Saturday, April 26, 2008

Never Forget This . . . and Be Forever Grateful

“We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”

. . George Orwell

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Book Recommendations

1. America Alone by Mark Steyn -- a must read. A realistic description of the world in which we live and must cope as a nation.

2. Superior, Nebraska by Denis Boyles -- another must read. Excellent portrayal of America and its current internal cultural divisions. Flyover country still pretty much okay so far despite the dishonest rot that has set in to, and is spreading from our chic coastal enclaves and elite institutions.

3. Molon Labe by Boston T. Party -- a novel that is a good read and makes one wish that it might become true.

Wheels Starting to Come Off Obama Campaign

As the pieces of the Barack Obama puzzle start to fall into place the junior U.S. senator from Illinois is coming into focus as a lightweight poseur devoid of any qualifications for the presidency.

He speaks well but it is becoming clear that he is glib rather than articulate. His speeches call to mind the portrait of the fictional preacher Elmer Gantry drawn decades ago by Sinclair Lewis. The young senator employs his charisma and his rhetorical skills to mask his emptiness and the emptiness of his words.

In his last debate, he demonstrated his inability to deal with any tough but legitimate questions. The journalists who posed the questions were attacked by the senator’s supporters (including journalists in his camp). The questions were improper, according to the attackers, because they didn’t deal with relevant current issues.

That claim is nonsensical. Because no one can foresee the issues that will arise and require confrontation by the next president, the most important questions about candidates for the office are those that go to the character, judgment, and loyalties of the candidates.

Those are questions with which Senator Obama doesn’t want to deal. To avoid doing so he is refusing future debates. When such questions are posed the senator or his supporters attack them or those who pose them as racist, and instead of providing substantive responses he resorts to avoidance and evasion. His campaign now is restricted to set speeches and responding only to softball questions in settings and from journalistic and other supporters ensuring that he will be coddled.

That strategy will not be sustainable in the long general election campaign in which Senator Obama will have to engage if, as still seems likely, he wins his party’s nomination for the presidency.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Unsustainable Obama Bubble

Barack Obama’s new age presidential campaign balloon has sprung a leak. It thus far has been kept aloft largely by people eager to elevate a well spoken and physically attractive young black man (irrespective of his qualifications) whose candidacy makes them feel good by convincing them it proves they are free of racism, and by the ability of the junior senator from Illinois to play on those widespread desires and motives among idealistic but naive young people and perpetually hallucinating liberal extremists.

The bubble probably won’t deflate quickly enough to prevent him from getting his party’s nomination. But by November, assuming that Senator Obama is the Democrat candidate, it will be so flat that he will be swamped in the general election by a margin similar to that by which George McGovern lost to Richard Nixon in 1972. It is noteworthy Obama's base of support is the same elitist one that propelled Senator McGovern to the party's candidacy and led to the party's ensuing debacle 36 years ago.

The senator will reach his highest poll ratings immediately after delivering what undoubtedly will an articulate speech (or perhaps merely a glib performance) accepting his nomination and before the American electorate begins seriously scrutinizing him, his record, and his beliefs. Notwithstanding the contortions that the mainstream media will go through to obscure and put a favorable spin on these things, the seepage will gradually but inexorably become a flood once that examination begins in earnest.

Even now, the process has begun and is gaining momentum.

The initial impetus for it was the revelation that Senator Obama spent more than two decades listening to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright spew hatred. The hatred was directed toward America, toward America’s white citizens, toward Jews, toward Israel. The senator expressed disagreement with the Rev. Mr. Wright’s vitriol and venom only after the pastor’s vicious rhetoric became public. Then the would be president said that he would have left his church had not his former pastor done so after his racist rhetoric and bigotry became publicly known.

