The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Adventures in Comment Land

Sometimes when reading an opinion piece, whether it be a blog post, an newspaper opinion post or column; I find that the comments on the piece can often be more revealing and interesting than the piece itself. It is true that members of both sides of the aisle from time to time do or say something that is truly ugly and indefensible. When such an event occurs at the hands of a liberal / Democrat, one of the first things I do is rush on over to Daily Kos and search for a story / diary on the event and scroll through the comments. Now any excursion into Daily Kos can be traumatic, revolting and unsettling. I do not have this reaction because people are writing things I disagree with. I love political discourse with those who have different opinions than mine. When I read the comments on Daily Kos I see a teaming sea of people ugly inside to the core, brimming over with hatred and such intense, raw desire to reshape society in their image.

I see the Daily Kos community as the hoard in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" in the scene where the Great Lion Aslan offers himself to be killed in the place of Edmund. Or as the hoard of orcs, trolls, and dark men faced by the Captains of the West at the Black Gate of Mordor. This is not because of their political positions I disagree with, but because of their unbridled or barely contained hatred and loathing they spew in comment after comment. There are a few here and there that try to keep the discourse on a higher plane, but they are drowned out and swept away with torrents of venom.

When events are captured on video (such as the ugly comments of Helen Thomas telling Jews to "get the hell out of Palestine" or the assault by Bob Etheridge (D), N.C. on a young man simply asking if he supports the Obama agenda) the comments are dismissive out of hand when it is noticed that they are sourced on a conservative website. The usual denial when a break is caught in an edited version would be enough for these people to overlook a video showing a Democrat having sex with a child, slapping his senior mother, or kicking a dog - just as long as there were edited stops in the video. In fact even after Etheridge admitted and apologized for his actions, the commenters were still in denial.

The twisted minds and thought patterns of the hoard can be somewhat unsettling to wade through. Yet, the adventures in Comment Land that I have endured can be enlightening into their mind set, and sometimes in a strange way can be entertaining. After all, we enjoy some circus acts where the human body is twisted into pretzel like shapes; why can't it also be entertaining to see somebody twist their mind into a pretzel to defend the indefensible?

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Shakedown - GOP Loses Pair...Again

The oil spill is reprehensible in so many ways. I have been to locations on the Gulf of Mexico on several occasions and the thought of the damage this area will experience is sickening. BP is very responsible for this disaster and certainly takes primary responsibility for the spill, stopping the spill and for the damages resulting from the spill. The fact that BP (and other oil companies) have punched holes on the ocean without a clear plan and backup plan to address this type of disaster is reprehensible. BP has also been extremely slow in mobilizing cleanup efforts to attempt to tend to the oil in the water before it reaches the shore. So to be perfectly clear, I have no warm / fuzzy or defensive feelings toward BP.

When President Obama announced that he was going to demand the BP set aside billions of dollars to be distributed by and "independent" party to victims of the spill, I thought he was overreaching his authority and secretly hoped BP would reject it. BP should have made a statement that they will act according to statements already made and pay all legitimate damage claims, and since they would be honoring their responsibilities there was no need for an independent party.

Only now do we find that the independent party Obama has in mind is his own executive branch of government. Texas Republican Joe Barton correctly identified that Obama's actions as a shakedown, extorting money from BP in order to set up a fund he would have control over. Recipients of the money will view the source as Obama and the government, that without them BP would surely shirk their responsibility. While an apology to BP did seem a bit silly to me, the comments on the shakedown were dead on.

While lately it has seemed the GOP has found the spine they lacked while in control, today they took several steps back. House Minority Leader John Boehner, and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor threatened to remove Joe Barton from his position on the Energy and Commerce committee if he did not retract and apologize for his statements. To be clear it is only because of the ridiculous spin by Democrats and the certain regurgitation of their talking points by the media that would cause the GOP leaders to go this route. The Dems would certainly spin this as support for BP's destruction of the Gulf.

Basically, let me put it this way using a very admittedly extreme example. If Obama had told BP that because of their egregious mishap, members of his administration could now rape the wives and daughters of BP executives somebody stepping up and denouncing such an overstep of power and authority would not be supporting BP. In the same way, Barton denouncing Obama's overreach on the shakedown of money and appointing themselves as overseers of the funds is not a support of BP.

I am not convinced the criteria for payment from this fund will be pristine. This administration has already shown its disdain for red states and red voting blocks and its generosity towards entities that vote for him and support his agenda. We will certainly be seeing evidence of corruption in the distribution of the $20B. Of course the mainstream media will cover it up or not think it worthy of news when it does happen. When evidence warranting investigative journalism does surface, the mainstream media will as usual lack any driving curiosity to peel back any layers.

I have always said that regardless of media spin, the war of ideology will only be won when both sides put up their best and clear arguments and fight with clear, direct arguments. The GOP leadership cowering to the media spin and threatening Barton was an act of cowardice. Once again, they have lost the pair they need to win.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Apples Spill Shows We Need to Reduce Our Dependency on Oranges

In the President's speech last night he took the time to discuss how the oil spill underscores our need to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. Obama then goes on to discuss wind turbines, energy-efficient windows and solar panels. The only area he deals with replacement of the existing fossil fuel solution is in the area of its use to produce electric power. According to Wikipedia, only 1% of electricity in this country is generated by burning petroleum, products made from what is leaking in the Gulf due to the spill. Obama is taking the flimsiest link from the spill and launching into aggressive changes in energy policy; changes that will lead to further taxation and charges to corporations that will only be passed along to the consumer.

I would love to have a vehicle that does not run on petroleum products and I would love to see the entire country shift to an alternate solution for powering cars, trucks, boats, airplanes, etc. What a glorious day it would be to tell OPEC to go pound sand (and they have plenty of sand to pound). How great it would be to deprive revenue to countries that want to see us and our allies destroyed and / or conquered.

Unfortunately, there is nothing in the near or medium term from Obama's policy proposals that will accomplish removing or greatly reducing our dependence on oil. The only remote link is massive job loss resulting in less need and ability for transportation. The topic of electricity generation had no place in the oil spill discussion. It is simply a continuation of this administration's strategy of not letting any crisis go to waste, but be used to reshape this country in their image.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Yes We Can, Unless it is Too Hard

President Obama , Democratic Leadership and even punching thugs continue to put the problems of the nation solely at the feet of former President George W. Bush. In spite of the Obama Administration and a Democrat Senate being in control for 1.5 years and a Democrat House being in control for 3.5 years, the finger pointing continues.

When a candidate runs for president, they proclaim and sell themselves as fit for the task and qualified to deal with the challenges that might be faced during their term. Being a United States Senator, Candidate Obama was very privy to the details of the problems facing the nation, including those on the horizon. In fact he benefited from the first wave of the looming crisis, as the McCain polls took a nosedive. He had every opportunity to look the problems in the eye and back away if he was not fit or able to handle these problems. Instead, he looked the American people in the eye and said he could do it.

President Obama took the Keynesian approach to solving economic problems which basically involves spend, spend, spend. Both sides of the political aisle complained about the large deficit spending of the Bush Administration. Bush was a budgetary tightwad compared to this President. I keep waiting for some new trick for Obama to pull from his sleeve, but it appears he came to office with only massive spending as an economic solution and it is not working.

There are many problems big and small where the one causing it and the one solving it are different persons or organizations. Every election cycle, whether it be President, Senator, Representative, Governor or Mayor; people step up and claim that if you will elect them, the problem(s) will get solved. It is a given that it is the fault of somebody else. The question is "Can you solve it?" Candidate Barack Obama sold himself that he could.

Solutions are not making things better this month and inversely worst next month. Solutions are not building the biggest economic time bomb in history to obtain the most anemic of respites now. This Administration is dancing, bobbing and weaving, playing shell games, using smoke and mirrors, playing the blame game, dragging its feet and often just hiding from the public. This Administration has placed its agenda and the passage of its agenda above the needs of this country for a strong economy and jobs. Neither the economy, the lack of jobs, nor the oil spill will deter Obama from his obsession with wealth redistribution and changing the entire landscape of this country by instituting systems shown to fail in every country it has been tried. The priority of ramming an ideology down our throats has obviously been a higher priority than our welfare.

This President declared he was capable and competent to do the job. His continued presence in office is either a daily reaffirmation of his claims or if he knows he cannot address the problems a declaration that he places himself above the needs of the American people. In either case, he needs to be held accountable. Instead our media continues to enable his lack of competence by covering for him.

We cannot allow this President to live by the slogan "Yes we can...unless it is too hard".


Friday, June 11, 2010

Pelosi Bank Failure On The Horizon

Nancy Pelosi's comments according to MSNBC:

“Take it to the bank,” she said, adding: “I’m very pleased with how the primaries have been going in terms of the votes that my members have received. Looking at the other side and who the challengers are, I feel pretty good about it.”

Her "take it to the bank" comment was referring to her opinion on Democrats retaining control of the House. While it remains to be seen how big of a thumping Democrats will receive in November, barring a major game changer, we will at least be seeing a Pelosi's "Bank" go bust as she hands back the gavel of power to a Republican. I realize she must put on a good face and a good spin, but to set yourself up like that for ridicule is foolish. If she does actually believe her comments, then we have proof she is in denial and lacks two feet in reality.


Monday, June 07, 2010

Helen Thomas Puts a Crack in the Liberal Camp

Anti-Israel sentiments may have strong among liberals for some time, but it seems only in recent years that it has become fashionable and very prevalent. All of this time the Jewish people in America have in overwhelming numbers voted Democrat. It was easy when we had staunch GOP supporters of Israel in the White House. While Bill Clinton was not as friendly to Israel, there was enough lip service to being an ally to Israel to keep it from becoming much of a concern to the American Jewish voting block. The Obama Presidency and Administration has been so extremely friendly and pacifying to the clear enemies of Israel, it has to have been for several months the elephant in the room in many Jewish homes in the US. In their zeal for liberal utopia, many a blind eye must have been turned thus far. I believe that is all about to change. The incredible anti-Israel, anti-semetic comments by Helen Thomas have shaken the tree, and the ripened fruit of Jewish bigotry is falling all over the ground.

I have watched the dialogue on the subject on DailyKos for a couple of days with great interest and some admitted measure of entertainment. There are some quite angry and disgusted with these comments telling the Jews of Israel to go back "home" to Poland and Germany. There are others that are quite fine with her comments and coming to her defense. There was initial denial claiming that just because the video debuted on conservative websites, that they must have edited it and taken her words out of context. Listening to the tape it is difficult to see how that is possible, or any benign nature to her words. Yet she has plenty of defenders among the DailyKos comments. Since her apology, it has become even more interesting. There are those quick to overlook her words since she "apologized" and there are those who recognize that her words are to ugly to accept an apology and move on.

The dialogue over Helen Thomas will be the spotlight that is needed to really shake up the Jewish voting block. If she stays in the White House press corps, it will churn the dialogue against her and the ugly anti-semetic sentiment of many progressives. If she is fired, her defenders will also underscore her views. Either way it goes, this dialogue will certainly churn things up and make some American Jews rethink their support of a movement that wants to tie the hands of Israel against defending themselves against their enemies that want nothing more than the State of Israel to cease to exist.

Update: Helen Thomas has retired effective immediately. Well, well, this is the one scenario that would limit the damage with the Jewish voting block as it allows the dialogue to end the soonest.

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Saturday, June 05, 2010

How I Would Solve the Oil Leak

I am completely amazed that this oil leak has not been fixed yet. I do find it interesting that this seems to be the only problem Obama seems to be relying on a solution from the private sector. Every other thing he has looked to government to fix. Plus the only trick he seems to have in his bag is to spend massive amounts of money. Regardless of the arguments over who's fault the leak is, the Obama administration has done an abominable job at addressing the problem. The Gulf of Mexico is a national treasure that should be protected. Once it was determined that there was a large amount of oil spewing into the Gulf, the Obama should have immediately brought the best people together to address the amount of oil in the Gulf. The waited until it was too late to start burning the oil. They dragged their feet on allowing Louisiana to protect its shores with sand berms. They did not bring any tankers into the area to siphon the oil out of the water. Instead of putting the Environment first, they put environmentalists first. Governor Jindal is a Republican and Louisiana is a Red State, so Obama treated both with hostility, a major trademark of this administration. President Obama was nearly invisible during this crisis. He did not want to be associated with the leak, so he put politics above preservation of the Gulf of Mexico.

I have heard many, many solutions offered on talk radio and on the internet. The problem with most solutions is that they address the problem against the direction of the flow of oil. Putting a dome to stop the gushing oil. Plug the hole with golf balls, tires and other junk. Putting a cap on it. All these solutions fight against the pressure of the oil coming out of the hole. I am no engineer so I don't know all the terms that might be used. I will try to avoid using the word "thingy" in my description. My solution involves putting what I would call a sheath with a reverse seal. The sheath would be completely open when placed over the existing pipe. This would allow all attempts to seal the outside rim of the sheath without fighting against the oil pressure. Once the sheath was firmly over the pipe and the rim sealed, there would be an inner rim on the inside of the sheath. There would be (here is where I want to say thingy) a circular plate as wide as the sheath which would be wider than the inner rim between the oil and the inner rim. It would either act as a pop-plunger or by turning a wheel would rise up to seal against the inner rim. The oil pressure would push it against the inner rim and seal it even tighter rather than it being on the other side of the rim and pushing against the oil.

I am sure my description lacks the finesse of a true engineer, but hopefully it was good enough to understand. I am certain that in the end when this is resolved, the solution will be something like that.

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