Saturday, January 30, 2010

Global Warming: The Other Side

Latest information about the AGW debate.

Those stupid Americans! Sniff

Ah the hauteur, the condescension.

'But it is striking that the people who most dislike the whole idea of healthcare reform - the ones who think it is socialist, godless, a step on the road to a police state - are often the ones it seems designed to help.'

Consistently in polls, 80% of Americans say they are happy with their current healthcare arrangements. But apparently, they don't know what is good for them. They are so stupid. So so stupid. Stupid enough to create the worlds largest economy, stupid enough to create the worlds richest poor people, stupid enough to create the most generally advanced society in the world, stupid enough to create a society brimming with wealth of every kind. Stupid stupid stupid.

I'm sure they want to take lectures from pompous British socialist intellectuals, famed for their deep insights into economics, and their brilliant prescriptions for economic policy. Guardian reading twats. Honestly. Can't be bothered to fisk the article. Full of the usual marxist bromides. Fin.

'Now it is a self-evident truth that all animals are created equal and endowed by their creator with unalienable rights, among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But it takes little thought to know that of these three rights, that to life must be primary, for without it the others are null and void. It is perfectly obvious that you can’t be free or pursue happiness if you’re dead.

This surely means that, if you are an animal lover, you should try to reduce any animal that you see in the wild at once to captivity, at least of the Edinburgh Zoo variety. Failure to do so is de facto condemning that animal to an early grave. The animal will be better fed, have fewer parasites, and be sheltered from the bad weather if you capture him. Above all, he, or it, will have much better health care than in the wild. Indeed, in the wild animals are even worse off than Americans without health insurance.

What would Blake write now, knowing this?

A robin redbreast in the wild
Gets a Democrat all riled.'

Heh. [Hat Tip: Instapundit]

Friday, January 29, 2010

Wake me up in three years...

Just saw Obama having a 'debate' with Republican representatives on TV. I used quotes because every time something worth debating came up, Obama said 'this isn't the forum to discuss that' or 'I don't think people want us to debate that here' or 'Let's get into to that some other time'. He seemed angry, resentful and looking to take some swings. In that context, this seemed like some pretty interesting reading.

'This is about the time Barack Obama becomes bored with his job.

He's in his second year as president, and he's discovered that even with all the powers of office, he can't do everything he wants to do, like remake America. Doing stuff is hard. In the past, prosaic work has held little appeal for Obama, and it's prompted him to think about moving on.'

Obama is not a details kind of guy. He is not the kind of person to spend three years crafting a really good piece of legislation, and do all the donkey work to get it passed. He is the kind of guy who tells Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid 'knock together some health care bill, get it passed and let me know what time to go on TV and claim victory.'

I said before that I thought Obama getting elected president was about him, not America. 99.9% of the people who voted for him had no idea what he was like, what he had spent his life doing, how shallow his ideas were about the world and how deeply unrepresentative of America Obama is. They didn't know, and they couldn't be arsed to find out. They voted for his smile, his tone of voice and because he had discernable pecs. Fair enough. There is nothing in the US constitution requiring that people know anything about candidates. Or that they even should vote.

But then you end up with people like Obama in the hot seat, who is ignorant, childish, surly and apparently not genuinely interested in the real America and its real problems. His golfing skills are coming along nicely, but the number of things in American public policy blinking red and making shrill noises is increasing. Calling Barack, you are wanted at your desk. Please start returning messages, and answer a few voicemails...

'In the State of the Union address, Obama declared, "I don't quit."'

Actually, the evidence is that whenever Obama gets bored with his job, that is exactly what he does.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Obama clownery

'...there was the moment in the interview when Obama observed: “You know, we have a political culture that has built up over time that has gotten more and more polarized.” He said that he had hoped “that the urgency of the moment would allow us to join together and make common cause.” Then he blamed the impasse on “a strategic decision that was made on the side of the opposition.”

Obama does this a lot. He says something then a few sentances later contradicts himself. Sometimes he doesn't even wait, he does it in the SAME sentance. In academia, that goes down gangbusters. They love that schtick. You sound all nuanced and sophisticated-like. Everyone else thinks you are an idiot.

I get the feeling Obama really didn't know what the job of president of the United States was. And when they finally told him, he decided that sounded really really dull and went to play golf. I love this:

'...does the country’s chief executive really think that it’s not in his job description to “navigate” how Congress goes about tackling one public policy issue or another, when that is exactly what presidents do?'

We don't have a Lyndon Johnson people.

'...he tried to explain his first-year failures by blaming the culture in Washington, a place where “you have to repeat yourself a lot because unfortunately it doesn’t penetrate.”

Can you say 'projection', children?

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Idea for Democrats: Blame Bush

'Democrats would not be playing the blame game with one another for the loss or for the healthcare debacle if they had only pointed fingers at those (or in this case, the one) who put Americans (and most of the world) in the predicament we’re in: George W. Bush.

It is under his disastrous tenure in the White House that health insurance premiums nearly doubled for the average American family and the number of uninsured skyrocketed. It was under Mr Bush that the deficit spiralled out of control as we fought an unnecessary and endless $3,000bn war in Iraq and enacted the largest unfunded entitlement programme in history with the Medicare prescription drug benefit. It was Mr Bush’s economic team that worshipped at the Church of Deregulation and was asleep at the wheel as banks and insurance companies became too big to fail.'

Yes, where were the Democrats during the Bush years? I'm sure you don't remember any Democrat finger-pointing during the Bush administration. I sure don't. I don't remember any Democrat finger-pointing about Iraq, debt overhang, unfunded entitlement programs, Katrina, treating allies badly or anything. They sat there mute for eight years because they are just so virtuous and trusting and naive. They kept quiet because they are not just humane but patriotic. Uh huh.

Actually, it is funny, because the one thing I don't remember the Democrats screeching about was the danger of weak mortgage lending criteria. And you know, I'm pretty sure I'd remember something like that. Given that there would not have been a bank crisis if the mortgages that were securitised were good mortgages, that is pretty important too.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bring back Bill!

'America is becoming a bilingual society, divided between those who think a pickup is a rugged vehicle useful for transporting heavy-duty items from A to B and those who think a pickup is coded racism.

Unfortunately, the latter group forms most of the Democrat-media one-party state currently running the country. Can you imagine Bill Clinton being so stupid as to put down pickup trucks while standing next to John Kerry? And what’s even more extraordinary is that those lines were written for Obama by paid professionals.'

I've noticed this a lot lately. Obama is so bad that Bill Clinton is increasingly used as the example of a Democrat president who wasn't actually all that bad. I personally never hated Bill Clinton. I didn't care about his trouser shenanigans- there is no public policy angle. But two things did stand out (no pun intended) about President Clinton- he was an American patriot, and he had the ability to laugh at himself. Imagine Obama making this?

Personally, no.

An army of Davids©

'...John Muhammad and Lee Salvo[sic] were caught because leaked information about the suspects' automobile and license number was picked up by members of the public, one of whom spotted the car within hours and alerted the authorities - blocking the exit from the rest area with his own vehicle to make sure they didn't escape. "You can deputize a nation," said one news official after the fact.

Yes. With proper information, the public can act against terrorists - often, as we found on September 11, faster and more effectively than the authorities.'

Of course some of us recommended this absolutely bloody ages ago. My only change of view since I wrote about this idea of a massive police reserve is that I was thinking too small. My idea was to recruit two million police reservists trained in firearms use to act as 'first responders'. This country has sixty million people. Two out of sixty is just not enough. I think the Swiss solution is far better.

Every single fit Swiss male (not sure about the women) undergoes military training at age 18, and is in the army reserve until he is thirty. They all learn to shoot, and they are all equipped with an assault rifle which they keep at home. I believe we should have something like this in Britain, but with some obvious modifications. Young people would have a choice, whether to do national service in the Army/Nave/Air Force or the Police. We wouldn't need to keep people in the active reserves for as long, women would do national service as well as men, criminal records, mental instability or muslim agitation would mean no training. You could also have a stream of national service for conscientious objectors and pacifists which involved working full time for an aid organisation, charity or some other kind of properly organised, genuine public service.

But crucially, all reservists with weapons training, whether armed forces or police, would be issued sidearms. They would be advised to carry them on their persons in concealed holsters, although of course it wouldn't be compulsory. They would be permitted to take these weapons on any form of transport except planes. With some extra training, they would additionally be provided with large-bore, low muzzle-velocity weapons to take on planes.

The consequences of these actions would be completely transformative. No matter where wahhabist terrorists struck, whether it was Bolton or Bristol, Glasgow or Gloucester, there would be young men and women primed and ready to take them on. If you drove past a power station, and saw a group of terrorists preparing to sabotage it, you could take them on. You wouldn't have to wait around for the SAS to make it over from Herefordshire...

Let's face it. There are just too many juicy targets for the anti-terrorism police to ever have a chance of protecting all of them. So we'll just have to do that ourselves!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Populist Anger

All populist anger equals proletarians hating their class enemies, we hear from many quarters in Washington D.C. And by class enemies we don't mean Harvard law professors! We mean the jewish scum in the banks and boardrooms!

Well, OK they haven't quite come out yet with the 'jewish' bit, but I can't believe it won't happen. Ever listen to Louis Farrakhan? Obama's own Reverend Wright talks the same lingo. In the bubble that Obama has always lived in, I think he may actually believe all the shit that his Marxist professors told him about what the proletariat believe.

Not having spent much time in American bars, football games, turkey shoots, weenie roasts and mainstream churches, Obama doesn't know just how wrong he is. Apart from the east coast trade unionists, and college students all across America, Americans don't see the rich and powerful as their enemies. They want to be rich and powerful. And they understand that they aren't going to get that way by murdering and/or castrating rich people. Many of them love the rich and powerful- exactly the opposite of what they are supposed to do.

Poor Obama. Poor Marx.

I'd have made a better choice as President

How stupid is Barack Obama? I don't mean that as an insult, but as a genuine question.

He must be stupid, because this stuff is so obvious.

Let's say you were elected president of the United States tomorrow. You had an agenda of maybe six big items which you wanted to deal with in four years. How would you go about that?

You would probably take something moderately manageable, not very controversial within your own party, which you could get at least a small amount of bipartisan support for- say, illegal immigration amnesty and building a fence to close off new illegal immigration. Do a very thorough job of working out a sane policy for it, one which many independent voters would stomach, and which wouldn't cost much money up front. You would get some legislation into Congress based on the well-worked-out policy, and it would pass. Victory in bag, base happy, independents pleased with your bipartisan credentials.

This would set a platform for future forays into policy delivery. It would also demonstrate that you could read the environment- in Obama's case the overwhelming fact of all facts that the US government has spent, is spending and will spend far too much money. No big ticket policy items! None. Not one. You would still fund the war in Afghanistan, because you have to. You still have to pay for the war against wahhabism because you have to. Just don't add any big ticket items to federal expenditure. Explain every once in a while on a TV show (very few and far between) that you would love to have 'Cap and Trade', universal health provision and spend more on the liberal shibboleths, but there just isn't the money right now. Don't cut taxes, but don't increase them either.

Fast forward a couple of years. The US economy, ever-bouncy as it is, has recovered. There is more tax revenue coming in. The US army and marines are gone from Iraq, all but a token force of 15,000 as a guaruntee of future US support. People are largely happy with the way your smart amnesty for illegals/stopping more coming policy worked out. People see you as judicious, wise and easy to work with. Republicans warm to you. They actually want to help your policy agenda, at least some anyway.

So you introduce 'cap and trade' legislation, while making sure that no large US industry pays a suicidal price for it. The plans are medium to long term, and there is a big carrot at that end. Pass or not pass? Numerous 'soft' Republicans back the measures, and they go through both house and senate. Win Number 2!

A year later, when the sky hasn't fallen in and your ability to turn sensible policy into workable legislation is proven beyond doubt, you introduce an enhanced form of means-tested medicaid which covers anyone who can't pay for their own medical care. It will bring healthcare coverage to all poor Americans. You insist that while it will be expensive, it is a tolerable price for a civilised nation. You don't shirk the hard work of working out how to pay for it all without bankrupting the country. You also make sure that in the bill, there is a mix of market reforms and rationalisations which centrist Republicans can vote for. There is a bit of a scrum, but the good will of the nation ensures you come out on top. Hey presto, another big policy enacted. Win number 3!

You run for re-election, pointing out how wise and judicious you've been. Everybody agrees. You also point out the three or four big policies you have yet to implement. And there is your reason for being re-elected. People think, hey, this guy can get stuff done and he's not an idiot. I'll vote for that.

