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Showing posts from March, 2009

Bad call, Lou

Obama is a more popular messiah than Jesus

Deaconess Emily Carder has pointed out a poll indicating that President Obama is more popular than a host of historical luminaries, including our Lord and Savior.

Part of me wants to be upset; after all, at least lip service to Jesus is customary in our culture. On the other hand, maybe honesty about stuff like this is a positive sign.

It's not as if the news were really a surprise. After all, if Obama hadn't been more popular than Jesus, how could he- or any other pro-choice candidate- have been elected in the first place?

A while back, Uwe Siemon-Netto even pointed out that a poll of "Evangelicals" taken before the last election indicated that gas prices had a higher impact on their votes than abortion. Yes, it would appear that the popularity of Jesus Christ is definitely on the wane, even among those who are supposedly His disciples.

Bad idea, worse timing

Senate Defense Committee chair Carl Levin (D-Mich) predicts "painful cuts" in the defense budget.

The prediction comes at precisely the moment when the U.S. military has been thrown into a virtual panic mode by intelligence of a sophisticated new Chinese long-range aircraft carrier kill system against which we have no defense.

This is not a good idea. "The common defense" is not only one of the few responsibilities the Constitution specifically mandates for the Federal government, but one of the primary tasks of government generally. Practically anything should be trimmed from the budget before the Obama administration undertakes crippling, Clinton-style cuts to the military.

HT: Drudge

Must be Orion's armpit

Space is a near vacuum.

This being the case, it seems odd that astronauts agree that it smells funny.

Speaking of odors, I learned back in early grammar school the unflattering origin of the name of the city where I grew up. Wikipedia explains it thus:

The name "Chicago" is the French rendering of the Miami-Illinois name shikaakwa, meaning “wild leek.” The sound shikaakwa in Miami-Illinois literally means 'striped skunk', and was a reference to wild leek, or the smell of onions. The name initially applied to the river, but later came to denote the site of the city.

Thus, the city of Chicago derives its name from its reputedly unpleasant odor. The Cubs have worked to maintain that tradition for over a century.

Neither does the city where I live now fare well in the name department. I knew about the Trappist monk theory of the origin of the name "Des Moines," but not about the other, more colorful theory Wikipedia mentions:

The origin of the name Des Moines is…

The disingenuous Mr. Obama

There is a proverb that says that he who defines the question wins the debate.

President Obama apparently believes in that proverb. That's why the red herring is his rhetorical weapon of choice, and why so much of his energy is spent on misdefining arguments which, on the merits, he cannot win.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Read this carefully, Mr. President.

Herein Mario Loyola of the National Review explains to President Obama and other naifs the distinction between prisoners of war and criminal defendants, as well as why such distinctions matter.

In a couple of months less than four years, Deo volente, we once again may have a president who is a geopolitical grown-up,  to whom such basic things don't need to be explained.

New Madrid Fault may be kaput

When I lived in St. Louis, the New Madrid Fault- source of three of the strongest earthquakes in North American history, in 1811-1812- was a major source of conversation.

The three earthquakes in question were all over eight on the Richter Scale. They changed the course of the Mississippi River, cracked plaster walls in Boston and rang church bells in Montreal. It was generally believed when I lived in Webster Groves back in the late 'Eighties that a major quake on the New Madrid site- which was said back in the 'Eighties to be overdue- would devastate both St. Louis and Memphis, Tennessee, neither of which had been built to withstand earthquakes. And since it had been such a long time since a big quake had hit on the New Madrid faultline, the conventional wisdom was that it would probably be letting loose big time at any moment.

In fact, there were a couple of small tremors when I was still in St. Louis. The image to the right compares the projected damage from a theoretical 6.…

An unimpressed ayatollah

Here is Ayatollah Khamenei's response to The One's olive branch to Iran.

The Ayatollah is the one who really runs things over there- and he ain't buyin' it.

No surprise, of course. You can't reason successfully with fundamentally irrational people, and appeasement never works. But of course, it would appear that Mr. Obama has still to learn both of these lessons.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Anybody who doesn't think there's such a thing as divine providence...

...should consider the story of Tsutomu Yamaguchi.

On August 6, 1945, Mr. Yamaguchi was on a business trip to Hiroshima when the city was virtually vaporized by the first American atomic bomb to be dropped on Japan.

He suffered serious burns, but in the morning of August 7 he was released from the hospital and went home- to Nagasaki, where on August 9 he became the only known person in history to have had two atom bombs dropped on him.

Yes, that's what I said. Within three days, Tsutomu Yamaguchi survived the atomic bombings of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

He not only survived, but is now 93 years old. He does have a little trouble hearing out of one ear.

God, it seems, had plans for the gentleman that went well beyond August of 1945. On the other hand, some weeks it seems like it just doesn't pay to get out of bed.

