Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Jive-Talk Express

Yesterday, Obama finally denounced his long-time pastor and spiritual mentor, Jeremiah Wright, saying that “The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago.”

Just last month he said “I could no more disown him than I could disown the black community.” Essentially he was saying that Jeremiah Wright was so deeply a part of who he was that he could not possibly disown him. So has Obama also disowned the black community? What about his "typical white person" grandmother? Just last month, Obama asked us not to dismiss Wright as a “crank or a demagogue” suggesting that Wright had a valid position worthy of consideration when he embraced theological statements such as:

Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer and we better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community. Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal.

That led me to go back to Wright’s speech to the Press Club on Monday to look for the shocking and appalling revelation which would lead to this sudden reversal from the presidential wannabe. Wright, flanked by his Nation of Islam bodyguards, repeated the same things he has been saying from the pulpit and printing in the bulletins week after week. The government created the AIDS virus to kill black people. Our soldiers are the moral equivalent of terrorists. Louis Farrakhan is one of the greatest voices of the 20th and 21st century. These views have been the bread and butter of Wright’s preaching, and it does not pass a sanity test to say that Obama only discovered where his pastor and mentor stood on Monday.

There is nothing in Wright’s recent statements about his own views which is new or surprising to someone who has called Wright his pastor, mentor, friend, and sounding board for twenty years. In his much-heralded speech on March 18, Obama made a play on white guilt when he claimed that segregated churches were to blame for the nation's surprise and shock at what Rev. Wright was preaching. But now Obama pretends to be surprised at it. What is his excuse? Was he sitting in a white-only church for the past twenty years? It was nothing about AIDS or chickens or the US of KKK A or God Damn America or equating US Marines to al Qaeda which drove Obama away from Jeremiah Wright.

Then I found the real cause for Obama to denounce Wright.

Politicians say what they say and do what they do based on electability, based on sound bites, based on polls. Preachers say what they say because they’re pastors. I do what pastors do. Obama does what politicians do.

Obama didn’t suddenly discover what Jeremiah Wright stood for after twenty years of blissful obliviousness. The reason that Obama must now disown Jeremiah Wright has nothing to do with Wright’s fringe beliefs. Obama embraced those views for years. But on Monday, Wright dared to question Obama’s integrity. He said in effect that Obama was distancing himself from Wright for political reasons, not because he disagreed with Wright’s views. This is a devastating revelation for a candidate who has built his campaign on personality, not ideas and asks for our vote on the basis that he is reasonable, thoughtful, measured, a person able to transcend politics and racial divisions. If voters believe that Obama fundamentally disagrees with Wright’s views, they might question his judgment for maintaining a relationship for twenty years. But if voters conclude that Obama secretly agrees with Wright, but is putting on another face to win an election, then all is lost.

It is decades too late for Obama to have any credibility when he weakly asserts “when I say I find Wright’s statements appalling, I mean it.” The only thing Obama is appalled by is the fact that his carefully crafted veneer is being stripped away, revealing the unelectable reality which lies beneath.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dead is dead

If you are killed by a single gunshot, are you less dead than if you are killed by fifty bullets?

That seems to be the position of the people who are using the death of Sean Bell to incite racial strife.

If you watched the news or read the newspapers in the past week you know that three New York Police Officers were acquitted of shooting Sean Bell to death back in November 2006 as he was leaving his bachelor's party early on the morning of his wedding day. You will know that the officers shot the unarmed man fifty times, and you will have some impression that it was racially motivated. But you won't have enough information to determine if the officers were justified in their actions. For that, you have to do a lot of digging on your own.

Al Sharpton, Charles Rangel, John Conyers, and others are making an emotional appeal based on the idea that it was excessive for police to fire fifty bullets. They are ignoring the real issue -- did the police have reason to believe that their lives were threatened?

I've done a lot of training and studying of the laws, rules, and principles of the use of lethal force in self defense. One principle which runs contrary to many people's conceptions is that the requirements for legal use of deadly force are the same for any level of deadly force. There is not a higher standard for me to be justified in using an M-16 to stop an attacker than for using a bolt-action 22. If I have sufficient reason to fear for my life to justify lethal force, any means of lethal force is equivalent (although I am responsible for injury to innocent bystanders). The fact that Sean Bell was about to get married has no bearing on the case, and neither does the number of bullets fired.

