I don't dispute that Afghanistan is a mess and needs intervention. When we first started hearing about going into Iraq, I wasn't sure that was such a good idea. We were operating in Afghanistan then, and I thought it would be better to get that job done first. From here, it looks like I was wrong, but Afghanistan is still a mess and something has to be done.
That said, however....
Where is all the liberal outrage at this war in Afghanistan? They hated it to pieces when President Bush sent our military after Iraq. The media awaited each casualty report with bated breath, and couldn't wait until the total dead had gone over 2,000. They didn't care about the dead soldiers; they cared about making George W. Bush look bad.
So I want to know how many soldiers are dying every day, and I want the total recounted every night, and I want the people reporting it to remind the viewers that Obama is responsible as Commander in Chief the same way they did with Bush and Iraq.
...and while I'm wishing, I'd like a Ferrari.
* * *
The same media is also angry at Obama for floating his "no public option" trial balloon. These are people who want medicine to be socialized and expected Obama to do it.
Part of the problem--well, it's not a problem; it's actually a good thing--here is that the Democrats don't have a single plan. There's no single version of Obamacare which they can point to and say, "This is what we want to do."
What we have is a House bill that may (or may not) be an approximation of what the final deal ends up being. It is full of provisions designed to increase government control of the health care industry in the US--to make it into a fascist system--including single-payer, which is the essential feature of socialized medicine.
But it hasn't been passed yet. The Democrats cannot agree on what features to include, particularly since some of them are smart enough to realize what "single payer" will do to our economy.
The "blue dog" Democrats in particular are being vilified by the hard left members of the Democrat party, and a lot of those people are essentially demanding that the resistance of the blue dogs be crushed, using whatever means are available. These people have a surfeit of hatred for anyone standing in the way of socialized medicine: they voted for it and they want it now.
Then these same people turn around and blame the "well-organized GOP machine". I have to say, I am really glad that it looks that way to them; but they are ascribing a power to us that we simply do not have. If the Democrats all agree to something, and they all vote in favor of it, there is literally no way the GOP can stop them. (Not legally or constitutionally.)
So there is a sign that Congressional Democrats are not going to go along with this deal any longer. I don't know how much credence to lend to this.
The hard liberals threaten to vote someone else into the offices of these Democrats--but realistically what can they possibly do? They sure as hell aren't going to vote Republican or Libertarian; their choices will be limited to another Democrat (in the primary) or Green Party, if there's a candidate for that office, but a vote for Green is essentially a vote for the GOP in most races.
And who can realistically oppose an incumbent in a primary over a single issue? I'm not saying it can't happen--it does, a lot--but history does not favor such challengers.
Obama needs to socialize medicine: if he doesn't get that, his presidency will be weakened, because he will have managed to pull a failure from otherwise ideal conditions, as the Democrats currently control the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. The Democrat party needs to socialize medicine, because their power base is starting to erode and the erosion will only get worse as the Baby Boomers age. Nearly everyone else on that side wants to socialize medicine.
But there are some who realize what socializing medicine will do to our economy, which is already in the shitter, and to the federal deficit, which is already 2.8 times the highest-ever deficit in US history, and these people think these issues are not trivial next to the Democrats' aquisition and retention of power. And provided these stick to their guns, the Democrats cannot do what they want to do without outside help.
And many of these Democrats are not willing to take one for the team. Democrats and the media make a big deal about the young voters, but in fact youth is highly apathetic about voting; it's the older crowd which takes the democratic process seriously. Older people pay attention to politics, and they vote in every election (or nearly so) and they have their own interests that they watch out for.
The Democrats ignore that at their peril. Many of the cost-cutting provisions of Obamacare will specifically affect these older voters. "End-of-life counseling", rationing care based on life expectancy, death panels--older people are generally wise enough to read between the lines, and they know exactly what all that means: "Look, you're OLD! You're going to die soon, anyway, so why are you so worried about getting a hip replacement? It's not like you're going to be running a marathon or roller skating." "Sonny, it's exactly like that: I roller skate three times a week. Or I did before my hip broke." "What? At your age? Grampa, you're crazy!"
Commentary: what a "death panel" will look like. The older folks know they will be marginalized and end up paying the greatest price in the name of "fairness".
This morning I had to take Mom to the eye doctor. She was there for three hours. She had a visual field test, an eye exam, and some laser retinal surgery.
She's 82 years old. Under Obamacare, they'd just let her go blind.
* * *
Yet again: we don't need dark energy to explain how the universe works.
It's yet another example of how decribing the universe using Einstein's Theory of Relativity--which is admittedly more complex in its application than Newtonian mechanics--can solve all the apparent problems with our theories. (Relativity, applied to galactic rotation, also eliminates the need for dark matter.)
* * *
This is one way to deal with people who drive too damn fast in residential areas.
"The police department has increased patrols in the area recently." Bet your ass that the police have done this in order to keep these residents from actually making good on their threat, not because they give a rat's ass about speeders.
* * *
I like reading any article about the commercialization of space. I've learned to be skeptical of them--not the least because all the breathless nonsense about ArianeSpace--but it almost looks as if commercial space exploitation might be "just around the corner", and that's exciting.
There is an incredible amount of money to be made in space. The roadblock comes from the two-headed problem of getting there and getting back. But people are working on finding ways to make that profitable; and once they do, it's going to be raining soup.
Imagine being able to mine aluminum and titanium and iron on the moon, where there is no "ecosystem" to ruin. You'd smelt the stuff in the open using solar power--a big mirror could provide all the heat!--and 90% of your shipping is downhill.
The asteroid Apophis is going to come very close to Earth in 2039. Suppose we deflected it into orbit around the Earth? We could take the damn thing apart and use all of it for...whatever we wanted, and we need no new technology to do any of this.
All we need is the will.
* * *
It is to laugh! GM plans a $4,000 car! Warning: this article wants you to subscribe to show the whole text.
The idea of GM selling a new car for $4,000 just makes me laugh. Even if they produce the thing in Asia, will the UAW let an American automaker sell a cheap, foreign-produced car in the United States without raising a stink? Particularly when the UAW owns seventy percent of said automaker, thanks to Glorious Leader?
So not going to happen.
* * *
It's cooled off a bit outside, but it's still humid enough that I don't think I'll be opening up my room tonight. *sigh*
There was a nice breeze blowing today, but it was otherwise warm and humid. I sat in the parking lot at the doctor's office for three freaking hours, re-reading I"s and listening to Mark Steyn fill in for Rush.
Last night I had intended to be in bed before 2. What happened is that I got involved on writing the new "light novel", and the next thing I knew it was after 3:30. When I hit the sack I proceeded to toss and turn until six-thirty and woke up about two hours later.
...so when we got home from the doctor's office, I hit the bed like a laser guided, nuclear-tipped bunker buster. And slept until 8 PM, which worked out to a little more than seven hours.
I didn't play WoW yesterday at all. And speaking of which... I've been taking a break from Amaleni, and I'm doing quests in Hellfire Peninsula with Scythandra. I've already gotten her to level 65 (she'd been at 64 for a long time) and in fact she's about 60% of the way to 66th. It's not hard to level in Outland!
And once she gets to 68 or 69 I'll hie her over to Northrend, where she can really power-level.
I also have done nothing with the engine project.
* * *
I have some of these cat traps, and they do work: