Archive for January, 2012

Upset in South Carolina

January 22, 2012

Well, this race is starting to get interesting. Just when we thought Mitt Romney would cruise his way to a coronation, Newt Gingrich manages to pull off a victory in South Carolina. Here are the results according to Google. It wasn’t a narrow victory for Gingrich but a rout for Romney as Gingrich took 40% of the vote to Romney’s 28%. Santorum was third with 17% and Ron Paul was fourth with 13%. There is going to be a lot of pressure on Santorum now to quit and endorse Gingrich. I don’t think he can go much farther and Gingrich’s best chance now is to be the only not-Romney candidate standing. Romney is still ahead in Florida but the primary there isn’t until the 31st so things could change.

At this point, I don’t really have a preference between the two men. I don’t care for Romney. He doesn’t seem to stand for anything. On the other hand, I have doubts about Gingrich’s ability to lead. He seems too volatile, too mercurial. Contrary to conventional wisdom, I actually think that Gingrich is the more electable of the two. He seems to be more of a fighter, and a fighter is what we will need to defeat Obama. I don’t doubt that he will be able to beat Obama in any debate.

Romney seems to have more relevant experience. He was the governor of Massachusetts. I generally prefer governors as presidents because of the executive experience. His career in business and as director of the 2002 Olympic Winter games suggest that he has an ability to turn troubled organizations around. This is surely a talent that the next president will badly need. On the other hand, Romney is a manager. We need a leader. That is, someone who can inspire the American people to do the things we need to turn the country around. Romney is not that man. Gingrich may be, if his ego doesn’t get in his way.

 

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Laissez-nous Faire

January 20, 2012

Back in the good old days, when men were men, women were women, and transgendered hermaphrodites were transgendered hermaphrodites, There was a King of France named Louis XIV. Louis’s Minister of Finance was Jean-Baptiste Colbert. Colbert had lots of good ideas for helping everybody in France. Once Colbert brought together a group of French businessmen and asked them what he could do to help them out. Their response was “Laissez-nous faire”, or “Leave us alone.

I think that it is possible that, despite all of our modern scientific knowledge and technology, the people who lived in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were wiser than we are. Those French businessmen, at any rate, had a clearer idea of what was best for their long-term interests. Nowadays businessmen, when asked a similar question, would not hesitate to demand subsidies, tax breaks, regulations to keep competitors out of the market, and crony capitalism. It I were to name the greatest problem with Capitalism, it would be the Capitalists. To put it simply, too many businessmen don’t really want a free enterprise system. People generally assume that Big Government and Big businesses are opposed to one another, but the truth is, that all too often they are on the same side.

If you think about it, even in Louis XIV’s time, excessive government regulation of the economy really didn’t work so well. This was a time when the fastest mode of transportation was the horse. The industrial revolution had hardly begun. If men like Colbert would have been better advised to leave things alone back then, how much more so should his successors leave things alone in our infinitely more complicated world of today.

Colbert in 1682.

Plus Ca Change

January 20, 2012

It really is depressing to consider how things never seem to really change, despite all of the changes the world has been through over the past century. It never seems to be the good things that stay the same. Rather it seems that the worst in human nature is the most resistant to positive change no matter how hard we try. A case in point is this article in the Jerusalem Post by Aaron D. Rubinger concerning the resurgence of European antisemitism.

Over the course of 2 months, I visited Jewish communities in the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium and the UK and interviewed dozens of Jewish leaders as well as “laymen” – both Jews and non-Jews. While attempting to determine the seriousness of contemporary European Anti-Semitism, I experienced what I would term “déjà Jew” – the peculiar sense that we, the members of Jewish people, are reliving an experience from the past; that we have somehow time-traveled and are now re-experiencing  occurrences that are all too familiar.

From the mid-1930s to early 1940s, Jews who recognized that they were no longer safe in Europe anxiously sought refuge abroad. Sylvain Zenouda, the co-founder and current vice president of the Bureau National de Vigilance Contre l”Antisèmitism—an organization which monitors and documents anti-Semitism in France—told me that educated young Jews in France with the financial means to do so have either fled the country or are making plans to flee. Again?

