not = character. But it’s particularly irritating when they have little else in the way of clothing to choose from.

Where do these people shop that they can't find non-revealing clothing? I shop at every place from Wal-Mart to Dillard's and Macy's. There are plenty of blouses that even plus size women don't have to pop out of. And if the neckline is low, there are things called camisoles that any woman can wear under the top so that they aren't showing everything nature intended. And there are safety pins.

My favorite comment, though, was this one:
Personally, I would retort that, "These are a part of MY BODY. They should not be found offensive or out of place. They are attached to me, therefore, they have to be in the workplace too!"

Additionally, "I didn’t sexualize them, this society did, and apparently YOU buy into that."

So, if a man walked into work wearing a pair of shorts that were so short his testicles were showing, would he be allowed to exclaim, "These are a part of MY BODY. They should not be found offensive or out of place. They are attached to me, therefore, they have to be in the workplace, too!" ? And if not, why not?

Nobody's telling women to leave their boobs at home. But you don't have to dress for work the same way you do when you go out with your friends. Most people figure this out by the time they're 21. Or as Cassy Fiano says,
This is yet another post that just goes to show the truth about what feminism really is. Feminists like to say they want equality and the same treatment for men, and they say they want to empower women, but at every turn, we see this kind of behavior. It’s a state of perpetual victimhood where anything that pisses her off makes the behavior SEXIST!!!, and therefore must be abolished. When you read feminist blogs long enough, you start to get the feeling that modern feminists are basically a bunch of spoiled brats. If everything is not exactly how they want it, even if it has nothing whatsoever to do with equality between women and men, they throw a temper tantrum. It’s like feminism for five-year-olds.

But hey, at least I learned something new today. Requiring a women to cover up her cleavage at work? SEXIST!!!

Welcome to the club, Cassy.

Indiana Attorney General to Investigate Planned Parenthood

Frequent commenter Bismarck sent me a link to Jill Stanek's column, which discusses new developments in the Indiana Planned Parenthood case, the one which so enraged Amanda Marcotte:

The Indiana Attorney General says his office is also investigating Planned Parenthood of Indiana.

The development comes after a health center aide was caught on video telling a woman who claimed to be a pregnant teen to lie about the age of the father.

Planned Parenthood fired the aide, but it is still culpable for the actions of that person while in its employ. Shockingly, businesses--even Planned Parenthood--are expected to follow all the laws, including those with which they disagree in principle.

Amanda banned me for bringing up the case, claiming I was "threadjacking," even though the post was about Planned Parenthood. Of course the five other people participating in the discussion would also have been threadjacking, but since they agree with Amanda that no baby should be safe from abortion, they are acceptable.

But unfortunately for Amanda and the sycophants who agree with her, evidently another sex-abuse film is imminent.
According to undercover film maker Lila Rose in an email update yesterday, the release of a 2nd IN sex-abuse cover-up film is imminent.

It's harder and harder to argue that Planned Parenthood is just providing necessary "women's health options" when they seem to be caught so often breaking the law.

UPDATE: Here's the second video:

The GOP and Hispanics

There's so much food for thought in this post that I hardly know where to begin, but this is as good a place to start as any:

People like to pretend they’re only opposed to illegal immigration. But, when they start to list the reasons why, it usually boils down to the fear that American culture is changing for the worse. And, whether it’s about language or food or customs, it is not just illegal immigrants who bring those changes. It’s also legal residents and U.S.-born Hispanics.

So, not surprisingly, a large swath of the Hispanic community takes offense — and, in the case of an embattled political party, takes names.

Texas is a good example of this pull between old guard (largely white) and the newcomers (largely brown). And I've seen some of these same arguments used when discussing illegal immigration.

There's some evidence that supports the fear. When you observed hundreds of Mexican flags at the May Day protests for immigrants, it's easy to see why some would be concerned about reconquista.

But the fact is that most immigrants don't want to retake the southwest for Mexico; they want to be Americans like the rest of us, adding their culture to ours. That means eating at the taqueria one day and Whataburger the next. Or celebrating Cinco de Mayo and Independence Day.

Republicans need to tread carefully when it comes to immigration because the treatment of this issue is key to GOP survival. Legal immigrants don't like illegals anymore than any other Americans because illegals cause problems for them, as well. As long as immigration reform includes border enforcement and a path to legalization, Republicans should support it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pandagon Watch: Still No Blago

It's been almost a full week since corrupt Illinois Democrat Governor Rod Blagojevich was frog-marched out of his house by the Feds. But those intellectual giants at Pandagon still have not mentioned a word about the scandal or the potential contacts from members of Barack Obama's potential administration. Instead, we've had stories on:

-- Tasers. What a cutting edge reveal! No one's talked about the potentially lethal problems with tasers.

-- Book reviews. Who knew they could read?

