August 12th, 2010

#2217: Illinois government is a cesspool of corruption.

Three links, then comments.

Michelle Malkin.

John Kass at the Chicago Tribune.

Clarice Feldman at American Thinker.

The second link lists the winners in the Blago corruption trial:
Jesse Jackson Jr
Mike Madigan
...all Democrats, oddly enough, even though the former governor is himself a Democrat.

Blago's defense team didn't do much defending and no witnesses were called. None. Particularly not Rahm Emmanuel, or Tony Rezko, both of whom have some major links to Obama: one works for him and the other got him a sweetheart deal on his house in the Kingswood neighborhood of Chicago, where all the bigwigs live.

I can see the White House giving Blago's lawyer a call: "If you want to keep walking around with both kneecaps, you'd better not call anyone to the stand who would be embarassed by the questions you'd ask." Metaphorically speaking, of course; I would never suggest that a sitting President would want to strong-arm someone or use illegal threats to prevent some embarassement to himself.

Jesse Jackson Jr. was given a pass because of who his father is; if he had been the offspring of some random guy rather than the scion of the Democrat party's lead racial shakedown artist, he'd be in the cell next to Blago. You think Jesse Jackson doesn't have enough power to keep his kid off the docket? "If my son gets arrested for anything related to this, the South Side will burn. Count on it."

Daley: what a piece of work that crap sandwich is. Notice that he's always surprised and shocked when one of his cronies turns out to be dirty? He's a good actor, isn't he? But he couldn't have seized that kind of power on his own. He's his father's son, all right, but he's merely using the machine his father put into place.

Madigan: he's been in charge of the Illinois House for a long time, and he's got a crapton of money. The salient quote:
When governors learn the truth, they either quiver like Jell-O or resign themselves to cutting ribbons. A few end up going to prison. Here's the truth: Power in Illinois isn't held by governors. Madigan and Daley run things.
Neither one has that kind of power constitutionally, of course. But both Madigan and Daley have been very careful to follow the law to the letter; after all, they write the laws and their machines approve them, so there's never any worry about whether or not they can make money and keep power and avoid breaking the law.

Wherever you have big Democrat machines running areas with large Democrat majorities, you always have corruption? You can't get away from it; it always happens that way. Not just in Illinois and Chicago, but everywhere. Why do you suppose that is?

Has there been a Republican machine in operation in the past fifty years that generated this kind of filth on a daily basis? (Answers which discuss Republican governors of Illinois will receive a failing grade:
When governors learn the truth, they either quiver like Jell-O or resign themselves to cutting ribbons. A few end up going to prison. Here's the truth: Power in Illinois isn't held by governors. Madigan and Daley run things.
Emphasis added so you'll get what I'm saying.)

It's uncanny, and it's typical, and it's sleazy, and it's wrong. How the hell do you clean house without erasing the whole damn city and starting over?

Well, the machine politics can only go so far. Right now the Illinois state budget is running on fumes, and it's not sustainable. Raising taxes in the middle of the worst recession since the 1930s will only reduce, rather than increase, revenue; and the government gravy train will come to an end.

And when the money stops, there will be riots.

* * *

I need to see about getting myself some armaments, damn it, because I'm worried about how far the "inner city" will come in search of stuff to loot and burn. I'll need signs which say "Looters will be shot," too, as I don't like the idea of shooting someone without some kind of warning.

...I don't like the idea of shooting people, period, but if it comes down to a question of who gets whacked, I want it to be the other guy, and I'll just have to suck it up and deal with the emotional fallout afterwards.

* * *

Bah. Now I'm all depressed.

* * *

Brace for inflation! The Fed has begun a policy which is effectively going to monetize the debt, which is going to inflate the dollar into toilet paper.

Guess I got a reason to be depressed. Maybe I'll have a margerita before bed.

Or three.

No, I don't have that much liquor in the house; it's hyperbole.

#2218: Yeah, we're heading for the crapper.

I'm not going to comment much on these links; I don't think I need to.

Dollar hits 15-year low against the yen. Japanese stock market falls on the news.

Chinese economist says Japanese debt is a better investment than US debt.

Unemployment is on the rise again.

When the Fed buys public debt, it is monetizing it.

US stock market dropped the day after Fed announced it would start monetizing the debt.

Federal spending is still out of control.

The Anchoress does her own linkfest of economic woe.

