Saturday, May 27, 2006

Something New Under the Sun

Well, I have been quiet in these pages for some time now.

It's not because I have little to say, and not because I have grown bored or tired, it is that I simply find little new going on to comment upon. The War on Terror is on hold while the US gets it's politics out of the way, a situation I find despicable, since Iran desperately needs to be pounded out of their current folly.

The time has come for me to comment again, though, for there is indeed something new under the Sun, and that new thing is:

http://eustonmanifesto.org/joomla/

The Euston Manifesto

The Left is finally, mercifully, coming to their senses. Perhaps.

They might be recognizing that there is more than one scale upon which a war can be viewed, and that at most such scales, a war is often a good thing. Indeed, the War in Iraq was a very good thing indeed, and the voting and new government and economic and social changes underway there, if they'd just HELP, are likely to be massively good indeed.

The Left is finally starting to say to itself, "Hey, why are we supporting the worst monsters on the face of the planet just because we really hate George Bush?" The Left is finally realizing they say just as much by tacit silence as they do by strident words. The Left is finally realizing that the rest of the world may not be stupid or easily mislead.

What makes this even more astonishing is that the Left is finally waking up to their own complicity in evil at the same time the US Right is spinning themselves into an addled stupor over the idiotic issue of illegal immigration.

Wow.

The situation promises to become all topsy-turvy if the trends continue. While I have never professed to be anything other than a radical moderate, I find far more common cause witht he Right than the Left in most things.

But if this Euston Manifesto takes root, that may change.

And for me, that's a rather uncomfortable fact! :D

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

How Many Dead?

How many dead people does it take to change a countries mind? How many casualties must we suffer before we finally change course and move to a better way of doing things?

Now, before you all decide that I have gone "anti-war no matter what" and am decrying events in Iraq, let me reassure you.

I'm not talking about Iraq.

I'm talking about West Virginia.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/01/03/mine.explosion/index.html

Imagine the furor that would be ongoing right now if those hard working men were involved in a nuclear accident, in a nuclear power plant.

Instead, we get the obligatory hand-wringing, but nothing will change.

Repeat this after me if you will:

Nuclear is better than coal.

Say it again:

NUCLEAR IS BETTER THAN COAL.

How many people has commercial nuclear power killed in the USA? Nobody? Yet we have these thirteen trapped now, clinging to life if they aren't already gone.

Why are we still using so much coal? Do we, as a nation, care so little for our fellow citizens? Or have we, as a nation, been lied to and tricked by special interest groups?

I'm thinking it's the latter, myself.

The uncomfortable fact here is this one: All Americans are partly responsible for the dire fate of those men. Every time you flip a light switch, your finger comes away with a smudge of coal and blood.

We could do better, if we simply would do it.

Why don't we?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Consumer Prices Plunge at Fastest Rate in 56 Years

Well, look at that.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/15/AR2005121500344_pf.html

Now, will the Mainstream Media drone obsessively about this momentous achievement, burning countless column inches and using hours of airtime?

Or will the Mainstream Media note that President Bush is still in the oval office, and bury this in the middle pages like they have done with every scrap of good news they dared to over the last four years?

Anyone care to place bets?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Why We Fight

On the eve of the Iraqi elections, I came across a blog entry written by a fellow whom I pay a great deal of attention to. Dr. Rummel, whose FreedomsPeace blog is linked on my sidebar, notes the astonishing cost of bad government.

He has raised his estimate of the total murder committed by governments against their own governed people in the 2oth century to a shameful 262 MILLION people.

http://freedomspeace.blogspot.com/2005/12/answer-to-insanity-of-democide.html

That number is simple astonishing. But Dr. Rummel backs it up.

Wow.

In a very real sense, such murderous government is the enemy the USA was created by the founding fathers to fight. I prefer to call this scourge totalitarianism, but dicatorship or tyranny will also serve.

Totalitarianism is the antithesis of the American way of life, in every aspect. Americans find totalitarian ideals repugnant. They offend us.

Our current enemies realize that there is no way any nation can stand against our military power. But they also have cleverly realized a potential weakness we have, namely, we cherish our freedoms.

Thus, the modern totalitarians, people who are driven by the need to dominate others, the desire for power total, have chosen to cloak themselves not in the trappings of government, but in the trappings of religion.

Our foes are, at their heart, just like they have always been. They're just hijacking Islam to use as the means to further their goals.

They expect the West's fabulous religious tolerance to act in their favor, and they have had some success in this stance. What they fail to realize, though, is just how difficult a foe America will be in this conflict.

America was created to fight tyranny in EVERY form. Our entire system is designed to prevent tyrants from rising to power over us. The freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and right to bear arms are the three legs of the tripod of citizen powers that assure that America will not and cannot become a tyranny, ever.

