Saturday, December 30, 2006
I will try to remember this bit of wisdom before opening my electronic yap:
"...the fact that your voice is amplified to the degree where it reaches from one end of the country to the other does not confer upon you greater wisdom or understanding than you possessed when your voice reached only from one end of the bar to the other." - E.R. Murrow
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Former President Jimmy Carter's book, "Palestine Peace not Apartheid" has led to the resignation of Emory Middle East professor Kenneth Stein from the Carter Center. As reported by the NYT, Stein has called the “replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions and simply invented segments." Alan Dershowitz has called the book "ahistorical", and the Times' article mentions some questions as to - shall we say - the originality of parts of the book. Tough-questionin' Tim Russert on a recent Meet the Press had Carter on to talk about the book. Russert opted to roll over and have his belly scratched by Jimmy. Baffling. However to quote Stein: "...the history and interpretation of the Arab-Israeli conflict is already drowning in half-truths, suppositions, and self-serving myths; more are not necessary."
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
A Brave and Good Man: Gerald R. Ford, 1913-2006.
Jerry Ford will always be remembered for his pardon of Richard Nixon; bitter-enders still damn him for it. It was an action of immense political bravery, and was the proper medicine that a wounded nation needed for the long term recovery from Watergate. The Press and Democratic Politburos, drunk with power by Nixon's exit, wanted to drag his carcass through the streets for the climax of their bacchanalia. Ford wouldn't have it - he knew it would result in political warfare for years (fast forward to 1989 and John Tower) - and rolled the dice as to the consequences on the congressional midterm elections and his reelection. They came up bad, but he didn't whine about a "malaise" for his ill fortune.
His administration signed the Helsinki Accords, which, conservatives will remind one, effectively codified the Soviet control of Eastern Europe. However, they also provided a useful dipolmatic two-by-four for Ronald Reagan to use against the Evil Empire, namely the recognition of human rights that transcended their definition by the State.
[See WSJ OpinionJournal for further discussion of Ford's achievements]
He was a tremendously decent man, while giving as well as he took the body blows in The Arena. R.I.P., from a grateful nation.
Monday, December 25, 2006
Gloria in Excelsis Deo.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil. For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end,on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold itwith justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
God with us.
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
Have a Joyous Christmas!
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
MSNBC is celebrating this joyful time of year with their "Doc Block": back-to-back documentaries on gruesome crimes and the jungle that is prison life. Their advertising spots for these holiday specials have a kindly voice narrating from a leather bound book in the style of "Twas the Night Before Christmas", while cutting to photos of dead bodies, bloody weapons, and fearsome prison beatings. Can you feel the joy?
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
I'll be highlighting some of the best representations of sleezy cheezeball holiday fare by our custodians of Christmas traditions - the popular culture. Think of it as a nativity scene in front of a strip club.
Our first entry:
Jenny McCarthy has her Marilyn Chambers moment as she stars in an ABC Family Movie as the daughter of ol' St. Nick in "Santa Baby". I'm not making this up.
Nancy Pelosi will not be asking Alcee Hastings to head the House Intelligence Committee. Ah, the fresh breeze of reform! So why is this joker even on the committee?
Sunday, November 26, 2006
The Saline Reporter featured an article about a kiosk at the Briarwood Mall selling T-shirts with "arguably" offensive capitons, in full display for all of the kiddies to view during this reverant and spiritual time of year. The proprietor of the kiosk was reported to reply: "Everybody's value system is different...Anything can offend anybody. It's supposed to be funny. It's just a joke."
Thus it is written in the Great Book of the Slobs.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Bo Schemblechler, RIP.
When I was a clueless undergrad, I didn't understand what the big deal was about Bo.
Now, with some appreciation for how difficult is to make a difference in this world, and how much energy it takes, the passing of Bo Schembechler was a sad moment. This man embodied the great things about the university: the commitment to excellence and service. So many stories have now been told about the remarkable energy of this man and his day by day ability to affirm the dignity and value of other human beings. In the end, his great heart just gave out. Thanks, Bo - you were a true champion.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Thursday, November 09, 2006
The Dems took Congers, and a blind man could have seen it coming. Denny Hastert has brought back the "good old days" of House Minority Leader in Perpetuity Robert Michel, where Republicans rolled over and play dead for years and years. Insane spending, weak-knees on border security, rump-covering on criminal sexual behavior by House members, and a White House that is terminally inarticulate in explaining the stakes of the current conflict insured a Republican vacuum to be filled by the noxious fumes of Pelosi and Reid.
Help us, Obi-Ron Kenobi!
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
As reported in Investor's Business Daily (as noted in Protein Wisdom):
"...A five-page section of a new analysis from House Homeland Security Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, is devoted to terrorist infiltration. It documents the discovery by law enforcement officials of terrorist paraphernalia near the Rio Grande.
The McCaul report found that hundreds of illegal aliens from the Middle East were successfully smuggled over the border into the U.S., including members of the terrorist organization Hezbollah. The FBI reports that citizens from nations with an al-Qaida presence are learning Spanish and changing their names to make them Hispanic-sounding in order to pose as Latin Americans and cross the border more easily. Hugo Chavez's regime in Caracas has even provided identity documents to nationals of countries that support terrorists; several Pakistanis recently were caught at the border with such fraudulent Venezuelan papers, the report noted..."
Nancy Pelosi said to Charles Gibson on ABC World News that conflict in Iraq will cease once American forces leave. Why? Well, once we leave, there'll be nothing to shoot at: according to San Fran Nan, the only reason that the "bad guys" (her phrase) are there is that we are there. Pelosi claims there's no real interest by the "bad guys" setting up a "bad place" - a terror state, that is. Kinda like Indochina, we assume, but with no messy boatpeople problem to worry about?
Whizbang follows up...
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Well, tonight is Election Night, and there have been the predictable "why do so few vote?" news articles. The familiar litany of reasons is invoked: indecipherable ballots, too many steps between the parking lot and voting booth, weekday voting, citizenship requirements, etc. But never do we hear the far less elaborate proposition: some people are just ignorant, apathetic slobs.
Prognostication: various stuffed shirts will holler and spit at each other on various TV programs, and the hollering and spitting will continue tomorrow, the day after, ad infinitum. The sun will rise tomorrow, and we will all get up to start another day.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Keith Olbermann, doing his best impersonation of David Straithairn impersonating Edward R. Murrow, found his "McCarthy Moment" tonight in one of the most arrogant, histrionic, bug-eyed and paranoid rants I have ever watched on TV. Simply nuts. You can read it here.
LGF hits the nail on the head as to the "context" of JFKerry's comments - the seeming incurable snideness of leftists towards Americans and the American soldier in particular.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Monday, September 04, 2006
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Andrew Young throws a rod.
The civil rights leader Andrew Young, who was hired by Wal-Mart to improve its public image, resigned from that post last night after telling an African-American newspaper that Jewish, Arab and Korean shop owners had “ripped off” urban communities for years, “selling us stale bread, and bad meat and wilted vegetables.”
You gotta love this reasoning: "...I was speaking in the context of Atlanta, and that does not work in New York or Los Angeles..."
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Much buzz has been made of the Daimler "SmartCar", supposedly the solution to our MPG woes. But how smart is it? Its estimated highway mileage is 55 MPG, while in city driving is 45 MPG. But look of the size of this thing: other than transporting two human beings from A to B, this car is useless. And the A and B had better be on roads that are only populated by only cars of SmartCar size, because it's going to lose against a normal-sized car in an accident It seems that the MPG premium to gain from such a specialized vehicle should be huge, at least 100 MPG. And cheaper: the 2-seat version is over $25K. My first car - a 1980 Datsun 310 GX (N10 Pulsar) - got at least 30 MPG in city driving, and 40+ on the highway. It could carry five people, albeit it was a snug fit. I think it cost a lot less than $25K.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
How it could have been reported by the Washington Post:
Oct 20, 1962 (Washington, DC) - The Washington Post has learned that United States is on the verge of invading the island of Cuba, on the pretext of "offensive missiles" placed there by the Soviet Union, although the United States Government has not presented evidence to support this claim.
Post journalists report an enormous amount of preparation and staging of United States land, air, and naval forces in the southeastern United States and in the Carribean. Post reporters also have learned of round-the-clock meetings of White House National Security personnel and cabinet members in the Executive Office Building in the past several days.
The Washington Post has been approached by high-ranking members of the Kennedy Administration to suppress the publication of this information "in the most critical interests of national security", however in this morning's newspaper editorial Post Publisher Phillip L. Graham justified his refusal to delay publication of this story, stating:
As most of our readers know, there is a large wall between the news and opinion operations of this paper, and we were not part of the news side's debates about whether to publish the latest story under contention ...There have been times in this paper's history when editors have decided not to print something they knew. In some cases, like the Kennedy administration's plans for the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, it seems in hindsight that the editors were over-cautious...Our news colleagues work under the assumption that they should let the people know anything important that the reporters learn, unless there is some grave and overriding reason for withholding the information. They try hard not to base those decisions on political calculations, like whether a story would help or hurt the administration...[this] story looks like part of an alarming pattern. Ever since assuming office, this administration has taken the necessity of heightened vigilance against the Soviet Union and turned it into a rationale for an extraordinarily powerful executive branch, exempt from the normal checks and balances of our system of government...the country endured a long period of amorphous, global vigilance against an enemy who was suspected of boring from within, and history suggests that under those conditions, it is easy to err on the side of security and secrecy. The free press has a central place in the Constitution because it can provide information the public needs to make things right again. Even if it runs the risk of being labeled unpatriotic in the process...*
The Soviet Foreign Minister, Andrei Gromyko, upon learning of Post story, stated that the USSR will defend Cuba from any US attack, and by any means necessary. He also said, "clearly with the disclosure of its aggessive intentions there will now be an intensive effort by the United States Government to produce fabricated evidence to justify this unprovoked aggession." Gromyko also said that the USSR will call for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council for a resolution to require the United States to halt all military manuevers in the Carribean and the SE United States, to put all of its nuclear weapons systems in a stand-down status, and an additonal resolution to require the US to pledge not to invade Cuba. Radio Havana reports that Fidel Castro has sent emissaries to all Latin American countries to assure them that no "offensive" weapons systems are in Cuba, and to ask them to resist a likely call by the United States for OAS support in invading Cuba.
*this quote, with some omission and rewording for grammar, is taken from the New York Times editorial "Patriotism and the Press", in response to the Times publication of the story disclosing the financial tracking of terror money. In actuality the Post delayed their story until after Kennedy disclosed to the nation of the Cuban missiles (and after it was clear that we had caught the Soviets in a lie).
Man Shall Be Free.
"...That these are our grievances which we have thus laid before his majesty with that freedom of language and sentiment which becomes a free people, claiming their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate." - Thomas Jefferson, Rights of British America, 1774
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Steven Hawking is now advocating colonization of space, but we expect to hear cries of violation from the space science community as they fear their budgets will be raided to further support the Man in Space program. And they're right: robotic space exploration - spaceborne astrophysical observatories, planetary probes, and Earth-Solar observatories are all very important to the scientific understanding of the Universe. Also, activities in space science need to be accelerated to speed the industrial development of remote sensing and robotic technologies.
But human exploration and colonization of space is vital, too. It is our opinion at Deaddrifts that, despite the greatest efforts to keep technological societies viable on Earth, in the long run they will succumb to human overpopulation, pollution, large-scale wars and social instabilities driven by resource scarcity. It is our belief that technological societies can only survive by proliferating through the Solar System and nearby stars with planetary systems. Such spaceborne societies will of course be subject to human foibles, but as the New World provided the experimental laboratory for democracy that was sufficiently isolated from Old World meddling, so space may provide a safe haven for technological democracies from the assault by the Earthly tyrannies .
Realizing space colonization is an enormous task, and will be the most costly and challenging engineering and social project ever undertaken by humanity. So it is clearly insane to continue the fratricide within NASA as the Man in Space program and the Space and Planetary Science programs fight for their shares of the budget to the detriment of the other.
Our country's efforts in space requires both of these programs. We propose that (1) NASA permanently divide these programs, (2) firewall their budgets from the other, and (3) declare that the permanent (i.e., hundred-year) goal of the Man in Space Program is the construction of permanent, self-sustaining colonies in the Solar System and other nearby planetary systems.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
David McCullough's account of the creation of the Panama Canal was fascinating. Edward Herrman, the Voice of American history (recall Alexander Scourby), provides the narration of the audio book. TR (who provided the comment quoted above in response to the Panamanian Revolution) is featured prominently, but there are a constellation of heroes (yes, heroes) who made the Canal happen. They designed it, dug it, arranged the logistics, and fought "Yellow Jack".
The Canal was the "moon shot" of its time, and still an awesome work.
Monday, June 05, 2006
Courtesy of Mark Steyn and James Toranto:
...If you examine the assumptions underlying speeches by professors, media grandees, etc., it's hard not to agree with the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto, that these days America can only fight Vietnam, over and over: Every war is "supposed to become a quagmire, which provokes opposition and leads to American withdrawal.'' That's how the nation demonstrates its "moral virtue" -- i.e., its parochial self-absorption...
Saturday, June 03, 2006
I sent an e-mail letter to my Congerscritter Joe Schwarz, expressing my strong opposition to Senate's version of the "Comprehensive" Immigration Reform Act (advocating that he oppose many of its provisions when it comes to conference). So far, silence. But we did recieve a slick Schwarz for Congress flyer from his reelection committee, reminding us that Fightin' Joe is gonna get tough on the borders. We were not impressed.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
As a conservative, I cherish traditions and institutions that keep our collective culture strong and bind us together as a people. Like Pizza Bob's. Tonight my son and I found ourselves 'round suppertime at the corner of State & Packard in Ann Arbor. There was only one course of action to satiate our hunger pangs. We walked into the store and images of Bob's stout face greeted us from a dozen framed tee-shirts ringing the walls. On the timescale of campus establishments, Bob's is as old as the Sequoias, going back to 1972 (and Bob worked in the original store before that time). The United States was born in Philadelphia, but the Chipati was born in Bob's. I think that the original Chipati is now in a hermetically sealed, blast-proof case right next to the Declaration of Independence. Paul Revere's ride has been immortalized in prose. And there is Pizza Bob Haiku.
