Saturday, December 12, 2009

Stupid is as Stupid Does

I had no idea what to title this post. It is too funny, sad, pathetic, and above all- STOOPID! This is the first time in the history of rap music that rap has actually saved the lives of cops! it reminds me a scene in a Punisher comic where the Punisher gets caught undergunned by a bunch of thugs, but wins anyway. The final pane in the scene is a close up of the barrel of the Punisher's .45 held corrrectly as he tells the last thug to get killed, "They put the sights on the top for a reason."

A simple fact that went unnoticed by this idiot who jammed his Mac 10 knock-off by shooting it sideways. Man's gotta look good when he's getting gunned down.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Signs of Leadership are starting to develop

I have listened and read a lot of different opinions about the President's speech and Afghan strategy last night, but so far noe of them have mentioned explicitly that this was the first real sign of leadership and sacrifive we have seen from him. For me at least, he started earning back some of the respect that he had completely lost by June.

Because it was very gutsy and showed that he does have the ability to make the type of hard, unpopular decisions Bush made. For that I give him credit and hope to see more of this spine and backbone in the future. Yes, it took too long to make, but he has already been criticized by his most ardent supporters for giving in and doing it in the presence of "the enemy." Chris Matthews has somehow managed to suddenly leave Olberman in the dust...

But I digress. Obama actually did the right thing and listened to his generals rather than to his base. This is the first real bipartisan moment of his presidency. Yes, he made the strategic blunder Chris Matthews rightly identified of telling the REAL enemy (get a clue Chris) when they can expect us to pack up and leave. But Obama also left the door open to staying.

The worst criticism came from Der Spiegel (I thought Obama was popular in Europe?). To be sure, Gabor Steingart delivers the beatdown in a way the would make Krauthammer proud. But most of the substantial criticism is strategic and realpolitik stuff I agree with. There is also the incredible dishonesty of blaming Bush, shifting blame, and then implementing the same Bush surge that he voted against! Talk about low and despicable... But at least he is doing it. For 18 months. The student body president made his first baby steps towards being the real President.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Stoopid, Very Stoopid

Well now we know gamers and lawyers have something in common! What kind of idiot sues WoW?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Climate Research Unit scandal getting worse

Because I am not a scientist I don't like weighing in on the "scandal" surrounding the hacked emails from the Climate Research Unit at University of East Anglia. Primarily because a number of the explanations provided by the pro Global Warming crowd seemed reasonable. But that was until someone who follows and believes in Global Warming as a significant threat made a rare assessment of how damning the hacked emails actually are. Yes, he still affirms his core beliefs and attacks skeptics, but he admits that the emails are very dangerous and distressing. I would love to know what he would say now that the story had become even uglier, as the CRU has admitted all the original data its research was based on was destroyed, so we can't scientifically verify their conclusions. Unfrikkin believable.

Disconnect between Elite and People in Europe too?

This is a fascinating article because it suggests that Europeans- at least the nonelite ones- are facing a similar disconnect between them and their leaders.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Too Funny not to Post

The Language is a bit spicy, but this little incident is hilarious:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

more Signs of Cultural Upheaval

The Video Game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has broken every sales record for an entertainment property. We are not talking about video games only, but movies, music, and everything else in the entertainment world. A video game has blown away the competition during a global recession.

This little fact will go largely undigested in mainstream culture. This is after games sales fell dramatically last October from the previous year. Now I have managed to squeeze in a few hours on Modern Warfare 2 between work, the immanent birth of my first child, skating, and applying for a doctoral program. In a nutshell: It Rocks. And pushes the envelope in a way no other game has. The crude ethical problems of games like Grand Theft Auto have nothing on the Russian Airport scene. Discussing it with my hardcore gamer students have resulted in similar impressions. All of us were a bit disturbed by playing an undercover CIA character who has to massacre innocent civilians in an airport in order to protect his cover. Some of us even tried to figure out ways around it, to no avail.

This is extremely disturbing. So disturbing that the developers actually allow you to set up campaign mode with a bypass of the airport massacre. But it got me thinking. More than any other game this game can break long held double standards of our culture just as easily as it breaks sales records.

Why is it ok for actors, and movie makers, writers, and musicians to engage is such flights of fancy, but not the rest of us? In western culture we have long allowed certain exceptions for "artists" because there is a purpose to their work. That's why a child rapist like Polanski should not be prosecuted. Yet he will sneer down at us plebeians for engaging in even a virtual version of violent and unethical behavior. As I walked through the airport slowly killing civilians in a scene perfectly orchestrated to highlight the terror and horror such an event would surely create, coolly shooting down a desperate civilian crawling for safety (the scene even has slow mo moments perfectly copied from Hollywood) it occurred to me that this truly is unhealthy for society and is probably one of the psychological sources of the extreme degrees of privilege and hypocrisy in Hollywood and the Entertainment industry. Actors go one step beyond what I was doing and actually point a real gun and shoot blanks and other live people who reenact these same types of scenes every year for "art." I don't think I will ever play the level again, unless its necessary for the Ethics class we are trying to embed the game in...

But Hollywood is better, more humanitarian. I mean, for gosh sakes, they bleed compassion. They are more human than the rest of us and so its ok for them. One of Tom Friedman's only good ideas in The World is Flat was the equalizing effect technology has on society. Look, we know its not his idea, but its still true. And Modern Warfare 2 is taking this equalizing into its next natural step. Now we can all engage in the same kind of visceral play acting movie stars call "avant garde." How much you wanna bet Rock Star is going to incorporate rape, or something equally ugly into the next iteration of Grand Theft? Because if its ok for Hollywood to simulate rape and other heinous acts then its certainly ok for the rest of us.

Oh Brave new world that has such people in it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jedi mind Tricks

So far in all the justifiable outrage over our Establishment's total failure to recognize the Fort Hood killer as nothing more than an Islamic extremist no one has brought up the case of Scott Roeder who killed abortion doctor George Tiller less than a year ago. Remember that incident? Our courageous leaders in the Media were willing to talk religion then. Because, you know, since Roe V Wade became law Christians have killed less people than one Islamic extremist managed to kill in one day at Ft Hood.

There were no discussions about how Scott Roeder's worldview (religion) taught him that since abortion became legal America has seen a holocaust of millions of innocent deaths. Imagine what Major Hasan would do if that were floating around in his mind. He might want to build a nuclear weapon and wipe out his enemies... Nah. Remember the IEA told us two years ago the Iranians weren't trying to build a bomb. Whoops. Little oversight there.

The most perverse aspect of human nature is its ability to lie to itself. When the Jedi mind trick is on yourself, you are sick.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ereaders are taking over fast

No better proof that ereaders will soon be as ubiquitous as video games than how many are in development. Even tire maker Goodyear is working on one.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Scary stuff

This is really scary. Especially because there are no solutions offered anywhere. make sure you run AdAware at least once a week, and have something like Avast that will get rid of Trojans quick. At least its not happening in the states. Maybe people really will start burying their money in the backyard again...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pirates reach new shores

The Pirate Party is almost ready to board Australia! Gotta admire their tenacity and energy.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Journalistic Bias from a tech's perspective

I have written at length about the disconnect between conservative thinking and the tech community and how much opportunity there is for conservative thinking to engage the tech community. This post from techdirt perfectly illustrates the ambiguity techies have about journalism and bias.

One one hand it easy to dismiss the writer as clueless- I mean, why not come out and just admit that bias is journalism and it's all about supporting leftist ideology. The writer never does. He even suggests that it's ok for journalist to have an opinion, which almost seems to come off in the typical lefty apologist approach, but if you have been reading techdirt for any length of time you know that their writers are extremely sceptical of establishment thinking and journalism. They are simply coming at it from a different angle than conservative activists, journalist, and intellectuals.

Which is why conservatives should be reaching out on an intellectual level to the tech community. They have far more in common with them than they would imagine, and our foundational principles are more often than not the same.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Imagine (no apologies to Lennon)

Imagine the following scenario: A couple of young leftwing activists travel the country visiting NRA offices pretending to be illegal weapons dealers looking to start shipping illegal guns from Mexico into the city and need some help figuring out the logistics. What the NRA offices don't know is that they are phonies and everything is being taped with hidden cameras and will systematically be exposed to the public once the investigation is complete.

Imagine what would happen if those videos showed NRA staff members offering to help with those illegal activities. Imagine how those two young activist journalists would have their careers made at this point. Imagine them all over the cable and network shows, the interviews, book opportunities, movie offers. Careers made, right?


You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Racism concept map (Click to enlarge)

Now we can all see if we are racists with this handy concept map!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

John Stewart on Acorn

John Stewart has become hit and miss for me, but this one is actually funny.
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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Some fun stuff

Some of my students have been kicking around the idea of doing a skate clip centered on bails and hi-fives. Here it is:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Kraut- Hammer!

Charles "Martel" Kraut-hammer just threw down the best hammer of the year. Read it and weep.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Calling all technophobes and Monty Python fans

Aside from the obvious hazards an IT company in South Africa has proved that it's faster to use a carrier pigeon for data transfer than IP providers in South Africa.

Local news agency SAPA reported the 11-month-old pigeon, Winston, took one hour and eight minutes to fly the 80 km (50 miles) from Unlimited IT's offices near Pietermaritzburg to the coastal city of Durban with a data card was strapped to his leg.

Of course the only really important question is was it an African or European pigeon?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


This is a huge issue right now. As a librarian and dedicated bibliophile I thought I would not really like ebooks, but I have found that they are great for light reading. Currently I am using the Sony touch screen (great features, grainier screen) and a Kindle. I was shocked by how much I like both and how they solved many of my classic problems. As a professor, I no longer have to carry 6 or 7 books around- I can load thousands on one device, which also solves a classic traveling problem for me.

Most digital books even allow you to annotate them and write notes. Very nice, and I am a definite convert, even though I will always prefer a "real" book. But I have realized that ebooks will probably take over in the next 10 years because they are so functional and easy- and cheaper.

The real issue are these power plays the article I linked to discusses. Everyone with money and power wants to ensure that they get to keep. The one exception has been Sony, which is actually making their devices more functional and interactive with other formats. Exactly the opposite of Amazon's Apple approach: proprietary and controlled. These issues have huge implications for the future control of knowledge and dissemination of information. We have already seen a massive sell out of America's truth corps, the press, when it comes to putting facts and relevant information before the people. Most people think that the Internet will open the door in ways that people with power cannot close it, but don't believe. There are other ways of controlling information. The Obama administration has already backed down from a plan that would have given the president the legal freedom to shut down the Internet in emergency situations, but there are plenty of other alternatives.

It's critical that conservatives and libertarians pay attention to these developments and fight for free markets and freedom of information.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

That's what I'm talking about!

This is rad. Some republican is finally getting a clue

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pirate Party

I have written about this numerous times and hope conservatives start figuring out how important these issues are to young voters- and how naturally its fits with conservatism. The Pirate Party has won an EU seat. They are rapidly becoming a serious movement in Europe and are attracting new converts all the time.

Mainstream, older generations think the Pirates are not serious- I mean they were a spontaneous reaction the a legal ruling against a torrent tracker from Sweden right?! But then think about how the Establishment has been treating the Tea Parties and townhall protestors stateside and you start realizing that there may be a lot of similiarities here.

Pirate Christian Engstrom sounds an awful lot like a traditional conservative. He just doesn't know it and neither does most of the tech world or youth because conservatives are not reaching out and communicating. Get with it people. Time to run up the Jolly Roger!

How Corrupt is America?

Ted Kennedy's public life from beginning to end was defined by corruption and abuse of privilege. It's that simple. His entire career and life are gross contradictions to everything America is supposed to stand for, yet he is still being celebrated and lionized by the same corrupt establishment that allowed him to exist in the first place.

Kennedy's corruption and disdain for the average American is like book ends for his life. He began it by walking away from an average American, leaving her to die, and he ended it pretty much the same way- boldly trying to change a law he created so the democrats can keep power. He does it because he can get away with it. Like a bad child our politicians just keep testing their boundaries, pushing the people's limit. Kennedy was the ring leader, but don't think it ends with him. President Obama has been rolling Kennedy style since he was first elected by getting his opponents thrown off the ballot on technicalities. The Obama presidency is not a repudiation of abuse of power and privilege, but rather the coming of Age for Kennedy style corruption. No one has benefitied more from the privilege of the wealthy and powerful to have their dirty laundry hidden or excused that President Obama. From the Media's blackout on his voting record and past to his thuggish behavior to hedge fund managers or lawyers fighting corruption (of Obama's friends), no one has utilized the Kennedy style better and to more effect than Barack Obama.

It would seem that the American people are finally beginning to tire of this behavior and are demanding some accountability and integrity from our elected officials. But we seem to be acting like bad parents who have let their children push their limits and are suddenly "getting tough" pretending that we are really good parents who let their children develop some bad habits. You have all seen those kinds of parents who suddenly pretend that they actually care about their child's behavior, but it won't last that long and pretty soon the kids will be up to the same old thing.

It's because our culture is corrupt too. We as Americans are concerned more with comfort and entertainment than virtue. Making sacrificies is not easy, for our elected officials or on the personal level. We love to decry our politicians, but they still represent us. After all, the people of Massachusetts kept electing Teddy year after year, no matter how despicable or open his corruption was. Maybe we deserve these leaders, because they reflect our own failures as parents, citizens and people.

Hopefully, Kennedy's death will remind us that we once produced men like Washington and Lincoln, and that we can return to those virtues, those values and that America.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Run, Mitt, Run!

The democrats gross abuse of power in Massachusetts has provided as perfect a set up for former governor Romney as any politician could ever get.

1. He is still (it seems) interested in running for president.
2. He is burdened by the recent exposure of Massachusett's failed Health Care system he helped create.
3. The democrats power in the Senate hangs on Kennedy's seat.
4. The nation is in an uproar over Health Care Reform.