We will not submit to totalitarian foes. We CANNOT submit to totalitarian foes. We would spend our blood and treasure to the last dregs if such foes even hinted at success.

This core strength is why the USA fights. Truth, justice, and the American way. No matter how unpleasant the struggle, no matter what bad things we have to do in order to achieve our goals, we have the fact of what vastly worse things our enemies will do if we fail to drive us on. Seems simplistic, doesn't it?

But it is the truth. We will never quit, because we can't and still call ourselves American.

And for our enemies, that is a very uncomfortable fact.

Yet More Media Bias

Well, here's a sad little story:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/12/14/dam.collapse.ap/index.html

I hope the children injured do well over the next few days.

What's the uncomfortable fact?

Imagine, if you will, if this exact same accident, with the exact same effects, had occurred at a nuclear power plant.

The media blitz would be INCREDIBLE.

Why is that considered fair?

History In The Making

Folks, I link on my sidebar to a very excellent blog that I have read for many moons now, Hammorabi. I like Hammorabi's style, and the community they have going over there.

But, with the election coming soon(now!) I have decided to point you, dear Readers, to another excellent Iraqi blog, Iraq the Model.

http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/

They have, with Pajama's Media, no less than EIGHT local Iraqi's lined up to give you the real scoop, live-time, from Iraq as the fingers get dyed.

I urge you all to follow the reporting. This is history time, folks! :D

The Mainstream Media takes the First Bite

Well, it is the day before the second most important election in Middle East history, and with visible repugnance, the mainstream media has begun to eat their plate of crow.

The first bite that I have seen comes from one of my favorite news sources, the BBC, from the relentlessly anti-war, anti-American, and deeply left-leaning "journalist", John Simpson.

Mr. Simpson has spent years now lambasting the USA for our efforts in the War on Terror. He has become a reliable voice of negativity, almost comically outraged by pretty much everything the USA has done.

But, I have to give the man his due. When presented with the (to him unpalatable) reality of a real, working democratic process in Iraq, he at least has the courage to report it. I expect many in the mainstream media to simply ignore it.

His latest missive is here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4527908.stm

Boy, can you see how badly this article hurts him? Sure, it is full of weaseling and "I told you's" and heavily emphasizes the negative, but in its core, he makes the tacit admission.

The USA is doing good in Iraq.

And for the "anti-war no matter the cost" crowd, that is a VERY uncomfortable fact.

At least John Simpson has the courage to write about it, if not the good grace to do it well. :D

Europe Caves In

Well, you won't see this information in the mainstream media, or at least not presented this way.

First, a little background: What has been the EU's position on the invasion of Iraq? I think that aside from the stalwart efforts of Britain and Poland, the European response is best described as "relentlessly hostile."

The EU, as defined by the beaurocrats in Brussels, and fronted by the execrable duo of Schroeder and Chirac, has obstructed, harped, carped, and criticized relentlessly. The EU has trashed the good reputation of the USA, characterized us as empire builders, invaders, and aggressors.

Spain went so far as to throw out a pro-US government and install the reprehensible Zapatero in its place.

Well, now, the EU is eating a little crow over Iraq, as we all knew they would eventually have to do. The USA was right, the EU was wrong. Again.

Iraq is doing well, the next elections are coming off more or less exactly as the USA said they would, and now the EU wants a piece of the pie:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4521690.stm

Well, welcome to the party, Europe! While your actions and statements and stance have been, charitably, despicable, the USA has never been one to hold a grudge for TOO long. :)

So, welcome to Iraq, you guys! Roll up your sleeves and get to work, there is sure plenty to do! :D

Now, if only the EU would admit that they're in waaaay over their heads with Iran and ask the USA to start the head-busting, Iraq would be well on the way indeed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Sowly, steadily, America's Infrastructure Creaks Back to Life

I have written several times about the impact high energy prices will have on the American economy, and the enormous benefits that will come from it.

Here is one of the early signs of that:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4520910.stm

I find it hugely amusing that Hollywood and Beverly Hils have one of the worlds biggest oilfields right under their feet, and yet is currently inhabited by people who mainly fight against ANWR drilling. :D

(As a note, ANWR is a sop at best, we need to develop our real resources instead of fooling with ANWR. )

The old stripper wells in Los Angeles are coming back to life. How much longer until Enhanced Oil Recovery methods start getting applied to those wells? That trickle may turn into a flood sooner than people think. :)

Good news abounds, if only you know how to look for it. :)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

For Want of a Nail....

Does anybody remember that old cautionary tale? From memory, it goes something like this:

For want of a nail, a shoe was lost,
For want of a shoe, a horse was lost,
For want of a horse, a rider was lost,
For want of a rider, a message was lost,
For want of a message, a battle was lost,
For want of a battle, a kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a nail.

