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"The man is Ted Baxter"

You know, Bill O'Reilly's aggressive populism often makes me nervous at least.  Of course, populism generally makes me nervous at least.

It is not a surprise that Rush Limbaugh absolutely nails O'Reilly with the pungent observation which is the title of this post.

And, in case you don't know who Ted Baxter was, here's a link.

Via Conservatism with Heart.
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I did not realize . . .

McClatchy Newspapers, inept bumbling owners of the Kansas City Star newspaper among others, has as a corporate slogan "Truth to Power."

This of course is a well-known leftist code phrase meaning "we'll continue to throw juvenile hissy-fits and stand on the table and hold our breath until we turn blue (sic) and write obscenely biased "news" articles until you give in and let us immature wild-eyed spoiled brat activists have our way with everything."

Arrogant SOBs.
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Hope, continued

In the Boston Globe:
Jamie Kalven, a longtime Chicago housing activist, put it this way: "I hope there is not much predictive value in his history and in his involvement with that community."

Go read the entire story.  I don't think that this "hope" is exactly what a certain U.S. Presidential candidate was shooting for.  However, the only way we can truly judge a person's character is in what he has done, and the company he has kept in doing it.

Hat tip:  Instapundit/Hugh Hewitt.
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Oldthought, Newthought

Oldthought:  Global warming will turn the Midwest into an arid Dust Bowl of drought, with a climate closer to the Sun Belt than today's Rust Belt:

If global warming continues unchecked, within 100 years its impacts will significantly alter the Midwest, with the Great Lakes climate resembling that of today's Sun Belt, a panel of scientists said Tuesday.

While shorter winters and longer growing seasons might sound like improvements, the climate-change consequences on balance will largely be negative, the researchers said.

In Ohio and the other Midwest states, they likely will include worsening summertime droughts and heat waves, intensifying storms, declining water levels and purity, increasing air pollution, and a greater risk of insect- and rodent-borne diseases.

Newthought:  Climate change will turn the Midwest into a flooded boggy marsh.
Floods like those that inundated the U.S. Midwest are supposed to occur once every 500 years but this is the second since 1993, suggesting flawed forecasts that do not take global warming into account, conservation experts said on Tuesday.
Who's right?  Well, this is climate change we're talking about.  It's so marvellously complicated that only true, certified experts can say.  Because, you see, they're experts, you can tell by the Ph.D. on their business cards and the fat, lucrative government and private grants they've been getting to study the ongoing calamity which is anthropomorphic climate change.  So, of course, from the IPCC's mouth, the answer is:  Both are!  Yes, both searing drought and devestating flood are predicted by the holy and infallible computer models.

Or so they'd have you believe.

Here's (once more) what I think.  Climate changes.  Always has, always will, despite the best and worst efforts of humans.  Is "global warming" real?  Yeah, there might have been a warming period, but now appears to have peaked around 1998.  (That's ten years ago).  Is carbon dioxide responsible for that warming?  Well, to take that view, you have to explain why CO2 seems to be a lagging indicator vs. global temperature, not a leading indicator.  I'm not aware that anyone has done so.  Also, the greenhouse effect of CO2 is not linear--if you double the CO2 in the atmosphere, you do not double the contribution to heat retention--the effect diminishes as you add more CO2.

Contrary to the popular view, the question of anthropogenic global warming is not settled.  The scientific debate continues--and the side with the "consensus" is also the side that with troubling regularity refuses to reveal their data and methods to the scientific community so that both data and methods can be objectively evaluated.  There is also a troubling myopia among the true believers that carbon dioxide and only carbon dioxide can possibly explain the climate changes we have thus far experienced--this is backed up primarily by computer models which are written and tweaked so that carbon dioxide explains the climate changes we have thus far experienced.  Anybody see the problem with this?

Science isn't supposed to work by press release and Congressional hearing, but by smart guys ripping each other's data and methods to shreds, until a true view of how are world works comes into focus.  I don't think that process has finished yet regarding Earth's climate system.  Until it actually does, moving this issue from science into public policy is dangerously premature.

Finally, if global warming is real, and the climate of Kansas City becomes more like Dallas, and the climate of Sioux Falls becomes more like Wichita, I don't see a downside for society as a whole.  Yes, lots of people will have to adapt, but history reveals that people are pretty good at adapting.

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An unusual link for me

It is not my habit to link to articles on the far-left Daily Kos site. The signal-to-vitriol ratio is much, much, much too low.  But coming to my attention (via Little Green Footballs and Instapundit) comes this, from Markos Moulitsas himself:
But there is a line between "moving to the center" and stabbing your allies in the back out of fear of being criticized. And, of late, he's been doing a lot of unecessary stabbing, betraying his claims of being a new kind of politician. Not that I ever bought it, but Obama is now clearly not looking much different than every other Democratic politician who has ever turned his or her back on the base in order to prove centrist bona fides. That's not an indictment, just an observation.
Emphasis mine.  Kos is clearly Hoping for Change in Obama.  So we have an election where the crazies on both sides are, or are becoming disillusioned with their party's prospective candidates.

There's a part of me that thinks that this may be a positive development.
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Is that a watermelon in your pants, etc., etc.?

Science Blog reports that watermelon may have, um, Viagra-like qualities.  Do tell!

“The more we study watermelons, the more we realize just how amazing a fruit it is in providing natural enhancers to the human body,” said Dr. Bhimu Patil, director of Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center in College Station.

“We’ve always known that watermelon is good for you, but the list of its very important healthful benefits grows longer with each study.”

That's apparently not the only thing that can grow longer.  Hur hur hur.
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Oh no, Moe, where did you go?

California correspondent Bill reports that Moe is missing.  The simian Tanzania transplant, raised in West Covina, escaped from Jungle Exotics near Devore, California last Friday.  And really, do you blame him?  Moe's loved ones are worried about him, as he's around 50 years old.

Where would Moe go?  At fifty, he must move real slow.  Maybe he felt the tow to go with the flow.  Perhaps he has a friend named Joe.

This is getting Seussian.

Here's a link.
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Iran begs world: please please please attack us!

Iran threatens to close off the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf:
"Naturally every country under attack by an enemy uses all its capacity and opportunities to confront the enemy. Regarding the main route for exiting energy, Iran will definitely act to impose control on the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz," IRGC commander-in-chief Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari told Jam-e Jam newspaper.
Never mind that much of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz doesn't belong to Iran.  My guess is that the U.A.E., Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and even Iraq might have something to say about that.

Now, it seems to me that an excellent way to get the entire world really, really pissed at you (hello, India, China, and Japan) is to cut off their oil supplies.  The US would be OK if the Iranians shut down the oil flow from the Middle East.  Sure, we'd have shortages and probably mandatory gas rationing, but we would survive.  You'd be amazed how fast some of our marginal oil wells here domestically could be opened up, if we really, really had to.

Not entirely coincidentally, the US is the only power in the world that can prevent the Iranians from doing what they plainly want to do:  exert military control over the critical waters of the Middle East.

I'm fairly well convinced that the Iranians will do something extremely provocative.  I think some like Ahmadinejad over there really do want to bring forth the Twelfth Imam. And that means war. With us.
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The Constitution--a bad idea?

Hmm.

An essay from the Ludwig von Mises Institute, one of the more deep-thinking of the libertarian think tanks:
Worse still, given that, in every society, more "have-nots" of everything worth having exist than "haves," the politically talented who have little or no inhibition against taking property and lording it over others will have a clear advantage over those with such scruples. That is, open political competition favors aggressive, hence dangerous, rather than defensive, hence harmless, political talents and will thus lead to the cultivation and perfection of the peculiar skills of demagoguery, deception, lying, opportunism, corruption, and bribery. Therefore, entrance into and success within government will become increasingly impossible for anyone hampered by moral scruples against lying and stealing.
. . .
Moreover, the constitutionally provided "separation of powers" makes no difference in this regard. Two or even three wrongs do not make a right. To the contrary, they lead to the proliferation, accumulation, reinforcement, and aggravation of error. Legislators cannot impose their will on their hapless subjects without the cooperation of the president as the head of the executive branch of government, and the president in turn will use his position and the resources at his disposal to influence legislators and legislation. And although the Supreme Court may disagree with particular acts of Congress or the president, Supreme Court judges are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate and remain dependent on them for funding.

OK, NOW I'm depressed.
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On differences, left v. right

At Cato.org:
Contrary to popular belief, conservative justices are about as likely to vote in favor of individuals bringing First Amendment challenges to government regulations as are the liberals. Indeed, the justice most likely to vote to uphold a First Amendment claim is the "conservative" Justice Anthony Kennedy. The least likely is the "liberal" Justice Stephen Breyer. Consistent with general conservative/liberal patterns in commercial speech cases, Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia have voted to invalidate restrictions on advertising more than 75 percent of the time. Justices Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, meanwhile, have voted to uphold such restrictions in most cases.
For conservatives, libertarians, and classical, old-school liberals, rights are fundamental; for leftists, rights are conditional.  It's as simple as that.  Do you really want someone sitting on the Supreme Court saying that your rights depend on other things, beyond your control?  That's what four of the nine current Justices believe.

Maybe it's time to start asking the two main Presidential candidates what kind of Justices they would appoint to the Supreme Court.  Justices that believe that rights are fundamental, or Justices that believe that rights aren't.

(Of course, a right that depends on external factors isn't really a right at all, is it?  It's a priviledge--a gift from those in power, like for instance Supreme Court Justices.  Just a thought.)

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