"Fascism and communism both promise "social welfare," "social justice," and "fairness" to justify authoritarian means and extensive arbitrary and discretionary governmental powers." - F. A. Hayek"

"Life is a Bungling process and in no way educational." in James M. Cain

Jean Giraudoux who first said, “Only the mediocre are always at their best.”

If you have ten thousand regulations, you destroy all respect for the law. Sir Winston Churchill

"summum ius summa iniuria" ("More laws, more injustice.") Cicero

As Christopher Hitchens once put it, “The essence of tyranny is not iron law; it is capricious law.”

"Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." Ronald Reagan

"Law is where you buy it." Raymond Chandler

"Why did God make so many damn fools and Democrats?" Clarence Day

"If I feel like feeding squirrels to the nuts, this is the place for it." - Cluny Brown

"Oh, pshaw! When yu' can't have what you choose, yu' just choose what you have." Owen Wister "The Virginian"

Oscar Wilde said about the death scene in Little Nell, you would have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.

Thomas More's definition of government as "a conspiracy of rich men procuring their own commodities under the name and title of a commonwealth.” ~ Winston S. Churchill, A History of the English Speaking Peoples

“Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.” ~ Jonathon Swift


Horsetail Firefall

March 11th, 2010 This photo was made by Rob Kroenert on February 18th 2010 in the Yosemite National Park. Every year during the month of February, the Horsetall Falls turn golden around sunset. Amazing.

NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE www.nationalreview.com
MAY 22, 2003 8:45 A.M.
Journalists Are Scum
The Jayson Blair scandal is no surprise to me.

So, at any rate, I have always believed. The Jayson Blair flap at the New York Times therefore left me neither shaken nor stirred. What do you expect from newspaper hacks? What surprised me about the whole thing was not that a smooth-talking charlatan should have risen so high in the Times's reporting hierarchy, but that so many of my fellow citizens apparently take the Times as absurdly seriously as it takes itself.

The journalists-are-scum assumption has a long pedigree in the land of my birth. It is almost as if, since show business became respectable, British journalists have inherited the old prejudices about the acting profession — "vagabonds and strumpets." When the London satirical magazine Private Eye, back in the 1960s, wanted to invent an archetypal denizen of Fleet Street, they named him Lunchtime O'Booze. Forty years earlier Humbert Wolfe had written:
You cannot hope to bribe or twist
Thank God! The British journalist.
But, seeing what the man will do
Un-bribed, there's no occasion to.
Around the same time Evelyn Waugh wrote his wonderful satire on newspaper life, the novel Scoop.
Why, once Jakes went out to cover a revolution in one of the Balkan capitals. He overslept in his carriage, woke up at the wrong station, didn't know any different, got out, went straight to an hotel, and cabled off a thousand-word story about barricades in the streets, flaming churches, machine-guns answering the rattle of his typewriter as he wrote, a dead child, like a broken doll, spreadeagled in the deserted roadway below his window — you know.
Wenlock Jakes is, of course, a star reporter. Interestingly, he is also an American. Waugh's implication is that American journalists are just as great liars and rogues as their British colleagues.
I don't know whether that is true or not, but I think newspaper people have generally been held in higher regard in this country than in Britain. The tone over here was set by George Washington Cutter:
Soul of the world! the Press! the Press!
What wonders hast thou wrought?
Thou rainbow realm of mental bliss;
Thou starry sky of thought!
There are good historical reasons for this. The modern newspaper was invented at about the same time as the United States, and several of the Founding Fathers knew the smell of fresh newsprint. The press had a respectable claim to being a part of the whole wonderful project — a true Fourth Estate. The newspapers, at least the big-city broadsheets, have never taken themselves less seriously than that. America was, I believe, the first country ever to have a school of journalism (at the University of Missouri, 1908).
When first radio, then TV, then the Internet successively robbed newspapers of their role as prime purveyors of news, some adjustments of attitude and image were inevitable. Here America's newspapers went off in a different direction from Britain's. Britain developed a lively and varied national press, with several heavy- or middle-weight titles. Here in America the big-city broadsheets — those that survived — wrapped themselves in the mantle of class, presenting themselves as oak paneling to the newer media's plastic, Greece to their upstart Rome, wool worsted to their cheesy double-knit.
The professionalization and credentialization of American journalism soared to new heights, especially after the Watergate crisis allowed two mediocre Washington Post reporters to present themselves as national heroes. Bill Deedes, my old editor at the London Daily Telegraph, started working as a national-newspaper reporter in 1930 at age 17, after the Wall Street Crash wiped out his family's finances. Nowadays you need several years' worth of college degrees on your résumé before a big-city American newspaper will let you in the door. The main effect of all that education, of course, is to dull the mind and fill up its empty spaces with left-wing flapdoodle. Newspaper reporting isn't difficult work; an intelligent person can pick up the essentials in a few weeks on the job. To say such things out loud, though, is of course gross heresy in this over-educated, over-credentialed age.
The older sensibility survives in Britain, where there are still four heavyweight national broadsheets and half a dozen lesser national titles. Each one has a carefully cultivated personality of its own, and growing up in Britain you get a strong impression of each, as if they are family members. I am giving my own character sketches here, and they are a couple of decades out of date, but the general idea still holds.
The Times was the majestic great uncle of impressive though indeterminate age, who had served as a High Court judge, or possibly an admiral. You were taken to visit him once, and had it whispered to you that the visit would be something to tell your own grandchildren about. (The Times dwelt in my school library. I recall being surprised to discover that you could actually buy it at a newsstand, like any other newspaper.)
The Daily Telegraph was one's favorite maiden aunt, widow of a barrister, who lived in a thatched cottage with a garden full of lupins and hollyhocks, a short walk from an 13th-century church, and the ticking of whose grandfather clock (which you will still be able to hear in your mind's ear until the day you die) was the signal that on passing through her door you were entering a place where time moved more slowly, more deliberately. The dark woody rooms of her cottage were rich with fascinating tchotchkes whose precise purpose was not always obvious — "Latest Wills," "Masonic News." It was known that her own will included a large bequest to the Distressed Gentlefolks' Aid Association.
The Guardian — still the Manchester Guardian in my youth, as it remains today in the misconception of most Americans — was the slightly ridiculous town alderman, decked out in waistcoat, albert and fob (he was very likely named Albert) who showed up at school functions to speak of good works and the importance of the United Nations in a ripe local accent.
The Express was the florid uncle who had been with the Indian Army and had a tiger-skin rug whose replacement glass eyes used to haunt your nightmares, who ran the local chapter of the League of Empire Loyalists and thought Enoch Powell was the greatest Briton (he was the only person you ever knew that actually used the word "Briton") since Churchill.
The Mirror was the cocky young fellow who was walking out with Cousin Maisie, who sometimes had to be reproved for his slightly off-color language in front of the children, and who was much too free with his opinions about everything — said opinions being, in every case, the exact opposite of the Express's.
The Mail was for the wives of men who read the Times.
The Sketch was for people who found the Mirror too challenging — the cocky young fellow's dimwitted friend.
And so on. All of these were — and except for the now-defunct Sketch, still are — very good newspapers, each of its own type. This was a very odd thing, because everybody agreed that the journalists who made them were little better than riff-raff.
Hence the contrast, which is very striking when you move from one country to the other. In Britain they have a fizzing variety of fascinating newspapers written by people whom everyone believes to be drunks, misfits, dropouts and lowlifes. In the United States we have vast gray broadsheets that are about as much fun to read as Kant's Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysic, but which are staffed and written by people generally believed to be credentialed experts of unimpeachable integrity, pillars of society, and tribunes of the people.
Personally, I shall hold on to the beliefs I grew up with. I refuse to take journalists seriously, and shall continue to believe that they all, like Wenlock Jakes, invent a good proportion of what they sell us. After all, journalists know what is expected of them.
I have just been reading a story in Long Island Newsday, a left-wing local paper whose Sunday edition my wife gets for the coupons. This particular story was about the 19 illegal immigrants who suffocated to death in a trailer in Texas last week after the trucker abandoned them. Newsday's Latin America correspondent, one Letta Tayler, interviewed a Mexican lady whose son and grandson were among the dead.
"Asked what punishment the tractor-trailer driver should receive, Cristina León said: 'God will decide. 'But I don't want the death penalty for him,' she added. 'That won't return my son.'"
Reading this, I found myself wondering if it is true. Do impoverished Mexican provincials really talk like that? — Like, I mean, the left-liberal graduate of some journalism school, writing for a left-liberal newspaper that favors illegal immigration and sells to a readership of left-liberal suburban New Yorkers? My experience of poor Third World provincials, which is not inconsiderable, suggests to me that approximately 99.9 percent of them are keen supporters of the death penalty. But who knows? I have no reason to doubt Ms. Tayler's veracity; I am only saying that if that quote, or any of the hundreds like it in any of our big, pompous, self-righteous broadsheet newspapers, were to turn out to have been made up, I should not be the least bit surprised. "Rainbow realm of mental bliss"? Please.

Bernie Goldberg's

Between Manhattan and Malibu

Sunday, May 9th, 2010 at 7:41 pm

A Few Qs for My Liberal Friends

A friend sent this to me the other day.  It’s been circulating on the Web.  I thought I’d share it with all of you.
If George W. Bush had been the first President to need a teleprompter installed to be able to get through a press conference, would you have laughed and said this is more proof of how inept he is on his own and is really controlled by smarter men behind the scenes?
If George W. Bush had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to take Laura Bush to a play in NYC, would you have approved?
If George W. Bush had reduced your retirement plan’s holdings of GM stock by 90% and given the unions a majority stake in GM, would you have approved?
If George W. Bush had made a joke at the expense of the Special Olympics, would you have approved?
If George W. Bush had given Gordon Brown a set of inexpensive and incorrectly formatted DVDs, when Gordon Brown had given him a thoughtful and historically significant gift, would you have approved?
If George W. Bush had given the Queen of England an iPod containing videos of his speeches, would you have thought this embarrassingly narcissistic and tacky?
If George W. Bush had visited Austria and made reference to the non-existent “Austrian language,” would you have brushed it off as a minor slip?
If George W. Bush had filled his cabinet and circle of advisers with people who cannot seem to keep current in their income taxes, would you have approved?
If George W. Bush had stated that there were 57 states in the United States , would you have said that he is clueless?
If George W. Bush had been so Spanish illiterate as to refer to “Cinco de Cuatro” in front of the Mexican ambassador when it was the 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo), and continued to flub it when he tried again, would you have winced in embarrassment?
If George W. Bush’s administration had okayed Air Force One flying low over millions of people followed by a jet fighter in downtown   Manhattan  causing widespread panic, would you have wondered whether they actually get what happened on 9-11?
If George W Bush had failed to send relief aid to flood victims throughout the Midwest with more people killed or made homeless than in New Orleans , would you want it made into a major ongoing political issue  with claims of racism and incompetence?
If George W. Bush had created the position of 32 Czars who report directly to him, bypassing the House and Senate on much of what is happening in America, would you have approved?
If George W. Bush had proposed to double the national debt, which had taken more than two centuries to accumulate, in one year, would you have approved?
So, tell me again, what is it about Obama that makes him so brilliant and impressive? Can’t think of anything? Don’t worry. He’s done all this in 10 months — so you’ll have three years and two months to come up with an answer.

Related Articles:

  1. What Liberal Bias?
  2. ACORN and — GASP!!! — Liberal Bigotry
  3. Liberal Media Playing Connect the Dots — Again

A Long Post: The Complete List of Obama Statement Expiration Dates - Jim Geraghty