-- Training dogs. Now there's a timely story.

-- Republicans R racists. Can't have a day without it!

-- A pointless post about the auto bailout. Well, at least it's something from the news.

I'm glad to see those reasonable people at Pandagon are covering the burning questions of our day. Not like, oh, these guys.

What Kids Really Want for Christmas

Via Brothers Judd, here's what kids want most: A ban on divorce.

Asked what rules they would make if they were king or queen of the world, most children replied they would ban divorce – the first time it has come at the top of the list.

They know the effects better than anyone.

Throwing Shoes

President Bush ducks two shoes thrown by a hero of the Left because throwing shoes at someone is an insult like one would hurl at Saddam Hussein.

Except this guy wouldn't have been brave enough to do that to Saddam Hussein.

Funny how these people are so brave once they aren't in fear of the torture interrogation rooms.

Why The Feds Rushed to Arrest Blagojevich

The Chicago Tribune blew their cover.

The precise timing of Tuesday’s dramatic, pre-dawn arrest was not dictated by Fitzgerald, nor was it dictated by the pace of Blagojevich’s alleged “crime spree.” It was dictated by the Chicago Tribune, according to people close to the investigation and a careful reading of the FBI’s affidavit in the case.

At Fitzgerald’s request, the paper had been holding back a story since October detailing how a confidante of Blagojevich was cooperating with his office.

Gerould Kern, the Tribune’s editor, said in a statement last week that these requests are granted in what he called isolated instances. “In each case, we strive to make the right decision as reporters and as citizens,” he said.

But editors decided to publish the story on Friday, Dec. 5, ending the Tribune’s own cooperation deal with the prosecutor...

The next morning, on Friday, Dec. 5, it all came crashing down for the FBI agents underneath the headphones.

The Tribune’s front page screamed: “Feds taped Blagojevich; TRIBUNE EXCLUSIVE: Adviser cooperated with corruption probe, sources say.”

Blagojevich read the same headline. “Undo” that “thing,” the governor allegedly told his brother, according to the FBI. And just like that, the meeting was off, only one day after it had been put back into play.

There appear to have been fears in Fitzgerald’s office that those caught on tape might now seek to “undo” other “things.” Hours were logged over the weekend. Paperwork was pounded out. And before sunrise Tuesday, Blagojevich and his chief of staff were arrested simultaneously. At that same moment, FBI agents also knocked on the doors of witnesses. These were just a few of the people agents wanted to interview before cellphones started ringing across the city and others who had been caught on tape had a chance to get their stories straight.

Had it not been for the Tribune’s Dec. 5 story, the meeting Blagojevich’s brother was arranging might have proceeded. Mr. Blagojevich is quoted as citing the story, in the affidavit, then calling off the meeting. At a minimum, the FBI’s recorders would have been rolling when he reported back. The feds also probably would have tried to bug the session live, or at least to tail the participants and secretly film or photograph them. That’s what feds do. Jurors love video.

You have to wonder what made the Trib decide it needed to run the story. Were there rumors of other media outlets on the case? Were rumors swirling through the newsroom and the top brass didn't think they could hold the story any longer? Or, more politically, were they afraid of the fallout the story was going to have on Democrats locally and nationally?

We probably aren't going to hear the real story. What we will get is an explanation about how the Tribune isn't responsible for cooperating with law enforcement and that they should be cheered for holding the story a month. But their desire to get the scoop means the Feds lost half their case. Self-interest trumps all in the MSM.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

" It looks like Team Obama has learned the art of stonewalling already, and he hasn’t even taken the oath of office yet".

That's the last line from Ed Morrissey's post on why the Obama administration is taking so long to release information on Teh One's contacts with crooked Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.

Obama promised several days ago to release the information, but since then, he's been mum on the subject and tried to distract the press with boring announcements for positions we don't care about atm.

I'm hoping the press shows the deference to the Obama administration that has been shown President Bush (that is, none) and dogs Teh One while he attends gym instead of church or checks in at the Washington, D.C. Holiday Inn.

Obama's contacts with Blagojevich may be innocent (and probably are), but dodging the question gives the appearance of wrongdoing and, regardless of what Media Matters tries to say, the appearance of wrongdoing gets scrutiny, too.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

An Example of How Well Socialized Medicine Works

Since President-Elect Barack Obama seems hellbent on nationalizing healthcare in this country, it's always good to see how it works in other places. Of course, I've covered women giving birth at home because the hospital was full, the new fad of health tourism, where people travel halfway around the world to have procedures done that they can't get at home, ambulances idling in hospital parking lots because of overcrowded emergency rooms, and the inability to get life-saving medications but encouragement to off oneself. Because socialized medicine is great...if you don't get sick.

