One could argue the death of Michael Jackson is an example of natural selection in action, that would be a matter of debate, however I think there is no question that the people in this story illustrate Darwin award winners:

Gary Taylor, president and owner of MJJcommunity.com, said he understood the tragedies had mostly taken place outside of the UK but he believed one may have been British.

“I know there has been an increase, I now believe the figure is 12. I believe there may have been one Briton who has taken their life,” he said.

If this report is true than it is idiocy to the nth degree. It’s bad form to speak ill of the dead but I have a hard time feeling sorry for people whose lives are so empty that they can’t live without Michael Jackson.

This is one of the least Catholic posts I’ve written, I confess I’ve always had a bit of a prejudice against people who kill themselves I really should be more charitable but COME ON this is Nelson award territory.

The LA times article on “What if TMZ was wrong” is mostly forgettable but there is one line that says a lot about the MSN.

Jeffrey Seglin is quoted saying the following and it is treated as gospel:

“Few people expect TMZ or Drudge or the National Enquirer to get things right or to report on issues of substance.”

I must confess I’m not an expert on TMZ but DRUDGE? DRUDGE? Few people expect DRUDGE to report on issues of substance of get it right?

This stands in stark contrast to a decade of reporting by Drudge. In addition due to the rise of blogs Drudge is not as often the “first source” for many stories that it covers.

It’s almost a Pauline Kael moment but the MSN has a lot of them.

Bernie Madoff is off to Jail for the rest of my yet to be born grandchildren’s life:

Bernard Lawrence Madoff, who by his own admission sometime 18 years ago concocted a devious plan that would turn into the world’s biggest and most diabolical financial fraud in history, will spend the remainder of his existence in prison.

Inside a U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Monday morning, a judge sentenced the former Wall Street bigwig to 150 years behind bars for his crimes, the maximum possible sentence.

He deserved it big time but I couldn’t help but laugh at this headline from Drudge:

He stole from the rich. He stole from the poor. He stole from the in between.

It reminded me of the 2000 year old man and his description of Robin Hood

On Robin Hood: “He stole from everybody and kept everything — he just had a good press agent”

The press agent was Murry< Marty.

and part 3 that includes Marty

If Madoff had Martyy working for him he would not be in jail today!

Very busy yesterday so no posting but one thought.

Just finished re-reading Six Days of War that was returned to me after a loan. (My old Amazon review from 2002 is here) At the time the thing that struck me the most was the story of the BIG LIE, namely that the US and England had actively attacked Egypt and Jordan during the 1967 war. I wrote the following at the time:

This more than anything else shows the weakness of dictatorship in general and the arab states in particular. Building a foundation on falsehood; false victories, false reports, false charges is necessary when you have to control your people in order to lead them. Problems can’t be addressed and situations can’t be advanced while this is true, likewise troops can’t be inspired when they can’t believe what their commanders say for can the people be expected to sustain a war when they don’t believe what is being said. For Arabs this cycle is still being repeated today, my favorite example being Imam Muhammad al-Gameia who a few days after attending a service in NY preaching love and unity (in English) went to Egypt and said that the Jews were behind Sept 11 and Arabs were being shot in the streets in NY. (In Arabic)

The rest of my review at the time was edited by Amazon as it was an indictment of current Arab government. Not only has that opinion been vindicated (Remember Baghdad Bob) and the “massacre of Jenin” and ofHaditha” but the tactics were frankly copied by the American left in their description of the war in Iraq and of Gitmo.

I hate to say it but It’s my opinion that there is no real chance for peace in the middle east. Arab leaders don’t dare embrace actual peace and normalcy for fear of their public and power since the Arab street hasn’t embraces reality publicly. The only way democracy is going to be the answer is after a democratic Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt demand fight and lose a war a catastrophic war against Israel.

Until the average Arab feels and acknowledges defeat peace will never happen. Limbaugh is right on this one.

119chaospoolMy Review of the Big Finish Doctor Who adventure Number 119, The Chaos Pool is available at Amazon.com here.

This is the third part of the 3 part Key 2 Time series featuring Peter Davidson as the doctor. I haven’t reviewed the first two parts although I have reviewed the Companions Chronicles crossover featuring the 7th doctor and Ace.

One more oddity concerning the rather bad vote yesterday.

Did you note this from Redstate?

His office STILL wouldn’t say which way he was voting on it, so I called them on it, and said that he’s just waiting to see if there are enough votes so he can oppose the bill for political purposes.

This is Rep. Thomas Perriello of Va.

One of the thing that Sam Rayburn used to always say is “A congressman’s first duty is to get re-elected.” There are and were times when a vote that an administration would want or demand might be against the interests of a particular congressman. Rayburn being Rayburn could command a certain amount of votes and loyalty but he never forgot the first duty of a congressman. So he would line up extra votes on controversial measures so he could if necessary release members of his caucus that a particular vote would hurt.

The purpose of those 8 republicans who voted for that bill wasn’t to make it a “bi-partisan” measure. It was to give a large enough margin for Pelosi and company to let a few of their people vote the other way.

In 1957 Senator Lyndon Johnson had a problem. He wanted to be elected president but it was apparent that no southern candidate could win the democratic nomination without being made pure on Civil rights. Due to the use of the filibuster (these were they days before 60 vote cloture) the southern democrats were able to block any kind of vote so it was necessary to craft a bill weak enough to keep the democrats from filibustering while not gutting the bill to the point where supporters of civil rights would consider it a scam. Johnson managed in one of the most amazing balancing acts in political history managed to shepherd the Civil Rights act of 1957 through the Senate.

One of the pieces of that puzzle was a vote on the Hell’s Canyon Dam. A freshman Senator Frank Church and other senators from the northwest had been fighting for that dam for years to no effect. Johnson managed to make a deal with those senators that in exchange for the votes needed to remove parts of the Civil Rights Bill (section III) unacceptable to the south, southern senators would provide the votes to get the Hell’s Canyon bill through the senate.

What those senators didn’t realize but Johnson did was the House of Representatives would reject the dam. It would be another 7 years (under President Lyndon Johnson) before the dam would be approved and a full decade before it opened.

