The One Knocks ‘Em Dead On TV

Ha, ha. Funny as a rubber crutch.

But really, now — why does this surprise anybody? He implied that Sarah Palin is a pig and gave Hillary the finger during a debate. He’s a vulgar, immature brat, with none of the ear-shriveling profane honesty of a real man like Patton.

— Sources and evidence: most of the videos of Obama’s remark about lipstick on a pig have been taken down, but you can still see it here. If you watch, pay particular attention to the reaction of the crowd before Obama completes his “joke.” At the time, the PenPo (30) said this: “Obama either knew exactly how his words would be taken (which makes him filthy), or he did not (which makes him an idiot). There is no third possibility.” As to the gesture that was directed at Hillary, see the video.–

Is Somebody Up There Finally Responding To Public Anger Over Press Bias? Unh, No

It seems out of character, somehow. Consider: (1) CBS gave us Mad Mary Mapes and Dan Rather; then CBS (2) supported those two incompetent zealots as they launched a Quixotic attempt to swing a presidential election; eventually (3) there was nothing left to do but fire Mad Mary and let Rather drift away to his private fantasy-land of denial, there to mumble to himself. But now this goofy network is showing occasional signs of rationality. As noted in PenPo 69, it actually passed on negative information on Murtha, and now we have this:

(Obama’s) remarks came in a “60 Minutes” interview in which he was pressed by Steve Kroft for laughing and chuckling several times while discussing the perilous state of the world’s economy.

“You’re sitting here. And you’re, you are laughing. You are laughing about some of these problems. Are people going to look at this and say, ‘I mean, he’s sitting there just making jokes about money — How do you deal with — I mean: explain. . .'” Kroft asked at one point.

“Are you punch-drunk?” Kroft said.

Perspective is required. How long ago was it that NBC, a network that was not as biased and “progressive” as CBS, edited its transcript of a TV news show (with Tom Brokaw) in which John Kerry let slip that he had never opened all of his service record to press and public view? The editing deleted Kerry’s damning admission that he was a liar. The incident was reported in The Terrapin Gazette, and yes, it really happened. (Here’s the transcript before NBC cleaned it up; then see this, and note that, oddly, the correct transcript is still up onMSNBC.)

So have things changed in eight or nine years? Yes, of course, but not all that much. Even though CBS had to make two distinct decisions based on decent journalistic principles (first, to allow Kroft to do his job, and second, to permit the public to see the result), it abuses the imagination to consider that there has been a profound ideological shift at any major network. After all, consider the media’s reactions to the recent presidential campaigns.

CBS’s willingness to take Obama on could be prompted by leftist concern that overall, Obama has inherited, adopted and validated too many Bush policies. Seeming fairness may be nothing more than CBS’s way of telling The One that his lap dog still has teeth, and that continued deviation from the party line will not be suffered quietly.

This newsletter expects it will appear as if Obama is too dense to get CBS’s message. Could it be that his seeming indifference to the misery of the nation, his brushing the crisis aside with a chuckle, is the cynical realist’s mindset that considers change both necessary and necessarily painful? (Sheesh, what a concept — Obama as “Mao Lite”!) Is this truly, as some of his staff have put it, a crisis that should not be wasted? If so, then perhaps the eternal debt into which Obama is plunging the nation has a purpose that no outsider fully grasps. Trendy, naive CBS may have no inkling of what is really going on.

Confused About The AIG Bonus? The Penguin Post Explains It All To You…

…with a little help from some internet sages and media types, of course.

The news tells us that AIG, an international insurance company, just paid its “top” people huge bonuses (using the taxpayers’ money), and Congress is about to enact a law to tax those rascals 90% on that money.

So everyone is upset. Steady, now — don’t reach for your pitchfork and torch just yet, because once you get the following few points solidly in mind, the AIG mess can be understood and discussed in a principled fashion.