80 years ago, our people were being verbally abused and brutally assaulted in public places. And now it seems to be happening all over again. Viviane Teitelbaum, a minister in the Brussels Regional Parliament, related an incident that occurred this past November involving a 13-year old Jewish girl in Brussels. The girl was brutally assaulted at her school, resulting in her hospitalization for multiple injuries including a concussion. The attackers were not members of the Third Reich’s SS, but a group of female Muslim students at the same school. The ringleader pronounced her to be a “filthy Jew!” Apparently, in the weeks prior to the attack, the girl’s father had approached the authorities and the school with complaints that there had been threats made by fellow classmates against his daughter.  Upon hearing that his concerns were simply brushed aside, I immediately thought of Yogi Berra’s famous gaff: “This is like déjà vu all over again!”

2 generations ago, some Jews sought to protect themselves by masquerading as Aryans. In an interview conducted in November, a Parisian mother related how the fear of being physically attacked by Muslim extremist thugs means that it is “not rare at all today” for French Jewish students to attempt to pass themselves off as Muslim – with some even going as far as to fast on Ramadan. One case in point was a Jewish girl of North African descent who for years was successful in this deception, until finally she was “exposed” when Muslim girls caught her eating matzah in the bathroom during Pesah. After her classmates beat her viciously, they invited their male Muslim friends to their school to participate in a gang rape.

Now, I know that most, if not all, of the attacks on Jews in Europe are by the growing numbers of Muslim immigrants. But, I also know perfectly well that if the authorities in France and elsewhere were seriously interested in stopping such incidents, they would be stopped. But that would take courage and it is a lot easier to look the other way.

 

Perry’s Out

January 19, 2012

Rick Perry has dropped out of the Presidential race and has endorsed Newt Gingrich. From Fox News.

Rick Perry dropped out of the presidential race Thursday and endorsed Newt Gingrich, a move that comes just two days before the South Carolina Republican primary.

The Texas governor, saying he will return to his state “with pride,” announced in South Carolina that “there is no viable path forward for me in this 2012 campaign.”

After surging to the front of the GOP field upon entering the race last summer, Perry struggled to sustain that support and endured disappointing finishes in the leadoff Iowa and New Hampshire contests. He said Thursday he entered the race with a “sense of calling,” but realizes “when it’s time to make a strategic retreat.”

I’m surprised he has lasted this long. Meanwhile Gingrich has been having troubles of his own, namely his ex-wife Marrianne giving an interview on ABC news.

Newt Gingrich lacks the moral character to serve as President, his second ex-wife Marianne told ABC News, saying his campaign positions on the sanctity of marriage and the importance of family values do not square with what she saw during their 18 years of marriage.

In her first television interview since the 1999 divorce, to be broadcast tonight on Nightline, Marianne Gingrich, a self-described conservative Republican, said she is coming forward now so voters can know what she knows about Gingrich.

In her most provocative comments, the ex-Mrs. Gingrich said Newt sought an “open marriage” arrangement so he could have a mistress and a wife.

She said when Gingrich admitted to a six-year affair with a Congressional aide, he asked her if she would share him with the other woman, Callista, who is now married to Gingrich.

I guess the moral is that if you want to run for president, you shouldn’t ask your wife for an “open” marriage. Newt is supposed to be really smart, but I doubt many married men are foolish enough to suggest something like that to their wives.

Energy Policy

January 19, 2012

Or lack of one. First, of course, President Obama has decided to reject the Keystone XL pipeline project. It’s not as if we needed more jobs or a secure source of energy from a friendly, neighboring country.

President Obama, denouncing a “rushed and arbitrary deadline” set by congressional Republicans, announced Wednesday that he was rejecting a Canadian firm’s application for a permit to build and operate the Keystone XL pipeline, a massive project that would have stretched from Canada’s oil sands to refineries in Texas.

Obama said that the Feb. 21 deadline, set by Congress as part of the two-month payroll tax cut extension, made it impossible to adequately review the project proposed by TransCanada. But he left the door open to the possibility that a new proposal might pass regulatory muster.

Raising the stakes in a bitter election-year fight with Republicans, President Obama on Wednesday rejected a Canadian company’s plan to build a 1,700-mile pipeline to carry oil across six U.S. states to Texas refineries. (Jan. 18)
 “This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people,” the president said in a statement.
It’s all the Republicans’ fault for rushing him. Sixty days is just not enough time. Of course, it would only take me about sixty seconds to decide to go with it. I suppose this is to appease the environmentalists. But even so, this decision makes little sense. If we don’t buy the oil, the Canadians will sell it to China. Which country has the better environmental record?
Then there is this articleI read in The Hill.

