Thursday, July 30, 2009

What's The Frequency, Kenneth Herr Goebbels?

OK, I know I said I wouldn't be blogging, but this was just to ripe a fruit not to pluck.

From the Aspen Daily News: Dan Rather wants Obama to help save the news.

From itself?


Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather called on President Barack Obama to form a White House commission to help save the press Tuesday night in an impassioned speech at the Aspen Institute.

“I personally encourage the president to establish a White House commission on public media,” the legendary newsman said.



We could call it something like, "The Ministry of Information"! Yeah!

Such a commission on media reform, Rather said, ought to make
recommendations on saving journalism jobs and creating new business models to
keep news organizations alive.


Here's an idea for a way to save journalism jobs: BE JOURNALISTS, NOT PROPAGANDISTS!

Corporate and political influence on newsrooms, along with the conflation of news and entertainment, has created what Rather called “the dumbing down and sleazing up of what we see on the news.”



Do you think that maybe some of that "sleazing up" can be attributed to the media's whoring itself out to one political ideology, Mr. "Fake but accurate"?

The free press, as established by the First Amendment to the Constitution, ought to operate as a public trust, not solely as a money-making endeavor, Rather argued, and it’s time the government make an effort to ensure the survival of the free press. If not the government, he suggested, then an organization like the Carnegie Foundation should take it on. Without action, he predicted, America will lose its independent media.



So let me get this straight -- the way to ensure a free press is to have the government control it? how very Soviet in your logic, Dan.

“If we do nothing more than stand back and hope that innovation alone will solve this crisis,” he said, “then our best-trained journalists will lose their
jobs.”



So that's what it really comes down to. Dan's worried about his buddies' paychecks. When he says "Best-trained", just filter it as "Most thoroughly indoctrinated" and you'll see what the real crisis for Dan and his ilk are. Because the fact is, Mr. BLather, innovation alone IS solving the crisis. From alternative news outlets, to the blogs, to the way that social networking sites like Twitter were used to get the news out of Iran when the government there had shut down traditional journalists, innovation is driving changes in how information gets out. The old legacy media no longer holds the information monopoly. And THAT is what Dan Rather REALLY wants Obama to save.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Things Fall Apart, the Center Cannot Hold....

Dealing with some personal issues, sorry for the blogging break. I'll be back when I can.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Quote of the Day

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than
the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels
or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit
lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!"

- Samuel Adams

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Musical Geography Trivia Question

I'll get a standing ovation from the people,
When I start to sing my song,
When I turn 'em on where?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Wall-to-Wall Wednesday

Proof positive that we were slammed all during the dinner shift: I can still feel the residual greae in my eyebrows.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Chicken or the Egg of Power Politics

Everyone knows the old saying that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It's accepted wisdom, and our culture not only accepts it, we promulgate it in our popular mythos -- Citizen Kane, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington -- and and attention paid to the way things are done in D.C. seem to merely reinforce the assertion.

But recently I've begun to question whether we might have the paradigm reversed. Take a look at the corruption rampant in government, especially in the highest levels of government, and ask yourself if the people involved truly were corrupted by their power, or were many of them corrupt to begin with, and used corrupt methods to get where they are? Look at the political strategies used to win elections -- destroying your opponents personally, lying, voter fraud, the list goes on and on.

I'm beginning to believe that power does NOT corrupt. Rather, sadly enough, corruption empowers.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Glimpse of the Future

Socialized Medicine in America

Democratic Redefining of Words...

This time it's not a question of what the meaning of the word "is" is... it's the word "Immdiately".

Friday, July 17, 2009

Protection Racket

A tip of the Toque to Gateway Pundit via Pundette:

IBD Editorials has sounded the alarm regarding a very disturbing little paragraph in the Obama healthcare package:

...The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under
the Orwellian header of "Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage," the
"Limitation On New Enrollment" section of the bill clearly states:


"Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance
issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if
the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year
the legislation becomes law.



So let me get this straight. If you want insurance, your choices will be to stick with what you have, find work for a company that provides group insurance, or go on the government plan. If you HAVE a n existing individual plan, and you decide to make any changes to it, your choices are narrowed down to two: the governmnet plan, or a corporate group plan. And if you work for a company that doesn't have a plan, or goes with the government plan, or if you want to be self-employed, your choice is down to one -- the government plan.

But this is all about "preserving choice", not forcing socialized medicine on everyone.

And it gets better:

Fox News: Americans who refuse to buy affordable medical coverage could be hit with fines of more than $1,000:

Americans who refuse to buy affordable medical coverage could be hit with
fines of more than $1,000 under a health care overhaul bill unveiled Thursday by
key Senate Democrats looking to fulfill President Barack Obama's top domestic
priority.


So not only are your options narrowed down to one plan, you're going to be fined if you don't choose a plan -- but there's only one plan to choose from. How is this NOT forcing us all into a government-run socialist program?

I absolutely LOVE the 1984-esque terminology:

Called "shared responsibility payments," the fines would be set at least
half the cost of basic medical coverage, according to the legislation. The goal
is to nudge people to sign up for coverage when they are healthy, not wait until
they get sick.


The Nanny State meets the Protection Racket. This administration aned congress are like Mary Poppins and John Gotti on a cross-country spree. They're like Boy Scouts gone bad -- they're going to help the little old lady across the street, and htey're going to bust her kneecaps if she declines.

This is what you voted for, America. This is what you elected. Did you really want this, or were you tricked, were you seduced, were you awed by the facade marble columns and the stern gaze into the future? Well, either way, this is what you brought upon yourselves.

Hope?

Change?

Meddling.

Coercion.

Are you going to stand for it? Has Obama made an offer you can't refuse?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel Is Just Scratching the Surface

A tip of the Toque to Gaius at Blue Crab Boulevard.

The WSJ has published an excellent OpEd piece by Mort Zuckerman on why the unemployment figures alone don't tell the whole sad story. I left a comment over at BCB, and I'm going to repost it here to share my personal perspective on what Zuckerman is saying, especially when he writes:

- The number of workers taking part-time jobs due to the slack economy, a kind
of stealth underemployment, has doubled in this recession to about nine million,
or 5.8% of the work force. Add those whose hours have been cut to those who
cannot find a full-time job and the total unemployed rises to 16.5%, putting the
number of involuntarily idle in the range of 25 million.

Count me among those underemployed who have accepted part-time work out of desperation. After taxes, I’ll be taking home almost exactly what I was drawing from UI each week, but there’s something psychologically lifting about earning it as opposed to “receiving” it.

One of the things I’ve noticed that I don’t hear being discussed is how this unemployment level is allowing the few employers who ARE hiring to be much, much pickier about whom they hire. On one end of that spectrum, I can recall at least 2 or 3 jobs where I was told that htey really really liked me, but that someone else had been JUST THIS MUCH more ideal for the job. On the other hand, one place where I interviewed later informed me they had decided to reject ALL their interviewees and re-post their ad, confident they’d get a new crop of applicants.

This means that less experienced workers, entry-level people (even people like me who have just recently finished training in a new career) have to compete with more seasoned workers for jobs that used to be our chance to get a “foot in the door”.

It also means that employers can, and do (often of necessity) offer lower per hour wages for jobs that used to pay much better.

So yeah, the official unemployment figures alone do NOT tell the complete story. And that story is even bleaker.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Musical Geography Trivia Question

Where did you pull out of late one night, if the moon and the stars was shinin' bright, and where was you drivin' if you were passing cars like they was standing still?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Quote of the Day

"India and China are both experiencing a sort of rebirth after centuries of
neglect and decay, but that doesn’t mean they are “teenagers” on the world
stage. As a matter of fact, both countries’ refusal to jump on the self-abnegation in the name of Climate Change (peace be upon it) bandwagon might actually stem from ancient cultural awareness of what constitutes bullshit."


- Andrea Harris, at Spleenville, regarding Indian and Chinese reticence to jump on the Global Warming bandwagon

Brave New World

A Tip of the Toque to Gatordoug at The Daley Gator.

And I thought Al Gore wask nutters. But apparently, the man that Community Organizer in Chief Obama has picked as his head advisor on science and policy issues is... well, just scary.

