Archive for November, 2008

November 30, 2008

Bias? What bias?

Associated Press story: “Is gay the new black?”

You have to get to the 14th paragraph before any opponent of same-sex marriage is quoted. Exactly one opponent is quoted, and the only other voices in the 1,110-word story are supporters of same-sex marriage, so that supporters outnumber opponents by a 4-to-1 ratio among sources quoted in the story.

Outside of AP stories, however, a clear majority of Americans oppose same-sex marriage, which has only ever been implemented by court decree. Ballot initiatives banning same-sex marriage have been passed in 31 of the 31 states where they’ve come to a vote.

The AP is no longer in the journalism business. They’re an activist lobbying organization.

November 30, 2008

‘The Best Christmas Tree Ever’

I just got home with an 8-foot Douglas fir that is The Best Christmas Tree Ever. This has been a McCain family tradition for two decades. The weekend after Thanksgiving, Dad goes out and brings home a big, bushy Christmas tree, and everyone pronounces it The Best Christmas Tree Ever. Other family holiday traditions include:

  • My wife and I resolving that this year, we’re not going to go overboard and buy the kids too many gifts.
  • Going overboard anyway.
  • Each year, each of the kids adds a special personalized Christmas ornament to the tree. With six kids, the tree is getting pretty crowded, which is why getting a big tree is important.
  • Accusing each other of peeking at gifts.
  • Denying peeking at gifts.
  • Peeking at gifts.
  • Teapots. My wife collects teapots, so every year, she gets a new teapot for Christmas.
  • Pantie balls. I always buy my wife lingerie for Christmas. The panties are rolled into balls for wrapping and then used as stocking stuffers.
  • Christmas jeans. My wife always buys me two pairs of jeans for Christmas.
  • GI Joes. Each of the four boys gets a GI Joe, which is stuck in the top of their Christmas stocking, weapon at the ready, for Christmas morning. (Our 16-year-old twins may be getting a bit old for this, but they’ll probably get GI Joes anyway.)
  • Christmas Eve snacks. After putting the kids to bed, my wife and I begin assembling toys, stuffing stockings and doing last-minute wrapping. And I always make a plate of beef sausage, cheese and crackers to eat while we do this.
  • Wake-up toys. Each kid gets a stuffed animal in their bed to wake up with.
  • Christmas morning. The first kid to wake up about 6 a.m. wakes up the siblings, and then they wake us up so we can take photos while they open gifts.
  • The nap. Since we’re usually awake until 3 or 4 a.m. getting Christmas ready, my wife and I get maybe three hours’ sleep before the kids wake us up. So Christmas afternoon, we take a nap.

Family traditions are important.

November 30, 2008

The Mother of All Fiskings

Some self-designated “doctor of journalism” decided to take on Mark Steyn, who opens up a can of forensic whupass on the aforesaid professor:

Not for the first time you realise that, for the lazy white liberal, driving around with a “CELEBRATE DIVERSITY” sticker absolves one from having to take the slightest interest in other cultures. . . .
I think Professor Waggy-Finger is doing what they call “projecting”. He’s accusing me of everything he’s been doing himself. . . . . To be more charitable to you than you deserve, you assume that Oriana Fallaci and I so want to think the worst of Islam that we’ll fall for any old hooey. Actually not. On the other hand, you so want to think the worst of us blowhard provocateurs that you assume we’re as ignorant of Islam as you evidently are. . . .
[H]e has accused me of failing to provide a source for a quote: False. He’s accused me of making up famous rulings of the Ayatollah: False. He’s declared flat out that there is no such thing as a Khomeini “Blue Book”: False. And people pay money to study “responsible journalism” with this guy?

The subject is the Ayatollah’s rulings on, inter alia, having sex with 9-year-olds — a green light, Allahu Akbar! — so read the whole thing.

Critics of Islamic barbarism are denounced by liberals for much the same reason Joe McCarthy was denounced by liberals. It is vitally important for liberals to convince Americans that they have no enemies other than Republicans. Ergo, liberals worried less about the subversive efforts of Kremlin stooges than about the Republican effort to expose the stooges, and they worry less about terrorism than about Republican efforts to apprehend terrorists. And conservative columnists who tell the truth about the Ayatollah’s rulings are more of a danger, liberals would have you believe, than the genocidal Jew-hating regime in Tehran.

I wonder if hating Republicans is considered a violation by the Canadian Human Rights Commission?

November 30, 2008

Brian Williams, Pentagon stooge?

Hey, if you believe Glenn Greenwald . . . well, that’s might big “if,” isn’t it?

November 30, 2008

YouTube vs. Malkin

Michelle Malkin has a long post about her battles with the censors at YouTube, including a New York Times feature on the phenomenon.

I’d be happy if I could just find a way to get my blog off the “spam blog” list at Blogspot (another Google-run venture). The Obamanauts hit me back last summer, and ever since, I’ve been required to submit a word-verification for every post and update.

Amazing thing: It’s a one-click procedure to flag a blog as objectionable, but there is no way for bloggers to contact Blogspot to complain about being flagged. Seriously — there is no inbox, no e-mail address, no phone number or address by which the proprietors can be reached for such complaints.

November 30, 2008

Good news on global warming?

It’s apparently bad for squirrels:

Last year, oaks in metropolitan Washington produced a bumper crop of acorns, and squirrels and other urban wildlife produced an abundance of young. This year, experts said, many animals will starve. . . .
“I was worried they’d think I was crazy. But they said I wasn’t the only one calling who was concerned about it,” [Arlington, Va., resident Louise Garrett] said. “This is the first time I can remember in my lifetime not seeing any acorns drop in the fall and I’m 53. You have to wonder, is it global warming? Is it environmental? It makes you wonder what’s going on.”

(Via Memeorandum & the Corner.) Notice how they bring in the Anecdotal Amateur to blame the DC-area acorn shortage on global warming, since no climatologist was willing to take on that proposition.

In fact, the most probable explanation is the region’s unusually rainy spring season this year. Oaks produce more acorns in dry conditions. So the squirrels are doing just fine in drought-stricken Georgia. This is a short-term, regional phenomenon, but if amateur speculation can be used to feed the media’s climate crisis motif, you can be sure they won’t miss the chance.

Indeed, the regional acorn shortage has driven the bushy-tailed rodents into a frenzy. I live up in the woods about 70 miles north of D.C., and yesterday when I was in the back yard, the leaves were rustling madly with desperate vermin trying to find a nut. Such was the frantic scurrying that I mentioned it to my wife when I went back in the house. “Damn squirrels! The place is infested with them!”

Maybe some city-slicker liberal tree-huggers have a soft spot for squirrels, but not me. Squirrels are disease-ridden scavengers, the rats of the forest. And the imminent starvation of a few million of these menaces is good news.

Blame global warming, please. I just bought a Ford Explorer, and if my gas-guzzler is doing some small part to diminish the squirrel population, you can thank me later.
November 30, 2008

Economic shock and awe

George Will:

FDR’s hyperkinetic New Deal created uncertainties that paralyzed private-sector decision making. Which sounds familiar.
Bear Stearns? Broker a merger. Lehman Brothers? Death sentence. The $700 billion is for cleaning up toxic assets? Maybe not. Writes Russell Roberts of George Mason University:
“By acting without rhyme or reason, politicians have destroyed the rules of the game. There is no reason to invest, no reason to take risk, no reason to be prudent, no reason to look for buyers if your firm is failing. Everything is up in the air and as a result, the only prudent policy is to wait and see what the government will do next. The frenetic efforts of FDR had the same impact: Net investment was negative through much of the 1930s.”
Barack Obama says that the next stimulus should deliver a “jolt.” His adviser Austan Goolsbee says that it must be big enough to “startle the thing into submission.” Their theory is that the crisis is largely psychological, requiring shock treatment. But shocks from government have been plentiful.

The Republican message for the foreseeable future is three words: “It won’t work.” Nothing is more predictable than the failure of the Keynesian interventionism of the Democrats’ economic program.

I debated whether to link Will, considering that I’ve recently argued that he and David Brooks ought to be loaded onto a C-130 and dropped on the Taliban. But now that Will is back to quoting George Mason economists, I suppose Brooks can make the trip solo.

November 30, 2008

The new American majority Upper West Side meet up:

I’m with Ace: “We lost to these guys? These guys?”

November 30, 2008

‘Distributed’ income

Toward the end of a Thomas Edsall analysis of the “center-left” vs. “center-right” arguments, he has this paragraph about Lawrence Summers:

Summers . . . has begun to call for government policies to correct the transfer he identifies as beginning in 1979 of some $664 billion, or $600,000 per family, to the top 1 percent of the income distribution, at the expense of the bottom 80 percent, whose family incomes, Summers argues, are on average $7,000 below what they would have been had income gains been distributed equally to each percentile.

“Transfer”? “Distributed equally”? That income was never transferred or distributed, it was earned. There are many reasons for the rise in income inequality, but to begin a discussion of the income gap with the concept of income being “distributed” is to begin with a false premise.

November 29, 2008

Roll Tide!

You’ll excuse me if I failed to blog the last three touchdowns. I’ve been basking in the glow!

RAMMER JAMMER YELLOW HAMMER! The shutout against Auburn was sweet — Alabama allowed only 8 first downs and 170 yards — but perhaps the sweetest thing was in the 4th quarter, after Saban pulled all the starters, and backup quarterback Greg McElroy threw a 34-yard TD. Now the No. 1 Tide is 12-0, undefeated going into the SEC championship game against No. 3 Florida and, as the CBS announcers agree, will probably still be the underdog!

13:15 3rd Quarter: TOUCHDOWN! Alabama recovers a fumble and, on first down, John Parker Wilson throws a 39-yard TD pass to Nikita Stover. Extra point blocked. Alabama 16, Auburn 0.

HALFTIME — Alabama blocks a 40-yard Auburn field goal attempt. Glenn Coffee is on the sideline with what appears to be a minor ankle injury. I understand that Nick Saban doesn’t want to risk aggravating the injury if he can win without Coffee but . . . I’m not sure if that’s possible. We need him healthy.
10:28, 2nd QTRTOUCHDOWN! Glenn Coffee breaks an off-tackle run down the right sideline for 41 yards. The TD run was set up by Wilson’s 3rd-and-11 pass to Julio Jones. Alabama 10, Auburn 0.

End of the 1st QTR: Leigh Tiffin’s FG caps a long drive. Alabama 3, Auburn 0.
Alabama now leads the time of possession 8:40-5:55, and that kind of 14-yard drive is just what we need to run down the Auburn defense.
1:51 1ST QTR: John Parker Wilson runs a QB sneak for a first down on 4th-and-1 at the Auburn 29.
6:19, 1st QTR — Glenn Coffee runs for Alabama’s first first down.
7:36, 1st QTR — Auburn starts at midfield, can’t make a first down, punts. Alabama again starts deep in its own territory. Lousy field possession. Need to make something happen, O.
9:55, 1st QTR — Auburn got two first downs, then had to punt, now Alabama goes 3-and-out.

PREVIOUSLY: While we wait for the Iron Bowl kickoff, now would be a good time to read my column about the game.

UPDATE: Ooooh, Tech upsets Georgia, 45-42!