Saturday, September 13, 2008

OODA Thunk It?

Who would have thought that John McCain could use skills learned as a fighter pilot to undermine the Obama campaign? Michael Barone explains the OODA strategy here.

That term was the invention of the great fighter pilot and military strategist John Boyd. It's an acronym for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.

"The key to victory is operating at a faster tempo than the enemy," Boyd's biographer Robert Coram writes. "The key thing to understand about Boyd's version is not the mechanical cycle itself, but rather the need to execute the cycle in such a fashion as to get inside the mind and decision cycle of the adversary."

For a fighter pilot, that means honing in above and behind the adversary so you can shoot him out of the sky. For a political candidate, it means acting in such a way that the opponent's responses again and again reinforce the points you are trying to make and undermine his own position.

The whole thing is short; I highly recommend reading. The election isn't over, Obama hasn't been "shot out of the sky", but it's hard to see how all his George Bush talk is going to help him. I suppose I'm not one to ask since I don't loathe Bush like so many, and I can't shake the contrast between Cheney and Palin out of my head. I stand by my earlier remark, that I'd rather go fishing with Sarah Palin than hunting with Dick Cheney.

Doggone it, do people still like me?

Ohhhhh, my gosh, I love this campaign ad.

Reckless. Ridiculous. Wrong.

I love it. There's nothing like seeing a goofball like Al Franken hoisted on his own petard. Michael Medved mentioned this on his show because he appears in the ad around 11-12 seconds in. I remember another time Franken was on Medved, I think it was 2006, when he flipped out because John O'Neill was on the show.

My brother, a university professor who has a doctorate in history, reminded me 10 years ago when this nutball got elected governor than Minnesota has always played host to strange political characters. But the line has got to be drawn somewhere. Let's have some more Norm-alcy, what do you say, MN?

Friday, September 12, 2008

So hopefully all the "talk" talk is nothing but talk

Joshua Muravchik's Commentary Magazine article on Obama's expressed desire to have talks with world leaders is worth reading. In it, he takes a serious look at the historical record to illustrate why this has never worked to the advantage of the United States. Here's his conclusion:

Finally, we must always remember that such regimes are in a state of permanent war with their own subjects, and that every measure of legitimation they receive from the outside serves to discourage those subjects’ hopes for freedom and impair their will to resist. Even the government of the Soviet Union, our superpower counterpart, was eager for the symbolism of being treated by America as an equal. How much more so would the power of the petty tyrants or would-be tyrants who rule Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea—the countries with whose leaders Barack Obama expressed his readiness to meet and talk in the first year of his administration—be inflated by an audience with an American President. In this, especially, there is much to be lost—by ourselves and by those under their rule.

Should we talk with our enemies? Yes—to tell them what we think of them, and what we ourselves stand for. We should talk to them, that is, on our own terms and not theirs, and with their captive peoples in mind. But to the question that Anderson Cooper put to Senator Obama, the simple and correct answer was “No.” If Obama ever gains the presidency, the world will be safer if he has figured that out before he enters office.

"You've been sitting way too long"

Is there a permanent crease in your, uhhhh... "right and wrong"?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

"All he really wanted was his car"

The Civil Twilight by James McCoy

Please discuss.

Blackwell on Presumption of Stupidity

Ohio's very own Mr. Sensible, Ken Blackwell, runs down the list of reasons why Obama thinks the voters are stupid pointing to his truth-challenged and contradictory remarks on such issues as abortion, gun control, Reverend Wright, Iraq, etc. My favorite part is in regards to the Bill Ayers connection which we've known about for some time:

Bill Ayers is another stunner. Mr. Ayers bombed a police station and the Pentagon, and recently said he wished he had done more. He is an unrepentant terrorist, but is popular among the ultra-left in Chicago. When Mr. Obama was asked about Mr. Ayers, he implied that he barely knew him.

