Thursday, October 29, 2009

iPhone Politics

Daniel Henninger, deputy editor of the Wall Street Journal's Editorial Page, has a great, non-partisan, editorial in today's Wall Street Journal that is absolutely worth a read.

In his analysis of Obamacare and the politics we have seen under the current Democratic congress and Obama administration he points out a few reasons the democrats are failing on a much larger level than the details of why Obamacare is a horrible piece of legislation.

If you don't have the time to read it here is my quick summary of his article:
In 2008 the droves of younger voters (18-40) that turned out in record numbers to vote for "change" wanted a President and a Congress that would move beyond old school politics. A system based on Windows 95, one-size fits all to a system with 100,00 apps tested and improved to cater to the individual.

Democrats and specifically Obama have 100% failed to attempt, let alone achieve this goal. Today's voters and the most of America outside the far-left live in a world where you can personalize your entire life with 100,000 different iPhone apps that fit their lives. Yet in the single largest piece of legislation every proposed Obama is trying grow a one-size fits all health care system that simply will not change health care so much as make it government run.

He argues we need to move into a system where every individual has the opportunity to choose what makes the most sense to them not someone else. Let the health care industry provide apps that can fail, change and move in a direction that suits more people.

He says "We define the past 25 years in terms of entrepreneurs and visionaries in places like Silicon Valley who took a small idea and ran with it. Congress does the opposite. It takes something already big . . . and makes it bigger." and "There was a time when contributing to the common good meant joining something relatively small like the Peace Corps or Teach for America. Now it means being willing to just fall into line behind some huge piece of legislation."

Now this is not to say that currently Republicans have moved out of big box, Windows 95 politics yet either. Until politicians catch up to the real world of fast paced, individualized options for life, they will always fail or create legislation that will eventually fail.

As for me I agree completely with Mr. Henninger. Government cannot continue to grow failed programs like Medicare and Medicaid. California is proof that an unchecked continually growing medicaid system will collapse an entire economy. If we have this proof we must change it not just throw more money at it. In today's modern technology we have trial and error. If through beta testing a software program doesn't work you don't just throw it on the shelves, you fix it first then sell it.

Nothing in Obamacare has ever worked when run by the government but big box unions control this White House and they want "free" health care, so they will get it through trickery and misdirection of the American people. We need to recognize the errors of government and get rid of them not prop them up with billions more.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Let Censorship Begin! (or not...)

In case you have missed any of the thrilling saga of the White House trying to burn the 1st Amendment of the constitution he is a quick recap of Obama's foray into press censorship via the White House War on Fox News:

The war began when White House Communications Director Anita Dunn said that Fox News is "opinion journalism masquerading as news." And “Fox News often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party, We’re going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent. As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don't need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.'' Now this is the same Anita Dunn that just a few weeks ago admitted that during the campaign the Obama team "controlled" the press. And it is the same Anita Dunn who recently told a gymnasium of high schoolers that her most admired political philosopher is none other than Chairman Mao.

And not to outdone by his coworker, on THIS WEEK with George Stephenopoulos (an ABC show) White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod said "Fox is not really a news organization."

Following the rather shocking declaration by two very senior administration officials, ABC wanted to get a clear answer from the mouthpiece of the white house, and what happened was this exchange between Robert Gibbs, the White House Press Secretary and ABC reporter Jake Tapper

Tapper: It’s escaped none of our notice that the White House has decided in the last few weeks to declare one of our sister organizations “not a news organization” and to tell the rest of us not to treat them like a news organization. Can you explain why it’s appropriate for the White House to decide that a news organization is not one –


Gibbs: Jake, we render, we render an opinion based on some of their coverage and the fairness that, the fairness of that coverage.

Tapper: But that’s a pretty sweeping declaration that they are “not a news organization.” How are they any different from, say –

Gibbs: ABC -

Tapper: ABC. MSNBC. Univision. I mean how are they any different?

Gibbs: You and I should watch sometime around 9 o’clock tonight. Or 5 o’clock this afternoon.

Tapper: I’m not talking about their opinion programming or issues you have with certain reports. I’m talking about saying thousands of individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a “news organization” -- why is that appropriate for the White House to say?

Gibbs: That’s our opinion.

Then to cap all of this off, yesterday the White House offered interviews to the White House pool (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and FOX) of the new White House 'pay czar'. Except that when they offered that interview they said FOX couldn't participate.