The nation’s big media of course sought to put the best possible face on the speech in which Senator Obama attempted to lay to rest the questions raised by his long association with the Rev. Mr. Wright. In doing so, the media were curiously uncurious enough to ask any potentially embarrassing questions. They might, for example, have asked why the senator initially claimed he hadn’t been aware of what his pastor had been saying, and expressed disapproval of the invective only after that effort proved untenable. An even mildly skeptical press might have asked the senator why he had not expressed disagreement with the reverend’s statements when or soon after they were made in his presence. Even a cub reporter might have inquired about why, after having heard what the Rev. Mr. Wright was saying for all those years he had chosen the pastor to officiate at his wedding, to baptize his children, to preach to his children, to serve as an adviser and a member of one of his campaign committees.

It appears inescapable that Senator Obama regrets not his relationship with the minister whom he has described as a close friend, spiritual advisor, and mentor, or with the minister’s despicable views. What he regrets is that those relationships and their implications have become known to the voting public.

Adding weight to the reservations about the senator stemming from the relationship with his pastor is the fact that the Rev. Mr. Wright’s views are so closely aligned with what has come to light about how his wife views our country. It is not merely her statement about becoming proud of America for the first time in her adult life only as her husband’s candidacy gained traction. Damaging attention is certainly going to focus on racially charged statements and clear expressions of angry antipathy for America contained in her college thesis.

Other unsavory associations are going to receive closer scrutiny and prove damaging to the senator’s candidacy. Questions that warrant and will receive examinations are those he reportedly has had with such unsavory characters as:

• Louis Farrakahm, the anti-white leader of the Nation of Islam,

• Tony Rezko, the shadowy Chicago dealmaker and Obama campaign contributor who is now under indictment, and

• Bill Ayers, who (i) in 1969, as a Weather Underground terrorist brought the “Days of Rage” to Chicago, (ii) in 1970,said “kill all the rich people, break up their cars and apartments, bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that where it’s really at, (iii) in 1971participated in a bombing of the pentagon, and (iv) in 2001 told the New York Times “I don’t regret setting bombs, I feel we didn’t do enough.”

Thus far, these associations have garnered only the most cursory attention, but that cannot and will not continue in the course of a general election campaign. It is not ascribing guilt to any individual by association to note that one is known by and for the company he keeps. Of greater importance in Senator Obama’s case is the fact that his associations inevitably will also bring into focus, clarify, and explain extremist views that he shares with his party's farthermost left fringe and that he has used his oratorical prowess, to obscure or, at most, keep very vague.

The same factors also will bring to the attention of the voting public that apart from his rhetorical skills the junior senator from Illinois lacks any qualifications for the presidency. His record will be recognized as being devoid of any substantive accomplishments or achievements other than those that have been bestowed upon him as racial preferences.

In any case, it is my strongly held opinion that as they become known, neither Senator Obama’s associations nor his record, nor his views will be acceptable to American voters.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

San Francisco Comical Gives Its Readers the Mushroom Treatment: Keeping Them in the Dark and Covering Them with Manure

The narcissistic editors of the San Francisco Comical love to prattle about the journalistic process and to claim that those engaged in the noble newspaper business enjoy special privileges that other citizens do not. But their suppression of the information set forth in the following report shows that they really are committed to the idea that freedom of the press belongs solely to the few like them who control high speed presses. The Comical's editors, despite repeated queries and nudges, have refused for more than a year to share with their paper's readers any of the information about California's senior U.S. senator contained in the following WorldNetDaily report:

Feinstein quits committee under war-profiteer cloud
Report documents military contracts for firms owned by senator's husband

Posted: March 28, 2007

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has abruptly walked away from her responsibilities with the Senate Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee after a report linked her votes to the financial well-being of her husband's companies, which received billions of dollars worth of military construction contracts she approved.

As reported in Metroactive, an online report from the Silicon Valley, Feinstein's resignation followed six years of subcommittee work during which time her alleged conflict of interest stemmed from her husband Richard C. Blum's ownership of Perini Corp. and URS Corp.

Feinstein, chairman and ranking member of the subcommittee, regularly reviewed and accepted contracts from her husband's companies for not only construction work for military bases, but also addressing "quality of life" issues for the veterans of the United States military services.

"As MILCON leader, Feinstein relished the details of military construction, even micromanaging one project at the level of its sewer design," wrote Peter Byrne in the report. "She regularly took junkets to military bases around the world to inspect construction projects, some of which were contracted to her husband's companies, Perini Corp. and URS Corp."

He suggested perhaps Feinstein resigned "because she could not take the heat generated by metro's expose of her ethics… Or was her work on the subcommittee finished because Blum divested ownership of his military construction and advanced weapons manufacturing firms in late 2005?"

The writer also noted another reason could be that since that subcommittee is responsible for veterans' "quality of life" issues, perhaps she was trying to distance herself from the military's failure to provide decent medical care for wounded servicemembers.

"Feinstein abandoned MILCON as her ethical problems were surfacing in the media, and as it was becoming clear that her subcommittee left grievously wounded veterans to rot while her family was profiting from the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. It turns out that Blum also holds large investments in companies that were selling medical equipment and supplies and real estate leases – often without the benefit of competitive bidding – to the Department of Veterans Affairs, even as the system of medical care for veterans collapsed on his wife's watch," he wrote.

The Metroactive report, based on research partly funded by the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute, noted that as of the end of 2006, federal documents showed three companies in which Blum's financial entities owned a total of $1 billion in stock got $17.8 million for medical equipment and supplies (Boston Scientific Corp.), $12 million for medical supplies and equipment (Kinetic Concepts Inc.), and additional funding through lease contracts (CB Richard Ellis).

"You would think that, considering all the money Feinstein's family has pocketed by waging global warfare while ignoring the plight of wounded American soldiers, she would show a smidgeon of shame and resign from the entire Senate, not just a subcommittee," Byrne wrote. "Conversely, you'd think she might stick around MILCON to try and fix the medical-care disaster she helped to engineer for the vets who were suckered into fighting her and Bush's panoply of unjust wars."

Byrne earlier had documented the connections between the dollars Feinstein voted on and the revenue for Blum's companies.

From 1997 through 2005 Blum, with Feinstein's knowledge, was a majority owner in both URS Corp. and Perini Corp., both of which were regularly among the companies awarded major military contracts proposed by the Department of Defense.

According to those reports, from 2001 to 2005, URS earned $792 million from military construction and environmental cleanup work approved by MILCON, while Perini collected $759 million for the same.

Feinstein's annual Public Financial Disclosure Reports record sizeable family income from investments in the Framingham, Mass.-based Perini and the San Francisco-located URS. But there was no acknowledgment of any conflict of interest, according to Metroactive, a "Northern California meta-site" that specializes in arts and entertainment information from area publications: Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper; Metro Santa Cruz; and the North Bay Bohemian.

Byrne also reported Michael R. Klein, an adviser to Feinstein and business partner with Blum, said that starting in 1997 he routinely told Feinstein about federal projects coming before her in which Perini had a stake, in order for her to avoid those votes and as such, a conflict of interest.

However, instead of withholding a vote, she did act on those pieces of legislation, Byrne reported. Ultimately, "the Congressional Record shows that as chairperson and ranking member of MILCON, Feinstein was often involved in supervising the legislative details of military construction projects that directly affected Blum's defense-contracting firms," Byrne's report said.

"Sen. Feinstein has had a serious conflict of interest, a serious insensitivity to ethical considerations," Wendell Rawls, of the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, told Metroactive. "The very least she should have done is to recuse herself from having conversations, debates, voting or any other kind of legislative activity that involved either Perini Corp. or URS Corp. or any other business activity where her husband's financial were involved."

One example was that in 2005, MILCON approved a Pentagon plan to fund "overhead coverage force protection" for Iraq to reinforce the roofs of U.S. Army barracks. About three months later, Perini announced an award of a $185 million contract to provide "overhead coverage force protection to the Army in Iraq."