Now, contrast that with what Obama has actually done. Yes, he is a political incompetent of the rankest kind. Did he pay attention to the prevailing climate? No. He apparently doesn't know what 'political facts on the ground' are. Did he pay attention to money? No. Did he get an easy win in the bag first? No. Did he give moderate Republicans any incentive whatsoever to back any of his policies? No. Did he persuade independent voters that he was a judicious and pragmatic framer of legislation? No. Did he choose the right policy to promote at any particular time with the care and attention it deserves? No. Did he persuade any knowledgeable American that he had either a micro or macro plan for what he was going to do in office, which actually made sense in the circumstances? No.

The man is inflexible, and in political terms, stupid.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2009, the year of Bi-partisanship

'Though the verdict on Coakley may have had much to do with her deficiencies as a candidate and the local political culture, there seems to be little question that it will also serve as a referendum on Obama. More than anything, Coakley's defeat should mark the end of Obama's efforts to create a new, bipartisan political climate in Washington. If he is to avoid the fate of Bill Clinton in the midterm elections of 1994, Obama will need to embrace the populist anger now surging through the country rather than seeking to defuse it.' [My emphasis]

I literally laughed out loud at this statement.

Here is Kennedys (presumably) complete list of Obama bipartisanship forays:

1. Obama's $787bn stimulus bill was 'heavily weighted toward tax cuts'
2. nominated a 'moderate, pro-prosecution' Supreme Court justice, Sonia Sotomayor
3. Obama ruled out a single-payer system ahead of time and never strongly backed a government-owned insurance alternative
4. ...oh wait, thats it

To quote an old ad, where's the beef?

If that is really your best evidence of a strong quest for bipartisanship, you have failed dismally to persuade.

Let us quickly peruse the facts. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009 had $275 billion of tax cuts, and $550 billion of boondoggle. There was $147 billion of spending on healthcare, for instance. Not sure how that was going to stimulate the US economy, but whatever. So, $275 billion vs £550 billion- that isn't 'heavily weighted in favour of tax cuts' it is 'heavily weighted in favour of Democrat-populated public sector spending'.

Sonia Sotomayor was a bipartisan candidate? Really? What cases can you cite to show she is 'pro-prosecution', whatever that is? The Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee had reams of stuff about her consistent mixing of her political slant with her court judgements. The 'racist' stuff was just fluff. No Republican would ever vote for a supreme court nominee with such a terrible track record on the bench (numerous staff from lower courts called her stupid and light-weight). Her 'wise Latina' schtick is a part of her Democrat identity politics- the only reason she is where she is today.

I thought after the stupid 'Obama ruled out a single payer system' comment that Kennedy must be British. I checked and he isn't- he's a yank. So he must be the last person in America to know that Barack Obama didn't 'rule out a single payer system'; Obama knew that not even lefty Senators and congressmen would ever vote for that. Obama, and every lefty in America other than Kennedy, knows that the public option health insurance gimmick is the STALKING HORSE for what they really want- the single payer system. Obama, and every lefty in America other than Kennedy also knows that passing ANY healthcare legislation will do, because all the hideous elements which can't be strapped into the bill as written can be craftily inserted after it passes, as 'amendments'. Nothing, nothing whatsoever, about 'healthcare reform' is bipartisan. It is all one enormous smokescreen to get accomplished what the progressives in America are devoted to- the socialisation of America.

No sentient being with a modicum of objectivity would ever call the Obama premiership bipartisan. Ok, the ad hominem and disgusting demagoguery have been toned down slightly since George W Bush retired, but then these people are in charge of the White House. From 'We Won', to 'Tea baggers', to the war on FOX news, to the war on the 'hatemongers' of talk radio, the Obama White House have acted like sixth graders. They have their little gang, and the people in their little gang get what they want, and they call the people who aren't in their gang lots of names, like tea baggers and religious extremists. It is a good job Kennedy told us they are bipartisan, because without that information we would never have known.

I just want you to know, Mr Kennedy, that for policy to be bipartisan, it must be tolerable to at least some mainstream Republicans. If it isn't, it is because it is extremely far left, and therefore intolerable to any Republicans whatsoever. Just thought you might need a recap.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

We loved you Bill

'Commentator Bill McLaren, known popularly as the "voice of rugby", has died at the age of 86.

Mr McLaren, from Hawick, retired in 2002 and received an OBE, CBE and MBE for services to the sport.'

I don't do obituaries here, except in the most exceptional of circumstances. But Bill McLaren was exceptional.

'Here comes Doddy Weir into the tackle. It will take a lot to get past that.'

Bill McLaren combined a subdued and understated delivery with a delicate and precise turn of phrase. It was pure pleasure to accompany him through a rugby match.

We can't say that of Stuart Barnes and the current shouters and opinionators, sadly.

The day Bill stopped broadcasting rugby became distinctly impoverished commentator-wise. Will we hear his like again?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Oh my God people, listen to yourselves!

"You pick your issue of the day, and no one's happy because he hasn't tackled that one individual issue with fervor," says fish biologist Tracii Hickman of Walla Walla, Wash., an Obama voter...

She was so inspired by his election that she wrote in a newspaper commentary on inauguration eve last year: "I am optimistic that the massive problems facing our nation will be addressed and that we will come out on the other side of this huge mess a better people and country."...

"Suddenly we were talking about very important social issues that have been off the agenda for years. It was so exciting, so refreshing, so inspiring," Sullivan says...

"I felt such a surge of hope," Hartz says. "I was just so convinced all these great things were going to happen."...

...Hartz still believes in the need for deep, fundamental change. But she also believes it will happen only through grassroots movements, not through one leader, however charismatic.

I just had a flashback to living in the U.S. I remember talking to people about politics- U.S. politics, not Venezuelan politics or Czech politics- and how the 'opinions' which were voiced were often just so unnutterably stupid and devoid of reason. Even college students would come out with drivel. 'Hartz still believes in the need for deep, fundamental change'- really? And what exactly will change? Who will change what into what? What exactly the fuck are you talking about?

Because I'm difficult that way, I would often ask people who launched one of these flabby pieces of shit to be specific. What exactly do you want to change? What exactly are the 'disasters' your political opponents have brought about? I got very unpopular, even more unpopular than before. But it was cathartic.

Tens of millions of supposedly sober 'independents' voted for Obama, and now have a severe case of buyers remorse. What were they hearing when Obama spoke? I can spot a snake oil salesman from about fifty thousand miles out, and Obama reeked of snake oil. It really is very frustrating.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Try to get a bit of perspective

'Bottlenecks and infrastructure damage have been holding up aid efforts in Haiti, where Tuesday's earthquake has left as many as 45,000-50,000 dead.

There is little sign of humanitarian supplies beyond the Port-au-Prince airport, and correspondents say there is increasing anger among survivors.'

It may just be my imagination, but it seems that this meme 'why is the response to X disaster so crap and so slow?' is now the standard one. This, despite the fact that there has never in human history been anything like the 2010 infrastructure for global disaster relief.

What we saw in 2005 with the Indonesian tsunami was an amazing and glorious response from across the world to try to ameliorate the terrible impact. It was successful, and hundreds of thousands of people in Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka could testify to that. I am sure that the 2010 operations in Haiti will be just as successful.

So why is the BBC already criticising the efforts being made?

Just once, I would like the BBC to run an international disaster response. From my knowledge of how efficiently the BBC is run, it would be a secondary catastrophe. But it might intrude a little humility and much-needed realism into the BBC's useless reporting.

And a message to the Haitians: where were you and your aircraft carriers/hospital ships/helicopters/heavy transport aircraft/vast quantities of food/vast quantities of clothing/vast quantities of medicine during the Pakistani earthquake, Hurricane Katrina or Indonesian tsunami?

Out of the 192 nations on this planet, there are about ten which consistently spend millions and billions helping people in other countries- feeding them, digging them out of their collapsed buildings and healing their wounded and sick. Haiti isn't one of them. Neither is China. Neither is Japan. Neither is Saudi Arabia. It certainly isn't all the rich countries. Nope, just the ones with consciences and Christian values.

So before you get on your high horses, and start bitching and moaning, think for a moment about how fortunate you are that ANYBODY is coming to help you at all. Because if America, Britain, Canada, France, Germany and Australia didn't exist, you would all die.


