Sunday, November 30, 2008

CNN's new Sunday morning show "After Party" is an interesting format, well done and solid. Instead of the usual cacophony of simultaneous talking-point-heads, they give half the show to an R group, half the show to a D group. Great idea, hope they can keep it running.

This morning on the R half of the show, someone said:

"Geithner and Summers will probably continue Paulson's experimentation... they will keep experimenting with various solutions to the economic problems."

Experimenting is wonderful when you really don't know what works. In this case we do know what works. FDR showed us. Close the banks long enough to check them out. Leave the dishonest banks closed, and re-open the honest ones with new strict regulations. Jail the seriously dishonest bankers.

What we have now is not actual experimentation, but a classic "dazzler act" full of smoke and mirrors. It's a continuation of the Credit Default Swap fraud: make the process complicated, keep things moving and changing, whipsaw the audience in five different directions. The net result of Shotgun Paulson's manipulations at the government level will be the same as the net result of Shotgun Paulson's manipulations within Goldman Sachs. His own buddies and his Chinese connections will gain vast riches before anyone else can figure out what's happening.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
  Random thought on 'Black Friday'

A few years ago** Polistra explored the history of bookkeeping, with an eye toward its cultural and religious connotations.

It's odd that the convention of using black ink and red ink for positive and negative numbers has carried on in everyday language, still forming phrases like 'Black Friday' or 'swimming in a sea of red ink'. Actual red ink was long gone when I worked in bookkeeping in the 1970's. At that time, in the sunset of the mechanical adding machine age, a negative result was indicated by brackets or parentheses.

Negative numbers (invented in China way back BC, like everything else of importance) weren't common in Europe and America until 1800. Thanks to calculators and computers we now use negative numbers fluently, but we tend to forget how new and strange this is!

In most of the practical uses of arithmetic, a negative number is still absurd and unusable. You can't mix -2 cups of sugar into a cake, you can't use a -3/4 inch wrench, you can't cut a board to -6 feet long.

If more of us mixed cakes, turned wrenches, and sawed boards, perhaps we wouldn't be quite so eager to adopt purely abstract falsehoods and frauds like Global Warming and Credit Default Swaps. Perhaps we'd be appropriately wary of computer models that are not firmly tied to physical reality.

= = = = =

** Just realized the Mill is four years old. I began writing on LiveJournal in late November of '04, transferred to Blogspot in March of '05.
Thursday, November 27, 2008

Polistra: Well, I'm thankful that we ended up with Obama as president. Despite my considerable misgivings, he has a real chance of being the Roosevelt of this generation. And by God we do need a Roosevelt.

Author: Yes. And I'm glad that I survived being hit by a car. I'm not quite back to normal yet, but I'm alive. And I'm thankful that I had the foresight or contrariness or whatever, to prepare well for a time of economic hardship. 'Independently poor' isn't always fun, but it's a hell of a lot better than starving.

Polistra: Amen.
  Gaffney explains Shotgun Paulson

Frank Gaffney appeared briefly on a radio show (sorry, can't remember which) last night. According to Gaffney, Shotgun Paulson is not only enriching his own gangster accomplices, as it appears on the surface; in fact the grand thief is primarily serving China.

Here's a 2006 article by Gaffney, detailing Shotgun's close ties to China. The article is titled "Bears a Close Watch", which turned out to be exceedingly prophetic.

In the last century, the Soviet Union enlisted a relative handful of prominent Western capitalists to serve as financial advisers, engines of economic assistance, and agents of influence in Washington and other foreign capitals. Typically, these businessmen were rewarded with access to lucrative Soviet energy and other natural resources and exclusive arrangements for marketing their products inside the USSR.

Arguably, the most prominent of these Soviet fellow-travelers and enablers was Armand Hammer, who created a vast personal fortune and an oil and gas conglomerate in no small measure thanks to sweetheart deals he secured from the Kremlin. ...

Henry Paulson has been Communist China's Armand Hammer. In fact, he has been vastly more effective than Hammer ever was in promoting his clients' interests and enabling their access to Western economic assistance and high technology.

The article also answers other questions: Why was it important for China to have Paulson as Treasury Secretary? Because the Sec Treas is chairman of CFIUS, the committee that approves foreign ownership of American companies.