To paraphrase James Earl Jones' character in Field of Dreams, buildings and men have come and gone, the face of country has been wiped clean like a slate. But Pizza Bob's has marked the time.
Monday, May 29, 2006
In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the 1930s, the man my father looked for guidance in life while he was growing up was his uncle and my namesake, Martin Postii. Martin spent a few teenage years lumbering and mining, but at seventeen left the western Upper Peninsula to attend the Merchant Marine Academy. He spent his twenties and early thirties sailing on the boats of the Great Lakes. In the mid 1930s he finally joined the seagoing fleet, sailing with ships of the Sun Oil Co. from Venezuela to the eastern seaboard of the United States. My father looked forward to his uncle's letters, telling of his adventures on the sea and in the exotic ports of South America. He would also include some of his pay to help my father's mother and grandfather maintain their modest farm in depression-sticken upper Michigan. With the spread of war in Europe, Martin sailed from India to Murmansk as an ABS (Able Bodied Seaman) aboard the SS East Indian, owned by the Ford Motor Company.
In the fall of 1942, Martin set sail on what was to be his last voyage. After making port in India and South Africa, the East Indian made steam for Gilbraltar. On November 5, 1942, only three hundred miles west of Capetown, the East Indian was torpedoed and sunk by U-181, commanded by Kapitaenleutnant Wolfgang Lueth. A single torpedo hit was enough to sink the East Indian in a matter of minutes. One of the survivors wrote of seeing my great uncle, the "Finn from Upper Michigan", become tangled in the shrouds of the mainmast and pulled under with the sinking of the ship. Martin was one of twenty-three men who did not initially survive the sinking. Lueth surfaced the U-181, and hailed the fifty-one survivors, while some of the German crew filmed the events. He had regretted sinking such a fine ship, Lueth remarked and asked if her surviving crew needed provisions. His offer of help was refused. After directing them toward Capetown, Lueth wished the crew of the East Indian luck, and ordered the U-181 submerged and sailed off in search of more prey. Ultimately only three crewmembers of the East Indian survived to sail again.In the last several years our country has expressed its gratitude to the soldiers of World War II, as "The Greatest Generation" passes into memory. Nor should we forget the service and sacrifice of the brave men of the United States Merchant Marine.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Here is the text of the reply that I received from Spirit Airlines in the matter of PFC Sparling; I've omitted greetings and signature. We report, you decide:
Thank you for taking the time to contact Spirit Airlines regarding PFC Joshua Sparling. There are 2 sides to every story and the situation was described quite differently by a number of other people present that day. Regardless, please rest assured that we have the utmost respect and admiration for PFC Sparling. When he arrived too late for our flight, we could not accommodate him due to security regulations. We offered to accommodate him on our next available flight which he and his family refused. We are of course glad that one of our fellow airlines in our concourse was able to accommodate him on their next flight.
We apologize for any confusion about this situation and the perception that we did not want to carry PFC Sparling on our flight. To the contrary, it would have been our honor to serve PFC Sparling, but given how late he arrived at the airport, regulations prevented us from doing so.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Read the account of what happened to PFC Joshua Sparling, I did and I wrote the following letter to Spirit Airlines.
To Whom it May Concern,
I have just read an article about the disgusting manner in which Spirit Airline personnel treated PFC Joshua Sparling, who was seriously wounded in Iraq. This story is documented at the following website:
For my business I travel frequently, and have used Spirit Airlines. I will be directing my administrative staff to book me on airlines other than Spirit. I would encourage your company apologize to PFC Sparling and you post your apology on your website, such an apology would do a great deal to restore my confidence in Spirit Airlines.
If you're looking to escape the stench of lies perpetrated by Mr. Jesse Macbeth (not worth a link), you can learn of the awe-inspiring heroism of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines. Then get out to your Memorial Day parade to say thank you to soldiers past and present. And then get out your checkbook and give to a military family support organization, or a rehab hospital, or the USO. There isn't any excuse for not helping if you have the means, so do it.
