Recently in History Category

I find that I couldn't do justice to this day. Every time I started to write my thoughts and feelings about That Awful Day eleven years ago my eyes filled with tears. I still feel the pain in my heart, the hole that has never fully healed. I see the images flashing on the TV screen again as if it were happening right now. I think of the people lost, of friends I will never see again, of families torn apart, all in the name of an insane and murderous ideology.

I know it's a cop out, but I find I just can't do it. I can't sit here in front of my computer and tear open the still barely healed wound. I can't.

It's too hard and it still hurts too much.....

I find that more often words of wisdom come not necessarily from those writing the op-ed pieces in the various publications - both hardcopy and online - but from those commenting upon them. In a recent WSJ piece by Kimberly Strassel about how it is the various state governors who are leading the way in reform, showing the federal government how to put the country's fiscal house back into order, two particularly astute observations were made by her readers - one stating the choice we have before us this coming November and the other quoting Thomas Sowell in relation to the first.

Stated the first, Steve Korn:

We have a choice between government that works and government that doesn't.

To which Gregg Sanderson replied:

Thomas Sowell had the best answer I've seen:

"Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good."

And so it has been in our nation and others of the West. It has become less about logic and using the lessons from the past, showing us what works and what doesn't, and more about already dis-proven means of doing things that are implemented anyways because of how it makes someone (or a group of someones) feel.

As history has shown again and again, and particularly over the past few decades, making choices based upon or heavily influenced by feelings is almost always the wrong thing to do. The unintended consequences almost always outweigh any perceived benefits and end up doing more harm than doing nothing while providing little good.
Received via e-mail from a co-worker:

How many idioms that were quite common in the not-so-distant past have become obsolete or at least refer to obsolete technology? Quite a few. PC World magazine has compiled a short list of some that may still be used, but many of those using them have no idea to what they refer.

A couple of my favorites:

2. "Kodak moment"

Status: Endangered

You know it when you see it. Nope, I'm not talking about porn: I'm talking that picture-perfect moment you wish you could capture on film, the Kodak moment. But with Kodak filing for bankruptcy and shuttering services, it seems like we're going to need a new name for those photo-ready moments. Hey, I hear the name Polaroid is available...or maybe not.

11. "Drop a dime"

Status: Extinct

The phrase "drop a dime" has a couple of different meanings. It can be used as a way of saying "get in touch," but it also can be used to describe betraying someone, or turning them in to the cops. However you use the phrase, though, know this: It originated from a time when you had to drop a dime into a pay phone in order to make a phone call. If you don't know what a pay phone is, well, I can't talk to you.

There are plenty more in the article and commenters suggested a few of their own.

One of my favorites goes back to World War II, that being "The whole nine yards", referring the 27 feet (or nine yards) of belt-fed ammo used by Allied fighter aircraft machine guns. A pilot saying "I gave him the whole nine yards" meant he emptied his machine guns at his target until he was out of ammo.

Enough of that as I don't want to end up sounding like a broken record (#1 on the list). After all, the list is nothing to write home about (#10) and is definitely not front page news (#5).

I just caught a report by ABC's Good Morning America covering the dismal jobs report for June. It was another almost-softball report for Obama, with economics commentator Matthew Dowd stating the American people no longer trust politicians to fix the economy.

The truth, however, is more likely that it is the President they no longer trust.

Throughout our history it has been shown again and again that both Congress and the President have the power to damage the economy, but can usually do little to fix it by any other means than getting out of the way and letting the economy fix itself. Time and again it has been shown that by getting out of the way the economy rights itself, growth returns, and all is right with the world. Then someone in Congress or the President decide that things "aren't quite right" and they start tinkering with one tax, regulation, rule, incentives, subsidies, and law after another, each of them adding burdens that puts more pressure on the economy. In turn the economy slows, falls into recession, and then the Powers-That-Be wonder why this happened, not understanding that they are the ones causing the problems.

This recession, the longest in US history, was fostered by job-killing, finance-twisting, illogical regulations, laws, and "incentives" that short-circuited the usual feedback mechanisms and allowed economic bubbles to be created. Once those bubbles burst, the economy fell and fell fast.