And best of all:
... The PRC seems simply to be dressing-up what were, until recently, insolvent banks in the hope that international capital markets will contribute to bailing them out. This process involves the off-loading of non-performing loans onto asset management companies in a fashion very reminiscent of the U.S. savings and loan crisis. Indeed, the PRC appears, in fact, to have modeled its strategy on the American experience.

Since Shotgun was part of this process, we now understand why this year's Wall Street criminals were so confident that their crimes would be rewarded. They were betting on a sure thing, a pre-tested procedure.

The only remaining question: How did Shotgun persuade more than half of Congress to grant his criminal authority? What sort of blackmail did he use? An investigative reporter might begin by comparing the brave Congressmen who resisted the crime with those who joined the crime. What made the brave ones immune to persuasion, and what made the accomplices susceptible?

Needless to say, this question will never be answered, because all of our "investigative reporters" are busy 24/7 on more urgent and important matters, such as the Holloway Case, the Peterson Case, and the Death-Smell-In-Tot-Mom-Trunk Case.
  No pardon for these turkeys...... is a wonderful museum of old archival photos, with instructive comments and well-informed discussion. This picture, along with its comments, shows an earlier Presidential turkey tradition. Local chambers of commerce sent two turkeys to the White House, and the turkeys were placed in a ring to fight. Both were eaten after spectators enjoyed the battle.

So Palin, accidentally or not, is closer to the real American tradition.
  Mured with Mumbai

I suppose I should be concerned and sympathetic. Frankly, my dear, I don't give a flying fuck.

When the enemy burns France, I'm heartbroken. France is within our circle of friends and family. When the enemy burns India, I simply don't care. India is not a friend, it's a burglar that steals our jobs.

CNN says there may be American bank employees among the hostages.

Good. Maybe they will die before they get to appreciate their share of Shotgun Paulson's monstrous and evil Hanukkah gift.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
  Self-explanatory sentence

First a clarifying note on the title, because I'm getting a whole lot of links lately via the term "explanatory sentence". When Professor Polistra lists self-explanatory sentences, this is a special and distinct category that has nothing to do with the ordinary meanings of "explanatory sentence". A self-explanatory sentence sums up an entire life or worldview in a few words, usually without conscious intent. Thus the sentence is a "self-explainer".

With that out of the way, here's a new one from a CNN anchor:

"Very few people outside of Bill Gates or Warren Buffett can purchase anything without credit."

Obviously this doesn't say anything about Gates or Buffett, but it tells you everything you need to know about the incestuous closed circle of the media elite. They are incapable of understanding thrift or savings or frugality. They understand "living large", living far beyond your means, and they've never known anyone who "lives small".

International Terrorist James Earl Carter is complaining today about the Mugabe government in Zimbabwe. James Earl Carter tried to do one of his suck-up-to-tyrants tours in Zimbabwe, but Mugabe refused to admit him.

In response to the refused kiss, James Earl Carter says: "The entire basic structure... is broken down. These are all indications that the crisis in Zimbabwe is much greater, much worse than we ever could have imagined."

Yes, International Terrorist Jimmy my boy, it's bad. And you helped to make it that way. Rhodesia, one of the most prosperous and civilized countries in Africa, declared independence from Britain in 1965 under a white government. For several years it remained prosperous and civilized, but finally the pan-African Soviet push killed prosperity. Robert Mugabe, the most successful pro-Soviet proxy, took power in 1979, officially planted by the Lancaster Conference with significant help from the Carter administration.

So this is a sort of karma, but it's not a pleasant sort. I'm sure the starving people of Zimbabwe, as they pick out undigested kernels of corn from cow dung, would appreciate knowing that Jimmy understands their plight. The starving people of Zimbabwe would not be starving if Jimmy had not helped to install the government that starves them.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
  Peeve 2

A while back I peeved about the wasteful and constant use of titles, which seems to be much stronger this year. In earlier elections, announcers and commentators mainly referred to politicians by last name without title. This year, it's always Senator McCain, Senator Clinton, Senator Obama. (Pronounced Snrcain, Snrclinton, Snrbama.) But it was rarely Governor Palin; she was mainly called Sarah Palin.

This insistence on title is slightly unAmerican, because the original purpose of splitting these colonies from Britain was to get rid of the nobility and titles.

Now that Obama has been elected, it's getting even worse. Announcers now refer to him every single goddamn time as "Senator Obama oh ha ha I mean President Elect Obama" or "Senator Obama President Elect Obama". (Pronounced Snrbamaprezlekbama.)
  At last a fatwa

Until today I've been highly suspicious of Obama's claim to be a Christian. Simple logic: Obama unquestionably began life as a Mohammedan, and the mullahs and imams don't allow important men to abandon Allah. If he had truly converted to Christianity, there would be loud fatwas calling on the faithful to destroy him.

Well, now we finally have a fatwa of sorts. In Zawahiri's message today:

The Muslim nation received with extreme bitterness your hypocritical...stance towards Israel. You were born to a Muslim father, but you chose to stand with the enemies of Muslims.

Now I'm finally convinced that Obama has given up Mohammedanism ... at least far enough to count as just another infidel in the eyes of Zawahiri.

Zawahiri (or rather Adam Pearlman-Gadahn speaking through Z) also tries to pry Obama away from Malcolm X and the Black Muslims. This is a closer connection, since Jeremiah Wright is a Black Muslim working within the radical leftist UCC (United Communist Church) denomination.

Pearlman-Gadahn is often transparently clumsy with his 1970's Weather Underground jargon, but this time he's set up a clever propaganda gambit. Obama will in fact carry forward the same general foreign policy as Clinton, which will disappoint many of his American leftist and Black Muslim followers. And when they are disappointed by his continuing support of Israel, they will remember that Pearlman-Gadahn warned them of this.

= = = = =

Needless to say, our insanely destructive, traitorous, treasonous and suicidal "media", who see the world through the same racist prism as Jeremiah Wright, are ignoring the meaningful parts of this propaganda message, focusing 100% on Pearlman-Gadahn's use of an Arabic term meaning "house nigger". Well, who knows, maybe this will finally turn our insanely destructive, traitorous, treasonous and suicidal "media" against the enemy. They didn't mind much when the enemy killed 3000 Americans. But now that the enemy has resorted to using a "racially insensitive term" ... well, that's serious!!!!!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
  Who's the ascetic?

A reminiscence triggered by the 'crunchies'....

Growing up in Manhattan, my best friend for many years was Warren. His family was strictly parallel to mine by most demographic measures. Both fathers were assistant profs at K-State, both mothers stayed at home, both families lived in identical houses in the same subdivision.

But there was an important difference, which I didn't understand until much later.

My parents were 'modern' and ambitious, devoted to keeping up with the Joneses. They bought new clothing every year, new furniture every few years, a newer and fancier car every two years. My father worked hard at his job, always studying and preparing in the evening; they mastered the art of making a Correct Martini and Playing Bridge, because those were the Necessary Tastes to impress the boss at the Mandatory Monthly Parties.

Warren's parents didn't bother with material advancement or making an impression. They bought one cheap plain car for cash and kept it. They bought their house for cash and kept it. Their furniture, clothing, and eyeglasses were bought in 1948 and repaired as needed. The father didn't spend any time on studying or advancement, and the mother didn't worry about martinis or parties. Their only luxury was golf. All spare time went into golfing. All spare money went into savings.

At the time I thought my parents were enjoying life and Warren's parents were dull and ascetic, avoiding fun for the sake of some abstract principle that I couldn't grasp.

I was wrong.

In fact my parents were the ascetics and Warren's folks were the hedonists.

My parents were not enjoying life. They were struggling uphill toward a nonexistent destination. They stayed in debt (though never excessive) and my father worked until age 70.

Warren's parents were having fun. Golf was the only thing they loved, and they arranged their life so they wouldn't need ever-increasing income, thus wouldn't need promotion and advancement and stress. They retired at age 50, moved to Arizona and played golf forever after.

This truth dawned on me around age 38, and I steered my life toward the Warren model. Though I started late, it still worked: I was able to semi-retire in 2002 at age 52.

= = = = =

[Literary note: I thought I had written this tale before, maybe even twice, but a search of the blog didn't find it. I must have written it in a brief earlier incarnation of the blog on LiveJournal.]
  Changed mind

After listening to the House conference this afternoon on bailout for the auto industry ... especially the points made by Stabenow and by the head of Chrysler ... I've changed my mind. The auto industry needs and deserves Federal support. The Wall Street criminals need and deserve nothing but long jail terms.
Monday, November 17, 2008
  GM again

Extending this post on bankruptcy vs bailout.

The union boys, who advocate bailing out GM without improving GM, are saying today that "Nobody will buy a car from a bankrupt company."

The Studebaker example disproves that point. Granted, Studie was always far below GM in overall sales, so the example may not apply to a true mass-market brand.

Here's a list of Studebaker annual sales numbers through the '30s:

1930 60k
1931 44k
1932 47k
1933 35k (bankruptcy)
1934 60k (new mgmt)
1935 43k
1936 56k
1937 101k
1938 47k
1939 85k (new low-priced Champion)

As you can see, the new management reassured customers.

= = = = =

Later: I've changed my mind.
  Obama on 60 minutes

Obama on 60 minutes last night:

What you see in FDR that I hope my team can emulate, is not always getting it right, but projecting a sense of confidence, and a willingness to try things. And experiment in order to get people working again.

And I think that's what the American people expect. You know, they're not expecting miracles. I think if you talk to the average person right now that they would say, 'Well, look, you know well, we're having a tough time right now. We've had tough times before.' 'And you know, we don't expect a new president can snap his fingers and suddenly everything is gonna be okay. But what we do expect is that the guy is gonna be straight with us. We do expect that he's gonna be working really hard for us.'

'We do expect that he's gonna be thinking about ordinary Americans and not just the wealthy and the powerful. And we do expect that. if something doesn't work that they're gonna try something else until they find something that does.' And, you know, that's the kind of common sense approach that I want to take when I take office.


My interest is finding something that works.

And whether it's coming from FDR or it's coming from Ronald Reagan, if the idea is right for the times then we're gonna apply it. And things that don't work we're gonna get rid of.

Polistra says: Exactly what I've been hoping for. We'll see....
Saturday, November 15, 2008
  The "danger" of protectionism

Sultan Bush, continuing his scorched-earth policy of 100% destruction, said today: "One of the dangers during a crisis such as this is that people will start implementing protectionist policies."

This is, of course, standard autistic economics. As long as the flow of currency units continues to increase, everything's fine. If all the taxpaying units starve, that's an irrelevant variable. Trillions of currency units continue to move from New York to the Swiss bank accounts of the Sultan's Arab masters, so we can drop the taxpaying units out of the equation.

Just look at the tariff policies of the major countries. Who has strong import protection? Korea, Japan, China, India. Who's been succeeding in recent years? Korea, Japan, China, India.

The economoid notion that protectionism hurts a country is clearly untrue today, and I strongly suspect it's always been untrue. The groundwork for the 1930's Depression was laid in the '20s when our farmers overproduced for export, using up dry prairie land that shouldn't have been plowed. When drought hit, the farmers were in trouble, and the trouble spread through other businesses. If export had been less tempting, the farm boom wouldn't have happened. The economoids continue to squawk about the Smoot-Hawley tariff as the cause of the Depression, but the snowball of disaster was already rolling full speed by that time.

On a deeper level, we have Polistra's broken circle. When imports and exports are too easy, wages drop because manufacturing can be done elsewhere. When imports and exports are too easy, product quality drops because the business doesn't have to face its customers. (Can you spell Melamine?)

Open trade is fun for a while, but sooner or later you pay the price. And the hangover of the bust is far greater than the drunken revels of the boom.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Polistra has written about Nash several times, at first in the context of Mitt Romney's background.

The story of Nash and its nearest competitors yields a useful example for today's discussion of welfare for GM.

I suspect Charles Nash is looking down ruefully from above. He started in the auto industry at age 12 after running away from involuntary servitude. He found a job working for Billy Durant's buggy works. When Billy bought up two small automobile companies and created GM, Charles was still there, and moved up through the ranks into management. In 1914 he quit GM and set up his own company, determined to manage things differently. Nash avoided all Wall Street practices, avoided all gambling and debt. His frugal management carried the company through the Depression with only one year of loss, and it lasted through various mergers until 1983.