These ideas (among many other equally horrifying recommendations) were
put forth by
John Holdren, whom Barack Obama has recently
appointed Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy,
Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and Co-Chair of the
President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology -- informally known as
the United States'
Science Czar. In a book Holdren co-authored in
1977, the man now firmly in control of science policy in this country wrote
that:


• Women could be forced to abort their pregnancies, whether they wanted
to or not;

• The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs
intentionally put into the nation's drinking water or in food; • Single mothers
and teen mothers should have their babies seized from them against their will
and given away to other couples to raise;

• People who "contribute to social deterioration" (i.e. undesirables)
"can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility" -- in other
words, be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized.

• A transnational "Planetary Regime" should assume control of the
global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans' lives --
using an armed international police force.



And this is the man who has the ear of the most powerful man on the planet.

Hope.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Gainfully Employed

I just got a call from a place where I interviewd yesterday -- I've been hired. I start training on Monday. It's only part-time for now, so my paychecks will probably not be any more than my unemployment chacks have been, to start, but the hours should go up in the fall, it's a foot in the door, and quite honestly, money earned at a job feels better than unemployment insurance.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Smooth Move, O!

A Tip of the Toque to Gaius at Blue Crab Boulevard.



Not to be known as merely a domestic policy whiz, Obama has set out to be a master of global politics as well. And what a success that's been! The latest? At the G8 summit in Italy, he gave Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi the brushoff. One of America's staunchest allies over the past 60 years has been Italy, and this is how he treats her leader? Amazing.



So he snubs an ally, but is buddy buddy with anti-American tinpots, and toadies up to dictators.

Meanwhile, his reaction to the violent supression of Iranian students protesting their stolen election was timid and cautious out of a desire not to appear "meddling", but as soon as the Supreme Court and military of Honduras, with popular support, moves to prevent their president from circumventing their constitution, Obama and his SoS jump RIGHT into the fray in support of the would-be usurper. What happened to not wanting to appear meddling, Prez?

So this is what Obama meant when he said in his campaign that he wanted to restore America's image. And he HAS -- right back to the way it was in the Carter years, when our image was of a has-been superpower who abandoned its friends and caved in to totalitarian bullies.

And the world has taken notice of this "Restoration". Iran has stepped up its rhetoric and forged ahead with its nuclear program, N. Korea has defiantly tested new missiles -- some on the Fourth of July, the significance of which is, I'm sure, intentional on their part. And our European allies have accepted that if they're going to get out of the hole they've dug for themselves, they're going to have to do it themselves, without relying on America as they have been -- witness the leadership displayed by people like the German Chancellor in response to the Iranian protests.

How (not) to win friends and influence people.

UPDATE:

It gets... better?

If Only

*Sigh*

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Reading? Don't Make Congress Laugh

A Tip of the Toque to Gatordoug at The Daley Gator.

Apparently, House Democrats find the idea of reading a bill before voting for it amusing. Not just dismissable, as it was when they approved the stimulus bill, but this time, regarding the massive health care bill, completely laughable.

This is the telling comment:

“If every member pledged to not vote for it if they hadn’t read it in its
entirety, I think we would have very few votes,” Hoyer told CNSNews.com at his
regular weekly news conference.


Well, gee, Congressputz, does that tell you something about the bill?

We elect you and pay you, ostensibly, to actually consider the legislations put before you carefully, soberly, and decide on them after you are sure you understand their ramifications and believe they are the right course. And your response to that expectation is to laugh in your constituents' faces?

I hope the good people of Maryland remember this come 2010, and laugh all the way to the polls as they throw this bum out. And I hope the rest of America's voters consider what their own congresspeoples response in this situation would be.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Where I to publish a text simliar to the Declaration of Independence, and call it my “manifesto,” I would undoubtedly be placed on numerous watch lists as a fringe extremist!"

- Steve B at Tattered Bits of Brain

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Quote of the Week

"National office will dwindle down to the unhealthily singleminded (Clinton, Obama), the timeserving emirs of Incumbistan (Biden, McCain) and dynastic heirs (Bush). Our loss."

- Mark Steyn at NRO

Go read the whole thing. It sums up in a much more erudite anf far less angry ranty way my own feelings regarding Sarah's resignation -- although I think he captures the right level of bitterness very well.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
[Happy Fourth of July. Please don't forget what makes it special. - BNS]

Friday, July 03, 2009

Anchors Aweigh

On this most important of weekends for AMericans, I am posting this in memory of my father and grandfather, both of whom served in the Navy.