By the way, Lima Company is very proud of their accomplishments in Iraq. Those who would deride those accomplishments - namely, trying to help the Iraqi people build a nation where they can raise their kids in peace and freedom - don't "support the troops". These guys know liars when they see them.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Senator John McCain spoke at the New School ("...A University") to a gaggle of its 2006 graduates of whom one can only describe as rude, arrogant, self-absorbed, and pretentious juveniles. NPR provides a slightly spun version of events here. Ten years from now they will probably all be working at the WJ Clinton Center for Not-Stoppin' Thinkin' About Tomorrow.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Michelle Malkin has a superb video article on Hot Air about the struggle of Islamic women against repression committed against them in the name of Allah. Among those featured are Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wafa Sultan, and Oriana Fallaci. Also chilling are the comments of someone with strong ties to the Netherlands who note that the Dutch now understand the lethal scope of the crisis, and that Jews are leaving Holland because of intimidation. This is how tyranny begins.
Friday, May 05, 2006
The founding father of television financial news, Lou succumbed to multiple myeloma this week. He will be sorely missed, a man of scintillating intellect, dry wit, and panache' that mesmerized one about markets, finance, and the economy. CNBC is doing a wonderful rememberance on him, hosted by one of his TV progeny, Maria Bartaromo.
PBS was literally put on the map by Lou. And they're hardly remembering him.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
The US uses 140 billion gallons of gasoline per year. If 10% of this amount is displaced by ethanol, our yearly ethanol production would need to be at least 14 billion gallons per year. Our present ethanol production capacity is about 3.5 billion gallons per year! From an earlier discussion, an E85 fuel would require 8.5 times this production. Is large-scale ethanol replacement of gasoline possible?
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
CNN's Lou Dobbs has been out front on the illegal alien issue for years, and now he appears to be the lone voice among the Mainstream Meatpackers to recognize the tentacles of the neo-Stalinist group ANSWER grabbing control of the protests supporting amnesty for illegal aliens.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
The Instapundit cited a Popular Mechanics article about alternative fuels, and here is the breakdown in monetary and energy costs for a car to drive coast to coast on these fuels.
Note that the energy content of each of these fuels varies as well, contributing to total costs:
- Gasoline: 91 gallons required, 4.5 barrels of crude oil required, $270 in fuel
- 85% Ethanol + 15% Gasoline: 176 gallons, one-half barrel of oil + 53 bushels of corn, $425
- 85% Methanol + 15 Gasoline: 214 gallons, one-half barrel of oil + 18Kcf of natural gas, $619
- B100 Biodiesel: 68 gallons, 80 gallons of vegetable oil, $231 (B5 is routinely used)
- Compressed Natural Gas: 88 effective gasoline gallons, 11Kcf of natural gas, $110
- Electricity: 16 effective gasoline gallons, 1 ton of coal, $60
- Hydrogen: 73 effective gasoline gallons, 16Kcf of Hydrogen, $800
Using this data alone, it appears ethanol is not the wonder fuel that some are hyping, while biodiesel and electricity look promising. Licensing more nuclear power plants may help offset the growing costs of electricity generation from coal. We at Deadrifts have lived downwind from a food processing plant with fumes of burning vegetable oil, and the smell makes one yearn for a whiff from the exhaust of a '67 GTO.
It was a masterful exhibition of controlling the vocabulary of a debate, as the Hard Left perverted the issue of illegal foreign workers into an imaginary attack on legal immigrants. The ANSWER Bolsheviks joined in "solidarity" with "immigrants rights" groups - and we wonder what these groups thought was their common cause with ANSWER's notorious anti-American, anti-Israeli, and anti-captialist agitations?
Monday, May 01, 2006
Opening Day Diary, 2006.
Last Saturday's trout opener in Grayling featured clear skies, fresh breezes, moderate air and water temperatures, plenty of Black Caddis and Hendricksons, but surprisingly few fish. I was skunked (Ye Gods!) on Saturday on the Manistee, but on Sunday the North Branch of the Ausable River yielded plenty of small feisty brookies (by swinging a Pheasant Tail). Later in the day a fine 11" brown snapped up a Hendrickson dry on the Holy Water. A fine opener, with great fishing, beautiful scenery, and convivial companionship.
Tim Russert was looking for supportive righteous indignation when he asked Jim Cramer about the obscene, criminal, rapacious, and predatory gasoline pricing by ExxonMobil. But Cramer didn't take the bait:
MR. RUSSERT: ...and do you believe the oil companies have been adding on a little bit extra profit?
MR. CRAMER: I, I think if they could drill they would drill. If they could refine more, they would. These are companies that are run for the shareholders, but they’re run to be able to produce as much oil as we can possibly use. They want to do that. Lee Raymond, he, he generated $67 billion in profits for his shareholders. I think that that’s a reasonable return, $144,000 a day. Katie Couric makes $85,000 a day. What value has she created vs. 67 billion by Lee Raymond?
MR. RUSSERT: Well, to the “Today” show and to the millions of viewers?
Let's analyze Tim's last question: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!
Saturday, April 22, 2006
About 75 Nazis crawled out from their rocks for a hate-fete' at the state capitol, and there's been a big stink about it. As there should be (remember Woody Allen's reaction to using sarcasm against Nazis?). Then there are these guys (as reported by LGF) , that for some strange reason the Mainstream Meatpackers just can't get as worked up about.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Scott Crossfield, test pilot extraordinare and one of the fastest men alive, has died in the crash of the plane he was flying.
Leviathan's Tenacles on Free Speech.
George Will observes that the McCain-Feingold Law is expanding its reach in supressing free political speech.
Ethanol's Unintended Consequences.
Ethanol is being touted as the snake-oil to cure our petroleum ills, but of course it isn't mentioned that (i) it costs a good deal of oil energy to produce and distribute it, (ii) the logistics of blending it with gasoline are a real headache, causing supply disruptions, and increased prices. This NYT article explains some of these problems.
Forty Cents on the Dollar.
Nigeria is paying off its $30 billion debt - well $12 billion of it. But, as Jim Cramer would say, it's better than a sharp stick in the eye. And it's made possible by petroleum revenues, with the help of Big Oil.
Hillary's Tax Visions.
Remember Hillary's "get used to higher taxes" speech in SF a few years back? Larry Kudlow reports that she's at it again.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Red China's President Hu Jintao, after his gala reception at the Republic of Microsoft, got around to visiting the regional leaders of North America, like George W. Bush. During Hu's completely pointless remarks on the White House lawn, a dissident pleaded with W to encourage his Excellency to stop persecuting his fellow citizens. W later apologized to Hu for the shocking lack of decorum and politeness the heckler demonstrated toward the leader of the world's preeminent totalitarian nation, and expressed his hope that this incident would not spoil Red China's appetite for US Government Bonds and T-Bills.
Prepare to Board the Ether, Mateys!
The FCC has asked Johnny Danger to cease operations of his popular pirate radio station based in Depot Town, Ypsilanti. What a shame - Johnny gave the locals 100 flea-bitten watts of pure listening pleasure. You know, radio that people really liked:
"It was the best thing that ever happened to Depot Town. ... Everybody loved it,'' said Linda French, owner of Sidetrack restaurant. "Part of the fun was trying to figure out where it was being broadcast from. It wasn't like they were interfering with anybody.''
...Depot Town Radio played a wide variety of music, from country and standards to Motown and patriotic songs. It also included coverage of Depot Town-specific events...
(Excerpt from AA News article linked above)
Imagine that: a public-oriented radio station serving the local community. Without a several million dollar budget, nor with station personnel indicted for embezzlment and kickbacks.
Please, FCC, bring back low-power community radio.
Aye, Jim, I spy a safe anchor for Johnny!
Monday, April 17, 2006
Jay Nordlinger of National Review talked with Bill Bennett this morning, reminding us of the abuse of human rights in Red China so that we can get cheap cute "Simpsons" slippers.
Meaning What We Say.
The AP (via WaPo) reports that Iran would upgrade the centrifuges of its nuclear program so that enriched uranium will be produced rapidly in large quantities - making an Iranian bomb truly possible.
When the world superpowers took the first steps toward nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, they surely must have contemplated the possibility that some rogue state would ignore all calls by the civilized world to cease and desist from building a bomb. What did they conclude that civilization would have to do in such a circumstance?
It's Leviathan's Suppertime.
Yes, it's Tax Day. Here's to the Procrastinators - Huzzah! Depicted by the Mainstream Meatpackers as boobs or delinquents, Deaddrifts salutes their steadfast resolve. As with Crockett, Travis, and Bowie, they hold back overpowering forces as long as humanly possible, contributing in some small and symbolic, but not insignificant way in slowing the juggernaut of the ever growing, consuming State.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he[a] lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you." So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me."
Have a Blessed Easter!
Friday, April 14, 2006
So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, "Do not write, 'The King of the Jews,' but rather, 'This man said, I am King of the Jews.'" Pilate answered, "What I have written I have written."
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be." This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, "They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots."
So the soldiers did these things, but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!" Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
The Death of Jesus After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), "I thirst." A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
At Deaddrifts we believe - fiercely - in legal immigration. To believe otherwise is, well, anti American. So, please, come to America and live your dream. Just play by the rules: don't take "cuts" in the line, tell us you're here, pay your taxes, and obey our laws.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Monday, April 10, 2006
The justification used incessantly for illegal foreign workers is that they just "do the work that other Americans won't do". Given the Michigan unemployment rate, which is nearly 50% higher than the national rate, this claim really needs close scrutiny. Deaddrifts will investigate the types of jobs in which illegal foreign workers can be found, and consider whether a Michigander if offered such job would take it.
Example 1: Housecleaner. The rate for 4 hours of work for independent housecleaners in our neck of the woods is at least $60, or $15 an hour, and $20 an hour is common. This is a good wage. Disclaimer: Deaddrifts' household member has worked such a job, so we're not above doing it.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
The Ann Arbor News, to their credit, put together an excoriating article on the skyrocketing tuition and out-of-control spending at the University of Michigan:
- The yearly tuition for in-state students has grown at over three times rate of inflation since 1990
- Despite state funding increases at 20% below the rate of inflation during this period, the University swelled its budget at twice the inflation rate.
- Much of this increased spending was not for instructional and classroom activities, but for student services, "community programs", and a 30% increase in the university workforce, with much of this hiring for high-paid adminstrators and research technical staff
- The University's capital expenditures - its aggressive building program - is being partially paid for by tuition increases
- The pay increases for tenured faculty salaries increased at a rate 20% above the inflation rate; for deans it rose at twice the inflation rate
- Half of the credit hours at UM are now taught by non-tenure track faculty and instructors; the number of professors increased by only 2%, non-tenure track instructors by 20%, while student enrollment rose by 9%
Why does the University of Michigan view itself beyond the common sense of a balanced budget? The state funding shortfall is only $50 million of a $1.2 billon budget - this is just out of control spending by UM, very cynically piled on the back of students, their parents, and Uncle Sam with low interest student loans.
Saturday, April 01, 2006
Jill Carroll has released a statement through the Christian Science Monitor, disavowing her condemnation of the United States and President Bush. There has been fierce criticism of some of the blogosphere that jumped down her throat for her original statements - now known to have been made under coersion - with some bloggers even suggesting the worst. Here at Deaddrifts we were, in all honesty, waiting for precisely this type of statement from Carroll, and it was welcomed news.
The question as to whether the blogosphere overreacted in this case is completely appropriate. That part of this new media jumped to conclusions should not be surprising, for it is a diverse universe of skills, opinions, and yes, motives. The blogosphere admits to these flaws and foilbles. What was pleasing to observe was the speed at which the allegations of Carroll's collusion were disputed by bringing new information to the discussion, and with this the revealing of the truth, and even the changing of opinions.
This should be contrasted to the herd mentality of the Mainstream Meatpackers, who tremble at challenging the Upper West Side's prejudices in interpreting the events of the world, while claiming a universal and supernatural impartiality.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
A friend of mine noticed that traffic on Michigan Avenue (US-12) on the east side of Saline has become quite snarled, with traffic on the busy route now timed to be repeatedly stopped by the intersection lights. He called MDOT to point out the obvious inefficiency and to ask whether the timing of the lights had been altered. He was told that he was one of many who had called with the same inquiry, and that yes, the timing of the lights had been changed. Why? Well, MDOT had timed the lights to allow a smooth flow of traffic on Michigan Ave, but one of the US Department of Transportation's "secret drivers" had determined that the lights fell outside of the official federal guidelines for traffic light timing. MDOT was told to change the timing or risk losing its share of Government Asphalt (which is a lot like Government Cheese).
The mind reels from multiple assaults on its sensibilities with this bizarre tale: 1) The Federal Government has decided that traffic light timing is too important to leave to the 10th Amendment of the Constitution and MDOT, 2) the Federal government makes POOYA rules about traffic light timing (POOYA is a common business colloquialism, think about it for a bit)
and insists that they be enforced even when common sense guides otherwise, and 3) Federal employees are paid as highway ferrets to find criminal traffic lights! The first description that comes to mind is - staggering nincompoopery. It's time to take your wallet back from the chimpanzees.
The Detroit Free Press reports that the current criminal probe of Michigan Radio's WOUM - an NPR turnkey operation since the late '90s - is examining "incentives" for station staffers, like a pool table, Persian rugs, and comp'ed meals provided by local merchants in exchange for on-air promotion. Also called into question are station staff activities at a local golf course and alleged inappropriate spending at a convention. Earlier this month Donovan Reynolds, the Karl Rove of Michigan Radio, left the station.
Since the coup that deposed its classical-music format, the nearly all-talk WOUM has raked in the contributor dough hand over fist - nearly a million bucks last year - and has become the favorite son of the public radio family for this success. We at Deaddrifts have previously lamented the lack of programming at WUOM produced by or for the local community.
WOUM starts its Spring Beg-a-thon at the end of March. Perhaps they'll use the barter system this year: a freezer full of steaks, new carpeting for the rec room, etc.?
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Friday, February 24, 2006
Bull Run, the inglorious debut of the Union Army against the Confederacy, was also known as the "Great Skiddaddle", as panicking soldiers ran from the battlefield. So it's been with the Press of the Western Democracies, sans Denmark. Ben Stein sums up the disaster.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Friday, February 17, 2006
Big Net's recent appearance in congressional hearings was depressing. It seemed impossible for them to admit that they were assisting the Red Chinese in supressing free speech. The facts: Yahoo turned over information on online dissidents, Google produced a "freedom-free" version of their search engine for use in China, Cisco instructed Chinese police on how to monitor net traffic through their hardware, and Microsoft has banned such nine-letter words as "democracy" from Chinese blogs.
Tom Lantos' analogy with IBM's "accounting" assistance for the Nazis cut right to the quick. This is just shameful.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
The Congressional-Executive Committee on China has published findings on the supression of the freedom of expression in the "People's Republic", and it's a must read. Congressman Tom Lantos was particularly eloquent in his opening statement for hearings with "Big Net" (Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, and Cisco) on their dealings with Red China in internet censorship and surveilance on Chinese citizens who dare speak of freedom or religion.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
The Hard Left's premiere spokescritter Amy Goodman (she is darned good at her job) has, predictably, blamed the Cartoon War on the West, particularly the US. Appearing on Hardball, Goodman dismissed the notion of Islamofascist intolerance for freedom of speech, and said that the uproar was caused by relentless Western oppression of Islamic people.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Rich Lowry has a great article in the latest National Review about how the '94 Revolution and the Contract with America has been smashed by K-Street and "earmarks". The Republicans should not be surprised if they are cashiered this fall, not that the Democrats are really going to find the faith of fiscal conservatism. Alas, back into the wilderness...
Friday, February 03, 2006
Here's one of the original copies of our Bill of Rights, the creation of men who proposed that God had bestowed upon a man the dignity of a unique identity and with it the inalienable value of fundamental rights and the pursuit of his happiness.
Twice in the course of our history, we have faced mortal threats to this proposition. The first threat was found within our own country, the corrupt belief that some men were the property of others and thereby could be denied these God-given rights. The second threat believed that the individual existed only to serve the State, and that therefore the concept of a Creator's gift of "inalienable rights" did not exist.
We pose this question: isn't it clear that we now facing another mortal threat, by those whose claim that human beings exist to serve self-proclaimed proxies for God, where death is ordained for those who fail to obey?
Here's a photo from an earlier "Cartoon War" (visit the US Holocaust Memorial Museum for more information):
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Twenty five years ago this past week the Reagan Revolution came to Washington, and world was changed: the demise of the Soviet Union, the rescue of America from malaise and the misery index with the awakening of the American economic dynamo, and the renewal in our pride to be Americans. Viva La Reagan Revolucion!
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Stanford University has a great site of his collected papers and speeches. Measuring a man by the "content of his character" is one the profound definitions of true equality - and so simple. To bad we don't adhere to it; too bad many even reject the concept of character.
Monday, January 09, 2006
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
As reported by the Detroit Free Press:
"Former Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff and associate Michael Scanlon
encouraged an American Indian tribe in Michigan to make big political
contributions. At least seven Michigan members of Congress benefited...
Here's a look at the Michigan connections of Abramoff:
Contributions to Michigan congressional members (all since 1999):
(Rep. David) Camp (R-Midland), $35,500; Rep. Dale Kildee, D-Flint, $19,000; (Debbie) Stabenow (D) $5,000; Carl Levin (D), $2,000; Rep. Sander Levin, D-Royal Oak, $4,000; and Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, $2,000."
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Jack Abramoff cops a plea today, and will start singing a Who's Who of Congresscritter Corruption. And let every one of them, Republican and Democrat alike, have their heads handed to them. And if one of them dares to claim discipleship to the Reagan doctrine of smaller government, let that one be buried up to the chest next to a hill of fire ants. This just stinks.
Glenn Reynolds offers his opinion.
Monday, January 02, 2006
The New Criterion's latest issue addresses the throat-baring by Western intellectuals to Islamofacism. This exerpt from Roger Kimball's essay:
Here is the novelty: Our new enemies are not political enemies in any
traditional sense, belligerent in the service of certain interests of their own.
Their belligerence is focused rather on the very existence of an alternative to
their vision of beatitude, namely on Western democracy and its commitment to
individual freedom and economic prosperity. I return to Hussein Massawi: “We are
not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate
And to oppose this threat the intelligensia offers Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore, and Noam Chomsky.