Dems propose ‘Reasonable Profits Board’ to regulate oil company profits

By Pete Kasperowicz – 01/19/12 10:20 AM ET

Six House Democrats, led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), want to set up a “Reasonable Profits Board” to control gas profits.

The Democrats, worried about higher gas prices, want to set up a board that would apply a “windfall profit tax” as high as 100 percent on the sale of oil and gas, according to their legislation. The bill provides no specific guidance for how the board would determine what constitutes a reasonable profit.

The Gas Price Spike Act, H.R. 3784, would apply a windfall tax on the sale of oil and gas that ranges from 50 percent to 100 percent on all surplus earnings exceeding “a reasonable profit.” It would set up a Reasonable Profits Board made up of three presidential nominees that will serve three-year terms. Unlike other bills setting up advisory boards, the Reasonable Profits Board would not be made up of any nominees from Congress.

The bill would also seem to exclude industry representatives from the board, as it says members “shall have no financial interests in any of the businesses for which reasonable profits are determined by the Board.”

According to the bill, a windfall tax of 50 percent would be applied when the sale of oil or gas leads to a profit of between 100 percent and 102 percent of a reasonable profit. The windfall tax would jump to 75 percent when the profit is between 102 and 105 percent of a reasonable profit, and above that, the windfall tax would be 100 percent. The bill also specifies that the oil-and-gas companies, as the seller, would have to pay this tax.

Kucinich said these tax revenues would be used to fund alternative transportation programs when oil-and-gas prices spike.

“Gas prices continue to rise, creating a hardship for the American people,” he said. “At the same time, oil companies are making record profits gouging their customers. This bill would tax only the excess profits and create forward-thinking transportation alternatives.”

Because we wouldn’t want to give the oil companies any incentive to provide better services for their customers. These six Congressmen are so ignorant of basic economics they shouldn’t  be allowed to vote, much less sit in a position where they can make important decisions about the future of our country.

I am beginning to suspect that that the Democrats really don’t want us to have any energy at all, except whatever we can get by fairy dust and unicorn farts.

 

Iran Cracks Down

January 17, 2012
English: Barbie Portrait

Probably an evil Zionist

Barbie
Agent of Western Influence

The mullahs are finally getting serious about Iran’s serious economic and political troubles. They are cracking down on Barbies.

From the National Post,

Iran’s morality police are cracking down on the sale of Barbie dolls to protect the public from what they see as pernicious western culture eroding Islamic values, shopkeepers said on Monday.

As the West imposes the toughest ever sanctions on Iran and tensions rise over its nuclear programme, inside the country the Barbie ban is part of what the government calls a “soft war” against decadent cultural influences.

“About three weeks ago they [the morality police] came to our shop, asking us to remove all the Barbies,” said a shopkeeper in a toy shop in northern Tehran.

Iran’s religious rulers first declared Barbie, made by U.S. company Mattel Inc, un-Islamic in 1996, citing its “destructive cultural and social consequences”. Despite the ban, the doll has until recently been openly on sale in Tehran shops.

The new order, issued around three weeks ago, forced shopkeepers to hide the leggy, busty blonde behind other toys as a way of meeting popular demand for the dolls while avoiding being closed down by the police.

A range of officially approved dolls launched in 2002 to counter demand for Barbie have not proven successful, merchants told Reuters.

The dolls named Sara, a female, and Dara, a male arrived in shops wearing a variety of traditional dress, with Sara fully respecting the rule that all women in Iran must obey in public, of covering their hair and wearing loose-fitting clothes.

Our evil plan to undermine Islam is working I see.

Related articles

The Emperor Has No Clothes

January 17, 2012

Newt Gingrich caused a certain amount of controversy when he said that the Palestinians were an “invented” nationality. That should come as no surprise. The boy who notices that the Emperor has no clothes should expect to be the center of controversy. Some of Gingrich’s critics however have observed that any nationality is to a greater or lesser extent invented, in that nationality is more of a subjective feeling than an objective fact. Take, for example America. Before 1776 nearly all of the English-speaking people in the thirteen British colonies thought of themselves as English. By 1790, these same people thought of themselves as Americans. They have a point and with that in mind I’ll concede that Palestinian nationality, thought of recent origin, is a legitimate aspiration.

