Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Once dominant, then in decline: why?

One of the things Mitt Romney is fascinated by is what causes countries to become dominant world leaders, then lose that stature. In his book No Apologies, he investigates ancient China, the Ottoman Empire, Spain and Portugal, and Great Britain. I used his book today as a text on that subject, as Colleen and I are homeschooling our three children. Romney is very big on being willing to tackle difficult challenges head-on, innovation, entrepreneurship, and staying ahead of competitors.

Speaking of homeschooling, we had a great P.E. day today, as the kids and I went to the Rec Center in Castle Rock, Colorado. Swimming, basketball, and the weight room captured the enthusiasm of the kids big time. I think we will all be a little sore tomorrow, after doing all the machines in the weight room (and I do mean all the machines)!

Mitt Romney's candidacy

I am reading Mitt Romney's book No Apologies. The title seems to be a reference to the fact that Obama spent a lot of time in his first two years apologizing for America, and Mitt feels no such compulsion. I don't think the title has anything to do with criticisms of Romneycare, his Massachussets Healthcare plan that has not won him friends among conservatives.

I like Romney's emphasis on the importance of keeping America the strongest country on earth, both economically and militarily. I think he means it, and would lead us to that goal if elected president. If Romney were to win the Republican nomination, which is by no means going to be easy, I think he would trounce Obama in the general election. Why? because there are lots of disillusioned Democrats and independents who voted for Obama in 2008. Romney has a record of working well with Democrats and independents in Massachussets. He comes across as disciplined and sincere, a man who truly loves America. One of the themes of the 2012 election will be can the candidate put country first, and not always try to appeal to the loudest people in his base of support.

Romney overwhelmingly won Colorado in the 2008 Republican primary. Colorado is 1/3 Republican, 1/3 Democrat, and 1/3 independent, which is why it is considered an important swing state, and will be a place where both parties dump a ton of money, hoping to influence voters.

I have seen and read media pundits who claim Romney will have trouble winning early voting states such as Iowa and South Carolina, because of the large numbers of evangelical Christians who vote in the primaries. If that is true, it may be because those states have very small Mormon populations. Here in Colorado we have significant Mormon populations. We know them to be family-oriented, community-oriented patriots who are solid citizens. They love Jesus, just like evangelicals say they do. Moreover, they prove it by the way they live. Isn't that what Jesus asks?

If evangelicals are the strongest supporters of Israel, why can't they also be the strongest supporters of a group of people who love and follow Jesus? In 2008 the country showed that it can rise above petty prejudices based on race. In 2012 maybe it can show that we can do the same on matters of religious faith. The candidates are running for the office of president of the United States, not president of the Christian faith.

Whomever that man or woman might be, let's vote for the person who can lead us to become once again the country that leads the world economically, and has the strength to keep its citizens safe, all the while upholding the country's unique traditions of individual liberty.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

An amazing story

I have gotten into the habit of putting holds on the current best sellers in both fiction and non-fiction. Most of the time I return them right away after reading the book jacket and deciding that they would not interest me. Heaven is for Real is an exception.

Written by a pastor in a small town in Nebraska near the borders of Kansas and Colorado, the book for me was engrossing, to say the least. The pastor's son, when he was three years and ten months old, had a ruptured appendix, and underwent emergency surgery.

Though not classified as having expired, the son left his body and went to Heaven. The first person he saw was Jesus, who sat him on His lap. He also saw and described God the Father, the Holy Spirit, Satan, John the Baptist, the angel Gabriel, Jesus's mother, Mary, the boy's great grandfather, and his little sister, whom the family thought it had lost forever in a miscarriage. Jesus had "markings" on His hands and feet. The boy matter-of-factly revealed bits and pieces of his experience over the next few months and years. He is now eleven-years-old. The pastor tried very hard only to ask open-ended questions, but he and his wife are convinced that their son had a supernatural experience.

It is an amazing story.

To escalate, or not to escalate, that is the question!

There was some excitement at the bank in the Wal-Mart Superstore today. I witnessed a man shouting angrily at the two bank employees (it was Sunday, so only two employees were on duty). Both employees were females. One of them demanded that the man leave the store. He continued yelling at her at the top of his lungs. The bank employee, who had asked him to leave, abruptly walked around the counter toward him. He slowly walked toward the exit, continuing to shout angrily. The other bank employee actually beckoned for him to come back, ostensibly so she could get a piece of him! The man left the building, with the first bank employee walking behind him all the way to the exit.