For police, the standard is less stringent. Civilians generally have an obligation to retreat before using lethal force. For a police officer it is a part of their job to intervene in dangerous situations and apprehend dangerous people, so they are permitted to brandish a weapon in cases where civilians may not. The legal standard for justifiable self defense is the “reasonable man” standard: would a reasonable man in the given situation, knowing only what the individual knew, believe that his life was threatened by a determined attacker with immediate means and opportunity to kill him?

The media seem completely uninterested in the facts which are necessary to determine if the reasonable man standard was met in this case. I suppose that sensationalism and racial division sell more newspapers and furthers the political agenda of the New York Times better than an honest presentation of all the relevant facts.

Here is what happened on that November night in 2006. Sean Bell and several friends were having a bachelor’s party at a Queens strip club. The club was under surveillance by the police, who were investigating drug trading and prostitution. An undercover officer inside the club heard one of the dancers complain about a customer who was armed. At 4pm Sean and three of his friends left the club, and a fight erupted in the parking lot. It is not clear what the altercation was about, but the undercover officer radioed to her partners parked in a minivan outside that a man said “Yo, get your gun.” Then he and three others got into a silver Nissan Altima and drove away. The Altima drove half a block and then crashed into the unmarked police minivan. The car then backed up onto a sidewalk and nearly struck a police officer, but instead smashed into the front of a store. It then shot forward and again hit the police minivan. At that point, the officers opened fire, killing the driver, Sean Bell, and wounding two other passengers. Two of the three officers who fired their weapons were black.

I don’t have all of the information which was presented at the trial, so I can’t claim to second guess Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Cooperman’s decision to exonerate the officers. But it sounds to me as if the officers had reason to believe that Sean and his friends were armed and that they were using the car as a weapon. In his thirty years on the bench, Judge Cooperman has earned a reputation among both prosecutors and defense attorneys as a knowledgeable, eminently fair judge who calls cases exactly as he sees them. His lengthy decision demonstrates that he carefully and impartially weighed the evidence and testimony and came to a conclusion only after considering all of the available information. Al Sharpton, on the other hand, settled on what was, in his mind, the only just verdict the moment he learned that Sean Bell was black.

I have read the news coverage of this case from the time it happened up to the current reaction to the verdict, and I can’t say for sure if the officers were justified or if they overstepped their bounds. I have no reason to think that the shooting was racially motivated. Firing fifty shots does create a PR problem for the New York Police Department, but it does not create a legal issue, if the officers were justified in firing one shot. I don’t even have enough information to say conclusively if the police officers were responding to a deliberate attack or if the situation was caused by a combination of circumstances, bad timing, bad assumptions, and drunk driving. But I find it illuminating that the Al Sharptons of the world want to ignore the facts and play to emotions in their attempt to paint the police as eager to shoot black people, and that the media are so willing to go along for the ride.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

They don't make 'em like they used to

In the past month I have watched all of the big winners from this year's Academy Awards. Overall they were reasonably enjoyable.

No Country for Old Men was my favorite of the bunch, certainly deserving of the Best Picture award. It was a tense, violent, exciting film with a fitting ending. Javier Bardem was superb as the bad guy.

Sweeney Todd was entirely delicious. I’m not a big fan of musicals, but who can resist Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter speculating in song about how pedestrians passing on the street would taste baked into a meat pie?

There Will Be Blood was not bad, although it centered on clich├ęd stereotypes of the greedy, deceptive oil prospector and compromised pastor.

Juno was by far the lightest and most enjoyable of the bunch, very different from the dark brooding mood of the others. The silly lyrics of the songs got old after a while. But the story was good, and the characters were well-developed. I appreciated the pro-life outlook of the film, which is a rare thing from Hollywood.

3:10 to Yuma was excellent. In the past year or two I have come to appreciate well-done westerns more than I did in the past. Dan Evans is an outstanding character who grows and develops as a father and husband and earns the respect of his son as he demonstrates that his honor is not for sale.

Ratatouille was charming and highly enjoyable – probably the best winner in the short history of the “Best Animated Feature” category.

Michael Clayton didn’t impress me much. Crooked lawyers and corrupt corporations have just been done way too many times.