The meaning is obvious: the littlest things can have the largest consequences.

Now, I have railed at length about the move to internal resources here in America, and what a great thing it is.

But that move will rely upon adequate infrastructure, and I sometimes wonder at America's ability these days to get out of its own way. For example, there are many nuclear reactors on the way here in America, but the licensing process alone takes multiple years.

How is that smart?

But the article that prompted this little post is this one.

Now, the shortage here is of the monster tires used on those huge dumptrucks they build these days. (I need to write a post about how giant cranes make nuclear power cheaper, too. We have such nice toys these days. :) )

Tires wear out fast on those huge beasts, and right now, there is a shortage of tires. This means dumptrucks sit idle. When those dumptrucks are idle, the supply of energy slows down.

Coal is going to stay expensive, and the massively important oil sands in Canada are being slowed as well. This translates to more expensive electricity and gasoline for you and me, folks.

For want of a tire...

Now, I am actually a bit heartened by the news that coal is going to stay high into 2007 due to this infrastructure problem. But this problem illustrates another, very uncomfortable fact:

We in America have allowed our infrastructure to become dangerously rickety. If we are going to reap the large rewards possible from regaining our energy independence, we need to get busy, NOW, on new infrastructure. New roads, new railroads, new canals. Repairs to old ones. Repealing some of the anti-growth laws that litter the books like green-movement poison pills for our children. Etc, etc.

So much to do.

Let's make sure we have plenty of nails.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Ah, The Smell of Fresh Democracy

In Iraq, of course.

We're less than a week from the second most important electionin Middle East history, and the mainstream media is finally, grudgingly, starting to generate a little coverage of this massively important event.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4509880.stm

The good old BBC, despite their best efforts at negativity in the title, actually produces an article on Iraq that is not too deeply slanted. (I was startled, to be honest.)

I cannot overstate the importance of this election folks. In my mind, and paraphrasing the words of the mighty Winston Churchill, it marks "The end of the beginning" in the war on terror.

Since this ending is turning out quite well for Iraq (cross your fingers) and the USA, that makes this an uncomfortable fact indeed for the "anti-war no matter what" crowd, and the biased press that slavishly reported their every word.

So, good luck Iraqi's! We're all counting on you. :D

Energy Stays Comfortably High

Ahhhh...

While many will view this next bit of data with unjustified dread, I see it as a great news for our great nation:

http://www.bloomberg.com/energy/

Light sweet crude is flirting with 60 dollars a barrel, and natural gas is WAY up ther at 15 bucks per million BTU.

A few years ago, natural gas was a 2 dollars, a ruinous price that lead to several foolish decisions, such as nobody drilled any new gas wells for a long while at the same time most electrical utilities built nothing but natural gas fired generation plants.

Ooops!

Now, those natural gas plants are sitting idle while the nuclear plants are roaring along at full blast.

Speaking of nuclear, did you know the USA is currently building a nuclear power plant? Well, it's really re-opening an old one.

But more importantly, the USA now has no fewer than ELEVEN genuinely new nuclear power plants in the proposal stage.

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/reactors.htm

Even more incredible, worldwide there are no less than 163 reactors proposed, in planning, or under construction.

Wow. :)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Biased, Anti-War Media

Now, I have recently spent quite a lot of time here yammering away about the "anti-war no matter what" idiocy which has invested the Mainstream media.

Some, no doubt, think I am imagining this, or it isn't as bad as people make it out to be.

Oh, no. It's just as bad as I think it is. :(

That's a sixteen page .pdf report that lays it out in depressing detail.

The Media Research Center took the time to look at ALL the Mainstream media news reports on the "Big Three" networks, and rated them.

In recent days, the reporting is 70+ percent negative, and only 7 percent positive. This despite the fact that there is a steady and growing supply of good news from Iraq.

For example, on December 15th, the second most important election in Middle East history will take place. For YEARS, the anti-war crowd has stated there is no hope the USA and Iraq could ever reach this point.

Let's be honest: NOBODY is truly pro-war. But there are worse things than war, folks. If a war is just, and good, and well-fought, should it not be characterized as such?

Instead the mainstream media shows us nothing but the bad. IT'S A WAR. Of course there is bad aplenty, we all know there are bad things in war, how is that news?

The uncomfortable fact here is that the Democratic Party has chosen to try and "spoil" the war for the Bush administration. The Democrats, you see, are afraid that a well-run war will drive them further out of power.

The Democrats also do not care that a well-run war is good for America in the long run, and have callously trashed our honorable military, given aid and comfort to the enemy in the form of endless propaganda fodder, hindered the war effort by doing their level best to destroy morale both here and abroad, and worked their utmost to trash America's hard earned and well-deserved good reputation with behavior abroad that is simply scurrilous.

