Monday, October 27

Sarah and the Fruit Fly

Michael Eisen, an evolutionary biologist at UCa Berkeley, writes, "Now that I’ve had a chance to look at the blog reactions to the Palin fruit fly idiocy, I’m amazed at how rapidly everyone assumed she was talking about Drosophila. This is because most of the world - including virtually all Drosophila researchers - mistakenly believe that “fruit fly” is the proper common name for members of the genus Drosophila. However the proper common name for Drosophila is vinegar fly or pomace fly. Fruit fly properly refers to members of the family Tephritidae. "

So Palin got it right - the French project she referenced in her remarks on earmarking involved the olive fruit fly (Bactrocera oleae) - a tehpritid.

But do you think for one second that her detractors would bother to do the research to find out the specifics? Not at all.

They are too busy turning blind eyes to truth, defending the indefensible Obama.

Sunday, October 26

Christ's Things

Ever since I checked out Obama's background and saw that he was, in spite of his protestations to the contrary, a practicing member of the Islamic faith until he became an adult, I've been uneasy about his insistence that he is a Christian. I haven't wanted to judge him so I took him at his word but something illusive has been nagging at me. Something just below my conscious awareness. His behavior isn't consistent with that of a committed and practicing Christian but I couldn't say why.

Now I realize what it is. It's very well defined in the following article:

Messianic Pretensions
by David Warren

For all the figurative heat of crashing markets, impending recession numbers, carnage in the commodities, the flying squirt-bomb of the American dollar, the cat's cradle of international political crises, humanitarian disasters across Africa, the usual Islamist terrorism, and the deep winter freeze portended by another flatlined solar magnetic low -- there is Hope. But that is of another world. Hope, in this world, must be for the right things.

My column today may be read as an extension of what I wrote Wednesday for this page. I concluded those remarks by noting that if, by a surprise that is not implausible, McCain wins, we may have riots across the United States starting in Grant Park, Chicago, and an uprecedented outpouring of anti-American venom across 24 time zones. (Take France, for example, where support for McCain was clocked in a recent poll at one percent.)

I had doubts about John McCain -- not as a man, but as a presidential candidate -- from the beginning. I preferred George W. Bush in the Republican primaries of 2000, because he was not McCain. I preferred Rudy Giuliani at the beginning of this year's cycle despite my considerable distaste for his views on social issues. But given a choice between McCain and Obama -- were I entitled to vote in an American election -- I would now pull the lever for the Republican slate without the slightest compunction.

Moreover, McCain has grown in my estimation, as circumstances have changed. He has in may ways earned his maverick reputation, together with a reputation for incorruptible patriotism. He's the guy to make politically risky and potentially unpopular decisions, in the face of the recessionary slide; and crucially, he's the guy to make America's most loathsome and unpredictable enemies (who are also our enemies, lest we forget) not want to test him. In his appointment of Sarah Palin, for all the sneers of the urbane and over-educated, he has suggested a way forward in which America retrieves her "core values," which include cutting through the blather of conventional "expertise" and distinguishing right from wrong.

McCain is a man of action and accomplishment, Obama a man of "charisma" and pretty words, whose only real accomplishment has been his remarkable self-advancement. And Obama's policy outlook, so far as it can be discerned from the usual electoral pronouncements, consists of the same snake oil the pre-Clinton Democrats had been selling continuously since they chained the Great Society to America's ankle; that is, a constantly expanding Nanny State. I am hardly reassured by Obama's last-lap rhetorical reassurance: You don't send a man to Washington with a trillion dollars of candy-shop promises on medicare, education, government job-creation, "spreading the wealth," -- especially when the economy has just tanked.

I wish that were the worst I could say about ths man, who has survived nearly two years of campaigning for President without serious cross-examination from either the media or his media-chastened opponents. A man who, should he win the election and serve one term, will have been President of the United States longer than he has held any steady job.

In my world, you don't humour a politician who presents "Change," "Unity," and especially "Hope," as hypnotic mantras, with the power of enchantment over very large crowds. And you especially don't humour such a politician at a time when both country and world are unstable, and hard decisions will have to be made.

Deeper than this: Obama has presented himself from the start as a messianic, "transformational" leader -- and thus played deceitfully with ideas that belong to religion and not to politics. That he has done this so successfully is a mark of the degree to which the U.S. itself, like the rest of the Western world, has lost its purchase on the Christian religion. Powerful religious impulses have been split, secularized.

In this climate, people tend to be maniacally opposed to the sin to which they are not tempted; to giving Christ control over the things that are Caesar's. But they are blind to the sin to which they are hugely tempted; giving Caesar control over that which are Christ's.

"Faith, hope and charity" are Christ's things. They apply, properly, outside time -- to a "futurity" that is not of this world. They must not be applied to any earthly utopia. A Caesar who appropriates otherworldly virtues, is riding upon a very dangerous illusion. Follow him into dreamland, and you'll be lucky to wake up.

I wish I had written that.

Friday, October 24

Musings on the Palin Effect

We voted today.

There is nothing on this earth that would convince me that Barack Obama should be President of the United States. Certainly not now, before he has accumulated a professional reputation and accomplished something -- anything -- of value. Probably never because he is a liar. I have no respect for him -- none at all.

I don't like his stand on abortion.

I do like Sarah Palin's values. She has a set of personal ethics and values and she lives by them. Because she does, she is learning what a blessing a "disabled" child is. I was shocked to learn recently that 90% of Downs babies are aborted. I have a grandson who has Downs Syndrome. We would not have chosen that for him, but we are blessed to have him. He is the dearest, most trusting and loving child I have ever seen. Now that we know him, we couldn't live without him!