Obama economic plans "a way to hell"

The current president of the European Union, the Czech Republic's Mirek Topolanek, has called President Obama's plan to spend our way out of the recession "a way to hell."

Not even the Europeans are buying it, Mr. President!

HT: Drudge

ADDENDUM: Am I the only one who recognizes the debt the European Union's flag owes to that of Indiana?

Hillary: U.S. to blame for Mexico narco-violence!

Guess who is to blame for the narco-violence in Mexico?

According to Hillary Clinton, it's the United States- and our "insatiable" demand for narcotics!

HT: Drudge

Of pots and kettles

Before Barney Frank starts slandering people like Antonin Scalia as "homophobes" in the gay media, perhaps it's time that Frank himself- and all the media- start paying a bit more attention to Frank's own ethical track record.

If Barney Frank were straight, there are very few districts in the nation which would not have promptly turned him out of office one it came to light that a prostitution ring was being run out of his apartment.

Countering Obama's glitter with substance

Bobby Jindal has some polishing of his stump skills to do, and some foreign policy experience to acquire. Besides, he appears disinclined to run unless The One makes such a hash of things that beating him would be a slam-dunk.

Sarah Palin has been marginalized by the Tina Fey factor, and her obvious lack of national experience and shaky background on the issues to which a credible presidential candidate must be able to speak with authority have to be addressed before she will have a realistic chance to win in November.

Mike Huckabee also needs national experience, and Mitt Romney remains as plastic as ever- besides being crippled by the willingness he displayed last time out to savage fellow Republicans for the sake of his own candidacy, a tendency which has left a permanent bad taste in the mouths of many of the party faithful.

So who should the Republicans run against The One in 2012? Here's a suggestion- and a good one.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Democratic radicals gunning for Democratic moderates on porkulus

When reading an assessment of a politician's ideological stance in the mainstream media, if you really want to know where he or she stands on the political spectrum, simply take the media characterization and move it one slot to the left.

Thus, only a politician who is in fact a radical will be described in the mainsteam media as a "liberal" or a "progressive." A moderate Democrat will be described as a "centrist" or a "moderate." A moderate conservative will be described as "far Right."

It seems thatthe radicals in the Democratic party are gunning for the less extreme liberals (that's "moderates," in mediaspeak), and have organized a group to go after them in support of The One's irresponsible budget.

This story speaks volumes about the ideological radicalism of the Democratic establishment. What it says will be muted, though, by the inability of the media to report such a story without slewing the ideological lab…

GOP even with Democrats in congressional poll!

The media continue to cheerfully spout doom and gloom about the prospects of the Republican party.

Somebody needs to tell them that the Republicans have pulled even with the Democrats in the generic congressional ballot.

Especially given the traditional hit the party in control of the White House takes in its first mid-term election, 2010 is looking more and more like a red year.

At long last, Cubs will retire Jenkins' and Maddux's number 31

Especially in the case of Ferguson Jenkins- the ace of the 1969 Cubs, "the best team never to win a pennant-" it's long overdue. And although Greg Maddux had his glory days with the Braves, he came up as a Cub and won his first Cy Young Award on Chicago's North Side.

The Cubs have announced that they are finally going to retire number 31, worn at Wrigley by two of the greatest pitchers in the history of the game.

About time. Hopefully at some point they'll get around to retiring number 2, worn by my distant cousin by marriage, Hall of Famer Gabby Hartnett- arguably both the best player in the history of the team, and the best catcher in the history of the game.

Happy St. Maewyn Succat Day!

That's the name St. Patrick was born with.

Here is a post on St. Patrick himself I did on a previous March 17.

And even though my grandmother's home town, Downpatrick- the place in Ireland most associated with Patrick, and where he, St. Columba, and St. Brigid are all buried- is in Ulster, some Ulstermen in America face something of a quandary as to what color to wear today. Here is a meditation on that subject.

But I thought that this year I'd share a favorite St. Paddy's day peeve of mine.

At the top of this post is a shamrock, symbol of Ireland, Irishness, and St. Paddy.

Directly below it is a four-leaf clover. It is a symbol of good luck- and nothing else.

Now, contrary to what many people think (florists make a lot of money selling shamrocks every year about this time), the shamrock is not some exotic Irish plant. It's simple clover. But its significance lies precisely in the fact that it has three leaves- no more, and no less.

It's associated with St. Patrick an…

Obama's crew dissing Brazil, too!

Not content with alienating both Britain and Russia, the Obama administration is taking its ongoing Foreign Policy Ineptitude Initiative into our own hemisphere, insulting Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva not once, not twice, but thrice: not only postponing his meeting with the President because it was scheduled for St. Patrick's Day, but both misspelling the visiting chief of state's name and giving it incorrectly.

Rumor has it that Triumph the Insult Comic Dog may replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State in an effort to salvage some credibility for the Obama foreign policy.