When does this become treasonous?

Uncomfortably enough, I think it was sometime over the summer.

The Democrats should be ashamed, and both they and the Mainstream Media should have a wholesale housecleaning.

It is NOT the medias job to promote their agenda. It is their job to report the facts. ALL the facts. Without bias or slant.

This type of stuff is a time-honored tradition for the mainstream media. I can remember John Chancellor's savage treatment of President Nixon. Chancellor would read neutral text in a neutral voice, but he had a knack for raising one eyebrow just a bit that made his feelings abundantly clear.

The media needs some serious work.

Luckily, the internet is a new medium, as yet unfettered by the sort of ossified activism that permeates the newsrooms of the mainstream media. Blogs are the place where the truth is making its slow way out from behind the media snow job.

Makes you wonder how VietNam might have turned out, if the Internet had existed back then.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Greatest Economy

Let me direct your attention to a few things of note.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/gdp/2005-10-28-gdp-q3_x.htm

Let's see what we have there: 3.8 percent annualized growth in the third quarter, despite the effects of Katrina and mega-high energy prices. Heck, if you read into that article a bit, you see that even WITH those high prices, core inflation dropped quite a lot.

And gasoline prices have come right back down again. :)

Now, how about those all important Christmas sales numbers?

http://informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=174901002

Online, sales are up 24 percent. Niiiice. :D

Combine the excellent online performance with the fact that the brick and mortar stores are doing very well indeed, and you have a huge Christmas coming along, possibly the biggest EVER.

http://www.dmnews.com/cgi-bin/artprevbot.cgi?article_id=34953

Etc, etc.

On yet another front, we are seeing huge job production numbers:

http://afr.com/articles/2005/12/04/1133631143447.html

I lived through the 1970's, and I find it enormously amusing that the idiotic press writes such things as "unemployment remains stuck at 5 percent."

Hey, sounds good to me! :)

When you add in that the "high" oil prices are moving the USA to look at using our own energy resources on a larger scale:

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/051207/to136.html?.v=16

If oil stays "high" for a few more years, this trend will serve to cut the lungs out of the US trade deficit, as well as drastically reduce the influence people like the Saudis and Hugo Chavez have on our energy supplies.

This is very, very good. :) Possibly the best news in decades.

Then, as if that cavalcade of great news isn't enough, how about this:

http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/12/07/business/usecon.php

I cannot overhype the huge importance productivity gains have. Productivity gains are like turbocharging the economy, and a monster 4.7 percent productivity gain is simply mind blowing. It means that despite the very real economic boom which is happening right now, businesses are not "bloating up" and getting slack.

Productivity gains of that size in an economy this hot means that this set of conditions is nowhere near peaking. Katrina, bad though it was, has given us a boon in that it slowed down the economy a bit. A judicious tap of the brakes is just what we needed in the third quarter, and Mother Nature obliged.

This means that 2006 is likely to be a good year as well. Indeed, the largest problem I see in the upcoming months is a shortage of employees! A SHORTAGE! :D

Compare this situation to the the 1970's, or the 1980's, or even the "good times" of the 1990's.

This is the greatest economy, with more fundamantal strengths and fewer possible weaknesses, in my lifetime. :) If oil stays "high" but without shocks, if the tax cuts remain in place and are not allowed to expire, and if the productivity increases keep coming, there is no top in sight for this booming monster of an economy we have right now.

While it irritates me that the current administration gets no credit for this, and irritates me worse that the economy is "talked down" constantly, the bad press about the economy is actually a good thing.

Talking down the economy, staying pessimistic and lean, is the best way to ensure that the good times last.

So, never mind how great things are right now. Doesn't the economy just SUCK? :D

Bad Advice From a Bad Man

Well, it has been a relatively quiet few days, so I have not been blogging much, but a few recent items have struck me as noteworthy, dear Readers.

The first is this article:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2005%5C12%5C06%5Cstory_6-12-2005_pg4_1


A Saudi Prince sees fit to give the USA advice on the Iraq war. HeeHee!

This is comedy gold, reported as straight fact in the Pakistani papers. :)

A Saudi Prince, from one of the more despotic nations left on the face of our dear planet, lecturing the USA on its behavior. Hah! :D

Here is the most telling quote:

“Right now, the last thing Iraqis need is so many voices quarrelling through the media. This is not the time for the luxury of having so many TV channels and 200 newspapers..."

Yeah. Right.

Freedom of speech is the FIRST thing Iraq needed, and got, after the US liberation.