Social Security is bankrupt.

* * *

The Democrat Regime told us a lot of lies about the economy. For example, they told us that SSI was solvent until 2013 at least. As I expected, they were optimistic at best; I figured it would go bankrupt sooner, and to a worse extent, than they predicted.

The Regime also told us "the recession is over" and "there's no danger of a double-dip" and "this is the summer of recovery". All lies.

Why do I call them "lies"? Because this isn't a case of everyone thinking X when Y was true. The writing was on the wall for all to see; and if an unemployed blogger in Illinois can figure out what the economy is doing without putting much effort into it and correctly predict the economic trend certainly the high-powered Ivy League graduates should have been able to figure it out.

Those high-powered Ivy League graduates, however, think they're much smarter than everyone else; and--thinking that--they also think that everyone else is abysmally stupid and will fall for anything they say. So they got up in front of the cameras and said, "Yes, that recession was bad, but it was the last President's fault, and he's gone, and it's over now, and we're in charge, and everything's going to be peachy-keen! Don't you worry your little heads about it! Just go out and return to spending like there's no tomorrow so we can look like we fixed the economy!" The "great unwashed" didn't buy it, because although they didn't go to Ivy League schools, they are not stupid.

I got that concept from Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency: the biggest failing of smart people is that they think everyone else is stupid. When I read that, it hit me like a freight train: you may be smarter than everyone, but that does not mean everyone else is stupid, and you make a serious mistake when you think you can pull anything over on people solely because they're not as smart as you are.

...often, those who think themselves smarter than everyone else are, in fact, not even remotely smarter than anyone whose intellect they disdain. Example: Obama. He clearly thinks he's a genius; I've got news for him.

* * *

...I just suspended blog production in order to go procure some food. And groceries. So now it's almost 6 PM and the blog's not done. *sigh*

I'm getting sick of douchebags. It really is getting to the point that I'm thinking about applying Rat's solution:

Pearls Before Swine:

Oh, Rat, I like your solutions.

#1: the douchebags around here who drive Pontiac Grand Prixesesesss. Read the model name phonetically and you have a description of the drivers: GRAND PRICKS!! I don't know how they are elsewhere in the US but right around my town they're all a bunch of Grand Pricks. They tailgate, run stop signs, speed, and in general act like total assholes.

This afternoon I thought I'd take the stub end of the (now closed) Exchange Street to get to Walt's. Well, the road is pretty much closed because they've already started to strip out the ashphalt and subbed, so I had to sneak my way around a barrier: I opened a notch big enough for my Jeep to squeeze through, then moved through said gap, parked, and got out intending to close the gap again.

The Grand Pricks behind me, however, disgorged a passenger, who headed for the sign; I got back in the Jeep, figuring he'd handle it. The asshat hauled the breach even wider, got back in, and the Grand Pricks drove on without putting the damn sign back. Asshole!

#2: When I went to the sandwich shop for food, as my sandwiches were being prepared, a fuckstick in a Dodge truck parks over two spaces right in front of the shop. What a shithead. And he left his truck running while it sat there, and--contrary to Illinois law--the front windows are tinted. I bet that pussy bitches about the tickets he gets for the tint.

I want to hit them all with a tire iron.

* * *

I knew James Caan was one of us!

* * *

I'm not convinced this would entirely be a bad thing. Look: The GOP we have right now is nothing more than "Democrat Lite":

Still feeling betrayed by the GOP's failure to live up to its promises going back to soon after the Contract with America, conservative voters are preparing to march to the polls in decisive numbers, but not with wild-eyed enthusiasm for the GOP. As they vote to oust the current Democrat Congress, under their breath, they'll be muttering the warning, "This is your last chance, Republicans."
I know I for damn sure will be.

Look: I'm a born and bred Republican; but in the late 1980s and the early 1990s I began to moderate my politics, a lot--and it was during the 1992 election season that I finally paid attention to the issues and the arguments of both sides. I listened to what they had to say, and compared that to what I knew about the world, and to what I could learn about the workings of history.

It is not going too far for me to say that, in 1992, I could have gone either way. In July of 1992 I figured there was a decent chance I might vote Democrat in November of 1992.

But what I saw was that the Democrats had nothing on their side but lofty rhetoric and appeals to emotion. The facts did not support them; their positions were built on deliberate misstatements and obfuscation. Their criticisms of their opponents were based on statements taken out of context, and on disingenuous arguments.