As of 1930, Nash's closest competitors were Willys and Studebaker. All were middle-sized companies with middle-priced cars. All of their cars had excellent engineering and distinct qualities, which meant loyal customers. But Willys and Stude were managed by high-rolling money men who paid more attention to the stock market than to their customers. When the Depression hit, frugal Nash held steady while Willys and Stude floundered and quickly fell into a bankrupt condition.

Unlike Comrade Bush, Mr Roosevelt didn't believe in welfare for companies or welfare for poor men. Comrade Bush throws money at companies and men so they can continue to behave criminally. FDR provided government jobs for men who had no other choice, and simply ordered companies and banks to behave sensibly. So Willys and Studebaker had no bailout option; instead they passed into well-controlled bankruptcy. Courts picked new managers, who were car men instead of money men. Stude's new management cut out inefficiency and simplified the model line, leaving only the models known to be popular. The new Willys managers decided the company should abandon its existing models and switch over to a very small low-priced car that would fill a unique niche.

Both companies made it through the Depression; Studebaker held up considerably better because it continued to satisfy and expand its own family of customers, while Willys was trying to find a new breed of customers.

Bankruptcy for GM today could have the same benefit. Handing it over to new managers, after cleaning the slate of union contracts and debts, would let it serve American customers better. Even better would be a private equity buyout, if that could be arranged. A holding company wants to see actual profit, not increased share prices.

= = = = =

Later: I've changed my mind.
  Secret voting, secret PAC?

A very interesting thought expressed by one of the commenters at Rod Dreher's blog. The main post was about blacklisting and intimidation, and most of the comments were predictable team-members.

This comment is original:

This incident reveals why I am opposed to campaign finance laws that require the disclosure of individual gifts over a certain amount. Making this information public does less to create accountability than it does to create a climate of fear and intimidation. In my industry--higher education--I know that many conservative professors avoid making gifts to any sort of political causes because they are afraid of a potential backlash. While there are rules in place that protect employees from employment discrimination, it is not uncommon for tenure to be denied to conservatives on the basis of a lack of collegiality, which is code for "We do not like your views and therefore think you are a deficient colleague." I think it would be far better if no one knew what individuals decide to do with their own money.

I hadn't thought about this. The usual libertarian idea, which I had followed until now, is that we don't need restrictions on PAC contributions, we just need transparency. If all contributions are known, we can tell who's working for what.

Fact is, a PAC contribution matters far more than a vote. Lobbying groups are the real 'first branch', and they work equally strongly on legislators of both parties. When you vote for one party or the other, you're just replacing the pawn, and the new pawn will be subject to the same lobbying. But when you contribute to a lobbying group, you're helping to exert real influence on a specific topic.

Since we allegedly put great value on secret ballots to prevent intimidation, why shouldn't we put even more value on secret contributions for the same reason?
Monday, November 10, 2008

CNBC says that GM stock is roughly tied with its historical low. The current price is about $4.00, and the historical low is $3.13 just after WW2.

Nope, it's a hell of a lot worse than that. Inflation since 1946 is approximately 8, so the 1946 price would be equivalent to $24 in today's dollars. Thus today's price is not tied with the previous low; it's 1/6 of the previous low.

Or putting it the other way around: Today's price would be 35 cents per share in 1940's dollars.

Nobody learns anything. Using fraudulent measures like the cruel scam of "Core Inflation" is exactly how these dickheads got themselves, and the rest of us innocent bystanders, into this new Depression. If they still haven't figured out super-basic economic facts like adjusting for inflation, we must assume that everything they say is absolutely false and criminal.

= = = = =

And one more rant: I'm damn tired of hearing the dickheads say "We're all to blame for this, because all of us have lived beyond our means." No sir. No sir. Hell no and fuck no. Include me out. I may be a damned poor excuse for a human being, and I've been 'part of the problem' in many situations, but I am emphatically NOT 'part of the problem' in this situation. My house is completely paid up, I haven't used credit in at least 5 years, and I live within a net income of $10k per year. No sir, I'm not to blame for this one, and you are gravely insulting me when you tell me I am.

Continuing this theme:

"It's going to be a cheerful opposition," said Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind. "We're going to carry those timeless principles of limited government, a strong defense, traditional values, to the American people."