But once again facts have surfaced. We now know that Mr. Ayers hosted a fundraiser for Mr. Obama. They served for years together on a board with only a few people, and they worked closely on financial matters during those years. Does that sound like someone he barely knows?

So I think that Obama is counting on the voters being stupid. Of course, maybe the voters will be stupid, they've been stupid before many, many times. Hopefully articles like this can serve as a kind of "crash course" to make folks give more serious consideration.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's up to Ohio

From the Financial Times.

Of the five, Ohio is the most important. With 20 electoral college votes, it can decide the race on its own. In other words Mr Obama could lose all four other swing states but still take first prize if he clinches Ohio. In the modern era, no Republican candidate has won without taking Ohio. If a few thousand social conservatives in Ohio had sat on their hands in 2004, rather than voting for George W. Bush, then Mr Kerry would now be campaigning for re-election.

Hold, hold, hold on one second, sweetie...


Who's advising this guy? Rick Lazio? How much energy are they going to have to put into explaining that this wasn't about Palin's earlier famed lipstick remark?

Here's a longer piece for some "context", but it's just as embarrassing to endure his stuttering choir-preaching as it is to witness the knee-jerk misogyny.

Paglia on Palin

It's a four-pager, but I guarantee Camille Paglia's latest piece to be great reading. If you can't stand McCain she'll provide you with some devastating descriptions of that "hoary, barnacle-encrusted tub". But she saves her greatest invectives for the Dems, the media and the "closed club" of angry feminism. And as an Obama supporter, her unmatched praise of Palin is bound to cause more squirming among the lefty Palin haters who couldn't write an interesting sentence if the survival of endangered whales depending on it. Here are some highlights:

Conservative though she may be, I felt that Palin represented an explosion of a brand new style of muscular American feminism. At her startling debut on that day, she was combining male and female qualities in ways that I have never seen before. And she was somehow able to seem simultaneously reassuringly traditional and gung-ho futurist. In terms of redefining the persona for female authority and leadership, Palin has made the biggest step forward in feminism since Madonna channeled the dominatrix persona of high-glam Marlene Dietrich and rammed pro-sex, pro-beauty feminism down the throats of the prissy, victim-mongering, philistine feminist establishment.

In the U.S., the ultimate glass ceiling has been fiendishly complicated for women by the unique peculiarity that our president must also serve as commander in chief of the armed forces. Women have risen to the top in other countries by securing the leadership of their parties and then being routinely promoted to prime minister when that party won at the polls. But a woman candidate for president of the U.S. must show a potential capacity for military affairs and decision-making. Our president also symbolically represents the entire history of the nation -- a half-mystical role often filled elsewhere by a revered if politically powerless monarch.

As a dissident feminist, I have been arguing since my arrival on the scene nearly 20 years ago that young American women aspiring to political power should be studying military history rather than taking women's studies courses, with their rote agenda of never-ending grievances.

...and then...

Over the Labor Day weekend, with most of the big enchiladas of the major media on vacation, the vacuum was filled with a hallucinatory hurricane in the leftist blogosphere, which unleashed a grotesquely lurid series of allegations, fantasies, half-truths and outright lies about Palin. What a tacky low in American politics -- which has already caused a backlash that could damage Obama's campaign. When liberals come off as childish, raving loonies, the right wing gains. I am still waiting for substantive evidence that Sarah Palin is a dangerous extremist. I am perfectly willing to be convinced, but right now, she seems to be merely an optimistic pragmatist like Ronald Reagan, someone who pays lip service to religious piety without being in the least wedded to it. I don't see her arrival as portending the end of civil liberties or life as we know it.

Plus... her performances are boffo!

It is certainly premature to predict how the Palin saga will go. I may not agree a jot with her about basic principles, but I have immensely enjoyed Palin's boffo performances at her debut and at the Republican convention, where she astonishingly dealt with multiple technical malfunctions without missing a beat. A feminism that cannot admire the bravura under high pressure of the first woman governor of a frontier state isn't worth a warm bucket of spit.

