Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Excellent article by local author Ray Harvey.
"According to Raymond Harvey: The scientific sceptic, as opposed to the philosophical sceptic, is defined by rational inquiry — someone who investigates with a disposition to be persuaded."
See the other 4 parts of the "Skeptics" series here:
See more about Ray at: http://fortcollinsteaparty.com/
Saturday, June 27, 2009
With the accelerating pace of political and economic disaster lately, it's hard to find anything to lighten things up. So that can only mean it's time for Iowahawk:
CHICAGO - Chicago White Sox front office spokesman Scott Reifert announced today that fans attending a July 11 twin bill versus the Minnesota Twins at US Cellular Field will receive a free commemorative mini-bat, unlimited ten cent Budweiser, and up to $800 Billion in federal bailout money. Billed as "Recession Demolition Night," Reifert said the giveaway promises to be the "biggest fan attraction since 1979."And how would you expect it to end but:
The unique cross-promotion was the brainchild of White Sox GM Ken Williams and the Obama Administration, and Reifert said it took nearly 45 minutes of careful planning to work out the details.
"The Administration had $800 billion in unspent stimulus money, and we had a load of unsold tickets," explained Reifert. "I guess you could say it was a real win-win situation."
The Oval Office has come under some fire in the last week over revelations that only as small portion of the $867 Billion allocated to ARRA stimulus programs in February has thus far been spent. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that the joint promotion with the White Sox "shows the President is serious about ramping up the sweet, sweet cash giveaways that will get America back on its feet."
Reifert encouraged fans to order tickets soon, as demand is expected to be brisk. He remained coy, however, about whether the cash drop would take place during game one of the doubleheader, or the special nightcap open only to Mayor Daley, visiting Washington dignitaries, and Obama campaign donors.Go RTWT of course.
"We're leaving that a big surprise," he said.
Monday, June 22, 2009
UPDATE: Check out Ledeen today for the latest developments. Some slivers of hope in a very depressing situation.
Not only is there no end to tyranny but there is no end to O Duce's stupid, self-righteous kow-towing to tyrants. Even the NYeT are not complete idiots like O Duce is on what's really going on:
Women were particular targets after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began to strictly enforce previously loosened restrictions. Thousands of women were arrested or intimidated because they did not adhere precisely to Islamic dress code on the streets.Via Hitchens who is absolutely on fire today (go read it now, I'll wait), we now have Obama playing the role of the white moderate:
Mir Hussein Moussavi, the leading opposition candidate, campaigned along with his wife, Zahra Rahnavard, and other prominent Iranian women rallied to his side as he promised to improve the status of women.
A woman called Hana posted a comment on Mr. Karroubi’s Web site: “I am alive but my sister was killed. She wanted the wind to blow into her hair; she wanted to be free; she wanted to hold her head high up and say: I am Iranian. My sister died because there is no life left; my sister died because there is no end to tyranny.”
We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's antireligious laws.
I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
What a sorry narcissistic disaster O Duce is. Wait for a more convenient season indeed.
O Duce: How can a regime possibly be legitimate that treats their own people -- most especially women -- like cattle, beats and shoots them mercilessly and then won't even let the dead be buried properly? I don't care if you're an athiest or whatever it is you are. You live on a lukewarm lake of LaLa land lunacy.And in case you didn't read the NYeT piece, check this out about Neda:
She studied philosophy and took underground singing lessons — women are barred from singing publicly in Iran.You read that right. Women are barred from singing publicly in Iran.
Yes of course. These mullahs are perfectly sane. Let's negotiate. By all means. Did you read Hitchens?
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I can tell you who are two of a kind: O Duce and the Mullahs. And throw in his craven bow to the Saudi King for good measure.
I’ve received what purports to be a statement from Mousavi’s Office in Tehran. Like everyone else covering the revolution, I get a lot of material that can’t be authenticated, and one must always take such material with a healthy dose of skepticism. That said, the person who sent this to me is undoubtedly in touch with the Mousavi people on the ground, that much is certain. His information has been proven reliable throughout this period. So while the following open letter carefully puts distance between the author(s) and Mousavi himself, I am quite sure that at a minimum it accurately reflects the state of mind of the Mousavi people.