Answer: Romney to the rescue. Everything fits perfectly. The people of Massachusetts are just now learning what a failure their socialized Health Care system is, but the democrats locally and nationally are out of sync with the people. There is no better time for a high profile republican to finally win the seat in a special election where Health Care is the biggest issue on people's minds. Romney can achieve two critical goals: rid himself of the albatross by admitting it's failure, and then frame his campaign as a sort of redemptive quest to save the rest of the country from the danger he knows so well! He launches himself into national fame by being the man who was elected at the last hour and saved the nation from looming disaster. He would then launch his presidential campaign as a former senator and governor, and the man who stopped the very thing Americans feared most.

His state is perfectly poised to elect him. First, they already have done so in the past, and second even Massachusetts must be ready for a change. The gross democratic corruption and abuse of power brewing right now over Senator Kennedy replacement is the perfect platform for a campaign launch. Mitt can co-opt the Obama message of Hope and Change and ask the people if they have had enough of democrat shenanigans.

Please Mitt, run for senator, and earn your spot in American history.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why do we trust politicians with our money?

Remember back in June when the administration criticized the nonpartisan congressional budget office for having too high of a deficit based on their budget? It's a familiar story, because the democrats, the press, and Obama, have been doing the same thing over health care, arguing the the CBO is wrong and that their plan will actually save money. Well, Obamatuer just admitted that the CBO was right about the budget deficit and admitted that the 10 year deficit with Obama's budget is really more in the range of 9 trillion dollars rather than 7. How in God's name do you miss 2 trillion dollars?!

Is there anyone out there who wants to bet who is right about the cost of health care reform? Obama or the CBO? We put private sector people in jail for the kind of reckless behavior that seems to be standard practice for politicians.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

If the people lead....

One of my neighbors seems to be a pretty standard Boulder hippie bourgeois liberal. She drives a subaru outback and has an "I Love Barack" sticker on it. Recently it was joined by the rather tired cliche "If the People Lead, the Leaders will Follow." I think we have all come to realize that this, along with another classic "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism" have implied clarifiers "if the people leading are Leftists... if the dissent is Leftist." But thinking about the disdain and shameless lies about the dissent over Health Care reform I have come to realize that the Leaders also don't like the "people."

Ken Gladney is of the people, Henry Gates is not- neither is Barack Obama. I am not a Sarah Palin fan, but she resonates deeply with me, because unlike Barack Obama she is the first politician on the national stage to represent the people on an experiential and personal level. Even when they are out of touch, our leaders still represent us, but none of them know us like she does. Can you name any major leader who went to a state college? Who worked with their hands? Whose ability to wield a hammer went beyond photo shoots and actually helped her husband build their home? More than any politician since, well Lincoln, she truly represents the people. She is one of us. But we never got to know her, because the media created a caricature of her that is just like the one they are making of us now: dumb, ignorant peasants.

I heard, and hear, my students make all kinds of dismissive comments about her. The most recent was that she is a dumb B!*%h because she said Africa was a country. I asked my student if that made president Obama a dumb bastard because he said there were 57 states in America... He was lost and didnt know what to say. I then asked him the same rhetorical questions above and asked him who really knows his world and understands his life- who has actually lived it? Only Palin. She represents him, she represents the people and if the Establishment doesn't like her it's because she reminds them of the great unwashed "people."

Americans did not get to see the real Palin, because the Establishment cannot know her anymore than they know us. The leaders don't want the people to lead. We had a chance and they crucified the people. They call the people a mob, nazis, and other assorted epithets. Bill Ayers actually killed people, and does not regret it, but he is one of the Establishment- definitely not of the people, so he gets a pass. Sarah Palin suggests that socializing medicine may lead to "death panels" and she gets ridiculed. The irony is that her statements are no more inflammatory or idiotic than the stuff spoken by college professors across America on a daily basis. Churchill and Ayers are not the exception. But then they are not the "people" either. Sarah Palin is, and therefore must be crushed.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Looks like another Beer Summit is coming...

Too bad Kenneth Gladney (he doesn't get mentioned until about halfway through the article) is not an oppressed faculty member at an elite Ivy League university. But since he is a black man who was actually attacked for expressing his views (not in the refined and intellectually sound ways Dr Gates did of course), we should be expecting a national furor over this hate crime right? Beer Summit anyone?

If Gladney was only a professor or a trust fund hippie maybe his story would get the national coverage it deserves...

At least Dogs get good care

Theodore Dalrymple is a British doctor who is also a pundit. Funny article in the Journal comparing health care in Britain for dogs and humans. Dogs are privatized still...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Warms the Cockles of my Heart

While America seems to be dying all around us, there are still some shining moments of genuine American beauty:

What's so hilarious is the obvious difficulty the open minded, culturally sensitive journalist seems to having understanding that anyone could think differently than her.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Politics before Science

Global Warming is the best example of politics before science. Not creationism, not stem cell research, not even health care- Global Warming wins hands down. Check out the EPAs shenanigans in suppressing their own report. Now I am assuming that their reasons are political, but it seems pretty safe given the content of the report.

Health Care will be the new Sub Prime Lending debacle

This is why I don't want the government running health care. Americans have got to have the shortest memory in modern history. Here we are suffering through a serious recession. A recession that we all remember being exposed- just last year- as primarily a result of unsound lending practices in the housing market. Practices that came from the Feds pet mortgage monsters, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Now the same congressman who denied any responsibility for the subsequent housing price implosion is back pushing his old stuff. Like the corner dope pusher who cleared out last week, he's back this week pushing the same junk.

The Federal government is responsible for our recession, primarily it seems through trying to control the housing market and automobile production (think Unions here). Now they are telling us that they can work the same magic with our health care system! Then they wonder why we're not celebrating like the Browns won the Super Bowl. Maybe it's because we know the Browns will win the Super Bowl before the Feds get something this large and important right- never gonna happen.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Circus couldn't do better

Check out this guy lying about the Health Care Package, Congressman Russ Carnahan, D-Mo.:

Monday, July 13, 2009

Saberi released

Imprisoned Iranian/American journalist Roxana Saberi is going to be released in exchange for 5 terrorists. While we can rejoice that Obama pulled this off, it also feels like he is getting played by the Iranians. These guys have killed hundreds of American soldiers, and they are only part of the price Obama is paying for Saberi's release. This probably why the Iranians think they have already won the nuclear debate with America. Obama is perceived as weak and easily manipulated; an inexperienced and naive leader.

We are losing ground faster than ever before.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Whatever happened to the Bill of Rights?

This is amazing. It is difficult to imagine anything further from the Founding Fathers intention than this: limiting the rights of Christian groups on campuses because of their position on homosexuality. It would be nice to think that this is really an attempt by Leftists to engage a very tricky and difficult question, but one only has to consider that those very same civil rights advocates will quietly lower their eyes when Muslim student groups do the same thing. The hypocrisy is astounding. If Christian student groups were smart they would simply get Muslims involved. It would shut down the multicultists immediately.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Absentee Fathers and Absentee Leaders

As an anti-establishment minority living deep in the heart of establishment America, I have often felt deep sympathy for the president. Not because I agree with him about many things, but because he is a victim. Not in the sense that the establishment thinks of victimhood, but rather in the sense that he is a victim of the low expectations produced by multiculturalism and our hyper racial culture.

You see, minorities have low expectations. We are taught that we are always victims, people without power. Without power we cannot be expected to perform the same way white Americans do, we cannot be expected to achieve the same results. We are taught that responsibility belongs to someone else. This is why black fathers are absent in the home. I have been nagged for years now wondering why absenteeism was not as prevalent in generations prior to the sixties but that as multiculturalism and leftist racial theory spread so too did absenteeism. It's worse in black culture than anywhere, because they have been the focus of leftist cultural theory.

It's not black Americans fault. They are only at fault in giving in to a deceptively attractive theory about their victimhood and responsibility. Sadly, in the past they were victims of racism, today they are victims of racialism. Even worse, President Obama is steeped in that very racialism and multiculturalism that has so deeply damaged black culture. Raised by caucasians, schooled in private schools Obama went through a very obvious identity crisis. The same one many minorities (myself included) go through as a result of our society's obsession with skin color. The president had to consciously find "blackness", because he had been so separated from black America most of his life.

Where did he find it? In college, In Franz Fanon and other hyper racialists. Both his books detail a very clear and focused exploration and acceptance of leftist racial theories. Ironically, Academia is the source of all the worst and most damaging theories to minorities these past 20 years. I can remember the pressure to conform to some "authentic" form of Latino, or Native American culture. "Authentic" as defined, of course, by the leftist establishment. I remember the racial guilt forced on white friends and the rest of the absurdities that president Obama accepted and supported in his understandable quest for identity.

We all know the story. Europeans are responsible for the world's evil. Imperialism, slavery, and oppression. The rest of us are powerless victims. The problem is that we have become powerless in too many ways. We abrogate responsibility for our lives, actions, and decisions. It's all the white man's fault, racism, etc. So we lack those fundamental character building experiences that made past black Americans so noble and dignified. Suffering can produce dignity and strength or it can produce brittle decay. Just compare Louis Armstrong and 50 Cent. It all depends on the attitude and mentality of the sufferer. Fighting against the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" has always refined men and brought out the best in us, regardless of race, creed, or class. This is why the Iranian protesters resonate so deeply in us. The Founding Fathers were right about certain universal human needs, and we are drawn to the courage and heroism of our Iranian friends, because they refuse victimhood and have shown us the better angels of our nature. Their suffering has produced courage long lacking in American youth and culture. It has produced clear minded leadership in the face of unimaginable evil and impossible odds.

So where is our leader? The same place he was when Russia invaded Georgia: confused and sidelined, because his formative years were insulated by years of well intentioned racialism. He never had the chance to develop the requisite character to stand with the Iranian people. Academia also insulated him from the other way of developing his character, because academia has been deconstructing nobility and dignity as virtues since the sixties. Sophisticated postmoderns have mocked our traditional understanding of "virtue" and consciously attempted to undermine all judeo-christian, western ethics, leaving us with little more than cynicism. Remeber how our intellectuals mocked former president Bush's naive "axis of evil"? Youth especially are deeply sceptical of anything smacking of universal truth. Global Warming gets them more animated than images of their fellow man heroically resisting a brutal and evil regime. And Obama is their president. So it seems the president does not have the intellectual, ethical, or cultural foundation to "see" real challenges, much less lead us through them. He has failed so far on every major challenge, and I would guess that most Americans feel as unled as I do.

President Obama is an absentee leader, a victim of the well intentioned racialism of the left wing establishment. By removing all challenges and barriers for him the left has left his character unprepared for the real challenges of life just as they have done to so many black males who abrogate their responsibilities as fathers. It is no coincidence that black Americans have the highest absentee rate, while being ground zero for the forces of multiculturalism. It is no coincidence that our first black president is an absentee leader.

It is a tragedy, because while I disagree with the president, I want him to succeed and lead us, even if it is not where I want to be led. Moreover, I believe he actually has somewhere inside of him many nascent qualities so many great leaders had. But he has never been through the fire needed to develop those qualities. The sick and twisted reality is that his fawning and adoring media are- again- insulating him from the very experiences he needs. By turning everything he does into some kind of genius, some great triumph too sublime for us commoners to comprehend, they keep him from developing the character and virtue he needs to meet the challenges America now faces. They cement his absentee role all the more, and insulate him from that greatest teacher Failure.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Government Efficiency

I recently got back from a short vacation to Estes Park CO. On the way up there we had to take route co-66, which had road work being performed on it for a couple of miles at least. Get this- I stopped counting the number of people holding "Slow" signs at 10. Think about that. 10 people whose entire job is holding a sign for 8 hours.

How much do you think that costs Colorado taxpayers? The irony is that the entire stretch of road had large cones and safety tape. Why do you need 10 people holding signs when those signs could simply be mounted in the cones? Let's say the average hourly wage for them is $20/hr. 10 people working 8 hours gives us 80 hours times $20 for a grand total of $1600 in government salary that produced absolutely nothing for the entire day. The government will of course say that "safety" is a product, but couldn't that product be achieved much more efficiently? On that one stretch of road wre spending 8k a week, 32k a month. Multiply that out times the number of other public works project being done and you are looking at probably a loss in the hundreds of thousands.

These people are producing nothing and getting paid more than anyone else in the industry to do it. We the people are losing on every side, because they could be doing something else, moved to another project, working on this one, creating real results. So we lose on the front end and the back end. Any politician worth the name reformer would get on this, but even the republicans have become somewhat accustomed to massive amounts of waste- at our expense.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Real Reason not to buy GM

Amid all of the reasons pundits and critics have been offering for not buying GM the most obvious reason has been omitted and overlooked. The reason for this is simple: most of them are fairly well off and don't know what its like for the rest of us. None of them however have been as succinct and clear as a blue collar restaurant manager I overheard last week. She was probably in her fifties and had lived a pretty rough life judging by her looks and language. But while she was sitting there talking to some elderly customers who were obviously regulars she made the simple and most profound statement about GM I have heard to date.

She simply said, "I don't wanna buy one of them things now, because I'd be paying for it twice, and you sure as hell know they aint gonna give you a 60% discount on the price even though we're paying for the damn thing." With that simple observation she really hit the heart of the matter and identified the common man's real problem with buying a Chevy. In the most simple sense we are getting screwed because we are already paying for 60% of the car before it ever hits the lot. I can just see the campaign adds now... My taxes are now going to 60% of every Chevy going even though I will never benefit from em.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Video Games will take over the world

Here are some interesting comments from Nintendo COO Reggie Fils-Aime: The video games industry is not just at the center of the entertainment industry, but is driving the entertainment industry, not only economically, but from a cultural impact standpoint.

He's absolutely right. By an accident of Fate video games are poised to take over our lives, culture, and society in ways that few revolutions before them have. I am currently writing an article to be published for game developers and designers advocating an even bigger picture than they can imagine. In 10 years video games should replace textbooks. Yes, textbooks, and a host of other things. All because video games have focused on interaction and dynamic environments since their earliest days. Even games like Pong were relatively unpredictable because they incorporated human intelligence into game play, which meant that no two games, even on Pong, were ever the same.

As an educator, it is this aspect of gaming that has captured my imagination. Because a healthy, lively classroom is constantly moving. New questions, new ideas, are always present, and to date no textbook, no DVD, no program has been able to adapt to the dynamic nature of 30 engaged human minds. Until now. Games offer a level of dynamism I have never seen before, and once developers start realizing this its Game Over.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Heroes and Villians

The only real difference between heroes and villains in today's America is their politics. Time Magazine already has a story on the murder of abortion doctor George Tillman asking the question how will the murder affect the abortion debate? My questions is "What?!" How stupid do we have to be? One lunatic kills a guy and he represents just exactly what? Every movement has its extremists and radicals. Che Geuvera personally carried out his own executions of political dissidents. Che personally killed more people than the entire antiabortion movement since Roe V Wade became law, but he gets to be a hero and icon, because the people he shot disagreed with the Left, whereas the eight abortion doctors killed in the past 20 years were represent leftist ideology.

If Scott Roeder was a left wing murderer instead of a right wing murderer, he could reasonably expect to become... a professor, a celebrity author, and quite well off. Just ask Bill Ayers, Mumia abu Jamal, and all those other left wing radicals. Environmental extremists can spike trees in the Pacific Northwest, set up trip lines in the Southwest, firebomb, and more, but they aren't dangerous. Time had to go all the way back to 1996 and 1994 to find more such murder. Hell, an Islamic extremists would feel like he wasn't hitting his stride if he hadn't killed four people by noon prayer, but Islam is a religion of peace. Janet Napolitano wants us to worry about those crazy right wing radicals with Pro Life bumper stickers because eight abortion doctors have been killed in the past 20 years! Does Homeland Security know about this? Well, according to that famous report they do...

Nothing represents the moral and intellectual decay of the Establishment more than this. Muslims and environmentalists, commies and crazies, can kill, kill, kill- BUT it's those law abiding right wingers we really have to worry about. The only difference between psychos is their politics. The blood of their victims still runs red. But the only Red the Establishment wants to stop is the political kind. Thank you Homeland Security and Secretary Napolitano. Yes, this does prove your report correct. In another 10 years we may have another crazy right winger kill another doctor.

Update: what about the muslim convert who attacks an army base the day after?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Monday, May 18, 2009

Evil Establishment Capitalists or Endangered Species?

One of the hilarious side effects of the rush to declare conservatism and republicans extinct is that it highlights more than ever the lie that Leftists and the democrats are anti-establishment. Everyone should be calling the Mainstream media, academia, Hollywood, et al on this obvious disconnect. I mean, if the republicans are dead how can they be the evil, corporate puppet masters pulling the strings from behind the scene?

In their giddy rush to triumphalism establishment leftists have left their flank wide open for a sustained broadside that should significantly alter the cultural landscape and rebrand Left and Right for years to come- provided the Right takes advantage of the opportunity. You can't be on the cusp of cultural insignificance as so many democrats and mainstream pundits have been arguing and evil capitalist puppet masters at the same time. So which is it?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Best article on Obama presidency to date

It's no a surprise that classicist and all around butt kicker Victor Davis Hanson has written the best article on Obama to date.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Conservatives need to communicate fast

Techdirt has another post whose foundational argument is more conservative than the author probably knows. The problem is that conservatives don't know and won't figure out how to communicate fast enough to help the tech community realize that they fit better in the conservative camp than the leftist camp.

The post is about the health care industry and even though the author doesn't explicitly use the fact that Merck helped Elsevier create a fake peer-reviewed journal to argue for socialized medicine the argument is implicit, because the author has leftism built in as a default mechanism. Like PCs forced to run Vista, the tech community doesn't realize that there are other alternatives.

Here are the key sentences:

"Of course, this is exactly the sort of thing that you can do when everything is locked up and proprietary, rather than open (emphasis added). There's almost no way to confirm or check the data or information to make sure it's legit, so people tend to assume it is."

The author has no idea that he just made a central conservative argument. Sounds like a post from National Review, right? Wrong, the author has no options for following through on his conservative thought. Instead, the author will default to a leftist interpretation that doesn't fit the author's deepest help notions and beliefs. This is where conservatives should be stepping in- but aren't because they are too busy talking to themselves about how tech savvy they need to be...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Konami shelves Six Days in Fallujah

I'm not a gamer but follow the culture closely and enjoy gaming, so this post about a game based on the Battle of Fallujah in 2004 is important on a number of levels. First, there is the requisite shock that video games would deal with the subject in the first place, which is why the project has been cancelled. But as an advocate of free markets and a defender of gaming in general I found myself wondering why? Hasn't Hollywood already done this? Why can't video games deal with the war?

The first answer is obvious. Video games are still going through the process of cultural evolution. They have not yet entered mainstream culture or circulated enough for them to be a comfortable reality like movies. The same colleagues who have no problems using movies as instructional aids are balking at using video games instead. I imagine professors back in the 70s and 80s probably reacted the same way when videos were first used in the classroom. At this point gaming has not had enough time as a major player in our culture so it is still foreign and alien. We maintain irrational double standards for gaming and Hollywood, but they will eventually disappear.

However, games are different than any other entertainment medium before them on one critical level. They are immersive and interactive. Even the most powerful and engaging movie does not require the level of active participation a video game requires. Therein lies the question. What does this active participation in violence, sexism, and gore do? Many cultural conservatives would say this is a moot point. It's the violence idiot. Remember Columbine? But I would throw that back at them and remind them that high schools used to have shooting teams and kids would bring rifles to school on a daily basis for practice. Similarly, my grandfather carried an illegal gun all his life, and got into daily fights as a youth, but never woud have dreamed of killing someone except in self defense. I would throw it back at the cultural conservatives and say that they failed to do their jobs and preserve those elements of pre-sixties culture we obviously still need. The question is a complex one, and one that has no obvious answer yet. But I would advise you not to run off blaming video games or be outraged at the concept of an Iraq War video game. We will just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Please no!

It seems inevitable. The government wants our money so they can take care of us better. The Right could gain a lot of traction with youth, geeks, and techies on this, but don't hold your breathe. On the heels of nationwide tea parties the media ridiculed because the government is "lowering" taxes on most Americans. Maybe they will lower them, but adding new ones is exactly what the protesters were protesting. We're the government and we're here to help.

Comeback or Uncle Rico moment?

Back in 82 I used to be able to throw a pigskin a quarter mile... Nothing represent the mainstreaming of formerly rebel punk skate culture than the relaunch of legendary 80s brands like the Bones Brigade.

The question is: is it cool or pathetic? Peralta has been off playing in Hollywood making cutting edge documentaries on actions sports (and getting rich too...), but he's ready to come back to skateboarding now that Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Kohls, and ESPN are involved. I loved the Bones Brigade and love seeing the interest today's kids have in skate history, but sometimes I wonder if we spend too much time looking for that time machine with uncle Rico?

Monday, April 20, 2009

And people called Bush stubborn...

This is hilarious and scary at the same time. It's also very dangerous if true. It would indicate that the new president is just as blindly committed to certain pet projects regardless of facts as the former president was supposed to be.

Damn the Scurvy Dogs!

Even though it was inevitable in today's world it still hurts to see those irascible punks at Pirate Bay go down. You knew that those open minded, champions of free expression and radicalism in Hollywood would not tolerate free roving pirates with no respect for sovereign waters and kilobytes.

They may have lost the battle and even the war (at least in their lifetime) but the boys of Pirate Bay are cult heroes and icons of the Digital Age. The money grubbing establishment may think they are winning, but someone else will take up the mantle, and the crew of Pirate Bay has already decided to appeal. More power to you. These Pirates are true antiheroes for all Digital Rebels.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Real Test

As I argued in a post last week, President Obama's involvement in the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips proves nothing about the young president's leadership or talent as a president. Dealing with four primitive Somali pirates is nothing to get excited about. Obama did what anyone in that position would have done: more or less authorize the use of deadly force. The result was what you would expect when the world's most talented, best equipped military goes up against four primitives armed with AKs.

But the imprisonment of Roxana Saberi provides exactly the kind of test Joe Biden mentioned during the campaign. A real opportunity to see what the young president is made of. Iran is a banana republic, but that is where the comparison with Somalia ends. They have international support from Russia, potentially France, and offer the kind of complexities not present in the pirate kidnapping affair. Saberi is an American citizen, and her kangaroo trial was probably more of a set-up than anything. She was picked because she is an American and the Iranians are confident they can back Obama down in ways they never could have with Bush. I have argued this for a long time. Anyone from a masculine culture, anyone from a background less genteel instintively senses weakness in Obama, because he represents the new man of the Left, one who consciously eschews the "male" image of the past. Again, as I argued before, this is not inherently bad. Indeed there are many good things about the new man, but there are great potential dangers and pitfalls when such a man comes into contact with distinctly different cultures where strength is the only way to get respect. Obama is not imposing, and he lacks the depth or experience to not make dangerous blunders like his deferential bow to King Abdullah.

As I understand Middle Eastern and Persian cultures the "bow" indicates subservience, a tacit and conscious admission of inferiority. I would guess that Obama's bow was the impetus to Iran's decision to find a way to test the waters. Seeing the president make such a cultural blunder encouraged the Iranians to find a way to embarrass the president further, deligitimize him in the Islamic world, and continue positioning in the Intenational game of politics and power. Saberi was picked not because she is a journalist, not because she is a woman, not because she is a spy, but because she has American citizenship. The Iranians want to force president Obama into a situation that really tests him. There is almost no way they can lose, as it seems unlikely that Obama will find an easy way out of this situation. We hope that he will surprise them and begin building the respect he desperately needs in the Islamic world, but it seems far less possible. The Iranians timed it perfectly. Worrying that Obama may gain some respect by association with the successful rescue of Captain Phillips they immediately put him on the defensive and deflect attention away from his success with Phillips. They are in essence, trying to bolster the inferior image the president unconsciously created with his bow to King Abdullah. The show of strength and superiority over the Somali pirates is no longer on the radar and Obama gains little, in the Islamic world at least, through it. Instead he now faces a far more complex and dangerous situation, but one he should deal with, as Saberi is an American citizen and deserves our defense and aid.

The ball is in his court and he must play. But this is a far more difficult game, and while we all want to see him back down the Iranian thugs it will not be so easy. The Russians and the French may not feel like helping, and Obama may be in a lose-lose situation. The Iranians have too many options and even releasing Saberi can be, if manipulated correctly, done from a position of power and authority, the way a king would grant a boon to an inferior. Good luck president Obama, and good luck Roxana Saberi.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cool Article from Wired

If you don't read Wired or subscribe to its blog you don't know what you are missing. Read this killer article. Wired covers more ground and more topics than anyone.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Techies getting a clue

It's been funny watching the tech community deal with the Obama administration's unenlightened approach to many issues near and dear to our hearts. There have been more posts and worries in the first three months of the Obama administration about net neutrality, freedom of information, free association, filtering, transparency, and the like than in the last year of Bush.

Obama made great promises, but techies are slow to realize that the core Leftist principles stand in direct contrast to free markets, individualism, and the free association that is the core of the tech world. Techies are instinctively laissez-faire and free market, because that is the way their culture has evolved and that is the way their culture thrives. Some few bloggers that I follow have begun to consciously realize the disconnect between them and the party they have been trained and programmed to associate with. But techies for the most part, like the rest of their generation, came of age in a culture that bombards them with messages in every medium, messages whose basic meaning is "think, vote, leftist." They could not go to high school, listen to the radio, buy music, watch tv, go to a movie, get a degree without the left wing establishment socializing them, so they vote Obama and democrat. Leftists have been running the cultural equivalent of the Microsoft monopoly for the past 20 years, so it is no wonder if every "machine" out there only works with leftist programs and apps.

Posts and articles like these are sadly lacking analysis and thought- not because the writers are incapable, but because reality is hitting them with a process their hard drives do not recognize. Even the wordier posts cannot really do more than display the data, no processing, no analysis, nothing.

Conservatives and republicans could be utilizing these opportunities to gain market share, but unfortunately, they are lacking the RAM, processor, and broadband capacity to do so. They are Apple of 1990 rather than 2000. Does not compute.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Smart enough to get in out of the rain... eventually

The story behind Captain Richard Phillips' rescue remains somewhat murky, but the story behind the Media's ability to spin anything and everything remains predictable and consistent. Take Chris Cillizza's analysis of the story for the Washington Post. He spins it as a great triumph of the Obama administration's grit, resolve, savvy, focus, determination... well you get the idea. It takes Cillizza six short paragraphs to also do the requisite "contrast" to Former President Bush's "inept" leadership and failure. Of course Cillizza has to compare four Somali pirates armed with AKs floating in a raft surrounded and cornered by the world's most powerful navy to a natural disaster like Katrina to make Obama's "competence" and "leadership" contrast with Bush's, but hey, we have come to expect this. Even Cillizza tacitly admits it took Obama 2 days to authorize "potential emergency actions" to deal with the pirates, which should of course exonerate Bush, but then Bush was dealing with a natural disaster the size of a small country in a state run by corrupt and incompetent politicians who happen to be in the same party as Obama.

What's incredible is how low the standards have become for President Obama. I am not as harsh in condemning the president for taking 4 days to deal with the issue, because it seems like there could be a lot of extenuating facts. You know, if I was a journalist I would be busy covering the Obama's first puppy, the choice of a church, the fact that they are kicking poor black children out of the same school they send their children to(wait, scratch that one). Heck, the teleprompter may have been in the shop for those first two days, right? But seriously, there is simply not enough info and this was such a small incident compared to natural disasters like Katrina that no conclusions, positive or negative, should be made about the president in this incident. Yes, it seems that he did take way too long to approve the use of deadly force, but we have no way of knowing how complicated such a thing could be. Moreover, if over the next few years this becomes a pattern of successful actions it could in fact become evidence of Obama's leadership and savvy. But right now there are just not enough facts and this is too minor of an incident to stand on its own as proof of anything regarding the president, in spite of the press and his fans desire to turn it into a victory for the president. What is sad is how the standards have been lowered for the first black president the same way they are lowered for minorities in college admissions.