Something similar is going on right now with Cap & Trade. President Obama and the House Democratic leadership are looking for a win for political reasons and house democrats leaders are making deals to get the votes they need for passage. Like LBJ of old democrat leaders know they are selling a pig in a poke to their members for their own political benefit on a bill that will not actually help those who it purports to help.

The question remains will the undecided members see through it? Time will tell.

…and the party advice that I put up a few days ago.

“Go get him, go get him,” President Obama yelled to press outside the Oval Office as they marched toward the South Lawn to attempt to dunk his press secretary into a dunk tank.

Gibbs, 38, normally clad in a dark suit and tie now had a different suit on — navy blue swim trunks and a long navy blue shirt.

between this and the media’s Michael Jackson Obsession these guys could pass a bill re-establishing the Monarchy and nobody would notice.

If you consider the short attention spans of Americans and the need for attention to keep the pressure on Iran the last few days have been really lucky for the Mullahs.

Between the Sanford affair, Farrah death and now Michael Jackson kicking the bucket the Iranian leadership couldn’t have planned for a better combination to keep the bodies off of western TV screens.

The fact that we are distracted so easily speaks volumes about us as a people, none of it good.

So says David Pinto:

David Ortiz pretty much put any lingering doubts about the end of his slump to rest. He went two for three with a home run Wednesday night, and is now hitting .327 in June with six home runs and a .709 slugging percentage.

The thing that struck me the most about Ortiz’s slump is how much fans were cheering for him and hoping for him all through the slump. It was a rare thing to see him be booed. I’ve never seen a group of fans just pull for a guy without riding him in my life.

Red Sox fans have long memories:

And it still makes you smile years later,

…for one simple reason:

This guy is a Chicago Machine Pol with no achievements and or accomplishments of note before actually winning the White House. What makes you think that such an empty suit is going to be either clean himself or surrounded by clean people?

There was always a chance that he would turn out to be more than he seems, everyone remembers this quote from Eddie McCormack from the 1962 senate campaign in Massachusetts:

“if your name was Edward Moore instead of Edward Moore Kennedy, your candidacy would be a farce.”

McCormack was the AG and the nephew of the speaker of the House of Representatives John McCormack but nobody remembers his second quote part of which applies very well here:

I ask my opponent, What are you qualifications?…You are not running on qualifications. You are running on a slogan…”

(You can find the full quote in the excellent book Man of the House by Tip O’Neil). Now given 20-40 years and only one body Teddy has become an effective senator who never met a dollar that he wasn’t willing to spend domestically and never met a foe of America that he wouldn’t support.

Remember it was this same Ted Kennedy who floor managed the 1965 immigration bill and assured us:

“The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.”

Yup this is the same guy who wants to nationalize healthcare before he dies. And remember this guy is the example of the EXCEPTION who might turn out all right.

“Yes we can” is just a slogan. We found out here in Massachusetts that slogans like “Together we can” are no better a basis for successful government than some farcical aquatic ceremony.

As Americans we always get the government we deserve, we are getting what we deserve right now and if this trend continues beyond 2010 and 2012 we will deserve that too.

But don’t come to me shocked about this administration’s corruption, and broken promises. If you didn’t see it coming it’s only because you weren’t looking or didn’t want to see it.

How do we end up with senators like this in Massachusetts:

The Bay State senator was telling a group of business and civic leaders in town at his invitation about the “bizarre’’ tale of how South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford had “disappeared for four days’’ and claimed to be hiking along the Appalachian Trail, but no one was really certain of his whereabouts.

“Too bad,’’ Kerry said, “if a governor had to go missing it couldn’t have been the governor of Alaska. You know, Sarah Palin.’’

The Democratic-centric crowd laughed.

Of course they did.

It just so happens that right now Governer Palin is on her way to an undisclosed location…to visit the troops:

“She’s traveling overseas. For security purposes, the governor’s office cannot release information until it is cleared by (the Department of Defense),” said Palin’s spokeswoman, Sharon Leighow.

Leighow said Palin is travelling with Craig Campbell, commander of the Alaska National Guard, and Alaska Command Sgt. Maj. Gordon Choat. She said they’ll be going to training exercises, promotion ceremonies and hospitals. Leighow said Palin will be on the trip through the weekend.

Ya wanna laugh about that John? In my opinion she’s worth 10 of him.

Update: Hotair notices as does Conservatives 4 Palin.

…or even have a chance to be nominated.

Not quite Henry Clay is it? I guess Mark Twain had it as pegged as it can be:

Of the delights of this world, man cares most for sexual intercourse. He will go to any length for it-risk fortune, character, reputation, life itself

Have ever truer words been spoken?

The sad thing is the idea could be to get this out of the way now to give him a few years to “rehabilitate” himself? If Sarah Palin is a candidate in 2012 that plan is as doomed as it can be.

Update: Interesting perspective from Roger Simon (via Glenn) but Michelle Malkin nails it.

Update 2: Welcome Anchoress and Michelle Malkin readers take a peek around. Learn how Catholic Sainthood works, see the return of Taxachusetts, ponder the relationship between prayer and probability, enjoy a little Doctor Who online comic and remember for a party, go with the dunk tank every time!

Update 3: Another difference between Sanford and Palin is where they go when the location is undisclosed.

Update 4: Did you ever find yourself typing one thing and seeing another? Corrected grammar above.

Jay Nordlinger hit on something today that is so true that it is painful to read:

Hey, speaking of genocide, what about Sudan? Wanting to come to grips with Darfur, I wrote an article called “About Sudan: What has been done? What can be done?” That was published in National Review four years ago: in the May 23, 2005, issue. I have checked in on Sudan from time to time since. And I really see no need to revise that piece, or to write another one. Hardly anything has changed. Last week I read, “The human rights situation in Sudan is ‘critical,’ an independent U.N. expert said Tuesday, accusing the nation’s government of cracking down on its critics and shielding those responsible for gross violations such as rape, torture and murder.” (For the article, go here.)

Yeah, well when is the “human rights situation” not critical? It has been so for a very, very long time. We all know the drill: After a genocide — Rwanda, say — we say “Never again,” and then after the next one “Never again,” and then after the next one . . .

It would be more seemly, I have often thought, simply to stop declaring “Never again.”