Now comes news of NHS dentists who don't want to work. (H/T Brothers Judd)

I can save Alan Johnson some time. The Health Secretary announced that he was setting up an inquiry into why 1.2 million people have “lost” their NHS dentist. I know why. It all went wrong in 2005, when the Government’s time and motion people devised a whizzy “New Dental Contract”. Barry Cockcroft, the chief dental officer, endorsed it as “carefully considered, fully consulted and rigorously trialled”.

Oh yes? Dentists’ NHS pay was henceforth rebranded as their annual contract value (ACV), based on their income in the year before the contract was introduced. For this ACV, they were to provide a set quota of units of dental activity (UDA) for NHS patients.

Dentists call these “udders”. The system is so tightly micromanaged that it’s as impossible to explain as a Budget book. But two things were immediately clear: if a dentist didn’t do enough udders in the given year, his money would be cut. But if he did extra udders, he would earn no extra pay. Two thousand dentists immediately left the NHS.

People don't work harder if there's no reward for it. That's just human nature. And when your system is rigged to encourage you to work just as much as last year--but no more--that's exactly what you get.

But wait. The story gets better.

The other thing is that “a filling” counted as three udders, whether it was actually one filling or five, and dentists had to charge accordingly. Patients started saving up their cavities and coming in, high on codeine, with their mouths full of holes. If I need three fillings, my (private) dentist makes three appointments. Afterwards, he chucks away such of his endodontic burs and Gates Glidden drills that can’t be sterilised for reuse, and bills me for it all. But NHS dentists can’t add any “extras” to an udder.

Dentists quickly noted the disconnect between the cost of filling a multiplicity of historic cavities for the chap with the problem, and the gross remuneration to the chap with the Gates Glidden. A very nice dentist wrote to me ruefully in 2007, pointing out that no dentists would want to stay in the NHS. So it goes.

In other words, it's more cost-effective to make someone wait until he or she has many cavities rather than filling them as they occur. Obama has promised this brand f healthcare for all. Is dentistry far behind?

Political Posturing and the Auto Bailout

Demagoguery is going to be standard practice for the next two years, if Nancy Pelosi has anything to say about it.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi got the job done in the House on the bailout, and now she's pointing fingers at Senate Republicans.

Here's her statement, released around midnight:

"The House-passed bipartisan legislation protects taxpayers, preserves environmental standards and places tough accountability measures on the auto companies to help ensure their long term viability and competitiveness. The House-passed bill demanded deep concessions from all parties -- the executives, shareholders and the union.

“Senate Republicans’ refusal to support the bipartisan legislation passed by the House and negotiated in good faith with the White House, the Senate and the automakers is irresponsible, especially at a time of economic hardship. The consequences of the Senate Republicans’ failure to act could be devastating to our economy, detrimental to workers, and destructive to the American automobile industry unless the President immediately directs Secretary Paulson to explore other short-term financial assistance options, including TARP and those available to the Federal Reserve. That is the only viable option available at this time."

Except that, as John McCormack notes, 10 Senate Republicans voted for the bailout. The problem was that eight Democrats did not vote for the bailout.

Shouldn't Pelosi be ripping her Senate colleagues for being "irresponsible"? Democrats have to take responsibility for running the country now. There's no place left to hide. If they can't get legislation passed, the blame rests with them.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Abortion Support Is Impervious to Logic

I recently got into a scrap at Pandagon for mentioning the sting on an Indiana Planned Parenthood where a college student posed as a 13-year-old seeking an abortion for her pregnancy by a 31-year-old boyfriend. I can't link to that site because Amanda threw a temper tantrum and banned me, but just go to www.pandagon.net and you'll find it.

The interesting part of the discussion was how many people were more concerned with ensuring that a seventh grader kill her baby than with the fact that the child had been abused. The argument was that it was ok for the man to take the child across state lines to avoid Indiana's parental notification law because it was her choice.

Had I continued commenting, I would have asked about this interesting logic, that a 13-year-old gets to make her own medical decisions without parental involvement. The notion was absolutely shocking to me, and made me wonder if these people had children.

But the more important thing about that discussion is that it shows how people who support abortion are simply impervious to logic. It doesn't matter to them how illogical the situation is, a woman should always be able to get an abortion.

This view is even more extreme than that bestowed upon us by Roe v. Wade. Roe recognized that there was a time during pregnancy when a baby's right to live superceded the right of a woman to bodily integrity (the final trimester). The trimester system is gone, but concern for the baby's right to life remains. But don't tell that to any of the Pandagonistas, because their extremist view will cause them to bring out the long knives quickly.

It looks like Alan Colmes and Amanda Marcotte operate from the same playbook with regards to abortion. Amanda's extremist view justifies lying about crisis pregnancy centers, pro-lifers, Christians, and anyone who has actually had children. And when none of that doesn't work, she'll change the subject. Alan Colmes works the same way:

Alan Colmes didn't like my commentary about his rope-a-dope during Hannity & Colmes last week of Kristan Hawkins and Sarah Hardin of Students for Life for their undercover sting of a NC Planned Parenthood.

Sarah posed as a 15-year-old requesting birth control to sleep with her 30 something-year-old "boy"friend. PP should have reported this to authorities but didn't.

Colmes always tries to derail interviews with adversaries one of 2 ways, by accusing them of hypocrisy or putting them on the defensive about something off-point. Cheap and intellectually void....

Colmes tried but failed to take Kristan and Sarah off-topic by questioning their choice of sting. But they were on to Colmes and kept reorienting the conversation: Multiple PPs in many states now have a well-documented video history of demonstrating intent to cover up minor rapes.

Abortion supporters have to use obfuscation and demagoguery because the truth isn't on their side. When faced with the facts that Planned Parenthood lies to avoid parental notification laws and encourages rapists to take their minor victims across state lines for illegal abortions, they will argue that the greater good of abortion makes lying permissible or that the parents are so evil and brutal that avoiding them is most important.

For abortion supporters, there are no loving parents whose primary concern is the well-being of their children. There are only incestuous molesters and woman-haters. Such stereotyping allows them not to consider how such subterfuge affects the parent-child relationship or that the trauma can be lifelong. Talk about short-sighted.

No One in Obama's Team Met with Blago?

Another myth bites the dust.

Sources within the investigation say that Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s chief of staff, spoke with Governor Rod Blagojevich on “multiple occasions” about the Senate succession that Blagojevich had wanted to sell to the highest bidder — and that Emanuel will likely be on the FBI wiretaps.

This doesn't mean that Emanuel was selling Obama's Senate seat in conjunction with Blagojevich. But as Ed Morrissey points out, it lets the air out of the trial balloon that Emanuel was the guy that blew the whistle.

I have to wonder what it's like to be an Obama supporter these days. The read I get from the blogosphere is that a sense of unease and Clintonian deja vu is falling over the HopeNChange brigade.

Auto Bailout Dies

The $15 billion auto bailout died yesterday in the Senate.

Republicans, breaking sharply with President George W. Bush as his term draws to a close, refused to back federal aid for Detroit's beleaguered Big Three without a guarantee that the United Auto Workers would agree by the end of next year to wage cuts to bring their pay into line with U.S. plants of Japanese carmakers. The UAW refused to do so before its current contract with the automakers expires in 2011.

Some people are gleeful. Others are worried about potential fallout for Republicans. Still others are beginning to sour on bailouts and Barack.

The problem with the auto industry bailout is that it comes after the huge financial industry bailout, which hasn't stabilized Wall Street and has irritated taxpayers (what with fatcats thinking they still deserve bonuses and whatnot). As usual, John and Jane Doe will take it on the chin, either in lost jobs or reduced wages.

I hate to sound like a cynic, but this is the way it goes. CEOs keep their ginormous salaries and employees are asked to cut theirs. It happened in the airlines, when pilots and others were asked to take 50% paycuts but the bigwigs still got their bonuses. As one woman has said, it depends on if you want 50% of your pay or no percent.

Most Americans look at the U.S. auto industry and shrug. I have no loyalty to any particular brand of car, unlike my father or other men I've known. The first new car I bought was a 1989 Hyundai Excel and, unlike other people, I had no problems with it. In fact, I loved that car so much that we've bought several others. But I've also owned an assortment of American cars during the same time period, including a 1995 Buick LeSabre and the Ford Focus I now drive. I suspect most people drive the biggest car they can afford that performs the way they want. And when taxpayers hear that union workers for the Big 3 make far more money tightening bolts on cars than do their counterparts at the foreign car plants in the South, they have a hard time working up sympathy.

The United Auto Workers doesn't want to give up its advantage in compensation. But just like with the airlines, half is better than none.

UPDATE: I promised Mike at Iowa Liberal that I would denounce President Bush for supporting a bailout of the Big 3, just as I have Democrats. We have had an interesting discussion about what should happen with the auto industry on this thread at CSPT.

I reluctantly went along with the $700 billion financial bailout, largely because I wasn't sure what else we could/should do. Now, weeks later, it seems that we're going to have a breadline of industries wanting the taxpayers to bail them out of their bad business decisions.

But as Mike and I discussed, why is bankruptcy not on the table for the auto makers? Bankruptcy allows the business to restructure debt, renegotiate contracts and reexamine the business model to make it profitable, something that bailout after handout hasn't done for the car builders. I disagree with the hysteria that if the Big 3 go belly up, you aren't going to be able to get parts for your Chevy pick-up. There will be suppliers that pick up that business. That's not to say some people won't be hurt, but some of the writing is a Scream.