Yes, Iraqi's then used that freedom of speech, more often than not, to criticise (often savagely) the USA for the very liberation. Yes, freedom of the press has been used, often, by our enemies to spread lies and misinformation about the USA. Yes, freedom of speech gives our enemies an unfair forum that they use to spread propaganda about us. Yes, a free press uses the bad behavior of a few soldiers to unfairly embarrass the huge majority who are exemplary examples of human beings.

All of that is completely worth the benefits we all gain.

Iraq is undergoing a quiet little rennaisance, thanks to that freedom of speech. Look at the CHILDREN. In many cases, the current crop of adults in Iraq are lost causes. The USA will win over those it can, buy off those it must, and endure those who will not accept our ways. But the children are learning. they are watching all those channels, and reading all those papers, and they are THINKING, without fear of their government for those thoughts.

We are the superpower. We're used to criticism every time we belch, never mind boot out a dictator. We can handle this. We've danced this dance before. :)

Here's the uncomfortable fact: This spoiled Saudi Prince criticises Iraq because it scares him. Free speech so close to his border forces him to change HIS ways as well. Free speech in a nearby country means that sooner or later, he is going to attract that relentless media scrutiny. He sees the way a free press treats US Presidents, and he knows deep fear. The President of the United States is without a doubt the most powerful person in history, and yet every US President spends his time in office under ceaseless attack. A person like this spoiled Prince would come apart like wet tissue paper under the kind of hammering a US President receives, and he knows it.

Free speech is like fire: A dangerous master, but a mighty servant.

So, this little piece of advice is not so good. Just like the man it's coming from.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Gee, Thanks Europe.

Boy, with friends like these....

I was prowling around, reading this and that, when I came across this article which just boggled my mind:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4484322.stm

A woman from Belgium, born and raised, married a Muslim man.

He promptly "converted" her from a citizen of Belgium to a mindless drone in the body of the Ummah. This is what ALL muslim extremists seek to do, to everyone. They don't hide their intentions, they trumpet them.

This madwoman promptly hopped a plane, went to Iraq, and killed herself trying to murder as many American soldiers as she could catch.

More importantly, as that story notes, this isn't the first European who has lost their Western identity and sought glory in the Ummah.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4726509.stm

So, thanks to Europe's spineless multiculturalism, our heroic soldiers in the field have to worry about ex-Europeans killing themselves for their share of those 74 virgins.

Gee, thanks Europe. You're really pulling your weight, here.

The President Speaks

I have been railing quite noisily for the past few days about the anti-war bias in the media of late.

I also noted, correctly, that the anti-war Democratic politicians on the Hill recently got neatly mousetrapped into voting to support the war, a move which throws their nascent anti-war campaign for the 2006 elections into disarray.

Today, the President stood up and planted another body shot to the "anti-war no matter what" crowd with his speech in Annapolis, Maryland. Of course, if you only read about this speech, the slanted media will spin it as a desperation move, or a man begging for help.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/11/20051130-2.html

I highly recommend readers go and read it for themselves. The words of our President, love him or hate him, are among the most important statements made in the world today, and that statement counts no matter who is in the Oval Office.

A policy speech such as this one is even more important than most Presidential proclamations.

Now, while that is a very good speech, it does not indicate to me in and of itself that the Democrats are in disarray.

No, that evidence of that disarray comes from the "rebuttal" commentary given by John Kerry, arguably the second most prominent active Democrat in America today.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/viewstory.asp?Page=%5CPolitics%5Carchive%5C200511%5CPOL20051130b.html

The most notable quote to my mind was this one:

"The debate is not about "an artificial date for withdrawal," Kerry said. For Democrats, it's about "an estimated timetable for success," he said."

That, dear readers, is a lie.

How do I justify such strong words?

Roughly one month ago, John Kerry gave a major speech on this topic. The text is here:

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0511/S00011.htm

In that speech, John Kerry used the term "withdraw" or "withdrawal" nine times. Yes, he made one token remark about not doing it precipitously, but then he buried that CYA sentence in a lavish helping of defeatist anti-war blathering.

What is even more insightful are the words he did not use in that speech.

He did not use the word "succeed" once.

He did not use the word "success" once.

He did not use the word "win" once.

He DID use the word "victory" one time. Here's the quote:

"...because we failed to take advantage of the momentum of our military victory..."

Yeah. Victory couched as a failure is the best he could do.

The furor raised by Congressman Murtha's idiotic call for withdrawal came after this speech by Senator Kerry, and heated the Democratic rhetoric far hotter than the defeatist tone of Kerry's October speech. Representative Pelosi's characterization of the war as "grotesque" is more typical of the recent rhetoric.

That one vote in the House, and one speech by the President, has slapped the Democrats off their panting drivel, and it fell to Kerry to start the revision of history, aided and abetted by the mainstream media, of course.