There always seems a reason not to worry about stuff like this, we will provoke them, we want to make constructive change, Oh the Olympics will open up China, oh we need to deal with Cuba to open them up. And of course we can’t say a thing because of Gitmo or because of Abu Graib or because of a revolt in 1955 or because of the evils western civilization etc etc etc…

The average American gets it, the reason why there are holocaust museums today isn’t because of what was done, governments KNEW what was being done and didn’t give a damn. This is why:

It’s because an army of average American SAW it and were outraged. It could not be ignored or explained away. Excuses wouldn’t wash. That is when we chose to pretend that this is why we fought, it had nothing to do with it. It SHOULD have, but it didn’t.

It wasn’t till that moment that we transformed the Nazi’s into the most evil people in the world. The reality is there are plenty of candidates for that title, Stalin & Mao slaughtered millions more yet they are acceptable as leaders in Civilization IV and Hitler isn’t. What is the difference? The difference is it hasn’t been seen firsthand by tens of thousands of Americans. This allows intellectuals and political types to explain things away, to be “realistic”, to not interfere.

The American soldiers who fought in Iraq and found the mass graves there (that are still being found) get it, but for our political class other considerations will always rule.

This is why Obama can watch people slaughtered and invite the killers to parties, this is why Clinton can let Rwanda happen and then not be critiqued when he beats his breast in regret.

Our reaction to this is a national disgrace.

It is also why the left will always hate president Bush. 9/11 may have been the impetus but in the end in at least one place in the world the mass graves were stopped and he was responsible and still doesn’t apologize for it.

We are going say little and do less while these people are slaughtered. It’s what we are doing with Sudan and it is what we will do the next time and the time after that. This might seem odd but it’s not about saving slaughtered people; it’s about being able to say you care and convince others you care while doing nothing.

Ah the joys of self esteem.

Update: You know on reflection I’m being unfair. There is a lot of solid outrage against the Mullahs on the left blogs. I think my attack on the administration is correct and those who compare the mullahs to the last administration are frankly loons however that doesn’t describe the majority of the blogs on the left who have supported the people of Iran yearning to be free. I’ve given a wrong impression of the majority opinion on the left on this issue.

So I apologize, my bad.

Update 2: The Iranians have gotten worse:

From the live blogger’s eyewitness account:

>More than 10.000 Bassij Milittias get position in Central Tehran, including Baharestan Sq.
>Army Helicopters flying over Baharestan and Vali Asr Sq.
>The streets, squares and around BAHARESTAN (Approx. South-eastern of Tehran) is swarming with military forces, civilian forces, the security motorists
>The crowd have moved to the south of baharestan, the situation is bad, the shooting has started
>In Baharestan Sq. in the Police shooting, A girl is shot and the police is not allowing to let them help
>In Baharestan we saw militia with axe chopping people like meat – blood everywhere – like butcher

This is the Iranian regime, wading into its own unarmed people and axing them to death, bludgeoning women (seen as the greatest threat to the regime) and throwing them to their deaths from pedestrian bridges. The same Iranian regime whose embassy officials are invited to American embassies around the world to celebrate on July 4th, of all things, a successful revolution.

that’s the last straw: No soup for you!

and hotair also notes a shift in tone:

Yesterday’s left-wing conventional wisdom: We can’t jeopardize diplomacy by taking a meaningless moral stand! Today’s left-wing conventional wisdom: Obama has taken a bold moral stand against regime abuses!

The times they are a changin.

As you would know from reading this blog I don’t have a lot of love for radical Islam but this proposal from Sarkozy of France is a bridge too far for me:

Speaking at the Palace of Versailles, Mr. Sarkozy confronted one of the most hotly debated social issues in France, saying there was no room in the republic for burqas, the garments that some Muslim women wear to cloak their bodies and faces.

“The issue of the burqa is not a religious issue. It is a question of freedom and of women’s dignity,” Mr. Sarkozy said. “The burqa is not a religious sign. It is a sign of the subjugation, of the submission, of women.”

To enthusiastic applause, he said, “I want to say solemnly that it will not be welcome on our territory.”

You don’t assimilate people and control radical Islam by denying people rights any more than you control crime by stringent gun laws. It is necessary to instead enforce the law consistently across the board. Put police in Muslim areas in force. Make sure that if Jews, Gays or anyone else are attacked or intimidated that the full penalty of the law awaits them. Make sure that the rights and responsibilities of citizenship apply to all.

This is a case of barking up the wrong tree.

In a previous thread a question was asked concerning saints. Namely does God make saints or does man?

The short answer is; Since man has free will we must conclude saints are made by their own actions and devotion with the assistance and inspiration of God. This does seem a good opportunity to explain exactly how Catholic sainthood in particular works.

I invite any more knowledgeable Catholic such as Fr. Tim Finigan to correct me if I get any points of doctrine wrong.
Continue reading “Catholic Saints and sainthood how it works”

VDH explains as a list of points on Obama and his timid response to the Iranian revolution one section really hits it out of the park:

5) Obama’s realpolitik is flawed: 1) if the mullahs win, they will have greater contempt for our timidity; 2) if the dissidents win, they will not forget our realistic fence-sitting; 3) you can never believe (ever) anything the mullahs say or do. Negotiating with them is like signing a pact with Hitler.

It never ceases to amaze me how supposedly smart people are willing to believe the mullahs while there were unwilling to believe president Bush. I think as mentioned on Morning Joe today there are just too many people who don’t want to seem on the “Bush” side. They may not like the Mullahs but they hated republicans more. If you want a great example of the delusional state of these people Big Hollywood gave a history lesson this weekend on the Annette Bening Iran trip fiasco.

…but I plan to have reviews of several doctor who audios soon including parts of the key 2 time series and the new episodes that feature the 3 companions backfeature.

Meanwhile Rich’s comics blog has turned the Forever Janette/Doctor Who episode into at the very least a two doctor story as two of the vampire characters on seeing the Tardis (of the 8th doctor) flash back to a meeting with the 5th doctor in 1348.

If that’s not worth a visit to his site and a hit of the tip jar in these lean time for us Doctor who fans I’d like to know what is.

Oh and House of Palus is still really good too.

One bit of advice for a cool party:

Dunk Tank.

