Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Thursday, November 30, 2006

I've Migrated To The New Version Of Blogger

And now I have to figure out how to get rid of that [insert multiple expletives of your choice] navigator bar that's screwing up my [insert more expletives] template. Grrrrr.

Update: The navigator bar is here to stay. At least I found out how to keep it from overlapping the top portion of the template.


Creative Destruction in the Music Industry - The Way Ahead

That is the title of an Economic Research Council article written by Andrew Ian Dodge - see here and here, entire article is here (PDF file). It's about the declining state of the British music industry, and what can be done about it. Read the whole thing.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Yet Another Bigoted Statement From A Congressman

Charlie rangel recently said this:

"If a young fellow has an option of having a decent career, or joining the Army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq," Mr. Rangel, a Democrat representing Manhattan and Queens, said on "Fox News Sunday."

"If there's anyone who believes these youngsters want to fight, as the Pentagon and some generals have said, you can just forget about it. No bright young individual wants to fight just because of a bonus and just because of educational benefits. And most all of them come from communities of very, very high unemployment," the congressman said.

James Taranto reports various responses from servicemen. The same article (scroll down to "They Call This 'Projection'") reports a recent Doonesbury thread that puts Rangel-like words in the mouths of conservatives.


Today's Tip

If the email you just received begins with "Dear Costumer," it's spam.


Not Available In Stores

RC helicopter with mounted shotgun.

(link via Clayton Cramer)


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Today's Spiritual Lesson

From Swiss blogger Ursi.

Update: Come to think of it, the linked item serves as a lesson in comparative advantage.


Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving And Capitalism

Tammy Bruce tells of the Plymouth colony's failed socialist experiment, the recovery from which sparked the first Thanksgiving.

Rush Limbaugh wrote of the failed socialist experiment in his book See, I Told You So, from which he read during this broadcast:

"Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives, rather than as a devout expression of gratitude grounded in the tradition of both the Old and New Testaments. Here is the part [of Thanksgiving] that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share.

"All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belong to the community as well. They were going to distribute it equally. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well. Nobody owned anything. They just had a share in it. It was a commune, folks. It was the forerunner to the communes we saw in the '60s and '70s out in California – and it was complete with organic vegetables, by the way. Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives. He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage, thus turning loose the power of the marketplace.

"That's right. Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism. And what happened? It didn't work! Surprise, surprise, huh? What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation! But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years – trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it – the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently. What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild's history lesson. If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering in the future.

"'The experience that we had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years...that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing – as if they were wiser than God,' Bradford wrote. 'For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense...that was thought injustice.' Why should you work for other people when you can't work for yourself? What's the point?

"Do you hear what he was saying, ladies and gentlemen? The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford's community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the undergirding capitalistic principle of private property. Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result? 'This had very good success,' wrote Bradford, 'for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.' Bradford doesn't sound like much of a..." I wrote "Clintonite" then. He doesn't sound much like a liberal Democrat, "does he? Is it possible that supply-side economics could have existed before the 1980s? Yes.

"Read the story of Joseph and Pharaoh in Genesis 41. Following Joseph's suggestion (Gen 41:34), Pharaoh reduced the tax on Egyptians to 20% during the 'seven years of plenty' and the 'Earth brought forth in heaps.' (Gen. 41:47) In no time, the Pilgrims found they had more food than they could eat themselves.... So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians. The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London. And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the 'Great Puritan Migration.'" Now, other than on this program every year, have you heard this story before? Is this lesson being taught to your kids today -- and if it isn't, why not?

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Year Of Thanksgiving


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Advertising That Boggles The Mind

On more than one site I've seen a banner ad hawking a $510,000 for under $1698/month. Somebody please tell many people are shelling out half a million for a single-family home??? Is there really a big enough market for such overpriced housing to warrant advertising?


Friday, November 17, 2006

America's Enemies In The Middle East Celebrate Democrat Victory

Amir Taheri has the story (link via Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi email).

What do the Iraqi guerilla forces expect?

The assumption is that America will cut and run.