So here you go:
From the Office of Mr. Mir Hossein Mousavi
To the President of the USA, Mr. Barack Hussein Obama:
Dear Mr. President,
In the name of the Iranian people, we want you to know that when you recently made the statement “Achmadinejad or Mousavi? Two of a kind,” we consider this as a grave and deep insult, not just to Mr. Mousavi but especially against the judgment of the Iranian people, against our moral conviction and intelligence, especially those of the young generation that comprises a population of 31 million.
It is a specially grave insult for those who are now fighting for democracy and freedom, and an unwarranted gift and even praise for Mr. Khamenei, whose security forces are now killing peaceful Iranians in the streets of every major city in the country.
Your statement misled the people of the world. It was no doubt inspired by your hope for dialogue with this regime, but you cannot possibly believe in promises from a regime that lies to its own people and then kills them when they demand the promises be kept.
By such statements, your administration and you discourage the Iranian people, who believe and trust in the values of democracy and freedom. We are pleased to see that you have condemned the regime’s murderous violence, and we look forward to stronger support for the rightful struggle of the Iranian people against the actions of a regime that is your enemy as well as ours.
UPDATE: From Mousavi’s speech on Sunday:
The great participation in this election was, in the first degree, indebted to the efforts for creating hope and trust among the people, to obtain a befitting response to the existing administrative crises and the widespread social dissatisfaction, whose accumulation can target the bedrock of the Revolution and the Regime. If this good faith and trust coming from the people is not answered by protecting their votes, or the people can not react in a civil and peaceful way to defend their rights, there will be dangerous pathways ahead, responsibility for which lies with those who can’t stand peaceful behaviors.
If the high volume of cheating and vote manipulation, that has put a fire to the foundations of people’s trust, is itself introduced as the proof and evidence of the lack of fraud, the republicanism of the regime will be slaughtered and the idea of incompatibility of Islam and republicanism would be practically proven.
UPDATE II: Mousavi has called for a general strike on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the regime is now rounding up Rafsanjani family members. As Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi tells us:
Tabnak Website from Iran reports: Five members of the Rafsanjani family arrested. It is said that his daughter Faezeh who is very outspoken and has been very active in politics for more than two decades has also been arrested. Reportedy Faezeh, her daughter,Hossein Marashi (cousin of Mrs. Rafsanjani nee Effat Marashi), Marashi’s daughter and Marashi’s sister-in-law have been taken into custody as well
Update III: From Judith Klinghoffer, the unions are joining the revolution.
And what's even more lunatic is that I find myself in the position of supporting protesters who have socialistic planks in their platform while O Duce won't:
But, of course compared to the Fascist Mullahs the protesters are almost laissez-faire. What they're complaining about is that the Mullahs are in fact a Fascist, corporatist state that keeps all the oil revenue cream for itself. No wonder O Duce loves the Mullahs, that's exactly what he's so busily creating in America.
I'll be considerate and avoid the picture of the consequences of O Duce's support for misogynistic, pimple-faced violent thugs. But you can go look if you have a strong stomach. Her name was Neda.
Oh, and in case you think O Duce is alone in this position among his coalition, you might want to check out the home page of NOW. If you've been following developments and watching video (such as the one above for instance) you can't help but notice that Iranian women have been key victims of the Mullahs as well as leaders among the protesters. But not a peep of support by NOW anywhere to be found. What a sad disgrace.
UPDATE: More must reading here.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Today Friday 18 June 1388And here's something else you probably haven't seen. A Mousavi campaign video:
Tomorrow Saturday is very important; Day of destiny.
Tonight the screams of “God is great” [Allah-o Akbar]
is louder than on any other night.
Where is this place?
Where is this place that all paths are closed? All doors are shut?
Where is this place that no one helps us?
Where is this place that we shout out our words with only silence?
Where is this place?
Where is this place that its people’s only call is to God?
Where is this place that its cry of Allah-o Akbar ["God is Great"]
Grows louder and louder every minute?
Every day I wait to see if at night
The cries of “God is Great” grows louder or not.
I tremble as I hear them getting louder and louder.
I do not know if God trembles too or not.
Where is this place that we the innocents are stuck in [imprisoned]?
Where is this place that no one can help us?
where is this place that we are only shouting out our words with silence?
Where is this place that the youth are killed and people stand in the street and pray?
They stand in the blood and pray.
Where is this place that people are called [vagrants] trouble makers?
Where is this place?
Do you want me to tell you?
