Consummate dilettantism!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Extremes Meet

This comment made me laugh because it's true:
Extremes meet. The extreme Left is the extreme Right. We have been seeing this for years, since leftists who support women’s rights, gay rights, and minority rights nevertheless are silent about jihadists who murder women, homosexuals, and Darfurians. Ron Paul is a leftist rightist.
This should be obvious to anyone who's ever used the popular video-sharing website YouTube. Its twisted commentators routinely disparage mainstream politicians and praise the extremists, namely Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. No matter that the two are ideologically polar opposites, Ron Paul wanting a radically smaller government and Kucinich a radically larger one; they are praised equally. A Paul video is rated with 5 stars almost automatically, and a Kucinich video is as well. YouTubers seem not to have any firm ideology, being almost amnesiac in their instant switching of praise from Paul to Kucinich and vice versa. Ron Paul supporters aren't right-wing; if I had to guess, I'd say that most of them have supported extreme leftists in past elections.

Also, what's especially odd is that none of them really support or understand capitalism (see any videos praising capitalism or free-market economics on YouTube lately?), despite the fact that Ron Paul wants a supremely laissez-faire economy. All of them, almost without fail, have probably ranted and continue to rant at length about "greedy big companies," and yet support a politician whose actions would likely allow big companies to grow and expand.

It's juvenile.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

White Guys Have no Rights?

Read this excellent post discussing one of those "sensitivity training" videos.

Friday, December 21, 2007

More on Huckabee

I have decided upon 't; if Huckabee becomes the Republican Presidential nominee in 2008, I will vote for a Democrat in 2008 (unless he happens to be anyone but Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama). Talk about the conservative crackup.

He probably won't get the nomination. But if he does, Republicans, you've been warned; you'll have lost a vote.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Mike Huckabee's Meteoric Rise... bad. Really, really, bad. His numbers just keep increasing. Apart from the fact that he's conservative on social issues, he's a complete liberal. Herewith, my indictment of Michael Dale Huckabee.

1. Economics.
Mike Huckabee's record on fiscal policy is sordidly chronicled here, and it's certainly not pretty. During his tenure as governor of Arkansas, he supported and/or enacted, among other things, an internet sales tax, a general sales tax (he's especially fond of this), and taxes on gasoline and cigarettes and nursing beds. By the time he was all done, quoth the Club for Growth,
Governor Huckabee was responsible for a 37% higher sales tax in Arkansas, 16% higher motor fuel taxes, and 103% higher cigarette taxes according to Americans for Tax Reform (01/07/07), garnering a lifetime grade of D from the free-market Cato Institute. While he is on record supporting making the Bush tax cuts permanent, he joined Democrats in criticizing the Republican Party for tilting its tax policies "toward the people at the top end of the economic scale" (Washington Examiner 09/13/06), even though objective evidence demonstrates that the Bush tax cuts have actually shifted the tax burden to higher income taxpayers.
The report also notes that Huckabee massively increased (state) government spending and government intervention in market activity. He calls Wall Street "greedy," ripping a page straight out of the Democratic playbook. Evidently, he's no fiscal conservative.

2. Civil liberties.
This story is perhaps the most brutally revealing component of Huckabee's general philosophy.
Mike Huckabee, the Governor of Arkansas, now requires annual fat reports. These are sent to the parents of every single child aged between 5 and 17; a response, he says, to “an absolutely epidemic issue that we could not ignore” in the 1,139 schools for which he is responsible.
This is not freedom, this is tyranny. When government forces individuals' to report their children's weight to government, they lose the ability to set their own standards for their children and indeed to reap the consequences of their actions.

3. Crime.
In another action generally typical of liberals, Mike Huckabee urged the state to release a rapist, writing in a personal letter to the accused that "My desire is that you be released from prison. I feel that parole is the best way for your reintroduction to society to take place." The rapist was released and went on to rape and kill two women. More here. Obviously, Huckabee had his heart in the right place, but that's no excuse for being soft on crime. In his defense, I should note that he used the death penalty frequently as governor. Nonetheless, his letter evidences a typical sympathy for those who don't deserve it, and therein lies the problem. Welfare, higher taxes, spinelessness on crime are all symptomatic of a broader ideology.

4. Science.
This one's easy. When a politician reveals his outright disbelief in evolution, there's a good chance that he's not scientifically literate (at least in an extremely bare sense). In the 21st century, this is absolutely unacceptable.