That put me squarely back into conservatism; because it was obvious to me after some research and careful thought that liberalism was intellectually bankrupt and factually unsupportable. Sure, it makes you feel better, but their playbook has not changed since 1931 and their answer to everything is always "more taxes, more government spending, more federal control"--and that doesn't work. There's more than enough evidence of that just within my lifetime (even as of 1992) to demonstrate that the Democrat playbook is not only obsolete, but an utter failure.

...unless, of course, your aim is to have government in charge of everything. If you want that, the Democrat playbook is the way to go. But if you have any interest in actually solving problems it is the worst plan you could possibly follow, because the Democrat playbook isn't about solving problems. It is about emplacing "solutions" which don't actually work, but which consume money and personnel and which control whatever activities encompass the problems at hand.

In 1994, Newt Gingrich and the GOP came up with the "Contract For America" which, predictably, the Democrats renamed "Contract ON America"; in typical fashion the Democrats merely appealed to emotion and employed disingenuousness and misstatements rather than debate the substance of the issue. And the GOP won big that year because the GOP was running on the issues which are always big winners for it.

...and the GOP proceeded to act like Democrats, only a bit less enthusiastic about taxes. George Bush's tax cuts should have been a shoo-in in 2001, coming (as they did) after Clinton's tax increase had been in effect since 1993. But he couldn't get enough support in Congress for them. The GOP should have been full-on for it, but wasn't.

Bush couldn't get his nominees confirmed. The Democrats threatened filibusters and the GOP didn't even try to stand up to them.

Surprisingly, it took until 2006 for the GOP to entirely lose control of Congress. Six years of "Bush bad Bush bad!" from the press finally rubbed off enough stink that he was unpopular, and the GOP couldn't overcome that. The Democrats seized control of Congress once again.

If the GOP gets power back this autumn, they had better govern like they mean it, and they had better govern from the right. The GOP is supposed to be the conservative party, not the "Well, we're not quite as liberal as those guys over there, but we're still nice guys" party. The GOP is supposed to be the party of fiscal and social conservatism, the party of strict Constitutional construction, the party of low taxes, limited government, the freedom to own firearms, the freedom of religion, the protection of America--and in fact the party of American exceptionalism, the party which believes the US is the best damn country on the planet, bar none!

...and right now, the GOP isn't any of that. Any support it gives to those ideals is either tacit or tepid; no one in the party will stand up and say, "No! We're not going to agree with this!" even when it violates a major party tenet, because then the Democrats say mean things about them and the press parrots the Democrat line, and they don't get invited to parties in D.C.

The prominent GOP members don't like Sarah Palin because she's not afraid to say "No! This is where we draw the line!" They don't like her because she has the spine they so dearly wish they could have, if only that spine wouldn't make them social outcasts inside the beltway.

The most spine the GOP showed was over Obamacare...and that wasn't really all that impressive a show. They have to do better. Voters like me will give them one more chance to get it right; but we're ready to jump ship and vote for anyone who will act like a freaking grownup and stand against the stupidity and insanity of the beltway elites.

* * *

Liberals only know how to spew hatred, and they confuse "comedy" with "hatred" all the time.

Well, when your entire political ethos is defined by an "anti-establishment" temper tantrum, it's to be expected, I guess. The funniest part of all this is how pathetic they look. (I have heard of Kathy Griffin, though I cannot place where from. I have never heard, until just now, of Stephanie Miller. Coincidence?)

If you read the comments at that link, you get some opinions on what constitutes real comedy.

Make no mistake about it: comedy is hard. But if you look at the most successful comedians, they are the ones who can make an audience laugh without resorting to swearing.

The ones who need to swear, to make crude jokes--if they make it big, they never seem to last very long. Yet the ones who do not end up being quite successful. For example, Andrew Dice Clay was big for a year or so in the 1990s; what's he doing now? I haven't even heard him mentioned until just now, when I read the comments at the link.

In the big coastal cities, any swinging dick can say, "George Bush--what a fuckin' retard!" and get a laugh. But it doesn't work in the places where people actually voted for Bush; and if you want them to laugh at your routine--and buy concert tickets to see your live show, and buy your CDs, and watch your TV show--you have to find jokes which will make them laugh.