The Powers-That-Be keep ignoring history, keep doing the same thing over and over again, and then wonder why their various 'fixes' for the economy didn't work this time.

It's called insanity.

Enjoying The Fourth

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I, like many others, plan to take the day off and enjoy the Fourth of July activities.

It's time to party like it's 1776!
Although a law prof at a place that covets those who publish, it's becoming increasingly obvious that Democratic candidate for the Senate seat held by Scott Brown, Elizabeth Warren used her bogus claim that she's "Native-American," whatever that's supposed to mean, to get her job at Harvard Law in the first place.

Aren't you as tired as I about affirmative racism, er, "action"?

Quick, as I read in David Mamet's _Secret Knowledge_, about his conversion from Jewish birthright lib to a thinking conservative, what did Custer say at Little Bighorn? "Look, here come the _______ ?"

Anyway, a new name making the rounds for Warren is not Fauxcohantas but She Will Sioux. More here.

Thomas Sowell writes on the ongoing black-white intifada, "A Censored Race War?" He's the smartest man in America, and it's obvious the dead tree media refuses to make clear how much interracial crime is taking place. It's much more black on white than the other way round.

Trying to keep the lid on is understandable. But a lot of pressure can build up under that lid. If and when that pressure leads to an explosion of white backlash, things could be a lot worse than if the truth had come out earlier, and steps taken by both black and white leaders to deal with the hoodlums and with those who inflame the hoodlums.
Listening to a podcast of a CSPAN interview with Max Hastings and his WWII history, _Inferno_, I learned about a genocide that I had never heard about before: the Bengal famine or 1943.

Are you going to celebrate Towel Day this May 25? How?

Is Obama A Fascist?

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The WP Dad forwarded this to me, an e-mail he wrote to the pastor of our local church. To say my father and the pastor do not see eye to eye politically would not be an untruth by any means. However it is illustrative of the chasm that can exist between friends, at least when it comes to politics.

I cannot say with any certainty how much history the pastor has studied, remembers, or understands. But it appears to me that he does have blind spots when it comes to the actions of those who do not hold freedom dear and would prefer to run things, even if it means killing millions in order to enforce their will.

This e-mail has not been changed other than some formatting and corrections made to some typos.

I apologize for labeling Pres Obama as a Fascist. I should have done that only after presenting arguments that satisfy me that he deserves the label. I have listed below a variety of reasons I have for believing he is a socialist and will become a Fascist.

1. The President's major political asset is his charisma. Polls show that more often than not voters disapprove of his policies, yet he has a high personal approval rating. His accomplishments are meager other than getting elected. Even there his foray into local Chicago politics succeeded because his opponents for the nomination were mistakenly omitted from the ballot.

2. His cabinet appointments have been disappointing. I think that Eric Holder's major accomplishment has been to shield the President. Prior to his appointment his only noted achievement was to obtain a pardon for a major donor who had fled the country after conviction. He slipped the pardon into the list of Pres. Clinton's last day pardons as if it had been vetted and approved in the normal manner by the justice department. His appointee to the Energy Department, as late as two weeks ago was that it was necessary to drive up fossil fuel costs to make green energy more attractive.

3. Assistant Cabinet members require approval from the Senate. Rather than follow the Constitutional requirement, The Pres. appointed numerous Czars who became de facto Assistants without approval. We got ideologues who were avowed communists or revolutionaries.

4. Under Pres. Obama's stewardship, the nation is being reshaped into a secular society. There has been an increasing effort to drive religion from our society. Witness eliminating prayer from our schools, removal of any religious overtones (like the Ten Commandments) from public buildings. Morality is officially suspect, to be replaced by legality and regulation. Each year we add multiple thousands of pages of regulations to control behavior and Congress feels they have accomplished nothing if they haven't passed batches of laws. Is all of this to replace what was once accepted as morals and ethics.

It is documented that those that call themselves liberals do far less charitable work and give far less to charity. I suppose if Government is responsible for the welfare of every individual, then I have met my obligation to my fellow man if I simply pay my taxes That looks to me as an inducement to accept socialism. Socialism always fails because as Margret Thatcher said, "Eventually you run out of other people's money." When Socialism fails the most common result is despotism.