And who else isn't worth a warm bucket of spit?

Now that's the Sarah Palin brand of can-do, no-excuses, moose-hunting feminism -- a world away from the whining, sniping, wearily ironic mode of the establishment feminism represented by Gloria Steinem, a Hillary Clinton supporter whose shameless Democratic partisanship over the past four decades has severely limited American feminism and not allowed it to become the big tent it can and should be. Sarah Palin, if her reputation survives the punishing next two months, may be breaking down those barriers. Feminism, which should be about equal rights and equal opportunity, should not be a closed club requiring an ideological litmus test for membership.

Hear, hear! And now.... the SMACK DOWN.

The witch-trial hysteria of the past two incendiary weeks unfortunately reveals a disturbing trend in the Democratic Party, which has worsened over the past decade. Democrats are quick to attack the religiosity of Republicans, but Democratic ideology itself seems to have become a secular substitute religion. Since when did Democrats become so judgmental and intolerant? Conservatives are demonized, with the universe polarized into a Manichaean battle of us versus them, good versus evil. Democrats are clinging to pat group opinions as if they were inflexible moral absolutes. The party is in peril if it cannot observe and listen and adapt to changing social circumstances.
But the one fundamental precept that Democrats must stand for is independent thought and speech. When they become baying bloodhounds of rigid dogma, Democrats have committed political suicide.

Well, I hope that "changing social circumstances" is code for a regaining of sanity in the wake of boomer-created chaos. Read the whole article, it's worth it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Leftist Media on Religion: "Shallowness, Hypocrisy and Intolerance"

From the Catholic League.

Last night, CNN and MSNBC spent much time scrutinizing Sarah Palin’s religion. Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented on the coverage today:

“Throughout the night, CNN closely examined Palin’s religion, and it did so professionally. By contrast, MSNBC came across shrill.

“Two quotes from Palin got the most attention: (a) ‘Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what it right also for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending them out on a task that is from God,’ and (b) ‘I think God’s will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built.’ In neither case did any CNN host, correspondent or panelist deride these remarks.

“However, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow interpreted the former comment as saying that ‘the commander-in-chief for our side in the Iraq war is a mighty general whose initials are GOD.’ Most Christians, obviously, would not agree with that spin. Maddow also wondered why Palin didn’t ‘get up and walk out’ when a guest speaker from Jews for Jesus spoke at her church (a talk the ADL found non-problematic). Barack Obama, we know, did not ‘get up and walk out’ on his own disgraced pastor for 20 years, yet MSNBC never got too worked up about that.

“MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann was worse. Calling Palin ‘Amy Simple McHockey Mom,’ he spoke sarcastically about her religious beliefs, alerting viewers to the news that in Palin’s church ‘they speak in tongues.’ He did not say, as did CNN’s Randi Kaye, that her pastor ‘never saw Palin speak in tongues.’ To its credit, CNN also branded as a ‘hoax’ the rumor—floated by bloggers, as well as by Juan Cole on Salon—that Palin once sought to ban books from a local library.

“The secular left does not understand, or respect, Christianity. In doing so, they not only expose their shallowness, hypocrisy and intolerance, they wind up convincing more and more Americans that the object of their scorn is worth a closer look—if not worth defending.”

Well, good for CNN. Donohue always tries to be fair, IMHO.

Good to see Olbermann's stock is way down, too.

Once again, the day is saved....

I guess there's no accounting for taste.

Hey, Buttercup plays the bass left-handed! Just like Paul McCartney!

Jonah Goldberg on "McPalin"


Obama's idea of ethics reform is to mandate clean sheets in the brothel. Palin's is to tear it down.

And Jonah came up with my favorite phrase to date which sums up Joe Biden, "limitless gasbaggery":

And let's not forget Biden, whose gaffes are the unavoidable byproduct of his limitless gasbaggery. Biden could shout on "Meet the Press," "Get these squirrels off of me!" and the collective response would be, "There goes Joe again." But if Palin flubs the name of the deputy agriculture minister of Kyrgyzstan, the media will blow their whistles saying she's unprepared for the job.

Monday, September 8, 2008

McCain Contra Mundum?

Regarding this, uhhh... "artwork": what I want to know is...

What in the heck is Mother Earth doing wearing a bowler hat? What, she thinks she's Charlie Chaplin or somethin'?

At first I felt bad for poor old Ma Earth, she has no arms. Then I thought, "Oh, well, neither does Venus."

Mars, on the other hand, doesn't seem to be missing anything. But thank God for that bed sheet, I should say.

Good and Perfect

Thanks, Tom, for letting me air my opinion on your fine weblog.

I have no problem with someone who decides that they can't in good conscience vote for either candidate for President. But sometimes I feel as if certain people in the SCCB believe that you can't be a faithful Catholic unless you refrain from voting for anyone less than perfect.

Up, Up and Away in Ravenna, Ohio

There's a balloon launch in Ravenna each year as part of their big town festival celebrating the toy balloon industry. Here's the web site. We went last year to the launch at it was a blast. We'll be going again this year and I highly recommend it for the whole family.

Here's some footage from the 2006 launch.

I recognized some of these bad boys from last year's launch. I noticed that they didn't have steering wheels though — what's up with that?

I guess "thanks" really is a "magic word"

Like all good, obnoxious parents, I routinely tell my kids that "please" and "thank you" are magic words. But sometimes I forget that I'm not really distorting the truth too much when I say that. Sometimes they are as close to magic as we get in our "muggle world".

For example, check out Tammy Bruce's comments on Sarah Palin's appreciative remarks toward Geraldine Ferraro:

On the day McCain announced her selection as his running mate, Palin thanked Clinton and Ferraro for blazing her trail. A day later, Ferraro noted her shock at Palin's comment. You see, none of her peers, no one, had ever publicly thanked her in the 24 years since her historic run for the White House. Ferraro has since refused to divulge for whom she's voting. Many more now are realizing that it does indeed take a woman - who happens to be a Republican named Sarah Palin.

Bruce, a gun-owning pro-choice Lesbian who voted for Reagan and fills in on Laura Ingraham's show is probably voting for McCain anyway. But it looks like for Ferraro the magic words sealed the deal. I guess she's not divulging who she's voting for so she doesn't wake up with a bloody horse head in her bed.

"Somewhere Between the Soul and Soft Machine"

I loved this tune. I wasn't Catholic when it came out; I just thought that Kyrie Eleison was one of J. S. Bach's famous works that everyone else ripped off.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

"Where have ya beens and faraway frowns"

This was playing in the grocery store yesterday. It simultaneously made me feel young and old, which created a kind of strange "middle-aged" feeling.

Spiritual Adoption of an Unborn Child

In order to help end abortion, each concerned person should consider spiritually adopting an unborn child. See the Spiritual Adoption site for details and materials.

Basically you say a prayer that goes like this:

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you very much. I beg you to spare the life of the unborn baby whom I have spiritually adopted who is in danger of abortion.

If you're not Catholic you can leave out Mary and Joseph. But don't be surprised if you get to Heaven and find out they were eavesdropping on your prayers all along. I'm sure that Blessed Mother Teresa is heading up at least one of the groups doing the adoption filings, so feel to drop it in her inbox. Or, of course, St. Anthony who knows everybody up there and who's in on just about everything.

Archbishop Sheen was the one who started this practice. His idea was to pray the prayer each day for a year. I've been saying it every night for almost 14 years since Ash Wednesday of 1995. So potentially I have 13 adopted kids and one on the day whom I don't even know. And the oldest one is already a teenager! Yep, they sure grow up fast.