Monday, July 14, 2008

Another wire service editorial

Reuters: Bush lifts offshore drilling ban in symbolic move

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush on Monday lifted a White House ban on offshore drilling to try to drive down soaring energy prices, a largely symbolic bid unlikely to have any short-term impact on high gasoline costs.


Congress too has a ban on offshore drilling and while it expires on September 30, it could be renewed. Plus, federal officials say it would take years for any oil to be produced in those areas, together making Bush's move largely symbolic. [emphasis added]

Now if they simply made the statement that it was symbolic just because of the legislative ban, then that’s fine. But the writer is clearly implying that the move is also symbolic because it would not produce oil any time in the near future. This is patently ridiculous. First of all, even if it didn’t have any effect on prices in the near-term, that it would eventually have an effect means that is not symbolic. By their same logic, quitting smoking at the age of 25 would be a symbolic move, because the serious health effects of smoking likely won’t manifest in the near term. And never mind that part of it, because the idea that gas prices aren’t at all affected by a future expectation of the market is just plain ignorant. And I wonder how many who would make such a claim are the same who have been on a rage demonizing speculators for driving up the price of oil?

(essentially cross-posted here)

Actually, come to think of it, even the fact that half of the barrier is down could have an effect on market anticipation. Prices should still be affected, if only slightly.

The Obamessiah ain't got nothin' on Judson C. Hammond

I'm reading through Gene Healy's The Cult of the Presidency. It's a fascinating examination of how the office of the Presidency has transformed from its original role of a simple Chief Magistrate, to one of a more enlightened, benevolent deity figure. As the book jacket quotes (haven't gotten to it yet, I think), "Very few Americans seem to think it odd, says Healy, 'when presidential candidates talk as if they're running for a job that's a combination of guardian angel, shaman, and supreme warlord of the earth.'"

Anyway, turns out this encroachment is nothing new. At the end of the chapter, "'Progress' and the Presidency," which is a chapter on how early 20th-century progressives pushed for an expanded executive authority, Healy recounts what must be an equally hilarious and disturbing film:

A remarkable film produced in 1932 and released shortly after FDR's election captured the changes in the public's orientation toward the presidency. Financed by William Randolph Hearst and starring Walter Huston, Gabriel over the White House depicts a president literally touched by an angel and empowered to heal the country and the world. The movie's fictional president, Judson C. Hammond, begins as an unflattering amalgam of Harding and Coolidge, a party hack more interested in bedding his comely assistant than in dealing with the country's ongoing economic woes.

After Hammond is gravely injured in a car crash, the archangel Gabriel visits him in the hospital. Gabriel imbues the comatose Hammond with the Holy Spirit of presidential activism. Hammond awakens from the coma, declares a state of emergency, and threatens Congress with a declaration of martial law should they refuse to pass his legislative program, which includes federally subsidized agriculture, a ban on mortgage foreclosures, and a CCC-style "Army of Construction" that will give a job to every unemployed man in America. To eradicate organized crime, Hammond authorizes a special army unit to fight gangsters, several of whom are convicted via military tribunal, then executed with the Statue of Liberty visible in the background. Toward the end of the movie, President Hammond uses a demonstration of American air power to force other world leaders to disarm, thereby ending the scourge of war. Then, with his work on Earth done, the president ascends into Heaven."

Unreal. I have to think it's slightly exaggerated, but I sure hope not. I MUST find this movie and see it. And I hope an excerpt that long was well within fair use. I'll shoot the author an email with a link to see if he minds. Two points in my defense: 1) I have found the book so far to be very enjoyable, and would encourage folks to read it -and- 2) No one reads this blog anyway.


Headline: "Doctors pull screws, nails from metal-eating man"

Quote: "Luis Zarate was taken to the regional hospital of Trujillo earlier this week by his family after complaining of sharp stomach pains."

There are all kinds of joke and pun opportunities here, but what's the point?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Keep on rockin' in the Free World

Alternate title: The Freedom of Religion and Expression are dormant in Canada

Too much?

Read this and decide for yourself.

And did you see what I did there with the Canadian artist in the title?