Now I am assuming that the Obama team made a calculated decision that this was their shot to finally knock Fox News out of the White House Reporting pool. What they didn't anticipate was the backlash from the other four members of the pool. Upon hearing that the interview of the new 'pay czar' would not be allowed to Fox News, the DC bureau chiefs of ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN said they would not participate in any pool activities that the entire pool wasn't invited too participate in.

What has transpired over the last few weeks has been an all out war not just on Fox News, but on the opposition to political ideas. And it hasn't been going very well. The simple fact of the matter is that Fox News, like CNN and MSNBC has opinion programming as well as News. Shepard Smith reports facts and happenings, Glenn Beck offers his opinion on those facts.

If the White House gets a clean pass to censor who gets to report the news, it wont be very long until the White House censor's what news is reported by the select group they allow into the briefing room. And good for the other four members of the pool for taking a stand against the administration.

If the American public and the American FREE press doesn't keep vigilante on this issue, it won't be just Fox News that is kicked out of the White House. Next CNN will say something disagreeable to Obama and get the boot, then CBS, ABC or NBC and eventually they could all be replaced by Pravda.

So don't just look at this "war against Fox News" as an attack on Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh, it has much graver consequences than talk radio hosts.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Amazing Pop-Up Diorama Made of Legos!

From Alex on Neatorama: "a pop-up diorama of the Kinkaku-ji Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan, made entirely out of LEGO blocks! YouTube user talapz created this out of 4,500 bricks."

Monday, October 12, 2009

As Global Warming Continues, Montanans Prepare for Frostbite

Currently, the top two headlines on the Drudge Report read as follows...

BBC:What Happened to Global Warming...
Montana Cold Breaks Record...

Now, I have to point out that I was pretty excited to click on a link on the Drudge Report and be re-directed to "Montana's News Station," but I was more excited when I realized that, whereas I could be hunkered down trying to keep warm back at home in the States, I currently live in a city that posted almost 80 degree weather today! Now, 80 degrees in October is not out of the question in Montana, but to be able to count on warm days all week, midway through October, is something that I'm not quite used to yet. I'm working on being comfortable with this...

Which, in some random way, leads me to my next point. The article from the BBC begs the question that I've been asking myself for a few months now; "What happened to global warming?" We haven't heard much about it in the news recently, which either reflects poorly on the media for neglecting such a global problem, or reflects poorly on the scientists who purport the truth of this apocalyptic trend.

One segment of the story, in particular, stood out to me...

In addition, say Met Office scientists, temperatures have never increased in a straight line, and there will always be periods of slower warming, or even temporary cooling.
What is crucial, they say, is the long-term trend in global temperatures. And that, according to the Met office data, is clearly up.
To confuse the issue even further, last month Mojib Latif, a member of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) says that we may indeed be in a period of cooling worldwide temperatures that could last another 10-20 years.
Professor Latif is based at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University in Germany and is one of the world's top climate modellers.
But he makes it clear that he has not become a sceptic; he believes that this cooling will be temporary, before the overwhelming force of man-made global warming reasserts itself.
So what can we expect in the next few years?

Quite frankly, this seems like the typical scientific ploy - if the numbers don't add up, just change them...or say that "there will be periods of cooling before things begin to heat up again..."

I would recommend reading the whole article, there is some interesting discussion on the effect of Ocean warming and cooling on global temperatures.

Batman: The Musical?

So, what's a guy to do when he lives in Turkey and doesn't have to go to work until 6 PM. Spend his days surfing the internet finding fun and exciting new things, of course! Which brings me to this little gem from The Zeray Gazette by way of Neatorama.

It seems Cartoon Network is currently airing a new Batman animate series called "Batman: The Brave and the Bold." More information on the new series, currently airing it's first season, can be found here. One particular episode, which apparently hasn't aired in the States yet, guest stars Neil Patrick Harris as "The Music Meister," a villain with the ability to hypnotize people with his beautiful singing voice. The episode is currently available through YouTube - but may not be up for long as it is set to air on October 22, so watch it while it's still there! I'll make it easy and give you the first part...

Go here for Part Two
and here for Part Three

Friday, October 09, 2009

Even Jimmy Carter did more

In an astounding move to further discredit the reputation of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel Committee today voted to give the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to none other than President Obama.

They gave it to him for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."

Seriously? Even Jimmy Carter didn't get his until the Camp David Accords. That at least involved sitting two men around a table who hated each other. Other than a black professor and a white police officer Obama hasn't even come close to a sham peace in the middle east like Carter did.

In fact Obama's international diplomacy is so bad he couldn't even convince the International Olympic Committee to send the 2016 games to Chicago. Thats how much clout he has on the international stage.

