Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Global Warming Is Over Already?

Global temperatures rose by .8 degrees Celsius between 1880 and 1997. Some people got very upset. Temps held steady for a decade but some people continued to demand restrictions on our freedoms and increased taxation to make this all better. These people became very popular.

Fast forward to today: the latest data from all four major global temperature tracking outlets showed that global temps cooled between .65 and .75 degrees Celsius in the last year. This wipes out all of the warming that has occurred in the last century. This is not a surprise considering all the anecdotal evidence: the first snowfall in recorded history for Baghdad, the coldest winter in 100 years for China, and record levels of Antarctic sea ice. Carbon emissions may have a small effect on climate, but there are clearly larger factors (like solar activity) at play. I wonder if they'll take back Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize. Probably not, as Jimmy Carter and Yasser Arafat kept theirs.


William F. Buckley, Jr. passed away today at the age of 82. Buckley is considered by many to be the father of today's conservative movement. He advanced conservatism through his magazine, National Review (I am a proud subscriber), countless books, columns, and his TV show "Firing Line" using humor, an extensive vocabulary and superior intellect. has a good obit for Buckley and there's a lot of great tributes on Allow me share one quote, from the New York Times:
I am, I fully grant, a phenomenon, but not because of any speed in composition. I asked myself the other day, `Who else, on so many issues, has been so right so much of the time?' I couldn't think of anyone.

I can't either.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mike Huckabee on SNL

The Huckster gets some laughs on SNL's "Weekend Update." Hat tip Alex.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Guitar Hero

I finally spent some Christmas money and picked up Guitar Hero (III) for my Xbox 360. Sarah and I have been rocking in the free world all afternoon. In case you don't know, the game lets you play along with rock songs using a small plastic guitar-controllers with 5 buttons on the neck.

I'm not quite as good as the guy in this video... yet.

I also considered this product, also from Activision, but went with Guitar Hero instead.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Obama and Free Trade

I forced myself to watch the Democratic debate last night, well part of it. I watched long enough to see Obama promote two conflicting economic policies within ten minutes. He condemned free trade agreements (specifically NAFTA) that send American jobs to Mexico. A few minutes later, as the topic switched to immigration, Obama argued that one way to ease the problem of illegal immigration was to promote job growth in Mexico. Hmmm.

Obama's arguments against free trade are typical of much of the Democrat platform - they are based on emotion and not on fact. Almost all economists agree that free trade benefits all countries that take part. Unfortunately, free trade does hurt some sectors of the economy (while benefiting the whole) and politicians see an opportunity to win votes by showing that they care.

It is sad whenever someone loses a job. However, abandoning free trade is not the answer. Free trade allows different countries to do what they do best, which benefits the global economy. Cheap labor in foreign countries allows us to purchase goods at lower prices. We then spend the money we saved on other things, which stimulates job growth. Our economy evolves, replacing manufacturing jobs with more productive jobs. This raises the standard of living for us and for the countries we trade with. If the Democrats had their way on this issue, there would be tariffs in place on all sorts of products to "protect American jobs." This "evens the playing field" as more American companies' prices are now competitive with imports. The loser is the American consumer who now pays higher prices.

Milton Friedman (probably the most influential economist of the 20th century) argues for additional benefits of free trade:

Few measures that we could take would do more to promote the cause of freedom at home and abroad than complete free trade. Instead of making grants to foreign governments in the name of economic aid--thereby promoting socialism--while at the same time imposing restrictions on the products they produce--thereby hindering free enterprise--we could assume a consistent and principled stance. We could say to the rest of the world: We believe in freedom and intend to practice it. We cannot force you to be free. But we can offer full cooperation on equal terms to all. Our market is open to you without tariffs or other restrictions. Sell here what you can and wish to. Buy whatever you can and wish to. In that way cooperation among individuals can be worldwide and free.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Michelle Obama

It's no secret that many on the left despise this country (full of racist, capitalist, and imperialist pigs, clearly), but it's always a surprise when they say so openly. Michelle Obama told a Milwaukee crowd that "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change." At every other time in your adult life you have been ashamed of this country? Michelle Malkin comments for National Review:

We were both adults when the Berlin Wall fell, Michelle. That was earth-shattering change...

We were adults through several launches of the space shuttle, in case you were snoozing. And as adults, we’ve witnessed and benefited from dizzyingly rapid advances in technology, communications, science, and medicine pioneered by American entrepreneurs who yearned to change the world and succeeded. You want “change?” Go ask the patients whose lives have been improved and extended by American pharmaceutical companies that have flourished under the best economic system in the world...

If American ingenuity, a robust constitutional republic, and the fall of communism don’t do it for you, hon, then how about American heroism and sacrifice?

How about every Memorial Day? Every Veterans Day? Every Independence Day? Every Medal of Honor ceremony? Has she never attended a welcome-home ceremony for the troops?

Apparently, instituting Barack Obama's radical, liberal ideology is the only way to create a country worthy of our pride.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Washington's Birthday

Today's holiday honors all U.S. Presidents. It used to honor only the greatest President, George Washington. Gleaves Whitney elaborates for National Review.

During the American Revolution, Washington put service before self. His personal example was his greatest gift to the nation. It has often been said that the “Father of our country” was less eloquent than Jefferson; less educated than Madison; less experienced than Franklin; less talented than Hamilton. Yet all these leaders looked to Washington to lead them because they trusted him with power. He didn’t need power.

As for presidents who should not be celebrated, here's the American Thinker's three worst presidents.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


And from the Onion:


Pro-hopes, also supports dreams

Favorite Way To Mollify Supporters:
Nodding solemnly while gripping podium

Political Experience:
(2005–) Junior Senator from Illinois. Working directly under Senior Senator Richard Durbin himself, duties included fact-checking and copyediting the 2006 highway appropriations amendment bill. Member, Illinois State Senate (1997-2004)

Difficulty Catching A Cab:

Personal Best For Getting Digits:
32 seconds

Odds Of Pop-Locking During Inauguration:
1 in 12

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Spying on Al-Qaida

The House Republicans walked out in protest today because Democrats are refusing to bring up a bill reauthorizing the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act. The current act expires Friday at midnight. The bill allows surveillance on foreign terrorism suspects communicating with other foreigners without a warrant for up to one year. However, these communications often involve US telecom companies through their global networks. The bill also gives telecom companies immunity from lawsuits that may result from their efforts to help track terrorists. This is all terribly controversial for the crowd that runs the Democrat party. It also doesn't hurt that 66 trial lawyers that have represented plaintiffs against these phone companies for turning records over to the Bush Administration have donated at least $1.5 million to 44 current Democrats (and only $4,250 to Republicans). The Senate barely passed this legislation, although 29 Democratic Senators voted against it (Obama and Hillary both opposed it though they did not vote). 24 of these Senators (including Obama and Hillary) took money from the lawyers suing telecoms. Without protection, the telecoms will be hesitant to help track down terrorists.

The Dems are always talking about special interests, only theirs don't count (labor unions, environmental wackos, trial lawyers, the Chinese) because they're not big (evil) business. Maybe if Al-Qaeda was doing steroids they would be interested.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Talk Radio vs. McCain?

Much has been made of conservative talk radio's dislike of John McCain. Limbaugh, Hannity, and Coulter (ugh) have all denounced the Republican Party's lurch to the center with the almost official (Huckabee - what are you doing?) nomination of McCain. All these media pundits wonder if McCain placate these people or if talk radio will compel all their "mind numbed robots" to stay home in November.

What the mainstream media fails to understand is that these talk radio shows are so popular because they speak for a huge segment of the population that the media (and some factions of the Republican party) would silence. Rush Limbaugh doesn't tell me what to think; he says what I am thinking. Conservatives are upset about McCain's victory and so are conservative talk show hosts.

Will McCain come begging for conservative support? Not really. Independents love his "maverick" status and support from the likes of Limbaugh hurts him with these fence sitters. There's not much he can say to conservatives to make up for McCain-Kennedy (immigration), McCain-Feingold (campaign finance), McCain-Lieberman (new gas/global warming tax) and everything else, so he probably figures he has to count on the fear of Obama/Shrillary to drive them to the ballot box.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


The liberal wing of the Republican Party has won; John McCain will be the Republican nominee. Many Republicans want to take the party toward the center, saying that we must be more inclusive, more liberal, in order to win. The Arnold Schwartzenegger's, Charlie Crist's, and McCain's have rejected Ronald Reagan's vision for America, as well as his strategy. Reagan brought people into the tent by convincing them that conservative principles were best for America, not by sacrificing our principles to pick off a few liberals.

What went wrong? I think Mitt Romney would be a great president (he still may win, in 2012), but he failed to unite conservatives. His support among conservatives was slow to develop as they waited for Thompson to generate some excitement. Then Huckabee came out of nowhere to capture the evangelical vote (aided in large part by evangelicals' mistrust of the Mormon faith). Once Thompson was gone, Mitt was the only one left favoring conservatism in economics, social issues, and national defense. However, McCain won with independents in New Hampshire, and with Huckabee continuing to take the evangelical vote, the wave of support for Romney, triggered by conservative leaders and their opposition to McCain just wasn't enough.

Although I am disappointed that a candidate as liberal as McCain has won the nomination, there are at least three important reasons it's important for him to win in November.
  1. National Defense - McCain will aggressively fight the war on terrorism. Oh, and who do you want in the White House if the Iran gets the bomb?
  2. Preventing the biggest tax increase in US history - which both Shrillary and Obama have planned.
  3. The next president will probably appoint a Supreme Court justice. Do we want another Alito or another Ginsberg? Do we want a Supreme Court that upholds the Constitution, or one that makes it up as they go?

Bottom line, don't sit this one out.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Mitt Live and Close Up

Mitt Romney was in Glen Ellyn (10 minutes west of my house) this afternoon and Sarah, Rudi and I were there to cheer his conservative message (economic, immigration, and foreign policy for those McCain supporters). Former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert introduced Romney to a packed house. Mitt gave us a campaign update: he won Saturday's Maine caucus 52% to McCain's 21% (despite McCain endorsements by the governor and both senators) and is now leading by 3 points in delegate-rich California. Mitt spoke for about 15 minutes about his plans for America: lower taxes, a strong national defense, pro-growth and pro-family policies, less regulation and more border security.

Mitt makes it clear that there is only one candidate left who stands for the core principles of the Republican Party: "I'm afraid it's going to be real hard to win the White House if there's not much difference between our nominee and theirs, and that's why I'm going to make sure that we stand for Republican ideals."

Don't forget to vote on Tuesday!