Camille Paglia is a rare thing: a liberal whose positions are cogent and well-reasoned. I think she falls down in the "premises" department: she starts from faulty assumptions. (Such as? The assumption that our health care system needs reform; and the assumption that Democrats are the ones for the job, when Democrats consistently offer socialized models. Paglia says that won't work, yet she wants Democrats to "reform" health care in the US? This is what I'm talking about.)
The main "bad assumption" Paglia makes? "I thought my party was populist, attentive to the needs and wishes of those outside the power structure. And as a product of the 1960s, I thought the Democratic party was passionately committed to freedom of thought and speech." This is where she is wrong: the Democrat party has not been about freedom of thought or speech for a long time, and it has been about Democrats--and Democrats alone!--running things for an even longer time.
Paglia self-identifies as "libertarian"; I think she still hasn't gotten to the mental hurdle of realizing that the Democrat party is anything but libertarian. She is smart enough--and logical enough--to make the intuitive leap necessary to jumping out of her Democrat rut. I wonder what will make that happen?
I guess that's why I like her so much: she is capable of noticing and talking about, in public, the failings of the Democrat party. That's a rare thing for a liberal.
(Skip the third page of the article; it's gunk.)
* * *
Michelle Malkin has a bit about the 11-year-old girl at Obama's "town hall meeting".
Little girl's mother? Big-time Obama donor.
What a surprise.
I didn't bother with watching the thing, because I knew what to expect: everything scripted to ensure that Obama didn't end up with egg on his face. The thing was "invitation only". I knew that it was not a "town hall meeting", but propaganda, and I refuse to waste my time on nonsense.
I have to wonder if there were any signs demonstrating token and mild opposition? If I had that thought earlier I might have watched it--with the sound off--just to see how the White House was playing this: unapologetic propaganda, or with an attempt at making it look balanced? But none of the commentators I habitually read said anything about this kind of thing, so one must assume it was the former.
* * *
Dennis makes note of the fact that Obama has once again volunteered someone for something.
Recall the deal with the Caterpillar plant, where Obama said Caterpillar would start hiring once the stimulus was passed? Only the CEO of Caterpillar went on to say, "Um, no, we're not going to be rehiring anyone for quite a while."
Barry did it again: he said that AARP was behind Obamacare, only AARP ain't behind Obamacare.
* * *
Bonus points to the Teleprompter Jesus, by the way, for explaining to us exactly how horrible socialized medicine will be, by comparing it to the Post Office.
Thanks, Barry; the only worse comparison you could have made would have been the oft-repeated DMV one.
* * *
Benjamin Shapiro discusses Obama's attempts at diversion, and why they are failing.
* * *
Plenty of citizens don't want socialized medicine. Enough that it's becoming a real problem for Democrats, who have decided that now is the time and nothing must stand in the way, least of all that pesky "will of the people" thing.
The August recess was supposed to be the time when Democrats would convince the American people that their plan is a good one. Passing it before the recess proved politically impossible; finding they had to use August to shore up support for the thing, they planned these meetings...and were shocked and surprised at the vehemence of the opposition they faced.
Of course, this meant bringing in union goons. But that's not going as well as the Democrats had hoped it would: enough Americans still understand that union often means organized thuggery. The history of unions is rife with violence and intimidation--on both sides--but the image of the union thug has remained a particularly potent one, and many Americans understand that many times union "organizers" are not interested in individual choice.
As for the issue itself, it's nowhere near decided yet. The Democrats could still pass the monstrosity; Obama would sign it before the ink was dry, making it law; there is absolutely no hope of a veto. Once it's passed, it's going to be law, and the Democrats have enough votes (even if the Republicans stayed home) to pass it. Our only hope lies in the aspirations of individual Congressional Democrats: if any Congresscritter thinks a "yea" vote will cost him his seat, he will for damn sure vote "nay".
* * *
"Internment camps" are being built? Is this for real?
Well, I find it hard to believe, because the article includes a link to something which is clearly not an American detention facility but which in fact appears to be a North Korean shoe factory.
It's possible the writer of the article might not have researched this all that well.
* * *
Warning to new-agers: A crystal ball is a lens.
It is not a very good lens, no. But under the right circumstances, sunlight plus lens equals fire.
Somewhere on the Fiero forum is a picture that one of the members took of the underside of his deck. You see, he had parted out a Fiero and stored several large bits of Fiero under his deck. Among these things? A sunroof panel, which is a large curved piece of glass.
The underside of the deck's wooden surface had several char marks where the reflected light of the sun, concentrated by the sunroof's curvature, had made its mark:
You've got to be careful; the sun's pretty strong, even at solar minimum.
* * *
I sat out on the back patio last night for an hour and a half, and I saw eleven meteors.
I went in around 3:10 AM, which was about the time things were supposed to pick up, but it was cold (57°) and I was falling asleep. 11's not bad, though, considering that around 20 per hour is nominal and I'm 20 miles from the third largest city in the US. (Third? Or fourth? WTF-ever.)
I've known about the Perseid meteor shower for a damn long time--since before I was 18, anyway--and it seems like I almost never get to watch it. I forget about it; or I remember but it's cloudy. I can count the times I've watched it on one hand.
* * *
Last night Amaleni hit 70th level.
I finished exploring all of Outland, so I decided to take a trip to Northrend to try out my gryphon there--forgetting that one needs "cold weather flying" to fly in Northrend. *sigh* But I realized that--at level 69--Amaleni had a good chance of surviving there, so I started running quests; next thing I know Amaleni hit 70th. It didn't even take that long; then again the quests were giving me 15k, 20k XP each.
When I shut down around 1:30 AM--to go watch for meteors--I had gotten 55% of the way to 71st.
So I guess I'll be running around in Northrend now....