It is Iran.
It is my home land and your home land.
It is Iran.
Are they trying to shake off chains and oppression? Yes. Are they just like us? No. Should we support them? Yes. Can you even imagine their courage? I don't think you really can.
UPDATE: And you need to go read Ledeen today. Tyranny is the most unstable form of government. No kidding.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Support the Tehran "Tea Party"!
UPDATE: The Manifesto:
UPDATED AGAIN: Good stuff from Ledeen:
7. Call off any secret organization such as "gasht ershad"
There are reports of members of the Revolutionary Guards defecting to the dissidents. There is this report from an Iranian website (the only place i’ve seen it) according to which 16 senior Revolutionary Guards officials have been arrested:Pray for them.“These commanders have been in contact with members of the Iranian army to join the people’s movement. Three of the commanders are veterans of Iran-Iraq war. They have been moved to an undisclosed location in East Tehran.”If true, it’s very important, but, as I have often noted, the regime has distrusted them for some time. The young Islamic revolutionaries of the late 1970s are now middle aged, and do not wish to slaughter their neighbors. That is why the mullahs have imported killers from abroad: the five thousand or so Hezbollahis who, according to Der Spiegel, have been brought in from Lebanon and Syria. Dissidents on Twitter report clashes with security forces who do not speak Farsi, and there are even some rumors suggesting that Chavez has sent some of his toughs from Venezuela. Who knows?
Sunday, June 14, 2009
I'm betting you've never seen this interview with Aldous Huxley. If you ever needed a wake-up call to turn off American Idol and start paying closer attention to your world, this is it. You should not only watch the whole thing but follow the YouTube links to watch the other two segments of the interview.
The leadership theme was reinforced by the theoretical writings of, Mosca, Pareto, and Michels, especially Pareto's theory of the Circulation of Elites. All these arguments emphasized the vital role of active minorities and the futility of expecting that the masses would ever, left to themselves, accomplish anything. Further corroboration came from Le Bon's sensational best-seller of 1895--it would remain perpetually in print in a dozen languages--The Psychology of Crowds, which analyzed the "irrational" behavior of humans in groups and drew attention to the group's proclivity to place itself in the hands of a strong leader, who could control the group as long as he appealed to certain primitive or basic beliefs. (30)O Ooof. Useful direction for whom? Raise your hand if you think your fellow citizens have been sheared like sheep.
The initiators of Fascism saw anti-rationalism as high-tech. It went with their fast cars and airplanes. Fascist anti-rationalism, like psychoanalysis, conceives of itself as a practical science which can channel elemental human drives in a useful direction.
But I digress ... What is the latest with Britney Spears today? And is Michelle still lifting weights?
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Today we had a Flag Day Eve Tea Party protest march in downtown Fort Collins. Thanks to Ray Harvey for organizing it and to all who attended! I would give it five stars for being an extraordinarily well behaved crowd. Because that's who we are of course.
But it should be noted that in Iran things are a wee bit more serious. These people deserve our sincerest sympathy -- and support. They are fighting the same sort of personality cult tyranny that O Duce is assaulting us with. But it's rather more advanced of course. Over there, sham elections have become a kabuki dance art form. Over here they just began in national form with the last one. Wrong headed as public financing is and noting the fact that McCain was a kabuki distraction, did you notice how effortlessly O Duce broke his pledge to use public financing and how big money and foreigners bought the election almost completely unreported by our state run media?
Anyway, watch this video and ponder. When our fellow citizens finally have their TVs turned off because of unemployment, runaway inflation and power shortages, it might start to look like this here.
UPDATE: Wow. Iran is on fire. Literally.Even if you're not religious, you need to pray for their success. The implications of a revolution even vaguely directed toward freedom in Iran are absolutely enormous. The two sites you should be watching are Michael Totten and Michael Ledeen.
Ledeen points out that with no more hope an American president might help them any more they might finally take matters in their own hands for good:
Stalin would be proud. But even his Soviet Union eventually succumbed to the dissidents, and while the regime has most all of the guns, the chains, the clubs, the tear gas cannisters, and the torture chambers, there are tens of millions of Iranians who hate the regime. The question is whether they are prepared to face down the Basij, the police, and the Revolutionary Guards. It is usually a matter of numbers in these cases: if a million people gather in front of the Supreme Leader’s palace and demand freedom, while half that number make the same demand in front of the government buildings in Isfahan, Shiraz, Tabriz and Mashad, they might win.And here's an electrifying status report passed on by Totten:
Until quite recently, the Iranians did not believe they could do such a thing on their own. They believed they needed outside support, above all American support, in order to succeed. They thought that Bushitlercheney would provide that support, and they were bitterly disappointed. But nobody believes that Obama will help them, and they must know that they are on their own.