The argument that generally follows is that if there is a Palestinian nation, then there should be a Palestinian state, on land yielded by Israel. I’ll concede that point to. I have a question though. If the Palestinians deserve a state, why don’t the Kurds? They would seem to deserve their own state far more than the Palestinians.

The Kurds live in an area divided by Turkey and Iraq, with a strip of land in Iran.

They have lived in this region since at least the time of Alexander the Great and probably long before. They speak their own language,  and have their own culture distinct from their neighbors.

In Iraq, under the Baathist regime, the Kurds were badly persecuted. During the Iran-Iraq war, Saddam Hussein massacred at least 50,000 Kurds for suspected sympathy for Iran. After the First Gulf War, the Kurds rebelled again and Saddam again suppressed them with only the UN no-fly zone preventing another massacre. After the fall of Saddam, the Kurds established an autonomous region of Northern Iraq which remains to this day. They have generally adapted better than the other peoples of Iraq to the post-Saddam order, but they have had problems with Turkey and economic and political difficulties.

In Turkey, the Kurds are still being persecuted. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the policy of the new Republic of Turkey was to promote Turkish nationalism by suppressing any minority populations in Turkey. The Greeks population was expelled and Kurdish ethnicity denied. The Kurds were declared to be “Mountain or Eastern Turks” and their language and culture outlawed. Only in 1991 was Kurdish permitted to be spoken in public. Turkish persecuted of the Kurds has relaxed somewhat in recent years, as Turkey has applied to join the EU, but the Kurds are still badly discriminated against.

So, where is the international outcry over the treatment of the Kurds in Turkey and Iran? Where are the UN resolutions against Turkey, the accusations of Turkish genocide? Why were there no effective efforts to stop Saddam’s acts of genocide? Where are the calls for a Kurdish state? Where are the flotillas bringing “aid” to the oppressed Kurds? Do I even have to ask?

The truth is, and here is where I am shouting that the Emperor has no clothes, all of the people who express such sympathy for the Palestinian cause care no more about the Palestinians than they do about the Kurds, or anyone else. If they did, they would be encouraging the Palestinians to come to terms with Israel instead of urging them to fight. They would be trying to build up some sort of infrastructure in the Palestinian territories, so that if they ever did get their own state, it would not immediately join the ranks of failed states.  The simple truth is that no one cares about the Palestinians as people, they just want a stick to beat Israel with.

Huntsman Out

January 16, 2012

Jon Huntsman has dropped out and endorsed Mitt Romney. To be honest, I’m surprised he has lasted this long. Tomorrow is the South Carolina primary. Romney is ahead in the polls and I expect he will win. He will certainly win in Florida and it looks increasingly like he will be the Republican nominee.

 

500 Worst Passwords

January 15, 2012

I mentioned this topic once before when I wrote about the website How Secure is My Password? Now here is a list of the 500 most commonly used passwords. This list was compiled back in 2008 so some of the rankings have probably changed, but I imagine people are still using too many of them. Also, I should warn you that some of these words might be offensive.

If you use ANY of these passwords you should change them immediately.

 