5. Charismatic leaders tend to have cadres of militant supporters. Cuba and Venezuela, Castro and Chavez have co-opted their armies. Mussolini, Hitler and Lenin/Stalin had Brown Shirts, Black Shirts, and Red Shirts. Pres. Obama has Purple Shirted goons. How else would you identify the mobs of union members who descended on Wisconsin in an attempt to over throw the duly elected Governor. They claim that the Tea Party is violent and racist. Not as violent as the Purple Shirts.

6. Pres. Obama and his administration have diligently worked to expand their natural base. We are reaching a point where too great a portion of the voting populace either work for or are married to someone working for a government. Their unions negotiate for improved pay and perks. On the other side of the bargaining table are the unborn generations who will have to pay the wages and perks "someday".

Another huge constituency are the poor. If we are in danger of running out of poor people we simply change the threshold. Of course we have always had a very mobile society. Thomas Sowell had a very revealing essay about mobility. Many of those who are poor were wealthy less than a decade ago. Many recent graduates from high schools and universities are poor until they get work and earn promotions. Many of the wealthy are recipients of one time windfalls and they won't be wealthy ten years from now.

Once you start subsidizing poverty you get more poverty. Much of what we give the poor is not counted as income - food stamps, rent subsidies, unemployment is counted. I've often wondered how many of those who collected unemployment for the full ninety-nine weeks had a working spouse and the unemployment benefit amounts to wages for staying home and being a house husband/wife.

7. The stimulus package was going to 'kick start' projects that were 'shovel ready', but a very large portion of the money went to state and local governments to cover their shortfalls. Instead of shrinking payrolls, these government employees were shielded while productive workers in private employment were laid off or downsized. In particular the stimulus money went to Unions, specifically the teacher's and autoworkers unions. In the case of both Chrysler and GM the bond holders who were legally entitled to protection got cents on the dollar and were not allowed to reorganize the companies. I don't understand why there weren't lawsuits. By the way, it is my contention that the UAW created the Asian and European invasion of our market. Every increase in productivity went to overpaid employees and never to the consumer. Eventually prices for domestic cars were so high that they created a spacious umbrella for competitors to emerge.

There was a time when our technology improvements helped us to protect our markets. The unions couldn't organize the Asian companies, but technology is easily exported. It was thought that the Asian workers were not capable of utilizing our technology, but in reality the 'worker bees' were better educated and better motivated than our domestic scholars.

8. The President has been decrying the Do Nothing Congress, but it is the Democrat controlled Senate that is doing nothing. Pres. Obama is complaining that the days of cooperation and compromise have gone away. In those good old days there was a fair consensus about where the country should go and the compromise was about the best way to get there. Today, there are two opposing ideas about where to go. One side says a democratic capitalist society has served us well and the opposing side says the wave of the future is European style socialism. Compromise is seen by both sides as surrender. Progress will hinge on the will of the people. Even if Pres. Obama is reelected, I'm betting that the Tea party will control both houses.

9. Education has been in decline for decades. The only country that spends more per pupil is Switzerland, but the U.S. has continually slipped in the hard sciences. I believe the Universities have become the home of Lenin's 'useful fools' Government subsidized Universities and tuition increases matched the subsidies. Government began to guarantee student loans and in response to fairness dicta Universities began admitting unqualified student and the dumbing down curricula. Lots of students took gut courses and many flunked out. When these ungraduated student began reneging on the loans, government made student loans ineligible for bankruptcy. One drag on the housing industry has been the large numbers of graduates who owe so much that they are not able to get mortgages. They move in with Mom and Dad, don't get married but they do have children. The government subsidizes unwed mothers.

We castigate greedy Wall Street, but Wall Street can't hold a candle to institutes of higher learning. Too many classes are taught by itinerant instructors that move from campus to campus teaching for meager wages without benefits, while professors retire handsomely. There was a recent article by a retired Sociology professor that recounted his perceptions. There are excessive classrooms and laboratories because neither students nor professors want to start work before 9:00 or work after 3:00, The facilities are less than 50% utilized. Administration used to account for about 20% of payroll and today it is closer to 50%. Part of the reason for this is the excessive regulations impose by government.

Colleges aren't the only culprits. Public schools are also overloaded with administrators. My speculation is that teachers who fail in the class room can't be fired, so to protect the students the under-performing teacher become part of the administration.

In the meantime 'shop' has virtually disappeared from high schools. We now have VoTech. Let me tell you of a recent family experience. One of my grandsons had perception problem that made book learning very difficult, but he was good with mechanical tasks, particularly small engines. He was denied access to a Vocational school because the classes he wanted were over-subscribed by college bound kids that wanted easy courses to improve their GPA. Naturally we now have a shortage of skilled mechanics, carpenters, electricians and plumbers. My son has a neighbor that drives his high school kids around Concord and points out the best houses. He tells them that is where my plumber lives...

Goodness gracious. That certainly enough and I really want to go to bed. I have to add, I am slightly optimistic about the future. Life is going to be difficult for a while but the nation will survive even if Obama is reelected.

As Glenn Reynolds notes, here it is, four years later, and Obama is still running against Sarah Palin.

There's only one problem: She's not running for office. Seems like a waste of time, money, and effort, but then they've really got nothing else. They certainly don't want to run on Obama's record.

During the 2008 campaign the Democrats kept making comparisons between Obama and Palin, trying to paint her as not capable of being vice president while at the same time claiming Obama was eminently qualified to be president. They almost totally ignored McCain. I always thought that was strange, the Democrats comparing the GOP vice presidential candidate to their presidential candidate. Could it be that even then they were scared of her? Four years later and they still go after her and her family, putting them under the kind of scrutiny Obama and his family would never survive.
Is the UK on the verge of abandoning the EU? It's looking more like a more attractive option as the monetary/finance crisis deepens and threatens to pull the UK irrevocably into a bankrupt and less democratic European superstate.

What options does it have to preclude this out come? Only two variations on a theme, that being withdrawal from the EU. That leave them with two possible options once they've done so: Go it alone or seek alliance elsewhere. Going it alone may seem attractive at first, but it does leave them open the vagaries of the world market with no one else backstopping them. So perhaps they should seek an alliance elsewhere. But with whom?

Well, how about NAFTA? After all, the UK has far more in common with Canada and the US than they do with France, Germany, or Belgium.

Britain does have other choices. To find the country's new role, British leaders should look to North America.

Alone among EEC members, Britain narrowed some of its major trade networks when it joined. It also traded ordinary Britons' right to virtually bureaucracy-free movement, temporary or permanent, between the U.K. and British Commonwealth nations.


While much trust was lost between Britain and the rest of the Commonwealth because of this move, strong personal, cultural and economic ties remain and could be revived. Ask the average Briton where he'd feel more at home, Paris or Toronto.

Canada and Australia have well-managed, vibrant economies. Both countries sit on huge deposits of natural resources of ever-increasing value. Britain's top-tier financial sector and still-excellent technical capabilities already play a role in Canada's economy. These ties could be much strengthened.

Britons also feel at home south of the Canadian border. Contrary to an oft-repeated myth, links between Britain and the United States are not reducible to the personal relationships between presidents and prime ministers. The U.S. and the U.K. have always been each other's primary financial partners. A few simple measures could substantially deepen this relationship, especially once Britain no longer needs to adhere to EU rules.

The only thing the UK has in common with the rest of Europe these days is proximity and a centuries long history of armed conflict with a number of countries there. Perhaps it's time for Britain to remember the rest of the Anglosphere and to consider re-aligning itself it with it. I have no doubt it would help both the UK and the other nations of the Anglosphere.

And the UK's trade with the rest of the EU? I have reason to believe that while there would be some fall off in trade, in the end it won't be all that much. And increased trade and relations with the rest of the Anglosphere would certainly help make up any shortfall from the rest of Europe.

Frankly I see little if any downside to the UK withdrawing from the EU and realigning itself with its former colonies and Commonwealth members.

Useful Idiots

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I saw this the other day but waited until I had a chance to show it to a friend who, like the fellow in this video, grew up in the old Soviet Union. His opinion of the people advocating the elimination of capitalism and replacing it with socialism: "Useful idiots, just as Lenin and Stalin labeled them!"

As my friend pointed out, these people are insane. Because they have allowed themselves to be brainwashed about the so-called "evils of capitalism" and are no longer capable of thinking for themselves, they should be put away into an asylum. When I asked why he thought them insane, he said this:

You would agree that Albert Einstein was a brilliant man, yes? He said that insanity is doing the same thing again and again, hoping the results would be different this time. What these folks want has been proven not to work, time and time again. It has killed millions upon millions of people. Yet these crazy people want to do it again. See? Insanity!

What these folks don't realize is many of those socialist paradises only lasted as long as they did because of capitalism, not in spite of it. Without funds from the capitalist countries and the thriving underground capitalist economies operating in those socialist worker's paradises, they would have collapsed far sooner than they did. Why do they think China has abandoned socialist economics and embraced capitalism? It's simple: socialism doesn't work, and the Chinese knew it.

If these useful idiots want to try living in a socialist society, there are still enough around for them to go to to give it a try. I suggest Venezuela or Cuba, two bastions of socialist paradises.

Venezuela, a country with the wealth of abundant oil, has devolved into a poverty-stricken socialist dictatorship where infrastructure has broken down. The only ones benefiting from Chavez's socialist ideologies are his cronies. Everyone else there has suffered, seeing their livelihoods destroyed all in the name of socialism.

Cuba is an economic basket case and has been since Castro took over. It became even worse once the Soviet Union collapsed because there were no more socialist subsidies flowing from the always almost empty socialist coffers (usually filled by way of aid from capitalist countries).

Socialism is an ideology of envy and greed, as history has proven more than once. Many claim it is an egalitarian ideal, but the only thing shared equally in those egalitarian socialist societies is misery and terror. Some of the more radical socialists say that unless everyone can have X, Y, or Z, then no one should have X, Y, or Z. The problem with that is that it is an unrealistic vision because no one will ever have anything new, except misery and terror. (Actually, I must correct myself. Only the ruling elite will be able to have X, Y, and Z. Everyone else is screwed.)

If nothing else the Occupy Wall Street protests are showcasing the radical beliefs of these fringe lunatics and showing them to be the insane purveyors of unrealistic and totalitarian ideologies.

Dubya And Me

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Over the years I wrote about George W. Bush that he wasn't to be taken lightly. His "aww, shucks" persona hid a sharp mind, constantly leading people to underestimate him.

As Walt Harrington mentions in his piece, Dubya and Me:

As he talked, I even thought about an old Saturday Night Live skit in which an amiable, bumbling President Ronald Reagan, played by Phil Hartman, goes behind closed doors to suddenly become a masterful operator in total charge at the White House. The transformation in Bush was that stunning to me.

As I've written more than once that Dubya's like that good ol' boy who will invite you into his home for a couple of cold ones and some poker, and you'll leave some time later a little drunk and lot lighter in the wallet.

As time has gone by and Obama has been put his stamp on the presidency, George W. Bush's image has been rehabilitated. Those highway billboards picturing a smiling and waving Bush and the tag line "Miss me yet?" may have been a bit of satire, but somehow I think more than a few people, including some Democrats, do indeed miss him.

Though Harrison had known Bush for a number of years, he didn't really understand him until he had the opportunity to have dinner with him at the White House one evening, an informal meal with just Bush, Harrison, and Mark McKinnon, Bush's campaign media adviser. As Harrison described it:

I left the White House in a daze. I even got lost in the pitch-black darkness and had to drive around the small parking lot for a few minutes to find my way to the gate. I called my wife, and she asked how the evening had gone. I couldn't answer.

"I've never known you to be speechless," she said, genuinely surprised.

I finally said, "It was like sitting and listening to Michael Jordan talk basketball or Pavarotti talk opera, listening to someone at the top of his game share his secrets."

It wouldn't surprise me in the least to find others have found themselves feeling exactly the same thing after spending time with Bush, even now, despite the fact that he's been out of office for over two-and-a-half years.

One of the things that surprised Harrison: Bush is a voracious reader. Most of what he read was historical non-fiction. As Harrison tells us, his understanding of history, particularly those parts made by his predecessors, helped him understand the broader context of what he had to deal with as President. It's a shame the present occupant of the White House lacks even a modicum of that understanding.

Is it any wonder George W. Bush is looking better every day as we look back upon his presidency?

(H/T Instapundit)

8:46:40AM - On That Awful Day

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Like many of you, I've been watching some of the various TV shows commemorating That Awful Day. I've recorded more than a few, being unable to watch more than a couple of minutes before feeling the pain and the rage I felt back then.

As more than one person has told me it feels like it was only yesterday, not ten years ago. It was only yesterday America found itself at war with an intractable, brutal enemy that recognizes no innocents, sees murder as a way to some vaguely pornographic glory, and holds life cheap.

The words that follow I wrote a few years ago and they still are fitting, expressing what needs to be said about That Awful Day.

It's hard to believe it's been years.

It still hurts, that heartache that never really goes away.

Remembering That Awful Day still brings tears to my eyes.

So many gone.

So many died.

So many hearts broken.

So many families torn asunder.

So many heroes that never thought twice about their own safety working hard to save the lives of so many others.

Other heroes whose last words were "Let's roll."

Let us never forget that day of thunder, fire, smoke, heroic deeds, tearful goodbyes, and at the end, mournful silence.

Let us never forget.

Listening to the plans President Obama has made to address the jobs problem, it is no surprise to anyone that he really doesn't have a plan, or at least not a new one.

If his $878 billion stimulus program had been used to actually address a number of problems within the country, those primarily being our crumbling infrastructure, rather than using it for political patronage, we might not have as much of an economic problem as we presently face. But far too many of us knew very little of that money would be used to stimulate anything but the growth of the federal government.

Will Obama's September 8th speech try to make a case for spending even more money we don't have to pay for more political patronage? If history is any indication, then the answer is likely yes.

What the president really needs to do (but won't) is to rein in his renegade agency heads (NLRB or EPA, anyone?) who are making sure it's damn difficult for anyone to create jobs...except for government jobs.

What the president needs to do is to get the government out of the way of free enterprise to let it do what it does best - create jobs.

What the president needs to do is fire all his czars and advisers because, quite frankly, they have no idea what they're doing. Most of them are academics with little, if any, real world experience doing things like running businesses or meeting payrolls or dealing with an ever increasing avalanche of government regulations and paperwork that does nothing but cost time and money to deal with yet add little of benefit to anyone except bureaucrats.

What the president needs to do is realize that one of his predecessors, Ronald Reagan, was right when he said to America "Government isn't the solution. Government is the problem."

What the president needs to understand that no one in government, and I mean no one is either smart enough or wise enough to run the American peoples' lives. After all, everyone in government is having a hard enough time running their own lives, let alone those of 300,000,000 other people in this country. Every government that has tried to do so has ultimately failed, resulting in widespread misery. Quite often those governments end with fatal results for members of those governments.

What the president needs to understand that no one in government, and I mean no one, is either smart enough or wise enough to run the American economy. History is littered with plenty of examples to show this is true. Unfortunately the president and many in Congress have ignored this truth, figuring that this time they'll get it right. (They won't.)

All I expect from the president during his speech is more of the same old crap he's taken from the FDR, LBJ, and Karl Marx playbooks, just put in new wrappings and hyped by the Lame Stream Media.

In other words, "There's nothing to see here, folks. Move along!"

I'm So Old

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When I read this quote in an article about phone technology, television, and how much the Internet has changed everything, I realized I fell well within the age range of the fellow saying this:

"I'm so old, I can remember when phone calls came on wires and television came over the air."

And to add to that, phones had dials rather than buttons. (How many kids even know how to use a dial phone these days?)

It used to be pay phones were on just about every street corner, convenience store, restaurant, most gas stations, hospitals, and hotels. Now you see them rarely, if at all, and then mostly in films and television shows set in the 20th century. The cell phone has supplanted them. (That's not necessarily progress when people are oblivious to the annoyance they create when they use their cell phones in inappropriate places, disturbing everyone else around them because they can not put them away and pay attention to their surroundings and the people they're with.)

Not that I am lamenting the fact that all these things have changed. I am not. Instead I am merely engaging in a bit of nostalgia, significant of nothing.

Sort of.
Gee, I wish I could be this eloquent!

Allen West's response to CAIR's demands that he cut all ties with such conservative "anti-Muslim" pundits like Pam Gellar was classic, right out of history. Too bad the Think Progress folks (or at least those commenting at their blog), did not understand either the reference or the meaning of his one-word response.

But then the Left's understanding (or even acknowledgment) of history has always been poor, and too much of what they do know is heavily revisionist, so the fact they couldn't figure out West's response wasn't all that surprising.

Reading the comments to Ann Althouse's post about this shows that more people support his response, particularly to the pro-Islamist group that has, on more than one occasion, given tacit support for Muslim charities in the US who have funneled their funds to Islamic terrorist groups.

Says one commenter at Althouse:

This is just another example of the political media game in which a simple declaration of a position is "bizarre". What is expected of the modern politician is an insidious hedging of opinion in a fog of sophistry. One of the ways in which the media thinks it protects Obama is in ignoring his simple declarations while celebrating his opaque meanderings. The latter, while useless in negotiation, leadership, or self-understanding, seem smart to the smart set.

Of course, as the commenters at the Think Progress make clear, those on the left are happy to express blunt opinions. West is a "Scumbag. Ignoramus. Idiot. Fool. Tool. Clown. Psucho. (sic) Nutjob. Whacko." But their mealy-mouthed leaders keep letting them down. How demoralizing!

And here's this West guy, and Perry, and Palin, and Bachmann, who keep saying blunt, disagreeable things.

Oh, the horror!

(H/T Instapundit)

Liberty House Benefit

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The following is a post from sometime WP contributor Bill Johnson, followed by a bleg/ad/announcement for a benefit hosted by a local establishment on behalf of a local New Hampshire veteran's organization. Normally we here at WP don't post such things, but for this cause I am more than willing to make an exception.


We live in a Republic.

Those that are educated in, or self-educated about what this Republic entails genuinely support it and those who genuinely serve its function.

When an American citizen swears the oath of loyalty to serve in the armed forces, there is most assuredly a pact between themselves and the government whose sole purpose is to Stand for the American people. Each agrees to take responsibility for the other in both the short and long term. At the same time and at every moment it should be understood that a government is made of people and it is inherently inferior to fulfill the exact fullness of the virtues to which it sets itself. Virtues that are goodly inspired will always be wanting of human ability to achieve them in their totality. We are imperfect when measured against ourselves, and we are far from perfect when measured against goodly, and yes, Godly virtues, particularly when tied to any bureaucracy. Holding each of these three separate ideas as their own truth, a person who does believe in them faces a challenge. We have spoke for a brief time, and though this language is "lofty", the nature and ramifications of all these thoughts, feelings, and internal forces lead an American of simple good conscience to think that perhaps those who go to the battlefield in our name are not singularly the responsibility of the government to help when help is needed. "Take care of those who take care of you."

The Thirsty Crows Pub is excited to host the Liberty House for a spaghetti benefit dinner. On Thursday July the 21st there will be an all you can eat spaghetti (and meatballs and meat sauce and garlic bread) dinner for $8.99, of which $5 for every plate goes toward the endeavors of Liberty House. Liberty House is a program dedicated to help homeless veterans of any age or war with temporary shelter and one on one personal aide. The Thirsty Crows encourages them to take any additional donations beyond our dinner proceeds. The benefit dinner runs from 5 pm to 8pm, those that have bought the special dinner previous to 8 pm can continue to receive more portions as long as The Thirsty Crows is open (within reason). The spaghetti benefit dinner is basically a portion of spaghetti and garlic bread either by itself or with marinara sauce, meatballs and sauce, meat marinara sauce, or both.
By way of Maggie's Farm comes this announcement that Katherine Hepburn's home in Old Saybrook, Connecticut is for sale. The asking price is $28 million.

I know the place as we used to drive near it on occasion on our way to or from Lenny and Joe's Fish Tale, one of our favorite restaurants on the Connecticut seacoast.

Normally I wouldn't even post anything about this as I have little real interest. But a recent viewing of The Aviator (the story of Howard Hughes) reminded me of something I had almost forgotten. (I cannot say for sure this actually happened, but it certainly made for interesting cinema.)

There was a scene that took place at the Hepburn house (and I believe it may have even been shot there, comparing scenes from the movie to photos seen in the listing), where Howard accompanied Katherine to dine with her family one summer weekend. During the meal Katherine's mother, a rather outspoken woman in her own right, blathered on about being socialists and that she didn't care who knew it, and anyone who disagreed would never step into her house.

Howard sat there quietly fuming until he couldn't stand it anymore. He replied to her, saying that she and her family could afford to be socialists because they had money, while the average working man could not. He basically lambasted her for her ignorance about how business and the economy actually worked, then got up from his seat and left.

Howard Hughes may have been eccentric, but he knew his stuff when it came to business, economics, and the working man. He also spoke a truth (or at least the Howard Hughes in the movie did).

Those with money can afford to be socialists. The rest of us can't.

Socialism rarely effects the limousine liberals. After all, they've already got theirs. Living with the effects of socialism is only for the little people. (That means you and me, folks.) It also means that it's the little people who, in the end, pay for it all, be it with confiscatory taxes, crappy social services, poor educational and health care systems, substandard housing, or dead end it's-for-the-public-good 'jobs' of the "We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us" variety.

July 4, 1776

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If we need any more proof of the axiom "Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results this time", then here it is:

Democrats want to go back to the bad old days of dozens of income tax rates, with the highest being 49% (though some are suggesting 70%), figuring they'll collect billions more in tax revenues. However, history shows the won't collect all that much more and in fact will collect even less than they do now.

The intelligentsia of the Democratic Party is growing increasingly enthusiastic about raising the highest federal income tax rates to 70% or more. Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich took the lead in February, proposing on his blog "a 70 percent marginal tax rate on the rich." After all, he noted, "between the late 1940s and 1980 America's highest marginal rate averaged above 70 percent. Under Republican President Dwight Eisenhower it was 91 percent. Not until the 1980s did Ronald Reagan slash it to 28 percent."


All this nostalgia about the good old days of 70% tax rates makes it sound as though only the highest incomes would face higher tax rates. In reality, there were a dozen tax rates between 48% and 70% during the 1970s. Moreover--and this is what Mr. Reich and his friends always fail to mention--the individual income tax actually brought in less revenue when the highest tax rate was 70% to 91% than it did when the highest tax rate was 28%.

All this will do is narrow the tax base even farther than it already has been, placing an even greater burden on upper income Americans. The so-called Fairness in Taxation Act will be anything but. The Democrats seem to worry the rich aren't paying their "fair" share. Never mind that they already pay a very large majority of income taxes. Never mind that just under half of American wage earners already pay no income tax at all. How is that not fair? Oh, yeah, I forgot. To tax-and-spend Democrats, a fair share is always defined as "more than they pay now."

They've chosen to ignore the effects such tax rates will have on the economy, that being that it will kill off any recovery there may have been as investment capital flees the country, meaning businesses won't be able to expand and jobs these businesses might have been able to provide won't be created. All they have to do to see what the effects of a return to those draconian tax rates is look at what the US economy was like back in the 1970's.

For those of you who have forgotten (or weren't born yet), the economy sucked. Unemployment skyrocketed. Inflation reached staggering rates, as did interest rates. Now these know-nothings want to take our already shaky economy and create an even bigger recession when they kill off any incentive to invest, to expand, to do better. Haven't they learned that if you punish people for succeeding all they will get is failure and a shrinking economy, along with plummeting tax revenues? Obviously not.

Need another example? How about the UK during the same time? They greatly increased income taxes across the board, with the top tax rate reaching 98%. As soon as the government imposed those taxes, the British economy collapsed as wealth and investment capital fled for more friendly environments. It wasn't until the 80's when Maggie Thatcher became Prime Minister and drove Parliament to end such insanity that the British economy recovered.

Yet here we have another bunch of economic morons within Congress who want to do the same thing, figuring it will have little if any effect on the economy. They have chosen to ignore history, and are thereby doomed to repeat it. Unfortunately it will be We The People who will pay the price for such stupidity and arrogance.
From the rubble rises a new beginning.

The new Freedom Tower rises next to the 9/11 Memorial in lower Manhattan, at 58 stories and climbing. At 680 feet it's just a little over one-third its planned height of 1776 feet.

An average of one floor is being added every week and construction continues around the clock. While it will still be a few years before the building is complete, it already provides a view of the 9/11 Memorial, which is scheduled to open on September 11, 2011, exactly 10 years after The Terrible Day.

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