"My next door neighbor is an Iranian immigrant who came here in 1977. He just received a SAT phone call from his brother in Tehran who reports that the rooftops of nighttime Tehran are filled with people shouting 'Allah O Akbar' in protest of the government and election results. The last time he remembers this happening is in 1979 during the Revolution. Says the sound of tens of thousands on the rooftops is deafening right now." It's almost four in the morning in Iran.And my young sons were complaining about how far they had to walk today. They've come a long way but I have much to teach them yet. And I pray the most difficult of the lessons to come won't be learned the hard way.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
UPDATE: OK. The stopped clock comment was overly optimistic. Stewart has to do something to torpedo getting the message out widely. This video has been disabled by YouTube at Daily Show request. If I find one that stays up I'll add it back in. In the mean time, I have other excellent Schiff vids on the blog. Check out the one at the bottom of this post for instance.
ANOTHER UPDATE: I'm not seeing anything stay up on YouTube with decent quality (I changed to a really crappy one that is up for now) but you can download the (much better but still not great) MP4 video file from here for at least a month. It's worth the trouble. This got Peter some broad exposure and he has noted elsewhere that it pumped up his book sales.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Well, that pretty much looks like it for the "legal system" in our newly minted banana republic supporting the difference between ... oh, nothing fundamental ... like oh, say, between stock holders and bond holders.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has cleared the way for Chrysler's sale to Fiat, turning down a last-ditch bid by opponents of the deal.Luckily, this will have no impact whatsoever on investor's decision making processes going forward.
The court said late Tuesday it had rejected a plea to block the sale of most of Chrysler's assets to the Italian automaker. Chrysler, Fiat and the Obama administration had warned that the high court's intervention could have scuttled the sale.
A federal appeals court in New York had earlier approved the sale, but gave opponents until Monday afternoon to try to get the Supreme Court to intervene.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ordered a temporary delay just before a 4 p.m. deadline on Monday.
Now the court has freed the automakers to complete their deal.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
Did I forget to mention that one of the very few things I can think of that doesn't make me want to wretch when I think of the
The use of a sham sale of the sort the New Dealers thought they had forever eliminated will cause mischief in future bankruptcy cases.Welcome to the
The Obama administration has closely patterned itself on the famous opening year of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. But the plans the administration has rolled out for Chrysler and is now cheering on in the bankruptcy court would make a true New Dealer turn over in his grave.
In the early 20th century, large troubled corporations did not file for Chapter 11 like they do today. They used a process known as “equity receivership,” which involved an artificial “sale” of the company to a new entity set up by the debtor and the investment banks who represented its bondholders and stockholders. The new entity was the only bidder at the sale, and creditors who were unhappy with the terms of the reorganization had very little opportunity to interfere.
New Dealers hated the process, which they saw as opaque and designed to foist a deal crafted by the insiders on everyone else. Jerome Frank, a lawyer who later headed an important New Deal agency and became a federal judge, complained in 1933 that the judicial sale in these cases “was a mockery and a sham.” He said, “A sale at which there can be only one bidder, is a sale in name only.” In 1938, thanks to the handiwork of another prominent New Dealer, future Supreme Court Justice and then-SEC Chairman William Douglas, Congress dramatically altered the bankruptcy laws, eliminating the former practice.
Now we get another monthly update that adds May -- so how's innumeracy working out for everyone?
Not so peachy. Many more months of this and even O Duce's absurd "created or saved" nonsense won't save him from ridicule. It's going to take a minor miracle not to shoot into double digits here folks. Watch for a timely update of how they calculate the unemployment numbers to try to wriggle out of this one.
The title of this post comes courtesy of one of Innocent Bystanders obviously astute commenters with a dry riff on the AGW alarmists ridiculous historical temperature chart: "Finally–a hockey stick we can believe in."
UPDATE: You might take a gander at this for what the geography of this disaster looks like.
UPDATED AGAIN: Now with video!