The Dunk tank was in constant use and other than one broken window from a ricochet it was an incredible success.

How much of one? When your totally sober wife gets in the dunk tank fully clothed at 9:45 p.m. with the tank lighted by car headlights you know everyone has had a lot of fun.

I was in on two separate occasions if you can afford it you will find it’s a world of fun, but try to lean forward since you don’t want your back to hit anything.

As for the rain the forecast suddenly changed, instead of it starting at 2 it didn’t start till after 8, plenty of time for a bunch of fun.

Who says you have to drink a lot for a good time?

…says the headline of the Sentinel & Enterprise and they are on the money.

The state sales tax is going up.

So is the meals tax, taxes on alcohol, satellite TV and possibly hotels.

Both the House and Senate Friday, delivered an on-time budget to Gov. Deval Patrick that raises the state sales tax from 5 percent to 6.25 percent and lifts the exemption on beer, wine and spirits.

Thea meals tax, like the sales tax, will increase statewide to 6.25 percent and cities and towns will have the local option of tacking on another .75 percent to raise additional revenue for their own budgets.

The House voted underwhelmingly (underwhelmingly?) in favor of the spending plan, passing the budget on a 110-46 vote. The Senate followed suit with a 31-8 vote.

“I think this sends a very strong message that this state has a very large fiscal deficit in front of us,” said Sen. Jennifer Flanagan, D-Leominster, who voted in favor.

I think it sends a stronger signal to shop in New Hampshire open business in New Hampshire and to avoid this state like the plague. There is a reason why we are bleeding population and stuff like this is it.

Wasn’t it only 8 months ago that we had a chance to repeal the state income tax? Well we collectively made our own bed so now we have to sleep in it or move.

Whatever the New Hampshire chamber of commerce is paying our state reps, it’s not enough.

People often laugh at the idea of prayer imagine a grown adult asking an invisible power to adjust something for them. Prayer is also attacked as an assault on free will. For example the reporter who attacked pro-life people for praying that president Obama have a change of heart.

I have a theory on prayer, this is not to my knowledge based in specific theology, so someone who knows the church better than me can tell me if I’m committing heresy but consider the following:

How many things in life are actually certain? Very few. Spock’s example of letting go of a hammer and not having to see it to know has fallen not withstanding everything is subject to a certain amount of probability.

The medical field is a great example, you are always dealing with a level of probability on recovery from operations, risks from behaviors and so on. An excellent example is that we all know people who have avoided cancer and non smokers who have gotten it. This is a function of probability. Haven’t we all had close calls of one type or another? Or bad luck that has come hitting that one stone that was loose to trip and break a leg etc?

In my opinion this is where prayer comes in, I believe prayer can alter the probabilities on situation and actions. Since the actions are indeterminate (we don’t know for sure how they will go) it seems simply a function of luck. I believe that the power of prayer is basically channeling the intrinsic link between God and man and the community of saints to nudge probability. The stronger the link of the individual to God or the number of people involved prayer the better the chance of the odds moving.

That doesn’t effect the idea that God is a part of it, for example because a wind comes to help a becalmed ship and the wind is a natural phenomena that doesn’t mean that God allowed it to come.

This is in contarast to direct action by God that would be classified as a miracle. In that case you can have either objectively impossible action (Joshua and the sun) or an action so improbable that it seems to be no odds take place. (Curing of the blind man). Those are solid miracles.

Anyways that’s my theory. What do you think?

Update: Corrected awful spelling and grammar in post as it was rushed due to the party today.

These word on Morning Joe today are one of the reasons why I have a hard time taking Zbigniew Brzezinski seriously.

The idea that if we even speak in support of the people in Iran that it will prevent us from talking them out of nukes or make them repressive.

Listen, these guys are going to blame all of this on us anyways. These guys aren’t going to become repressive, they already are. We aren’t going to drive them toward a bomb, they are already going there.

Forgetting the morality of it (which clearly says to speak up) and speaking practically, this is our best chance of accomplishing the downfall of the chief sponsor (as Yoda once said there is one other but that’s a post for another day) of terror in the world. It is a chance to do it without a military strike. These guys are very worried, particularly since we have 2 armies right next door.

We need to support these guys, both with public pronouncements and in small ways like the twitter update delay.

President Obama scoffed when his rhetoric was called “just words”, now he is unwilling to even deploy them.

If this was Microsoft then it would be considered an example of an evil greedy corporation trying to maximize profit:

The Palm Pre has been riding fairly high on a wave of publicity since its launch just a few weeks ago, so much so that Apple seems to have decided that it might be prudent to take a little wind out of the smartphone’s sails by announcing that, although the new device’s claim to be able to seamlessly synch with Apple’s iTunes store may be true at the moment, that may not be the case for very much longer. Sound a little draconian? Sure enough, but business is business

Now I don’t have an issue with Apple behaving like a corporation trying to maximize profit, it’s their company. It just drives me crazy when people act like Microsoft is the source of all evil when they do the same thing. Apple is a business, it has always been a business and anyone who thinks it is some kind of altruistic non profit is deluding themselves.

Via Glenn.

You know when I woke up today I put on Morning Joe and started to catch the news concerning flyswatting, the president’s polls etc and I happened to check the menu on the set and noticed that the 1950 movie Harvey staring Jimmy Stewart was on HBO.

I thought about it for a bit and decided that it’s very important to forget the silly troubles of the world for a few hours and not live for them, so Harvey is on the TV as I type. At the moment we are at the scene in Dr. Chumley’s office where Jimmy Stewart and the good doctor are discussing Harvey:

Fly specks, fly specks! I’ve been spending my life among fly specks while miracles have been leaning on lampposts at 18th and Fairfax!

It is important not to ignore the world but just for a time, it is very important to notice the little pleasantries of the world. Not Obama this or Iraq that or Letterman this or Gitmo that.

As I’ve been watching the movie it hits me that this is the entire theme of it.

The world is what it is; but usually your life is made up of moments not in Washington, London, Tehran. It is made up of moments in your house or apartment or at the corner butcher shop or the little diner/ice cream shop there. If you spend too much time worrying about the rest of the world all your life you will forget to live it.

And even on the worst of days when everything is pressing against you, if you find a bench in the park there is the sun or the rain and the beauty of life around you, the still small voice of God reminding you that although your problems may loom large life is good and it’s a gift.

That doesn’t generate a lot of hits but when they close the coffin they won’t says about you, boy he had a lot of hits.

Putting in drop ceilings today and wouldn’t you know I’m one piece shy to finish the ceiling?

Of course they only sell them by the box and the wife had to special order them so the odds of finding just one somewhere before Saturday’s party are very slim.

Life is funny that way.

Oh and BTW I want to give a shout out to Ron Wihtelin. He is putting in a new back door at my house and it is looking awesome. Always get guys in their 70’s for work like this. They take real pride in their work. If you ever need carpentry done in the Fitchburg/Leominster area he’s your guy.

I’m going to be very busy today. P-3 days and all, but his explaination of how the MSM works is spot on:

How many MSM reporters (Associated Press, NY Times, CBS News, etc.) ever read Hot Air or Instapundit? And how many of them sympathize? The typical MSM reporter sympathizes with Media Matters, DKos and Crooks & Liars. The typical MSM reporter watches Olbermann every night. The typical MSM reporter thinks Letterman’s jokes about Palin are ROTFLMAO funny.

Most D.C. reporters, editors and producers hate Republicans, and that hatred matters.

and this:

It’s the uncanny coordination of the messaging that makes the Obama media such an engine of terror to its enemies. This harkens back to the JournoList revelation. Once you understand that there is an actual network Demnocratic political operatives, liberal policy advocates, progressive bloggers and major media journalists connected via a single communications link, suddenly the modus operandi is no longer mysterious.

Once this is understood the rest is easy.

Governor Palin has accepted the new revised apology offered by David Letterman.

There will still be a fire Letterman rally today as some think this too little too late:

The New York Times story also claims that protests aimed at pressuring CBS to fire Letterman have not yet had any effect:

CBS executives said Monday that they had exercised no pressure on the late-night star to offer any apology and that they had seen no real impact on advertisers from the protests.

This is why the campaign to get CBS to fire David Letterman must continue and expand with more and more people sending letters and e-mails of protest to CBS, Letterman’s sponsors and the sponsors of Letterman’s racing team to notify them that their products will be boycotted until Letterman is fired. It also will be important to send letters and e-mails of protest to anyone who appears on Letterman’s show to impress them that doing so will put a long-term stink on their careers.

CBS is still playing the “This will all blow over” card. No. It. Won’t.

Persistent, consistent effort on our part will persuade sponsors to drop Letterman’s show and CBS to fire David Letterman.

If we don’t take out this bully, we’ll be swarmed by the millions who will follow his example.

Read Ms. Yockey’s entire post, I can see her point and the idea of not giving up the advantage. It’s a legit position, it’s just not mine.

To me this whole thing is a question of honor The Governor was offended and called Letterman on it. Letterman’s response was insufficient so the Governor and her supporters persisted. Now Mr. Letterman has issued a 2nd apology and the Governor has accepted. As far as she is concerned honor is satisfied so the matter is closed. Who am I to say otherwise?

My goal wasn’t a scalp. My goal was to have the same rules applied to defend the honor of conservative woman in general and Governor Palin that would be applied if a a liberal woman’s honor was outraged.

We’ve shown that conservatives would not sit back and take it and believe me it’s been noticed by Mr. Letterman et/al. I don’t think we need a scalp to prove it.

Laura is with Cynthia on this one. Conservatives 4 Palin is with me and thus gets the last word:

So what did we learn from this past week? I think that the events of the last week have proven that conservatives need to fight back when they are slandered in the public arena; put the people making those claims or telling sick “jokes” on the defensive. Mr. Letterman was clearly in a deep hole, one he dug for himself. Now, clearly people can continue to pressure Letterman if they so choose. It is the right of the people to express their dismay with another citizen.

You know by now that I am a fan of quotes from Ronald Reagan. Here is one that I believe sums up this whole situation nicely:

When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.

Supporters of Governor Palin and women all across the country made David Letterman feel the heat and forced an apology.

Yup.

Update: Treacher and the Captain are with me too.

The Letterman stuff gives a great example of the rules of cause of effect:

Cause: pressure on advertisers by people outraged by the hit on Palin’s daughter.

Effect: Embassy Suites pulls their ads from CBS.

TVGuide.com is reporting that Embassy Suites – part of the Hilton Hotels Corp. based in McLean, Va. – has pulled its advertising from CBS’s Web site to protest David’s Letterman’s joke about one of Sarah Palin’s daughters.

Company spokeswoman Kendra Walker says the decision was made after receiving a flood of complaints.

“We received lots of e-mails from concerned guests and we assessed that the statement that he made was offensive enough to our guests and prospective guests that we elected to take the ads down,” Walker told the Web site. She said the company does not advertise on his talk show.

Cause: The Embassy Suites ads are pulled

Effect: Letterman apologizes only this time for real:

“And then I was watching the Jim Lehrer ‘Newshour’ – this commentator, the columnist Mark Shields, was talking about how I had made this indefensible joke about the 14-year-old girl, and I thought, ‘Oh, boy, now I’m beginning to understand what the problem is here. It’s the perception rather than the intent.’

The whole thing is worth reading. Hotair asks the relevant question:

Does this mean the “Fire Letterman” protest tomorrow is canceled?

Good question.

The “fighting back” meme wasn’t her actual topic but her reaction to the poll that shows 40% of America Conservative vs 21% liberal encompasses the entire point of my argument:

But what would work better — defining and promoting the conservative brand or signaling moderation? Looking at the last election, I’d say: Be forthrightly conservative. Tell us what it is and stand by it. You only need to win over less than a third of the moderates: Convince us it’s better to trust conservatives than liberals. The Obama administration and Congress are giving you so much material to work that theme.

She references her post on How McCain lost me:

1. He did not understand economics, the most important issue.

2. He lost the ability to make the experience argument.

3. He never defined himself as a principled conservative. (emphasis mine)

4. Erratic and incoherent, he lacked sufficient mental capacity.

This is the reason why the media tries to define or leaders and diminish actual conservative leaders. It is the reason why they attempt to demoralize us. We only have to convince 2 out of every 7 moderates to reach 50%. Once that is understood everything the media does against us makes sense.

So I say again fight, fight and keep fighting. These guys are a house of cards waiting to fall. As long as the conversation is about reality we can win.

Update: Rush supports me again. He must be reading my mind from long distance today.

One of my favorite lines in The Screwtape letters is letter 13 and it concerns reality:

The characteristic of Pains and Pleasures is that they are unmistakably real, and therefore, as far as they go, give the man who feels them a touchstone of reality. Thus if you had been trying to damn your man by the Romantic method—by making him a kind of Childe Harold or Werther submerged in self-pity for imaginary distresses—you would try to protect him at all costs from any real pain; because, of course, five minutes’ genuine toothache would reveal the romantic sorrows for the nonsense they were

When president Bush referred to Iran as part of an Axis of Evil he was widely derided one of the calmer statements was from the BBC:

Dissenters from Washington’s “axis of evil” say that the concept can only radicalise Tehran further, make the work of Iranian moderates and reformists far harder and in the long run destabilize the region.

as for Iranian Nukes

Less easy to establish is Washington’s assertion that Iran is attempting to acquire weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, that might threaten the US and its allies.

Ah those carefree days of 2002; but we can see as recently as February of this year see a US “realist’s” rose colored view of Iran:

Despite growing concern about the regime’s suspected nuclear weapons program, Iran’s assistance in the war on terrorism, and the gradual evolution of liberal thought there puts it in a different category from Iraq or North Korea, Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage said in an interview. “The axis of evil was a valid comment, [but] I would note there’s one dramatic difference between Iran and the other two axes of evil, and that would be its democracy. [And] you approach a democracy differently,” Armitage said.

Well Mr. Armatage here is your “democracy” burning in the streets. Lets check with Chris Hitchens first on the nukes:

Mention of the Lebanese elections impels me to pass on what I saw with my own eyes at a recent Hezbollah rally in south Beirut, Lebanon. In a large hall that featured the official attendance of a delegation from the Iranian Embassy, the most luridly displayed poster of the pro-Iranian party was a nuclear mushroom cloud! Underneath this telling symbol was a caption warning the “Zionists” of what lay in store. We sometimes forget that Iran still officially denies any intention of acquiring nuclear weapons. Yet Ahmadinejad recently hailed an Iranian missile launch as a counterpart to Iran’s success with nuclear centrifuges, and Hezbollah has certainly been allowed to form the idea that the Iranian reactors may have nonpeaceful applications. This means, among other things, that the vicious manipulation by which the mullahs control Iran can no longer be considered as their “internal affair.” Fascism at home sooner or later means fascism abroad. Face it now or fight it later. Meanwhile, give it its right name.

and then on Iranian “elections”

There is a theoretical reason why the events of the last month in Iran (I am sorry, but I resolutely decline to refer to them as elections) were a crudely stage-managed insult to those who took part in them and those who observed them. And then there is a practical reason. The theoretical reason, though less immediately dramatic and exciting, is the much more interesting and important one.

Iran and its citizens are considered by the Shiite theocracy to be the private property of the anointed mullahs. This totalitarian idea was originally based on a piece of religious quackery promulgated by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and known as velayat-e faqui. Under the terms of this edict—which originally placed the clerics in charge of the lives and property of orphans, the indigent, and the insane—the entire population is now declared to be a childlike ward of the black-robed state. Thus any voting exercise is, by definition, over before it has begun, because the all-powerful Islamic Guardian Council determines well in advance who may or may not “run.” Any newspaper referring to the subsequent proceedings as an election, sometimes complete with rallies, polls, counts, and all the rest of it is the cause of helpless laughter among the ayatollahs. (“They fell for it? But it’s too easy!”) Shame on all those media outlets that have been complicit in this dirty lie all last week. And shame also on our pathetic secretary of state, who said that she hoped that “the genuine will and desire” of the people of Iran would be reflected in the outcome. Surely she knows that any such contingency was deliberately forestalled to begin with.

Michael Rubin agrees:

I had the pleasure of visiting the Islamic Republic twice as a student, and it was absolutely fantastic. But the Iranians I would meet on the street had no say in their governance, any more than the ordinary Afghans I met in Kabul and Qandahar in March 2000 had any influence over the Taliban. This is where Fareed Zakaria is so ridiculous when he writes about Iran. In countries like Iran, it’s the guys with the guns that matter in policy. The ordinary citizens are the victims.

We see that the Iranian “Democracy” is trying to control communication, again the BBC:

It is important that what is happening in Iran is reported to the world, but it is even more vital that citizens in Iran know what is happening. That is the role of the recently-launched BBC Persian TV which is fulfilling a crucial role in being a free and impartial source of information for many Iranians.

Any attempt to block this channel is wrong and against international treaties on satellite communication. Whoever is attempting the blocking should stop it now.

And social networks,

‘The blocking of access to foreign news media has been stepped up, according to Reporters Without Borders. ‘The Internet is now very slow, like the mobile phone network. YouTube and Facebook are hard to access and pro-reform sites… are completely inaccessible.'”

And reporters are targets:

A British reporter in Tehran tells FOX News that regime thugs are beating reporters on the streets of Tehran. The regime wants reporters out of the country. Iranian thugs are keeping reporters hiding in their hotels:

Israel thinks it knows why:

Without support from the United States and other Western countries, Iranian opposition groups will likely stop demonstrations against the Iranian regime and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s declared victory in Friday’s presidential elections, senior Israeli defense officials said Sunday.

Why all of this? The Gloria center has a thought:

I certainly expected Ahmadinjad to win but figured the regime would play out the game. He’d either genuinely gain victory in the second round or they’d change just enough votes to ensure his victory. What no one expected is that the regime would tear up the whole process like this. Their brazen way of doing so–if you don’t like it you can go to hell, we’re going to do whatever we want, and we don’t care what anyone thinks–signals to me that this ruling group is even more risk-taking and irresponsible than it previously appeared.

This is the key point: the problem with Iran’s regime isn’t just that it is a dictatorship, it’s that it is such an extremist, aggressive dictatorship.

The only logical explanation for why the regime did this is that Ahmadinejad’s opponents got so many votes that it frightened the regime. It also shows that the regime is wedded to Ahmadinejad and his approach.

Amir Taheri thinks so:

Many in Tehran, including leading clerics, see the exercise as a putsch by the military-security organs that back Mr. Ahmadinejad. Several events make these allegations appear credible. The state-owned Fars News Agency declared Mr. Ahmadinejad to have won with a two-thirds majority even before the first official results had been tabulated by the Interior Ministry. Mr. Ahmadinejad’s main rival, former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, retaliated by declaring himself the winner. That triggered a number of street demonstrations, followed with statements by prominent political and religious figures endorsing Mr. Mousavi’s claim.

Then something unprecedented happened. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word on all issues of national life, published a long statement hailing Mr. Ahmadinejad’s “historic victory” as “a great celebration.” This was the first time since 1989, when he became supreme leader, that Mr. Khamenei commented on the results of a presidential election without waiting for the publication of official results. Some analysts in Tehran tell me that the military-security elite, now controlling the machinery of the Iranian state, persuaded Mr. Khamenei to make the unprecedented move.

And events in Iran seem to support that to wit:

Ahmadinejad decides it’s prudent not to leave the country on a scheduled trip to Russia. “Plainclothes militia” authorized to use live ammunition. EU officials express “serious concern.”

And this:

Grand Ayatollah Sanei in Iran has declared Ahmadinejad’s presidency illegitimate and cooperating with his government against Islam. There are strong rumors that his house and office are surrounded by the police and his website is filtered. He had previously issued a fatwa, against rigging of the elections in any form or shape, calling it a mortal sin.

And this too:

Via Raymond Jahan on Twitter (h/t Allahpundit), tens of thousands of anti-A-jad protesters have taken to the streets in Iran (click here for full-size).

And reactions like this:

Best-case scenario is that they “merely” beat him into unconsciousness. Rather than give you just the video of the beating, though, I’m embedding a kaleidoscope of 14 clips put together by Breitbart.com to show you how widespread and violent the protests already are. If you can’t spare a few minutes to watch them all, at least watch the first three plus the seventh, where you’ll find the Basij — essentially Iran’s answer to the Nazi SA — riding by on motorcycles with batons and taking swings at anyone wearing green to indicate support for Mousavi.

And more video and photos here.

As you might have guessed the best coverage is from Michael Totten, but that’s not a surprise. He talks about the moment that the regime most fears:

We don’t know whether the policeman and the man on the edge of the crowd already realize what has happened. The man has stopped being afraid – and this is precisely the beginning of the revolution. Here it starts. Until now, whenever these two men approached each other, a third figure instantly intervened between them. That third figure was fear. Fear was the policeman’s ally and the man in the crowd’s foe. Fear interposed its rules and decided everything.

Now the two men find themselves alone, facing each other, and fear has disappeared into thin air. Until now their relationship was charged with emotion, a mixture of aggression, scorn, rage, terror. But now that fear has retreated, this perverse, hateful union has suddenly broken up; something has been extinguished. The two men have now grown mutually indifferent, useless to each other; they can now go their own ways.

Accordingly, the policeman turns around and begins to walk heavily back toward his post, while the man on the edge of the crowd stands there looking at his vanishing enemy.

Zaneirani agrees:

Today it is even more evident that something really really funny is going on. Rafsanjani’s house is apparently surrounded by security forces. Let’s face it Rafsanjani has the most to lose here. His and his sons head is on the line. If there is any chance that this trend is going to be reversed, Rafsanjani will be the key player. Today is the day that the Islamic Republic officially transformed from a theocracy supported by Pasdaran to a Junta supported by a handful of clerics.

Dan Riehl reminds us of history:

I’m not prepared to say this is it for the regime. It depends on what cards they are willing to play. This could end with successful counter-revolution, or mass slaughter. And if Carter hadn’t been the weak, misguided President he was, it wouldn’t have been necessary. This is also the regime Obama couldn’t wait to say he would talk to despite election irregularities. Insurrection Day 2 and Carter 2, as well.

Good point what is the administration doing here? Lets see:

Hillary Clinton expresses the wait-and-see approach of the Obama Administration:

“We, like the rest of the world, are waiting and watching to see what the Iranian people decide,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said during a visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario, on Saturday. “We obviously hope the outcome reflects the genuine will and desire of the Iranian people.”

In one sense, this unsatisfactory response is entirely consistent with the nuanced approach that President Obama laid out in his Cairo speech.

Seem familar?

It reminds me of of George H. W. Bush’s reaction to the events preceding the fall of the Berlin Wall. The best word to describe both administrations is flatfooted. I guess this is the way that all “pragmatists” react when their neat, little assumptions about the world order run into reality. An ideologue might actually have a position on a revolution against thuggish tyrants.

Well it would seem a Carter vote in the Arthur Carter watch but not so fast, we all know who is really to blame don’t we? Yes you got it. It’s all Bush. Ahmadinejad is Bush! Really! After all Laura Secor says so in a story called Meet Iran’s George W. Bush.:

This ought to be a no-brainer: Ahmadinejad has made a mess of the economy, clamped down on political dissent and social freedoms, militarized the state, and earned the enmity of much of the world

This is a fair description of how the left views the ex-president. But there is some confusion maybe he is Rove or Palin:

Ahmadinejad’s bag of tricks is eerily like that of Karl Rove – the constant use of fear, the exploitation of religion, the demonization of liberals, the deployment of Potemkin symbolism like Sarah Palin

This confuses some:

What’s going on here? Does the American Left – after eight years of whining about make-believe tyranny – not know how to react to actual tyranny when it sees it in action?

Angers others:

Really, Sully? I mean, really? WTF goes through someone’s mind when they dream up an idiotic comparison between (a) Karl Rove, a Republican political strategist, and (b) Mahmoud Ahmadinejed, a Jew-hating genocidal maniac?

You might as well compare Rove to Charles Manson or Pol Pot. Please note that Sullivan’s comparison involves no hypotheticals. It does not appear to be any sort of parodic humor, except unintentionally. He evidently means to suggest in all seriousness that Ahmadinejad and Rove are similar in some meaningful way.

Whatever you think of Karl Rove — and I am certainly not his biggest fan — there is something absurdly puerile in the suggestion that his political strategies involve “the deployment of Potemkin symbolism like Sarah Palin” (???).

But for all the rhetoric where does this leave us? Bill Jacobson thinks its all bad news:

A classic no win situation. If there were fraud, then the Iranian people unwillingly will be subjected to the consequences of pursuing Ahmadinejad’s policies. If there were no fraud, then the result is the same. In either case, it is no win for the prospect of a peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear weapons program, unless the West, Israel and the U.S. capitulate.

Max Boot channels Eric Idle seeing the bright side:

Even the Obama administration will be hard put to enter into serious negotiations with Ahmadinejad, especially when his scant credibility has been undermined by these utterly fraudulent elections and the resulting street protests.

That doesn’t mean that Obama won’t try–but he will have a lot less patience with Ahmadinejad than he would have had with Mousavi. And that in turn means there is a greater probability that eventually Obama may do something serious to stop the Iranian nuclear program–whether by embargoing Iranian refined-petroleum imports or by tacitly giving the go-ahead to Israel to attack its nuclear installations.

So in an odd sort of way a win for Ahmadinejad is also a win for those of us who are seriously alarmed about Iranian capabilities and intentions. With crazy Mahmoud in office–and his patron, Ayatollah Khameini, looming in the background–it will be harder for Iranian apologists to deny the reality of this terrorist regime.

Allahpundit says the something has to happen:

Now comes the moment of truth: Does he really believe that? Does he honestly believe, after years of stonewalling, with the country maybe a year away from being able to build a bomb, that they’re going to throw in the towel now? If not, then walk away. There’s no downside and potentially a tremendous upside if the regime falls or a grateful Mousavi ends up being installed as president. And needless to say, from a moral standpoint, he’d be on the side of the angels.

Back to the Gloria Center:

Is a regime that just committed itself irrevocably to the most extreme faction, most radical ideology, and most repressive control over the country going to compromise with the West on nuclear weapons or anything else?

I think Karl puts it best when he calls it the reality bomb:

Obama’s immediate problem is that the naked power grab ongoing in Iran has exposed to even the casual observer that “the Iran we have” is the Iran we have always had. Obama’s larger problem is that still seems to hold the notion that he can “deal” with Iran in the sense of “engagement,” even after the reality bomb has detonated.

That takes us back to the start of the post. What Iran is, what the Mullahs are and what Ahmadinejad is and their collective goals have always been what they are. No amount of posturing, clever words, talking heads or wishful thinking changes this.

A supporter of Iran’s hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad holds up a poster bearing a picture of Jerusalem’s holy Dome of the Rock mosque with the slogan “Our war will culminate with the takeover of Palestine”, during a massive rally to celebrate his victory in the presidential elections in Tehran’s Valiasr square on June 14. (AFP/Olivier Laban-Mattei)

With the riots and the repression on screen it breaks down the atoms of the fake picture some drew for their political gain or personal comfort. Who knew Russel T. Davies could be so prophetic:

In a classic TV show it is easy to spot the bad guy. Hopefully this reality bomb allows us to see what is there. People may want to deny or disguise the face, but this election and the reaction detonates the reality bomb and shows us what’s behind the mask. We see the face of actual evil and protesters fighting it. Not feel good protests against phony tyranny but the real thing with their own lives on the line.

Now it right in front of us. The bottom line is what are we as a nation going to do about it?

Update: Rush has a montage of people comparing this to Florida and a “stolen” election I see what they mean other than the people shot and slashed in the streets this is just the kind of thing you would expect from the old Bush administration. Will the reality bomb be strong enough to affect the MSM or Obama?

You know it’s one thing for pols to use their supports for suckers its another thing for the supporters to pretend it isn’t happening.Kentuckyderbypie

Honest pols are very important for a republican form of government to work, but honest voters who can see what is in front of them is just as important. When the people are shoveled to and they insist it for Kentucky Derby Pie it is not representative government, it is a cult, it’s Baghdad Bob territory.

Mmmmmm Kentucky Derby Pie! (And yes it’s as good as it looks).

Looking at the Letterman situation I have to come to the conclusion that no matter what happens next we have won this round and won it big.

Item: NOW after several days of waffling came out to attack David Letterman for his misogynistic remarks. The days of “She’s not a woman she’s a republican” may not be gone but it’s hard to put it back in the basket.

Item: Both the Today show and CNN, interviewed Governor Palin. In both interviews were solid dealing with substantial issues such as her recent success in the Palin pipeline project.

These two interviews were important breakthrough moments:

First: The myth that she can not handle herself in an interview that is not conducted by FOX or John Ziegler was dispelled. Like the Rush CPAC speech it’s hard to put the ditz label on when people who would normally see her filtered actually hear her speak. Instead of reruns of Katie Couric you have the image of a strong confident Palin handling solid interviews.

Second: The timing caused the networks to cover a key energy project not only at the moment of success, but at a time when the need for jobs and rising gas prices are in the news. The MSN would not have covered this otherwise.

Third: The Letterman issue is something any parent of daughters can understand. The weak spin that both Wolf and Matt tried to use defending Letterman could not change something that people get.

Fourth: It puts those who want to attack her on the defensive and forces those attackers from MSNBC and CNN to use footage from a positive interview as a backdrop.

Fifth: It plays NBC and CNN off of CBS. Katie is now in the position that she either has to as a woman defend Letterman or Palin

Item: Out of the woodwork come people who would normally not defend Sarah Palin. Megan McCain, Norah O’Donnell for example and the View Crew. These are all people that the media have anointed as credible. This creates instant credibility and keeps the patter going on.

Item: I already covered MSNBC’s Morning Joe openly admitting that they saw a rabidness in the attacks on the Governor. Not only can that never be unsaid but it gives people like Mika Brzezinski (who I think really wants to support this woman) the cover to openly defend her without being dismissed. It may seem a small thing but its importance in the long run can’t be overestimated.

Item The story has grown over the news cycles and as time goes on Palin grows stronger and her attackers grow weaker. It was the news cycle that drove NOW and continues to drive her attackers to cover.

Even if it all stops today this is a win. The game has changed and you ain’t seen nothing yet!

Update: Hotair Agrees