Listen to the routines of the comedy greats of the 1970s. Usually the routines are about things which do not involve politics or religion; or if they do, the jokes are about the universal truths of them rather than any particular viewpoint. In his "Class Clown" routine George Carlin made a joke about Catholicism: "Earnest Pruz passed an entire cheese sandwich through his nose. The Sister thought it was a miracle.... if you're present at a miracle you have to be debriefed by a priest." He wasn't being critical of Catholicism; he made a joke about kids being silly in school. (And I'm no longer any big fan of Carlin; I grew up enough to realize that his later material is just lefty-liberal bile masquerading as humor.)

Damn, listen to Bill Cosby's story about Fat Albert putting an airplane engine into his car.

None of these guys needed to make jokes like, "Yuk yuk yuk, Nixon is a fat fuck, yukkity yuk yuk!" Chevy Chase (arguably successful) got his start exaggerating a single slip of Gerald Ford's into a continuous series of pratfalls--but what did he ever do that was really big? National Lampoon's Family Vacation?

99% of all the stand-up comedy I have ever heard has been crap. Even the stuff which didn't rely on swearing (because it was on TV). Nearly all of the people who are held out as great comedians aren't. They all make the "right" kind of jokes about Republicans and conservatives, though.

There are exceptions, though they're few and far between.

Denis Leary typically stays away from political humor. He swears a blue streak but it's part of his schtick, and usually he's pretty damned funny.

His routine about accidentally being seen naked by Melissa Etheridge is damn funny even though it contains no swearing at all; the worst it gets is that he makes a few references to his male anatomy, which is part of what makes the story funny, because Melissa Etheridge is well-known to be a lesbian and "she's not interested in seeing any guy's ass, let alone my white Irish ass!"

I once heard a Dane Cook CD at work. (One night at the warehouse at Target.) It was funny, except for his "shit on the coats!" bit. That routine was based entirely on repeating the phrase "shit on the coats!" over and over and over again, and it was made of fail. Most of the rest of the CD was funny.

* * *

As for me, I have started a program of buying "emergency food". A little here, a little there, to be stored in watertight and insect-proof containers. Both canned and dried foods. I'm not going to rush out and fill the Jeep with cases of rations or anything, nor am I about to build a bunker and stock it with guns and ammo and MREs and radios and a chemical toilet and emergency underwear; I'm just looking at the economic situation and thinking, "Okay, what if something goes seriously wrong and the supermarket can't get restocked for a couple weeks or so?"

It would be nice not to starve, I figure, waiting for the National Guard or whoever to bring in supplies. Assuming the National Guard doesn't have something more serious to contend with. Which it probably would, if the flow of groceries is interrupted for a couple weeks or more.

WTF. Chicago would burn to the ground; the National Guard would be trying to keep that under control.

I never envisioned myself getting to this point, though. But the fact that the Fed is starting to monetize the debt is what pushed me over the edge; we're due for massive inflation, and it's only a question of "When?" If I've got food on hand--survival stuff, not luxury--at least I can keep body and soul together while waiting for the shit to blow over. And maybe I'll be able to trade car repairs or something for other stuff, because I am pretty good at fixing things.

We'll see. I hope I don't ever need this stuff.

#2219: You want proof that global warming is made up?

Just read this page.

"Scientists"--and I use the term loosely--at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Science basically made up 5.5° of warming per century for a weather station in Nepal.
GISS has made a straight-line adjustment of 1.1°C in twenty years, or 5.5°C per century. They have changed a cooling trend to a strong warming trend … I’m sorry, but I see absolutely no scientific basis for that massive adjustment. I don’t care if it was done by a human using their best judgement, done by a computer algorithm utilizing comparison temperatures in India and China, or done by monkeys with typewriters. I don’t buy that adjustment, it is without scientific foundation or credible physical explanation.
That isn't science. That isn't even in the same planetary system as "science".
Once again we see huge adjustments made to individual temperature records without reason or justification. This means simply that until GISS are able to demonstrate a sound scientific foundation for their capricious and arbitrary adjustments, we cannot trust the final GISS dataset. Their algorithm obviously has significant problems that lead to the type of wildly unreasonable results seen above and in other temperature datasets, and they are not catching them. Pending a complete examination, we cannot know what other errors the GISS dataset might contain.
This is the best data they've got to prove global warming.

And they made it up.