Essentially Cillizza and the rest of Obama's fan club in the press are praising the president for being smart enough to get in out of the rain- after two days. Approving the use of deadly force is a no brainer. If Obama would have waited a few more days then we could be critical, but personally I think there are enough variables and enough distractions in a nation where the economy is circling the drain to give the president the benefit of the doubt. What disgusts me is the way the press, and Cillizza is a great example of this, dumb down the first minority president. Cillizza offers no evidence for his narrative of Obama, which is probably why he has to jump into a comparison with the former "incompentent" president so quickly. But even there he has to compare Obama dealing with something as simple as eating breakfast- Yes, approving the use of deadly force against four untrained, poorly armed, primitives from a nation with no international backing or clout is as simple as pouring a bowl of Cheerios- to something as complex and huge as a hurricane. Soft bigotry anyone? The first black president has authorized deadly force against four Somali pirates and the best military in the world did their thing. This is really a nonstory in terms of the president. And Obama has rightly treated it that way.

But Obama has had so few victories since his election his fans have to make this one for him. Pathetic. Maybe it's not soft bigotry, maybe it's just partisans desperately looking for something other than the string of incompetence and defeat Obama has thus far delivered. But as a minority who has lived with the soft bigotry of lower expectations my whole life I am starting to wonder if the Left wing establishment is beginning to act on their natural inclinations to lower the standards for minorities and treat things as simple as getting in out of the rain as a major victory for our first minority President.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mainstreaming the Lunatic Fringe

One of my biggest frustrations about the current culture war is the unbalanced rules of engagement. The Left can call the Right racist, bigot, homophobe, sexist, war-monger, and a host of other well worn epithets; the Right gets to (sort of) suggest that the Left is unpatriotic. We tend to blame this on the unfair nature of the news media, but that is only partly correct. The other half of the equation is that the Right needs to start calling a spade a spade.

For example, leftists have become even bolder this past week and are blaming the recent shootings in America on conservatives everywhere. Rick Sanchez's "journalism" makes no bones about it. Everyone on the Right who supports gun rights has blood on their hands, and he helps his viewers out by naming a few names. Sir Harold Evans does the same thing. There are two immediate observations to be made. First, how in the world did our culture ever become this unhealthy and delusional? The lack of intelligence and seriousness boggles the mind.

But there is another observation that is just as important. The Right rarely does this. When Harry Reid said the war was lost a few years back his comments were on Al-Jazeera within 24 hours. Is there any doubt that the enemy was encouraged by this? That some jihadists and insurgents whose morale may have been low were suddenly encouraged to go out and kill more American soldiers? Yet, he was never called out on this and none of the democrats were. Don't they have soldiers blood on their hands for all the support and encouragement idiotic and uniformed statements like Reid, Murtha, and Kerry made? But America has come to expect and now tolerate such undignified and reprehensible behavior from the Left. So what if Ward Churchill is an unqualified psycho? Let him teach at one of our elite universities. If we get rid of him that would mean we would have to get rid of lots of professors, and so instead of recognizing the problem and dealing with it, we make the problem normal. This is the classic, "But mom, everyone else is doing it" rationalization.

The Right needs to stand up and begin calling the Left out on these things. Harry Reid should have been called out. Yes, it will open up a Pandora's box, because this sickness has been allowed to spread far and wide. Stupidity and insanity are no longer a fringe element, because the Left wing establishment has spent the past 20 years sanitizing their fringe the same way Barack Obama did with Jeremiah Wright. The crazy but harmless uncle card needs to be called out for it has dome more damage to our culture than anything else over the past 20 years. Obama and the mainstream media did the same thing with Bill Ayers. Bill Ayers position as an education professor is proof of the decay and intellectual depravity of academia. Instead, Obama and the media argued the opposite. In their eyes his professorship, provides him with mainstream respectibility. If lunatic fringe thinking had not been allowed to be treated as the harmless but cute pet projects of otherwise mainstream people our universities, our media, our schools, and both political parties would be far healthier than they are. This would also solve some of the core problems in our culture as our perspectives have become so warped due to the mainstreaming of fringe radicals that we cannot even begin to assess our problems much less solve them. Take Michael Moore for example. There is no better example of the destructive nature of this norming of dangerous and irrational radicals than Michael Moore's triumphant position in our society. In any healthy society such a fringe lunatic would get the John Brown treatment. Instead, his poison and lies pervade out society and we have been immunized to think of him as simply a passionate advocate. USA Today made him a regular contributor during a presidential election and nobody blinked.

What does this do to our youth? It destroys their ability to have any perspective on any issue, because perspective has been so warped from reality. They have no idea what or where the middle is, because extremism is prime time. They hear it on their radios, see it on TV, and hear the Senate leader of the democratic party make statements that contributed to the deaths on their countrymen and never stopped to question why. They have been anesthatized by years of gradual doses of extremist poison, and are no longer capable of feeling or seeing the danger they are in. I am reminded of Martin Luther King's impassioned pleas to not take the "tranquilizing drug of gradualism." He was right. America needed to draw out the poison of racism and segregation quickly and painfully. For millions of Americans then , and now, had simply become accustomed to things, and were unaware of just how cancer ridden their society was. We desperately need a similar awakening today.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Impossible Today

A reader suggested I read some of Eric Hoffer's work based on what she thought of my thinking and writing. Much appreciation. He's a great read and almost prophetic in some places. At other times I find the scenarios he describes next to impossible. Take the chapter on Bernal Heights from his book In Our Time. Hoffer served for two years on the San Francisco Art Commission, a task he found dreary and boring. Except for one amazing incident:

There was a crowd of people in the back of the room when I arrived... The crowd came from Bernal Heights, a workingman's neighborhood, where people of different ethinic backgrounds live side by side. There were whites, blacks, Chicanos, Samoans, Indians, and some Chinese. The neighborhood had its share of loud-mouthed sekf-appointed spokesmen for minorities, but judging by what the crowd has to say, the militants were without a following. The people of Bernal Heights, most of them members of minorities, did not want to be minoritists. They wanted to be full blown Americans, members of one nation indivisible, and to symbolize this common aspiration they had decided to paint their schoolhouse, situated on the top of a hill, red, white, and blue. To do so they had to have the permission of the art commission, but our expert had vetoed the color scheme as garish. The crowd had come to put the case before the members of the commission and call for a vote.

They were well prepared. Their speakers spoke clearly and forcefully. The principal of the school spoke last. He was a middle aged, gray haired, neatly dressed, passionate Chicano, with a stars and stripes bow tie. He spoke of America the way a man speaks of the woman he loves. he had discovered America all by himself. It occurred to me as I listened to him that America is only appreciated by people who discover it. Some of us discovered America in the prison barracks of North Vietnam.

The commission voted unaminously to let the people of Bernal Heights paint their schoolhouse red, white, and blue.

Try imagining that happening in San Francisco today... Impossible right? Why? Because leftists are no longer liberal. Our culture has changed. As I have argued elsewhere, leftists are being perfectly rational and consistent when they eschew patriotism. There is no rational basis in their worldview for such a thing. In today's San Francisco no school principal of any color, religion, or sexual orientation would want to paint the school house red, white, and blue. Any flag except the American flag is welcome. On one level this is because their cultures and values have changed. They are no longer "liberals." They are postmodern leftists. The other reason they would not feel such urges as those minorities did is because they take America for granted as Hoffer suggests. If you do not discover America, you tend to take it for granted. I have always found the most patriotic Americans in my postmodern world to be immigrants who understand just how amazing America is, because they have something to compare it to. Everyone else just keeps expecting more from their country. Free health care, mortgage payments, more education...

The Left has managed to radically shift our culture from its original values. So much so that most youth don't even know what the original America was.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

So it Begins

I have never heard of preemptive apologists, but this WAPO editorial comes as close as possible to a preemptive defense of what will surely be another Obama defeat. The editorial seeks to address the president's promise to "reset" relations with Russia, arguing in its subtitle that "Mr Obama isn't contemplating change solely on the part of the United States." This goes back to the problem I documented twice already: Obama is perceived by everyone around him, including his admirers, as weak and vulnerable. Or as David Broder put it, "unimposing." The Russians are strong, dangerous, and corrupt. President Obama has about as much chance of getting anything from the Russians as Elton John would have of solving the Latin American drug war if Obama appointed him Drug Czar. Although Sir Elton would probably have less scandal in his background than the rest of the President's appointments... The chorus of one of his most famous songs is prescient considering Obama's situation:

And i think it's gonna be a long long time
Till touch down brings me round again to find
I'm not the man they think i am at home
Oh no no no i'm a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone

Monday, March 30, 2009

More empty posturing

Wow. The Obama administration got tough and forced out the CEO of GM. The President has mastered stating the obvious

"`We think we can have a successful U.S. auto industry," President Obama said on Sunday. "But it's got to be one that's realistically designed to weather this storm and to emerge—at the other end—much more lean, mean, and competitive than it currently is.''

Water is wet too. Wonder how long it will take the magic tele to get around to that little tidbit. Of course, the president will dress it up a little, "we have noticed the amazing capacity of hydrogen dioxide and are looking into ways we can utilize this untapped potential for solving the crisis I inherited from my predecessor."

Don't hold your breath waiting for Obama to demand Ron Gettelfinger, overpaid president of the UAW, to step down. The more things CHANGE, the more they stay the same.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Take the Training Wheels Off Please!

At this point in the Obama administration I have actually had a few dark moments wondering whether Obama really thought there are 58 states in the union. Given the astounding ignorance the powerline boys have documented so well, I find myself wondering...

Here's why. You can forgive some offhand failures: 58 states, mispronouncing Orion, and stuff like that. Even though at some point you do look at little gaffes and make conclusions. But the president has gone far beyond simple verbal ticks and made some impossibly stupid and illiterate comments. For example, no one thinks the Kennedy Kruschev meetings were successful. Historians rarely agree, but there is no debate on this. Kennedy knew it was a failure and historians don't debate this one. Yet Obama went beyond a goofy slip of the tongue and made a substantial argument based on his..."belief"?... that the meetings were a success. This goes far beyond the everyday misstatements we all make. It is substantial and real. Similarly, Obama justified his position on giving terrorists civilian trials by saying that we basically did the same thing at Nuremberg. Again, he could not be more wrong. No competent lawyer with any knowledge of the Nuremberg trials would make such a claim. Because those trials were not civilian trials. They were international military tribunals. This goes way beyond mistaking oranges for apples, or cats for dogs. It is more like saying a cat is a fish, or even an orange is a fish. Only someone with colossal ignorance would make such a claim. There is far more evidence for his ignorance as well. Add that to his weekly blunders, and teleprompt addiction and it seems reasonable to start asking questions we never thought we would ask the Elegant One.

For me there are other more personal reasons to question his intellectual depth. I too am a minority in academia. I have read both Obama's books, and I know the sum of his education. The thinkers and intellectuals he refers to identify his intellectual foundations very clearly: a faithful postmodern leftist. Now this is where we start wandering from clear factual evidence building into more speculation. I know from experience that at least half of the grad students who simply believe what they are told by the establishment (and Obama is one of these) are blissfully ignorant of history and ideologies that were not part of the assigned reading. Academic leftists have turned academia into activism and diluted the intellectualism. This is why unqualified people like Ward Churchill become chairs of major departments at prestigious universities with only an MA, no Phd. This is why the most prestigious award in the discipline of American history was rescinded for the first time in its history at Columbia. Bellesile made the establishment argument and the Bancroft panel was very uncritical in reading his hopelessly fallacious book. This is why Duke lacrosse happened. This is why Sokal got his hilarious satire, "Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity" published as a serious work. This is why my best friend got his fictitious story published in the school newspaper. I actually had to explain to an award winning Stanford professor whose expertise was the Enlightenment what basic and nonbasic beliefs were in epistemology! This is like a basketball player or pundit not knowing who Michael Jordan is. I could go on, but the examples are legion and well documented elsewhere. The point is that intellectualism takes a backseat to partisanship, activism, and laziness.

How does this relate to Obama? Well, if the amazing failures above slid through without ever being caught, how many grad students are inadvertently encouraged to intellectual laziness? Another Mexican and myself experimented with this over and over, getting more and more daring every time, because we consistently found that if we simply said something acceptable to the leftwing establishment you get an automatic B+. A's were not that much more difficult. Now many students were willing to find alternative voices, but even if they tried it was hard to find, because academia has become such a vacuum. Black Americans and Native Americans are the worst victims of this bizarre situation. They can skate through any school and come out as ignorant and less capable of critical thinking than when they entered.

Which is why I find myself wondering about the president. He probably never took an astronomy class and may never have heard of Orion. And the history he learned was postmodern. Strong on theory, which we know from his bios he loved, but very weak on facts and classical historicism. So he may have never encountered simple facts like the number of states enough times for it to become part of his basic knowledge. Obama's ignorance is not all that shocking in light of a report by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. He truly is the president of the youth vote! Obama's academic career was full of ethnic studies types of academia, which are the weakest of all disciplines, and even though he still gets called a "constitutional scholar" he has never produced the publications or depth that typically goes with that accolade. The only class he taught, as far as I can tell, was, not surprisingly, Race and Gender in the Constitution- or something along those lines. Again, another piece of circumstantial evidence that makes someone who understands just how bad academia has become wonder.

What can Obama do to prove himself? Take off the training wheels. Even his admirers are admitting he is the most teleprompt dependent president in history. We know this is because he tends to fall hard without the training wheels. His gaffes are growing at an exponential rate it seems. I remember when I was young and I would pretend I was Magic guiding the Lakers to glory on my local court. The beauty of such immature fantasies are that you can always find a way to win no matter how many bricks you throw up. Because you are in your fantasy land, and eventually you make a shot and that is the one that sets the crowd roaring. Unfortunately, Obama has lived in such a fantasy bubble his entire life, and now finds himself unable to make the shot even when there is no competition. Let's be perfectly honest here. How many presidents get such a perfect start? Control of Congress, astronomical approval ratings (higher than Ore-ee-on?), and a bumbling, demoralized, and completely routed opposition? To borrow a hockey analogy it's like every guy on the opposing team has five for fighting and yet Obama still can't get the puck in the goal. The media even tries moving the goal to catch his errant shots, but can't make it happen! This is because he is still playing teeball in the major league. Note to the president, you're out after three strikes, no more tee. No more training wheels. Prove yourself please.