Wotka World Wide

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Somebody thinks they are already President, from Dana Milbank in the Washington Post. This is the most ridiculous spectacle that I have ever seen. I mean, the guy is basically dead even in the polls!! The arrogance is really just astounding. I think he has a rude awakening coming...

How Can The New York Times Be Worth So Little?

Business Week details their downward-spiraling valuation, and wonders how much lower they can go. I have a few ideas why it is declining... starting with using the front page as an editorial page. Also accepting editorials from Obama and then refusing to print McCain's rebuttal. Ten years ago that would have been unnoticed, but in this age of bloggers and multiple news sources, people are getting wise to their little tricks. They have feted John McCain for years as an example of a Republican with backbone and principles, because he has gone counter to his colleagues and the Administration on many issues, but now that he is running against a Democrat, he is Bush III. Funny how that works. I wonder if McCain feels abandoned. They run a front page article trashing him seemingly every other day. Highlights include their unsubstantiated allegations of a relationship with a female lobbyist. But mentioning John Edwards recent affair is apparently completely off limits. On Monday, they had a big expose about McCain's role with the International Republican Institute, attempting to connect his leadership of an organization that promotes democracy with large contributions to the group from lobbyists. Yet the article makes no mention of McCain using his influence improperly. Instead, guilt by association practically screams between the lines. However, once you get to the portion on the back pages, you find that McCain was responsible for weaning the organization off federal funding and depoliticizing the selection of board members. Criticism comes from unnamed left-wing organizations that warn ominously of its "neo-conservative agenda". What that agenda exactly is no one can say, although they are alleged to have supported a coup against Hugo Chavez two years ago. Sounds like a great organization to me! Where do I sign up? Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for their exposes on Barack Obama, like what exactly he did as a "community organizer". And what exactly has he done with his time in the Senate, or even the Illinois statehouse. Aside from voting against funding for Afghanistan and then three months later traveling overseas and lecturing everyone about how we can't lose sight of the important struggle ongoing there. Although we should apparently lose sight of our struggle in Iraq and withdraw ASAP. There has to be a point when having the NYT on your side is a liability, but hopefully Obama's campaign will remain oblivious, while continuing to complain about the bias at FOX News.
The root problem with the NYT is the Sulzberger family, but they show no signs of relinquishing their firm grip on the board, or on its leftward slanting views. Until they do so, I predict they will continue to wane in influence, which is a shame for a paper once considered "The Paper of Record".

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Where the world WILL get its energy in the coming decades...

Hint: it won't be all warm and fuzzy renewables. Coal and nuclear are the means of choice, and necessity, for developing nations producing electricity. All the enlightened folks in America and Europe palavering about wind farms and solar cells don't matter one bit to the billions in Asia and Africa that need electricity NOW, and as cheaply as possible. Peter Huber offers an excellent commentary in Forbes on the subject, with such trenchant observations as:
If the growth sphere doesn't get energy financing from our side, it will get it from Russia, China, South Korea, Brazil, the Middle East and Japan. It will get fuel-burning technology from Russia, South Korea, China and France. And it will get coal and uranium from Kazakhstan, Canada and Australia. Australia has huge reserves of both; China, India, Japan and South Korea are all vying to be its best friend. The U.S. has plentiful supplies of both, too--but not nearly enough to exert any control over global markets. Western Europe and Japan hardly show up on the charts.
We had better get behind the idea that carbon is going to be emitted, and in large quantities, for quite some time. We can either obstruct and protest against it, as Democrats in Washington and Greens in the EU are doing, or we can get active in the market and make sure pollution controls are part of the solutions that we are selling. Because if we don't get active, China and Russia will be building the world's power plants, and you can bet they won't pass any emissions controls anywhere. And there won't be one thing we can do about it. The same goes for drilling for oil. We refuse to drill here, where we have strict environmental controls and high standards, while buying tons of it from Venezuela and Nigeria, where they pollute and spill like crazy and there are no standards. And then their crazy rulers make even more money from our refusal to develop our own energy sources because our policies restrict the supply, all while trashing the environment that our policies are supposedly protecting. And the same holds true for coal. We don't hold all the reserves (and Europe has next to none), and it will be mined and burned whether or not we are in the game. Hopefully some of these politicians will realize this reality at some point. Read the whole thing, and then send it to your representatives in Washington. Via Instapundit.

If the Germans love someone, then he must be great...

Victor David Hanson runs through recent events with a critical eye and reminds us that history remembers those who helped us win, not those who tried to prevent victory (ok, maybe John Kerry, but he didn't win, did he?).

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I love sushi, but...

The world appetite for blue fin tuna is out of control, with Japan consuming 85% of the world's supply. The population could crash any year now, but no one seems worried, as long as they can catch them today. I love tuna as much as the next sushi lover, but I will have to make a point of restricting my consumption. Of course, I have planned to do the same thing with sea bass, but that isn't working out too well either. Still, Japan needs to chill out or we won't have good tuna for sushi in the near future. Too bad the governing bodies for international fishing can't make progress on this issue. Whales face the same problem, with Japan harvesting hundreds of whales on endangered species lists for "scientific purposes", which is code for they like to eat whale, and lots of it. They ignore all attempts to control their harvesting. Oh well, eat it while you can, I guess.

Great satire!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Far Left's War on Direct Democracy by John Fund. Strong arm tactics by far left groups to intimidate people exercising their First Amendment Rights. Scary stuff. And then you have the Police Commissioner from Memphis suing to get the names of some bloggers from MPD Enforcers 2.0 that write pieces critical of the department as well as providing a venue for officers to vent anonymously.

The bloom is off the rose...

So the reporters are finally starting to realize that Obama's campaign does not want transparency, apparently because they have something to hide. You know it is really a concern when the left-leaning New Republic feels obligated to weigh in on the issue, covering a spat between the campaign and NY Times reporter Adam Nagourney, as well as the gripes of numerous other reporters trying to cover the campaign:
Reporters who cover Obama these days grouse that Obama's flacks shroud the campaign in secrecy and provide little to no access. "They're more disciplined than the Bush people," a reporter on the Obama trail gripes. "There was this idea of being transparent, but they're not. They're total tightwads with information."
They note McCain's great relationship with the press, but the press has turned on McCain quite a bit amidst the euphoria over Obama. Meanwhile, Obama's campaign is denying press passes to anyone that writes anything critical of the campaign. Sounds like a cult of personality, and if Obama isn't careful, he is going to alienate your average voter with an image that is too carefully managed and scripted. Via Drudge.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac bailout - A brewing scandal?

Dick Armey on why the housing bailout bill is a complete fraud, as well as the attached opening of the federal checkbook to support Freddie and Fannie, two institutions that suffered from Enron-style accounting for years to pad bonuses for major execs like Jamie Gorelick, abuses for which no one has yet to be punished, much less indicted or even reprimanded. Republicans should take this opening and run with it, but they are not organized or inspired enough to put up much of a fight, and President Bush is more concerned about his "legacy" to voters that will never vote for him again to actually stand up to this monstrous, and incredibly expensive (estimated at upwards of $1 trillion), bill to bail out "scam artists and speculative lenders at the expense of American taxpayers." Democrats have many ties to the mortgage industry, and here they are bailing out their buddies, but Armey makes the great point that Republicans will continue to be the ones seen as the friends of "big business", especially if they fail to act against this bill, while Democrats will be seen as the ones helping ordinary Americans (who weren't smart enough to read the fine print). Of course, Bush will get no credit from those on the left, while creating further mistrust with his supposed "allies" on the right for signing yet another massive spending bill that runs contrary to traditional conservative principles.

Militants blow up girls school in Pakistan

Exhibit # 1001 in the continuing catalogue of reasons why the war on Islamic fundamentalism needs to continue being waged at a high level, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and wherever else we can get at them. The article concludes "Some Islamic hardliners are opposed to the education of women." Talk about your typical understatement from the AP! I would say most if not all "Islamic hardliners" are opposed to the education of women, and I'd be curious to hear about any that support women's education, other than teaching them how to be a martyr. Also yet another reason why the Left intelligentsia are so wrong about the War on Terror. They think they can reason with these people. The only reasonable thing about their actions is that they planned them to happen at night, when the school was unoccupied, which is actually surprisingly reasonable as far as these types go.
You'd think that your typical feminist could really get behind the idea of women's liberation in the Middle East as the next great civil rights struggle of our time, but they would rather sit around their women's studies departments and discuss how evil George W. Bush is for making war against cultures that we shouldn't "Westernize", rather than applying their energy towards a positive course of action that might actually improve someone's life elsewhere in the world. Meanwhile, Iran is busying lashing and executing homosexuals while having government sponsored burqa fashion shows ("black sure seems to be the color again this year!"), but we are supposed to sit down and "reason" with them, like they are suddenly going to change their minds about anything.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Confessions of an Anti-Iraq War Democrat

Memories of a Purple Finger. Commentary from a former Clinton White House counsel. A nice recap of the Iraq situation, and why we shouldn't abandon our efforts now.

Al-Qaeda leaving Iraq?

From the Iraqi Ambassador to US, a claim that foreign fighters are leaving Iraq and heading to (or returning to) Afghanistan. This sounds great for Iraq, but is a stark reminder that we need more troops in Afghanistan to deal with the twin threats of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, as well as partnering with Pakistan to start dealing with the hold-outs and/or strongholds in their border provinces, especially Waziristan. The key is reminding all the tribes and/or regions, that these groups are trying to infiltrate and intimidate, that by our actions we are working to help them. Helping them should be much more beneficial to them than helping these fanatics. Hopefully, whoever our next President is, they will not lose sight of this mission and its importance, both in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Did you hear about the offensive McCain cartoon?

No? Well, that's funny. Would you think it was a big deal if I told you that it depicts McCain bound in a bamboo cage, being prodded by Asianized Obama and Hillary caricatures? Well, it is in Rolling Stone, and no one seems to care that it is possibly racist. But when the National Review published a cartoon a decade ago about the illegal Chinese campaign contributions with Asian caricatures, the major media outlets were all over it as "racism". Note that you don't hear McCain whining about it though, unlike some other people that can't handle fun being made of them. Via Newsbusters.

"What Some Would Call Fake Interviews"

So how is Obama's Middle East trip going? Well, apparently some reporters, like Andrea Mitchell, who are actual Obama supporters, are becoming a little concerned. And with good reason. It is just one staged event after another, and the regular press corps has no access, they just get to see the press releases before anyone else. Has a candidate ever been this managed before? No serious questions for any major figures in Iraq or Afghanistan, it is all photo-ops to make campaign commercials that will be broadcast for free by the major media outlets as the network news. Mitchell's conversation with Chris Matthews is pretty telling. She raises a serious point about how the campaign is being run, how no one has ever run a campaign like this before, with no media access or real questions, and all Chris Matthews wants to talk about is the happy smiling African-American faces watching him shoot baskets. Anyone else sense a major disconnect here?
Thanks to Justin for the link.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Still on that Obama high?

Well, maybe these articles by Charles Krauthammer and Thomas Sowell will bring you back down to earth. The guy is so full of himself that it is sickening. They don't even mention about Obama's planned visit to London. He will be going to 10 Downing Street. You might think it will be to meet with the Prime Minister, but no, he is actually just using it as a back-drop for a campaign speech. Does he do anything seriously? He sits down with the generals and leaders of Iraq, but does he address his idea of rapidly withdrawing troops? Of course not, this is just a photo op for his campaign. Did anyone follow John McCain around the world on his last visits to Afghanistan and Iraq? No, but since it is Obama, we need all three network anchors traveling around with him. Sounds like a fun time. I thought you were supposed to go meet world leaders after you become president, not before. But Obama thinks this election is a cake-walk, because everyone in the media loves him so much. So sickening, if you ask me.

John McCain, good guy?

Here are some things about John McCain that you probably didn't know, including some of his actions while a POW at the Hanoi Hilton and some other stuff. But Senator McCain doesn't parade his bio around like some other candidates, so no one knows about this stuff. From the WSJ. Still doesn't mean I agree with him on immigration or campaign finance reform, but good to know.

What to do with the International Space Station

Strap rockets on it and send it to Mars, or anywhere else in the galaxy...

More police corruption in St. Louis

Yet another reason why your average citizen doesn't trust the police. This time, the City of St. Louis Police Department had a sweetheart deal with a "friendly" towing company that they shared profits with, and "borrowed" impounded cars for officers- and Chief of Police Joe Mokwa's daughter, Aimie Mokwa, who often bought the cars from them at super cheap prices, like $1500 for a $7500 car, after "test-driving" them for months. An internal police review said that nothing illegal had occurred. And that is the end of it. Except for those pesky reporters. Read the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article to see all the inappropriate things that occurred that are being swept under the table. Hopefully higher authorities will try and pursue these issues.

No bias at the NY Times - yeah right!

So the Times won't publish John McCain's editorial that is a direct rebuttal to Barack Obama's editorial that they just published one week ago. Kinda funny how that works. Apparently they think that McCain's piece should "more closely mirror Obama's" if you can believe that nonsense. Wonder why their readership is plunging and they are laying everyone off? Because everyone knows that they are biased as hell and want to tell you what to think, not let you make the decision for yourself. Via Drudgereport originally.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Congress' Edifice Complex

Why are some members of Congress so obsessed with naming things after themselves? John Fund wonders why, and looks into some of the worst offenders, like Robert Byrd and John Murtha. They even have institutions named after their wives. Lincoln had to wait fifty years for his memorial. What makes these guys so special, and so full of themselves? Especially when it comes to spending other people's money. Sad that only a small minority find the practice objectionable. Too bad we can't make a clean sweep of Congress this election season.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Responding to Al Gore's Clean Energy Challenge

From Next Big Future. Lots of cool charts on energy consumption as well as possible ways of really changing things. Too bad our political candidates don't take the time to consider some of these issues. They also have an interesting post on molten salt reactors, a very promising advance that drastically improves nuclear efficiency and waste. I think pebble bed reactors are the next nuclear technology we will see in the US, though. This is because the research is much further along and more widespread, with many prototype plants built in various countries, and actively producing plants starting construction next year in China. The US had better get on board or we will get left behind. Meanwhile, the molten salt reactors are so efficient that no ones wants to invest in them because they can't figure out how they will make money on them like regular nuclear reactors that require constant refueling and servicing.

DC ignores Supreme Court

So you thought the Heller decision meant that DC couldn't restrict or control gun access? Not so fast... the DC council has quickly passed a law establishing just about the strictest regulations around for owning and keeping a gun in the home, among them that it must be kept unloaded and trigger locked, unless the owner faces a threat of imminent harm. So the robber must make an appointment so you can have your gun ready to defend yourself.
Dick Heller himself attempted to register his seven shot semi-automatic pistol, and was rejected, on the basis that his weapon could hold a larger clip and fits into DC's category for "machine guns", as do all semi-automatic pistols, apparently. This would be laughable, if it weren't true, but DC's obstructionism will certainly falter after the NRA and law-abiding gun owners sue the hell out of them. The anti-gun forces in the US are on the run, and with Heller established law, overly restrictive gun laws, like DC's and Chicago's, should be struck down soon as unconstitutional. At least that is the hope, but federal and state judges have a way of making their own law that sometimes makes no sense to the rest of us.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Iraq "War"

There has been much talk of late on the status of the Iraq war, albeit only from conservative commentators. The major media outlets would rather pretend we are losing and promote Obama's rapid pull-out plan. But the fact is that we are engaged in what is essentially a police action, just as our troops still in Kosovo are doing. And you don't see anyone crusading to end that "war" do you? Michael Yon, who has reported more from Iraq than any other reporter(and from around the world as well), thinks the war is over. Michael Totten tends to agree, with a few caveats. Meanwhile, a WSJ delegation just returned and they highlight the importance of not withdrawing too quickly. Of course, Obama has more "plans" for the place, even though he has no idea what has been going on there and every position he has taken on the war has been, and continues to be, wrong. He even refuses to acknowledge that Bush's surge plan works, and McCain has done a good job outflanking him on this issue. This issue will be a major one for this election, even if Obama's campaign wants to try and re-frame it about the economy.

More Gorelick nonsense...

Ah, Jamie Gorelick. How much damage can one person do to her country? Quite a lot, it seems. She is the infamous originator of the Wall that was erected between domestic and foreign agencies in the mid 1990s, a directive she issued while served as the Deputy Attorney General for President Clinton, mainly to prevent the FBI from working with the CIA to investigate the illegal Chinese political contributions that were pervasive under Clinton's tenure, Johnny Chung being the most notable example. That Wall has since been seen as one of the primary causes of 9/11, preventing investigators from following up on links in the months before the attack. In 1997, Gorelick began as an executive at Fannie May, staying until 2003. In 2004, Fannie's fraudulent, Enronesque accounting practices came to light, with top executives earning maximum bonuses for cooking the books to hit specific targets for earnings. How she avoided prosecution for this, I do not know. So now we taxpayers have to bail out Fannie Mae(even more than normal, since it is already heavily subsidized), in part to cover Gorelick's millions in ill-gotten bonuses. And yet somehow she was also deemed worthy of inclusion on the 9/11 Commission, a fact that irks me even now when I think about it. Now she is working to defend Duke University against the lawsuits from the fraternity men accused of rape, since they were basically presumed guilty and expelled by the university for their conduct with no evidence. She must feel great about what she has done with her career... More information of this subject can be found at the Volokh Conspiracy.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More Israel-Palestine nonsense...

So now we have the unpleasant spectacle, via the BBC, of Israel trading real, live prisoners, including one who killed a three year old girl and her father, for dead ones that Hezbollah captured and then killed in captivity. Wouldn't it be the most fair if Israel executed the Palestinian terrorists and then sent them back? Apparently some in Israel don't like this trade. Well, duh! How much more can Israel try and please Hezbollah before realizing that it gets them nowhere. Now the Palestinians are going to have a big celebration and welcome these murdering thugs like heroes while claiming they made Israel submit. And they got away with killing their captives! Israel needs some new leadership or they are in major trouble. Note how the BBC article title calls it a "prisoner swap" even though all the Israeli ones are dead, so that the casual reader who doesn't have time to read the article will not realize the travesty that is occurring. Nice unbiased reporting there guys.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Palestinian propaganda revealed as a fake - no one cares.

There has been a particularly insidious piece of Palestinian propaganda circulating since the beginning of the second Intifada about the supposed shooting death of a father and young son at the hands of Israeli troops. This story was broken to the world by state-owned French television. It became a frequent lead-in by the New York Times for stories on Israeli "aggression". An investigative reporter has been repeatedly challenging French TV as to the authenticity of their video, and they got so sick of him they took him to court for libel. Well, they just lost, and in the process the whole video was proved blatantly false. Think the New York Times is rushing to correct their error? Nah, I didn't think so. They can't let the truth get in the way of "reporting" the news. Via Newsbusters.

Jonah Goldberg nails it...

in the New York Post, with his piece on Ego-bama.
"In a speech in Madison, Wis., Obama told his supporters that rallying to his cause was today's equivalent of the "greatest generation" rallying to defeat Hitler and Tojo. Oprah merely calls him, "The One," saying he will help us "evolve to a higher plane."
Read the whole thing. Makes you wonder how so many people miss this stuff, but I guess in this post-religious age that some people just need something to believe in.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Why Some Senators are Stupid...

Did Chuck Schumer set off the IndyMac failure? Federal regulators think so, according to the Wall Street Journal. More of Schumer's typical grandstanding to the public, and of course he blames everyone but himself. But the fact remains the run on the bank began after his much-publicized letter questioning their solvency. Via Instapundit.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Thoughts on the Iran-Israel situation

Mona Charen ponders what would happen if Iran decided to attack Israel, as they have vaguely threatened many times. Brings to mind the famous quote from a Holocaust survivor, "When someone says they want to kill you, you should believe them." This column also goes on to make the great point that "President Bush’s policy toward Iran has not differed much from the one advanced by Barack Obama." Which is to say, Bush has been talking to Iran, and offering major incentives, just not personally. And Iran has basically said take a hike every time. If Obama really thinks that the force of his personality is going to win them over, he has a rude awakening coming.

Global Warming as Mass Neurosis

Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal makes very cogent arguments in his opinion pieces. Here, he dredges into the cascade of global warming religiosity and proclaims himself an ardent secularist. As a skeptic myself, I see his points, but it often surprises me when I tell people I'm not overly concerned about global warming but I still believe in environmental conservation. I just don't think you can enforce any of this stuff they propose to halt the emissions of greenhouse gases(at least not in the US), but I still think an environmental outlook is beneficial. The auto industry has undergone significant pollution controls over the last twenty years, and all they get now is a demand from environmentalists to eliminate carbon emissions and a demand for electric car production, never mind that most major threats from the tailpipe have been drastically curtailed, at least in the US. Note also they have no plans to pay for these advances, as the taxpayers will just foot the bill. I've also always been struck by the fact that more pollutants are released into the atmosphere by one medium size volcanic eruption than it takes all of mankind to emit in four years. There is obviously some effect, but there are far too many errors that are ignored in the climate change calculations, since we don't really know exactly what has caused the earth's temperature to fluctuate over all these millions of years.
Any comments on the subject are welcome.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hard Power vs. Soft Power

Another excellent column from the great mind of Charles Krauthammer, discussing what is actually needed to overcome dangerous foreign adversaries. Hint: not soft rhetoric and listening to the "international community". Also a good reminder of the tenuous situation in South America, where Hugo Chavez is doing his best to establish an anti-American coalition to thwart democracy and freedom. What is needed is an organization like NATO to take the lead on these issues, and establish a firm and sizable military force that can act in situations like Burma, Darfur, and Zimbabwe. And it will only take a few such encounters before the other thugs running unfortunate countries into the ground get the message and start encouraging basic respect for human rights. Witness Libya's sudden capitulation on the WMD issue after our invasion of Iraq in 2003 as proof of the effects of force. Unfortunately America cannot do it alone. Europe MUST get involved. Just because they finally figured out how to to stop killing themselves en masse doesn't mean they have no obligation to get involved saving the other victims of out of control regimes.

Back for More... Starting with the WSJ

Well, it has been a while, but I am back for some more posts, this time with more links, and perhaps a bit shorter, if I am capable of that. Just read this great analysis of the G-8 summit from the Wall Street Journal's editorial page. Anyone that truly cares about addressing pollution concerns had better read this and stop praying at the false altar of carbon offsets, a path that some of Europe has already embarked upon.
Warning: this article may cause you to see President Bush in a somewhat positive light.