Atonement was well done, with a complex and non-linear story line which starts out tragically and ends tragically. There was a section in the middle that I found confusing, and never did understand what was going on. It effectively made the point that it is unwise to make assumptions and meddle with things you don’t understand, and that righting past wrongs is better than living with the regrets of leaving them unresolved.

I have not seen Transformers, and I don’t intend to. I can find dozens of better uses for two hours of my life than watching a toy commercial.

While I found most of these films to be good, none rose to the level of great. Apart from Transformers, they did seem to buck the recent trend of substituting special effects and action for plot and character development. I also appreciated that several of the films dared to not provide a happy, feel-good ending. This year’s winners were certainly better than those from recent years.

More and more each year I find that the most effective way to get a really superb movie is to go back forty or fifty years and pick a title which has stood the test of time. It is hard to understand why modern-day Hollywood, with their huge budgets and advanced technology, has so much difficulty producing movies which compare favorably with films made decades ago. Perhaps it is because the expectations of the public have changed. To be a commercial success, movies must be loaded with gratuitous violence, sex, drugs, and foul language. While films used to reflect a moral worldview, the list of films above mirrors society’s nihilism. Or maybe Hollywood is just running out of ideas, and have resorted to remakes and reusing worn-out storylines. There certainly does not seem to be anyone making movies today who can match Alfred Hitchcock as a story teller, nor is there an actor with the stature of James Stewart or Cary Grant.

Some people have the preconceived idea that old movies are dull. I would encourage you to shatter that misconception by watching any of the following film classics.

Double Indemnity
North by Northwest
Lawrence of Arabia
A Witness for the Prosecution
Dial “M” for Murder
Casablanca
Bringing Up Baby
Vertigo

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Guide for Bitter Voters

Democrats in rural Pennsylvania, still bitter about the state of the economy, will receive helpful voters’ guides today, published by Obama for America, with tips on how to cast a primary ballot while clinging to a Bible, a gun or both.

“We don’t want anything to stand in the way of your desire to vote for change,” according to the pamphlet distributed at polling places by Obama volunteers. “With a little planning, and flexibility you can cling to your firearm and the Word of God, and still operate a Diebold touchscreen voting machine. Do make an effort to maintain proper trigger discipline.”

Here’s an excerpt from the tract entitled Barack Obama’s Ballot Primer for Bitter Voters:

Rifle or Shotgun Voting Position
Tuck the Bible under your right arm. Use your right hand grip the stock of your shootin’ iron just behind the trigger guard. If you have difficulty supporting the weight of the weapon, rest the upward-pointing barrel on the top edge of the voting machine. This leaves your left hand free for voting, while keeping your trigger finger ready to harvest any wild game that might appear.

Concealed Handgun Voting Position
Slip your dominant hand up under your loose-fitting outer garment, insert the thumb between your body and the grip of your concealed pistol and rest the heel of your hand on the backstrap, keeping your trigger finger in index position alongside the frame of the weapon. Grip the Bible between your chin and collar bone, and vote with your weak side hand.

Muzzle-Loader Position
Let’s face it, you’re going to need two hands free in case you need to reload. So, hold the weapon in the standard rifle-voting position, but grip the Bible between your knees.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Something worth seeing

I have 4 extra tickets for the Robbie Knievel event at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth this weekend if anybody wants them. Robbie is going to attempt to jump over 500 Democrats with a bulldozer....

Friday, April 18, 2008

Giving America the finger

There is some ridiculous buzz about B. Hussein Obama giving Hillary the finger in response to Wednesday's very revealing debate which highlighted his tendency to embrace radical leftists who hate America, such as Weather Underground terrorist William Ayres, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and Michelle Obama.

To me it looks like an innocent face scratch. But who knows? Maybe it was intentional. And why not? What right-minded person would not relish the chance to flip Hillary the bird on national television for all the harm she wants to do to America.

What we ought to be concerned about is the way that Obama looked America square in the eyes and flipped us off, saying that our bitterness causes us to cling to guns and religion and to anti-illegal immigrant sentiment.

People are bothered by what he said because it reveals that his carefully crafted public image is a sham. Obama presents himself as a man who can bring the country together, overcoming differences of party or race, as well as solving our international problems by talking with Iran and other countries with which we are at odds, and performing other miscellaneous miracles as needed.