The lack of fear shown by the two females was impressive. However, I could not help but think that de-escalation, rather than escalation, might have been the prudent course of action. I could just visualize the man going home and getting the gun he has always wanted to shoot somebody with, then returning to the store to fulfill his fantasy; and I don't know whether there was or would be anyone in the store with a concealed carry permit.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Can we in America "turn back toward freedom?"

Vaclav Klaus is the President of the Czech Republic, a country that in the last century had the misfortune of being ruled first by the German Nazis, then by the Soviet Communists. This man understands a few things about freedom, and we here in America can learn from him. Here is an excerpt from an article he wrote recently for Imprimis magazine.

"In Europe, we have witnessed a gradual shift away from liberalizing and removing barriers and towards a massive introduction of regulation from above, an ever-expanding welfare system, new and more sophisticated forms of protectionism, and continuously growing legal and regulatory burdens on business. All of these weaken and restrain freedom, democracy and democratic accountability, not to mention economic efficiency, entrepreneurship and competitiveness.

Europeans today prefer leisure to performance, security to risk-taking, paternalism to free markets, collectivism and group entitlements to individualism. They have always been more risk-averse than Americans, but the difference continues to grow. Economic freedom has a very low priority here. It seems that Europeans are not interested in capitalism and free markets and do not understand that their current behavior undermines the very institutions that made their past success possible. They are eager to defend their non-economic freedoms—the easiness, looseness, laxity and permissiveness of modern or post-modern European society—but when it comes to their economic freedoms, they are quite indifferent.

The critical situation in Europe today is visible to everybody. It is not possible to hide it. I had believed that this spectacle would be a help to the cause of political and economic freedom in Europe, but this is not proving to be the case. Of course, with the way your American government has been going, you might be able to catch up with us—in terms of our problems—very soon. But you are not as far along yet. So maybe seeing Europe’s crisis today will at least help you in America turn back toward freedom."

Friday, August 26, 2011

Marines in Afghanistan: no more audible bottom burps!

First the Marines were ordered not to curse in front of Afghans, then no talking about women, then no talking about politics, now, no farting!

One Marine was heard to whisper, "So now we understand that Muslims in Afghanistan are offended by the sound of anal gas explosions but are quite comfortable with beheading, stoning, female genital mutilation, pedophilia, amputations, and hanging or burning homosexuals.”

Note to the leathernecks: you are welcome any time to curse, talk about women and politics, and trouser sneeze, right back here in America!

Ten facts the media ignores about Sarah Palin's record

The media has had plenty of time to examine Sarah Palin's record as Governor of Alaska, as well as other significant reponsibilities she has fulfilled. Here are ten facts about her record that the media fails to appreciate:

1. As governor in 2007, Palin was responsible for the largest veto totals in state history, while investing $1 billion in forward-funding education and fulfilling public safety and infrastructure necessities.

2. Palin invested $5 billion in state savings during a time of economic surplus.

3. Palin reduced spending by 9.5% from 2007 to 2010 and slashed earmark requests by over 80% during her time as governor.

4. Under Palin, Alaska’s total liabilities were reduced by 34.6% overall.

5. As governor, Palin was the CEO of the state and had substantial authority. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, “In Alaska, the Governor has line-item veto power over the budget and can only be overridden by a three-quarters majority of the Legislature.”

6. Palin’s free-market approach to AGIA (Alaska Gasline Inducement Act) featured full transparency with respect to competitors and no back-door meetings. It also unlocked the ConocoPhillips, BP and ExxonMobil monopoly and marked an enormous step toward energy independence.

7. Palin tossed out the corruption-ridden, structurally-flawed Petroleum Profits Tax of the Murkowski administration and put forth ACES (Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share), which incentivized development while seeing to it that Alaskans — resource owners as per the Alaska Constitution — would receive “A CLEAR and EQUITABLE SHARE (ACES) of the value of their commonly-owned oil and gas.” The result? Alaska was left with a $12 billion surplus. Also, as reported at Big Government, “The number of oil companies filing with the Alaska Department of Revenue has doubled, indicating that competition has indeed increased. Alaska has the second most business friendly tax set-up — up two spots since the passage of ACES. Additionally, a report from Governor Parnell’s Department of Revenue indicated that 2009 yielded a record high in oil jobs.”

8. Palin held ExxonMobil’s feet to the fire when it wasn’t abiding by a lease agreement to drill in Point Thomson. (You thin-skinned hockey mom, you!) After over 25 years of sitting on leases with no activity, ExxonMobil finally got to it.

9. Palin served as president of the Alaska Conference of Mayors, chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, vice chair of the National Governors Association Natural Resources Committee and chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.