Byrne noted when Blum divested ownership of URS and Perini in 2005, the conflict of interest was resolved. "But Feinstein's ethical dilemma arose from the fact that, for five years, the interests of Perini and URS and CB Richard Ellis were inextricably entwined with her leadership of MILCON ... ."

The investigation examined thousands of pages of documents, including transcripts of hearings in Congress, filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and reports and government audits as well as corporate press releases.

The result? "The paper trails showing Sen. Feinstein's conflict of interest is irrefutable," according to Danielle Brian, of the Project on Government Oversight.

"Because of the amount of money involved," said Melanie Sloan, of the Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington, "Feinstein's conflict of interest is an order of magnitude greater than [other] conflicts [involving U.S. Rep. John T. Doolittle, former Speaker Dennis Hastert and others]."

In 2005, Roll Call calculated Feinstein's wealth at $40 million, up $10 million from just a year earlier. Reports show her family earned between $500,000 and $5 million from capital gains on URS and Perini stock. From CB Richard Ellis, her husband earned from $1.3 million to $4 million.

Public records show Blum's company paid $4 a share for controlling interest in Perini, and later sold about three million shares for $23.75 each.

The report also showed URS' military construction work in 2000 was only $24 million, but the next year, when Feinstein took over as MILCON chair, military construction earned URS $185 million. Additionally, its military construction architectural and engineering revenue rose from $108,000 in 2000 to $142 million in 2001, a thousand-fold increase.

In late 2005, Blum sold 5.5 million URS shares, worth $220 million, the report said.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Kerr's Excellent Adventure with Lightweight Harry Reid

Back in Bill Clinton’s first term as president, his tax increase passed the senate by a single vote that was supplied by Nevada’s Lightweight Harry Reid in a deal that Virginia’s estimable Lighthorse Harry Lee never would have made.

And therein hangs a tale to which Kerr Mudgeon became privy by coincidence.

It seems that a few days before the senate vote, the President was visiting the San Francisco Bay Area and the dingy Nevadan was visiting his home state. The senator was offered a chance to fly back to Washington on Air Force One. But time was short and the only flight that might get Senator Reid from Las Vegas to the Bay Area in time to have any chance of being able to take advantage of the opportunity would arrive in one Bay Area airport only shortly before the President was scheduled to depart from an airport on the other side of the bay.

A prominent Nevadan phoned K.R. and asked him to shuttle Senator Reid from one airport to the other. K.R. did so, enduring about an hour of dismal conversation that revealed the future senate majority leader to be a man with little hope of rising to the level of mediocrity. He was a pathetic wormlike whiner who throughout the drive complained about the upcoming vote on the controversial bill, explaining that he was being pressed by his constituents to oppose the tax increase proposal and by the administration and his party to support it.

The transcontinental ride on Air Force One -- which Kerr later learned is the ultimate perk for the inside-the-beltway crowd -- apparently cinched the deal. Both Lightweight Harry and his constituents got taken for a ride . . . as did the rest of us.

Tax Rebates Explained

50,000 people went to a baseball game, but the game was rained out. A refund was then due to the ticket holders.

The team was about to mail refunds when a group of Congressional Democrats stopped them and suggested that they send out the ticket refunds based on the Democrat National Committee's interpretation of fairness.

Originally the refunds were to be paid based on the price each person had paid for the tickets. Unfortunately that meant most of the refund money would be going to the ticket holders that had purchased the most expensive tickets. This, according to the DNC, is considered totally unfair. A decision was then made to pay out the refunds in this manner:

People in the $10 seats will get back $15. After all, they have less money to spend on tickets to begin with. Call it an 'Earned Income Ticket Credit.' Persons 'earn' it by having few skills, poor work habits, and low ambition, thus keeping them at entry-level wages.

People in the $25 seats will get back $25, because it 'seems fair.'

