Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Simple Truth

From The Weekly Standard via HotAir.

This must be emphasized again and again:

“What would have happened if Obama’s bill had passed? There is no way to know for sure, but it seems likely that, facing less resistance, Al Qaeda in Iraq would have continued to gain strength, the fragile Iraqi Security Forces would have collapsed, as would the fragile Iraqi government, militias would have flourished–and the United States would have departed under fire, accepting a humiliating defeat in the war against al Qaeda that would have reverberated globally.

For any voter trying to choose between the two candidates for commander in chief, there is no better test than this: When American strategy in a critical theater was up for grabs, John McCain proposed a highly unpopular and risky path, which he accurately predicted could lead to success. Barack Obama proposed a popular and politically safe route that would have led to an unnecessary and debilitating American defeat at the hands of al Qaeda.”

This is called leadership my friends. One can always take the easy road. But it is the road of difficult choices that gives us the men and women meant to lead.


The Gay Patriot points out a most profound truth:

the greatest enemies of gay people are not social conservatives in the West who may question (what they call) our lifestyle and oppose legislation benefiting us, but Islamic theocrats who execute gay people in jurisdictions where they predominate and seek to destroy the nations with political systems which allow us to live freely.

I have several conversations with my lefty friend, dave bones across the pond, about similar thoughts. Although dave is not gay, he does live an alternative lifestyle. I tell him that I am amazed that he doesn't see the threat that the radical Muslims pose to his very life, and how it is only conservatives who seem to understand this. The one thing I do know that dave bones understands is that we in America would be the first to defend him and his life if necessary, as we would for gays. I have posted several times about executions on gay youths in Iran for example. How many leftwing blogs have you read that report on this?

Conservatives may disagree with gay lifestyles, but we would stand and defend their right to live as they wish. We fight the ones who hang them from cranes. We understand the danger.

The Gay Patriot goes on to report on violent acts upon gays in Europe. Read the whole thing.

via NRO

Update: BigDog reminded me of this piece by Bruce Bawer, a gay American who thought he might find more tolerance in Europe.

He was wrong:

Once an oasis of tolerance, Europe is slowly but surely succumbing to Islamization. "Sharia law may still be an alien concept to some Westerners," writes Bruce Bawer. "But it's staring gay Europeans right in the face -- and pointing toward a chilling future for all free people."


The reason for the rise in gay bashings in Europe is clear - and it’s the same reason for the rise in rape. As the number of Muslims in Europe grows, and as the proportion of those Muslims who were born and bred in Europe also grows, many Muslim men are more inclined to see Europe as a part of the umma (or Muslim world), to believe that they have the right and duty to enforce sharia law in the cities where they live, and to recognize that any aggression on their part will likely go unpunished. Such men need not be actively religious in order to feel that they have carte blanche to assault openly gay men and non-submissive women, whose freedom to live their lives as they wish is among the most conspicuous symbols of the West’s defiance of holy law.

Multiculturalists can’t face all this. So it is that even when there are brutal gay-bashings, few journalists write about them; of those who do, few mention that the perpetrators are Muslims; and those who do mention it take the line that these perpetrators are lashing out in desperate response to their own oppression.

The number of reported gay-bashings in Amsterdam now climbs steadily year by year. Nearly half Muslim, the city is a front in the struggle between democracy and sharia, under which, lest it be forgotten, homosexuality can be a capital offense

Read the whole thing.

Hillary: "It's still all about me"

If you saw the "concession speech" today then you know this was exactly what the speech was all about. I just couldn't believe it. I am not exaggerating when I say that 90% of the speech was about her and 10% about Obama. I can't imagine Obama asking her to be the V.P. after a concession speech that barely mentioned him.

This speech was all about how Hillary has paved a way for women. Sadly for women like me, she isn't paving the way for the kind of woman I would want leading this country.

There were moments, that I have discussed before, when I actually felt sorry for Hillary during this campaign. But in this speech she reminded me of all that I disliked about her. Her self involved narcissism, her ego inflated belief that she knows better. Her misguided and dangerous belief that government is the answer to every problem Americans have.

I can't explain how happy I am that, at least for a while, I don't have to see the Clintons on the political stage every single day.

I really do believe that the candidates for President this time represent something different for each party. McCain was never the favorite among conservative Republicans. The party turned toward "The Maverick" that went against his party time and time again. Democrats turned away from the corrupt power couple that led the party for so long in so many ways.

It may actually be a refreshingly different Presidential race and I am looking forward to it.