'THIS DOESN’T SEEM VERY BRIGHT: “Angry Haitians set up roadblocks with corpses in Port-au-Prince to protest at the delay in emergency aid reaching them after a devastating earthquake, an eyewitness said,” Protesting delays, with roadblocks? That’s like protesting fire with gasoline. But, you know, as with Katrina, getting aid into a disaster-devastated region where ports, roads and airports are in poor condition isn’t something that happens overnight. But perhaps it’s a sign of progress in the modern world, when even Haitians expect disaster aid to be like pizza from Domino’s or something.'

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Turkey: Islamist proto-empire

'Turkey embraces role as Arab 'big brother'
By Sami Moubayed

DAMASCUS - After the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in Ankara, many in the West referred to a new Turkish foreign policy called "neo-Ottomanism", suggesting a revival of the intellectual, political and social influence of the Ottoman Empire, which departed the scene 92 years ago.'

I can see what re-creating the Ottoman empire would do for the islamist rabble in power in Ankara, but what do the subject nations get?

When it existed in its first incarnation, the Ottoman empire existed simply for prestige purposes. The Ottoman overlords didn't build schools, infrastructure or industry- they didn't even build many mosques. They just parked in other peoples countries with enough troops to make sure they couldn't break away. The End.

How do you get political influence? Through military might. Turkey is a pipsqueak in comparison to Israel. If anybody should have influence in that part of the world it should be the latter. Intellectual influence? Really? What are the ideas? Join the new Ottoman empire- it is fun! The only ideas worthy of the name current in Turkey are islamist ones, especially revival of the Caliphate, which for hundreds of years was based in surprise surpise Istanbul. Fancy an islamist proto-empire on the south eastern border of Europe anybody?

'During the Israeli war of 2006, [Erdogan] firmly stood by the Lebanese, and in its immediate aftermath, sent 600 Turkish troops to take part in peacekeeping on the Lebanese-Israeli border by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. Erdogan saw to it that $50 million worth of aid was given to reconstruct southern Lebanon, along with building 41 schools, five parks and a rehabilitation center worth $20 million.'

It appears that what neo-ottomanism means to Erdogan is the same thing that Pan-Arabism meant to Nasser- being top dog in the let's-destroy-Israel club. Turkey is already awash with both private and government-sponsored hate against Jews and Israel. Yay. Just what the world needs, another demagogue using Jew-baiting as a central plank of their foreign policy.

I would see this as at least the beginning of a re-orientation of Turkey away from the EU and secularism and towards the 'muslim world' and islamism. If that happens, it makes a war between islam and the rest of the world much likelier in the medium term. The following countries are already deeply infected with wahhabist/islamist ideas: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria. If Turkey joins them, it can't be too long before the combination of self-deception, islamic emotionalism and over-confidence leads to an all-out effort by islamists to take over the whole region. That could easily lead to a Christian vs muslim war, with Christian Europe and US/Canada siding with Israel, against a regional coalition of Wahhabist/islamist countries.

I'm sure the islamists would like that. Islamic history is littered with these kinds of wars of conquest. I'm sure they would see it as 'glorious'. They wouldn't win, but it could be very messy.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Find a way to pay the people who create

'Mr. Lanier, a musician and avant-garde computer scientist — he popularized the term “virtual reality” — wonders if the Web’s structure and ideology are fostering nasty group dynamics and mediocre collaborations. His new book, “You Are Not a Gadget,” is a manifesto against “hive thinking” and “digital Maoism,” by which he means the glorification of open-source software, free information and collective work at the expense of individual creativity.'

My mother-in-law has given up her beloved allotment, where she spent many happy hours and earned a decent side-income growing veg. The reason? Bums constantly raid her allotment, indeed all the allotments, and steal the veg, long before she gets around to harvesting them. It has taken a huge chunk of happiness out of her life. Not to mention money.

If I had just spent two years and three hundred millions dollars making a film, I would almost certainly know just how she feels. All over the world, spotty dickheads would download it and watch it for nothing. Millions and millions of dollars of my revenue would never arrive in my bank. It might make me give up making movies completely, if it got bad enough.

If I had just spent eight weeks researching an important news story, I would also have some common feeling with my mother-in-law. After all, as soon as the story appears on the web, fifty thousand people will steal the story and present it on their own website as their own work without attribution to me. Fan-bloody-tastic. All that driving around, all that networking, all those boring hours in the public records office- and I get virtually no money or recognition.

If I had just spent a year in the recording studio, pouring my emotions into song, I would be likewise be feeling the deep blues. Music piracy has reached proportions where nine out of ten songs listened to by most adolescents is pirated. Who can earn a decent living when one high school student buys my album, and copies it for four hundred people?

Why is there so much discussion of the web and electronic media which avoids these simple truths?

You don't have to have read 'Atlas Shrugged' to understand that when people work hard and get nothing in return, unless they are deeply stupid they eventually quit working. They go and find something that pays, like speculative banking. So unless we find a way to make sure that film-makers, journalists and musicians get paid for their work, there won't be any decent films, news stories or songs.

I don't think I can say this any simpler.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Obama and the Wahhabists

'Barack Obama has spent the past year doing big-time Islamoschmoozing, from his announcement of Gitmo's closure and his investigation of Bush officials, to his bow before the Saudi king and a speech in Cairo to "the Muslim world" with far too many rhetorical concessions and equivocations. And at the end of it the jihad sent America a thank-you note by way of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's underwear: Hey, thanks for all the outreach! But we're still gonna kill you.'

I wish people would stop using the argument 'Obama can't say who we're at war with'. Mainly because it is wrong, and the true situation is if anything worse because it is wrong. Obama has stated clearly both as a candidate and as president who the enemy is- Wahhabist Islam in the form of Al Qaeda and its many affiliates, offshoots and wannabee copycats. I believe that intellectually, Obama understands this perfectly well. But his world view contains a great fault line.

While understanding that Wahhabist jihadis are currently Americas enemies, I believe that Obama sees that as a justifiable position; I also believe he thinks it is within Americas gift to 'fix' the situation and placate them. In the political circles Obama was weaned in, there is a fixed construct of a mighty white colonial America smashing and looting its way around the world, mashing indigenous peoples underfoot like cockroaches. These poor virtuous sweet indigenous people have occasionally risen in their righteous anger and smote the mighty white man. Good for them! Cry the marxists and enviro-fascists!

This view only works if you are prepared to wipe all signs of colonial, imperial and racist behaviour of Arabs, Turks and Mongols from the pages of history. Today's 'indigenous victims' are yesterdays brutal empire-builders, slave-traders and military conquerors. Just three hundred and twenty seven years ago (last week for a historian), the Turks were at the gates of Vienna with a huge muslim army intent on conquest. Where were the muslim protesters then, protesting against colonialism and militarism? Or do they only have a problem with those things when other people do them?

The fact is, there has almost certainly never been a more gentle and placative world power in history than the United States. But unless you are psychologically deranged, you don't sit around while your enemies kill you. And the crucial fact is, Wahhabist Islams primary reason for wanting to kill Americans has nothing to do with the assissination of Salvador Allende or the imposition of the Shah of Iran on the Persians. They want Islam to rule the planet, and the United States is the greatest impediment to that. There is no squaring that circle. America will continue to exist, continue to not be muslim, and Wahhabists will continue to try to destroy it. They will not be negotiated out of that position. You just have to kill them.

And unpalatable stubborn facts like that are not Obamas forte. I am sure that every fibre of his being tells him that somehow, somewhere there is a button to push, a nuance to proffer, a form of words to speechify, a policy of such sublime beauty and perfection that the Wahhabists will stand down and go away. There MUST be. George W Bush can't be RIGHT. His caveman response of killing America's enemies cannot be the only resort. Can it?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Coming Storm

'"I don't know anybody who can hold themselves out as the measuring stick or gold standard when it comes to being a true conservative," sniffed U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee and has drawn blistering scorn from RedState for snubbing Rubio and endorsing the more moderate and supposedly electable Crist for U.S. Senate.' Hat Tip: Instapundit

Exactly. Hoisted by his own petard. Republicans who believe that conservatism means anything and nothing are going to hate the next twelve months. The thoroughly detested go-along get-along wishy washy nothingness of the Cornyn ilk is the reason that virtually no conservatives and a very large chunk of independents do not trust the Republican party to hold the line on any specific conservative principle. They seem to think that bland, insipid, boring and worthy are virtues. And that bi-partisanship shows you are statesmanlike. Most of these dullards have no discernable intellectual content to their political life. They are simply in attendance at the pig trough in DC.

Well, time is up. Here comes the big broom!