Salafist groups linked to al Qaeda believe that this will mean a stampede of those Iraqis who worked with the Americans. Iraq's Shiite leaders would flee to Iran, where most had been in exile before Saddam Hussein's fall. Kurdish political and business elites will flee to the three provinces they have held since 1991. This would enable the Salafists, in alliance with the remnants of Saddam Hussein's Presidential Guards, to enter Baghdad and seize power.

Absent in that calculation is the role Iran might play: Will the mullahs sit back as Salafists and Saddamites lay the foundations of a new Arab regime that would turn against Shiite-dominated Iran?

Radical Shiites have their own vision of Iraq after the Americans have fled. They believe that, backed by Iran, they'll be able to move into the four Arab Sunni provinces that have been restive since 2004 - and crush the Saddamites and al Qaeda. This ignores the certainty that any Iranian intervention in Iraq will provoke a massive Arab reaction - with Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and even Syria (now an Iranian ally) forced to back Sunni Arabs in Iraq.

In other words, any hasty American withdrawal from Iraq could lead to either a long and bloody civil war or an even longer and bloodier regional conflict.

And Iran?

Radical circles are unanimous in their belief that Iran can now proceed with its nuclear program without fear of U.S. and allied retaliation. They expect Democrats to revert to Clinton-era policy and seek a "Grand Bargain" with the Islamic Republic - acknowledging Iran as the major regional power and recognizing its right to the full cycle of nuclear technology.

And Palestinian terrorists?

Radical Islamists in both Iran and the Arab countries believe that the Democrats' victory indicates "growing American lassitude." They believe that, once it becomes clear that Americans don't want to fight for the Middle East, many in Israel would emigrate to America and Europe to escape the constant daily pressure from Islamist groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah.

Taheri hopes that soem antiwar Democrats will wise up to the obvious:

The mullahs and al Qaeda may soon find out that their celebration of "the end of Bush" was premature. Some Democrats may have promised cut-and-run. But, once in power, the party as a whole may realize (to its horror) that, this time, those from whom Americans run away will come after them.

Remember, they attacked us long before the US-led coalition presence in Iraq. The war won't be over until one side wins. Retreat only makes Islamofascism stronger.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Milton Friedman (1912-2006)

One of America's leading intellectuals died today. Here is the Cato Institute's obituary (link via Dan Drezner). Instapundit has links to other bloggage and to some Friedman videos.

On his 90th birthday in 2002, I posted a review of his book Free to Choose. In this post I quoted this Friedman remark (emphasis added):

And here the news may be good: By many accounts, even where inequality is increasing, poverty is on the decline. The 2002 UNDP Human Development report notes that the proportion of the world's people living in extreme poverty dropped from 29 percent in 1990 to 23 percent in 1999. Says Friedman, "If it's inequality you're worried about, the world is becoming a less good place. But if it's poverty you're worried about, while we still have a ways to go, the world is becoming a better place."

In this post I excerpted a Cato Institute article that captured one Republican's impression of Friedman's economic philosophy:

In 1980 Friedman broadened his audience further with the publication of a book, "Free to Choose," and an accompanying PBS television series. Millions of people watched "Free to Choose" and came to understand how markets work. One viewer, a young actor named Arnold Schwarzenegger, said in 1994: "In Austria I noticed that people would worry about when they would get their pension. In America, they would worry if they were going to meet their potential. Friedman's books explained to me how a dynamic capitalist system allows people to fulfill their dreams."

Condolences to Rose Friedman and the rest of his kin.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Health Care Reform

Over at FrontPage Magazine, Jamie Glazov interviews Manhattan Institute senior fellow David Gratzer on the topic of his latest book, The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care. He summarizes his five-part strategy:

Make health insurance more like other types of insurance; Foster competition; Reform Medicaid, using welfare reform as the template; Revisit Medicare; Address prescription drug prices by pruning the size and scope of the FDA.

He discusses the issue of competition in detail:

Competition drives innovation.

That’s not just true of health care. It’s true for every sector of the economy. Think about the computer sitting on your desk – it’s much better than the computer you had just a few years ago. It’s faster and more powerful. It’s also cheaper. No wonder – hundreds of companies compete, trying to build a better computer for you (and others) for less money.

Health care doesn’t follow that general rule of thumb. Consider that health insurance premiums have doubled over the past 5 years. Would anyone argue that health insurance is twice as good? Part of the problem is that – with Americans overinsured – we haven’t seen a proper market for health care in the United States. People don’t demand better quality at lower prices.