This is an amazing LONG POST! With Links!
Monday, March 29, 2010

A Long Post: The Complete List of Obama Statement Expiration Dates
By popular demand, a comprehensive list of expired Obama statements . . .
STATEMENT: “We've got a philosophical difference, which we've debated repeatedly, and that is that Senator Clinton believes the only way to achieve universal health care is to force everybody to purchase it. And my belief is, the reason that people don't have it is not because they don't want it but because they can't afford it.” Barack Obama, speaking at a Democratic presidential debate, February 21, 2008.
EXPIRATION DATE: On March 23, 2010, Obama signed the individual mandate into law.
STATEMENT: “These negotiations will be on C-SPAN, and so the public will be part of the conversation and will see the decisions that are being made.” January 20, 2008, and seven other times.
EXPIRATION DATE: Throughout the summer, fall, and winter of 2009 and 2010; when John McCain asked about it during the health-care summit February 26, Obama dismissed the issue by declaring, “the campaign is over, John.”
STATEMENT: “No family making less than $250,000 will see any form of tax increase.” (multiple times on the campaign trail)
EXPIRATION DATE: Broken multiple times, including the raised taxes on tobacco, a new tax on indoor tanning salons, but most prominently on February 11, 2010: “President Barack Obama said he is 'agnostic' about raising taxes on households making less than $250,000 as part of a broad effort to rein in the budget deficit.”
STATEMENT: Then-senator Obama declared that a recess appointment is “damaged goods” and has “less credibility” than a normal appointment. August 25, 2005.
EXPIRATION DATE: March 27, 2010: “If, in the interest of scoring political points, Republicans in the Senate refuse to exercise that responsibility, I must act in the interest of the American people and exercise my authority to fill these positions on an interim basis.”
STATEMENT: “We need tougher border security, and a renewed focus on busting up gangs and traffickers crossing our border. . . . That begins at home, with comprehensive immigration reform. That means securing our border and passing tough employer enforcement laws.” Then-candidate Obama, discussing the need for border security, speaking in Miami on May 23, 2008.
EXPIRATION DATE: March 17, 2010: The Obama administration halted new work on a "virtual fence" on the U.S.-Mexican border, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Tuesday, diverting $50 million in planned economic stimulus funds for the project to other purposes.
STATEMENT: Executive order stating, "The detention facilities at Guantánamo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order." January 22, 2009.
EXPIRATION DATE: November 19, 2009: "Guantánamo, we had a specific deadline that was missed."
STATEMENT: “Somebody like Khalid Sheik Mohammad is gonna get basically, a full military trial with all the bells and whistles.” September 27, 2006
EXPIRATION DATE: Ongoing. “President Obama is planning to insert himself into the debate about where to try the accused mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, three administration officials said Thursday, signaling a recognition that the administration had mishandled the process and triggered a political backlash. Obama initially had asked Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to choose the site of the trial in an effort to maintain an independent Justice Department. But the White House has been taken aback by the intense criticism from political opponents and local officials of Holder's decision to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed in a civilian courtroom in New York.”
STATEMENT: “We will launch a sweeping effort to root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending in our government, and every American will be able to see how and where we spend taxpayer dollars by going to a new website called recovery.gov.” — President Obama, January 28, 2009
EXPIRATION DATE: “More than two months after some of the funds were released, [Recovery.gov] offers little detail on where the money is going . . . The government [spent] $84 million on a website that doesn't have a search function, when its purpose is to ‘root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending in our government.’” April 2, 2009
Eighteen from his first 100 days:
3. Opposed a Colombian Free Trade Agreement because advocates ignore that "labor leaders have been targeted for assassination on a fairly consistent basis."
And a list from of promises that expired during the campaign:
STATEMENT: “Based on the conversations we’ve had internally as well as external reports, we believe that you can get one to two brigades out a month. At that pace, the forces would be out in approximately 16 months from the time that we began. That would be the time frame that I would be setting up,” Obama to the New York Times, November 1, 2007
EXPIRATION DATE: March 7, 2008: Obama foreign policy adviser Samantha Power, to the BBC: “You can’t make a commitment in whatever month we’re in now, in March of 2008 about what circumstances are gonna be like in Jan. 2009. We can’t even tell what Bush is up to in terms of troop pauses and so forth. He will of course not rely upon some plan that [Obama has] crafted as a presidential candidate or as a US senator.”
Also: July 3, 2008: "My 16-month timeline, if you examine everything I've said, was always premised on making sure our troops were safe," Obama told reporters as his campaign plane landed in North Dakota. "And my guiding approach continues to be that we've got to make sure that our troops are safe, and that Iraq is stable. And I'm going to continue to gather information to find out whether those conditions still hold."
STATEMENT: On June 14, Obama foreign-policy adviser Susan Rice called the RNC’s argument that Obama needed to go to Iraq to get a firsthand look "complete garbage."

EXPIRATION DATE: On June 16, Obama announced he would go to Iraq and Afghanistan “so he can see first hand the progress of the wars he would inherit if he's elected president.”
STATEMENT: May 16, 2008: "If John McCain wants to meet me, anywhere, anytime to have a debate about our respective policies in Iraq, Iran, the Middle East or around the world, that is a conversation I’m happy to have."

EXPIRATION DATE: June 13, 2008: Obama campaign manager David Plouffe: “Barack Obama offered to meet John McCain at five joint appearances between now and Election Day — the three traditional debates plus a joint town hall on the economy in July [on the Fourth of July] and an in-depth debate on foreign policy in August.”
STATEMENT: “We can, then, more effectively deal with what I consider to be one of the greatest threats to the United States, to Israel, and world peace, and that is Iran,” Obama speaking to American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Chicago, March 5, 2007
EXPIRATION DATE: “Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, these countries are tiny . . . They don’t pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us.” – May 20, 2008
STATEMENT: Question at the YouTube debate, as the video depicted leaders of the countries, including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea?"
"I would," Obama answered. July 27, 2007
EXPIRATION DATE: May 10, 2008: Susan E. Rice, a former State Department and National Security Council official who is a foreign-policy adviser to the Democratic candidate: “But nobody said he would initiate contacts at the presidential level; that requires due preparation and advance work.”
STATEMENT: "I could no more disown Jeremiah Wright than I could disown my own grandmother."
—Barack Obama, March 18, 2008
EXPIRATION DATE: on April 28, 2008, Obama cut all ties to Wright, declaring, “Based on his remarks yesterday, well, I may not know him as well as I thought.”

