Afternoon Whip, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day [*1] — A poem, forwarded by That Woman, Sarah Palin:

“It is the veteran, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the veteran, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the veteran, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the veteran, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the veteran, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the veteran, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.

It is the veteran, who salutes the flag, who serves under the flag, and whose coffin will be draped by the flag.”

Glenn Reynolds [*2] — Interview with the Instapundit[*3] , who is more important and influential than he thinks he is–or wants to be, really. I suspect he’d be appalled by the reality of that statement, which is why I like him. Oh, that, and the fact he’s an unrepentant geek.

Pathetic: BP Buses in Temps for Obama Photo Op [*4]

He Was Supposed to Be Competent: The spill is a disaster for the president and his political philosophy. [*5]

The president, in my view, continues to govern in a way that suggests he is chronically detached from the central and immediate concerns of his countrymen. This is a terrible thing to see in a political figure, and a startling thing in one who won so handily and shrewdly in 2008. But he has not, almost from the day he was inaugurated, been in sync with the center. The heart of the country is thinking each day about A, B and C, and he is thinking about X, Y and Z. They’re in one reality, he’s in another.

“He Was Supposed To Be Competent” [*6] The big surprise with the current president is not so much that he is incompetent, inexperienced and divisive, but the extent to which he is all of those things, and the extent to which anyone is surprised. It’s not like there weren’t enough warning signs on the way in, all of which were summarily dismissed.
Law Prof Surveys Legal Secretaries, Chronicles Layoffs, Conflicts with Female Lawyers [*7]

One discovery: Legal secretaries said they preferred to work for male associates and partners. In written responses, the secretaries said females were emotional and demanding, with “more to prove” and a penchant to “put on airs,” the story says.

“Working for a woman exposes some very complex class dynamics,” Batlan told Missouri Lawyers Media. “A woman working for a man is naturalized,” she said. “It’s what’s expected. It seems ordinary.”

Witnessing the heart as it cracks – UPDATED [*8] — I think that really sums up my feelings as I watch the Obama Administration flail towards disaster. For every minute or two I’m angry, I’m an hour or two just simply heart-sick at the sheer waste and stupidity of what they’re doing, just tearing this country apart while thinking they’re doing really good things. They really need to get out of San Francisco, Manhattan, and the Beltway more, and get out into the rest of the country.

In Spite of State Law, Maryland Law Enforcement Officials Still Arresting, Charging People for Recording Cops

Now we have another video of an arrest during the Preakness Stakes in which a Baltimore police officer can be heard telling the camera-holder, “Do me a favor and turn that off. It’s illegal to record anybody’s voice or anything else in the state of Maryland.”

That simply isn’t true, and it’s outrageous that Maryland law enforcement keeps perpetuating this myth. Perhaps that officer was merely misinformed. But Maryland police spokesmen and prosecutors are giving the impression that the state’s wiretapping law is ambiguous about recording on-duty police officers. It really isn’t. They’ve just chosen to interpret it that way, logic and common sense be damned.

The Unprecedented Intensity of the YouCut Movement [*9]

As families have been forced to cut back and make tough choices out of necessity, they look towards Washington — where the exact opposite attitude persists. The Democrat majority in the House, for instance, will likely fail this year to pass a budget resolution for the first time since the modern budget rules were adopted in 1974.

An utter failure in leadership.

Bystander in Chief: Obama says he’s doing everything he can to control the Gulf spill [*10] — This is undoubtedly true. The President has very little capability to stop the flow of oil–BP has to do that, unless Obama wants to light off a nuke a mile underneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. Where the Federal Government (read: the Obama Administration) has demonstrably failed is in their utterly inept and inadequate response to the oil as it begins to lap up against the Gulf coast. Obama, as President, is responsible for that. It’s not the leak per se that Obama’s responsible for. It’s what happens next.

In this respect, the analogy to Bush and Katrina has a bit of merit: Bush was not responsible for Katrina, but he was held responsible for the response. (Of course, in the case of Katrina, it was the Governor of Louisiana and the Mayor of New Orleans who had primary responsibility for disaster mitigation and for disaster recovery from Hurricane Katrina, but that teensy little fact was inconvenient to The Narrative. And, when Governor Blanco (Democrat) and Mayor Nagin (Democrat) demonstrated their incompetence, Bush’s Federal Government had to step in.) We see a pattern here: Democrats seem incapable of dealing with disasters. Unfortunately, with the Gulf oil spill, there are no Republicans in power who can step in to clean up the mess–literally.

If the Obama Administration had spent the first month of this disaster actually responding effectively to the problem rather than putting a priority on playing politics and assigning blame, things might be better right now. We don’t know, now do we?

Unplugged Christians living off the grid [*11]

“Christians should be looking for a way to take care of one another without forcing their neighbor to contribute to their welfare. In essence that’s coveting your neighbor’s goods through the agency of the governments you create.”

And that is a sin.

The Thinker: Barack Obama explains his job. [*12] — Wile E. Obama, Genius. The only difference is that the Warner Brothers cartoons were actually funny.

Vote for These Free Enterprise Videos! [*13]

Dennis Hopper: the hippest American bikes off [*14] — I did not know that Hopper was a Republican. Did you?

Solar Scientists Agree That the Sun’s Recent Behavior Is Odd, but the Explanation Remains Elusive: The most recent solar minimum was both long and pronounced. But why? [*15]

Poll finds anger over country’s leaders [*16]

Obama, the Thin-Skinned President [*17]

May’s Big Selloff Could Be Just the Beginning [*18]

Some pretty smart people are cautious. Seth Klarman at Baupost Group is worried. John Hussman of the Hussman Funds says all sorts of warning lights have lit up across his screen. Even Ron Muhlenkamp of the Muhlenkamp Fund, who usually takes a sunnier view of things, says he has moved a big chunk of his mutual fund into cash in case there’s a plunge.

The best strategy right now IMHO is to (continue to) hunker down. The storm hasn’t hit yet. All we’ve seen so far are the first few rain bands.

Covering Obama, press encounters Nation of Islam [*19]

Le affair Sestak – in a nutshell [*20]

Michele Bachmann Slams Dems For Voting to Give Government Employees $30 Billion 10 Year Raise (Video) [*21]

Obama Won’t Meet With Governor Brewer… But Makes Time For McCartney Concert [*22]

Obama, ACORN and Stealth Socialism [*23]

Community organizers became the “information police” for minorities in dozens of cities. As the official representative for its members, ACORN was able to frame the debate in ways that aligned with its People’s Platform. The platform is based on the socialist idea of sharing the wealth. Members were asked, even coerced, to attend rallies and protests for issues ACORN had decided would lead to power.

The victims of ACORN don’t know what they don’t know.

“Top Kill” Fails to Stop Obama Oil Spill; UPDATED [*24]

Jacks fall short in championship [*25]

Breaking: Taliban Using Chemical Weapons Against US Troops? 4-5 Troops Reportedly Fall Ill [*26]

Crackpot Lefist Stalker Explains Why He’s Stalking the Palin Family in Alaska [*27]

Dave Weigel, Joe McGinniss, Jesse Griffin and the Palin-Hater Next Door [*28]

Authoritarian High Modernism [*29] — Modern urban planners and other do-gooders have done more harm to our overall sense of community than perhaps any other factor in society. I’m reading Jane Jacobs’ Dark Age Ahead right now. One thing that solidified my antipathy towards “urban planning” was reading some of Jacobs’ other works. Cities are organic creatures, almost alive. Urban planning is like the ancient Chinese, who bound the feet of their females–or the ancient Mayans who put a flat board over the forehead of infants, because they thought such alterations of natural human forms were in some way attractive. But where they’re not actively destructive, they’re a waste of time.

Cities should be allowed to grow, develop, breathe. This isn’t an argument against any kind of zoning at all (although I’m not totally convinced zoning is a net benefit, either) but it is an argument against the kind of urban micro-management of every single square inch of land anywhere near any city in the country. It ain’t natural.

Let cities live.

The media wolf pack holds itself at bay [*30]

Is Democrat Party Hack Frank Rich Even Trying Anymore? [*31]

Russia seeks EU’s help with visas, technology [*32] — Hmm, Russia wants help “modernizing its economy.” Maybe it should start with stamping out organized crime and corruption, and promoting the rule of law. Of course, we in the US should probably do the same, now shouldn’t we?

Memory and Survival [*33]

acts of group memory, like Memorial Day, are not simply events held for ceremonial purposes but are sources that are vital to the group’s — and the individual’s existence. Without that history — without that memory — then individuals will eventually forget the benefit derived from the altruism of their forebears and become susceptible to the preachings of the ’selfish mutant’. In a society without traditions the “free riders” may gain ascendancy and even suppress history to aid their increase. Gradually they may destroy a society’s capacity for mutual altruism and take it over for themselves. Yet even so their victory may be short-lived. Within their mutation lie the seeds of their own downfall. For “if the pathogen’s virulence kills the host and interferes with its own transmission to a new host, virulence will be selected against.” Eventually they kill the host and then themselves die.

It may take a while, but the demise eventually happens. And then the survivors gradually rediscover the benefits of thinking in terms larger than themselves and begin to act on that basis. And then the words, “truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” will become comprehensible again.

This is why it’s necessary to correctly remember history. “Airbrushed” or edited history, history manipulated to emphasize one or another trendy, current political view, or history suppressed to hide some embarrassing episode in the past, is ultimately cheating yourself, your society, and the world of the self-knowledge we all need to go forward successfully into the future.

What’s the saying? There are no such thing as failed experiment. There are only experiments that tell you what does not work.Still Wrong on the Middle East [*34]

Thanks Barack… Dow Suffers Worst May Since 1940[*35]

Liz Cheney on Bill Clinton: “There’s Not Exactly an Impeccable Record of Integrity There on the Part of the Former President” (Video) [*36]

Dowd: President Present strikes again [*37] — Are the real sheep beginning to wake up?

France warns on credit rating [*38]

What good are friends if they don’t hold your feet to the fire? [*39]