Or Does Arizona suddenly seem to be under a lot of scrutiny after passing a state law reflecting federal law? I know I'm just paranoid.
OTOH, remember when Barack Obama was for deporting illegal immigrants?
Friday, April 30, 2010
Democratic leaders have proposed requiring every worker in the nation to carry a national identification card with biometric information, such as a fingerprint, within the next six years, according to a draft of the measure.
Anyone who thought Democrats would be able to gin up Hispanic angst about the new Arizona law without calling for even more government intrusion in your life hasn't been watching this bunch govern for the last four years.
The Democrats' proposal offers a road to
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I'd feel sorrier for the press in the end if their love affair with Barack Obama had they not spent the last two years licking his boots and calling all critics "racists."
But it is good to see the MSM finally coming to the conclusion the rest of us came to a long time ago: Barack Obama is a bully who can't govern and is a thin-skinned (that's not racist), pouty-faced egoist who can't act statesmanlike to save his life.
Can you remember any other modern President, wagging a finger from on high, so directly and bitterly criticizing a new law passed by any state?
This is hubris at best and ignorance of the Constitution at worst. The U.S. was founded in part on the precept of states’ rights as an important counterweight to a rapacious federal government. Thus a President must step softly here, questioning gently but avoiding rancor and browbeating.
The law in question is Arizona's new immigration law, designed to deal with a state issue that the feds refuse to. God knows, expecting everybody to carry ID with them--like a driver's license--is clearly racist, right? Especially when you have to show it to check into a hotel, buy Sudafed, use your credit card, get money from your bank account, etc., etc.
President Obama is a big whiny baby and his immature attitude towards the presidency is rankling more than just Republicans these days.
Hmm, now that I think about it, nor can I recall any other modern President who has spent so much effort lambasting his immediate predecessor. Reagan didn’t do it to Carter. Clinton didn’t do it to the first George Bush.
And the worst part is, we’re barely calling out Obama the Bully on this behavior at all. We are becoming entirely too accustomed to it, failing to see it for what it really is: a striking lack of civility, and an overflow of divisiveness, from a President who had promised to give us precisely the opposite.
I'm waiting for Democrats to call the press racists.
Imagine a group of angry demonstrators toting swastika-festooned protest signs calling politicians Nazis, shouting obscenities and racial remarks and throwing rocks and bottles at police officers sent to keep order. No, these are not Tea Partiers. They are the mob that turned out last week to protest Arizona's new immigration-enforcement law. This group of liberal rowdies has been dubbed the Tequila Party.
For the most part, liberal media coverage overlooked all the leftist violence. Typical headlines described the protest as "mostly peaceful," with media outlets avoiding details about why they had to use the qualifier "mostly." Reporting a near-riot by the opponents of the Arizona law doesn't fit the dominant media storyline.
Some of the editorial bias is blatant. An Associated Press story about the Arizona immigration law quoted a 13-year-old Hispanic boy saying, "We can't be in the streets anymore without the pigs thinking we're illegal immigrants." The Washington Post sanitized the boy's views towards law enforcement by replacing the word "pigs" with "[police]." If a Tea Partier used a slur of any kind, it's doubtful it would be given the square-bracket treatment. It would probably be a banner headline.
I'm still trying to figure out why showing ID is racist. I have to show my ID to get Sudafed from CVS, for crying out loud.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Nobody likes to admit they've had those annoying phone calls from debt collectors, but with the bad economy, I guarantee that far more people have had them than before. And with the rise in debt collectors has come a rise in debt collector busters.
According to Dave Ramsey my hero, you can tell when a debt collector is lying if his lips are moving. And my experience says that's absolutely true.
Most of them will do anything—seriously, anything!—to make you pay your bills. They don’t care whether you feed your family and keep your lights on. All they want is to be at the top of your priority list. Nothing else matters to them.
I'm a relatively regular listener of Dave's, and some of the stories people tell raise your hair. People who know they owe a debt and want to pay it but can't afford to. They naively give the debt collector access to their bank accounts and are horrified when they discover their accounts have been cleaned out by collectors who don't care if you keep a roof over your head as long as you pay your credit card/medical bill/clarinet off. Which is why I loved the article on debt collector busters.
Let's be clear that if you owe an entity (or anyone else) money, then you need to pay it back. But that's not the same thing as a sleazy collector who threatens you, calls you endlessly, scares your spouse or kids to get money out of you that you don't have. Knowing the Fair Debt Practices Act is an unpleasant necessity in these hard times.
Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry vetoed two abortion bills that he said are an unconstitutional attempt by the Legislature to insert government into the private lives and decisions of citizens.
One measure would have required women to undergo an intrusive ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus before getting abortions. Henry said Friday that legislation is flawed because it does not allow rape and incest victims to be exempted.
"Intrusive ultrasound"? I've had all kinds of ultrasounds before, but never heard them described as "intrusive." Why is requiring an ultrasound before killing your baby heinous, which is the way this is being described?
Lawmakers who supported the vetoed measures promised an override vote in the House and Senate as early as next week. A national abortion rights group has said the ultrasound bill would have been among the strictest anti-abortion measures in the United States if it had been signed into law.
Henry said "it would be unconscionable to subject rape and incest victims to such treatment" because it would victimize a victim a second time.
So, undergoing an abortion isn't victimizing anyone--well, except the baby who gets killed, but that doesn't count, don't you know--but getting an ultrasound is victimizing? In other words, giving the patient full knowledge of what they're doing is "victimizing a victim for a second time," but letting her get an abortion without knowledge is ok?
"State policymakers should never mandate that a citizen be forced to undergo any medical procedure against his or her will, especially when such a procedure could cause physical or mental trauma. To do so amounts to an unconstitutional invasion of privacy," he said.
Wait. We have all kinds of laws on the books regarding medical procedures and what can and can't be done, and some of that can be pretty traumatizing. We have the new Obamacare bill which sure looks like legislation which will force patients to undergo all sorts of procedures--including procedures like long waits for care, for example--but that's ok because it's not making it more difficult to kill one's offspring? And having to wait weeks to get your cancer treatment or being unable to get treatment (since there won't be enough providers for all the "free" care the government will now be giving out) is pretty traumatizing mentally. But I guess that will be ok, provided taxpayers fund your abortions.
Under the ultrasound legislation, doctors would have been required to use a vaginal probe in cases where it would provide a clearer picture of the fetus than a regular ultrasound. Doctors have said this is usually the case early in pregnancies, when most abortions are done.
Oh, so it's like having an annual exam. God knows that's really traumatizing. Certainly don't want women to know what they're getting rid of. That might look too much like your well woman exam.
Why are women perfectly capable of making major decisions with all kinds of information (according to feminists) but knowing that the products of conception are actually a human being makes them swoon?
"On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, 1823
Saturday, April 24, 2010
You gotta love when the media objectively covers a movement. In this case, the objective coverage is of the astroturf known as the Coffee Party movement, which brings in 250 protesters to its events. Yeah, that's much better than the tiny number of Tea Party protesters.
The Coffee Party Heats Up
Tired of all the Tea Party talk, Annabel Park decided to throw a Coffee Party — and 200,000 people showed up.
So, where were these 200,000 Coffee Partiers? In Washington, D.C.? Nope. New York City? Nope. Los Angeles? Nope. Austin, Texas perhaps? Nope.
It's on Facebook.
Within days, thousands of people signed up on Facebook...the group now has more than 200,000 members.
Get it? It doesn't matter that a tiny number of actual people show up in person to "protest." Just get some people on Facebook to friend you and that counts just like hauling your spouse and kids halfway across the country!
Well, I hate to report this to the Coffee Party lovin' folks at Newsweek, but the just one Tea Party page on Facebook has more than 185,000 fans, and there are many different Tea Party pages. Somehow, I don't think having Facebook friends counts as a protest...if the group is critical of Teh One.
He's sooooo worried that conservatives have gone....mad!
Can anyone deny that the most trenchant and effective criticism of President Obama today comes not from the right but from the left? Rachel Maddow's grilling of administration economic officials. Keith Olbermann's hectoring of Democratic leaders on the public option. Glenn Greenwald's criticisms of Elena Kagan. Ezra Klein and Jonathan Cohn's keepin'-them-honest perspectives on health care. The civil libertarian left on detainees and Gitmo. The Huffington Post on derivatives.
Who is this "anyone" who thinks Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow are serious thinkers? Only a lunatic would that pair are anything but shrieking nincompoops on a third-rate television show with 3 viewers between them.
It is absolutely a condition of the age of the triumph of conservative personality politics, where entertainers shouting slogans are taken seriously as political actors, and where the incentive structures exist to stomp on dissent and nuance, causing experimental voices to retrench and allowing a lot of people to pretend that the world around them is not changing. The obsession with ACORN, Climategate, death panels, the militarization of rhetoric, Saul Alinsky, Chicago-style politics, that TAXPAYERS will fund the bailout of banks -- these aren't meaningful or interesting or even relevant things to focus on. (The banks will fund their own bailouts.)
No, idiot, consumers will fund the bailouts because banks will pass on any costs to them. Even if you flunked economics, there have been enough of those talking heads you despise informing you that this is the way life works. Or, as William Jacobson so eloquently puts it:
Ambinder lives is a fantasy world where left-wing commentators (including Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow) are serious policy wonks, while all conservative commentators are "entertainers shouting slogans;" where hyperbole is the exclusive refuge of the right-wing; where the vile language and defamation hurled at George Bush for eight years never existed; where the equally vile attempts by Democratic leaders to equate health care protesters to terrorists never happened.
Every day Democratic politicians and left-wing bloggers hurl epithets like "teabagger" and "racist" and "extremist" at political opponents, yet none of that exists in Ambinder's precious little world.
Ambinder cannot seem to understand that being mad is not the same thing as madness. The true madness is the direction in which the Obama administration is taking this country.
Maybe if Ambinder actually watched and listened to voices on the right, he might discover that there are plenty of "reasonable" people there with "reasonable" concerns about what the hell this government is doing. But I guess if you are dumb enough to think Keith Olbermann is some sort of senior statesman, then concern about the direction Democrats are forcing us seems "unreasonable."
Friday, April 23, 2010
Cheney: Telling Leahy to ‘f*ck’ himself was ‘sort of the best thing I ever did.’
...but I have to agree that this ranks up near the top.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Sometimes you have a headline that makes the rest of the story superfluous, but here's the background. Actor Lance Baxter, otherwise known as "D.C. Douglas," currently known as the man who informs you how much Geico can save you on car insurance, left a message last month with FreedomWorks in which he asked the group how many "mentally retarded" people it had on staff and what it would do when a tea partyer "killed someone." On April 14, FreedomWorks put his voicemail online.
Today, Douglas reports he's been dropped from Geico's campaign. His dramatic news release is here; he claims to have been motivated by "the recent gay and racial slurs slung by Tea Party members at Congressman Barney Frank and Representative John Lewis during the Health Care Reform Weekend," and says he's "open to any attorneys taking on this case pro bono."
Which makes sense in an angry and dangerous kind of way, except that there's no proof any gay or racial slurs were slung. How stupid must one be to do this?
For the far left version, there's this story on PR Newswire (shouldn't it be more objective? Never mind):
FreedomWorks Bullies GEICO To Axe Voice Over Actor
GEICO voice over actor targeted by Tea Party members after expressing opinion on FreedomWorks voicemail.
Los Angeles actor, D.C. Douglas, says he was dropped from the upcoming GEICO "Shocking News" campaign after a group of Tea Party members harassed him and the insurance giant over a private voicemail the actor left for FreedomWorks. Matt Kibbe, President and CEO of FreedomWorks, posted Mr. Douglas' cell phone number in a blog post on biggovernment.com, instructing readers to "Feel free to contact (him)… call his employer too. Let them know that you…are now in the market for car insurance." The next day, GEICO held auditions to replace Mr. Douglas' voice on the campaign.
Mr. Douglas' message hardly warranted the mobilization of the Tea Party Movement. Upset by the recent gay and racial slurs slung by Tea Party members at Congressman Barney Frank and Representative John Lewis during the Health Care Reform Weekend, Mr. Douglas left his opinion of FreedomWorks' staff and followers on their company voicemail and included his phone number.
Hardly warranted? Douglas called the staffers at FreedomWorks "retarded." Now, I'm not gonna go all Sarah Palin about the use of a grade school taunt, but it's hard to feel sympathy for a grown man acting, well, retarded about people with whom he disagrees politically, especially when he's so badly informed.
Monday, April 19, 2010
The European Union has declared travelling a human right, and is launching a scheme to subsidize vacations with taxpayers' dollars for those too poor to afford their own trips.
Antonio Tajani, the European Union commissioner for enterprise and industry, proposed a strategy that could cost European taxpayers hundreds of millions of euros a year, The Times of London reports.
And they wonder why we laugh at them.
Right now on Facebook, PBS News is running a thread asking people what they remembered most about the day Timothy McVeigh blew up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. The first few comments were interesting:
--"The horror and actions of McVeigh and others, who called themselves Christians but proved they were pawns of the devil, committing heinous acts of murder."
--"Worrying upon the impact upon my Muslim friends & neighbors if the bombers hadn't turned out to have been who they turned out to have been...."
--"The staggering realization that someone calling themselves an American Patriot truly would choose to unleash his anti-government rage on a building full of American citizens, civilians, including those 19 children in the daycare facility."
--"Pres. Clinton's amazing speech, that those who attack their own will "inherit the wind,"..."
Notice the thread:
1. McVeigh was a Christian.
2. We should be most concerned with political correctness.
3. Patriotism is misplaced.
4. President Clinton was great!
If I didn't know better, I would assume that the commenters read Byron York's opinion piece,
How Clinton exploited Oklahoma City for political gain. York notes how President Bill Clinton and strategist Dick Morris exploited the tragedy in Oklahoma City to smear talk radio hosts and Republican critics of Clinton's administration. Apparently, the smear job has stuck, if the comments on PBS's thread are any indication.
Timothy McVeigh's horrendous attack on the Murrah Building in OKC has become the counterpoint by the left to any concerns about Muslim extremists in the U.S. Go to any liberal website and you'll find the claims that McVeigh was a Christian, proving that Christians are just as likely to fly airplanes into buildings to kill infidels as any group of Saudis. It's predictable outcome: note the extremism of millions of Muslims and within two comments, someone will bring up McVeigh's "Christianity."
McVeigh was a Christian the same way someone who isn't Wiccan is a Christian. If you were baptized in a church but never attend, how Christian are you? And how much does Christianity affect your worldview? I would guarantee that it has less than nothing to do with a violent guy like McVeigh. In 2002, Maggie Gallagher researched McVeigh's faith and whatever impact it had on his decision to bomb a federal building. The answer is zilch. McVeigh didn't kill 168 people in Oklahoma because he was a Christian. He killed them because he was a fanatic of a different sort.
When did McVeigh suddenly become an example of Christian extremism? Gallagher explains that we have an exact date: September 11, 2001.
On Sept. 17, 2001, a San Francisco Chronicle columnist blurted: "The hijackers are no more typical Muslims than Timothy McVeigh is a typical Christian." On Oct. 4, a USA Today columnist picked up the refrain, describing Sept. 11 terrorists as having "more in common with Timothy McVeigh, whose twisted paramilitary take on Christian retribution led him to avenge the Davidians' death."
Timothy McVeigh, Christian terrorist. How has such a patent falsehood spread so quickly and easily through responsible media? Evidently the psychic need to equate Christian fundamentalists, millions of whom have lived peacefully in America since its founding, with radical Islamic terrorists who commit mass murder simply overwhelmed standards of journalism. Or, one might add, common decency.
But the comparisons with McVeigh don't end with his religion. Bill Clinton is now using the 15th anniversary of the bombing to attack those who disagree with Barack Obama's government.
Finally, we should never forget what drove the bombers, and how they justified their actions to themselves. They took to the ultimate extreme an idea advocated in the months and years before the bombing by an increasingly vocal minority: the belief that the greatest threat to American freedom is our government, and that public servants do not protect our freedoms, but abuse them...
As we exercise the right to advocate our views, and as we animate our supporters, we must all assume responsibility for our words and actions before they enter a vast echo chamber and reach those both serious and delirious, connected and unhinged.
This is bullshit. It isn't like large groups of Americans are talking about violently overthrowing the government (although, if you read the blogs or watch MSNBC, you'd be forgiven for thinking there are millions of white people threatening to overthrow the government). What Clinton and the Democrats are scared about is that so many people--independents and conservatives--are taking to the street to protest the outrageous and obnoxious policies of this administration. These aren't violent protests like liberals engaged in in the 1960s. These are peaceful. And large. Which is why Democrats are astroturfing like it was 1978.
(T)his must be exquisitely frustrating for professional Lefty operatives. They have almost everything that they need. They have a solid majority in both Houses of Congress; an Executive branch run by a Democrat and which contains all sorts of people willing to quietly do them favors; a media that largely takes their claims at face value; a plethora of funding; and even a broad outline of goals. They have all these things, but they lack one thing – one thing – and that’s actual warm bodies. They can’t even fill a coffee house reliably, let alone a field.
The really funny part? They’ve never needed to pack the room or the field before; because the Right. Doesn’t. Do. Protests. We bragged about it: “We have jobs.” So they never had to worry about that, until now. And it turns out that being able to bring out the people is actually an absolutely vital prerequisite for having a successful populist movement.
The TEA Party attenders aren't Timothy McVeigh., nor are they the 9/11 hijackers, the shoe bomber or any of the other extremists we've seen, and comparing them to violent criminals is disgusting.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
A WOMAN has been denied an operation on the NHS after paying for a private consultation to deal with her severe back pain.
Jenny Whitehead, a breast cancer survivor, paid £250 for an appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon after being told she would have to wait five months to see him on the NHS. He told her he would add her to his NHS waiting list for surgery.
She was barred from the list, however, and sent back to her GP. She must now find at least £10,000 for private surgery, or wait until the autumn for the NHS operation to remove a cyst on her spine.
Apparently, you can't see a private physician without jeopardizing your NHS coverage. It's a good thing we don't have socialized medicine here. Yet.
That's what Moe Lane is calling the anti-TEA Party movement. Erick Erickson points out that the White House's Cass Sunstein has suggested "creating fake websites and using outside 501(c)(3) interest groups to act as alleged independent champions of government policy and to 'cognitively infiltrate' opposition websites, etc." and that it looks suspiciously like The Other 95% and other anti-TEA Party groups.
This is an administration bent on controlling not only the political arm of government but the communications arm, as well, and discrediting critics is a major step in that direction.
Liberals often accuse conservatives of having no sense of humor, but judging from the reaction to many of the things Rush Limbaugh says tongue in cheek, I'd say the lack of humor is more of a lefty thing. Well, unless it's Jon Stewart telling Fox News to go f*ck themselves or something.
The latest tempest in a teapot is over Limbaugh's declaration that Volcanic eruption in Iceland is God’s reaction to health care’s passage.
You know, a couple of days after the health care bill had been signed into law Obama ran around all over the country saying, “Hey, you know, I’m looking around. The earth hadn’t opened up. There’s no Armageddon out there. The birds are still chirping.” I think the earth has opened up. God may have replied. This volcano in Iceland has grounded more airplanes — airspace has more affected — than even after 9/11 because of this plume, because of this ash cloud over Northern and Western Europe. At the Paris airport they’re telling people to head to the train station to catch trains out of France, and when people get to the train station they’re telling people, “There aren’t any seats until at least April 22nd,” basically a week from now. It’s got everybody in a shutdown. Earth has opened up. I don’t know whether it’s a rebirth or Armageddon. Hopefully it’s a rebirth, God speaking.
Normal people hearing or reading that, would recognize it as a joke. But the commenters at Think Progress obviously didn't think so.
Just when you think Rush couldn’t be more outrageous, he steps up to the plate and hits another home run.
Really? You think a joke about global warming after Teh One snarkily notes the earth didn't "open up" with the passage of Obamacare is outrageous? I can find more outrageous stuff on South Park.
Why don't these nuts save their outrage for something important, like the outing of a supposedly gay Supreme Court nominee?
The left is flipping out because Elena Kagan, a possible Supreme Court pick, might be gay. No, I'm not kidding. In fact, the White House is is in full harrumph mode over the incident, which makes it that much funnier.
The White House ripped CBS News on Thursday for publishing an online column by a blogger who made assertions about the sexual orientation of Solicitor General Elena Kagan, widely viewed as a leading candidate for the Supreme Court.
Ben Domenech, a former Bush administration aide and Republican Senate staffer, wrote that President Obama would "please" much of his base by picking the "first openly gay justice." An administration official, who asked not to be identified discussing personal matters, said Kagan is not a lesbian.
Look, it's 2010 -- no one should care if a nominee to any position is gay. The fact that conservative Senators John Cornyn and Jeff Sessions have recently expressed openness to confirming an openly gay nominee to the Court is a good thing. Senators should look at things that actually matter -- evaluating a nominee's decisions, approach to the law, their judgment and ability -- to see whether there are actually good and relevant reasons to oppose the nomination. That's all.
As Allahpundit notes, this is a stupid move on the White House's part over something that most Americans don't care about. Having a Supreme Court justice who is gay doesn't leave most people crying at night, and given the large number of Democrats who support gay rights, you'd think Teh One would be happy about it. But no, they have problems of their own with such a move:
Given the November cyclone that’s on the horizon, the last thing Obama wants to do is give some Dems an extra reason to stay home.
Personally, I would see such a move as tokenism and nothing more, which is to say, typicaly Democrat identity politics. I'm not particularly concerned if a gay person serves as a Justice.
William Jacobson points out that liberals don't mind outing people...if they're Republicans.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
A friend of mine got really excited when Jon Stewart told Fox News to go f*ck themselves, in a monologue that supposedly showed the most popular cable news network's hypocrisy when it comes to generalizing.
The video he sent me came about when I called out the hypocrisy of many of my lefty friends who are scared of the "racism and hatred" they think characterizes all TEA Partiers. I asked one person, who claimed to have witnessed this first hand at a 9/12 protest locally, to explain how he concluded that the smattering of bad behavior he'd seen was a reflection of the protests en toto. His response was that he was "driving by" one and saw two or three signs, such as the infamous Obama witchdoctor poster (which I denounced here,) and therefore concluded that there was so much vile racism around that we should mock and deride everyone protesting the expansion of government. Once I pointed out the obvious stupidity of this smear, the friend didn't want to talk about it anymore.
The Jon Stewart piece begins well enough, poking fun at lefties generalizing about TEA Partiers, but then goes off the rails cherry-picking individual sentences from various programs to point out the supposed hypocrisy of anyone who dislikes the generalizations made by the left about TEA Party supporters.
I love a good generalization, particularly when it stirs up the ire of the left, and so generalizing in general wasn't the point of the argument. Indeed, from my own archives, I can pull out some great and true generalizations about liberals, complete with factual support, but there's a big difference between arguing that conservatives think liberals are misinformed while liberals think conservatives are evil and liberals arguing that TEA Partiers are racists and dangerous.
More to the specific accusation from Jon Stewart, a big lefty in his own right, there are more than a few examples of generalizations made against conservatives with little or no rebuttal than anything said on Fox News. And I don't even have to grab a single sentence to make the point.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Now for something completely unpolitical.
A friend of mine wrote an article recently about re-experiencing Everquest, a game we all played together from 1999-2002, after more technologically advanced adventures.
Just recently, Steam offered the complete EverQuest, including all the expansions, as a download for only $2.50. I could not resist the nostalgic temptation to revisit the game I had so long ago abandoned. Now, I kind of wished I had not. Seeing that older technology through the prism of modern eyes has diminished the fond, perhaps rose-colored, memories I had of EverQuest.
I came to realize that without the camaraderie of friends, all MMORPGs get stale quickly and older games, like EverQuest, suffer from the stark reality that technology has passed it by. All of the flaws I once overlooked in EverQuest were strikingly evident. Not only was EverQuest notably old from a technical standpoint, it was also nearly lifeless from a player standpoint. The lack of a player population made that once vibrant living world feel like a ghost town.
When my husband got me to play EQ, I was stunned, confused and excited by the game play, but my interest soon waned (within 2 weeks), and I almost quit all together. But just as I was ready to hang up my 1HS and shield, I made friends with a couple of people online who introduced me to their friends (and so on and so on). From that time on, I was absolutely hooked for several years (that addiction to online games is the subject for another post).
Mark's main point, that the technological advances make Everquest's play stale, is correct. But the more important point was that any game is only as good as the people you hang with. Our friendly little band (known as Renegades of Norrath) had lots of fun, even if our faces looked like triangles and our feet were simply rectangles. If I found the same fun with a similar group of friends, I'd join a new game.
Posted by sharon at 3:38 PM
I love when the President of All of Us takes a hyperpartisan stance versus part of All of Us. How uncouth is this president, anyway? Has he no shame whatsoever?
Remember in November. Vote out Obama's sycophants.
Remember, Obama promised not to raise any taxes, not just income taxes.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I just finished reading Thomas Sowell's The Housing Boom and Bust, which explained how land use restrictions drove up the costs of housing, creating a supposed "national affordable housing crisis" that was "solved" through the Community Reinvestment Act. The CRA required lenders to make a percentage of mortgages to "underserved communities." Banks which went along with the regulations were allowed to open more branches and ATM locations. As mortgage rates went up, homeowners defaulted, leaving banks with houses worth pennies on the dollars loaned, which caused banks to become insolvent.
Liberals often argue that more regulation is needed to solve our problems, and the housing boom and bust is just one example. On a state level, here's another.
State legislators voted to close drive-throughs yesterday in a late-night, pizza-fueled frenzy in which they passed 20 other bills in the last minutes before the end of the session.
They said the ban, part of legislation outlawing eating while driving, will save lives. They also described it as one more victory in the war against distracted driving, which studies show is a major cause of accidents. Other distractions on the hit list: GPS systems, smoking, applying makeup, radios, Hooters billboards — and passengers, who may be required to be silent in coming years.
Maryland thinks drivers are too stupid to drive safely, even though they have no evidence to show that such legislation works. How to solve the problem? Ban drive-thru windows.
I'm not the best driver in the world, and I've sat through a Saturday defensive driving course or two. Most of the time, people complain about people talking on cell phones as the primary way drivers are unsafe. Yet I've never seen anyone admit that their traffic violation was the result of talking on the phone. Granted, there's nothing scientific about my tale, but what it tells me is that there are plenty of other things that cause accidents. Maryland, apparently, thinks it can itemize them.
Thanks to Chuck Serio for the Maryland zaniness.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Taxpayers earning less than $200,000 a year will pay roughly $3.9 billion more in taxes — in 2019 alone — due to healthcare reform, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress's official scorekeeper.
Did anyone really believe he could promise the moon without raising taxes on the middle class?
I don't spend much time arguing with trolls or other liberals anymore about issues like abortion because it's fairly obvious what their opinions are and that they aren't willing to be persuaded by logic. Take this post which gives the tired old argument that by wanting to get rid of abortion, pro-lifers are actually encouraging abortion.
The argument goes that being against killing babies legally means that you don't mind killing babies illegally because everybody's going to have sex anyway (since they can't control themselves) and that's going to mean pregnancy.
Now, it's true that sex leads to pregnancy (even though people like Amanda Marcotte argue that it doesn't), even though every individual sex act doesn't result in a pregnancy. The idea that, somehow, sex is simply for fun is nonsense, and anyone who approaches intercourse without considering the consequences of the act probably shouldn't be doin' the dirty anyway. If you know you have to drive home and you decide to go on a bender at the bar, you're responsible for the wrecks you may have on the way home. The fact that you don't always have one while driving drunk doesn't make it in any way less your fault when it does occur.
Because the consequences of having sex can be both dire (AIDS) and long-lasting (raising children), it's simply moronic to argue that it's "unfair" that women bear the burden of sex's consequences. Regardless of whether it is "fair," women are, indeed, the ones who become pregnant, which is why they have to be more concerned about whom they have sex with and when.
When pro-lifers argue that they want to end abortion on demand, it's not because they want more abortions (illegally). It's because killing babies en utero is still killing and having the sanction of the state to do it doesn't make it the morally right thing to do.
I don't think Roe v. Wade will be overturned simply because the Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision made it clear that the Supreme Court considered this beastly procedure to be a fundamental right (although, with the changing makeup of the court, I could be wrong). But even if the SCOTUS overturned Roe, it would simply leave the decision about legalizing abortion up to the individual states. If California and New York want to be the abortion capitals of the United States, I'm ok with that. But if Utah and Texas don't want to support women's right to kill babies up to birth, that's ok, too.
For the pro-aborts, however, such democracy must be fought any way possible, which is why they argue hard cases (such as rape), as if those are the only times women get abortions.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Liberals love abortion, embracing it as a woman's "choice" and a way for poor women to get out of poverty. And since they see abortion as a universal good, they tend to ignore what abortion has done in places like China, where girls are so despised that the sex imbalance will have devastating consequences in the 21st century. How do feminists justify their support of abortion in places such as this?
Saturday, April 10, 2010
It's been the goal of Democrats and their liberal minions on TV to discredit the Tea Party movement as just a bunch of racists, homophobes and morons. Well, now they are getting organized in their attempts. Can't find any racists, homophobes or morons at the local Tea Party event? Make your own!
Friday, April 09, 2010
Barack Obama, at a recent rural elementary school assembly in WVA, asked the audience for total quiet. Then, in the silence, he started to slowly clap his hands once every few seconds, holding the audience in total silence.
Then he said into the microphone, 'Children, every time I clap my hands together, a child in America dies from gun violence.'
Then, little Richard Earl, with a proud West Virginia drawl, pierced the quiet and said: 'Well, dumbass, stop clapping!'
Jonathan Rauch has an interesting profile of David Frum, liberals' favorite conservative.
Ever since Frum started bashing conservatives, he has become a darling of the left, even though he couldn't be called "liberal" in any sense of that word. I actually agree with much of what Frum has been touting: Republicans have to come up with new ideas to cope with modern problems rather than simply relying on conservative solutions from the past. Regardless of their efficacy, those solutions appear shopworn to a new generation after 30 years of Republican ideas.
Frum is on a mission to penetrate Fox World with a message from reality. In Fox World, he says, Obama is a radical ideologue determined to impose European-style socialism on the United States; in reality, he is a pragmatic consensus-seeker who gets his ideas from the Left but wants to win re-election with 60 percent of the vote. In Fox World, Americans in the millions are rising up to protest Obama's expansion of government; in reality, many Americans are distressed by the economy and will simmer down when prosperity returns.
In Fox World, liberals have wrecked the country; in reality, 21st-century America is better in almost every way than the America of 1975 or 1955. In Fox World, people such as Palin and the conservative talking heads Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck speak for the overlooked American middle; in reality, they speak for a fringe, one big enough to make them rich but not to elect anyone to national office.
In Fox World, all we need to do is just stop doing what we're doing right now; in reality, conservatives need a specific program for governing. In Fox World, health care reform is ripe for repeal; in reality, Republicans have gotten themselves stuck with it for years to come.
I don't disagree with much of this. When one becomes too insular, getting one's news and information from only one side, for example, it can lead to skewed thinking. And when Frum complains that too many conservatives would rather be right (from the outside) than govern from the center-right, he's on target. The rise of the intellectual right has done much of this, but Frum's general argument that Republicans in Congress should be working with President Obama--and thus giving him the cover of bipartisanship--is simply wrong. Democrats were smart to go hard to the left in 2006, giving voters a clear difference between the two parties. If GOPers compromise too much with Obama and Pelosi, there is little reason for voters to change directions and elect Republicans.
I think Republicans are right to talk about repealing what they can of Obamacare in the fall. But Republicans must also begin offering new alternatives to HopeNChange, or else their return to power will be short-lived.
Thursday, April 08, 2010
It was only a matter of time before parents tracking what their children say on the social networking site Facebook would be sued for harassment by their children.
The Arkadelphia, Ark., woman said many of her son's postings didn't reflect well on him, so after he failed to log off the social networking site one day last month, she posted her own items on his account and changed his password to keep him from using it again.
"The things he was posting in Facebook would make any decent parent's eyes pop out and his jaw drop," Denise New said. "He had been warned before about things he had been posting."
Lane New, who lives with his grandmother, filed a complaint with prosecutors who approved a harassment charge March 26. His mother said she was doing what any good parent would do.
"Just because I don't have custody doesn't mean I don't care about him," Denise New said.
Neither New would say Wednesday which items on his Facebook site the boy had found slanderous...
In his handwritten complaint to prosecutors, Lane New wrote "Denise first hacked my Facebook and changed my password. She also changed the password to my e-mail so I could not change it. She posted things that involve slander and personal facts about my life..."
Denise New said the boy had written on his Facebook page that he had gone to Hot Springs one night and drove 95 mph on the way home because he was upset with a girl. Several other posts on his site also bothered her, but she refused to elaborate.
She said he has since opened a new Facebook account.
New should have simply taken the computer away from the boy. Allowing children to sue their parents for disciplining them is nonsense.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Shannon Travis decided that, instead of believing the leftwing rants that Tea Partiers are racists, he would go on the road with them, instead. What he found was not what's been reported.
But here's what you don't often see in the coverage of Tea Party rallies: Patriotic signs professing a love for country; mothers and fathers with their children; African-Americans proudly participating; and senior citizens bopping to a hip-hop rapper...
Together, we beamed out images of the anger and the optimism, profiled African-Americans who are proud to be in the Tea Party's minority and showed activists stirred by "God Bless America" or amused by a young rapper who strung together rhymes against the president and Democrats.
The CNN Express traveled with the Tea Party Express buses for hundreds of miles, from rally to rally to rally.
Being at a Tea Party rally is not quite like seeing it on TV, in newspapers or online. That's the reason CNN is covering this political movement -- and doing so in ways few others can or choose to do.
It is important to show the colorful anger Americans might have against elected leaders and Washington. But people should also see the orange-vested Tea Party hospitality handlers who welcome you with colorful smiles.
There were a few signs that could be seen as offensive to African-Americans. But by and large, no one I spoke with or I heard from on stage said anything that was approaching racist.
Almost everyone I met was welcoming to this African-American television news producer.
It sounds like it's a reflection of much of America: well-meaning people with a few nuts and embarrassments mixed in.
Compare and contrast that reporters experience with this protest, which didn't receive much media coverage.
As a history buff myself, I agree that it’s important to study history, but that doesn’t require a Confederacy Appreciation Month, which is what this sounds like. McDonnell could have broadened the perspective to a Civil War History Month, which would have allowed for all of the issues in the nation’s only armed rebellion to be studied. This approach seems needlessly provocative and almost guaranteed to create problems for Republicans in Virginia and across the country.
I'm all for everyone understanding the history leading up to and through the bloodiest war the United States has ever engaged in, but that could be done within typical history debates and classes. Confederate History Month, especially in the Age of Obama, just represents an unnecessary thumb in the eye of black citizens, reinforcing the stereotype that Republicans hate black folk.
UPDATE: McDonnell apologizes.
. I am religious, yet not a fanatic. I am a free-marketer; yet, I believe in the role of the government as a fair evenhanded referee. I am socially conservative; yet, I believe that my lesbian niece and my gay grandchild should have the full protection of the law and live as free Americans enjoying every aspect of our society with no prejudices and/or restrictions...
I witnessed the fight for equal civil rights in the 1960s. And as a proud American, I applauded the passage of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act, and we became a better country because of them. Those acts made America stronger. Those acts, at their core, represented and still represent all the values upon which the Republican Party was founded. Yet today, our GOP representatives and leaders are ashamed of them. When they talk about them, you feel their discomfort, their clumsiness, and sometimes their shame. That awkwardness is so strong that it crosses the television screen and hits you in the face in your living room. Why is that? What happened to this generation of Republicans? We are the party of Abraham Lincoln, and yet we act and behave as if we are the party of Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Then something happened in the 1990s. The leaders of the GOP grew belligerent. They became too religious, almost zealots. They became intolerant. They began searching for purity in Republican thought and doctrine. Ideology blinded them. I continued to vote Republican, but with a certain unease. Deep down I knew that a schism happened between the modern Republican Party and the one I grew up with. During the fight over the impeachment of President Clinton, the ugly face of the Republican Party was brought to the surface. Empty rhetoric, ideological intolerance, vengeance, and religious zealotry became the common currency. Suddenly, if you are pro-choice, you could not be a Republican. If you are for smart and sensible taxes to balance out the budget, you could not be a Republican. If you are pro-civil rights, you could not be a Republican.
It started with minorities: they left the party. Then women; they divorced the GOP and sent it to sleep on the couch. Then, the young folks; they left and are leaving the Republican Party in droves. Then, someone stood up and told my niece and my grandchild that they are not fully Americans — just second class Americans because they are homosexual. They wished hell and damnation upon my loved ones just because they are different. Are we led by priests or are we led by rational politicians? Now, we have became the party of the Old Straight White Folks. We should rename the Republican Party the OSWF rather than the GOP.
Recently, since the election of Barack Obama, common sense has left the Republican Party completely. We are in the era of craziness. As David Frum has written, a deal was there to be made over the healthcare bill. Instead, this ideological purity blinded the GOP. As LBJ said it, instead of being inside the tent pissing out, we choose to be outside the tent, pissing against the wind. And we got splashed by our own nonsense. Why did we do that? Well, when a political party shrinks its electoral based to below 30% and is composed by one demographic group, all that is left are a bunch of zealots. We shrank it by kicking out of the party those who believe that abortion should be legal but limited. We shrank it by kicking out those who believe that an $11 trillion economy, like ours, needs a strong government, not a government that can be drowned in a bathtub.
So, Currey says he's for government spending, restrictions on free speech he dislikes, pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion and anti-freedom. How could he not realize he was a Democrat?
It’s easy to come up with arguments for why we need to do so. Above all, we don’t have a choice. Giving hospitals and drug makers a blank check will bankrupt Medicare. Slowing the cost growth, on the other hand, will free up resources for other uses, like education. Lower costs will also lift workers’ take-home pay.
But I suspect that these arguments won’t be persuasive. They have the faint ring of an insurer’s rationale for denying a claim. Compared with an anecdote about a cancer patient looking for hope, the economic arguments are soulless.
The better bet for the new reformers — starting with Donald Berwick, the physician who will run Medicare — is to channel American culture, not fight it. We want the best possible care, no matter what. Yet we often do not get it because the current system tends to deliver more care even when it means worse care.
Any way they slice it, they're still calling for the rationing of health care. The economics of the situation demand it. In an age where using less is a status symbol of how "green" one is, health care rationing might look palatable. But that won't be the case.
Unlike clothes or food or shelter, there is no "basic" health care level. The basic level is to be healthy, regardless of cost. Obamacare will begin the reshaping of the American psyche to accept less health as, somehow, more, even when it obviously is not. This conditioning will teach us to accept longer wait periods to see doctors, fewer treatment options and, ultimately, death from diseases and illnesses that just a few years before would have been considered treatable. Such is the eventual result of socialized medicine.
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
The latest Gallup poll shows that, for the first time since Gallup asked the question (2001), Americans think energy production is more important than the environment.
The results could be driven by concerns about jobs and the job killing effect of most environmental protection legislation. Hot Air notes that environmental concerns over energy peaked in 2007, ahead of the economic collapse, so this could just be a matter of Americans pondering priorities and shifting their thoughts. One of the things environmental whackos can't seem to understand is that most Americans like the idea of cleaner energy sources but don't like the idea of being forced to choose them. Or they support green alternatives for reasons other than emotional pablum. In any case, a weak economy and higher fuel prices mean cramming through cap and trade legislation is a bad idea for Democrats.
Well, that's what should be the headline. Instead, Constance McMillen is complaining that she went to a "fake prom" while the "real" one was held elsewhere.
To avoid Constance McMillen bringing a female date to her prom, the teen was sent to a "fake prom" while the rest of her class partied at a secret location at an event organized by parents.
McMillen tells The Advocate that a parent-organized prom happened behind her back — she and her date were sent to a Friday night event at a country club in Fulton, Miss., that attracted only five other students. Her school principal and teachers served as chaperones, but clearly there wasn't much to keep an eye on.
"They had two proms and I was only invited to one of them," McMillen says. "The one that I went to had seven people there, and everyone went to the other one I wasn’t invited to."
McMillen was invited to the prom--that's the school sponsored event. The other party was just a party, regardless of what they called it. It's understandable that McMillen should feel hurt and angry that she was left out of the other event, but obviously a lot of people were uncomfortable with her political statement about lesbianism. And, unfortunately, the more vocal and in-your-face homosexuals get about their sexuality, the more they will be subjected to such passive-aggressive tactics.
Monday, April 05, 2010
In seminal journal articles... you’ll find a panoply of policy proposals from mild to downright intrusive. The story begins with the seemingly innocuous proposal to enroll all employees in savings plans automatically (with the ability to opt out). Then it progresses to new default rules in contracts, such as a presumption of “for cause” rather than “at will” employment, again with an opt-out. And then? Default rules that can be waived only through a cumbersome legal procedure. Then default rules with some options ruled out entirely — such as maximum hours that cannot be waived for less than time-and-a-half pay. Then cooling-off periods for high-cost purchases. Then sin taxes for fatty or sodium-rich foods. Then outright bans on ingredients like trans fats.
Not every new paternalist supports every one of these policies, and they don’t advocate them all with the same confidence. But they’re all on the list, and all justified by an appeal to behavioral economics.
Obamacare is just the beginning. But it does provide supporters with moral superiority.
Saturday, April 03, 2010
I've actually had to deal with the temptation of Tea Party activists going all Perot on us and ensuring another four years of the disasterous Barack Obama. Dan Quayle argues that going third party over the Democrats' outrageous behavior would just ensure we get even more of it:
The emergence of official tea party candidates would be very welcome news in the Obama White House. All at once, a powerful and energetic counterweight to the Democratic establishment would become a splinter group, destroying the unified opposition it has helped to create. A potential electoral majority on the threshold of victory would become two minority factions almost certain to share in defeat, and a movement inspired to stop the big-government agenda would suddenly become its tool.
As I've often explained to third party advocates, our system does not support anything other than two strong political parties, unlike the parliamentary system which allows for all sorts of coalitions of tiny groups. Love it or hate it, our form of democracy, our system of elections, supports voting between two ideologies, usually well-defined. Without exception, any time a third party has reared its head in American elections, it has resulted in the triumph of an also-ran who was less popular. It happened when Teddy Roosevelt ran in 1912, giving us the disasterous Woodrow Wilson. It happened in 1992 when Ross Perot's in-again-out-again campaign gave us Bill Clinton. And it would most assuredly give us Barack Obama in 2012 (why does this always benefit Democrats?). Tea Party supporters would do better to help elect a Republican rather than sink him (or her).
Friday, April 02, 2010
Recently, a friend of mine became aware of the suicide of a teenage girl in Massachusetts, ostensibly because of bullying by "mean girls." The girl, Phoebe Prince, had moved to the United States from Ireland, and evidently, she had been the vicitm of bullying before "because she was pretty and other students were jealous of her."
The case has become something of a sensation, with columns and opinion pieces both here and across the pond, most tut-tutting that administrators and teachers should have "done" something. But what, precisely? Followed Phoebe from class to class, to and from home, on every date (it seems she had a few)? Should they have read every text, every comment on MySpace and Facebook? And is this, as some are saying, an epidemic.
Sorry, ladies, but the answer is no.
The National Crime Victimization Survey, a detailed annual survey of more than 40,000 Americans by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, is considered the most reliable measure of crime because it includes offenses not reported to the police. From 1993 through 2007, the survey reported significant declines in rates of victimization of girls, including all violent crime (down 57 percent), serious and misdemeanor assaults (down 53 percent), robbery (down 83 percent) and sex offenses (down 67 percent).
Girls aren't more violent. They just aren't. Why do girls like Phoebe Prince commit suicide? It's probably a mixture of the bullying and Phoebe's reaction to the bullying. Personally, I blame the 24/7 contact that modern teens have. When I was a teenager back in the Stone Age, the problem with bullies at school stayed at school. When you went home, you didn't have to deal with them anymore because they weren't likely to be calling you to harass you (unless it was a prank phone call, of course).
There have always been bullies. The way children are expected to deal with them has changed. Perhaps some of the problem is based on the way we expect children to handle taunting and teasing. Perhaps we don't prepare our children as well to deal with such things. Or maybe the teasing and taunting is just meaner. Regardless of the reason, mean girls aren't more violent than they were in previous generations. But don't expect the myth of the mean girl to go away any time soon.
From my unscientific sampling of doctors, this doctor's sentiments are typical.
A doctor who considers the national health-care overhaul to be bad medicine for the country posted a sign on his office door telling patients who voted for President Barack Obama to seek care "elsewhere."
"I'm not turning anybody away — that would be unethical," Dr. Jack Cassell, 56, a Mount Dora urologist and a registered Republican opposed to the health plan, told the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday. "But if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it."
Doctors cannot refuse to treat patients based on race, sex, religion, disability or sexual orientation. But a doctor doesn't have to treat anyone from a different political party. Not that this one is doing that. He's just letting his patients know his feelings about this disasterous law.
In his waiting room, Cassell also has provided his patients with photocopies of a health-care timeline produced by Republican leaders that outlines "major provisions" in the health-care package. The doctor put a sign above the stack of copies that reads: "This is what the morons in Washington have done to your health care. Take one, read it and vote out anyone who voted for it."
Doctors have free speech rights, too.
UPDATE: Unsurprisingly, the Huffington Post lies about what Dr. Cassell is doing...even when he tells them he won't deny Obama supporters care.
But economists sounded a cautious note, pointing out that a sizable portion of the growth came from the government’s hiring of 48,000 census workers, mostly temporary jobs.
You know your economy is weak when you are having to cheer the hiring of temporary workers. But let's do some remedial math:
162,000 new jobs minus 48,000 temporary census workers equals 114,000. And according to the labor department, the economy has to create 100,000 jobs each month just to keep up wiht new entrants. So, in other words, 14,000 jobs were created that cut into the unemployed ranks. Now that's something to cheer about!
The unemployment rate is still 9.7% and that rate is supposed to remain for the rest of the year. Liberals are simply pathetic when they try to paint this as "the economy turning around." But with Teh One's approval numbers in the tank, what's a good sycophant to do? Too bad for them that we know better.
By talking openly about redistribution, Baucus and others have gone seriously off-message. Democrats knew there was no way they could ever sell a national health care bill to a skeptical public by basing their case on income inequality. That's one reason they went to such lengths to argue -- preposterously, in the view of most Americans -- that the bill could cover 32 million currently uninsured people and still save the taxpayers money...
This week the DNC group Organizing for America offered a commemorative certificate to supporters who helped pass the health care bill. The certificate said, "We achieved the dream of generations -- high-quality, affordable health care is no longer the privilege of a few, but the right of all."
No rational person could argue that only "a few" had health care, or health insurance, for that matter. 85% of Americans have health insurance they enjoy. And everyone can get care. But in arguing that only a privileged few are getting something everyone else is left out of, Dems appealed to the basest of human instincts: greed and envy.