NO Top 1-100 Top 101–200 Top 201–300 Top 301–400 Top 401–500
1 123456 porsche firebird prince rosebud
2 password guitar butter beach jaguar
3 12345678 chelsea united amateur great
4 1234 black turtle 7777777 cool
5 pussy diamond steelers muffin cooper
6 12345 nascar tiffany redsox 1313
7 dragon jackson zxcvbn star scorpio
8 qwerty cameron tomcat testing mountain
9 696969 654321 golf shannon madison
10 mustang computer bond007 murphy 987654
11 letmein amanda bear frank brazil
12 baseball wizard tiger hannah lauren
13 master xxxxxxxx doctor dave japan
14 michael money gateway eagle1 naked
15 football phoenix gators 11111 squirt
16 shadow mickey angel mother stars
17 monkey bailey junior nathan apple
18 abc123 knight thx1138 raiders alexis
19 pass iceman porno steve aaaa
20 fuckme tigers badboy forever bonnie
21 6969 purple debbie angela peaches
22 jordan andrea spider viper jasmine
23 harley horny melissa ou812 kevin
24 ranger dakota booger jake matt
25 iwantu aaaaaa 1212 lovers qwertyui
26 jennifer player flyers suckit danielle
27 hunter sunshine fish gregory beaver
28 fuck morgan porn buddy 4321
29 2000 starwars matrix whatever 4128
30 test boomer teens young runner
31 batman cowboys scooby nicholas swimming
32 trustno1 edward jason lucky dolphin
33 thomas charles walter helpme gordon
34 tigger girls cumshot jackie casper
35 robert booboo boston monica stupid
36 access coffee braves midnight shit
37 love xxxxxx yankee college saturn
38 buster bulldog lover baby gemini
39 1234567 ncc1701 barney cunt apples
40 soccer rabbit victor brian august
41 hockey peanut tucker mark 3333
42 killer john princess startrek canada
43 george johnny mercedes sierra blazer
44 sexy gandalf 5150 leather cumming
45 andrew spanky doggie 232323 hunting
46 charlie winter zzzzzz 4444 kitty
47 superman brandy gunner beavis rainbow
48 asshole compaq horney bigcock 112233
49 fuckyou carlos bubba happy arthur
50 dallas tennis 2112 sophie cream
51 jessica james fred ladies calvin
52 panties mike johnson naughty shaved
53 pepper brandon xxxxx giants surfer
54 1111 fender tits booty samson
55 austin anthony member blonde kelly
56 william blowme boobs fucked paul
57 daniel ferrari donald golden mine
58 golfer cookie bigdaddy 0 king
59 summer chicken bronco fire racing
60 heather maverick penis sandra 5555
61 hammer chicago voyager pookie eagle
62 yankees joseph rangers packers hentai
63 joshua diablo birdie einstein newyork
64 maggie sexsex trouble dolphins little
65 biteme hardcore white 0 redwings
66 enter 666666 topgun chevy smith
67 ashley willie bigtits winston sticky
68 thunder welcome bitches warrior cocacola
69 cowboy chris green sammy animal
70 silver panther super slut broncos
71 richard yamaha qazwsx 8675309 private
72 fucker justin magic zxcvbnm skippy
73 orange banana lakers nipples marvin
74 merlin driver rachel power blondes
75 michelle marine slayer victoria enjoy
76 corvette angels scott asdfgh girl
77 bigdog fishing 2222 vagina apollo
78 cheese david asdf toyota parker
79 matthew maddog video travis qwert
80 121212 hooters london hotdog time
81 patrick wilson 7777 paris sydney
82 martin butthead marlboro rock women
83 freedom dennis srinivas xxxx voodoo
84 ginger fucking internet extreme magnum
85 blowjob captain action redskins juice
86 nicole bigdick carter erotic abgrtyu
87 sparky chester jasper dirty 777777
88 yellow smokey monster ford dreams
89 camaro xavier teresa freddy maxwell
90 secret steven jeremy arsenal music
91 dick viking 11111111 access14 rush2112
92 falcon snoopy bill wolf russia
93 taylor blue crystal nipple scorpion
94 111111 eagles peter iloveyou rebecca
95 131313 winner pussies alex tester
96 123123 samantha cock florida mistress
97 bitch house beer eric phantom
98 hello miller rocket legend billy
99 scooter flower theman movie 6666
100 please jack oliver success albert

Danteworlds

January 15, 2012

Dante Alghieri’s Divine Comedy is one of the great classics of world literature, and a personal favorite of mine. Unfortunately, unless the reader is familiar with the Bible, Christian theology, classical mythology, and medieval Italian politics, he is going to miss many of the allusions in this great poem. Of course, it is possible to enjoy reading the Divine Comedy without knowing very much about all the people Dante encounters but it is so much better if you have a guide with you, as Dante had Virgil.

The Complete DanteWorlds by Guy P. Raffa is the perfect guide to the Divine Comedy. In this adaptation of his website, Raffa takes the reader through each section of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, explaining who every person or creature Dante encounters is and every allusion made in his poem. He clarifies some of the more obscure points in the poem and generally greatly enriches the experience of reading Dante. Don’t go to Hell without it!

 

 


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