Saturday, March 28, 2009

Celebrating Human Achievement

We've turned on lights we usually have off at this time.

My husband is celebrating with beer since one of the oldest pieces of human writing is a beer recipe.

And I am on the computer communicating in a manner unfathomable when I was half my age (20).

I was born in 1967 and in my lifetime we've gone from vinyl to CDs to iPods. We've gone from letters to telegrams to cellphones.

No one we knew had a computer, a fax machine, or a microwave oven. My husband's family didn't get central heating until the mid-70s. I can remember a time before cable, DVRs, or even VHS. Now you get a DVD player free with ten tank fill-ups at your local QwikyMart.

In 1969, my father held me up before the TV so I could be witness to Man's first steps on the moon, now we have a space station.

And that's just me.

I grew up with three grandparents and three great-grandparents. I was blessed with a great-grandmother who lived long enough for me to appreciate talking to her about what it was like to live through that magnificent and terrifying 20th Century (she was born in 1896).

And now, as Human Achievement Hour begins, I am grateful for every advance modern man has made. I would be dead without the medical advances we've made in the last 20 years alone.

Plentiful energy. Clean water. Safe housing and construction. Comfortable clothes. Advance medical care. Easy transportation. Plentiful and varied foods year round. The list goes on and on.

To fail to be grateful for all these blessings of modern life, is as bad as failing to be grateful for all the glories of nature surrounding us. We are not Earth's infection, we are Earth's stewards and the more tools we have to care for both our fellow humans and the Earth, the better we all are.

So let's celebrate what humans have achieved so far and rather than denying or self-destructing those achievements, let's redouble our efforts to provide ever increasing access to these technological achievements for all mankind.

Let's light up Africa. Let's clean the slums of developing worlds. Let's ease the suffering of the billions of humans on Earth are now struggle without the benefits of energy, food, water, and shelter that we so easily take for granted.

That will be a human achievement we will celebrate for all time.

An Achievement for Human Achivement Hour

(Originally posted on NRO - The Corner by my husband)

For those put off by the anti-human nature of Earth Hour tomorrow night, Human Achievement Hour is the alternative (check out the rocking video, and don't worry about the bloke with the funny accent). One of those achievements has actually been getting an entry up on Wikipedia about it, as it was deleted for not being notable enough with what can only be described as suspicious haste.

In any event, if you are proud of the achievements of humanity, take some time between 8:30 and 9:30 tomorrow night to surf the net for information about great advances, watch a History Channel documentary — Modern Marvels is appropriate — on your flat-screen TV, or play the best music you know of on your sound system. Then think about how much better the lives of the poor would be if everyone in Bangladesh, Sudan, or Zimbabwe could do the same. Overall, celebrate the greatness that is humanity, and don't let the scolds shame you into thinking the world would be better if we weren't here.

Human Achievement Hour Recognized

Watch this...

Then go here to see the video ('cause it only embeds in half screen below).

Or you can read Michelle Minton's take over at Financial Post!
Matthew Wheeland, an environmental journalist called the holiday “mind-blowingly strange” and pondered if Earth Hour folks are including in their numbers people in countries that don’t have enough electricity to make the choice to turn out their lights. Of course, they don’t have the choice to acquire electricity whereas anyone can choose to stop using human technology if they wish.
Of course, there are people out there who appreciate what we are trying to say. For example, Rajesh in India writes on his blog:

“Coming from India where we routinely suffer power cuts due to mixed-market policies of the government, I found this post from The New Clarion fantastic … Let’s use the wavelength of both light and philosophy to keep darkness at bay.”

Green and private conservation are fine. We have no problem with an individual (or group) that wants to sit naked in the dark without heat, clothing or light. Additionally, we’d have no problem with the group holding a pro-green technology rally. That’s their choice. But when this group stages a “global election” — enviros are asking the world’s citizenry to vote Earth by switching off our lights with the express purpose of influencing government policies to take action against global warming — we have every right as individuals to express our vote for the opposite.

If our Human Achievement Hour is at all a dig against Earth Hour, it is so only by the fact that we are pointing out what Earth Hour truly is about: It isn’t pro-Earth, it is anti-man and anti-innovation. So, on March 28, I plan to continue “voting” for humanity by enjoying the fruits of man’s mind.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Demolition Opera is Cool

Blowing up bridges set to Opera!
The only thing cooler is the Human Achievement Hour video below.

Celebrate Human Achievement Hour!!!

Rock This Out!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Tribute To John Hope Franklin

Follow this link here to read about a great American historian.