1. Ignore attempts to blame it all on Bush. Here, for example, is the notorious Rep. Barney Frank, whining about how W and his evil gnomes gave AIG the money and the permission to hand out undeserved rewards to villains:

Before we were even asked by the Bush administration to do the rescue plan, President Bush’s two top economic appointees Mr. Bernanke and Mr. Paulson came to us and said–Mr. Bernanke, as head of the Federal Reserve is going to lend $85 billion to AIG under a statute that dates back to 1932. They didn’t ask us. They didn’t solicit our opinion. They simply informed us.

Since then, when we have voted, we have put tough conditions on. And, in fact, this won’t be happening again. The conditions are so tough that there have been articles recently in the ‘Washington Post’ and the ‘New York Times’ from banks complaining that we’ve made the conditions so tough they are going to give us our money back.

Rubbish. Frank is trying to confuse everyone by babbling about anything but recent developments. When you ask him about the AIG bonuses, he recounts events that happened during the Bush administration — though the bonuses were not paid until after Obama took office, and after Congress subsequently passed the huge pork-laced “stimulus” bill. No conditions regarding bonuses appear in any Congressional legislation passed during the Obama administration.

2. Don’t get too excited about the bonuses, because they are not the single cause of all the upset. It’s really the bailouts that have most people exercised, and then there is the taxation of the bonuses to fret about.

3. The deeper and more troubling issue is the confiscation of personal wealth by Congress under the guise of proper taxation. It is neither moral nor legal. Sections 9 and 10 of article 1 of the constitution expressly forbid bills of attainder. You should be impressed, for this prohibition was put into the constitution before freedom of speech, press, religion and assembly were protected. It was a hot issue back then because it was a favorite tactic of the British. Today the concept of the bill of attainder needs to be heated up and used to roast some fascistic Congressmen who have more than exceeded their authority.

Is this 90% tax on some but not all bonuses a genuine bill of attainder? Yes, it sure is, yet a lot of people are going to say it is not. In fact the courts almost certainly won’t strike it down. That’s another reason for it to become a hot issue. When the courts lose their way (don’t forget Kelo), it’s time for some serious reforms — if not another revolution.

(Recent developments: not all legal scholars disagree with the PenPo’s position. Laurence Tribe, one of the lawyers who offered up a confused and erroneous opinion that John McCain was constitutionally qualified to be president of the USA, has said both Yes and No to the question of whether the 90% tax is legal. He’s addle-pated; ignore him. Meanwhile others have tentatively expressed doubts. None of this means much, and it is reported here simply in the interests of completeness.)

Note well what this abuse of the legislative power means. It’s a precedent, first of all, and a rotten one. Congress can target a small group of individuals, as long as the group is made up of unnamed people with certain characteristics. The group can’t be specified by just listing everyone in it by name or social security number. The government can then confiscate whatever percentage of those people’s gains from certain activities the bill of attainder stipulates.

When those AIG bonuses were handed out, they were legal, and now they are being 90% confiscated because Congress and the president believe they were not deserved. Doesn’t that imply that the bonuses were illegal, and that a crime was committed when they were handed out? Perhaps some would see it that way, but no Congressman will admit to the logic of the argument, for that would make the 90% “tax” law an ex post facto bill, and indisputably unconstitutional.

Mull that over for a minute. The bonuses are legal, and they are being confiscated because they are considered by some to be somehow improper. No laws broken — no one defrauded — but an impropriety committed. On that basis alone, and without any pretense of raising funds for necessary government services, money is taken from those who own it. That’s not taxation, now is it? No — it’s retribution. And it could have multiple negative effects.

Obama would probably justify this confiscation as he justified raising the capital gains tax, though that increase would result in lower total revenues: the money is extorted (pay up now, Sucker — or lose it all anyway, and go to jail for having been a jackass) in the interests of “fairness.” That is to say, the well off have too much, and should be reduced in their circumstances.

If you accept that principle, you open a Pandora’s box of possibilities. The eradication of economic privilege would require the proliferation of laws and punishments at the whim of the authorities. The rule of law would no longer prevail, and equity would be mocked in every court and prison. A tyrannical dystopia would result.