10. Palin’s commitment to free-market competition and transparency is well-evidenced by her establishment of the Alaska Health Care Strategies Planning Council (HCSPC) and her introduction of the Alaska Health Care Transparency Act. The American Spectator points out that although it didn’t make it through the legislature, “The Alaska Health Care Transparency Act confirmed that Sarah Palin means it when she says she’s in politics to ‘challenge the status quo and to serve the common good.’ Moreover, her push for greater competition also demonstrates that she understands the potential of the free market to cure much of what ails American health care.”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/08/26/what-pundits-should-be-talking-about-when-it-comes-to-palin/#ixzz1WCPkc53F

Tormenting us for our own good

I guess I am not the only one who has been reading C.S. Lewis. Ambulance Driver gives an example of the following truths:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. ~ C.S. Lewis

Thinking of our friends on the east coast this weekend

Via Flares into Darkness
President Obama has ended his beach vacation on Martha's Vineyard. Not a good weekend for golf.

Brain, eye, hand, feet coordination!

I can't wait to show this video to Jon and Greg, who will be coming home from New Mexico tomorrow.
Via Coyote Blog

Are scientists employing a flash mob mentality?

Ann Coulter writes here that Darwin's theory of evolution has been disproven. In her post she gives some of the reasons:
Most devastating for the Darwiniacs were advances in microbiology since Darwin's time, revealing infinitely complex mechanisms requiring hundreds of parts working together at once -- complex cellular structures, DNA, blood-clotting mechanisms, molecules, and the cell's tiny flagellum and cilium.

Darwin's theory was that life on Earth began with single-celled life forms, which by random mutation, sex and death, would pass on the desirable mutations, and this process, over billions of years, would lead to the creation of new species.

The (extremely generous) test Darwin set for his theory was this: "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down."

Thanks to advances in microscopes, thousands of such complex mechanisms have been found since Darwin's day. He had to explain only simple devices, such as beaks and gills. If Darwin were able to come back today and peer through a modern microscope to see the inner workings of a cell, he would instantly abandon his own theory.

It is a mathematical impossibility, for example, that all 30 to 40 parts of the cell's flagellum -- forget the 200 parts of the cilium! -- could all arise at once by random mutation. According to most scientists, such an occurrence is considered even less likely than John Edwards​ marrying Rielle Hunter​, the "ground zero" of the impossible.

Nor would each of the 30 to 40 parts individually make an organism more fit to survive and reproduce, which, you will recall, is the lynchpin of the whole contraption.

I have not read Ann's Godless: The Church of Liberalism, but maybe it is time to put a hold on that one at the local library!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Writing in 1941, C.S. Lewis considered virtues and vices at the time when the Germans were beginning their bombing campaign over Britain. What will be the response of the British? Courage? Cowardice? Of course, Uncle Screwtape, writing on behalf of his "father below," in The Screwtape Letters wants to carefully promulgate cowardice.

However, Screwtape laments that whenever he and his cohorts succeed in promoting cowardice, the enemy (God) permits a war, an earthquake, or some other calamity, and "at once courage becomes so important that all our work is undone." The danger in producing cowardice is that the human will feel shame, self-loathing, and consequent humility. In danger the issue of good and evil is forced upon him. Courage and cowardice become undisguisable. "Perhaps it is why the enemy (God) has created a dangerous world: a world in which moral issues really come to the point. Courage is not merely one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality."


One of the things I like most about The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, written in 1941, is the way he writes about virtues. For example, have you ever noticed, in conflicts with others, how both you and the other person deem yourselves to be the righteous one? Take the virtue of unselfishness, for example. Lewis, writing as Uncle Screwtape, who is serving his father below, notes that "we have built up a divergence of views toward unselfishness between the sexes. A woman means by unselfishness chiefly taking trouble for others. A man means not giving trouble to others...Each feels a glow of self-righteousness and harbors a secret claim to preferential treatment because of unselfishness shown, and a grudge against the other for the ease with which the sacrifice has been accepted. A real quarrel ensues, with bitter resentment on each side! Elaborate and self-conscious unselfishness builds up on each side."

"She is the sort of woman who lives for others." (You can always tell the others by their hunted expression)!"

Tipper got out just in time!

I wonder how much it cost the Aspen Institute to bring in Al Gore for this rant, using God's name in vain, and referring to the droppings of bulls. This man was almost elected president of the United States! Is there any better example for us to realize how important elections are?