I keed! I keed!

I think.

Ladies and gents.... the Willis Tower!

The tallest building in what I still consider to be my home town- and in the Western hemisphere- is about to get a new name.

The Sears Tower is about to become the Willis Tower.

Obama gets a failing grade from economists

The Wall Street Journal has polled a group of the world's leading economists on the grade they'd give President Obama's management of the economy thus far.

On average, he gets a grade of 59 out of 100. When I went to school, that was an 'F.'

Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, on the other hand, gets a 71- which, as I recall, was a 'C.'

On average, the economists look for the economy to turn around in October. And it's worth noting that Mr. Obama- who predicted that the sky would cave in if his pork-laden stimulus package wasn't passed- now says that the economy "isn't as bad as we think."

HT: Drudge

A Brit's take on Obama's rudeness to Britain

Don't think the Brits haven't noticed that President Obama- the One Who supposedly was going to restore good relations with our allies- has been positively rude to the British since taking office.

Hey. Some of our allies thought that Dubyah's foreign policy was obnoxious- but at least it was a policy, rather than the kind of sheer diplomatic ineptitude we're getting from Barack and Hillary.

Is Hillary our most inept Secretary of State ever?

It seems that President Obama isn't the only diplomatically challenged member of his administration.

His Secretary of State isn't exactly off to a great start, either.

No, not a great start at all.

One thing does need to be said in defense of Sec. Clinton, however: even though Greece's democratic tradition does go back two thousand years, the Europeans didn't use it much until the oldest democratic regime in the world (actually the oldest surviving regime of any nation on earth!)- that of the United States- dusted it off for them.

HT: Drudge

Omnium gatherum

Even the self-styled 'moderates' in the Obama coalition are beginning to see the dangerous and radical direction the furthest-Left president in our history wants to take us in, using the economic crisis as an excuse.

Tim Reid of The Times of London observes that it the Obama plan doesn't work, it will bankrupt America for a generation.

Charles Krauthammer points out that Mr. Obama is dishonestly using the economic crisis as a cat's paw for his far-Left social agenda.

Sally Pipes observes that the case for so-called health care reform is essentially smoke and mirrors.

And the Manchester Union-Leader has two words for the president's program: "wanton recklessness."

HT: Real Clear Politics

Will 'Freedom of Choice Act' result in the Catholic church having to close all its hospitals?

That's a distinct possibility. Spokesmen for the church suggest that it would do just that if compelled by law to either become accomplices to the evil of abortion on demand or sell its hospitals to those willing to do so.

Freedom of religion and of conscience, it would seem, is about to be legally trumped by freedom to deprive one's unborn child of its life for any reason one might choose if the so-called 'Freedom of Choice Act' becomes law.

Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton are among the most vocal supporters of this abomination. Not content with having circumvented the democratic process by utilizing implausible logic to discover a right to abortion in the Constitution, it seems that the cultural radicals among us- including the President of the United States- will now seek to force the nation's health service providers to become accomplices in the slaughter of the unborn.

HT: Drudge

'Purple' hypocrisy from the White House

Inside Obama's Limbaugh scam

David Brooks (see the previous entry) dutifully repeated the White House line that Rush Limbaugh is the face of the Republican party.

Details have emerged of Team Obama's plan, hatched by Democratic strategists James Carville and Stanley Greenberg, to try to make Limbaugh the face of the GOP in the minds of American voters.

Michael Steele, regrettably, apologized for his repudiation of Rush the other day. Maybe Steele shouldn't have attacked a segment of his own constituency to begin with. But having done so, he played into the hands of the White House by apologizing to Rush- thereby granting legitimacy to the Carville-Greenberg line.

HT: Drudge

Viable baby born alive- and thrown away, alive- at Florida abortion clinic

It's worth noting that President Obama's position is that, if the woman's medical license hadn't been revoked, this should have been perfectly legal.

To review, Mr. Obama insisted as a member of the Illinois Senate that it should be legal to let any baby die who is born as a result of induced abortion if the doctor certifies that in his or her opinion it was not viable.

The doctor's certification is the only criterion Mr. Obama would have required.

HT: Drudge

Obama is "not who moderates thought he was"

It's a fact that study after study in nations all over the world have established beyond real dispute, though the media doesn't discuss it, and people either don't realize it, or ignore the knowledge: couples who live together before marriage have a divorce rate about twice that of couples who don't.

The reasons are likely complicated, but at least one is that the very advantage of "shacking up-" that you can simply dump your partner and move on at any moment, without entanglements- artificially extends the courtship stage of the relationship well into cohabitation. When actual- rather than rhetorical- commitment takes place, and the legal bond is established, both parties for the first time discover who their new spouse really is, and has been all along. Courtship serves the function of finding that out before things get complicated legally and relationally, and too complicated even emotionally; moving in together short-circuits that process, and
more often t…