Saturday, January 29, 2011

op ed review 1/30


Tuesday's State of the Union speech was President Obama's concession to the hard reality of Nov. 2, 2010. Instead of massive expansions of state power and control, he spoke of massive infusions of taxpayer cash. “Winning the future: With trains and windmills?”

“No president before Barack Obama has been so right and so wrong. When in his State of the Union speech Mr. Obama said, "This is our generation's Sputnik moment," citing the emergence of global competition from the likes of China and India, he was right. Minutes later he proposed to cover the country with high-speed rail and companies making solar shingles. High-speed rail and solar shingles? If that's the president's idea of meeting our Sputnik moment, then Houston, we have a problem…..”

Former Alaska GOP Gov. Sarah Palin said Wednesday night that President Barack Obama’s call for “winning the future” during his State of the Union address is best framed by the acronym it shares with a much different phrase — “wtf.” “That was a tough speech to sit through and try to stomach,” Palin said during an interview with Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren.

For the first time since 2005, more people have a positive opinion of the Republican Party than a negative one, a new poll found. According to the USA Today/Gallup poll released Thursday, 47 percent of Americans hold a favorable view, compared with 43 percent who hold an unfavorable view. The last time the GOP had a net positive rating was 2005. Meanwhile, slightly more people view the Democratic Party unfavorably than favorably, the poll found: Forty-seven percent had a negative view.

A White House senior adviser said that President Obama is "going to address [gun control]." In an interview with NBC's Brian Williams, David Plouffe responded to criticism that the president did not mention gun control in his State of the Union address.

“Huge youth Mass kicks off March for Life in Washington DC”

Kirby Wilbur has been elected chairman of the Washington State Republican Party.

Three local chapters of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)--whose political action committee spent $27 million supporting Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election--have received temporary waivers from Obamacare. The three SEIU chapters include the Local 25 in Obama’s hometown of Chicago.

An Ohio mother's attempt to provide her daughters with a better education has landed her behind bars. Kelley Williams-Bolar was convicted of lying about her residency to get her daughters into a better school district.

Arizona is expected to set off another seismic immigration wave, when both chambers of its legislature expect to hear the introduction of bills denying citizenship to U.S.-born babies of undocumented immigrants.

Russians want Lenin removed from Red Square

Howard Smith, a senior astrophysicist at Harvard, made the claim that we are alone in the universe after an analysis of the 500 planets discovered so far showed all were hostile to life. Dr Smith said the extreme conditions found so far on planets discovered outside out Solar System are likely to be the norm, and that the hospitable conditions on Earth could be unique.



George Will 1/2/11

New Republican legislators should come down Capitol Hill to the National Museum of American History, which displays a device that in 1849 was granted U.S. patent 6469. It enabled a boat's "draught of water to be readily lessened" so it could "pass over bars, or through shallow water." The patentee was from Sangamon County, Ill. Across Constitution Avenue, over the Commerce Department's north entrance, are some words of the patentee, Abraham Lincoln: THE PATENT SYSTEM ADDED THE FUEL OF INTEREST TO THE FIRE OF GENIUS

Stoking that fire is, more than ever, a proper federal function, so the legislators should be given some reading matter. One is William Rosen's book "The Most Powerful Idea in the World," a study of the culture of invention. Another is the National Academy of Sciences report "Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited," an addendum to a 2005 report on declining support for science and engineering research.

Such research is what canals and roads once were - a prerequisite for long-term economic vitality. The first Republican president revered Henry Clay, whose "American System" stressed spending on such "internal improvements." Today, the prerequisites for economic dynamism are ideas. Deborah Wince-Smith of the Council on Competitiveness says: "Talent will be the oil of the 21st century." And the talent that matters most is the cream of the elite. The late Nobel laureate Julius Axelrod said, "Ninety-nine percent of the discoveries are made by 1 percent of the scientists."

With populism rampant, this is not a propitious moment to defend elites, even scientific ones. Nevertheless, the nation depends on nourishing them and the institutions that sustain them.

U.S. undergraduate institutions award 16 percent of their degrees in the natural sciences or engineering; South Korea and China award 38 percent and 47 percent, respectively. America ranks 27th among developed nations in the proportion of students receiving undergraduate degrees in science or engineering.

America has been consuming its seed corn: From 1970 to 1995, federal support for research in the physical sciences, as a fraction of gross domestic product, declined 54 percent; in engineering, 51 percent. On a per-student basis, state support of public universities has declined for more than two decades and was at the lowest level in a quarter-century before the current economic unpleasantness. Annual federal spending on mathematics, the physical sciences and engineering now equals only the increase in health-care costs every nine weeks.

Republicans are rightly determined to be economizers. They must, however, make distinctions. Congressional conservatives can demonstrate that skill by defending research spending that sustains collaboration among complex institutions - corporations' research entities and research universities. Research, including in the biological sciences, that yields epoch-making advances requires time horizons that often are impossible for businesses, with their inescapable attention to quarterly results.

An iconic conservative understood this. Margaret Thatcher, who studied chemistry as an Oxford undergraduate, said: "Although basic science can have colossal economic rewards, they are totally unpredictable. And therefore the rewards cannot be judged by immediate results. Nevertheless, the value of [Michael] Faraday's work today must be higher than the capitalization of all shares on the stock exchange."

The last Congress's misbegotten stimulus legislation - an indulgent and incoherent jumble of pent-up political appetites - may have done large and lasting damage by provoking a comparably indiscriminate reaction against federal spending. This will be doubly dangerous if a curdled populism, eager to humble elites, targets a sphere of American supremacy and a basis of its revival - its premier research universities. "Gathering Storm" says that because of the recent recession, many universities - during 2008 and 2009, endowments of public and private institutions declined an average of 18.7 percent - "are in greater jeopardy than at any time in nearly a century."

Granted, political correctness and academic obscurantism in some disciplines - mostly the humanities and social sciences - of some elite universities have damaged the prestige of the institutions and irritated substantial portions of the public. But the public should not now be punished by penalizing, with diminished funding, the scientific disciplines that have been mostly innocent of the behaviors that have sometimes made academia a subject of satire.

Richard Levin, economist and Yale's president, asks: Would Japan's growth have lagged since 1990 "if Microsoft, Netscape, Apple and Google had been Japanese companies"? Japan's failure has been a failure to innovate. As "Gathering Storm" says: Making the government lean by cutting the most defensible - because most productive - federal spending is akin to making an overweight aircraft flight-worthy by removing an engine.

Another good read:

During dinner, my Republican buddy cautioned, "You tea party folks commitment to principle, supporting unelectable candidates, could cost us the 2012 presidential election just like you screwed things up in Delaware." He went on to say, "A bad Republican in office is better than a Democrat".

Well, I look at it this way, "You get what you tolerate." I heard about a high school which never allowed a student to graduate on stage pregnant in its long history. A law suit filed by the ACLU on behalf of one student resulted in 23 students graduating on stage pregnant the following year. You get what you tolerate.

When a battered wife forgives her husband's abusive behavior numerous times, she is in essence, teaching him how to treat her; sending him the message it is OK to abuse her. Thus, she gets what she tolerates.

The Tea Party Movement will no longer vote for scoundrels or accept political betrayal as a way of life. As I stated, you get what you tolerate.

Having said that, we live in an imperfect world. On occasion, for the greater good, it may be wise to vote for the lesser of two evils. But in general, we will not continue to be enablers to those who betray us.

The burden is not on us Tea Party patriots to relax our principles. The burden is on the Republicans to get with the program; give us decent candidates to vote for. We are reasonable. We are not asking for candidates who can walk on water and feed five thousand with a few fish and a few loaves of bread.

Republicans, all we ask is that you give us candidates who believe in and are committed to the principles and values the Republican Party claims to stand for. Do that, and expect a GOP landslide victory in 2012. Y'all have a nice day.



"When Democrats accuse Republicans of hateful speech, you might notice that they never supply specific examples. On the other hand, Steny Hoyer (D-MD) made this generalization about millions of Tea Party members: 'My presumption is that they have unhappy families.' My presumption is that Mr. Hoyer is very presumptuous. But if millions of decent, patriotic Americans are unhappy, perhaps it's because louts like Hoyer are doing everything they can to destroy the country."

-Burt Prelutsky

"Few things rile me more than demands that pro-lifers -- especially those motivated by their faith -- keep out of politics. Quite the contrary, many did just that, quietly going to church and reading their Bibles, until one day they awoke to learn the Supreme Court had passed Roe v. Wade ... and the hellacious assault was on. They entered pro-life activism reluctantly, as a reaction to what was thrust upon their culture and country. The last thing they wanted was to get involved in politics. The Death Culture came to them."

-Paul Kengor

"Of the wealthiest zip codes in the U.S., 19 out of 20 vote Democratic. How much longer can the Dems continue the lie of representing the interests of the common man? What they represent is the interest of those who can take advantage of government in the most selfish manner."

-Bruce Bialosky

"If you like the efficiency of the Post Office, the competence of FEMA and the compassion of the IRS, you will love the nationalized health care bill.”

-Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX)

"Guns don't kill people, metaphors do. It's true. Words have consequences. I tested it: Used a sports analogy just yesterday and a pick-up game of hoops broke out. This is liberal-think. Silly, isn't it? Yes, words can have consequences. Except for when they don't."

-Matt Barber



The Genesis Code explores the relationship between faith and science, in the midst of a story of two college students.



“Snowstorm Shatters New York City, Philadelphia Records”

Hartford, Conn. now has nearly 57 inches this month, beating December 1945 as the snowiest month on record.

Climate-change litigation is fast emerging as a new growth area of law where billions of dollars will be at stake, a payout that would make tobacco and asbestos damages look like pocket money. Eyeing the money-spinning potential, some major commercial law firms now place climate-change litigation in their Internet shop window.



Time magazine recently asked in the wake of the Tucson tragedy, “Are We Becoming an Uncivil Society?” Peter Singer would seem the least appropriate person to solicit an answer from. After all, the Princeton bioethicist has championed killing newborns and compared farmhouse hens to concentration camp victims…. Singer derides America’s firearm liberties as “completely insane” and says of the Tucson mass murder that “the NRA has blood on its hands, clearly.” To further demonstrate society’s incivility, Singer points to “nutty views about the dangers of government providing health care” as a possible impetus for Jared Lee Loughner’s killing spree.

So how civil is this? A Madison WI theater is running a play where right-wingers are invited to dinner and then murdered. This reviewer says the dialog is “smart and thought-provoking” and the writer “heralds a new maturity and authoritative presence.”

The leader of the Communist Party USA is telling his supporters to unite with democrats.

Left-wing activists claimed responsibility for a minor explosion on Thursday at a hotel in Davos, close to where top executives and world leaders were meeting, but nobody was hurt. "Our fight against the dictatorship of capital is focused on the social alternative to capitalism: Communism," the group said in the statement.\

Stanley Ann Dunham and the Left's Exploitation of Women



Relatives of a teenage Pakistani girl have apparently electrocuted her for falling in love with a man they did not approve of, police said. Elders and the family of Saima Bibi, 17, decided after a meeting of a village council, or panchayat, that her punishment for shaming the family should be death, police said.

The Imam who wants to build an Islamic community center two blocks from the World Trade Center site may have diminished his prospects after statements he made about homosexuality.

If trends continue, by 2030 the United States will have a higher Muslim population than any European country other than Russia and France.



General Motors Co. sold more cars and trucks in China last year than it did in the U.S., for the first time in the company's 102-year history.

China was able to build its first stealth bomber using technology gleaned from a downed U.S. fighter, it has been claimed.

Chinese pianist plays violent, America hating song in front of a clueless President Obama in the White House. Six minutes into his set, Lang Lang began tapping out a famous anti-American propaganda melody from the Korean War, referring to the US military as “jackals.” The movie and the tune are widely known among Chinese, and the song has been a leading piece of anti-American propaganda by the Chinese Communist Party for decades.


A terrible disease of potentially epidemic proportion has descended upon our country. Ceteris Paribus, a once-rare malady, has already stricken all of our left-leaning policymakers and, based on the results of the last presidential election, may imperil another 67 million people…..Like most debilitating diseases, Ceteris Paribus results when normal behaviors go awry. Ceteris Paribus ("CP"), loosely translated "other things being equal" or "holding all else constant," can be employed positively and normally in the sciences, particularly social sciences like economics. For example, entry-level macroeconomic classes use CP (in small, safe amounts) to make simple the complexity of the real world. This exercise in oversimplification establishes a framework in which the relationship of two variables can be studied, modeled, and projected by still-naïve students. Fortunately, most people outgrow their exposure to CP by transitioning from academia to the real world, where they encounter the critical For Profit (or Loss) Feedback Loop (the "FPLFL"). Exposure to the FPLFL is critical, because the threat of economic loss is one of the few things that can overcome the vanity resulting from years of erroneous academic affirmation. Unfortunately, those who never escape academia or those who move from academia directly into policymaking, never stopping in the real world, develop potentially incurable CP….

Sarah Palin and the Battle for Feminism “However excessive their frothing, feminists had good reason to be in panic mode. Palin may have lost her bid to become vice president; she may have failed to appeal to such prominent conservatives as Peggy Noonan, George Will, and Karl Rove, as well as to lesser right-of-center mortals like this writer; but by leading a wave of new conservative women into the fray, she has changed feminism forever. In fact, this new generation of conservative politicas—having caught, skinned, and gutted liberal feminism as if it were one of Palin’s Alaskan salmon—is transforming the very meaning of a women’s movement…”

Although the Washington Post had no mention on Monday of the annual March for Life rally in Washington D.C., the paper still found time to devote 48 paragraphs and 2850 words to profiling Ron Reagan and his controversial claim in a new book that his father had symptoms of Alzheimer's while in the White House.

“This weekend, for the eighth straight year, the billionaire Koch brothers will convene a meeting of roughly 200 wealthy businessmen, Republican politicians and conservative activists for a semi-annual conference to raise millions of dollars for the institutions that form the intellectual foundation – and, increasingly, the leading political edge – of the conservative movement. In the past, the meetings have drawn an A-list of participants – politicians like Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, leading free-market thinkers including American Enterprise Institute president Arthur Brooks, talkers Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and even Supreme Court justices…”

Of the two businessmen likely to be in the field for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, long-shot Herman Cain, savior of the Godfather's Pizza chain, makes the case that he is far more electable than former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive front-runner in the race . Cain, whose bid has generated a surprising buzz in conservative circles, said in an interview that he admires Mr. Romney‘s business acumen and supported the former governor’s failed 2008 bid, but Mr. Cain argued that he possessed a greater ability to connect with voters and make things happen.



“Guns & Patriots is about firearms and the people who use them. We will bring you the story of the gun, hunter and soldier from the cornfield to the battlefield.”

Hawaii Gov. Abercrombie admits there are no Obama birth records in Hawaii?



"Even though President Hu was only in Chicago for two days, by the Rahm Emanuel standard, he was able to establish residency and can now run for mayor of Chicago."

-Jay Leno



"We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt."

-Thomas Jefferson

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