5. General knowledge.
A devastating indictment of Huckabee, partly coincident with that above, is his incredible lack of knowledge regarding the NIE. From the post:
It’s something of an understatement to say that Mike Huckabee, now leading polls in Iowa, has a national security problem.

This is from a CBS News story covering the former Arkansas governor in Des Moines last Tuesday:
Now a reporter was asking Huckabee about the National Intelligence Estimate report, which had found that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program four years ago. The report had been front-page news, and it seemed likely to transform the rhetoric about Iran coming from the presidential candidates.
Huckabee, to the surprise of the reporters gathered around him, was unfamiliar with the report.
And my comment:
A presidential candidate unfamiliar with a week-long, front-page news item with potentially very significant national security implications? That’s mind-boggling. Huckabee’s ignorance is astonishing.
The issue here isn't so much that Huckabee has absolutely no foreign policy interest (or knowledge, as it appears), but that he is unaware of extremely basic developments around the world.

Huckabee is clearly a likable and fundamentally good man. His charm is almost irresistible. But if we're ever to break the back of big-government, nanny-state "conservatism," we've got to ditch Mike Huckabee. His strong religious beliefs combined with his manifest desire to use the hand of government to impose social policy is a volatile and dangerous mix.

Interestingly, Huckabee and John Edwards are practically idealogical twins. The only difference is that the former is very religious. Indeed, fifty years ago, Huckabee would likely be running as a Democrat.

The government has just produced a website entitled, on which it states:
Have you ever wanted to find more information on government spending? Have you ever wondered where federal contracting dollars and grant awards go? Or perhaps you would just like to know, as a citizen, what the government is really doing with your money. The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act) requires a single searchable website, accessible by the public for free that includes for each Federal award:

1. The name of the entity receiving the award;
2. The amount of the award;
3. Information on the award including transaction type, funding agency, etc;
4. The location of the entity receiving the award;
5. A unique identifier of the entity receiving the award.

Welcome to, a relaunch of, that provides citizens with easy access to government contract, grant and other award data.
It's actually very interesting. Consider that the government gave $685,406,125 to Johns Hopkins University in 2007 (the largest amount of money given to any university in 2007), and $12,011,515,965 to Boeing (that's $12 billion) in contract money.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Colourisation of Centred Pyjamas by the Connexion of a Tyre

A wonderful catalogue of British English spellings can be found here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bond Market in Iraq Surges!

Coincident with the troop surge, the bond market has also surged:
While the war in Iraq has dragged Bush's approval ratings lower, his policies in Iraq have turned around investor opinion on Iraqi debentures. The addition of 28,000 troops in the first half of the year has reduced terrorist attacks in the country by 55 percent, the U.S. embassy in Iraq said on Nov. 18.

``We've had a shift in sentiment,'' said Gorky Urquieta, who oversees $14 billion of emerging-market debt at ING Investment Management in The Hague. ING started buying the securities last month, and is now among the biggest holders along with San Mateo, California-based Franklin Templeton Investments and Baltimore- based T. Rowe Price Group Inc., data compiled by Bloomberg show. ``There's optimism the surge is starting to pay off,'' he said.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Gives A New Meaning to "Social Justice"

From that same Malkin article, in describing what happened to a rapist who was himself sexually assaulted and castrated by members of his community before being released (thanks to Mike Huckabee), a commenter writes:
this was social justice, and the ball cutters had it right. i don’t care who he’s a cause of, right or left.

Godwin's Law

Godwin's law states that:
As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.
What a surprise, then, to see the following from a commenter over at Michelle Malkin's site:
Just imagine how Hitlary would be screaming bloody murder if somebody brought up something damaging from her past.
Hitlary Clinton. That's a new one, I think.

Bush Actively Encourages Voter Fraud!

The very fundamentals of our democracy have once more been trashed by this president. Just goes to show the sort of "respect" he has for our Constitution.

From the AP:
"If I was a voter in this state, I'd sure pull that lever for Mike Johanns for the United States senator," Bush said. "And if my wife was a voter for this state, she'd try to pull it twice."

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Zune 2

I said that I would post about technology, though it seems I haven't kept that promise. Here's something technology-related for you:
This is Microsoft's new Zune 2. It has a number of interesting features, among which are wireless syncing, a fantastic graphical user interface, much-improved software, DRM-free music downloads, high-quality headphones, a beautifully large screen, and an innovative new "Zune pad." Honestly, I hope this takes some of Apple's market share; it's about time the iPod got some good competition.