Sunday, November 15, 2009

VDH on the Obamification of America

At some point, Obama may conclude that the vast presidential jet, the opulence of the Presidency, the power and influence at his fingertips, all that national wealth and more were not created by Acorn, community organizing, Michelle’s legal brilliance, Axelrod’s savvy advice, or Emanuel’s crassness, or by claiming that doctors needlessly take out tonsils and amputate limbs, or in general by sonorous tones promising to give someone vast amounts of someone else’s money, but rather through preserving a climate of freedom, respect for continuity and tradition, and government non-intrusion into the market place that encourage people to try to go into business and retain some of their profits—as recompense for getting up on Saturday morning at 6AM to get down to open the dry cleaning store, or borrowing one’s net worth to open a new stationary outlet, or staying late till 7PM to do a crown, or gambling that the new $500,000 crane will pay for itself in 5 years, or going under someone’s house on a Sunday to unclog the toilet when the employee doesn’t show up.

He may, Professor, he may. But I hold no hope of it happening. The supply of Obama Brand© 'Hybris' appears to be infinite.

Read all of Professor Hanson's beautiful summation of 'the story so far' here.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Guitar Center's 2009 King of the Blues Champion

Kirby Kelley. (From Texas, of course)

Lionel McIntire is a Wuss

I decided to ask a question online about this earlier in the week (source: NY Post) :

"The punch was so loud, the kitchen workers in the back heard it over all the noise," bar back Richie Velez, 28, told The Post. "I was on my way over when he punched Camille and she fell on top of me."The other patron involved in the dispute said McIntyre then took a swing at him after he yelled, "You don't hit a woman!""He knocked the glasses right off my face," said the man, who would only give his first name as "Shannon." "The punch came out of nowhere. Mac was talking to us about white privilege and what I was doing about it -- apparently I wasn't doing enough."
The question is a three-parter:
As a pampered prof teaching at an exclusive institute of higher learning, and apparently seen as some kind of 'world leader' (by somebody anyway), can you tell me:
a.) exactly WHAT are you missing out on because of this so-called 'white privilege'?
b.) What does this so-called 'white privilege' look like?
c.) Does it entitle those who do not have it with a 'You can smack around people who don't see things your way' privilege?

Reader Thomas Hoyt’ is Dead Wrong

Instapundit posted a link to a Powerline post with a picture of President Obama bowing to Japan’s Emperor Akihito. Given the brouhaha that erupted when President Obama was photographed kowtowing to a Middle East despot, one would think that the White House would have been a little more careful in instructing the President on protocol. I realize that The One [yes..sarc] is busy remaking the world and eliminating the past, but perhaps he should refer to the past in finding out how his predecessors handled these things. Hint: You will have to wade through thousands of photos before you find any of them (not named Obama) bowing.

An Instapundit reader, one Thomas Hoyt, asserts:

Obama’s bow to the Saudi king was a breach of etiquette and a horrible symbolic act, but bowing in Japan is like shaking hands in America. Anytime you introduce yourself to someone, you bow, regardless of whether it’s the plumber come to fix your sink, your new assistant in the office, or the emperor. It is a common courtesy that has none of the meaning of bowing to a monarch that we have in the West. Refusing to bow, whether to your new assistant or the emperor [sic], has the same insulting connotation as refusing to shake hands does in the US.
The faux pas here, if there is one, is shaking hands while bowing. This is a somewhat common and humorous problem when an American meets a Japanese person in Japan. The American bows and the Japanese person reaches out to shake hands, each trying to anticipate the cultural expectations of the other...
Where does Mr. Hoyt go astray? His observations on etiquette are relevant ONLY to a personal encounter WITHIN a specific culture. They have no relevance across cultures.

Rules that apply ‘when in Rome’ are not the same as when Rome itself is interacting with (fill in other nation-state* here). While Barack Obama is just a guy, President Obama in his current office, in conducting affairs of state, as the Head of State, IS for all practical purposes, the United States.
The United States. For more than two centuries, our flag has flown below no other** and until this recent aberration of a Presidency, we have bowed to no other Nation either.

To head off nitpickers:
*I know Rome is no longer a nation-state, but it was when the original wording from which the now-common phrase came was first uttered.

**Except for the Chaplain’s flag aboard USN ships during religious services.

Update: 19 Nov 09 : When I stated above "You will have to wade through thousands of photos before you find any of them [Presidents] (not named Obama) bowing", I knew that there would be a few idle minds with the time on their hands to wade through those photos.

There will no doubt be more 'evidence' forthcoming, but here is what the lamest among us have come up with to-date:

Ben Smith at Politico has a video with what he describes a a 'deep bow' but the letdown in the video shows only what appears to be a vigorous nod (of agreement on something?) that Nixon makes while shaking hands with Mao on his trip to China.

Then there's four photos at Lawyers, Guns and Money showing Eisenhower apprently:
1. Checking out the Papal Seal inlaid in the floor with the Pope. Casually standing with his hands behind his back as military men often do (goes back to spending untold hours at Parade Rest)
2. Meeting a lady and enthusiastically behaving as Gentlemen did back in the day.
3. Shaking the hand of a Greek Orthodox Archbishop and leaning forward while doing so. (there's that enthusiasm again)
4. Standing around and looking at the ground while De Gaulle bloviates over some point.

The LG&M poster apparently thinks these are all 'bows' in the same sense as Obama's bowing . So here's another hint for you children of the 60s forward: people used to be a lot more animated in their movements before the unblinking eye gained a 24hr presence.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gen. George Casey's Finest Hour


"Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse”
Man! He did not just say that did he?

If George Casey didn't regret spewing that crap the second he uttered it he should resign immediately. But of course, if he had a competent Commnder-In-Chief he would have been asked to submit one already for loss of confidence. Gen. Casey, Ralph Peters is talking to YOU!

Vocal Minority lays out the problem with Casey's little PC slide bullet pretty well:
"Do you understand what this man is saying? He is saying that the loss of “diversity”—the feel-good, meaningless, superficial, and artificial practice of ensuring that a given group has x number of whites, blacks, men, women, Christians, Jews, Muslims, gays, etc., etc.—is worse than 13 people’s lives violently snuffed out in cold blood by a radical fanatic. In short, protecting a politically correct sacred cow is more important than protecting human life."

I would only add to that description of 'diversity' the modifiers of 'warped' and 'poorly-conceptualized'-- because I believe in the value of the idea of 'diversity'. People from different backgrounds will bring different experience, ideas and perspectives to any group dynamic. And I contrast that 'diversity' with the perverted idea of 'Diversity!': the folly whereby the inane must be given equal respect with the thoughtful merely because it is different (aka "Diversity! for Diversity's! sake") and which eschews societal norms that are needed as a framework for applying diversity in ways that can actually move societies forward.

.....And even the unperverted idea of 'diversity' is irrelevant compared to the taking of innocent lives - the ultimate violation of a civil right.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Well, We Dodged Another Bullet

Too bad the Politicos and Activists are concentrating on destroying us from within...otherwise they might have noticed.

From: Watts Up With That

On Friday November 6th at 2132 UT (16:32/ 4:32PM EST) asteroid 2009 VA barely missed Earth when it flew just 14,000 km above the planet’s surface...

...2009 VA was discovered just 15 hours before closest approach by astronomers working at the
Catalina Sky Survey.
And as Anthony Watts notes in the post, there is little official worry about this real threat, compared to the hysteria over the Anthropogenic Global Warming bogeyman. It would be an interesting mind experiment to poll policymakers as to how CLOSE does something 'big' have to come to actually hitting the Earth before they are able to grasp the magnitude of the risk to all Humanity. I suspect the populace will have to be the 'leaders' on this issue before the pols at least act like they give a sh**.

Seems like a good time to remind everyone -- Again -- about the basics of Risk Management.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Warm Mongers

Heh Heh...

Mark Steyn on the Watermelons*:
"The environment” is the most ingenious cover story for Big Government ever devised. You float a rumour that George W. Bush is checking up on what library books you’re reading, and everyone goes bananas. But announce that a government monitoring device has been placed in every citizen’s trash can in the cause of “saving the planet,” and the world loves you.
Read it all here.

*'Green' on the outside, but ALL 'Red' on the inside.