Hmm. Limited government. Yes indeed: Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, the Goldman Coup, largest increase in domestic spending since LBJ.

Hmm. Strong defense. Yes indeed: Stripping the equipment and bases of the military, and then wasting the time and lives of our soldiers in two chronic wars that are totally counterproductive, totally destructive to our national interest.

Hmm. Traditional values. Yes indeed: Larry Craig. Ted Stevens. Duke Cunningham. The Goldman Coup. Rewarding criminals, high-rollers and gamblers with the biggest Hanukkah present in history, punishing frugal citizens with hyperinflation.

Pence, if you really want to sell those values, you need to start a new party. But even aside from the ruined brand, those principles are not timeless. Those principles are unwanted or unimportant at this point in history. Now is a good time for strong and competent internal government, a good time for a 'Fortress America' foreign policy, and a bad time to be giving lip service to abortion while allowing court decisions to stand untouched.

If you and your fellow Republicans really meant any of those "principles", you had 6 years of total power in which you could have tried to implement at least one eentsy-weentsy micro-example of those principles. Instead, you used your power to directly and totally contradict all of those principles. You and your party are nothing but a batch of goddamn liars.

= = = = =

Later: I was unfair to Pence, based on one short statement. Listening to his longer speeches at today's Repub Governors Conference, he's saying the same things I'm saying. Others in the party leadership are still clueless.
Friday, November 07, 2008
  Nouveaux CCC

Author: It's obvious that McCain replicates Hoover, right down to the "Sound Fundamentals Of Our Economy" crap. But does Obama replicate Roosevelt? What do you think?

Polistra: Well, I was only visiting in '39, so I can't really tell how Mr Roosevelt looked in '32 when he was first elected. But I think Obama has a lot of the same raw material. He speaks in plain terms, stays in contact with reality and seems to understand the needs of the people. And right now he's proposing something like CCC. I looked closely at the CCC, and liked what I saw.

Author: I've been scanning through conservative blogs, and they're all showing a mindless allergic reaction to the idea, saying things like this: "When President Obama and company advertise volunteer service as an option equally as patriotic as military service — and make the goodies comparable — who will be left to defend our nation?"

Pol: If young people don't feel that the nation is worth defending, they won't join the military anyway. CCC did three important things in the '30s. First, it kept families from starving. A starving country isn't a patriotic country. Second, it gave young men a sense of dignity and usefulness, which was directly tied to helping the country. They were thus invested in the country as a whole, felt like it was built by their own hands. Which it was. We're still using their parks, dams and buildings. And third, it gave those young men the same sort of discipline and training that they could have gotten from the military.

Author: Well, we're not starving in large numbers now ... yet ... but we certainly have a lot of disconnected young men.

Pol: And they could acquire the same things from a modern version of CCC. Since black youngsters are the most disconnected of all, Obama has a unique chance to connect them, to bring them back into the national fold.

Author: Makes sense. You know, these bloggers are really missing one of the basic points of the conservative mindset. Conservatives are supposed to be the ones who start with human nature as it stands, while lefties are supposed to be the ones who see humans as an infinitely moldable blob of plastic. These conservatives think people ought to be loyal, and anyone who isn't loyal must be some kind of weirdo loser. They can't begin to understand the motives of normal people.

Pol: Look, those aren't conservatives by any meaningful definition anyway. They're whiny rich metrosexual New Yorkers who don't want to pay taxes. They're only loyal to the world of stocks and bonds, not to the world of nuts and bolts. The world of nuts and bolts has been drowning for twenty years, but they didn't notice until it rose to the level of their hedge funds. Suddenly they have a reason to feel insecure and disloyal, but the rest of us have been insecure for a long time now.

Author: To make it worse, the Brand-R establishment is holding these grand soul-searching sessions where they try to figure out where to go next. Their biggest idea is: "The conservative movement will become the opposition to Obama."