It’s also true that much government regulation has stood in the way of competition. As I argue in The Cure, Congress has worked hard to reduce competition for, say, community hospitals from physician-owned surgery clinics, even though studies suggest that the latter tend to have better health outcomes at lower cost. The FDA has raised the regulatory bar so high that only a dozen companies in the world can bring a drug to the nation’s pharmacies. The end result: less innovation for pharmaceuticals.

Note that health care sectors that do follow the competitive model - I am thinking specifically about LASIK - do experience innovation and long-term efficiencies of scale that bring down costs. Otherwise I'd still be wearing glasses.

For those interested, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has a wealth of information on medical reform.

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Quote Of The Day

"Al Jazeera is Osama's YouTube"

Glenn Beck, interviewed on today's Rush Limbaugh Show

Update: Rush Limbaugh posted the interview on his website. Here's what was said on Al-Jazeera; the exact quote (which I had originally posted from memory) is in boldface.

RUSH: Oh, by the way, Glenn, I read something today. You know, al-Jazeera, English version al-Jazeera starts today, and I read that they're going to make just a few editorial changes. For example, Palestinian suicide bombers are referred to over there as martyrs.


RUSH: They will not be referred to as martyrs here.

GLENN BECK: Bad guys? Maybe we could call 'em bad guys.

RUSH: They're not even going to be referred that way, but they're not going to be referred to as martyrs. So what good is this network here?

GLENN BECK: Well, I tell you. There's a couple things. First of all, let's call a spade a spade: It's al-Jazeera. It is Osama's You Tube in the first place. The second place is if they decide to split that much, it's really kind of good for us in a way. First of all I'd cancel my subscription to any satellite company or cable company that carried it, but the other thing is, if they look like they are betraying the Islamic movement over here just to move some product, they will appear as if they are in bed with the great Satan, and that ain't going to be good for al-Jazeera.

RUSH: That's going to happen. What I'm looking forward to is for al-Jazeera to look just like NBC, CBS, ABC, and for people to not be able to draw a distinction. There's no difference between the all-Arab network and the big three here in the United States. There's a lot of potential here to do good. Anyway, Glenn Beck, in New York.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Robert Rubin Wants Congress To Raise Taxes

Opinion Journal has the story, and some analysis.

The article features the following graph:

Note that during the entire span of the chart that the only instance of a federal surplus occurred when Republicans ran the House.

Note also the sharp recovery in recepits following the Bush tax cuts - Dems told us the opposite would happen. The dot-com bust and 9/11 brought about the downturn; assuming that Washington doesn't burden the marketplace any more than it did in the mid-1990s, a return to the Gingrich-era economy would bring the deficit down to a negligible sum, without spending a dime less on the war.

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Blog Maintenance Now Complete

For a day or two I had a banner on top of the page stating the imminent departure of the Everyone's Internet web space that I've been using to host images and other linked files appearing on the blog. I've now moved all those files from the EV1 webspace to the Verizon webspace, and adjusted all blog links accordingly.


Monday, November 13, 2006

The Republican Tin Ear

Michelle Malkin is not happy with the new choice for RNC chair - illegal alien appeasenik Mel Martinez.

One ray of sunshine:

Related: Sen. Jon Kyl was on the Laura Ingraham show this morning--talking about a possible GOP filibuster of the Bush amnesty plan.

I've been wondering what Linda Chavez thinks of all this:

In 2001, President George W. Bush nominated her for Secretary of Labor, but the nomination was withdrawn after it was revealed that she had allegedly employed an illegal immigrant who lived in her home. Chavez contended that she had not actually employed the woman, but had merely provided her with emergency assistance. [Recalling from memory, she was fleeing an abusive husband - AKH] The woman Chavez allegedly employed (who is now a legal citizen of the United States) also insists she was not an employee of Chavez, and credits Chavez with helping her at a time when she needed it most. A subsequent investigation of the matter by the FBI found Chavez was not guilty of any wrongdoing.


Miss Piggy

If you think the Pelosi reign will rein in pork barrel spending, think again. This says it all:

During the last congressional session, her district received far more earmarks than a typical district, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog that tracks congressional spending.

And that was when she wasn't Speaker.


Friday, November 10, 2006

A Southern Man Don't Need Him Around, Anyhow

In this case, Mississippi, not sweet home Alabama. I heard ol' Rangel put her down:

Rangel was quoted in a Thursday article in The New York Times, saying: "Mississippi gets more than their fair share back in federal money, but who the hell wants to live in Mississippi?":

Rangel sends a spokesman to backtrack:

Elbert Garcia, Rangel's press secretary in New York, said Rangel had received calls Thursday about the Mississippi quote.

Garcia e-mailed The Associated Press a response from Rangel: "I certainly don't mean to offend anyone, I just love New York so much that I can't understand why everyone wouldn't want to live here."

Maybe people don't want to live in New York because it's infested with high taxes and other depredations of the far left.

The article has some details on Mississippi's share of the federal pie:

Mississippi is one of the poorest states in the nation and gets back more from the federal government than it pays for many programs. For example, Mississippi has one of the highest federal matching rates for Medicaid, getting back nearly $3 in federal money for every $1 of state money in the program that helps pay for health care for the needy, aged, blind and disabled, and for low-income families with children.

Mississippi also has received billions of dollars in federal relief since Hurricane Katrina struck on Aug. 29, 2005, destroying tens of thousands of homes and businesses and causing damage to more than 150 miles inland.

I have a question. I know that there is a positive correlation between economic freedom and economic prosperity. Aside from eliminating its state income tax, is there any legal reform that could be implemented to energize Mississippi's economy?

The Tax Foundation's table of state income taxes is worth looking at. Compare how the two states tax various income brackets. Note how New York soaks the middle class on up.


  • 3.00% > 0K
  • 4.00% > 5K
  • 5.00% > 10K

New York

  • 4.00% > 0K
  • 4.50% > 8K
  • 5.25% > 11K
  • 5.90% > 13K
  • 6.85% > 20K
  • 7.375% > 100K
  • 7.70% > 500K

Memo to New Yorkers: flee.

Update: Halp us!

Link via Hot Air and Right Wing Nation; hat tip to commenter Ken Summers for the second link. Hot Air commenters identify some of the people in the "Halp us" image, and list other Mississippi celebrities. Wikipedia has a list of famous Mississippians, which includes Jim Henson, James Earl Jones, Tennessee Williams, Elvis Presley, B. B. King, and 1960s civil rights leader Medgar Evers.

Update: US Rep. Charles Pickering has words for Rangel. Make note of the second paragraph.

“From the Coast to the Delta to the Pinebelt to the Hills and across Mississippi, there is beauty in every city, charity in every heart, love in every church, and majesty in every countryside. When I travel this state I see it in the resolute handshakes, the hospitable smiles, and the sincere prayers of our neighbors: we love Mississippi and we are proud and happy to live here,” Pickering said.
Pickering concluded, “Last year, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Mississippi Coast. We have been working hard not only to rebuild our own homes and communities, but also to repair and protect the network of refineries, pipelines, and transmission grids that supply energy, gas, and oil to the rest of the country, including New York. If Mr. Rangel believes those efforts required more than our fair share of federal money, he is welcome to send that energy back to our state and find an alternative supply...

Update: On that note, let me post the lyrics to an old song from the '70s, Bob Arnold's "Freeze a Yankee." (The Gov. Briscoe in the song is then-Texas governor Dolph Briscoe.)

Freeze a Yankee, drive seventy-five and freeze 'em alive
Freeze a Yankee, let your thermostat rise and give 'em a surprise
Governor Briscoe promised us that if any [darn] Yankee [raised] a fuss
We’d turn off the gas, cut off the oil and let 'em all freeze and boil

Now President Carter was a good ol’ boy, a Southerner through and through
But when he asked all Americans to sacrifice, he really meant you-know-who
He wants all our oil and our nuclear fuels
Now what does he take us for, silly fools?
The president wants us to pass our gas, now ain’t that a kick in the . . .

Freeze a Yankee, drive seventy-five and freeze 'em alive
Freeze a Yankee, let your thermostat rise and give 'em a surprise
Governor Briscoe promised us that if any [darn] Yankee [raised] a fuss
We’d turn off the gas, cut off the oil and let 'em all freeze and boil

They don’t want an oil rig around their seashore, Lord its a terrible sight
And don’t you try to drill in their dirty, old water, if you do you’re in for a fight
Senator Kennedy told me himself
That he wouldn’t let us drill on the Continental Shelf
So when they try to get Texans to drill another well, we can tell 'em all to go to . . .
Hyannis Port

Freeze a Yankee, drive seventy-five and freeze 'em alive
Freeze a Yankee, let your thermostat rise and give 'em a surprise
Governor Briscoe promised us that if any [darn] Yankee [raised] a fuss
We’d turn off the gas, cut off the oil and let 'em all freeze and boil

Cram them Yankees into little bitty cars while we drive around in limousines
There ain’t nothin’ in the world any more fun then pumpin’ gas in them big mo-chines
Us Texans love our Cadillacs, big Continentals and Pontiacs
We’re gonna keep all the oil that we can make, and let them Yankees shiver and shake

Freeze a Yankee, drive seventy-five and freeze 'em alive
Freeze a Yankee, let your thermostat rise and give 'em a surprise
Governor Briscoe promised us that if any [darn] Yankee [raised] a fuss
We’d turn off the gas, cut off the oil and let 'em all freeze and boil

Them Yankees say they need our oil and they gotta have gasoline
But don’t you put no refineries way up north, they wanna keep their air real clean
They only got enough lignite to last till midnight
Not enough fuel to keep their beer real cool
But we’ll send you lots of oil, now don’t you fear
If you promise not to move down here!

Freeze a Yankee, drive seventy-five and freeze 'em alive
Freeze a Yankee, let your thermostat rise and give 'em a surprise
Governor Briscoe promised us that if any [darn] Yankee [raised] a fuss
We’d turn off the gas, cut off the oil and let 'em all freeze and boil

Freeze a Yankee, Alleluia
Keep your Confederate credit cards, the South’s gonna rise again!


Moonbat Dinosaur Blames America For Terrorism

James Taranto takes George McGovern to task, linking this Yahoo News story (emphasis in original):

It turns out that the group with which McGovern is meeting is "the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a 62-member group led by Reps. Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee." Rep. Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against authorizing military action against al Qaeda in 2001.

Still, 62 Democrats are enough to make up slightly over one-fourth of the new congressional majority, and it's mildly unsettling to consider that such a significant faction would agree with nonsense such as this:

McGovern told the audience Thursday that the Iraq and Vietnam wars were equally "foolish " and that the current threat of terrorism developed because--not before--the United States went into Iraq.

McGovern must have a really short memory. For his information, here's a timeline:

  • Dec. 29, 1992: Al Qaeda bombs a hotel in Aden, Yemen, and attempts to bomb a second one, unsuccessfully targeting U.S. Marines staying there.
  • Feb. 26, 1993: Al Qaeda bombs World Trade Center, killing six adults and an unborn child.
  • Feb. 22, 1998: Osama bin Laden issues a fatwa declaring war on the U.S.
  • Aug. 7, 1998: Al Qaeda bombs U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing more than 220.
  • Oct. 12, 2000: Al Qaeda attacks USS Cole in Aden, killing 17 sailors.
  • Sept. 11, 2001: Al Qaeda attacks World Trade Center and Pentagon with hijacked planes, killing some 3,000 people, mostly civilians.
  • December 2002: George McGovern, in an essay for Harper's, blames America for terrorism.
  • March 20, 2003: Operation Iraqi Freedom begins.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

They're Tanned, They're Ready...

The CafePress shop is now open, featuring McCain/Feingold '08: Silence The Vote! merchandise.

Here's the front of one of the shirts:

All the shirts have this written on the back:

"Silence the Vote" - back of shirt photo McCainBack.gif

There's also a bumper sticker. Shop early, shop often.

I think Justice Scalia wears a size XL.

Update: The "McCain/Feingold '08: Silence The Vote!" line was discontinued after the election.