Palin is good for John McCain. She's tough and she gets things done. He needed her to help him when he fought Congress on a number of issues. She makes him stronger (and he's no weakling in his own right).

One thing I've noticed in this election cycle: Sarah Palin has proved to be the catalyst that showed McCain exactly who his friends are and she showed the rest of us who the wolves in sheep's clothing are. Because of the prejudice and racism of the mainstream media (and it's as racist to support someone because they're black as it is to oppose them for that reason) she has had the opportunity to show what she's made of. That turns out to be pretty strong stuff.

Take Charlie Gibson's interview, for example. That one backfired on him -- it showed him to be a smug elitist snob. The question on the Bush "doctrine" was as artificial as the man himself. I was shocked and hurt by that because I've been a fan of his for years. I quit watching ABC news after that and wrote each of his sponsors that I would no longer buy their products (no great loss, that).

Then perky little Katy Couric stepped up to the plate and showed her mettle. I thought Palin was quite the lady for not saying that she read GQ and Mad Comics, which is what I would have said to such an insulting question. I took the question about magazines as saying, in effect, "What magazines do you ignorant imbeciles read in those long, cold winters? Surely nothing I would want to read," Obviously Couric's mother never taught her even the most rudimentary manners -- however, that seems to be true of most Democrat women. Lady Rothschild excepted.

Then this sick little guy from NBC last week who (wrongly) told Palin in an interview that a writer from the National Review called her some pretty ugly names. That was a lie -- the writer of the article he quoted said that about the media for the unfair way they have portrayed Palin. Always respectful and kind, Palin punted -- beautifully.

I find all of this amazing. I would have lost my temper long ago and I'm certain I would have, at some point, stormed at someone (hopefully in the style of Dixie Carter playing Julia Sugarbaker, that is with a vicious vocabulary devoid of cuss words). Palin is cool and collected under pressure and personal insults. A lady clear through in spite of her lower middle-class background. Her behavior elevates her far above her female critics.

I don't believe that Palin will be vice president. There are too many voters who follow the sheep and don't bother to do the necessary research to make informed decisions and there are too many people who vote only on what they think is best for them rather than what is best for the country. And there are too many racists who will vote for Obama just because he's black.

But I believe Sarah will be back. She'll be stronger (if that's possible) and certainly more experienced. I will be ready to do everything I can to help her become the first woman President of the United States.

Friday, October 10

The Man Behind the Curtain

Remember the Wizard of Oz? That little old guy behind a curtain operating a fierce illusion? Something like that seems to be going on in this election.

The current Democrat's campaign has always promised an October surprise. We've thought that referred to the AK investigation into the firing of an incompetent official in the governor of AK's administration but the timing of this sudden implosion in the financial markets has me wondering if that's what they meant.

Let's look first at the history of this campaign. It's all about illusion. For example, professional politicians who want to graduate to the national stage would eagerly throw their mothers under the bus to get to speak at a nation convention. Guess who did that -- and a primo spot in the lineup, as well -- BEFORE he was elected to a national position! That took some kind of money to get him there at that time.

When you look at all the money that's behind this campaign (Soros, Buffett, Raines's Freddie Mac contributions in the millions and more) ALL of them have huge assets. In the billions, no less. And the financial markets are far less than transparent. The fat cats aren't being hurt by this. It just looks to me, when you consider how the candidate has won elections in the past, if he -- and his campaign supporters -- may not be the man behind the curtain.

Friday, October 3

Shame on Congress; Shame on the Media

I'm one of those people who got one of those infamous loans for low income people.

Our youngest son is severely retarded/autistic -- his temporal lobes didn't form properly at birth so he is terribly handicapped. For quite a few years he was in an institution because we couldn't handle him at home but the ACLU brought a lawsuit that closed the institution and put him out into the community. He can't look after himself so he has five staff members who look after him 24-7. It is crucial to his well-being that he be in a highly structured environment.

For many years we tried roommates -- trying to cut costs -- but that didn't work out. During those years he rented homes but every other year or so he wound up having to move: Owners wanted more rent, or wanted to sell the house, . . . lots of reasons. So we decided to buy a small house for him so he wouldn't have to move again.

Thanks to a program through the US Dept. of Agriculture we found a small house on a large lot in the country. He moved in and has lived there -- happily ever after -- for the past three years. He has never missed a payment on his loan. He never will because we planned this carefully in his budget.

The reason I'm writing this is that this is an example of the good that kind of lending has done. Not ALL mortgage holders default on loans to low-income individuals. Those loans have done a lot of good for a lot of people who otherwise would not have had their own home.

One statistic says that only 1% of the nation's homeowners are in default. That's not a huge amount -- if they were irresponsible and tried to have homes that were too expensive they should lose them.

Of course I also believe that the loan officers AND the real estate agents who promoted those loans should be held responsible as well.

But frankly, I suspect that the Great and Powerful Media (and Stupid Congress) have misled us again. They've been crying wolf and hollering that the sky is falling because it sells TV time and newspapers.

The sad thing about it is that other low-income folks who would be responsible home owners probably won't have a chance, thanks to all this hysteria. That's a terrible shame.

Thursday, October 2

ABC, CNN, NBC and the First Amendment

We wouldn't want to claim that CNN, ABC and/or NBC are closed-minded, now would we? Or that they don't allow fair and open discussion on their sites? Of course not.

Then why is it that if you vote in a poll that you believe Sarah Palin won the debate, your vote doesn't register?

And why is it that if you blog the reasons you believe Sarah beat Ol' Joe, the blog doesn't post BUT if you try blogging in favor of Obama (so, I lied), it does?

It's one thing to be "in the tank" for Obama -- it's quite another to refuse discussion. But it's obvious that to the networks free speech is for everyone who agrees with them and everyone else can sit down and shut up.