The President needs to keep hammering this point home. So far, I am encouraged.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Slow But Steady Change in Afghanistan

I read this article with a happy smile:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1310929.cms

I greatly enjoy the reporting in the Indian papers. They are biased like most papers, but they are biased in different ways than Western papers. :)

This story, about a shopkeepers blonde mannequin in Herat, Afghanistan, is a simple little missive that shows the fact that despite all the naysaying, despite the huge magnitude of the task, and despite the earnest hopes and desires of far too many pampered rich people who should know better, the USA is achieving its goals.

It may take us decades. We may fuss and complain the entire time. But the USA has not failed or faltered yet in the drive to bring freedom and justice and prosperity to the entire world.

After all, compared to the USSR, our current foes are pikers. :D

Good News You Won't Hear About, Part 2

So, everybody knows how important the Christmas sales numbers are, right? I mean, the American Consumer is responsible for roughly 7 TRILLION dollars of economic activity every year, and a good chunk of that action happens in the Christmas Season.

A few years past, there was much moaning and wailing on the front pages of the mainstream media about how the Christmas sales were "bad" and "dissapointing", or how the sales figures "failed to meet expectations." Well, this whining was triggered by sales that INCREASED by a percentage point or so.

Europeans would be ecstatic these days for a measely percentage or two of increases. :)

Now, have you heard about the sales for this season? No?

Neither had I, until I went digging for it.

The excellent NewsBusters, whom I link from my sidebar, has an extensive post about this.

http://newsbusters.org/node/2990

Long story short, Christmas sales this year aren't just good, they are AWESOME. A 21 percent leap over last year's Black Monday.

Holy cow!

This is a big deal, guys. A good Christmas, in the face of high energy prices and a war, is a massive sign that the US economy can handle oil prices at levels that allow us to develop our internal resources.

This is perhaps the best economic news the USA has seen in the last 30 years, and I do not exaggerate in the slightest when I say this. This is at least as important as the Internet Boom was.

But the mainstream media buries this huge, huge news in the middle pages, downplaying it.

Could it have something to do with 80+ percent of the "journalists" in the mainstream media being Democrats who dislike President Bush, and would rather spite themselves out of work than admit he is doing a fine job? Maybe.

The uncomfortable fact is this: President Bush's tax cuts in the early years of his adminstration are the main thing driving the current boom. And the mainstream media will do almost anything to avoid admitting it.

That, is an uncomfortable fact. :(

Good News You Won't Hear About

Hey, look , consumer confidence is soaring, and just in time for Christmas. :)

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2005/11/29/D8E67A200.html

Of course, the "doom and gloom mainstream media" will bury this in the "middle pages" after weeks of headlines screaming about how high oil prices were causing despair.

The media has pulled this trick before. Remember how the headlines in the late 90's were always full of how good things were, and how the Internet boom was creating all these jobs? Back in those days, the downbeat articles were the ones in the middle pages.

It couldn't have anything to do with who's in the White House, now could it?

Naaaah. :)

Monday, November 28, 2005

A Nuclear Tsunami?

No that isn't the title of some SciFi channel schlock horror film, it's the very real prospect facing the NRC, or Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Allow me to explain.

As I have blogged about often, cheap oil was bad for America, and now that cheap oil seems finally to be behind us for good, America is going to start utilizing our vast resources once again. This creates American jobs, this lowers the trade deficit, this generates new economic growth within our great nation, and is generally a Good Thing.

As I have blogged before, those resources, in my opinion, fall into four major categories: Coal, Oil Shale, Wind, and Nuclear.

I recenly added a new blog to my sidebar, the excellent Atomic Insights. Rod Adams of Atomic Insights has been pushing for nuclear power for a decade, and it looks like his prescience all those years ago is finally paying off.

He recently blogged about the NRC, and their palpable nervousness, as they are suddenly looking at a surge in nuclear license applications. After 30 years of nothing, why the rush? Watch the webcasts in his insightful post for details. :)

In a nutshell, the next generation of nuclear power plants, exemplified by such designs as the AP-1000, ESBWR, and EPR, were designed in the 90's to compete against natural gas at 5 dollars or less per million BTU.

Today, natural gas is at at $11.05.

Electricity producers who participated in the orgy of new gas-fired electricity plants in the 90's are now hurting, and looking for a cheaper source.

Hey, look! Nuclear! :D

Rod notes in his post that as many as a dozen new applications for nuclear powerplants may be on the way. So, if your gas bills this winter are painfully high, or your electricity bills, take heart!

Nuclear power is on the way to save the day. :)

And THAT, is a very uncomfortable fact for the ecowackies of the world.

Sorry folks.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

A Well-Fought War

Now, one of the memes the anti-war Democrats are doing their best to drive down the American people's throats is that the War in iraq is a terrible mess, things are going all wrong, and its a terrible quagmire.

The truth is, the War in Iraq has been fought with a skill, compassion, and courage that is simply historic in its magnitude.

For example, a group of anti-war propagandists published a worthless study in Lancet a while back which proclaimed "100,000 dead" in Iraq. of course, the error bands in that report were so huge as to render it meaningless, but the anti-war Left promptly seized upon it and has been trumpeting that number in the anti-war press ever since.

The truth, it turns out, is far from that number.

There is a website out there called the "Iraq Body Count" which purports to tally up every single civilian casualty. They do a decent job.

I won't link to them, as they are a propaganda outfit at best, but like most outfits on the Internet they have a basic honesty about them. It is common on the Internet to see people demanding citations: This basic fact is the main superiority over the mainsteream media the blogosphere possesses.

The upshot of this is that the Iraq Body Count has the root numbers they use to generate their figures available for anyone to examine.

When a person without an antiwar bias does so, and applies a little common sense to the numbers, the patterns that emerge are startling, and revealing.

That person has posted their results at the site below:

http://www.logictimes.com/civilian.htm

They are amazing, at the least.

In two years of quite intense urban warfare, the US military has killed only 948 likely civilian bystanders. Now, that number is large, and every death is to be deplored, but it is a far cry from the hundred thousand casually attributed to our bloodthirsty butchers, er, soldiers.

Given the sort of combat we are undertaking, that figure is even more amazing. Our incredible soldiers are doing the superhuman here, and the anti-war press refuses to even acknowledge the unbelieveably good job they are doing.

Yes, a few bad apples tormented a few prisoners. Compared to the facts above, that should be treated as the aberration, quickly corrected, that it was.

Iraq is a well-planned, well-fought, successful war, and that fact is steadily coming to the forefront, no matter the efforts of the anti-war media.

Hopefully, the awesome achievements in Iraq won't be ignored like the heroism of the Korean veterans was.

That is possibly the most uncomfortable fact I have blogged about yet. We should not let the media and the Democrats besmirch the achievement of our fighting mean and women in Iraq like they did in the Korean conflict.

But so far, they are are trying.

US Military Pushes for Fuel Independence

I find it hugely amusing that the US Military, after 30 years of seeing the problem, is finally moving to secure a domestic source of fuel for the Mean Green Machine.

Readers, meet BUFF . (Warning, fairly large .pdf file. )

That file is very worth reading, however, as it lays out how the USA is potenially the "New" Middle East. We have, by the militaries conservative estimates, 1900 million barrels of oil equivalent, in the form of coal and shale.

The military doesn't mention nuclear power or wind in that paper, but they should be in there.

For example, the most likely large-scale extraction method for coal shale will require LOTS of electricity and injectable steam. Both of those can be supplied by nuclear power or windmills.

It's nice to see the military acting to secure their fuel supply, becaseu oftentimes, where the military goes, the rest of us follow.

The future is very bright for those oft-maligned "flyover" states, so long as oil stays "expensive."

And that is an uncomfortable fact for the Middle East, and pretty much everybody else in the world. The USA has vast resources.

Syrian Rumors

There have been recent rumors about a US incursion into Syrian territory recently. Usually, I ignore such things unless they are confirmed, but just recently one of the sites I have linked on my sidebar, Hammorabi, has posted confirming such rumors:

http://hammorabi.blogspot.com/2005/11/syrian-border-there-are-news-of-at.html

Now, this is far from solid yet, but I tend to give Hammorabi some credibility.

If true, looks like things may be gearing up for Syria sooner rather than later.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Anti-War Hollywood

Well, looks like Hollywood is finally letting their "anti-War no matter what" bias out into the theatres.

Syriana purports to be about Peak Oil, a trope among the panicky that we're running out of oil and WE'RE ALL DOOMED. But it's going to be a thinly veiled hit piece on the War on Terror. Care to place bets now? :D

Munich has the prestigious name of Steven Spielberg behind it, and purports to be about the assassins from Israel who murdered the planners of the Munich massacre of Iraeli atheletes. (Attacking the Olympics? Feh. Still despicable after all these years.)

But Munich is a disguised anti-war screed, have no doubt.

Why am I so certain? Well, Spielberg himself said it:

"By experiencing how the implacable resolve of these men to succeed in their mission slowly gave way to troubling doubts about what they were doing, I think we can learn something important about the tragic standoff we find ourselves in today.”

"Tragic standoff" is Hollywood speak for the war in Iraq. "Standoff" is how they describe us winning with implacable surety.

It's a shame that the man who made "Raiders of the Lost Ark" has succumbed to this anti-war idiocy.

NOBODY likes war. War is a terrible state to be in. But the surest way to have more war is to operate from a postion of weakness, to fail to confront totalitarianism EVERYWHERE, and to allow desperate endemic poverty to be entrenched generation after generation in a world of affluence.

The "anti-war no matter the cost" idiots may mouth the ideas above, but they don't "get it."

A strong military promotes peace. To afford a strong military demands affluence, and affluence leads to a middle class, and a middle class expects rights and a say in affairs. Plus, having all those guys with guns tends to make people polite. :)

Bad, non-representative governments should be opposed, even overthrown with force. Allowing them to fester is like having gangrene on the world's body politic. Clean and bind those wounds, its the only rational response.

Capitalism is the greatest engine for generating affluence the world has ever seen, and should be spread. The USA has been exporting affluence for years, and look at the world today as a result. It may not be perfect, but its getting better.

Anti war sentiments are good. Anti-war sentiments, no matter the cost of those sentiments, are stupid. Sometimes, war IS the answer.

And for Hollywood, that's an uncomfortable fact.

More Firsts About the Middle East

I see this as an extremely hopeful sign:

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1132475610755&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull


Now, just in case readers are unfamiliar with this little trope, allow me to explain: The UN HATES Israel.

There have been dozens of resolutions passed over the last few decades condemning Israel, and I do mean dozens.

The UN, infiltrated by a score of Arabic/Islamic nations, has voted against Israel over and over again, as the Arabic/Islamic sphere made their displeasure over Israel known in politics as they could not on the battlefield.

The bias against Israel in the UN has been deep, vitriolic, and endemic.

(In fairness, Israel is far from innocent, but come on, what nation is?)

Now, as detailed in the post above, for the very first time, EVER, the UN has condemned Hizbullah for ATTACKING Israel, instead of the other way around. No weasel-language, no prevaricating, just a nice, plain, calling a spade a spade condemnation of terrorists.

I cannot overstate what a huge, groundbreaking, event this is. I mean, seriously, this is a big deal. (Of course, our execrable media will not say a word about it, as any indication that the US is doing well in the Middle East is anathema.)

The article above lays credit for this huge shift on the Middle East at the feet of John Bolton, and for certain, he is likely to have played a major role. But the REAL reason for this sea change is 150,000 US troops in Iraq, a crumbling insurgency, and a determined US President looking hungrily across the border at Syria and Iran.

This is a long-term game, folks. We are still in the opening stages of this war, and it is likely to last at least another decade. But by relentless attrition and pressure, the US is already making large inroads into decades, centuries even, of entrenched thinking.

And for the "anti-war no matter the cost" crowd, that is an excrutiatingly uncomfortable fact.

Welcome to the Internet, Mr. Churchill

I read this exchange with a chuckle:

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?71ae8b32-9ff0-463e-9aec-13fea913388a


Ward Churchill, faux-Indian activist, plagiarist, con-man, and aging hippy anarchist, is almost always good for a laugh.

Old Ward is in a little tussle with a fellow out in Hawaii these days, and in typical Churchill fashion, is threatening to sue the guy for quoting what Ward says.

Why? Well, Ward Churchill makes a lot of money showing up at far left venues and spewing propaganda and hate speech to receptive audiences. Of course, most of America would boo him off a stage for saying this kind of crap, so when he gets quoted to a more middle of the road audience, he comes off sounding like a lunatic.

So, Ward doesn't like getting quoted.

Anyhow, he sent a blustering E-mail to one of his legion of fans, and said fan, rather than being cowed, fired back with all guns. I mean, I have seen some flames, but WOW, this one is up there. :)

I suspect Ward Churchill is not very used to this "internet" thing yet. One of the greatest things about the internet is the utter equality of it. You literally never know who you're going to be corresponding with.

For example, I blog under a pseudonym. Why? Well, one, I started using the web-identity Mauk many years ago, and if I started using my real name, people wouldn't know who I am. Two, I like the anonymity. You never know who you're going to wind up talking to, after all. :) And three, and most important, I want my words to stand on their own merits. If you knew I was a recovering alcoholic, or a spoiled trustfund baby, or a college professor, or a homeless man who posts from a public library, or anything about me, that knowledge would inevitably tilt how you view my statements.

Using a pseudonym suits me. :)

Now, Ward Churchill obviously doesn't want anonymity, but he also doesn't want equality of expression. He wants HIS words to count for more than anyone elses.

So, he blustered at a fellow on the Internet, and rather than meek submission, he found the fellow on the other end of the e-mail was a hard-case who has a lawyer too. The uncomfortable fact here is that the wild-eyed fringes have had these sorts of furtive "meetings" for years. Today, there is the light of the internet shining over their shoulders as they huddle and mutter their imprecations.

Welcome to the internet, Mr. Churchill. :)