Some Reasons Why The Republicans Lost The House

Reason one: history. Paul Mirengoff cites his pre-mortem:

To quote [the English boarder] in Ulysses, it seems history is to blame. As far as I can tell, it is virtually unheard of for a president to go 4-0. To accomplish this, a president must be elected twice in a row and his party must avoid defeat in both off-year congressional elections. I don't know whether Andrew Jackson did it, but I don't believe it's been done since. Even 3-0 is rare. If a president is fortunate enough to be re-elected, odds are that the voters will punish him (and his party) in an off-year election.

Reason two: Bush and Congressional GOP leadership abandoned fiscal conservatism. A modest tax cut isn't enough. We voted for Bush in 2000 not only to turn back the Clinton/GHW Bush tax hikes, but also to bring government into spending control. Bush spent like a liberal Democrat (as I recall, one of those spending programs was an education sponsored by Ted Kennedy), and Congress refused to hold his feet to the fire. Hastert's Congress refused to read the tea leaves and take a serious blow at pork barrel spending. Republicans ax-murdered one of the chief distinctions between the two parties.

Republicans didn't make a bigger issue of the economy. Jobs are being created, unemployment is shrinking, incomes (and tax revenues) are going up. This should have been plastered all over campaign ads.

Bush infuriated Americans by pandering to illegal aliens. He went soft on enforcimg immigration law. Period. Sure, the Dems would play the racism car if he did otherwise, but that can be countered by highlighting that illegal alien amnesty is unfair to the many immigrants who play by the rules to get into this country.

Republicans did not counter the Democrat message on the war. Dems treated WMDs as if that were the only reason we invaded Iraq, claimed that no WMDs were found, regarded Saddam's nuclear ambitions as if they were nonexistent, and told us that the war is making no progress. The Republican PR machine should have constantly been doing the following:


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Democrat Promises

Liberal pundit Michael Kinsley has examined the Demcratic platform, and he is not impressed. Neither is Captain Ed (emphasis added):

In fact, as Kinsley notes, the Democrats have no plans for anything other than their normal asset redistributions to special-interest groups and selected victim classes. They want small businesses to shoulder the cost of a 50% health-care tax, which they think will solve the health-care crisis. It's more likely to start a small-business crisis as firms collapse under the weight of the new costs. Since the engine of economic growth lies in small businesses and start-ups, the effect will be to start a recession and to drive people into larger corporations for their investments. Instead of building a more robust middle class, the Democrats will remove competition and escalate centralization of economic power.

Also, Kinsley also discovers that for all of the talk about fiscal discipline and responsibility in this election cycle, the Democrats did not specify a single new revenue source for all of their new programs. They rail about the profligate Republicans, in an attempt to convince fiscal conservatives to consider the Democrats as their own "new direction", and talk a lot about "pay as you go" as the principle for budgeting. However, they leave the reader with no clue as to how the Democrats will find the money for all of their giveaways and redistributions ... which means that they have some tax increases that they don't want to mention.

The Democrats offer defeat, retreat, and an economic collapse darned near complete. Even Kinsley can't put a good face on this fiasco. No wonder Nancy Pelosi has been hiding for the last week.

During my lifetime [Update: at least not since LBJ's Great Society] the Dems in Congress have never controlled domestic entitlement spending, the single greatest factor behind the national debt, and rarely understand how the costs they impose on businesses and individuals depress the economy. If Dubya doesn't control spending, it's because fiscal conservatives do not have a House majority, and are thus too few in number to hold him accountable.

It's time to end the RINO/Democrat coalition that's strangling the budget. Vote conservative, or vote for the lesser of evils if a conservative isn't running in your Senate and Congress race.


Political Endorsement

Communist Party USA says vote Democrat.

(Link via Rand)


Monday, November 06, 2006

Iraq - Why We're Still There

Last week I blogged about a story which spells out one of the reasons we went: to end Saddam's rule and thus end his peace-threatening nuclear ambitions. Now that he's no longer in power and has been prosecuted by his people, we need to be there to make sure that Iraq can successfully make the transition to a stable, peaceful democracy. Iraqis need a government that won't conduct mass murder against its own citizens, and the US (and the rest of the world) need and Iraqi government that will not return to supporting terrorism.

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A Political Ad You Won't See On TV

Power Line has it. Note the newspaper headline.


So Easy A Caveman Can Do It

That's the caption to a mock US Army poster over at Free Republic. Link via Rand Simberg post, which also links an article on the US military's requirements regarding education and Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) scores.

In Rand's comments I had a little fun with an old novelty song by the Hollywood Argyles.

Theres a man in Iraqi that's world-renowned
(Alley Oop, oop, oop-oop)
He's stationed way out back in Karbala town
(Alley Oop, oop, oop-oop)
He dont eat nothin' but a MRE stew
(Alley Oop, oop, oop-oop)
Well this cat's name is-a Alley Oop
(Alley Oop, oop, oop-oop)

He got a armored Humvee instead of dinosaw-ah
(Alley Oop, oop, oop-oop)
And he can shoot off your head before you count to faw-ah
(Alley Oop, oop, oop-oop)
He got M-16 rifle and a big ugly mort-ah
(Alley Oop, oop, oop-oop)
He go hunt for Baathist rebels and-a al-Qaeda
(Alley Oop, oop, oop-oop)

(Alley Oop)
He's the toughest GI there is alive
(Alley Oop)
Wearin' clothes from a wildcat's hide
(Alley Oop)
He's the king of the desert jive
Look at that cave man go!

(One grammatical error - "Iraqi" should have been "Iraq." I challenge any caveman to do better.)

Update: Power Line has an image of a banner that appeared at the November 3 Army-Air Force football game. John Hinderaker writes, "It's reported that cadets on both sides cheered wildly."

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Vendetta vs. Just War

On this Guy Fawkes Day I have a guest post over at Samizdata, on certain philosophical implications in Alan Moore's graphic novel V for Vendetta.

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The Other Blog's Blogiversary

The Henderson Prize is four years old today. (And I turn 46.) I neglected to issue a new award over the past year; I hope to make up for that.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Still More Bad News For Democrats

Saddam had a nuclear WMD program, and the invasion of Iraq stopped it.

NRO has the story, citing as its source the New York Times. The liberals' chief antiwar excuse is now toast.

(Link via Rand Simberg)

Update: One of Rand's commenters claims that UN sanctions ended the nuclear program, but Rand notes:

If you read the Duelfer Report, it claims that he was planning to reconstitute his nuclear program as soon as sanctions were lifted and the heat was off. This (among other things) was the purpose of all the bribes to the French and Russians.

And Dennis Ray Wingo states one of Saddam's biggest excuses for restarting the nuke program:

The Frenchies and the Russians were pushing hard to get ALL sanctions lifted, starting with deauthorizing the no fly zones. When that happened the Kurds and Shiites would have been in deep Shiite. Then with all sanctions lifted and a huge resevoir of good well built up through billions of dollars worth of bribes, does ANYONE seriously think, especially with the Iranian ramp up in nuclear ambitions (remember Saddam was more scared of them than us) , that Saddam, in the face of complete impotence from the west in dealing with Iran, not restarted his program?

Update: LGF has more info on the story.

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More Bad News For Democrats

Unemployment rate lowest in nearly 5-1/2 years


Palestinian Terrorosts Support Democrats

If you want to know what terrorists think about the upcoming US elections, go ask the terrorists yourself. That's what Aaron Klein of WorldNetDaily did.

An official with the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades supports the Democrats:

"Of course Americans should vote Democrat," Jihad Jaara, a senior member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group and the infamous leader of the 2002 siege of Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, told WND.

"This is why American Muslims will support the Democrats, because there is an atmosphere in America that encourages those who want to withdraw from Iraq. It is time that the American people support those who want to take them out of this Iraqi mud," said Jaara, speaking to WND from exile in Ireland, where he was sent as part of an internationally brokered deal that ended the church siege.

An official with Islamic Jihad supports the Democrats:

Muhammad Saadi, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad in the northern West Bank town of Jenin, said the Democrats' talk of withdrawal from Iraq makes him feel "proud."

"As Arabs and Muslims we feel proud of this talk," he told WND. "Very proud from the great successes of the Iraqi resistance. This success that brought the big superpower of the world to discuss a possible withdrawal.

An official with Hamas supports the Democrats:

Abu Ayman, an Islamic Jihad leader in Jenin, said he is "emboldened" by those in America who compare the war in Iraq to Vietnam.