Anyway, money quotes:

A Christian pastor has been given a lifetime ban against uttering anything "disparaging" about gays. Not against anything "hateful", let alone something legally defined as "hate speech". Just anything negative.

So a pastor cannot give a sermon.

But he must give a false sermon; he is positively ordered to renounce his deeply held religious beliefs, and apologize to his tormentor for having those views.

And then that pastor is ordered to declare to his entire city that he has renounced his religious views, even though he has not.

And from a commenter:

-The truth is no defense

-Intent is no defense

-The rules of evidence do not apply

-The precedents in courts do not apply

-Legal jurisdiction does not apply

-The Constitution does not apply; including the Charter

-Consistency and sense do not apply

-Mens rea and Actus rea do not apply

-Burden of proof does not apply

-Canadian law itself does not apply; including the Charter of rights and freedoms

-The Magna Carta and 800 years of legal inheritance does not apply

-Human rights do not apply

-Democracy does not apply

-Sanity does not apply

-The fine country we call Canada.... does not apply

Those in the Star Chamber will pass their judgment on us all and drive out the witches among us.

Welcome to Salem.
May | 06.06.08 - 6:53 pm | #

Here is the letter in question, that appeared in the Red Deer Advocate, a local paper in Alberta.

Now personally, I think publicly crafting an idea of battle between homosexuals and heterosexuals is a very wrong thing to do. I think Christians should be reaching the world with the Gospel, and let the chastening of God do the changing. All beside the point, though. The idea that such writings should not be protected speech is outrageous. And present a very real example for the slippery slope argument that has been employed against "Hate Crime" legislation since the beginning.

ht: jlf lr

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Minimum Wage, Eugenics, and the NAACP

This morning on NC Spin, the panelists were addressing the NAACP in North Carolina and their effectiveness, after their rally in Raleigh, in which they presented their 14 point agenda. Included was the following item:

Restitution for the 1891 Wilmington race riots and sterilization of poor, black women in the first half of the 20th century

The sterilization part is in reference to a horrid, dark period in our state's history. Long after eugenics had fallen out of favor, the North Carolina eugenics program continued into the late 70s!

As you can expect, the NAACP is rightly denouncing this horrible practice. And if any of the people affected by this program remain, then I hope they seek restitution.

But there is an irony here for the NAACP. As mentioned by Chris Fitzsimon, the NAACP fought especially hard for the minimum wage increase in the state in the last session. And the historical impetus for the minimum wage is not too distant from that of Eugenics, as I first saw here. As Sidney Webb, early minimum wage warrior, put it:

Of all ways of dealing with these unfortunate parasites [undesirable classes], the most ruinous to the community is to allow them unrestrainedly to compete as wage earners.

The minimum wage would price the 'undesirables' out of the labor market. Eugenics through economics. So it just seems funny to me to see the NAACP simultaneously condemning (rightly) eugenics with the one hand, and unwittingly attempting to advance it with the other.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

We're from the government, and we're here to fix your soul.

Alternate title: Theocracy on the Left

Since I just had a post about Obama as demigod, this needed a post on here.

Michelle Obama, during a speech at UCLA about a month ago, said:

That before we can work on the problems, we have to fix our souls - our souls are broken in this nation.

Creepy stuff.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Great quote

So my roommate and I are watching one of the ESPN Top 20 list shows, and they're doing Top 20 NFL Postseason Performances. On the list was Desmond Howard from Super Bowl XXXI. In reference to a kickoff return for a touchdown, he said:

I'm actually looking up at the Jumbotron to make sure no one's gaining ground because I wanted to get to the end zone and do my robot dance.

Under construction

Monkeying with the template, but time to go to work. So it'll look a little crappy for at least today.

You folks know I LOATHE the phrase, "GIT R DONE"

But darn if I can't come up with a better thing to say after reading this story:

Johnston County Homeowner Beats Up Burglar

Monday, February 18, 2008

YES WE CAN (walk on water?)

Ok. This is scary. On first brush, I don't know if the author of that blog is being tongue-in-cheek or not. But the compilation of earnest quotes tells the story all the same.


HT: Ed Lasky at American Thinker via Hal Young at JLF