Saturday afternoon round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesSaturdays just slip away from me. Now you see ‘em, now you don’t. Suddenly, it’s 1:30, and I’ve accomplished nothing more than making another batch of haroset, which I’m trying to eat in lieu of ice cream. There are things, though, that I’d like to share with you:

The first thing is a plea from the Media Research Center asking for funds to help offset the invaluable assist the Obama administration is getting from a complicit media.  As you know, but too many Americans don’t, the media pretends to the American people that it’s independent, even as it shills and covers for the President. The deadline for this particular fundraiser is tonight, which is why MRC gets top billing here.

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Speaking of valuable organizations asking for money, the NRA is taking very seriously Michael Bloomberg’s promise to spend $50 million to undermine the Second Amendment in America. The NRA has put together a great fundraising video (see below), and you can donate here if you feel so inclined:

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Andrew C. McCarthy is one of those guys who has a binary effect on me. Either I love what he writes or I hate it. This time it’s love, as he talks about the way in which Obama is using his pardoning power to nullify drug control legislation. It’s a typical Leftist move, of course. If you’re a Leftist and don’t like legislation or constitutional rights, you don’t go through Congress to repeal or amend them; instead, you simply announce that you’re the Magic Negro, the man who defines what sin is (“being out of alignment with my own values”), the new messiah . . . and you avoid implementing the law and, if so inclined, actually undo its effects.

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It’s not often that you read in just one article a straightforward, commonsensical, easy-to-understand, comprehensive take-down of the global warming scam. You especially don’t expect to see that kind of thing from a world-renowned emeritus professor and former NASA scientist talking to the Yorkshire Evening Post (a paper I read a lot back in the days when I lived in England).

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I’ve mentioned before that I had Elizabeth Warren as a professor back in the day. I went into her class ignorant, and came out still ignorant, but also frustrated and confused. Whatever else she was, she was a very poor communicator, which is why I find it so peculiar that the Left considers her a spokesman for their Progressive economic causes. Back in the day, speaking in her breathy, elliptical, somewhat telegraphic way, she managed to say nothing at length.

With those memories in my mind, my metrics say Warren would be a dreadful presidential candidate, so I can understand puckish conservatives urging her to run. Of course, should she run, what will actually happen is that she’ll still be better than Hillary, whom people dislike, and she’ll win the primary.  As the first female Democrat presidential candidate, the press will anoint her and that will be the end of it for any Republican opponent. (On that point, please see again my first item, above, regarding the MRC’s plea for funds to de-fang the press.)

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Peter Wehner has disturbing RINO tendencies, not to mention the arrogance of his class when it comes to Palin. Nevertheless, he’s an extremely lucid commentator when it comes to honing in on Obama’s failings. I both enjoyed reading and was depressed by Wehner’s elegant laundry list of Obama’a serial failings in every area of presidential endeavor.

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You know that I’ve got a bee in my bonnet about narcissists. One of the most dangerous things about them is the way their emotional armor means that they are incapable of acknowledging themselves at fault but must, instead, always deflect blame onto others. This tendency is especially destructive when it exists, not at an individual level, but at a societal level.

Take, for example, Islam: No matter where one looks around the world, once Islam is in charge, the economy collapses, violence increases, freedom disappears, and women, Jews, Christians, gays, and other Islamically disfavored groups are attacked, enslaved, and destroyed. This is a society that is ripe for introspection but, because it’s predicated on narcissism, the only thing it can do when it confronts its disastrous existence is . . . blame the Jews.

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We’ve already talked here about the fact that those environmentally friendly wind farms puree birds, while the solar farms barbecue them. That’s not why I’m linking to this PowerLine article. I’m linking because I love the title: MICROWAVES OF THE DESERT; CUISINARTS OF THE SKY.

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Cliven Bundy, a private citizen, makes an inarticulate, but arguably valid point that American blacks are as enslaved by the Democrat party now as they were in the antebellum South. The media mangles his argument, and destroys him as a “racist,” making toxic his entirely valid argument that past due monies owed to the government do not justify the Bureau of Land Management showing up at his farm with full military force, slaughtering his cattle, destroying his water lines, and aiming snipers at his home.  Think about it.  If Bundy were an IRS employee (lots of back taxes there), he would have gotten a bonus, and if he were Al Sharpton (even more back taxes), he’d be palling around with Obama and Holder.

No matter the government’s “right” to the land (which is separate from the justice of its claiming that right), Bundy stands for the increased tyranny of the federal government, one that sees it viewing itself as master, not servant.  Indeed, one can argue that, although the government is acting according to the laws it’s made, its laws and procedures have become so fundamentally flawed that, per the Declaration of Independence, our government has invalidated itself:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

But I digress. I actually just wanted to talk about Bundy now being toxic, thereby invalidating ideas unrelated to the subject matter that made him toxic.  It’s different if you’re on the Left.

If you’re on the Left, no matter what you do outside of politics, you’re never toxic. Take Paula Poundstone, for example, a convicted child molester. That fact isn’t preventing the Marin Jewish Community Center from opening its arms to her. I don’t know whether Poundstone has reformed or repented, something that makes a difference to me, because I’m a big believer in both. I just know that, if Poundstone was a conservative, not a Progressive, she’d never be forgiven for her sins, and would be persona non grata in perpetuity, as to all matters.

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And finally, maybe we are at last seeing small cracks in the damned dam that is political correctness:

The “I hate solar panels” edition

Solar_panels_on_a_roofWe got solar panels several years ago.  We did so (a) because certain members of our household are greenies and (b) because we got huge government subsidies.  These subsidies weren’t enough to make the panels affordable for working class households, but they were funded, in part, by those same working class households.  In other words, the working class helped me — the economic upper class — buy something they’ll never be able to afford.

Thanks to the solar panels, we only pay energy bills twice a year.  The rest of the year, although we never get paid a cent, at least our energy bills are a wash.  At this rate, in ten years, the solar panels will have come close to paying for the money we shelled out for them.  (The working class, obviously, will never see a dime’s return on the money they unwittingly gave me.)  Even as some people gloat about their low or non-existent energy bills after installing solar, I’m thinking we’re still out-of-pocket for another “X” years before the damn thing breaks even.

Did I say “damn thing” about those wonderful solar panels?  Yes, I did.  I hate them.  It turns out that the only way to realize a saving on them that’s significant enough to offset their cost over a period of ten years is to use electricity only during “non-peak” hours, which are the hours when the sun doesn’t shine.  That means that, on weekdays during the seven spring and summer months of the year, I can’t run the dishwasher, turn on the washing machine, use the dryer, or engage in any other significant electricity usage unless I want my energy bill to go through the roof.

When we signed up, I thought, “Whatever.”  I wish I’d thought harder.  It turns out that my housekeeping doesn’t conform to the solar timetable.  I work at home and, for years, I’ve been accustomed to turning the dishwasher on when it’s full or putting clothes in the dryer once the washer has done its stuff.  Now, though, my counter is always cluttered with dirty dishes, because the solar window doesn’t match when our dishes get dirty, so I invariably have more dishes on the counter than I can deal with at the particular moment I’m allowed to run a load.  More times than I can count, because the dishwasher is packed too full, or because things have dried on in the 14 hours during which the system was “down”, or because my dishwasher detergent has no phosphates, nothing is clean, so I run a second load.  I’m sure that’s not green.

As for the washing machine, I try run a load in the morning like a good girl.  By evening, after dealing with household matters until ten or eleven at night, I’ve completely forgotten that I ran a load 16 hours before and that the stuff needs to go in the dryer.  Even if I remember, quite often I need to monitor that dryer load so I can recover items that can’t be in for too long, which is not something I want to do at 11:00 p.m.  On a good hot summer’s day, by the next morning the wet laundry will have started to mildew, so I get to wash it again.  And no, that’s not green either.

On weekends and during the five winter months, the only peak time is between five and eight in the evening.  That means that certain people go ballistic when I cook dinner using the oven.

If I were a more organized person, I’m sure this would work out splendidly.  But I’m not a more organized person.  Or rather, I’m not organized around peak and non-peak time.  My household biorhythms are different and, proving that I’m not at all adaptable, despite six or seven years with this damn solar power, I still haven’t gotten the knack of bending my household to the solar clock.

Why this jeremiad about solar power?  Because American Thinker ran an article today about the scam powering solar power — it’s incredibly costly and is affordable only when we hide costs, riding on the backs of the working class.

Thursday night round-up — and Open Thread *UPDATED*

Oh, my gosh!  Have I got good stuff here for all of you.

Rush.  Need I say more?  Actually, just so you know what you’re linking too, Rush manages to combine into one lucid post American exceptionalism and Clintonian hypocrisy.  Whew!  [UPDATE:  Soccer Dad, every bit as wise as Rush, but lacking the scope, made much the same point here.]

I think we have a moral obligation to support conservative Bay Area bloggers, since we are a very fragile species in a hostile ecosystem.  (Did I get that environmentalist language right?)  Of course, it’s always easier to provide this support when the blog is good, and Fund47 is good.  You’ll find here a slide show of the San Francisco Tea Party as well as audio tape of the superb speech my friend Sally Zelikovsky made.  The one thing I can tell you with absolute certainty is that this is no astroturf movement.  Every last one of the people you see and hear is the real deal, fed up with vast government overreach.

Obama is working hard to make sure we can’t rely on traditional energy sources, but the fact remains that “renewable” energy is too expensive and risky for sensible people to take on.  This explains why a Marin town has opted out of a clean energy program (in which several counties refused to join).  It also answers the New York Times‘ perplexed wonderment about the absence of solar power in California.  As to that, I can tell you that, yes, solar power does reduce PG&E bills.  Sounds good, but it’s not really.  If you’re lucky, in 15-20 years, you might break even on your solar system.  As for the taxpayers who subsidized your purchase . . . well, they’ll never see that money again.  Oh, by the way, unless you want your bill to go through the roof, try not to use any but the most necessary energy during peak hours.  During the summer, peak hours are all day, which pretty much puts the kybosh on basic functionality.

There was one person who understand what was really going on with environmentalism, and that was the late George Carlin.  If you don’t mind blue language, you want to listen to this.

Muslims, 1; Military/American Christianity, 0:  Franklin Graham was disinvited, after he dared to speak slightingly of Islam.  Oh, while I’m on the topic of Islam (and why Graham might have spoken slightingly of the religion that can no longer be named), Reason magazine has not one, but three, posts about the disgraceful, quisling censorship of South Park (again, blue language warning).  [UPDATE:  Red State makes sure to point the finger of blame in the proper direction.]

Of course, all that scary stuff may explain why, in addition to its fear of the long arm of Obama, the L.A. Times is assiduously refusing to release the tape it received showing an evening at which, existent stories hint, Obama cheerfully participated in Israel bashing with leading Palestinian activist Rashid Khalidi.  I don’t think the Times is showing journalistic backbone, because it’s never indicated that it has any; I think it’s showing outright fear.

A point about which I frequently blog here is the fact that I find many liberals inarticulate, verging on incoherent, when it comes to explaining their viewpoint.  Fortunately, American Digest is here to help.