Amateur Hour

GayPatriot seems to feel this Obama's administration is essentially amateur hour and wants to know when the grown-ups are coming home.

I have to say I totally agree with him!

Freeman Dyson Is Good

Freeman Dyson is a great and brilliant man, that he stands up to the environmental alarmists and scare-mongerers shows that he is also a brave man.

Read this NYT profile and just ignore the idiotic leftwing jabs at Mr. Dyson's perfectly correct global warming stances. It's worth knowing there are minds like this still humming away in our world.

Your Children Must Serve.

An OpEd in The DC Examiner points out an alarming bill in Congress expanding AmeriCorps into a mandatory youth service militia.

Well, not quite that bad but they want to make the service "mandatory" and that means my kids would be forced to listen to values I do not share nor wish them to be exposed to. My children will serve their community the way I see fit until they are adults, at which point the choice the serve will be theirs.

Not the government's.

Charity begins at home, not in AmericCorps "re-education" facilities.

Sample from article...
To begin with, the legislation threatens the voluntary nature of Americorps by calling for consideration of “a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people.” It anticipates the possibility of requiring “all individuals in the United States” to perform such service – including elementary school students. The bill also summons up unsettling memories of World War II-era paramilitary groups by saying the new program should “combine the best practices of civilian service with the best aspects of military service,” while establishing “campuses” that serve as “operational headquarters,” complete with “superintendents” and “uniforms” for all participants. It allows for the elimination of all age restrictions in order to involve Americans at all stages of life. And it calls for creation of “a permanent cadre” in a “National Community Civilian Corps.”

But that’s not all. The bill also calls for “youth engagement zones” in which “service learning” is “a mandatory part of the curriculum in all of the secondary schools served by the local educational agency.” This updated form of voluntary community service is also to be “integrated into the science, technology, engineering and mathematics curricula” at all levels of schooling. Sounds like a government curriculum for government approved “service learning,” which is nothing less than indoctrination. Now, ask yourself if congressmen who voted for this monstrosity had a clue what they were voting for. If not, they’re guilty of dereliction of duty. If yes, the implications are truly frightening.

No Real Class Resentment In America

Because of the unprecedented number of opportunities for people of all economic classes in America, we don't really resent the rich.

At least that's what this AEI publication says and it seems about right.

American's do not resent the rich unless they fail to play by the rules. Then we get pretty angry. But because we believe we can and do improve our status with every generation, Americans are far more comfortable with wealth than other countries.

Which is hopefully why socialism will never take deep root here.

Congressional Blackmail

AIG London Executives feel that push to snatch back contractually obligated bonuses is blackmail by Congress and I have to say I agree with them.

This mess is the responsibility of Dodd, Frank, et. al. in Congress and very specific divisions of very specific companies. If Pelosi/Reid/Obama hadn't forced these repeated Obominations of bailout bills and so-called stimulus spending through Congress at breakneck speed, we could have read the damn things and seen what was fair or unfair.

But loath to "waste" this economic crisis when it was so ripe for a power grab, the irresponsible and disgusting folks in Obama's administration and Congress decided to take the FUBAR path.

Our anger is misdirected. Leave the innocents alone. Channel your anger towards those who most deserve it. Obama's Administration, the greedy members of Congress, and the press for not doing its job.

Illegal Auntie

Michelle Malkin gives a recap on the current illegal immigrant status of Obama's Aunt. Soon her third or fourth day in immigration court claiming asylum is coming up.

Kenya being a relatively stable African country which is both fond of Obama and apparently full of his close relatives, I can't imagine what Obama's Aunt would have to fear other than no longer being able to live off of the American Taxpayer.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bride of Eight Years Old

This happens around the world and yet liberals would say to condemn the practice is to be judgemental about different cultures. I say wrong is wrong.

A Picture Says A Trillion Words

AIG Resignation Letter

This man makes an excellent point about AIG employees who received bonuses...
None of us should be cheated of our payments any more than a plumber should be cheated after he has fixed the pipes but a careless electrician causes a fire that burns down the house.

Mull This

Rich Galen's Mullings website is always a good bet and his post on Obama's press conference last night is well worth a read.

Here's a sample...
- CNN's Ed Henry asked why the Attorney General of New York, Andrew Cuomo seems to be getting more done on the A.I.G. bonus issue than the Administration and why "you didn't go public immediately with that outrage?" But then, because he couldn't stop himself, Ed went on to ask the President if he thought he was going to be leaving a huge deficit for his daughters.

- The President chose to answer question 1B and slid off the A.I.G. question. When Henry circled back and asked him again why his outrage took so long to germinate, Obama said:
Well, it took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak. All right?
- The transcript said (Laughter), but it sounded more like (Nervous tittering) to me.

- The predicate to Henry's answer was a question by CBS' Chip Reid about the $2.3 trillion difference in the size of the debt between the Administration's estimates and the Congressional Budget Office. "Some Republicans," he said, "called your budget … the most irresponsible budget in American history."

- Obama may be sitting in the Oval Office and he might have promised to open the post-partisan era, but his answer was:
First of all, I suspect that some of those Republican critics have a short memory, because as I recall, I'm inheriting a $1.3 trillion deficit, annual deficit, from them.
- Return with me now to January 3, 2007 when John Boehner, Republican of Ohio was elected Speaker of the House following the 2006 mid-term elections.

- Whoa! What? Nancy Pelosi became Speaker? And the Democrats controlled the House? And the Senate? And they have controlled the budget committees for the past two years? So the "$1.3 trillion deficit, annual deficit" was adopted by the Democrat-controlled Congress?

- Well, then, which Congressional Republicans could President Obama have been talking about? Must have been those Republican Chairmen of the House and Senate Budget Committees, U.S. Rep. John Spratt (D-SC) and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND).

- The A.I.G. contracts were put in place while Republicans Barney Frank (D-MA) and Chris Dodd (D-CT) were in control of the House and Senate Banking Committees. Those same two Guardians of the Working Man were supposed to be overseeing the S.E.C. while Bernie Madoff was playing Bernie Ripoff.


Go Rich Go!

Reward For Speaking Truth To Power

I will give $100 to any member of Congress who gives the American version of this speech to Obama.

Allow me to set up, via Cranmer (excellent, excellent British Blog), below is a video of Dan Hannon, a British Member of the European Parliament, explaining in beautiful rhetoric exactly what a sham Gordon Brown (the current Prime Minister of England) is to Gordon Brown's own face.

Joy. Joy. Joy.

Republicans. Watch and learn.

After you see this video, visit Cranmer's Blog and read the comments about this video. Then explore his site. Remember we would never have had the US Constitution if the British hadn't written the Magna Carta.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Road To Eugenics Is Green

In the name of Environmentalism, a UK "scientist" has decided that human beings are bad for the Earth (trust me, Earth could care less about humans).

JONATHON PORRITT, one of Gordon Brown’s leading green advisers, is to warn that Britain must drastically reduce its population if it is to build a sustainable society.

Porritt’s call will come at this week’s annual conference of the Optimum Population Trust (OPT), of which he is patron.

The trust will release research suggesting UK population must be cut to 30m if the country wants to feed itself sustainably.

Porritt said: “Population growth, plus economic growth, is putting the world under terrible pressure.
This is nothing less than eugenics and it is not only offensive but common among environmentalists (Sierra Club and many others have called for humans to die so Earth may "live").

Helping your fellow man in developing countries should be our priority, not halving the already-declining developed countries' population.

Helping your fellow man with cheap energy, clean water, property rights, and non-corrupt government should be our priority, not wringing your hands over imaginary food shortages.

If environmentalists really want to help, maybe they should be the first "culled" from the population. If environmentalists think energy is bad, they should sell their homes and live in tents. If environmentalists think reproduction is so awful, they shouldn't reproduce themselves.

As my husband says in response to any environmentalists who suggests there should be less people on the planet, "After you."

After you, Mr. Porritt. After you.

Name Calling Is Not A Rational Argument

Ethically-challenged Barney Frank called Supreme Court Justice Scalia a homophobe, presumably for disagreeing with a man who's boyfriend ran an "escort service" from their apartment. At this point, if Frank tolkd me it was nighttime, I'd put on my sunglasses.

Here is the video. Class Act.

Too Much Is Never Enough (Unless You Are A Socialist)

Over at Obama's Teleprompter, Obama is reported to believe that Americans earn too much.

"Yes," says The Boss. "Yes I do. Uh, Americans earn much too much compared, say, to, uh, the Venezuelans or the Chinese. We must make our economy competitive with our fellow citizens of the world. I am confident that a 90% tax on income will get us there."
Would Obama's teleprompter lie?

Does Anyone Understand Energy Policy These Days?


(Gosh, my husband has been busy today over at NRO - The Corner)

With Energy Secretary Steven Chu now being backed by Big Steel in calls for carbon trade wars with the developing world, it is hard to find anyone who has a clue about energy policy in any positions of power these days. You certainly won't find it at the White House if yesterday's announcements about cap-and-trade are anything to go by. Carter Wood has a great summary over at (and note that the intelligent questions came from a reporter for the Fargo Forum, where reality will bite first), and note this about Obama's attempts to blame the current Red River flooding on the global warming that we haven't seen for ten years.

Meanwhile, all those renewable-energy projects that we were promised from the stimulus look like never being built if the environmental movement (you know, the guys pushing for them) have their way. Senator Feinstein is blocking a solar project in the Mojave Desert because of damage to the local tortoise population. I'm going to shock everyone by quoting Gov. Schwarzenegger approvingly:

If we cannot put solar power plants in the Mojave desert, I don't know where the hell we can put it.

Similar story with wind power in the west. Yet even if the environmental movement weren't blocking everything, we couldn't get where they want to be their way. Even Steven Chu recognizes that the technology will require Nobel-caliber breakthroughs. Yet they aren't going to keep the lights on in the short term, when electricity becomes too expensive as Obama's cap-and-trade or regulations hit.

And hit they will. A new report by Moody's Investors Services finds that electricity rates will increase by 30% as a result. No wonder that Big Steel, as well as arguing for carbon tariffs, is also arguing that it should be given free permits to emit. Energy policy in this country has finally left sanity behind in the dark, which is where the rest of us will be soon.

Stick it In Your Pie Hole, Patty

Class act and democrat Patty Murray (no relation) told fellow Senators to just pass Obama's disasterous budget, no criticism allowed.

"Now is not the time to sit back and criticize," Murray said in a open warning to Republicans.
Hmmm, Sane people and Republicans shouldn't say anything negative about yet another stupid and misdirected plan to spend American Taxpayer's money because Patty said so.

Yeah right. Go stick it in your pie hole, Patty.


Also this retort by my husband

(Originally posted on NRO - The Corner)

Re: The New Republic Getting with the Program
Jim, I note that the teaser for that good post by Galston is entitled "Cap-and-fade: The Administration's little-discussed environmental bind." Little-discussed? Over there, maybe, but not on this side of the fence.

Selective Quotation is Alive and Well

(Originially posted on NRO - The Corner by my husband)

A few years ago I quoted somewhere the alarmist scientist Steve Schneider as saying,

So we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts we may have . . . each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective, and being honest.

A reader wrote in to upbraid me for missing out the next sentence, where Schneider said, "I hope that means being both." The reader was right. Missing out the sentence was not fair to Schneider, but nor does it materially change the import of Schneider's statement. Since that day I have tried to include it whenever I can. And I have also tried to be careful about quoting selectively in general. I cannot say for sure that I have always succeeded, but I have tried to be fair.

This, of course, makes me particularly interested to see instances where I myself am selectively quoted, which happens every so often. The most recent example is today, in an article by Charles Holman of The Washington Monthly, which adopts an oh-these-conservatives-when-will-they-learn approach to the grand experiment that was Culture11. For some reason he singles out my only contribution to the site:

The goal of providing conservative journalists a place to write for their fellow conservatives about cultural subjects gave the lesser features and reviews by young writers the sheltered-workshop aura of a college newspaper, and occasionally dipped into the kind of "these kids today" cultural commentary that right-of-center magazines have never been short of, with Iain Murray—one of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s in-house authorities on climate change denial—harrumphing that "it seems impossible to find a show that airs after 8 p.m. on any of the major networks that is not obsessed with sex."

Yes, I did write that. The trouble for Holman's argument is that the way he uses the quotation ignores the entire point of the article. For instance, the next paragraph begins:

Now this is not to say that sex is not funny or that it should be bowdlerized out of comedy. As should be obvious, I really enjoy all these shows. The problem is monotony.

My whole point was that bawdy comedy and elegant comedy have existed side-by-side for the entirety of human existence until, it seems, the last couple of years. I'm not "harrumphing" about sex comedy in the slightest, just the monotonous obsession with it. Would Holman care to defend that monotony?

The really funny thing is that Holman's complaint about my harrumphing is in itself a harrumph. And I'm sure Culture11 could have published something very good about that.

Geithner's Guess

Geithner is asking for unprecedented control over the US banking industry. At this point that's like one of the three stooges babysit your infant.

No way. No how.

Think, I'm alone on this position, check out the falling stocks on Wall Street.

Or Noble Prize winner Stiglitz who says the "The Geithner plan is very badly flawed"

Geithner's power grab should be added to the ever growing list of things to protest at Tax Revolts!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Human Achievement Hour

Originially posted by my husband at NRO - The Corner

The usual suspects have announced a strange new holiday: Earth Hour, which is to be celebrated by turning off the lights and electricity (but presumably not by holding your breath, denying emergency service, or anything like that). In response, my colleague Michelle Minton had the brilliant idea of celebrating Human Achievement Hour at the same time; let's celebrate all the good technology does and all the wonderful things mankind has created. This, unsurprisingly, has attracted derision from said usual suspects, who are astounded that anyone could ever wish to celebrate the massive increase in human welfare accessible energy has brought, as Michelle details here. In doing so, she highlights the key point:

If our Human Achievement Hour is at all a dig against Earth Hour, it is so only by the fact that we are pointing out what Earth Hour truly is about: it isn’t pro-earth, it is anti-man and anti-innovation.

Quite so.

Tossing Trillions Tends Towards Taxes

And Tax Revolts.

Obama announces another trillion in American Taxpayer money shall be burned in panic. And Sen. Gregg explains how Obama and his "plans" are going to economically destroy our great nation.

Also, Paul Krugman in a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed explains why Obama and Geithner's "cash for trash" isn't so hot an idea (even though its been recycled).

Obama and Notre Dame

If this year's graduates of Notre Dame truly believe that having such a staunch and radical supporter of infanticide as Obama speaking at their graduation ceremony is a true and deep violation of Catholic pro-life values, then they should simply not go.

Imagine the humiliating picture, if enough graduates boycotted the graduation ceremony, of Obama speaking to an auditorium filled with mostly empty seats.

I know graduation is an important ceremony in marking life's achievements, but isn't standing up for the preservation of your Catholic beliefs and the sanctity of life an important lifelong achievement?

New Era of Hope and Change in Action: Part LXIX

This was originally posted on NRO - The Corner by my husband.

An omnibus lands bill that was actually a land-grab bill failed to pass the House last week. So what are they doing? Via E&E Daily:

Earlier this month, the House fell two votes shy of passing the bill under suspension of the rules, a maneuver that shields legislation from amendment or a motion to recommit but requires a two-thirds majority for passage. Senate leaders then devised a strategy to use a bill that had already passed the House — H.R. 146, a proposal to protect Revolutionary War battlefields — and strip its contents, replacing it with the omnibus lands bill.

Because the House already passed H.R. 146, the Rules Committee can approve a closed rule that would block a motion to recommit, eliminating the GOP's best procedural chance to stymie the bill. The chamber would only need a simple majority vote to concur with the Senate amendment.
Who says that our legislative process is broken?

Socialists Unleash Class Warfare

Daily News columnist Micheal Goodwin calls out Obama Congress for =despicably promoting class warfare and violating all that America is.

Everybody makes mistakes, and I made a beaut the other day. I was wrong to call members of Congress blow-hards and buffoons and declare them worse than useless.

I was too kind.

I should have said our representatives are gangsters in pinstripes and pearls. They are petty tyrants and the more power they grab, the more at risk we are. Homeland Security should flash Code Red any time this Congress is in session.

It is twilight in America now. The House vote to use the tax code to retroactively punish bonus babies was an act of sheer madness. What started as phony outrage at AIG has crossed the line into insane policy. It is stunning that the vote was lopsided and bipartisan.

The Senate is itchy to go along, and President Obama says he's ready to tighten the thumbscrews on the banks. Is there no adult who will bring a straitjacket?

We should all be very afraid. Class warfare is mere predicate for a witch hunt that, once unleashed, will not stop with misbegotten wealth. It will punish success and stifle innovation. Dissent will invite dishonor.

That Congress is a gang of cheap connivers is not news. Chris Dodd, Charlie Rangel, Charles Grassley, Barney Frank - they have been national embarrassments for years.

But now they are dangerous, emboldened by public fear and anger. They know nothing, but have power and smell opportunity for more.
Read the whole thing.

The only part I disagree with is "We can't say we weren't warned" because the Mainstream Media did such a piss-poor job vetting Obama that few Americans (die-hard bloggers and their readers) knew just how radical Obama IS.

New Boss, Same As The Old Boss?

Hat Tip: Perfunction

More Examples of Tax Cheaters in Congress

TaxProf Blog names and shames several members of Congress for being tax cheats.

Go TaxProf Go!

LA Times also names Dem. Pete Stark as a tax cheat.