"[The mujahedeen fighters] brought the Americans to speak for the first time seriously and sincerely that Iraq is becoming a new Vietnam and that they should fix a schedule for their withdrawal from Iraq," boasted Abu Ayman.

Klein presented Nancy Pelosi's plan for peace in Iraq:

Many Democratic politicians and some from the Republican Party have stated a withdrawal from Iraq would end the insurgency there.

In a recent interview with CBS's "60 Minutes," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, stated, "The jihadists (are) in Iraq. But that doesn't mean we stay there. They'll stay there as long as we're there."

Jaara and Saadi respond:

Islamic Jihad's Saadi, laughing, stated, "There is no chance that the resistance will stop."

He said an American withdrawal from Iraq would "prove the resistance is the most important tool and that this tool works. The victory of the Iraqi revolution will mark an important step in the history of the region and in the attitude regarding the United States."

Jihad Jaara said an American withdrawal would "mark the beginning of the collapse of this tyrant empire (America)."

"Therefore, a victory in Iraq would be a greater defeat for America than in Vietnam."

Jaara said vacating Iraq would also "reinforce Palestinian resistance organizations, especially from the moral point of view. But we also learn from these (insurgency) movements militarily. We look and learn from them."

Hamas' Abu Abdullah argued a withdrawal from Iraq would "convince those among the Palestinians who still have doubts in the efficiency of the resistance."

"The victory of the resistance in Iraq would prove once more that when the will and the faith are applied victory is not only a slogan. We saw that in Lebanon (during Israel's confrontation against Hezbollah there in July and August); we saw it in Gaza (after Israel withdrew from the territory last summer) and we will see it everywhere there is occupation," Abdullah said.

They are not completely satisfied with the Democrats:

Saadi stated, "Unfortunately I think those who are speaking about a withdrawal will not do so when they are in power and these promises will remain electoral slogans. It is not enough to withdraw from Iraq. They must withdraw from Afghanistan and from every Arab and Muslim land they occupy or have bases."

He called both Democrats and Republicans "agents of the Zionist lobby in the U.S."

Abu Abdullah commented once Democrats are in power "the question is whether such a courageous leadership can [withdraw]. I am afraid that even after the American people will elect those who promise to leave Iraq, the U.S. will not do so. I tell the American people vote for withdrawal. Abandon Israel if you want to save America. Now will this Happen? I do not believe it."

But Jaara says he'll take what he can get:

Still Jihad Jaara said the alternative is better than Bush's party.

"Bush is a sick person, an alcoholic person that has no control of what is going on around him. He calls to send more troops but will very soon get to the conviction that the violence and terror that his war machine is using in Iraq will never impose policies and political regimes in the Arab world."


Remember, Remember, The Fifth Of November, Of Gunpowder, Treason And...Bengali Fireworks?

The Daily Mail reports:

Guy Fawkes has been banned by council bosses in east London - and replaced with a Bengali folk tale. Tower Hamlets said it wanted to provide an "alternative" theme to celebrate November 5 and the attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament...

One third of Tower Hamlets' population of 196,000 is Bengali - about 65,000. But Bengalis dominate the council and its cabinet with 31 of the 51 councillors. Tower Hamlets council insisted they were neither being politically correct nor forgetting the Gunpowder Plot.

Officials said: "We did Guy Fawkes last year" and insisted it was their tradition to have a different theme each year. In a statement, a spokesman said: "And this differentiates our celebrations from other boroughs and our events are proving to be extremely popular.

Listen here. You don't cancel national holidays. You don't use taxpayer funds to commemorate observances other than national observances. If the Bengalis want to have their own celebration on November 5, nothing is stopping them. Let them raise their own money for their own celebration. A lot of citizens might enjoy going to both a Guy Fawkes bonfire and the Bengali gala.

A third of the population is represented by 60% of the council seats? I bet the numbers change next election...

FYI, my birthday is November 5. Time of birth was 11:52 Greenwich Mean Time (5:52 Central), so the Guy Fawkes festivities were still in their last minutes.

(Story via No Pasaran)


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Dances With Dogs

You gotta see this to believe it.


Iran And Syria

Amir Taheri reports Syria's significance to Iranian foreign policy in this Jerusalem Post article. Check it out.

(Link vis Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi email)

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