There is not a speck of evidence that Obama has ever transcended party differences in the U.S. Senate. Voting records show him to be the farthest left of anyone in the Senate. Nor has he sponsored any significant bipartisan legislation — nor any other significant legislation, for that matter.

But speaking privately to far-left supporters in San Francisco, he let his hair down and revealed what he really thinks of the voters he is trying to woo. His statements are standard far Left rhetoric, where guns and religion are regarded as signs of psychological dysfunction and opinions different from those of the Left are ascribed to emotions, rather than to legitimate issues that need to be answered. Obama rejects “stereotypes” when they are stereotypes he doesn’t like but blithely throws around his own stereotypes about “a typical white person” or “bitter” gun-toting, religious, and racist working-class people sitting on their hands for 25 years waiting for government to rescue them.

In politics, the clearer a statement is, the more certain it is to be followed by a “clarification,” when people react adversely to what was plainly said. Obama and his supporters were still busy “clarifying” Jeremiah Wright’s very plain statements when it suddenly became necessary to “clarify” Senator Obama’s own statements in San Francisco.

However inconsistent Obama’s words, his behavior has been remarkably consistent over the years. He has sought out and embraced the radical, anti-Western Left — whether Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers of the terrorist Weatherman underground, pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli Rashid Khalidi, and of course America-hating Michelle Obama.

Obama is part of a long tradition on the Left of being for the working class in the abstract, or as people potentially useful for the purposes of the Left, but having disdain or contempt for them as human beings. Karl Marx said, “The working class is revolutionary or it is nothing.” In other words, they mattered only in so far as they were willing to carry out the Marxist agenda. Fabian socialist George Bernard Shaw included the working class among the “detestable” people who “have no right to live,” saying “I should despair if I did not know that they will all die presently, and that there is no need on earth why they should be replaced by people like themselves.”

Most famously, Karl Marx called religion "an opiate for the masses." Obama has been caught stealing a play straight from the original leftist. His "uniter, not divider" shtick is not going to fly any more.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hamas endorses Obama

On Sunday, B. Hussein Obama picked up a key endorsement when WABC radio interviewed Ahmed Yousef, the chief political advisor of the Hamas terror organization.
We don’t mind–actually we like Mr. Obama. We hope he will win the election and I do believe he is like John Kennedy, great man with great principle, and he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the world community but not with domination and arrogance.
It is good to know that Obama and Hamas see eye-to-eye on changing America. An endorsement from Hamas is tantamount to picking up a Superdelegate, and the best part is that Obama didn't need to compromise his principles or make any commitments beyond what he has already promised to do. Former President Jimmy Carter, wearing his traditional Hamas vest, expressed hope that the support of Hamas would "trigger an explosion of support from the Carter coalition" of global non-governmental organizations seeking change in the U.S.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

That explains it

For twenty five years I have been wondering why I am a believer in Jesus Christ and why I own guns. Certainly it must be more than the fact that Jesus is God's Son and the only way to restore our broken relationship with God, radically transforming my life by aligning me with God's purpose for my life. It couldn't be that the Second Amendment is a crucial safeguard of our liberty and that self protection is a responsibility of every free citizen. There had to be an explanation.

I owe a debt of gratitude to B. Hussein Obama, a lifelong opponent of the Second Amendment and a deeply spiritual man, mentored by the America-bashing Jeremiah Wright. He finally helped me to realize that my faith in Jesus and my ownership of a few firearms is a result of my bitterness over the government's failure to rescue me from my miserable economic situation. For twenty-five years, in fact ever since the hapless Jimmy Carter was president, I have been wallowing in hopeless misery waiting for Obama to descend on a glowing cloud, as angel choirs sing, and fix all of my problems.

I see it now. My faith and my Sig are just coping mechanisms to help me deal with the bitterness of my wretched state. Obama is my true savior, and now that he is here at last, all my worries are gone and I can rely on the benevolent government for everything: food, shelter, clothing, health care, education, abortion on demand, protection, and of course a livable minimum wage job.

With Obama as President, you'd better *cling* to your wallet.

Praise be to Obama!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Tax Day

Last year on April 15, I asked the question:

"Are you getting your money's worth?"