Then there is this column:
)ne can skip the globe and find almost everywhere that governments, staring at the reality of recession and financial anxiety, have given up on their vague projections of green economics. Where is President Obama, who promised that on his accession “the rise of the oceans will start to slow and the planet begin to heal?” — surely the most fatuous declaration in the history of politics. Well, he appears to be giving speeches every second day, but none of them feature the retreating oceans or our healed planet.

Oh, by the way, how are we doing with the rising seas? Well, last year the sea level actually went down a bit, although it has been rising about an inch every decade!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Understanding Obama's 2008 campaign

In The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, Uncle Screwtape, who works for his "father below," urges his nephew to understand how to elevate humans' "horror of the same old thing" into a philosophy, "so that nonsense in the intellect may reinforce corruption in the will." Screwtape tells his nephew that the "horror of the same old thing is one of the most valuable passions we have produced in the human heart." He points out to Wormwood that the enemy (God) does not want humans to make change an end in itself, so he has balanced in them the love of change with the love of permanence.

Screwtape says that the duty of those who work for "our father below" is to pick out and exaggerate this natural enjoyment of change, and twist it into a demand for absolute novelty. That way the pleasure of change can be diminished, while increasing the desire for it. The desire for novelty eats up the innocent sources of pleasure. "The game is to have them all running about with fire extinguishers when there is a flood!" "For the descriptive adjective "unchanged," we have substituted the emotional adjective "stagnant."

The enemy (God) wants humans to ask very simple questions, such as is it prudent, is it righteous, is it possible? On the other hand, Screwtape urges the development of fashions, vogues. He wants humans to ask "Is it in accordance with the general movement of our time?" (multiculturalism, diversity, all forms of political correctness). Then, Screwtape writes, they will neglect the relevant questions. The use of fashions in thought is to distract the attentions of men from the real dangers. "While their minds are abuzz in this vaccuum, we have the better chance to slide them into the action we have decided on! They do not know the future. We have trained them to think of the future as a promised land which favored heroes attain."

Getting there!

Via Questions and Observations

Who is the racist?

A blogger takes on Janeane Garofalo for implying that blacks have no right to identify themselves with the Republican Party. Blacks, thinking for themselves? Heaven forbid!
Via Maggie's Farm

Decison fatigue

Do you have mental fatigue from making too many decisions? There is a brilliant woman where I work, who snaps off excellent decisions a mile a minute. She is ultra-competent, even though she has not been on the job more than a couple of months. Yet, she plans to quit next Saturday! Why? Because she says her immediate supervisor "doesn't give her the tools" she needs to do her job. I don't understand. I told her she has the tools she needs just in her own competence. As I said, the person is already super-competent. Although she is the lowest level manager, she basically runs the store on Saturdays, when thousands of people are in there shopping. No matter how big or small the problem, she solves one after another all day long, going full speed ahead.

I asked her what could keep her here. She said, "Only one thing: I get my supervisor's job!" I said, "Wow, what's that all about?" She said, "It's about being a woman!" Whoa, Nellie. This is where I get off the horse.

Is there an inalienable right to self defense?

Does our government value our individual lives? This blogger believes that the actions taken by the Justice Department in the Gunwalker scandal prove that it does not. He believes the right to self defense is the highest law of the land. Read the whole thing!
Via Instapundit

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Exactly what Obama wants

Coal industry groups say that new regulations that will be forthcoming from the EPA over the next 18 months will "cost utilities up to $129 billion and force them to retire one-fifth of coal capacity. Given that coal provides 45 percent of the country’s power, that means higher electric bills, more blackouts and fewer jobs."
Via The Washington Post, which was linked to by Instapundit.

Where the buck stops

Obama now says it is Congress that is holding back the U.S. recovery. Rush predicted this would be his strategy.
I found this photoshop by England's S. Weasel at Ace.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Summer re-reading

I like it when a person feels so strongly that he has insight into someone or something that he has the discipline and courage to put his words down on paper. Two people who did that in the last decade were Jonah Goldberg and Shelby Steele. You know Goldberg from National Review, and Steele from the Hoover Institute at Stanford.

Goldberg became fed up with liberals attacking conservatives as "fascists," and wrote Liberal Fascism to set the historical record straight, tying today's liberals to the historical fascistic traditions of Mussolini, Hitler, Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt, F.D.R., and Hillary Clinton, among other leftists who gained positions of power. Power, after all, is what the left craves more than anything.

Steele's book A Bound Man is about Barack Obama. Steele, the son of a black man and a white woman, thinks he understands Barack Obama. He points out that blacks have always had to wear a mask when functioning as a black in a white society. But, no one ever achieves their human potential wearing a mask. At some point in one's life, every human must make it clear who he/she is, or, as Martin Luther King would put it, show the content of their character.

Steele asks, "What gave Barack Obama the idea that he could plausibly run for the presidency of the United States? Was it that he had evolved a compelling vision for the nation grounded in deeply held personal convictions? Or was it simply that he had become aware of his ability to enthral white America? If the mask is history's price of admission for blacks, then the pressure is to make inauthenticity a talent. Our masking, once so essential to our survival, has caused us to overvalue the manipulation of whites and to undervalue the evolution of our individual selves."

Those quotes above from Steele are from different parts of his book.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ryan for president?

Drew at Ace of Spades notes that Rep. Paul Ryan is in Colorado with his family, and that he is talking with them about running for the GOP nomination for president. I was struck in watching this video by the respect he seemed to be getting from the people in this room, as he talked about our budgetary problems.
Drew is excited about the possibility of a tough primary contest between Perry and Ryan.

Outrageous manipulation

Breitbart has done it again. This time he exposes MSNBC for editing a speech by Governor Perry, in which he was talking about the black cloud of debt hanging over America. Ed Schultz claimed that Perry was talking about Barack Obama when he referred to a "black cloud." Go here to hear what Perry actually said, and then view how MSNBC manipulated the content.
Via Instapundit

Saturday, August 13, 2011

"Stay hungry, stay foolish"

One of my favorite blogs is Maggie's Farm. Barrister is one of their bloggers, and today he has re-posted Steve Jobs' Commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005. In it Mr. Jobs told three stories about his life. The first is to have the "confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference."

The second was about love and loss. "You've got to find what you love, and that is as true for work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking, and don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it, and like any great relationship it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking. Don't settle."

The third story was about death. "When you realize you are going to die, you are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart." "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition."

Read the whole thing here.

Only the best accommodations

British Prime Minister David Cameron is pissed. He is considering revoking the subsidized housing for the looters! Heretofore looters have been given "Cautions," and, I kid you not, Anti-Social Behavior Orders, which the Associated Press says was used as a badge of honor by the young thugs, er, ah, "delinquent youths." Those who have heretofore ended up in detention centers have had access to computer games and PlayStations.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sarah drops by the livestock exhibit

While the media covered the debate in Des Moines, cagey Sarah Palin dropped by the Iowa State Fair, giving the media no notice of her whereabouts. When a reporter for The Hill asked her about entering the race, she replied,
"Watching the whole process over the last year certainly shows me that, yes, there is plenty of room for more people."

Update: When asked by another reporter whom she favored among the GOP candidates, Palin answered, "Anybody but Obama; maybe even me!"

What is your favorite agency?

Roger L. Simon blogs that there are now 350,000 people employed by the state of California. He also lists all the agencies of that state here. Be prepared to scroll way down. My favorite agency has to be the California Museum of History, Women, and the Arts.

Watch out for an explosion of regulations!

Happy cost of government day! According to Grover Norquist and the Americans for Tax Reform Movement, Americans worked until August 12 to pay for federal spending (103 days), state and local spending (44 days), and to cover the cost of regulatory burden (77 days).

Going after criminals

Mourning our huge loss

Despite a request from the Special Operations Command to keep the names secret, the Pentagon yesterday released the names of the 30 Americans killed when their Chinook helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade launcher in Afghanistan. Those killed included some Navy Seals who were part of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. 30 of the best Americans one could ever hope to find. They had been called in to support Army Rangers who were in a fire-fight with Taliban terrorists who were planting roadside bombs. Who is supplying the Taliban with these weapons?

Coulter and Buchanan comment on the looters

Ann Coulter believes Britain has destroyed itself because of its welfare state and incessant apologies for being, well, Britain! Pat Buchanan says the West is in decline because the character of its people has declined. Are these two arch-conservatives just racists we should not listen to, or have they hit the nail on its head?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Compassionate panopticism"

"It started in Tottenham, on Saturday, when a man got shot by the police. People protested, and then some people went and burned down a police car. And the police did nothing. They burned down more police cars, they burned down a bus, they burned down a building — and the police did nothing. They needed to respond. Instead the police retreated in Tottenham. So this, whatever you call it, it started as something against the police. The police did not show the strength to push back, and it spread. And that is why I'm out here now like a security guard."

Those are the words of an owner of a 24-hour grocery in London, as he talked with an editorial page writer for the Wall Street Journal Europe about the London riots. His rioters were white, by the way. The WSJ writer, Anne Jolis, coined the term that I have used for the heading on this post. It refers to the fact that the British are big on surveillance cameras, but the cameras failed to prevent the lawlessness. The crux of the problem appears to be that government policies have crippled the police from stopping the violence.

Don't mess with Latina women, Georgie!

And don't renege on promises! She wants an apartment in this building, and says Soros tried to choke her, slapped her across the face, and tried to hit her with a glass lamp.

Via iOwnTheWorld

"Pull your pants up and buy a belt..."

Those are the words of Philadelphia's black mayor Michael Nutter to youths who went on a rampage in Center City August 1. Arnold Ahlert reviews the racial rioting there and in Wisconsin and England.

Paying people not to work creates jobs?

Okay, are you ready? Here are two videos on the subject of unemployment benefits. The first is the smug White House Press Secretary Jay Carney who chides a Wall Street Journal reporter for daring to ask how unemploymet payments create jobs. The second is a humorous one put forward by The Independence Institute here in Colorado. The Institute's Director, Jon Caldera, has some things to say on the subject here.


“An undersea volcano has erupted off the coast of Oregon, spewing forth a layer of lava more than 12 feet (4 meters) thick in some places, and opening up deep vents that belch forth a cloudy stew of hot water and microbes from deep inside the Earth."
Via Watts Up With That?

"Their son is dead!"

Talk about conflict of interest! The federal prosecutor refuses to recognize as victims the family of murdered border patrol agent Brian Terry!
Via Sipsey Street Irregulars

"Resist, we much!"

Breitbart brings us this important message from the latest MSNBC genius, Al Sharpton.

Live life to the fullest for as long as you can!

Wilhelm Kempff plays the third movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Kempff stopped playing the piano in 1981 because of Parkinson's Disease. Of course, Sippican Cottage, where I found this video, reminds us that Beethoven was stricken with deafness. The moral is clear to me: live life to the fullest for as long as you can!

Perry to announce Saturday

PJ Tatler is breaking the story: Texas Governor Rick Perry is announcing Saturday night that he is a candidate for the GOP nomination for president of the United States. My friend Cliff Stewart, who, like me, is a former Texas resident, has been touting a Perry candidacy to me for weeks, giving Perry credit for the robust Texas economy. Now we can get to know Mr. Perry better. Meanwhile, cagey Sarah Palin waits in the wings.
Update: Lefty sniping at Perry has begun. Mike Littwin, the Denver Post's "political junkie," refers to Perry as "secessionist Governor Rick "America Second" Perry." He also points out that although Perry listed his income as $182,318 in "one year," he gave only $626 to charity and "$400 of that came in non-cash gifts to (wink-wink) Goodwill."

So this is where the Democrats are making cuts!

Do you know what are the ingredients of meth? This story mentions battery acid, drain cleaner, and ammonia, along with cold medicine pseudoephedrine. Ugh! The Feds have now cut off funds to law enforcement agencies, who had been making big progress in shutting down operations. Apparently now the cooks have downsized to a shake and bake method of shaking up the ingredients in a 2-liter soda bottle. Again, ugh! The bag of meth held in this AP photo is allegedly worth $10,000. It's not even full!
via Associated Press

Florida fugitives apprehended in Colorado after citizens alert law enforcement

A very cool arrest was made yesterday on Interstate 25 about 150 miles south of Denver. These three Florida siblings had been on the run after shooting at a Florida officer, then robbing a bank in Georgia. A Colorado state trooper was working a second job at a construction site. He just happened to have with him a tire-deflating device called a stop-stick. He spread them out strategically along the highway, causing the 100 mph chase to come to a sweet end as the trio hurtled the guard rail. The siblings had been shooting at the officers with this AK 47 for which they "tried" to purchase ammunition at a Colorado Wal-Mart. The Wal-Mart employee and some other citizens alerted law enforcement.
Photos and story via The Denver Post

Pulling weeds

A welcomed day off today, so I put on some clothes and went right outside so I could garden before it got hot. Suddenly I remembered the tall weeds that were growing on the boundaries of some areas of the garden. Usually my excuse for not pulling them is that I have to go to work. Not today! So, I pulled weeds for several hours. Once I pulled on a big one so hard that I fell backward down a little hill, saved from a longer tumble by a thorny bush.

Immediately I thanked God that I was not injured. Immediately after that I thought,"Can you imagine how hard God has to pull to get those weeds of negative emotions out of the left hemisphere of my brain?" I can make it easier for God, though, by keeping the soil fertile and manageable. I can do that by dedicating myself to the task of reading and thinking about the need to remove and prevent those weeds from growing, and being ready to help Him when I ask God to rid me of those weeds.

Now I have room to plant something else on those boundary areas; maybe some fall mums?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Olympic Logo for London

This, of course is a take off on the fact that the 2012 Olympics will be held in London. Did you know that London police do not even wear firearms?

Via Theo Spark

"Deprived youth"

I think I am going to lose my lunch the next time I hear or read some pundit refer to the looters in Britain as "deprived" youth. Have you seen the videos? The "deprived" youth are wearing the latest Nike gear, and they are adding to their wardrobes daily, or should I say, nightly.

Let's hope the British authorities do not respond to the looters as the American university authorities responded to the campus fascists in the 1960s. Our "free speech deprived" college students eventually dropped out and fled to Canada, which, in recent years has imposed prohibitions on free speech!
Video via Charlie Cooke at National Review

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Kook, or a dynamic fighter for conservative American values?

On the long drive home tonight I listened to Fresh Air with Terry Gross on NPR. She was doing an "interview" with some guy who has just written a hit piece on Michele Bachmann for Vanity Fair magazine. Terry's questions and the guy's answers were designed to make Michele look like a Christian kook.

Then I got home and read this piece by a writer I respect, Byron York. Byron was present to watch Michele win over a man who had come to a meeting in Iowa with the intention of complaining about getting five calls from the Bachmann campaign in one week.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Racial hatred: Black American youths in Wisconsin acting like Nazis

House of Zathras links to reports about gangs of Black youths attacking whites outside the Wisconsin State Fair. Looks like this media outlet is trying to report thoroughly what happened. We had similar late-night incidents in downtown Denver last year.


Victor Davis Hanson asks
Does buying a $40,000 ticket to the president’s 50th birthday party mean that one is exempt from the presidential invective against “millionaires and billionaires” and “corporate jet owners”? As a general rule, the more I hear of such carping, the more I assume the whiner covets what he so childishly is obsessed with ending.

He also asks if it makes sense that the entire illegal immigration debate is couched in terms of anger toward the United States.

Don't answer the doorbell!

Via Instapundit


This summer I have been re-reading two politically-oriented books. Mark Steyn's America Alone must be the best book written in the last decade about the political shape of the world. He gives us many examples of the threat of Islamic Jihad. At the end of his book he gives ten suggestions as to how we can cope with the threat of Islam. Appeasement is not one of them.

He writes about the importance of demographics, and predicts what effect demographics will have on various countries in the future. For example, Japan has a dangerously low birthrate and no immigration. Europe countries all have dangerously low birthrates, and hordes of Muslims living on welfare. Of course, the reason they can afford to have welfare states is that the United States has been providng for their defense.

Mark has a new book coming out this fall entitled After America. Scary title! America, of course, during the last decade has gone down a path of fiscal irresponsibility and welfare state politics. I doubt if Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama will fare well in Mark's new book.

Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism warns us of the historically totalitarian direction leftist politicians from Mussolini to Hitler to Woodrow Wilson to F.D.R. have taken their countries. He also reminds us of the Black Power and SDS and Weathermen thugs who took over universities. Who was the one politician you remember who stood up to the campus fascists? Ronald Reagan, Governor of California!

Friday, August 05, 2011

"Thank God for the Atom Bomb!"

"When the atom bombs were dropped and news began to circulate that "Operation Olympic" would not, after all, be necessary, when we learned to our astonishment that we would not be obliged in a few months to rush up the beaches near Tokyo assault-firing while being machine-gunned, mortared, and shelled, for all the practiced phlegm of our tough facades we broke down and cried with relief and joy. We were going to live. We were going to grow to adulthood after all."
Ace linked to an essay by a World War II soldier, who thought he was going to have to land on the beaches of Japan. Then, news of the dropping of the atom bomb on August 6, 1945 reached the soldiers, who believed they would never experience a full adulthood. The writer points out that Harry Truman was the only president in our lifetime who "had experience in a small unit of ground troops whose mission it was to kill people." "Having found the bomb," Truman said, "we have used it...we have used it to shorten the agony of young Americans." Read the whole essay here.

First it was ADHD: now it's Bipolar Disorder!

Dr. Joy Bliss writes regularly at the Maggie's Farm blog. I really enjoy her posts. This one may be one of her best.
The last fad diagnosis was ADHD: every little boy who didn't act like a good little girl had it. Now, it is Bipolar Disorder for all kids with unruly emotions. In Newsweek, Mommy, Am I Really Bipolar?

A quote from the article:

I believe... that there is no scientific evidence to support the belief that bipolar disorder surfaces in childhood. In fact, the opposite seems to be the case: the evidence against the existence of pediatric bipolar disorder is so strong that it’s difficult to imagine how it has gained the endorsement of anyone in the scientific community. And the effect of this trendy thinking can have devastating consequences. Such children are regularly prescribed medications that are not effective in kids and have unwelcome side effects.

Diagnostic faddishness is rampant in Psychiatry, and an embarassment to the field. Why does it occur? It occurs because our descriptive diagnostic categories are so elastic, and so fundamentally unvalidated, that there is room for much mischief. Not to mention that the drug companies always welcome new opportunities to sell their wares.

First, guns; now, cocaine?

"U.S. federal agents allegedly allowed the Sinaloa drug cartel to traffic several tons of cocaine into the United States in exchange for information about rival cartels, according to court documents filed in a U.S. federal court."
Via Instapundit

Chemistry 101

Did you know that Mexico drug cartels already control most of the marijuana, cocaine, and heroin that enters into the U.S.? Well, now they are "fast becoming kings of methamphetamines." The same is true for other "synthetic" drugs like ecstacy, and over 40 other synthetic drugs now popular among druggies. These drugs can be produced in only a few hours, compared to the months it takes to grow marijuana, for example. And, they can always depend on China to supply them with the chemicals they need. An estimated 41,000 people have been killed in Mexican drug wars since 2006.

"Deliver me from evil"

Do you believe in the Devil? C.S. Lewis was asked that question in an interview with Time Magazine in 1947. He answered, "There is no uncreated being except God. God has no opposite. The proper question is whether I believe in devils. I do. That is to say, I believe in angels, and I believe that some of these, by the abuse of their free will, have become enemies to God. Satan, the leader or dictator of devils, is the opposite, not of God, but of Michael."

In my ignorance of the Old Testament, I had to look up Michael in Wikipedia, and found that he is considered an archangel in Christian, Jewish and Islamic tradition!

I have been reading the Gospel of Luke to my sons at night. Jesus did a lot of healing of people who were possessed with demons. I saw a young teen in Wal-Mart the other day who seemed possessed. He could not stop himself from making loud noises. I thought if Jesus were physically there He would have healed the boy, if the boy or his caretakers had shown faith in Him.

I know there is Evil in the world. I pray to God daily to lead me away from evil, which for me is to feel sorry for myself. I ask for an attitude of gratitude, a connection to God's eternal joy and bliss, and an ability to uplift those with whom I come into contact.

"Lewis noted the failures born from mankind's fallen nature. But he believed in the power of Jesus Christ to overcome sin, death and Satan, and the optimism of faith and hope."

"For as St. John declared, "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. . . . The one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him."

Monday, August 01, 2011

They like us better than we like ourselves!

The Pew Global Attitudes Project has done some interesting research as to how America is viewed around the world. It turns out that the people of Japan (85%) and Kenya (83%) view America more favorably than we view ourselves (79%)! On the bottom of the graph we find ourselves not being liked very much by Palestinians and Jordanians, and the people of Pakistan and Turkey. Hmm, what do those four countries have in common?
Via Ace

Important Numbers

U.S. unemployment rate now 9.4. Mexico unemployment rate now 4.9!
Mexico's birthrate is also declining sharply. "As a natural consequence of us transforming from a rural to an urban society, we are running out of Mexicans to export," González Gutiérrez said. "Our society's growing at a rate of 2.1 children per woman – in the 1970s it was more than five."

Question: How many American women have gotten pregnant by Mexicans who have come to America? My impression is that the birthrate among those women in America is higher than the numbers cited above of those women who remain in Mexico.
Via Ace

Hope and Change

Scientists have found a drug that can fire up brain cells (neurons) that elderly rhesus macaques monkeys had ceased using as they grew older. As Instapundit would say, "Faster Please." The article Instapundit linked to in National Geographic states: "Chemicals given to rhesus macaques blocked a brain molecule that slows the firing of the brain's nerve cells, or neurons, as we age — prompting those nerve cells to act young again."

V.P. Biden complains about debt deal

Joe Biden is not too happy about the deal on the debt. He whines that the Tea Party Republicans "acted like terrorists." Well, at least I guess it is now okay to use the term "terrorists!" Politico has the story here.
Via Instapundit
UPDATE: By a margin 269 to 161, with 66 Republicans voting no and 95 Democrats voting yes, the House passed the debt-ceiling bill today.