Friday, March 21, 2008

Miscellaneous Mutterings:

A point that seems to be often overlooked with regards to the recent situation concerning Senator Barack Hussein Obama and the preacher at his church (a Rev. Jeremiah Wright) is that Senator Obama has gone a long way in trying to make excuses for Rev. White while he called for the firing of Don Imus last year from the radio for a stupid offhand comment made by Imus. And of course the msm is fawning over Obama's recent speech on the matter but were out for blood back in 2002 when Senator Trent Lott made a offhand quip at the 100th birthday party of Senator Strom Thurmond which was interpreted in a racist sense.{1} Oh the calls were made for Lott to resign from the Senate over those comments just as calls were made for Imus to be fired over his.

Now I admittedly felt that Lott should have stepped down from his position as then-majority leader but not because of the comments themselves -focusing instead on what they implied in the area of important leadership qualities.{2} But one thing is not deniable and it is this:

Senator Lott's offhand quip at a birthday party and Don Imus' choice of phrasing to describe the Rutgers women's basketball team's black members{3} were minor matters compared to the sorts of vitriol that Rev. Jeremiah Wright has involved himself in. And as Senator Barack Hussein Obama has been attending that church for twenty odd years and only now that he is running for office deigns to try and place some separation between himself and Rev. Wright{4}, consider that the next time someone makes a big deal about something far more minor and insignificant -such as Senator John McCain spending twenty minutes in the presence of some bigoted preacher.

What is twenty minutes versus twenty years??? But (of course) Obama will get another pass from the msm which is precisely the value of having Senator Hillary Clinton still in this race: she will do what the msm would crucify McCain for doing and what the msm does not have the cajones to do; namely, treat Obama with anything but kid gloves. Or as I noted earlier in the month just after Senator Clinton's comeback in three of the four March 4th primaries:

[That is all I plan to say on this for now except to exhort Senator Clinton to continue her fight. After all, if Obama cannot take a punch, he has no business being president of the United States and he is about to find out just how tenacious the Clintons can be when they are fighting for their election lives. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa March 7, 2008]

So on that score, go Hill go..."all the way to the convention" say I.

Notes:

{1} I am frankly shocked at how many otherwise astute people have termed Sen. Lott's comments about Sen. Strom Thurmond as "racist". Such widescale ignorance is not helped by the revisionist media. Was one element of the Dixiecrat party (of which Thurmond ran for president in 1948 under the banner of) supporting of segregationism??? Yes but that was an ancillary issue in the bigger picture. The primary thrust of the "Dixiecrat" party was one opposing federal intervention in areas which were Constitutionally delegated to the states. They just happened to latch unto the civil rights platform of the Democratic party as their main justifying issue.

By no means was the civil rights platform of the Democratic party - which was an egregious violation of states rights - the only such violation. And while they had the right fundamental principle, it was advanced to defend a fundamental violation of human rights which sadly (on the slavery issue) was not uncommon at one time in the old South. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa December 12, 2002)]

{2} Was Sen. Lott's comments on the whole correct??? Yes they were. Were they prudent to make??? No they were not, particularly in light of how they would be misinterpreted. Did this show a tremendous lack of insight on Sen. Lott's part??? Yes it did. Should he resign from the Senate??? No he should not. Should he step down from Senate majority leader position??? Yes he should.

If he was not astute enough to recognize that most people would not know where he was coming from, he should not be the leader of the Republican party in the Senate: a party that historically has opposed not only physical slavery but also economic slavery. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa December 12, 2002)]

{3} Which as tasteless as it was frankly was still a lot tamer than what a lot of rappers refer to black women as in their songs.

{4} To the credit of Oprah Winfrey, she made the separation from Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his ministry over eight years ago because of his stated views.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I have mentioned before that I was working on draft proposals for a couple of Washington state initiatives intended to control the abuses of the state legislature. (I do not have the time to track the links down from my archives at the moment but I may insert them into the previous sentence, omit this sentence, etc. should I get a bit of time to tend to it today.) Both state initative ideas have both been mentioned before on this weblog -one was even sketched out in some detail back in early 2004. Having noted that, I was reviewing a federal proposal that gets at a lot of what my initiative proposals intend to do which has been presented by a Libertarian group called Downsize DC.

I cannot imagine how someone could be opposed to this kind of legislation but I await to hear of those who are -somewhere there is always someone opposed to everything after all. Anyway, for those not familiar with the Downsize DC proposal here is a preview of it via Wikipedia, here is an outline of the bill at the website of Downsize DC, and here is the actual text of the proposed bill itself. I am not saying that the form they have the proposed bill is in is perfect mind you{1} but the idea is one that is long overdue and one which (as I said already) I cannot imagine anyone with a normal intact functioning brain opposing.

Note:

{1} In a small bit of irony, I have not yet read the full text of the proposed bill myself. (Though I have read the outline from the Downsize DC website.)

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Miscellaneous Threads Worth Reviewing:

To briefly cover a few bits in the news in recent days...

Goldman Sachs 1st-Quarter Results Sail Past Wall Street Expectations

The question about whether or not we are in a recession remains a mixed one -Goldman Sachs has a substantially better first quarter than was predicted yet Bear Sterns loses in a year over 80% of its value and is sold on the cheap to J P Morgan, Chase, and Co.

There is nothing definite either way to say whether we are in or bound for a recession or not -though that the economy has slowed from what it was doing for the past five years is undeniable. But watch the msm try to pull the same crap they did in 1992 when -despite the fact that we had been out of a recession for about six months to a year- they continued up to the day of the election claiming we were still in a recession. No matter what happens in the coming months, I predict the msm will not deviate from the template they used in 1992. The question is, will the influence of the alternative media as a check on the msm be able to make a difference??? Only time will tell. Moving on...

How photos support your own "reality" (Farhad Manjoo)

The use of photos in argumentation is problematical because photos so easily play on emotions which tend to override logic and reason with most people. Another problem with them is that they can be used so selectively. This is one reason why photos are key to the most effective of historical propaganda and why I have taken issue with those who try to argue by photograph -and sometimes stridently so.

Calls Mount for an Olympic Ceremony Boycott


I concur with that call by the way.

Supreme Court set to back gun rights (FT.com)


Just a tidbit to whet the appetite...

Hearing the most important gun rights case in nearly 70 years, the justices on Tuesday spent 98 minutes engrossed in a lively debate about British and American legal traditions relating to the right to bear arms, especially in self-defence.

Considering how badly the Rhenquist court botched the whole Kelo case in 2005{1}, let us hope the Roberts court continues to show its remarkable restraint and overall originalist direction.

Wall Street Darts Higher After Three-Quarter-Point Rate Cut From Fed, Investment Bank Profits

Just a taste...click on the link above for more:

Wall Street stormed higher Tuesday as investors, optimistic following stronger-than-expected earnings from two big investment banks, were also galvanized by the Federal Reserve's decision to cut interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point. The Dow Jones industrial average soared 420 points, its biggest one-day point gain in more than five years.

I noted already this year my view on how Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is handling the economic situation so I will merely reiterate it here in a footnote{2} and move onto the final entry of this thread.

Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke dies aged 90

Best known for the book that Stanley Kubrick made into the 1968 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey but he did a lot more than that. May he rest in peace.

Notes:

{1} For those who do not know, basically the new ruling would enable a business to steal property from private parties under the rubric that they could provide more property tax revenue to the state than the owner of the property...[A]pparently there are congresspeople in both parties -even those who never seem to see eye to eye like Tom DeLay and Maxine Waters- who supported a House Bill (that passed 231 to 189) which would deny federal funding to any company that tried this tactic...not an ideal result but at the very least it is a step in the right direction. All of this makes the judicial situation I covered above -only judicial constructionists being appointed to the courts- take on the proper sense of urgency that it should have. I mean, what part of nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation applies to the seizing of private property for private usage??? This is not rocket science people. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa July 2, 2005)]

{2} I must admit that I like the proactive approach that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is taking towards the economy. The three quarter point cut in the funds rate done earlier in the week (and a week in advance of the Fed's director meeting for the month of January) is the largest single cut since President Reagan's first term. At that time, the large Fed cut was to facilitate the economic recovery picking up steam (which certainly happened) and this time it is to approach the matter when the status is uncertain rather than waiting until it is. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa January 25, 2008)]

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