Pol: Not much of an idea, is it? Alf Landon tried that in '36 and lost everything but Kansas. There's nothing magic about small government, and anyway small government isn't what Bush gave us. He gave us a monstrous government that devours our real economy and generously feeds it to China and Arabia. If you're patriotic at this point, you do whatever's needed to bring the people back into a sense of security. Show the people that their work and their taxes are serving a purpose here, dammit. Not making a handful of bloated cigar-sucking Jewish bankers even richer, not making filthy Arab sheiks even richer. And if Obama's charisma plus Clinton's economic advisors can start to close the circle, help keep our work and money at home, then patriotism means helping Obama. It definitely doesn't mean advancing a set of ideas that the people associate --- correctly or not --- with our current disastrous situation. Frankly, if the brand-R bathhouse wants to come back to life, they need to worry about character before they start thinking about ideas. They need to eject from the House and Senate all of the old filth, all the Wall Street slaves, all the blackmailable secret homosexuals, and replace them with clean people. Granted, that will leave only a handful of the existing members in place, but it's the only way to move forward. The people aren't going to listen to any ideas until they feel that the party isn't a San Francisco Treat.

Author: Yup. But if it turns out that Obama is only continuing to enrich the Wall Street criminals, then patriotism will mean opposing him.

Pol: Aahhmm, maybe. If the opposition amounts to nothing more than good old "Zip Zero Nada Taxes", then it's a complete waste. But if the opposition actually aims to restore the real economy, then it will be wise and necessary. For instance, the congressmen of both parties who bravely said Hell No to the Goldman Coup, if they can form a sort of shadow government to oppose the criminals who lead both parties, then the opposition would be meaningful.

Author: Something like secession?

Pol: Yes.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
  Chuck Norris

NRO notes that Chuck Norris endorsed Prop 8 in California.

It occurs to me: this belongs at the top of the list of Chuck Norris jokes, based on the idea of an impossibly powerful man.

Some existing examples:

When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.

Outer space exists because it's afraid to be on the same planet with Chuck Norris.

[My nerdy favorite:]
Chuck Norris can divide by zero.

Now we can add:

Chuck Norris persuaded California to pass a law against gay marriage.

You really can't get more powerful than that.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
  Michael Crichton RIP

Michael Crichton, a great science writer, has died. Crichton was the only important literary figure who tried to spread the truth about the Global Warming hoax. A year ago he appeared on the Charlie Rose PBS show to argue the point; he challenged the Gaia scammers to debate him on the condition that both sides must be allowed to use graphics. Important condition, because it's entirely too easy for the Gaians to play the usual Leninist tricks when no visual proof is available. Nobody ever took him up on the challenge, and now he's gone.

Polistra mourns.

= = = = =

Artistic note: This was as close as I could get to a model of Jurassic Park. It's a 'Dino-Land' tourist trap that I built as part of a Route 66 set....
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
  Stupidest statement of the evening

David Gergen, who is consistently the shittiest of all the shitty assholes who spew putrid fecal matter all over the television screen, just outshat himself, which I really didn't think possible.

Supreme Anus Gergen shat the following: "The Republicans lost tonight because they didn't keep up with the way America looks. Republicans still look the way America looked 40 years ago."

Obviously he was shitting about the matter of race. Obviously he means that America is more black now than it was 40 years ago, and that it's the job of a party to reflect the color palette of the population.

His first assumption is simply false. Actually the percent of blacks is slightly lower now than 40 years ago, because of the vast increase of illegal Mexican immigrants encouraged by Republicans.

The second part of Supreme Rectum Gergen's assumption is invalid in a more subtle and more vital way.

Race is the only thing that matters to left-wing media assholes* like Gergen, just as Zero Zip Nada Taxes is the only thing that matters to right-wing media assholes like Rush. To normal Americans, what matters most is the ability to raise a normal family. And when it comes to family, McCain is the modern one and Obama is the old-fashioned one.

McCain abandoned his first wife when she needed him most, and married a super-rich trophy. As far as I can tell, Obama is solidly and happily married and genuinely enjoys his wife and kids. On this important question, McCain looks like 2008 America, which is a picture most Americans would like to discard. Obama looks like 1958 America (e.g. Ozzie and Harriet) which is a picture most Americans would like to bring back.

= = = = =

* Footnote: One of the major left-wing assholes has actually departed from the pattern and spoken the truth. In the last few weeks, Chris Matthews has been emphasizing the importance of normal families. More amazingly, he's been stating the problem in an anti-feminist way: Men want and need to provide for their wives and children. If we want our country to advance, we must find ways to employ lower-educated and lower-intelligence men, so that they can have normal families. This is one of Polistra's main themes, and it's encouraging to hear it spoken in such a clear and unambiguous way.
Monday, November 03, 2008
  Rain man

The headlines about a newly published study say "Autism linked to rainy areas." Looking a little closer, the study is considerably more interesting.

The headline part is easy: the study looked at Wash, Ore and Calif, separating out the more rainy areas from the dry areas. The rainy parts showed more autistic diagnoses. Unsurprising, because in these three states the coast is where the rain is, and the coast is where the Commies live. Commies like to saddle their kids with all sorts of diagnoses. Nothing can be part of the human condition, everything must be a medical disorder, everything must be treated with drugs.

Beneath the headlines was a more puzzling and interesting connection: time instead of geography. Within the same area, kids born during wetter years showed more diagnosed autism than kids born during dry years. This may actually point to a causal connection.

Low exposure to sunlight is already linked to multiple sclerosis, with vitamin D shortage being one possibility.

I'm wondering about a more direct connection. I've discussed the Svensmark theory, which explains climate change completely. Active sun shields us from cosmic rays, quiet sun lets cosmic rays in. Cosmic rays form clouds, so we get cloudier, rainier and cooler during the quiet-sun times.

What if the cosmic rays are directly affecting brain development? We know that the particles spun off from cosmic rays cause electrical discharges; those discharges are an important problem in computer memory chips. Could they also disrupt neural connections during the early stages of development? Rainy years would be times of high cosmic ray penetration, thus times with higher disruption by charged particles.
  McCotter gets it.

Thaddeus McCotter, one of the few thinkers in either party in DC, said today:

We ran into the bailout. The bailout touched upon the larger discussion in the Republican Party. It's not the conservatives versus the moderates, that's the rather cliched way of looking at it. What you really have are globalists versus traditionalists. Globalists tend to view America as an economy, not a country. The traditionalists tend to view it as a country — a very delicate microcosm, a collection of individuals with different hopes, dreams, aspirations.

McCotter sometimes gets carried away with his vast vocabulary and literary allusions, but this is plain speaking and plain truth.

Will anyone else in DC catch on? Nope.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
  What's with Steve?

I'm puzzled by Steve Sailer's insistence that Obama could not be the son of Frank Marshall Davis. Sailer says that Barack Jr must be the son of Barack Sr, because Jr "looks East African", and because Sr was surely the only African visitor in Honolulu at that time. Well, maybe he looks East African, but he doesn't look anything like Sr. He does look a lot like Davis, and has the poetic and rhetorical talents of Davis. By most accounts, Sr was not especially talented; he appears to have been a dissipated alcoholic son of aristocracy.

One of the commenters on Sailer's blog quotes Davis's autobiography at length, including some contemptuous comments about African students visiting Honolulu at that time, disproving that part of Sailer's assumption.

As I pointed out before, the American Communists of that generation were strongly pro-family, even more than the average Americans at that time. The anti-family bias that we associate with modern Leftists is not part of Marxism, and certainly not part of the Soviet version of Communism. Russians were, and still are, intensely familial, intensely protective of their children, and intensely opposed to homosexuality. This anti-family crap was strictly for export, and didn't really hit until the late '60s. It has devastated the black community ... which would benefit from a return of Davis-era Marxism.

Davis was solidly married. If he was tomcatting around, it would have been carefully hidden, as with any other important man in that generation. Assigning the 'love-child' to an African visitor would have been a normal move.

So there are many facts, both genetic and cultural, on the side of Davis and very little on the side of Barack Sr. Methinks Sailer has become enamored of his own theory, which is natural but not good scientific thinking.

Semi-relevant sidenote: Looking at Davis's brief bio, I see that he was a Kansan, born in Ark City and educated at K-State in the 1920's. K-State was founded by Abolitionists and has always been proudly integrated, graduating black writers and poets as far back as the 1880's.

If Davis is the papa, it would make Obama unquestionably a natural-born citizen, and Kansan on both sides.

Of course the whole question is merely academic. If the Constitution were still in effect, this would be genuinely important, because we would need to check the qualifications of candidates before even considering them at the party level. Since the Constitution has been unread and unused for many decades, it doesn't matter.

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