Since we pretty much settled that question, this year I am providing a link which will make the annual shafting from the government slightly less painful. We all pay throughout the year, but for many of us, it is never enough to satisfy The Greedy Hand. April 15 comes around and they take more. As I prepare to write the big fat check, at least I have a smile on my face.

The Black Knight -- a perfect depiction of the IRS. I tried it once and scored 84,470. I see on the high score list that others have done much better. Try it out and let me know how you like it.

Remember that in November you will have a chance to do something about taxes by way of the Presidential election, but even more importantly, the Congressional elections.

Now go bash some peasants, and make sure that you don't smack Hillary!

Monday, April 07, 2008

3am


It's three AM.

Or maybe three PM.

Or at least the prop clock next to that God Damned American flag is set to 3:00.

The phone is ringing in the White House.

Somewhere, something is happening.

Who will answer it?

And will they know which end of the phone to talk into?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Highly optimal

Failed radio tycoon Tom Athans, must be up on his latest medical journals.

Athans, founder of failed liberal talk radio ventures Air America, TalkUSA Radio Network, and Democracy Radio, and husband of US Senator Debbie Stabenow, knew exactly how long it ought to take to visit a prostitute.

Police report that Athans entered a room at the Troy Michigan Residence Inn, paid $150 for sex, and left fifteen minutes later. I thought that was a bit quick on the draw, if you know what I mean.

Then I came across a study from the May issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, a publication I read regularly.

It found that an optimal duration for sexual intercourse was between 3 and 13 minutes. It seems that our hero, Mr. Athans allocated a minute to undress, the optimal 13 minutes for "wham bam", and one more minute to dress, hand over the $150, and mutter "thank you ma'am" as he hurried out.

Closer examination of the study indicates that the 3-13 minutes does not include foreplay, but I suppose that being concerned about the woman's enjoyment doesn't matter much with a hooker.

To coin a phrase

The San Francisco Chronicle had this account of Bill Clinton's tirade at the state convention last weekend:

The Bill Clinton who met privately with California's superdelegates at last weekend's state convention was a far cry from the congenial former president who afterward publicly urged fellow Democrats to "chill out" over the race between his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Barack Obama.

In fact, before his speech Clinton had one of his famous meltdowns Sunday, blasting away at former presidential contender Bill Richardson for having endorsed Obama, the media and the entire nomination process.

"It was one of the worst political meetings I have ever attended," one superdelegate said.

According to those at the meeting, Clinton - who flew in from Chicago with bags under his eyes - was classic old Bill at first, charming and making small talk with the 15 or so delegates who gathered in a room behind the convention stage.

But as the group moved together for the perfunctory photo, Rachel Binah, a former Richardson delegate who now supports Hillary Clinton, told Bill how "sorry" she was to have heard former Clinton campaign manager James Carville call Richardson a "Judas" for backing Obama.

It was as if someone pulled the pin from a grenade.

"Five times to my face (Richardson) said that he would never do that," a red-faced, finger-pointing Clinton erupted.

The former president then went on a tirade that ran from the media's unfair treatment of Hillary to questions about the fairness of the votes in state caucuses that voted for Obama. It ended with him asking delegates to imagine what the reaction would be if Obama was trailing by just 1 percent and people were telling him to drop out.

"It was very, very intense," said one attendee. "Not at all like the Bill of earlier campaigns."

When he finally wound down, Bill was asked what message he wanted the delegates to take away from the meeting.

At that point, a much calmer Clinton outlined his message of party unity.

"It was kind of strange later when he took the stage and told everyone to 'chill out,' " one delegate told us.

"We couldn't help but think he was also talking to himself."

Bill, all I can say is "I feel your pain."

A winner

According to this poll, Hillary is leading Obama by 9 points in the upcoming Pennsylvania primary. Hillary's 50-41 lead is twice the poll's margin of error.

More importantly, in the general election, Clinton beats McCain in crucial Florida 44 to 42, but McCain leads Obama by 9 points, 46 to 37.

In the vital swing state of Ohio, Clinton leads McCain 48 to 39, which the McCain-Obama matchup is a dead heat.

And people thought I was crazy to support Obama as more beatable than Hillary.