Update: Mark Hemingway at NRO was at Clinton's speech. He had this interesting tidbit:

I just returned from the Clinton rally, and I don't know if this really came across on TV but there was a surprisingly audible number of boos every time Obama was mentioned. There were also a lot of people who didn't clap for him.

The majority obviously are enthusiastic about Obama, but the boos sort of took everybody in the press area aback when she first mentioned his name.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday Funny

But it's not suppose to be funny. He's serious. This is just so typical of the new age wishy washy feel good gobbly gook garbage that we will be forced to listen to for the rest of the election cycle. Still funny though.

This just isn't the person I knew...

Remember when Obama said this about his Rev. Wright after Wright's press club rant?

"The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago."

Yet another person Obama just didn't really know:

"This isn't the Tony Rezko I knew," he said, adding that the charges against Rezko "once again shine a spotlight on the need for reform."

And he says he literally didn't know William Ayers. Ayers was just an "aquaintance."

Good grief.

The Meeting


From NBC's Ken StricklandSen. Dianne Feinstein, a long-time Hillary Clinton supporter, told reporters today that she got the call from Clinton late yesterday afternoon asking to use her home for a meeting with Obama. Feinstein said she's offered up her house in previous conversations after Tuesday's final primaries.

"They just want an opportunity to meet together alone," she told reporters. The meeting started about 9:00 pm ET.

"I received them. Put them in the living room, two comfortable chairs facing one another and left." No staff, no security, just water for candidates. One person from each campaign sat in Feinstein's study. "They talked. I went upstairs and did my work."

About an hour later... "They called me when it was over. I came down and I said, 'Good night everybody. I hope you had a good meeting.' They were laughing, and that was it."

The California senator refused to give any other details about the conversation. "They got along very well," she said.

She added later that one of her lamps was missing though.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

First Principles

Rightwing sparkle is back! Yes, yes. Save your cheers and sighs of relief. She is prettier than I. Anyway, the dog is going for a nap. This will be my last post. As our British friends would say, "Cheers!"

Hugh Hewitt gives a concise and informative speech about the first principles of Conservatism. For our friends on the left, if you really want to know the conservative mind, this will help. For those on the right, Hugh is well spoken, well worth hearing.

Show Trial Mark Steyn is being persecuted by a kangaroo court in Canada.

The UN might be getting a clue on how to Feed the Poor.

"U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for a real way to "Feed the World" — ease export limits and cut tariffs on imports. In other words, let the global market work. In opening the Rome-based U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization's three-day Rome summit on solving the global food crisis, Ban chided countries that have responded to world food shortages by limiting exports or enacting price controls. "They only distort markets and force prices even higher," he said."

Exactly right! Color me astounded.

"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest." - Mark Twain

Beach pics!

We stayed in Pensacola, which is close to my old stomping (sunning?) grounds of Gulf Shores, Alabama. Beautiful white sugar sand and clear green/blue water. Perfect. I have some parasailing pics I wanted to share, but I can't find them now!


So while I was sunning away on a beach in Florida, Hillary seems to have actually lost the Democratic nomination. I'm still in a state of shock. I just can't believe it.

Somebody took what the Clinton's wanted and they are still alive to tell the tale. No cat was taken, no suicide, no plane crash. Wow. Obama did it.

Not Exactly Rocket Science gets it right (although a bit harsher than I am, I'm with her vibe):

I've disliked Hillary as long as I can remember, something about these type-A balls-out b*tches really bothers me. Now, as most of you know, I'm a real b*tch, myself. I don't take sh*t and I play the game as hard as I can. But I have standards. I can take a note from Laura Bush's camp, too. More flies with honey, and all that. There are lines I won't cross.

Those lines don't exist for women like Hillary Clinton. I have known many women like her. They're determined to step on the top rung of the ladder at all costs. It certainly has cost Hillary a lot. Even more than possibly the presidency. Friends, family, self-respect.

And after this loss, I feel sorry for her. She played the game hard. As hard as she could. She simply got outplayed by a force she couldn't counter, an opponent who possessed a power she couldn't touch: Mystique.

So, where is Hillary? The WaPo says it ends Saturday for her. I suppose that is when I will believe it, but in suspending her campaign she still leaves open the door of something coming out about Obama that will cause the superdelegates to take her back. You laugh, but this is the Clintons and this campaign season nothing seems too surreal to me.

Will she be the V.P. pick? I can't see how Obama refuses and risks making all those white women mad. Then again, there is alot of baggage with Hillary.
More later.......Gotta unpack!

When Do We Leave Iraq?

With Iraq toll down, U.S. more optimistic

This needs to be re-iterated. 6 years after the invasion, people seem to have forgotten all the arguements for and against the war that we debated quite extensively before the war.
Why We Went to Iraq by Fauad Ajami

"Liberal opinion in America and Europe may have scoffed when President Bush drew a strict moral line between order and radicalism – he even inserted into the political vocabulary the unfashionable notion of evil – this sort of clarity is in the nature of things in that Greater Middle East. It is in categories of good and evil that men and women in those lands describe their world. The unyielding campaign waged by this president made a deep impression on them.

Nowadays, we hear many who have never had a kind word to say about the Iraq War pronounce on the retreat of the jihadists. It is as though the Islamists had gone back to their texts and returned with second thoughts about their violent utopia. It is as though the financiers and the "charities" that aided the terror had reconsidered their loyalties and opted out of that sly, cynical trade. Nothing could be further from the truth. If Islamism is on the ropes, if the regimes in the saddle in key Arab states now show greater resolve in taking on the forces of radicalism, no small credit ought to be given to this American project in Iraq.

We should give the "theorists" of terror their due and read them with some discernment. To a man, they have told us that they have been bloodied in Iraq, that they have been surprised by the stoicism of the Americans, by the staying power of the Bush administration."

Reagan was mocked for his leadership in confronting Communism. He was told to compromise, that he was unreasonable even belligerant.

Reagan was right.

No one was impressed by poetry reading pansies emoting at the Berlin Wall, but Reagan's words demanding that Gorbachev tear down this wall resonated from eastern Europe to Siberia, around kitchen tables and in food lines. Prisoners in the Gulags tapped on the plumbing in code passing word of what Reagan said. It is men of conviction and steadfastness who change history.

With the luxury of hindsight, the critics of the war now depict the arguments made for it as a case of manipulation and deceit. This is odd and misplaced: The claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction were to prove incorrect, but they were made in good faith.

It is also obtuse and willful to depict in dark colors the effort made to "sell" the war. Wars can't be waged in stealth, and making the moral case for them is an obligation incumbent on the leaders who launch them. If anything, there were stretches of time, and critical turning points, when the administration abdicated the fight for public opinion.

Emphasis mine.

When we entered Iraq, I knew it would be an 8-10 year commitment of troops, and probably longer for military support. that is the standard number for a counterinsurgency. Contrary to popular opinion - more specifically the deluded notions of academia, the media, and the peace movement types - insurgencies have a poor record of success against regular armies and established governments.

Now that success is undeniable: The enemy demoralized, the Iraqi army showing mettle, US casualties down, entire neighborhoods, cities and provinces turning against Al Queda, Iranian backed Shi'ite leaders scurrying away like cockroaces to Iran... there is a refrain from the left to the effect: "Can we leave now?" The answer is 'no'. One of the problems with the anti-military left is immaturity. Wars are commitments more serious than any marriage. Once you are in a war, you are in it to the end, no matter how long or bitter. Weshould leave when we are done and not before.

"If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves." - Winston Churchill

Its Thursday already?

No post yesterday. I was busy and went dancing all evening, then went to bed early for a 7:30 am root canal. Yay! Root canal went fine and now I have some time on my hands to blog.

Some people likethose energy drinks, like Red Bull. Try an anti-energy drink.

"Turns out, this is a carbonated, grape-flavored beverage spiked with melatonin, valerian root and rose hips." And apparently it goes well with vodka..... Zzzzzzzz.

"Utrecht police say a 21-year-old Dutch man is recovering after a "mooning" that went horribly wrong. " This guy is like an anti-hero.

I don't understand the attraction of tractor pulls. There are worse forms of entertainment, I suppose. This one is in the Netherlands. Does anyone know if tractor pulls started in Europe or is an American import?

Sometimes its exciting:

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

For Fun

I keep violating a rule of blogging: to keep posts small and readable. Instead I tend to post a bunch of things at once. I will try to do better.

And now for something completely different:

PETA protests mouse glue traps for some reason. Bikini goodness!

Bottled water gives women "smoker's lips"

I have always been critical of bottled water. Why drink bottled water when water from the tap is perfectly good and much cheaper? Only a few municipalities have crappy drinking water. My dance class has bottles of water for 50 cents, sitting in a basket at room temperature. There is a drinking fountain dispensing clean, fresh, COLD water right around the corner. Plastic is NOT an oxygen barrier. The fountain water has to taste better, and its cold.

Tall Tales, Taxes, and the Tawdry

Phony-Ops build the Obama Myth

Obama's appeal is that he is new and different, an agent for change. He is actually a hard left Chicago machine politico, just more of the same pandering, self aggrandizing, shady dealer. Why don't people see this? IMO, most people are just emotional.

Interstate Larceny New York wants to tax which is headquartered in Seattle.

This internet tax stuff has a really straightforward solution. The company's Point of Sale is the same place as their legal location, and whatever sales tax applies at that POS will apply to an internet order to that company. So, Amazon is in Seattle, okay, apply Seattle sales taxes - state and local.

The system we have wow is stupid. S-T-U-P-I-D. In South Dakota, for example, state law is that SD sales tax applies to whatever Internet or mail-order purchases made. So if I buy from Amazon, *I* am expected to go down to the local tax office, fill out the forms and attach copies of my receipts and pay taxes... on goods that were not sold in South Dakota. What is wrong with legislators who thought up this nonsense? Naturally no one does it except political office holders who might get in trouble for 'not paying their taxes'.

Will this cause tax competition between states, where low sales tax states find Internet businesses moving there to give their customers the best deal? Probably. What is wrong with that? Perhaps states should have an incentive to lower their sales taxes, and those that set their taxes too high should lose businesses.

For Liberals, Soldiers Are Victims

Memorial Day is about celebrating the triumphs of our men and women in uniform, living or dead. And, yes, it is certainly about remembrance of their sacrifices, and about mourning, though that mourning is vivified with the knowledge that their deaths were not in vain; that their sacrifices served noble ends, and that those ends -- the advancement or preservation of freedom - gave their sacrifices great worth and meaning.

For liberals, war is a no-win proposition. Since Vietnam, a compromised and venal United States engages in conflicts with enemies -- if they can be called that -- who are, at the very least, the nation's moral equivalents or, perhaps, like the Communist North Vietnamese, its superiors. Soldiers, when not despised by liberals (again, see Vietnam) are pitied as dupes, under-educated and unemployable youths who sought paychecks in the military.

And the consequences for these youths being duped into military service? Mental and emotional illness, drug and alcohol addiction, rage and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In fact, the latter is practically a rite of passage for men and women exiting the military, or so seems the liberal belief.


Ironically, as Mr. Hodges tells us, Kalashnikov took his inspiration not from the well-machined weapons of the German army but from the redoubtable M-1 Garand carried by American GIs during World War II. For its part, the U.S. Army eventually followed the German example, choosing a light, finely machined, small-caliber weapon that until 1964 had been the province of local law-enforcement officers. When the Vietnam War heated up, the M-16 (designed by Eugene Stoner) was adopted wholesale by U.S. forces. In the hands of trained warfighters, it is actually a better weapon than the AK-47, an assessment that Mr. Hodges heatedly rejects and that, in any case, detracts not at all from the weapon's fame and ubiquity.

Intended to be maintained by the illiterate conscripts of the Red Army, the AK-47 eventually showed itself to be ideal for peasant armies, rebel guerrillas, child soldiers and drug lords. There are millions of Kalashnikov's automatic rifles in combat around the world. So iconic is the gun that it appears on the flag of Mozambique, crossed with a hoe as one of the essential implements of national liberation. For all we read of weapons of mass destruction, the homely AK-47 – costing as little as $100 from a Bulgarian factory – is the true WMD. It has killed far more human beings than all the nuclear, bacteriological and chemical weapons ever employed.

But it is not true, as Mr. Hodges would have us believe, that the AK-47 is the nemesis of American warfighters in Iraq. Most casualties there are inflicted by roadside bombs. "Small arms fire" now ranks third as a slayer of our soldiers and Marines, behind such mundane traumas as traffic accidents.

I don't believe I will buy this book. The AK-47 is a great battle rifle for most armies. You know that is 200 years some yahoo is going to show up at a fight with an AK.

Plfleger reveals himself

Selected exerpts:

"They told me it was down," Pfleger said. "Their live streaming had been down all day, and they didn't know whether it was back up. . . . I regret the dramatization that I was naive enough to believe was just going to be kept among that church."

This one is the best:

"This is a dangerous time in America, the freest country in the world," Pfleger says, "where you have to whisper your thoughts."

Oh please. Pfleger is a bigot, a racist, and a demagogue. He knows that his beliefs are ugly and unacceptable to civilized people. He tries to hide his bigotry from the general population, and was prepared to share is repellent views only with a church full of similarly minded racists.

"Dangerous time in America", my butt. He is entitled to have his ugly, dark opinions. No one is going to arrest him for expressing his views. He is upset that he was caught on camera so that people other than fellow racists were could see for themselves what he said. And THAT is what he is complaining about. Its an entirely self serving argument which makes his previous apology look insincere.

I am not a catholic, but the Catholic Church should defrock him now that they have incontrovertible proof of his behavior. Removing him from his post was a good start.


Clinton is upset about the Vanity Fair article I blogged about on sunday. Aside from the name calling, Clinton referred to "... thenational media's attempt to nail Hillary for Obama" and "It's all about the bias of the media for Obama".

Well, no kidding. Previously, the media was in your corner, Bill. They covered for your sleaze and scandals and ate up every word you said, ignoring the gaffes and believing the fatuous lies. Now they aren't covering for you anymore, and they have a new fatuous liar to fawn over.

"The power to tax involves the power to destroy;...the power to destroy may defeat and render useless the power to create...." -- Chief Justice John Marshall, 1819.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Odds and Sods

Scientists sign petition denying man-made global warming - 31,000 of them.

"It urged the US government to reject the treaty and said: "The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind." "

"It added: "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of ... greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the forseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments." "

"The petition was reissued last year by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, an independent research group, partly in response to Al Gore’s film on climate change, An Inconvenient Truth

I am sure Gore will get right on that.

Global Warming hoopla will not die easily - there is too much money to be made. Plus, no amount of hyperbole is too innappropriate for some:

"Survivors of sex abuse by Christian clergy today responded with anger and shock to the Church of England bishop who said that everyone who failed to act on climate change was as guilty as Austrian child abuser Josef Fritzl"

"Victims accused the bishop of being "facile and demeaning" towards Fritzl's daughter, who was kept in a cellar for 24 years, raped repeatedly and who had seven children by her own father.

Facile. Demeaning. Good words. Can't add more to that. Some people have an amazing ability to stick their foot in their mouths. It seems like, increasingly, its the 'politicized clergy', imo

"The Bishop, whose comments come at the same time as the Church of England is publishing a new report complaining about the quality of its clergy, said that was not accusing those who do nothing about global warming of being child abusers. "

Oh. Snap.

Are conservatives more honest than liberals? - Well, I dunno. Conservatives do seem to be more ideologically consistant, and liberals do seem to project their own neurosis on to their political opponents.

Humans can see into the future? Possibly the key to optical illusions.
Researcher Mark Changizi of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York says it starts with a neural lag that most everyone experiences while awake. When light hits your retina, about one-tenth of a second goes by before the brain translates the signal into a visual perception of the world.

Scientists already knew about the lag, yet they have debated over exactly how we compensate, with one school of thought proposing our motor system somehow modifies our movements to offset the delay.

Changizi now says it's our visual system that has evolved to compensate for neural delays, generating images of what will occur one-tenth of a second into the future. That foresight keeps our view of the world in the present. It gives you enough heads up to catch a fly ball (instead of getting socked in the face) and maneuver smoothly through a crowd


Idiots are smearing themselves with Preparation H before they go into the clubs. Apparently this makes themselves appear more 'ripped'. one woudl think it would also make them smell. As one commentor on Fark observed: "Well it is ointment for irritating a**holes, right?" Kudos to the commentor Tastes Like Chicken.

"Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves." - Ronald Reagan

Rational About War

Hitchens reviews two tell-all books.

Feith was and is very much identified with the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party, and he certainly did not believe that Saddam Hussein was ever containable in a sanctions "box." But he is capable of separating his views from his narrative, and this absorbing account of the interdepartmental and ideological quarrels within the Bush administration, on the Afghanistan and Guantanamo fronts as well as about Iraq, will make it difficult if not impossible for people to go on claiming that, for instance:

There was no rational reason to suspect a continuing Iraqi WMD threat. Feith's citations from the Duelfer Report alone are stunning in their implications.

That alternatives to war were never discussed and that the administration was out to "get" Saddam Hussein from the start.

That the advocates of regime change hoped and indeed planned to anoint Ahmad Chalabi as a figurehead leader in Baghdad.

That there was no consideration given to postwar planning.

Emphasis mine.

Unfortunately, people will claim the anti-Iraq war canards no matter how weak and invented. Its easier to be intellectually lazy, believing unlikely conspiracy theories instead of evidence. I just bought Feith's book War and Decision, as well as Yon's 'Moment of Truth' as a premium for subscribing to Townhall magazine.

Afghan insurgents 'On the brink of defeat' - Neocon propaganda! oh, wait, British commanders are saying this.

"Miseram pacem vel bello bene mutari." Even war is better than a wretched peace. - Tacitus

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Sunday Dispatch

This weekend has been beautiful. I have hardly paid attention to the spectacle of the Democratic conference regarding the Michigan and Florida delegates. As expected, they are allowing the delegates to count a half each. If Republicans were more like Democrats, they'd start making references to the 3/5ths Compromise.

I am reading "Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?" by James J. Sheehan. It traces the roots of European pacifism and the transformation of Europe into a Kantian vision of perpetual peace. I borrowed it from the library. I have noticed a trend in the Siouxland libraries favoring leftist ideology. They carry all the books from the political left, and only the occassional opposing voice. My taxpayer dollars at work financially supporting the other side. However, Sheehan's book is not necessarily showing the peaceful, prosperous European transformation as a good or natural thing. I think the thesis is key to understanding the cultural differences between Europe and the US.

On that subject, Victor Davis Hanson is in Europe and posts a Euromania dispatch.

I have admiration for the European Union’s unmistakable achievement in avoiding war for half a century, and its widespread prosperity—but it has come at a price. Given what Barack Obama has said about raising taxes, funding new entitlements, yielding to international consensus abroad, and seeing Americans in terms of various racial, class, and tribal constituencies, all with justified grievances, I think his notion of our future is what we see in European today—even as the Europeans grow increasingly restless about unions, high taxes, and their impotence in the world abroad. Apparently even two-hour lunches, no children, no church, no military, good food and the disco can get boring.

A note on Obama: in minute one, Euros gush; in minute two, the questions come; in minute three, they express concern (if they think you too might as well and so can be candid); in minute four, you sense they understand there is only one EU. So should the US become one too, they worry about who might play the US to the US?

In a sick way this speaks well of Obama: by his intent to turn the US into something like the EU, he is scaring some elites in the EU as never before. There can only be one socialist union: it requires a capitalist wide-open trading partner and a Nato-like ally to offer it free defense as well as an easy target for cheap invective. So the Europeans hint: “Please, don’t become quite like us—we need you as you are.”

Works for me. I prefer a Land of the Free, which entails a land where a person is free to fail. Europe of course is free to pursue their own destiny, I see no reason to follow. Europe is really behind the US in most measures of properity.

"The Association of European Chambers of Commerce in Brussels warned that the transatlantic gap had widened yet further in the past five years by all key measures"


"It will take the EU until 2072 to reach US levels of income per capita, and then only if the EU income growth exceeds that of the US by 0.5pc," the study said."

No reason to think that EU growth will exceed the US. Former Communist countries have a lot of catching up to do, and their growth rates have been marked, but if the EU imposes the kinds of regulations and tax rates they are likely to, those nations will plateau soon enough.

Roundup on the News:

US casualties in Iraq at all time low - In related news Iraq's oil production has risen. Good. Iraq needs the money. Say, whatever happened to the "We invaded for oil" meme? Seems the fools who said it are quiet about it now, given that we are NOT taking Iraq's oil and we are not benefitting from it. Awkward. Well, maybe not. They will come up with a rationalization.

Yes we can! - Win the war, that is. An yes, imo, the folks who want to withdraw the troops are defeatists. They would dishonor our nation, make the sacrifices that our troops have made futile, and cause endless trouble as well as more deaths in the future.

Clinton supporters wringing their hands about Bill's sociopathic behavior. Well, no kidding. He has always been this way. Whereas before his irresponsibility was a problem for our nation, now its a problem for Hillary and the left. Now, I guess it matters to them.

Homeless people make their home in Heathrow.

Michael Crichton predicted the extinction of mass media in 1993. Slate thinks he may be vindicated. This amused me: "Had Crichton's prediction been on track, by 2002 the New York Times should have been half-fossilized. But the newspaper's vital signs were so positive that its parent company commissioned a 1,046-foot Modernist tower, which now stands in Midtown Manhattan." As I recall, the NYT's used its influence to get the City gov't to condemn other people's property unjustly. I also recall at the time that analysts were not so positive on the NYT at the time of the construction. It was called a white elephant that would be a financial drag on the company which needed to become more innovative.

One a lighter note: Tiny, cute animals. Awwwww.... I notice at least one is photoshopped, but no matter! The dog with ducklings was particularly amusing to me.

"The brave and bold persist even against fortune; the timid and cowardly rush to despair through fear alone." - Tacitus