People in the $50 seats will get back $1, because they already make a lot of money and don't need a refund. After all, if they can afford a $50 ticket, they must not be paying enough taxes.

People in the $75 luxury box seats will each have to pay an additional $25 because it's the 'right thing to do'.

People walking past the stadium that couldn't afford to buy a ticket for the game each will get a $10 refund, even though they didn't pay anything for the tickets. They need the most help. They are either lazy or think that society owes them for just being born. Sometimes this is known as
Affirmative Action.

Now do you understand?

If not, contact Representative Nancy Pelosi, Senator Ted Kennedy or Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barak Obama for assistance.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Greatest Ever Single's Ad - Reportedly from Atlanta Newspaper

SINGLE BLACK FEMALE seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant.
I'm a very good girl who LOVES to play
I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying by the fire.
Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand.
I'll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me.
Call (404) xxx-xxxx and ask for Daisy, <>I'll be waiting...

Response to Cogent Comment

The comment to the following post -- click on it to view -- is correct insofar as it pertains to lawyers in the megafirms that dominate the legal profession in the U.S. today. Billing rates in those firms are set at what major corporations will pay for legal services (and can pass on to the rest of us as part of the price of the goods and services they provide). Lawyers in these firms feel entitled to earn amounts as obscene as those being raked in by the top executives of their corporate clients. (Otto Von Bismarck, Germany’s legendary iron chancellor, once noted that “people sleep better at night when they do not know how their laws or their their sausages are made” and the same thing could be said for how those executive salaries and bonuses are set, but that is a subject for another future post.)

At the level of the individual lawyer or small firm serving individual and small business clients billing rates that appear high actually reflect the government orchestrated decline in the value of the dollar. For example, a classmate who has practiced alone since graduating from law school, initially set his hourly billing rate at the price of a Big Mac without the decimal point, and to this date he has kept his hourly rate at the same benchmark.

Unfortunately, the earnings of most Americans have not kept pace with any other benchmark of real value. This, or course, is not true in the case of our law makers as they have managed to more than adequately, and very generously exempt themselves from the burdens that their actions have imposed on the rest of us.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Only the Number Has Changed

"If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send 150 lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, & talk by the hour? That 150 lawyers should do business together ought not to be expected."

-- Thomas Jefferson (Autobiography, 1821)

Reference: Jefferson: Writings, Peterson ed., Library of America

Friday, April 4, 2008

Senators Boxer and Feinstein Still Not Responding to Gas and Oil Price Inquiry

More than four weeks now have passed without a response from either Senator Barbara Boxer or Senator Dianne Feinstein to the inquiry that K.R. sent to them on March 10. Our senators from California (which continues to have the highest gas prices in the country) are unable or unwilling to take the time to address the issue. Polar bears appear to be of greater concern to Senator Boxer than what her policy preferences are inflicting on her constituents, and Senator Feinstein continues to focus on ensuring that the U.S. does nothing that would disturb the Chinese with whom her multimillionaire husband is investing and doing business.

Readers interested in pressuring the senators to confront the issue and address their failure to deal with it in a realistic way might copy and send to Ms. Boxer and Ms. Feinstein a version of the letter to them that appears below as a result of having been posted on March 10.

Shortly after an earlier version of the above was posted this blog, and that posting in particular was visited by an unidentified individual from:
Domain Name ? (U.S. Government)
P Address
156.33.10.# (U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms)
Interesting, eh what?

The Ugly Truth Behind Environmentalism's Pretty Facade

Environmentalism has provided and is continuing to provide a respectable cover for elite Luddites. (If you don't know what a Luddite is, look it up or go elsewhere.)

There is no source of energy that meets with their approval. They are opposed to exploring for and extracting our own oil deposits and have succeeded in putting roughly 85% of potential sources of petroleum in the U.S. and under its outer continental shelf off limits for development. They have made it difficult to the point of impossibility to modernize or expand refineries or power plants or to build new ones. They oppose nuclear power. Coal is abhorrent to them. They won't even tolerate windmills on the horizon off the coast of their posh Cape Cod enclaves.