And lets talk further about peace. The war in Afghanistan has only become deadlier than ever under his watch, remember this from a few posts back? "So far this month, 38 American troops have been killed in Afghanistan. For all of 2009, the number is 220 -- more than any other single year and more than died in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 combined."

Furthermore, under his Administration Iran has come closer than ever to building a nuclear bomb, if they haven't already, Russia and Syria keep talking as if Iran has done nothing wrong, basically calling Obama and our Country liars, North Korea pulled out of the 6 way peace talks in the Far East and here at home riots are brewing in Chicago, millions of Americans are marching against his domestic agenda, Darfur is still in the midst of a genocide and all the while war still rages in Iraq.

So again what peace has Obama brought in 2009? What international diplomacy has he accomplished so outstandingly well that it has brought cooperations between peoples? In fact what peoples are cooperating better now than they did in 2008? And not just better, but so much better that Obama should be credited with a prize won by Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Norman Borlaug, the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Martin Luther King Jr., and Teddy Roosevelt?

When history looks at the list of men and women who were awarded the Nobel Peace prize, it will surely be divided into two sections, those who accomplished something great that lead to a better life for the people around them. Then there will be the list of recipients of whom didn't help secure peace in their time or any time. Those who were given this award for no other reason than the high egotistical halls of academia could think of no better way to pat themselves on the back for theorizing about peace when action could have helped people around the globe.

This will be a list with Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, Barack Obama, Anwar Sadat, the IAEA, the UN, and Yasser Arafat. These are men who went to great lengths to discuss the importance of peace, pat themselves on the back, all the while letting the world slip closer and closer to oblivion. And while they pat themselves and have high minded discussions about theories and fantasy, when people actually step up and try to help do something to give just a little more freedom to people around the world they step up and condemn that action as warmongering and hateful.

So for now let President Obama put that Nobel Prize on the mantle in the Oval Office. Let him look at it every day. Maybe one day he may look up and realize that he hasn't actually produced results that have led our world closer to peace and maybe, just maybe he will take action. And if that day comes we will be better off than we were the day before. I just hope that somewhere in the back of his mind he doesn't think or believe he has actually already done something to deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.

More in the Health Care Saga

In an interesting and potentially damaging letter to Congress, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops takes the time to point out 3 main reasons they will currently not support the democrats health care legislation.

1. It currently doesn't stop mandated abortions,
2. It doesn't include measures that protect and improve health care and
3. It doesn't provide for legal immigrant access.

Now on the first point, the Catholic church, in my opinion, should accept the fact that their past, present and continued support of the Democrat party, it's members and its elected officials, has landed itself with a government that supports abortion. The DNC platform and all 50 state democrat parties have a platform that supports abortion. That they would now be so shocked to find abortion language in a national health care package should not be a shock to them at all. What should be a shock to the millions of Catholics around the nation is that their church has chosen over the years to support a party that supports abortion whether government funded or not. Now I am not saying that all Catholics support democrats and the national democratic party, but since the days of FDR and JFK the catholic church has in general been a very large voting bloc for democrats at all levels of government. They helped elect this administration, they get to deal with abortion language in the bill. I may disagree just as much as the USCCB, but hey thats why I support a political party that doesn't support abortion.

But what is truly shocking in this letter is that the USCCB, like myself, believes that there is a lack of actual health care reform in the current legislation in Congress. So much so that the USCCB is taking a very strong step and telling members of Congress that their HEALTH CARE bill doesn't currently have measures that actually improve health care cost or access to American citizens.

Democrats in Congress take the USCCB very seriously, as they are a powerful and large lobby that represents millions of democratic donors and voters, and it will be to their peril if they don't heed some of what the USCCB is saying. Dems in congress can ignore Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and republicans in congress and the millions of "right-wing conspirators" all they want, but those democrats should really start to wonder what their bill stands for if even the American catholic church doesn't think their bill improves health care in this country.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Touche Verizon

I think this video speaks for itself, so I'm not going to say anything else about it...

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Potentially Bad News for Health Care

It is being reported over at Red State that some Republican senators are talking about folding on health care and voting for a government sponsored system.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Stunning, funny and storied photos

Found this over at Neatorama:

The San Diego Lyceum Theatre Gallery has held a modern photography competition every year for the past five years, titled the Art of Photography Show. With submissions from 56 countries and over 16,000 photos submitted there are some really neat photos to take a look at. Here are the links for the different categories as well as some of my favorites from the galleries.