The fear of some “wingnuts” is that a gradual approach, a slow expansion of power rather like that accomplished by Hitler, would cripple opposition to the Obama transformation of US society. A massive organization of the national community would impose solidarity that could withstand all opposition. The result would render the constitution meaningless.

For example, the links below include one that deals with Obama’s “Organizing for America” door-to-door campaign to get people to commit to supporting a vague, undefined program regarding health, education, and energy (not a word about the suicidal lunatics who lust to destroy us and our civilization). The president wants you to sign a pledge to support his plan, whatever it is or might become. In effect, he’s asking you to trust him personally.

No voter should put much faith or trust in any politician — ours is a government of laws, not of men. That means we do not have masters, but are led by those from our number who choose to serve us, if we permit it. Few nations in history have had such an enlightened principle.

Now we, in our sovereign authority, need to know the degree to which Obama and his inner circle propose to restructure US society, and we shall also want to know how authoritarian the administration is willing to be in imposing its version of change.

The answers cannot be divined. Obama is not known for his candor or consistency; his answers and speeches can provide no or conflicting information. One can only hope that push will not come to shove, especially if or when Obama gets that powerful federal domestic security force he said flatly he plans to mobilize and deploy. Or one may pray that he did not mean a word he said about it.

“One may pray….” What odd words, what a strange turn of events — how has it come to this, that we, the sovereign people, feel we must hope that our leader’s plans do not call for our repression? We make a grave mistake when we forget that our elected servants are not our masters. A signature “supporting” a man’s unspecified plans runs counter to that truth. Shame, that we sell our birthrights so cheaply!

4. When the nation was plunged into economic distress, it was under an incompetent government (the latter caused the former, which explains the seeming coincidence). Bills of attainder are vicious, virtually invincible weapons in the hands of a bad government…and if the USA has ever had a bad government, the current Congress must more than qualify for that title. Corruption, thy name is Congress, and nobody is better able to recognize it than the folks in Chicago. Some say it’s just knowing where the skids need greasing, but that’s not so; what we have here is genuine corruption mixed with punitive Marxist ideology (“fairness”), executive incompetence, insatiable greed and stunning hubris.

5. Poring over the million details will get you nowhere if you want to understand AIG’s plight, but you can grasp the issues and pass judgment on proposed solutions if you refer to a few good sources.

Perhaps the most intelligent and accessible discussion of the AIG mess is provided by a weblog post this newsletter is pleased to endorse.

Links. They Connect You To The World, So Use Them With Discretion

Emotionally depressed by it all? Here’s some serious advice for coping. Really!

The One tries to reach the masses with a legion of…organizers? Activists? Brownshirts? No, no — aha, we have it: they are apparatchiki. Video here. Such smiley, sincere people, these apparatchiki, spouting slogans and letting you assume you know what the words mean…and these well-scrubbed volunteers are so eager to get your e-mail address, phone number, mailing address…all for the good of the community, you betcha.

Here’s a review of a forthcoming book that will appeal to “wingnuts” and provoke mockery and contempt from “moonbats.” Lock and load!

Firearms from the USA supplying the Mexican drug cartels? No. Follow the links.

Foreign policy and diplomacy — the stuff anybody can do while thinking about other things. It’s as simple as One, Two, Three!! See??

Europe leads the way. Do we have to follow??

A convenient omission at the NY Times. And there’s more media bias on display, along with calls for taxpayer support of the failing print propaganda industry. Right. We’ll see to it real quick-like.

ACORN. Read, then worry.

“Herbert Obama”? What’s that supposed to mean?

Oh, no! We already have too much to worry about, and now… there’s this pain in the neck, which only makes this case of hemorrhoids hurt all the more.

Just for fun: video from a madcap event that featured the comedy of some unknown female from San Francisco. This cadaverous harridan had her audience in stitches with a shtick that might have been scripted by Lewis Carroll or George Carlin. Highly recommended.

An anonymous weblogger claims these three posts — found on the Wizbang weblog, The American Thinker, and the WaPo — sum up his current state of mind. For your consideration.

From The Archive

Here is part of The Terrapin Gazette, Number 9, from January 11, 2005. The links might not still work.

Iran The Tyranny

A concerned weblogger notes helplessly that the mullahs are very nasty people indeed:

For the past several months, those of us who follow goings on in Iran have watched as the Iranian internal security and judiciary apparatus has been moving against individuals connected to blogging and internet services. They’ve been after the techies as often as anyone. The pressure has ratcheted up, with reports in December of not only arrests but also compelled “confessions” and torture.

In the past several days, the authorities now seem to have moved on to a full-fledged assault to shut down the entire infrastructure that supports the Persian social network that has built up on the internet. Since the theocrats attempt to monitor and control the most ordinary freedoms of speech, thought and association we take so for granted, the internet has been a rare open space available to Iranians. This is attested by the very high internet usage figures in Iran. For example, one commenter on a Joi Ito thread about the problem noted that Persians are the #3 demographic in Orkut. The reassertion of power by the hard-liners is extending to this space that expresses, by its very existence, a profound threat to what they stand for.

Read it all at this entry for Friday, 7 Jan 05: “Some major reasons for brooding,” and check out the link in the article.

Finally, I have to note that when Iran misbehaves, some people get upset. True, not very many are alarmed, and the mass media don’t really give a hoot, but there is at least some fuss. Why does Singapore get a pass when it censors the internet, represses all political opposition to the nepotistic autocracy, and denies freedom of press and speech?

Sure, I’d much rather live in Singapore than in Iran, but…it’s time the world knew more about Singapore and how it abuses its citizens.

More On The Bigotry Of The Left

You may recall that I believe that the next wave of Jew-hatred will come from the left of the political spectrum.

Here’s another article on the subject.

Here It Is, Short And Bitter

So what do Muslims think of all the relief efforts in the tsunami region? Do they think non-Muslims can do good acts? Check this out.

It can’t be put any more plainly than that, now can it?

By the way, my dictionary defines “projection” as “the unconscious transfer of one’s own desires or emotions to another person.”

That may explain why Muslims see so much evil intent and malice in the non-Muslim world.

North Korea Would Not Do That; It’s Not A Muslim Nation!

For many months we have heard that Saddam was not cooperating with Al Qaeda because he had nothing in common with the terrorists. The press and the academy were fond of lecturing us to the effect that even the most limited, transitory relationship must be based on virtually total ideological compatibility.

Now we learn that North Korea has been arming Muslim terrorists.

We already know of close ties between Iraqi Ba’athists and Iranians, which the press has been virtually ignoring. Still I wonder how the media and the experts in our universities are going to explain this new report. Perhaps that the North Koreans, being greedy capitalists, did it strictly for the money?

But seriously, Folks, how can our pundits and social critics possibly assure us that Iran or North Korea will never hand atomic weapons off to whatever group of Islamofascists? By what logic, given this recent development?

We now see that Bush was absolutely correct when he linked Iraq, Iran and North Korea in his famous Axis of Evil. He knew more than he was letting on.

To learn more about this developing mess, you can start here

…or go directly to the original source. Then stop by this site.

If This Gets Out, There Will Be Howls Of Anguish In Some Quarters

What makes a nation poor?

The politically correct response is, of course, that Uncle Sam does. He globalizes and neo-colonizes and americanizes and intimidates and exploits and imperializes (?) and capitalizes and then gives the locals AIDS. Ask just about any college professor.

But…what if poor nations actually make the decision to be poor?

Start here…and scroll down to “Apocalypso: Haiti’s Chosen Poverty, by Joe Katzman — January 7, 2005” and do some reading. It’s brief.

Yes, I know you don’t care about Haiti, but look at these links:

International NGOs – Gypsies in the Palace

Success Stories – You Can Shake the Hand of the Mango Man…

Governance & Culture – Down to Rock Bottom Again

Banana Republics

Conclusion – Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes