Told You So

It was on the ninth of March, 2008, that, under the headline, “How To Win That Election Bet This Year,” this newsletter published the following item:

Here’s the not-so-secret Republican strategy: you vote in the primaries for the Democratic candidate who is losing. That prolongs the Hillary-vs.-Obama brawl. The polarized Democrats tear their party apart very publicly, and in the presidential election, the undecided vote goes to the dignified, stronger GOP. Could it work, and is there a way out for the Democrats? Some say it is already working, and that Hillary is still in the fight because the Republicans want her in it.

But…can John McCain become president? He needs the hard core of his party to anchor his move to capture a significant number of moderate Democrats and Republicans. Can he depend on that anchor to be there? To tell us that now, we need a prophet, and by the looks of the following quote, we have found one:

…the reason McCain is so well liked by the media is because they’re liberals and they love it when he trashes other Republicans. But, what would happen if John McCain actually became the Republican nominee? The same members of the mainstream media who gush over him today would turn on him in a Minnesota minute and once his great press ended, his poll numbers with Independents and Democrats would start to drop precipitously.

That prediction is two years old, and it’s spot on. A skeptic might object that The New York Times, followed less rashly but immediately by The Washington Post, just proved yet again that ideology trumps ethics in the journalism qua propaganda business…so that was not a hard call. Fair enough, but there is a bit more to consider.

Most observers unwisely trivialize the loathing with which many within the GOP regard McCain. His long list of unforgivable sins will never be forgotten, as our prophet reminds us. McCain’s bitter critics believe in politics based on principle, not on empty partisanship. They have a point.

Will the rock-ribbed traditionalists in the GOP spitefully ignore McCain, and make the Democrat president by default? Our prophet’s vision suggests that the answer is yes.

Without solid support from his party’s stalwarts, McCain simply can’t get enough votes. While he would fare better against Hillary than against Obama, the Republican will lose.

So much for the past; how has it shaped the present? Recent items:

The Tea Party shocks the GOP:

O’Donnell’s win was “inexplicable,” Rove said. “There are serious questions about how did she make her living, why did she mislead voters about her college education, how come it took her nearly two decades to pay her college bills, and why did she sue a well-known and well-thought-of conservative think tank,” Rove added. “This is not a race we’re going to be able to win.”

Rove is yesterday’s monster under the bed, a former eminence grise. Today he’s just a grouchy has-been. Perhaps his dyspeptic attitude is partly due to the fact that the voters rejected his party as Rove and his boss left the White House.

Or perhaps the GOP loss to Obama was entirely due to the new team’s miscues. In a series of stunningly stupid moves, McCain betrayed his rock-ribbed supporters when he savaged the sanctity of familial bonds, institutionalized restrictions on free speech and a free press, and ignored the sovereign status of the nation. An unknown and possibly unmeasurable percentage of those folks are with the Tea Party as a result.

Yet the Tea Partiers are mostly not GOP supporters; they tend to be values-based, not party-based. A great many of them are registered as Independents. The voters whose core values begin with common sense are outraged. They are furious with what is almost certainly the worst Congress in the USA’s history (yes, the worst, and as evidence, consider this reaction to what it has done), and they know that most Republicans in Congress are not exactly redoubtable champions of Liberty.

So…retribution approaches. It will devastate the Democrats and wound the Republicans. Party politics is changing, has changed, and will continue to change as the politicians realize that the voters are the ultimate check and balance. That will be interpreted as the insolence of the unwashed — yea, verily, it will be seen as the rebellion of the hicks, hayseeds and knuckle-draggers. Indeed, that the people should be so angry and involved is an affront to the professionals, whose indignation already knows no bounds.

Few observers understand what the Tea Parties want to do and how they work. Perhaps the most revealing brief comments one could find are these: first, “They’re trying to reeducate the whole country, change the way Americans think about their relationship to government.” (From here.) Second, “‘This is an open-source movement.’ Every day, anyone and everyone is modifying the code.” (Source here. Go to both of these hyperlinks for insights into this fascinating phenomenon. It is pure democracy — innovative, adaptive, leaderless, highly networked, and sincerely patriotic.)

Accordingly, there is an alternate interpretation of events:

The liberal spin on the O’Donnell victory seems to be that the tea parties have reached their high water mark, that the Republican establishment has created a tea-fueled Frankenstein’s monster, that by “sowing hysteria” the Republicans are now getting their much deserved blowback in Delaware.

A year ago, the notion that the Republicans had even a dream of taking back the senate was considered delusional. Heck, a year ago, the notion that the Republicans could take back the House was more than far-fetched. And 20 months ago, liberals were telling us we had a “new liberal order” on our hands and that conservatism was discredited and done for…. That entire temple of conventional wisdom has come crashing down, thanks in large part to the Herculean efforts of the tea partiers.

Do you remember when the mere appearance of a poster depicting Obama in the makeup of the film villain “The Joker” caused a sensation? “The audacity! The sheer gall! Who did it, where is he? Find him!”

He has been found, and he is Legion.

The “Truthers” Will Never Give Up Their Absurd Obsession

Unfortunately, it appears that a new campaign to prove that the World Trade Center Towers and building WTC 7 were not destroyed by Al Qaeda is underway. This newsletter is aware of claims that a reincarnated effort to call for a “new, thorough” investigation of the catastrophe is under way, this time led by prestigious ex-military figures and people who claim to have knowledge that points to a hidden plot.

If you have any doubts about the processes that brought the two towers down, by all means inform yourself. Perhaps the best source is awebsite maintained by a retired educator who can be considered politically correct, as he is an admirer of NYT columnist Maureen Dowd.

It may be that the collapse of the WTC buildings will eventually become a second instance of the lunatic syndrome that cloaks the JFK assassination in hysterical nonsense. Conspiracy theorists resort to ignorant interpretations, fantastic claims and virtually impossible scenarios to clarify stunning events.

They do not realize that they are acting out roles in an opera buffa that is anything but new.

The birth of the modern conspiracy theory was occasioned by the French Revolution, an event so shattering and inexplicable to many that it was assumed to be the work of a secret confederation of geniuses and arch-villains. To explain how the world was turned upside down, Europeans accustomed to monarchy could not say simply that the people (a powerless aggregation of morons) decided to end the existing social order/political system and take control. There had to be something unseen behind the destruction of the indestructible. The obvious simply made no sense.

The pattern is repeated today. When those planes hit the buildings, the stage was set for another farce. Today ignorant talk of concrete floors, pillars of concrete (or steel clad in reinforced concrete) in the center of the WTC towers, the impossibility of the building collapsing at near “free-fall” speed and the revelation that some of the hijackers are still alive (and proclaiming their existence loudly to a world that will not listen) abound. So the nuts call for yet another investigation.

The refusal of rational, knowledgeable authorities to be exploited by the crackpots will be taken as proof that Bush planted bombs in the buildings, arranged for the planes to hit them, and then blew them up. And as for the Pentagon…well, that was struck by a US military missile, not a passenger aircraft, and proof of the facts can be dismissed because those faked reports serve the interests of the New World Order.

It’s depressing to realize that there are deluded and confused people in the general population who propagate manifest absurdities such as the “Truther” fables. These gullible people cannot grasp the obvious parallel between their fantasies and the myths that underlie Jew-hatred. Victims of the “Truther” hoax can make no valuable contribution to their civilization’s welfare as long as they continue to insist that two and two add up to five.

Madame Zelda Did A Better Job When She Was Asked To Consider Obama — And Saw Carter In Her Crystal Ball

Calvert’s website, linked above, contains some fascinating sections. One of them deals with the construction of bridges. As an engineer and educator of engineers, Calvert certainly must appreciate the role played by computers. That does not mean he feels they can in all instances be relied on to provide forecasts of events or produce data that will explain observed phenomena.

This newsletter has pointed out that computer models are inherently limited and can lead to inaccurate conclusions, particularly in climatology and meteorology. The “warmers” in the AGW cult are fond of citing this or that computer model that shows that if we do not all stop breathing, we shall die of carbon dioxide and its effects. Note what Calvert says about the use of computers in bridge design, and consider the fundamental truths the passage suggests:

Although designed with a factor of safety, … eyebars sometimes failed, with serious results. …the failure of any element causes the failure of the whole bridge. The problem was that the stress was not uniformly distributed…. It was concentrated… (at a location) where the stress was three times the average value. Since eyebar design has taken this into account, they do not fail. This is an extremely valuable lesson, which still is occasionally not properly learned. In many cases, allowable stresses presuppose a certain configuration, and are not the actual stresses that occur, but values that are proved by test to be safe. Modern computer methods tend to encourage hubris in design, occasionally with embarrassing or tragic results. (Emphasis added.)

Bridges are one thing, and the global climate another. Which has the greater number of factors and variables? The point should be obvious: put severely limited credence in computer-generated projections of what will be.

Bitter, Bitter

This weblog post ought to disgust the voters enough to drive them to the polls, determined to throw the entire Congress out and into the oily Gulf of Mexico:

Taxpayers will subsidize this car to about one-third of its sale price. Every time you see a Leaf drive by, you’ll know someone else is driving it thanks to you. Once again, a technology and product that has no natural market is being favored by the political class at the expense of the rest of us.

Someone said that America now consists of —

* the producers – people who actually pay taxes, which is presently just over half of us,

* the looters – the political class that enacts laws to siphon more wealth away from the producers to give it to…

* the moochers – the beneficiaries of the political class’s largesse that they grab from the people who earned it.

Links

A Harvard prof weighs in on whether Muslims in the USA deserve to be protected by the first amendment. It’s an interesting post, and though it does not come to grips with the real issue – which is the muddy, clumsy thinking of the Bicoastal Elite — it raises some points that will come up again. Read it for background.

Here’s more on Thilo Sarrazin, the German banker who has caused a storm in Germany with his remarks on immigration. You recall him from Number 164 of TLB.

There has been ferocious criticism of the federal government’s attempt to prevent a criminal case from proceeding. The Department of Justice maintained that to continue with the case would jeopardize national security, while those opposed to that point of view insist that kidnapping and torture were involved, and people should be prosecuted; further, the claim was made that national security was notinvolved, and Uncle Sam is just protecting his thugs. Those arguments are clarified and useful reasoning is applied in this brief post. If you are familiar with Jeppessen and feel it is an obscene miscarriage of justice, do click on the hyperlink.

Says a weblogger: “Listening to the President who bankrupted a generation prattle about all the wonderful things he could do with another $50 billion reminds us that his blind ideology will never consider a solution that makes the government less powerful.” Sorehead….

Related: Too big and too powerful to be put back on the leash? Maybe. Some folks have a plan, though.

California: Muslims settle in, acculturate, and become good citizens.

Do you remember John “Xmas in Cambodia” Kerry? He’s disgusted. Look out, world!

Nice folks, the Taliban.

Incredible! It says here that old folks don’t like Obamacare…it must be lies, all lies!

The police continue to oppose video/audio recording of their very public activities. Here’s video that may make you angry. It will probably take a couple of widely-reported court cases to effect reform.

Is this torture? It seems more like trying — probably unsuccessfully — to scare the daylights out of somebody, doesn’t it?

This guy is rather bitter about the way the press ignored a significant event. So is this newsletter, but then bitterness has been a motivation in The Eagle Wing Palace for years.

The many enemies of the USA may appear diverse, but they are all Muslim, and they all hope to use Afghanistan to advantage if they can get it back. Here’s a short article on a target-rich environment.

If you are wondering whether there might be a “Muslim attitude,” and if you wonder whether believing there is might be a sign of bigotry, read this post. It does not answer either question, so consider it grist for the mill. But don’t pass it by; that would be unwise, for unexamined questions can never be put to rest. Many unanswered questions that undergo scrutiny can be dealt with and disposed of.

Al Qaeda is in Afghanistan.

The next investor’s goal: make money because people will be going hungry. This will be a way of telling the individualists from the collectivists: the latter will be insisting that private parties can not be allowed to profit from shortages, and that land must be controlled by some “social” or governmental authority. Individualists will be arguing for a hands-off approach, confident that anything less will cause widespread suffering. The productivity of land can be maximized only if it is in private hands — that’s a lesson learned the hard way in the Soviet Union. Because of ideologues like Obama, the USA may have to go through lean times in order to learn it. The system imposed by collectivism begins with willful ignorance and concludes with want.

One “…may wonder whether a leader who cannot see what is uniquely threatening about Islamic extremism is the most effective spokesman for Muslim moderation.” The full story is here.

Paris and the Muslims: tomorrow’s masters assert themselves probatively, and are accommodated. Madness, suicidal madness.

A weblogger (whose tastelessly hyper-trendy prose has been edited out by this newsletter) reports on a recent conference on Afghanistan, and asserts that the results are vacuous. She likens this meeting to an earlier project of an outfit called The Afghanistan Study Group; the work of this organization was done without the participation of military figures, so the ASG report allegedly failed in several major areas. They included expertise on Afghanistan, the nature of the threat, a realistic appraisal of the consequences of the report’s recommendations, a failure to support its questionable assertions and assumptions, a misrepresentation of US interests, and the improper placing of blame on Pashtuns. Well, now. This newsletter is hardly qualified to comment on all those charges, but if you wish to investigate the matter, lookhere, and good luck to you. Like most critics of US policy, the weblogger predicts catastrophic results if her advice is not followed.