In short, their aim is to add energy shortages to the web of taxes and restrictive laws and regulations to enmesh and strangle our country's wonderful economic machine -- the mechanism that has (i) enabled ordinary people today to live better lives than rich people did just a few generations ago, and (ii) powered social and economic mobility by making it possible for any individual to improve his or her lot through individual talents and efforts.

Most of those who lead the environmental movement are very well off, often as a result of having inherited trust funds or otherwise gained a position of wealth, comfort, and privilege . If you doubt this, take a look at the boards of today's leading environmental organizations. One of them is made up almost entirely of partners of major Wall Street law firms who each make well over a million dollars a year.

Why, you may ask, do they and their lackeys care so much more about the spotted owl in the Northwest and the caribou in Alaska than they do about the Oregon logger or mill worker and the Alaskan homesteader or Eskimo? They really don't. Their aim is to transform our robust and chaotic society into a static and placid one, and our nation into parklike setting that they can enjoy privately while the rest of us function as their docile and subservient groundskeepers and servants.

'Tis a Wonderment -- Actually a Pair of Wonderments

With all the carnage that has occurred in areas such as academic campuses, public buildings, shopping malls, post offices, etc., into which law abiding citizens are not permitted to carry arms, has anyone stopped to wonder why few -- actually almost no -- similar massacres take place at locales such as, for example, gun shows, shooting ranges, gun clubs, gun shops, etc., in which armed citizens abound?

Also, isn't it also a wonderment that this disparity hasn't been noted, or least gone unreported by the mainstream press, and left for an individual blogger like K.R. Mudgeon to point out?

The fact of the matter is that those intent on mayhem are well aware of the truth of the observation posted elsewhere at this site that "when seconds count, the police are just minutes away." Accordingly the sociopaths realize that in venues that lawmakers have designated as free fire zones for them, they can carry out their evil intentions long before being confronted by any countervailing force.

Every individual's life is more important to him or her than it is to anyone else. Individuals who truly understand this and its implications will assume responsibility for protecting themselves. They will take such steps as are necessary and appropriate to maximize their own safety and security. Sheeple never will do so.

A Modest Proposal for Putting Down the Deficit . . . and Those Responsible for Them

To eliminate the deficit, all we have to do is increase revenues and cut spending, and we can do both of these things by instituting a national lottery.

The one I propose would sell lots of tickets and we would have a drawing to pick one winner every day.

The winner would get to (i) select a member of Congress, and (ii) a tall building from which that member would be hurled. Perhaps even more money could be raised by selling tickets to the hurlings.

In any event, I think ticket sales would be brisk, which would take care of the revenue end. And even though Congress is full of really dim bulbs, even they probably would see the wisdom of removing themselves from the selection pool well before 535 days had passed. With nobody in Congress -- which in itself would be preferable to what we currently have there -- spending would not be just cut but eliminated altogether.

Don't Vote: It Only Encourages Them!

A Peek at Our Future?

From Associated Press
April 04, 2008 10:53 AM EDT

HARARE, Zimbabwe - How much does it cost for a loaf of bread in Zimbabwe?

With inflation raging at more than 100,000 percent, a loaf costs 16 million Zimbabwe dollars.

Now, Zimbabweans can buy three loaves with only one bank note. Authorities on Friday introduced a new 50 million bank note, state media reported.

The new Zimbabwe dollar note is worth $1 at the widely used black market trading and can buy just three loaves of bread.

It was the third time in three months that the nation's central bank issued a higher denomination note in response to record inflation.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Not Serious About War On Terror

For a hard headed appraisal of our lackadaisical approach to combating terrorism, take a look at:

To view the controversial Dutch lawmaker's film that demonstrates the ideology we're up against and that the Islamists are trying to censor go to: