Sunday, November 30, 2008

Now that Obama's in, Iraq a Barry success

The shameless New York Times

Hat tip: Instapundit.

Next we welcome the Obama rally on Wall Street.

There is no God! Vitamins are a waste of money!

This is enough for an existential fit. Latest study reaffirms a trend: No health benefits from taking vitamins.
Despite a lack of evidence that vitamins actually work, consumers appear largely unwilling to give them up. Many readers of the Well blog say the problem is not the vitamin but poorly designed studies that use the wrong type of vitamin, setting the vitamin up to fail. Industry groups such as the Council for Responsible Nutrition also say the research isn’t well designed to detect benefits in healthy vitamin users.
The public isn't buying. But as one observer named Patricia notes on the NYTimes' Well blog:
The nice thing about science is that science doesn’t care what the public believes.

That’s what makes it so valuable and so worthy of public support.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Barack Obama: Man v. Myth

Myth: A large percentage of Obama's donor base consisted of small donors.

Fact: Only a small percentage of his donors could be classified as small. A donor base by the way similar to the that of the great Satan in 2004: George W. Bush.

The world is a busy place.

Very interesting data pouring in

Friday, November 28, 2008

You know the Chinese don't have this problem. However, they have...

Even as they control their population, sometimes by brutal means, the Chinese Communists don't have this hang-up about sex. Power is built on growing your population for standing armies and large economies by Chinese sights. On the other hand, the Tibetans haven't a clue, apparently.
The Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual and temporal leader, on Friday said sex spelt fleeting satisfaction and trouble later, while chastity offered a better life and more freedom.
And yet the Chinese have their own sex problem: the unintended (or maybe intended) consequence of population control. According to reports the Chinese are facing the implications of a wide gender imbalance of 115 men to 100 women. Many men standing around is not a good recipe for economic growth or political stability.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wisdom for the day

Random aphorism from Robert Fripp's Diary for Tuesday, 11th November 2008: "An honest society is an ordered society. An ordered society is an efficient society. An efficient society is a richer society. A richer society may support a poorer society."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

WTF! They complain about this?

Isn't lower consumption a good thing? Is this the kind of problem you wish for? Apparently not for everyone, namely utility companies. In a regulated world, utilities need a degree of certainty lest "they risk building too much capacity."

James Q. Wilson was right!

Required Reading! Authorities should always sweat the little stuff: the broken windows, the dirty streets, graffiti. Let the little stuff slide and the big problems will appear with a vengeance. In the final analysis, social norms matter. The lesson: broken windows send the wrong signals.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thought for the day

Via Synthopia a nugget from Brian Eno:
"Music has had its day. A lot of music now doesn’t really have an independent existence separate from the places it’s played in. For instance, a lot of rave music and ambient and trance and so on has very much to do with clubs and lots of people being together and so on. It’s very context-linked. And quite often on records it sounds rather dull."

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lost in bizarro world: Prince makes anti-gay remarks

How can this be? The artist formerly declared as Prince now known as Prince makes controversial remarks.
Asked about his perspective on social issues—gay marriage, abortion—Prince tapped his Bible and said, “God came to earth and saw people sticking it wherever and doing it with whatever, and he just cleared it all out. He was, like, ‘Enough.’ ”

Hold on. The miniature singer who used to perform in bikini briefs, leg warmers and platform boots said what?

This is the effeminate musician who played the androgyny card big time with his wild, sexy costumes and provocative lyrics to create album-selling controversy?

The guy whose music was so darn dirty that it inspired Tipper Gore to slap parental advisory stickers on music deemed not suitable for minors?

He’s now against gays having equal rights?

Wow. Talk about alienating your base.
Why the change of heart? Hollywood asks:
What do you think? Is Prince, now a converted Jehovah’s Witness, totally off base? Will you continue to buy and listen to his music? Or do you agree with him?
If the music is good then don't worry about the politics. Why is it that patrons of the arts have to take an artist's politics so seriously?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Change? Did someone say change?

Have some of us been duped?

So look for Holder to be a prominent part of the strange mix of change and Clinton restoration that will be the Obama administration.

Back in December of last year, candidate Barack Obama said, "The real gamble in this election is playing the same Washington game with the same Washington players and expecting a different result."

The voters wanted real change, what they are getting is a Clinton restoration.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gail, he should just stay until 1.20.09 to annoy you and the NY Times!

Could someone tell me is there are relationship between this pathetic attempt at humor from Gail Collins and this dreary news about the Grey Old Lady's financial situation? Which of course could be leading to this little phenomenon. Guess who's laughing? It's Rupert.

Current listening: Anton Bruckner

One powerful piece of music: Bruckner's No. 8. The man was no simpleton.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bush-Cheney-Halliburton at it again

Why are gasoline prices falling? Does it have to do something with Dick Cheney? Of course not it's the iron rule of supply and demand. The idea hasn't sunk in after all these years.

Spare us the comparison to Lincoln

Jonah Goldberg:
Lincoln was Lincoln because he fought and won the Civil War and freed the slaves. News flash: That ain’t what America is like today — and thank God for it.

I think Lincoln was just about the greatest president in American history, but I sure don’t want to need another Lincoln. Six hundred thousand Americans died at the hands of other Americans during Lincoln’s presidency. Lincoln unified the country at gunpoint and curtailed civil liberties in a way that makes President Bush look like an ACLU zealot. The partisan success of the GOP in the aftermath of the war Obama thinks so highly of was forged in blood.

Likewise with FDR. Listening to liberals gush over a “new New Deal” and Obama’s call for us to emulate the “Greatest Generation,” you’d think they want another Great Depression and World War.

Indeed, liberals have long idolized the 1930s as a decade of great unity. It wasn’t. The 1930s was a miserable decade of poverty, domestic unrest, labor strife, violations of civil liberties and widespread fear. If liberals really loved peace, prosperity and national cohesion, they’d remember the 1920s or 1950s more fondly. And yet they don’t. Why? Because liberals didn’t get to impose their schemes and dreams on the country in those decades. Behind all the talk of unity and bipartisanship and shared sacrifice lies an uglier ambition: power. The audacity of hope behind all this Lincoln-FDR-Obama blather is the dream of riding roughshod over the opposition, of having their way, of total victory.

The Chinese curse and cliche “may you live in interesting times” is on point. Liberals (and a few conservatives as well, alas) seem desperate to live in interesting times. Not me.

You know what I hope? I hope Obama is another Coolidge or Eisenhower. But I’m not holding my breath

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why dead-end Communists suck

They never had a sense of humor, that's why Commies couldn't help themselves as they butchered millions in the name of the State.

The Communist Party of St. Petersberg has condemned actress Olga Kurylenko for her role in the new Bond flick they say aids, "the killer of hundreds of Soviet people and their allies." The group described 007 himself as, "a man who worked for decades under the orders of Thatcher and Reagan to destroy the USSR." Thatcher, sure. I don't think Yanks get to order around British secret agents.

I guess the Communist Party of St. Pete is offended because Bond has only killed hundreds of Russians, and they think this total is too meager? Or were they upset they didn't get to starve a few extra hundred?
The only good commie is ...which is the point of the Bond brand.

Hat tip to Distributed Republic.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Unplugged: Wakeman does Bowie

The always phenomenal Rick Wakeman reprising David Bowie's "Life on Mars" of which he wrote the piano part.

Hat tip: Notes From The Underground

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Who did Justin support for President?

My guess is that Justin Timberlake didn't support John McCain for President. He probably told the bus boy to cry him a river. (Sorry couldn't resist.)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

About those oil speculators

Russ Nelson wonders where's the celebration from the conspiracy nuts. Hard as it is to accept, speculators play a role in markets. Hate them when the prices are high; ignore their losses when the times are good for the consumer. A little sympathy for the devils.
Everybody was angry at the speculators. Does anybody feel sorry for them now? Do you feel like "Well! They got what they deserved!"? Okay, so let's apply a little logic. If their speculation had been successful, would they have gotten what they deserved? Why do they deserve only losses and never gains? Because speculation is evil? Au contraire! Read on....

Saturday, November 08, 2008

You don't say?

Tilted? How about going in the tank?

Thought for the day

The Angry Economist: "I think we need less faith in our politicians and more faith in ourselves."

Nice sentiment but people have latched on to hope thinking That One will pay their gas and mortgages and cut their taxes too. To those who have high expectations of President Obama I say: "Good luck with that."

Friday, November 07, 2008

God Bless Bobby Orr, the greatest

When Bobby Orr touched the puck, the world became electrified and great things would happen.

He was the greatest hockey player. Period.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Bravo, Michelle Obama

It's great that she's drawing attention to working families and the hardships military families face. "Now that Barack has been elected president, it will be an honour to be First Lady. I will work daily on the issues closest to my heart: helping working women and families, particularly military families."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The end of public financing

We won't have McCain-Feingold to kick around anymore thanks to Obama's fundraising prowness.

One of the greatest Americans to serve his country

McCain Gracious, Complimentary In Defeat
Full Text Of Arizona Senator's Election Concession Speech
NEW YORK (CBS) ― Thank you. Thank you, my friends. Thank you for coming here on this beautiful Arizona evening.

My friends, we have -- we have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly. A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama -- to congratulate him -- please -- to congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love.

In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.

This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.
I've always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Senator Obama believes that, too. But we both recognize that though we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our nation's reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound.

A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt's invitation of Booker T. Washington to visit -- to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters. America today is a world away from the cruel and prideful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African American to the presidency of the United States. Let there be no reason now -- let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.

Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it, and offer in my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day, though our faith assures us she is at rest in the presence of her creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise.

Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain. These are difficult times for our country, and I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.

I urge all Americans -- I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together, to find the necessary compromises, to bridge our differences, and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.

Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. And please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that.
It is natural -- it's natural tonight to feel some disappointment, but tomorrow we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again. We fought -- we fought as hard as we could.

And though we fell short, the failure is mine, not yours.

I am so deeply grateful to all of you for the great honor of your support and for all you have done for me. I wish the outcome had been different, my friends. The road was a difficult one from the outset. But your support and friendship never wavered. I cannot adequately express how deeply indebted I am to you.

I am especially grateful to my wife, Cindy, my children, my dear mother -- my dear mother and all my family and to the many old and dear friends who have stood by my side through the many ups and downs of this long campaign. I have always been a fortunate man, and never more so for the love and encouragement you have given me.

You know, campaigns are often harder on a candidate's family than on the candidate, and that's been true in this campaign. All I can offer in compensation is my love and gratitude, and the promise of more peaceful years ahead.

I am also -- I am also, of course, very thankful to Governor Sarah Palin, one of the best campaigners I have ever seen. One of the best campaigners I have ever seen -- and an impressive new voice in our party for reform and the principles that have always been our greatest strength. Her husband Todd and their five beautiful children -- with their tireless dedication to our cause, and the courage and grace they showed in the rough-and- tumble of a presidential campaign. We can all look forward with great interest to her future service to Alaska, the Republican Party and our country.

To all my campaign comrades, from Rick Davis and Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter, to every last volunteer who fought so hard and valiantly month after month in what at times seemed to be the most challenged campaign in modern times, thank you so much. A lost election will never mean more to me than the privilege of your faith and friendship.

I don't know -- I don't know what more we could have done to try to win this election. I'll leave that to others to determine. Every candidate makes mistakes, and I'm sure I made my share of them. But I won't spend a moment of the future regretting what might have been.

This campaign was and will remain the great honor of my life. And my heart is filled with nothing but gratitude for the experience and to the American people for giving me a fair hearing before deciding that Senator Obama and my old friend Senator Joe Biden should have the honor of leading us for the next four years.

I would not -- I would not be an -- an American worthy of the name, should I regret a fate that has allowed me the extraordinary privilege of serving this country for a half a century. Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much. And tonight, I remain her servant. That is blessing enough for anyone and I thank the people of Arizona for it.

Tonight -- tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Senator Obama -- whether they supported me or Senator Obama, I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president.

And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties but to believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.

Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history, we make history.

Thank you, and God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you all very much."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Congratulations President Obama

The people have spoken and placed their faith and confidence in the young senator from Illinois, Barack Obama. And as a loyal American I accept the wisdom of their choice. Godspeed and good luck to the President-elect. A passage from Jim Geraghty's blog entry reflects my best wishes.
"I have many, many disagreements with Barack Obama. But tonight I congratulate him on his victory. I have seen a few critics say, 'he won't be my president,' but that is nonsense. He will be my president, and I will wish him well, particularly as he takes on the duty of protecting the American people in a dangerous world."

"A shmuck with a tape recorder"

I'm not into the hagiography of Studs Terkel "the Bard of the Popular Front" and nor is Ron Radosh. Adeptly and without reservation, Radosh blows the bloom off the red rose, opting to speak truth of the dead. That said there's something to be said to Terkel's method of opening up the American narrative to other story-tellers: the people on the ground. But let's question Terkel's ends not means.

It's worth noting that even Terkel was a useful idiot as Radosh reminds us by way of A.M Rosenthal.
No wonder that the late A.M. Rosenthal, then executive editor of the Times and later a columnist for the paper (when it was still striving to have somewhat of an ecumenical approach and was not exclusively a left-wing opinion sheet) read Berman’s review and, perhaps a bit harshly and in an over the top comment, promptly called Terkel “a shmuck with a tape recorder.” A man like Rosenthal, committed to the paper as he was, knew from personal experience and his years covering Communist Poland the reality of the nightmare underlying the Communist dream, and hence had little sympathy for the kind of narrative Studs Terkel was laying out.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

How will the CEOs manage?

Must read from Sequoia Venture Capital. And just who is Sequoia Venture Capital? More here.