STATEMENT: Obama said on March 18, 2008, that his church, Trinity United, "embodies the black community in its entirety" and was being caricatured.

EXPIRATION DATE: On May 31, 2008, Obama resigned his membership at Trinity United Church.
STATEMENT: Criticism of running-mate vetter Jim Johnson's loan from Countrywide was "a game" and that his vice-presidential vetting team “aren’t folks who are working for me.” June 10, 2008
EXPIRATION DATE: June 11, 2008, when Obama accepted Johnson's resignation.

STATEMENT: Obama spokesman Bill Burton on October 24, 2007: “To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies.”
EXPIRATION DATE: June 20, 2008: “Given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as president, I will carefully monitor the program.”
STATEMENT: “I am not a nuclear energy proponent.” Barack Obama, December 30, 2007
EXPIRATION DATE: The above statement actually was the expiration date for his previous position, “I actually think we should explore nuclear power as part of the energy mix,” expressed on July 23, 2007; the above statement expired when he told Democratic governors he thought it is “worth investigating its further development” on June 20, 2008.
STATEMENT: Tim Russert:: "Senator Obama . . . Simple question: Will you, as president, say to Canada and Mexico, 'This has not worked for us; we are out'?"
Obama: “I will make sure that we renegotiate, in the same way that Senator Clinton talked about. And I think actually Senator Clinton's answer on this one is right. I think we should use the hammer of a potential opt-out as leverage to ensure that we actually get labor and environmental standards that are enforced. And that is not what has been happening so far.” February 23, 2008
EXPIRATION DATE: June 18, 2008, Fortune magazine: “'Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified,' he conceded, after I reminded him that he had called NAFTA 'devastating' and 'a big mistake,' despite nonpartisan studies concluding that the trade zone has had a mild, positive effect on the U.S. economy.
"Does that mean his rhetoric was overheated and amplified? 'Politicians are always guilty of that, and I don't exempt myself,' he answered.
"'I'm not a big believer in doing things unilaterally,' Obama said. 'I'm a big believer in opening up a dialogue and figuring out how we can make this work for all people.'"
STATEMENT: “If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.” Also, a Common Cause questionnaire dated November 27, 2007, asked “If you are nominated for President in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in the presidential public financing system?”, Obama checked, “Yes.”
EXPIRATION DATE: June 19, 2008: Obama announced he would not participate in the presidential public financing system.
STATEMENT: “What I’ve said is, at the point where I'm the nominee, at the point where it's appropriate, I will sit down with John McCain and make sure that we have a system that works for everybody.”Obama to Tim Russert, Febuary 27.
EXPIRATION DATE: When Obama announced his decision to break his public-financing pledge on June 19, no meeting between the Democratic nominee and McCain had occurred.
STATEMENT: “I probably would not have supported the federal legislation [to overhaul welfare], because I think it had some problems." Obama on the floor of the Illinois Senate, May 31, 1997
EXPIRATION DATE: April 11, 2008: Asked if he would have vetoed the 1996 law, Mr. Obama said, “I won’t second guess President Clinton for signing” it. Obama to the New York Times.
STATEMENT: "Barack Obama has always believed that same-sex couples should enjoy equal rights under the law, and he will continue to fight for civil unions as president. He respects the decision of the California Supreme Court, and continues to believe that states should make their own decisions when it comes to the issue of marriage.” — campaign spokesman, May 5, 2008
EXPIRATION DATE: June 29, 2008: “I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states . . . Finally, I want to congratulate all of you who have shown your love for each other by getting married these last few weeks.” — letter to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club
STATEMENT: "Now, I don't think that 'mental distress' qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term." – interview with Relevant magazine, July 1, 2008
EXPIRATION DATE: July 5, 2008: “My only point is that in an area like partial-birth abortion having a mental, having a health exception can be defined rigorously. It can be defined through physical health, It can be defined by serious clinical mental-health diseases.” — statement to reporters.
STATEMENT: "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." — speech before AIPAC, June 4, 2008
EXPIRATION DATE: June 6, 2008: "Jerusalem is a final-status issue, which means it has to be negotiated between the two parties" as part of "an agreement that they both can live with." — an Obama adviser clarifying his remarks to the Jerusalem Post.