The close Republican U.S. Senate primary pits the GOP establishment against the Tea Party Movement. Tea Party favorite and Palin-endorsed Joe Miller is ahead of establishment-backed Lisa Murkowski by 1,668 votes. But 23,000 absentee ballots have not been counted. For Murkowski to wipe out Miller’s lead and win the election she needs 12,335 of those 23,000 votes, or 53.63% of the total.
There were 92,386 total votes cast in the Republican primary between Murkowski and Miller, with Miller receiving 50.9% and Murkowski 49.1%. For her to get 53.63% of the remaining 23,000 votes would seem to be a statistical improbability bordering on an impossibility. The first 92,000 votes constitutes a poll with a margin or error near zero given the size of the sample. Murkowski will have to cheat in order to win.
On the other hand, it is said that Miller gained momentum in the last two weeks of the election, and it is presumed that the absentee ballots were cast before that. The number of absentee ballots is already becoming a comic joke. It started at 7500, then it was 15,000, now the 23,000 figure I used, but some accounts have it at close to 26,000. At this rate the absentee ballots will soon exceed the polling booth ballots.
The constantly changing number of absentee ballots brings to mind the constantly changing number of newly-discovered ballots in the Al Franken-Norm Coleman debacle during the recount of the Minnesota Senate election in 2008, and may signal that election shenanigans have already begun. Assuming a Republican win over Democrat Scott MacAdams, which seems likely, will Lisa Murkowski become the Republican version of Al Franken in the U.S. Senate? Would that suit the GOP establishment who, apparently, badly misses Ted Stevens?
UPDATE: Murkowski threw in the towel after the first 9500 absentee ballots were counted without significantly reducing Miller’s lead. This his how an honest recount would be expected to go, even in a close race a recount seldom changes the outcome unless it’s done by Democrats in Minnesota, Washington state or Florida (Democrats came close in Florida but didn’t cheat quite enough).
Murkowski is to be commended for doing the right thing.
Email received from a reader, about a brown bear (Alaska’s version of the grizzly) attack near Soldotna, Alaska:
King season is over, and since I had a day off before silvers start, I thought I would go for a walk! This occurred at 11:16 am this morning (Sunday), just 2/10 of a mile from my house.
ON OUR ROAD while walking my dogs (ironically trying to get in shape for hunting season!) for the record. This is in a residential area-not back in the woods. No bow hunting. No stealth occurring.
I heard a twig snap. And looked back. Full on charge-a huge brownie, ears back, head low and motorin’ full speed! Came with zero warning; no Woof, no popping of the teeth, no standing up, nothing like what you think or see on TV! It charged from less than 20 yards and was on me in about one-second! Totally surreal. I just started shooting in the general direction. And praise God that my second shot (or was it my third?) rolled him at 5 feet and he skidded to a stop 10 feet BEYOND where I was shooting from. I actually sidestepped him and fell over backwards on the last shot. And his momentum carried him to a stop past where I fired my first shot!
It was a prehistoric old boar. No teeth. No fat. Weighed between 900-1000 Lb. and took five men to DRAG it onto a tilt-bed trailer! Big bear. Its Paw measured out at about a 9-1/2 footer!
Never-ever-thought ‘it’ would happen to me! It’s always some other
Well, no bull. I am still high on adrenaline. With my gut in a Knot (felt like I did 10000 crunches without stopping)! Almost puked for an hour after. Had the burps and couldn’t even stand up as the troopers conducted their investigation! Totally wiped me out. Can’t even put that feeling into words.
By far the most emotion I have ever felt at once!
No doubt that God was with me, as I brought my Ruger .454 Casull (and some “hot” 350 grain solids) just for the heck of it. And managed to draw and snap shoot (pointed, never even aimed!) from the hip! Total luck shot!
All I can say is Praise God for my safety and for choosing to leave the wife and kids at home on this walk!
Now, if either Hillary, or Obama or anyone else in this administration starts making noises about taking away your right to protect yourself with a gun, we need to let them know where we stand.
Looks like this was an old bear no longer able to feed itself and desperately hungry. That made him very dangerous.
This is the Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan 6-shot, 2.5 inch barrel revolver that appears to have been used. It’s available in .44 Magnum or .454 Casull, holds six in the cylinder. Bullets vary from 300 grain to 360 grain in .454 Casull load, and usually loaded to make about 1100 feet per second at the muzzle which is awesome out of a 2.5 inch barrel. With hard cast lead bullets (recommended for bear defense) the recoil of the .454 Casull in this revolver is stout but manageable. With copper jacketed bullets the recoil is miserable.
Would bear spray have worked in this case? If it had worked would it have better for this old bear? Would it have been better for the people of this community? Does it make sense to place your life on the line in hopes that some pepper under pressure will save you?
John McCain won a landslide victory over J.D. Hayworth in the Arizona primary. Arizona Republicans soundly rejected Hayworth and maybe he deserved it. But I don’t think 6 more years of John McCain, the real one that will surely return now that it’s safe, will be good for the Republican party.
UPDATE: Mr. Campaign Finance Reform spent $21 Million to defeat J.D. Hayworth.
Using the Government’s own numbers compiled by the Congressional Budget Office for 2009 and later and from the U.S. Statistical Abstract for 2008 and earlier, Randall Hoven soundly demolishes the myth promulgated by Democrats that the Iraq War is responsible for exploding deficits. See the note at the end of Hoven’s article at The American Thinker for reference to the exact location in each source for the numbers represented in the following table:
Hoven quotes several Democrats and their sympathizers in the partisan media who categorically blame the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the Bush Tax cuts, and the recession for “nearly the entire deficit.” Here’s just one:
“First, the facts. Nearly the entire deficit for this year and those projected into the near and medium terms are the result of three things: the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bush tax cuts and the recession. The solution to our fiscal situation is: end the wars…”
– Christopher Hayes, The Nation.
The table above succinctly shows Hayes statement to be nonsense. Says Hoven:
Just for grins, use the above chart to dissect Christopher Hayes’ statement that our current and future deficits are caused by “three things: the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bush tax cuts and the recession.”
Two of those three things — the wars and tax cuts — were in effect from 2003 through 2007. Do you see alarming deficits or trends from 2003 through 2007 in the above chart? No. In fact, the trend through 2007 is shrinking deficits. What you see is a significant upward tick in 2008, and then an explosion in 2009. Now, what might have happened between 2007 and 2008, and then 2009?
Democrats taking over both houses of Congress, and then the presidency, was what happened. Republicans wrote the budgets for the fiscal years through 2007. Congressional Democrats wrote the budgets for FY 2008 and on. When the Democrats also took over the White House, they immediately passed an $814-billion “stimulus.” (The $814 billion figure is from the same CBO report as the Iraq War costs. See sources at end of article.)
The sum of all the deficits from 2003 through 2010 is $4.73 trillion. Subtract the entire Iraq War cost and you still have a sum of $4.02 trillion.
On the Bush Tax cuts being responsible for any of the deficit, even the New York Times doesn’t believe that. In a story from July 9, 2006 the Times said this:
An unexpectedly steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year, even though spending has climbed sharply because of the war in Iraq and the cost of hurricane relief.
Clearly, a steep rise in tax revenues resulting from the Bush Tax cuts could not also be causing part of the rising deficit.
Hoven finds, from all this, some salient facts:
So the following are facts, based on the government’s own figures.
Obama’s stimulus, passed in his first month in office, will cost more than the entire Iraq War — more than $100 billion (15%) more. Just the first two years of Obama’s stimulus cost more than the entire cost of the Iraq War under President Bush, or six years of that war. Iraq War spending accounted for just 3.2% of all federal spending while it lasted. Iraq War spending was not even one quarter of what we spent on Medicare in the same time frame Iraq War spending was not even 15% of the total deficit spending in that time frame. The cumulative deficit, 2003-2010, would have been four-point-something trillion dollars with or without the Iraq War. The Iraq War accounts for less than 8% of the federal debt held by the public at the end of 2010 ($9.031 trillion).
During Bush’s Iraq years, 2003-2008, the federal government spent more on education that it did on the Iraq War. (State and local governments spent about ten times more.)
Read the whole thing.
This video contrasts two views of the role that the federal government should play in our daily lives using the words and actions of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Two versions of the American dream now stand in sharp contrast. One (the dream) views the money you earned as yours and best allocated by you; the other believes that the elite in Washington know how to best allocate your wealth. The other (the nightmare) champions the traditional American dream, which has played out millions of times through generations of Americans, of improving one’s lot in life and even daring to dream and build big. The other holds that there is no end to the “good” the government can do by taking and spending other peoples’ money in an ever-burgeoning list of programs. The documentary film I Want Your Money exposes the high cost in lost freedom and in lost opportunity to support a Leviathan-like bureaucratic state.
J.R. Dunn thinks Obama has jumped the shark with his ringing endorsement of the ground zero mosque, which Rush Limbaugh calls the “Hamasque” because of the strong backing by Hamas. Dunn opens his American Thinker essay this way:
There comes a moment in a failing presidency where the incumbent, through some single gesture, action, or statement, crosses a certain line from beyond which there is no return. Through his own will and behavior, he so underlines his failings, so frames his negative image, that no further action can ever erase it. Fate, accident, and circumstance have nothing to do with it. It is the president himself who puts the period at the end of his own sentence.
Read the whole thing.
Democrats want our freedom and our money. President Ronald Reagan had a simple answer to that sort of thing. Tell them, “NO, you can’t have it.”
Do we still believe in our capacity for self government? I hope so. Freedoms are slipping away and if Americans don’t halt the process they will wake up someday and it will all be gone. As usual, Ronald Reagan was prescient.
There is always something happening when I’m not looking. Usually I’m not surprised. Mostly the strange goings on just reflect an aspect of human nature with which I’m already familiar. But this one took me by surprise, assuming it’s true:
From the Dallas Morning News appears this essay by Christine Wicker,
A lot of midlife women in my acquaintance are leaving what appear to be perfectly good and loving husbands. Or thinking about it. Or cheating on them. Or wanting to. Or staying married and faithful but buying their own houses, which they either live in or keep as a bolt hole.
This astonishes me. I grew up believing it was men who had midlife crises that threatened marriage.
I decided one recent morning to list women I knew who fit the profile. In 15 minutes, I came up with 30 names. Some families on my list have more than one walk-away wife.
All this may be an anomaly signifying nothing. But if is a real phenomenon and large enough to constitute a trend, to what will it lead? What will be the larger consequences? Will these women find the good life? Or will they just find life to be not much better, and maybe even a bit worse?
Stuart Schniederman weighs in:
What is it all about? Are these women getting their second wind? Are they thinking that they can now find the love they have been missing in their marriages? If they are in their mid-forties, they may think that it is their last chance at true romance.
Or perhaps they are anticipating the possibility of being dumped for younger women and are trying to pre-empt the pain of rejection. After their husbands get over the shock of a broken home, many of them, as Dr. Helen points out, are going to do just fine out there.
Just as college girl hooking up, supported by feminists as a step toward liberation, is a boon for teenage boys, so perhaps is this new trend among their mothers a boon for middle aged men.
If middle-aged hooking up becomes as common as college girl hooking up, I have no doubt that the chief beneficiaries will be middle aged men.
Will women ever learn?
Policies of appeasement have always been a cause of the very thing those who engage in the practice think they are preventing. Appeasement of Hitler backfired in WW II and America’s appeasement of Islamic terrorism led the World Trade Center hijackers to believe America was a paper tiger and encouraged them to carry out their bloody attack.
Question 41 of this CNN Opinion Research Poll:
41. As you may know, a group of Muslims in the U.S. plan to build a mosque two blocks from the site in New York City where the World Trade Center used to stand. Do you favor or oppose this plan?
Aug. 6-10 2010
No opinion 3%
CNN polls are not always reliable but if the number who oppose were significantly lower than this we can be sure CNN would have found them. It’s likely the number who oppose is even greater. The poll is of 935 registered voters and the margin of error is plus or minus 3 points. Rasmussen polls likely voters as opposed to merely registered voters so are better at predicting how a particular poll result may translate into election results.
The CNN poll raises suspicion because it finds that 51% of respondents believe there is a Constitutional right to same sex marriage. It’s certainly believable that 51% of the country is ignorant of the Constitution but not that it supports gay marriage. After all, gay marriage has been defeated by comfortable margins either in direct election or by the state legislatures in the very blue states of New York, New Jersey and California. In New York and New Jersey it was the state legislature that defeated it. No one who pays attention to politics in those states can believe those state politicians defeated it because they are personally against it. They would approve it in a heartbeat except they know they’d lose the next election if they did. UPDATE: 9th Circuit has halted California gay marriages pending appeal of the District Court “ruling” by Judge Vaughn Walker striking down California’s Proposition 8. [Federal courts holding forth on marriage under state law, overturning a political decision made by popular vote — The world is upside down.]
If a CNN poll says 68% of the public is opposed to the ground zero mosque the number is likely even greater and Obama is further out of touch with the American people than Jimma ever was.
Richard Sullivan says, of this video:
65 Years Ago my Dad shot this film along Kalakaua Ave. in Waikiki capturing spontaneous celebrations that broke out upon first hearing news of the Japanese surrender. Kodachrome 16mm film: God Bless Kodachrome, right? I was able to find an outfit (mymovietransfer.com) to do a much superior scan of this footage to what I had previously posted, so I re-did this film and replaced the older version There are more still images from this amazing day, in color, at discoveringhawaii.com
Man on ground was arrested for using women’s restroom in a night club. His friend standing on the sidewalk is talking on his cell phone to his father, a Pueblo Sheriff’s deputy. Denver cop slams him to the ground, beats him with a sap, brutally yanks him from the ground, throws him into police car, slamming door against his ankle. See the full story from The Denver Post here.Vodpod videos no longer available.
It was at a Ramadan dinner at the White House where Obama gave his announcement of support for building a trophy mosque at ground zero while flanked by radical muslims with connections to terrorist organizations. Just to take three of Obama’s friends from the official guest list reproduced by the Washington Post:
Ingrid Mattson, the head of a Muslim Brotherhood satellite organization, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), that was identified by the Justice Department as an unindicted coconspirator in a terrorism financing case (and was proved, in fact, to have sent money to Hamas);
Salam al-Marayati, a self-described supporter of Hezbollah (and one Steve Emerson aptly describes as an anti-anti-terrorist); and
Dalia Mogahed, an apologist for sharia’s subjugation of women who has embraced ISNA, CAIR and other Islamist groups in her role as an Obama appointee to the President’s Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
The list of invited guests is long. Mining the list would likely reveal many others who have voiced support or given money to Islamic terrorist organizations. The idea that the ground zero mosque will merely allow muslims to practice their religion is a farce. It will be a testament to the triumph of Islamic terrorism and murder.
Apparently, Obama is just fine with that.
A previous post, A Despised Tax Collected By Wretches, described a hideous example crony capitalism in Wyoming. The video below follows the story in Louisiana of a similar alliance between a private industry and government to protect that industry from competition. As Adam Smith warned us in 1776 that businessmen will always seek an alliance with government to stifle and impair their competition and the honest statesman must guard against it.
These comments are taken from the YouTube site where the video below appears:
Under Louisiana law, it is a crime for anyone but a licensed funeral director to sell “funeral merchandise,” which includes caskets. To sell caskets legally, the monks of Saint Joseph Abbey would have to abandon their calling for one full year to apprentice at a licensed funeral home, learn unnecessary skills and take a funeral industry test. They would also have to convert their monastery into a “funeral establishment” by, among other things, installing equipment for embalming human remains.
Think the world might be a kinder, gentler place if firearms did not exist? I’ve never believed that and now there is some pretty good evidence that a gun-free society is not a polite society.
The following is from an article that Carlyle Moody and Don Kates are writing that refutes the theory that more guns in a society will cause more crime. Here is part of the article that was written by Prof. Moody, an economist at William & Mary College:
If more guns cause murder, and more guns cause more murder, it would seem societies with no guns at all should be the safest possible states. There are few gun free societies in the world today. However, if we look back in history to the time before the invention of firearms, we can judge for ourselves whether those societies were tranquil and safe. Remarkably good homicide data is available for England, beginning in the 1200’s. Those data indicate a pre-gun homicide rate in England of roughly 20 per 100,000 [roughly four times greater than the U.S. today]
Firearms were introduced into England in the 1400’s and were in wide use by the 1500’s, coincident with a decline in the homicide rate to 15 per 100K. However these early guns were predominately of the matchlock design. This design featured a slow burning fuse held in a clamp at the end of a serpentine lever. When the trigger was pulled the clamp dropped down so that the end of the lit fuse touched the powder in the flash pan, firing the weapon. The design was simple and the weapons relatively inexpensive. The major problem with the design from the point of view of personal defense was that, because of the need for a lit fuse, the weapon could not be kept and carried loaded and primed for quick use against a sudden attack.
The first firearm that could be carried loaded and primed was the flintlock, introduced into England around 1630. In this design the fuse is replaced by a piece of flint. When the trigger is pulled the flint strikes a piece of steel producing a shower of sparks that ignite the powder in the flash pan. This technology persisted through the early 1800’s. While matchlocks were almost exclusively long guns, flintlock technology was readily adapted to produce handguns, which were particularly useful for self defense. The flintlock pistol was relatively inexpensive, could be comfortably carried, was ready for action in an instant, and did not require a great deal of physical strength or expertise to operate. The flintlock could be fired in an instant, making it the ideal self- defense weapon. Armed with a flintlock, the physically weak found themselves on an equal footing with the physically strong in a confrontation.
The introduction of the flintlock coincided with the largest decline in homicide in English history. The homicide rate plunged to 6 per 100K in the 1600’s. The English homicide rate continued to decline slowly and steadily until well into the 20th century. For example, in 1900 the homicide rate was 0.96 per 100K.
The last hundred years of English history tells the reverse story.
Continue reading Kates and Moody here.
Kates and Moody add something significant to John Lotts’ book More Guns, Less Crime, now in its 3rd edition. Perhaps it’s not just more guns, but more and better guns that lead to less crime.
I think it was Hamilton Felix in Beyond This Horizon by Robert Heinlein who said “A well armed society is a polite society.” He was right.
Read the rest of Kates and Moody’s excellent article at More and Better Guns = Less Crime, European History
There are many things that point to basic differences between liberals and conservatives but the most poignant is the ease with which liberals express their hatred of conservatives. Nothing on the right is comparable. Conservatives generally believe liberals are guided by emotion and uninformed opinions which lead them to support disastrous government policies, but few conservatives harbor personal animosity toward liberals. Liberals, on the other hand, tend to believe that conservative ideas and opinions stem from a deep-seated meanness, or an evil disposition in the conservative mind.
If you believe someone is well intentioned but wrong you can’t hate them. But if you believe the other guy has evil motives you can. Examples abound:
Keith Olbermann, August 18, 1998, on special prosecutor Kenneth Starr: “Facially, it finally dawned on me that the person Ken Starr has reminded me of facially all this time was Heinrich Himmler, including the glasses.”
NPR’s Nina Totenberg on Jesse Helms, July 8, 1995: “…I think he ought to be worried about what’s going on in the Good Lord’s mind, because if there is retributive justice, he’ll get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it.”
USA Today columnist and Pacifica Radio talk show host Julianne Malveaux on Justice Clarence Thomas, November 4, 1994: “The man is on the Court. You know, I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease. Well, that’s how I feel. He is an absolutely reprehensible person.”
Wanda Sykes speaking of Rush Limbaugh’s statement that he hopes Obama fails, May, 2009: “He’s not saying anything different than what Osama bin Laden is saying. You know, you might want to look into this, sir, [addressing the president] because I think maybe Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker, but he was so strung out on Oxycontin, he missed his flight.” After asking if she went too far, she barreled on: “Rush Limbaugh! ‘I hope the country fails’? I hope his kidneys fail!” [Rush never said he hoped the country fails, he equated a failure of Obama with success for the country, and vice versa.]
On March 9, 2005 the leftist rag The New York Press published The 52 Funniest Things About the Upcoming Death of The Pope
Finally, the numerous books [e.g., The assassination of George W. Bush, A Love Story by Krandall Kraus] and articles from leftists depicting or even advocating the assassination of George W. Bush.
The latest liberal bloodlust for conservatives comes today from New Hampshire. In Local Democrats Wish Death Upon Sarah Palin, we find this:
There’s only one way the tragic airplane crash in Alaska that ended the life of former-U.S. Senator Ted Stevens could have been better, according to New Hampshire Democratic activist and State Rep. candidate Keith Halloran: If Sarah Palin had been on it.
In a Facebook post, Halloran, who describes himself as “an active local citizen and supporter of NH Governor John Lynch,” said of the plane crash, “Just wish Sarah and Levy were on board.”
Halloran serves on the Rindge, NH Planning Board and is a Democratic candidate for State Representative in Cheshire County. He is a prominent supporter of Democratic frontrunner Ann McLane Kuster, who is running for Congress in NH-02. His comment appeared in response to a post by another Facebook user on the tragedy.
It would be difficult if not impossible to find comparable behavior on the right. Even if some nut on the right were to engage in such rhetoric we would search in vain for other conservatives joining in or supporting it. We would easily find other conservatives dismissing and condemning such tactics. The left does not condemn its whack jobs when they express death wishes for conservatives and in fact cheers them on. That’s the difference between liberals and conservatives.
UPDATE: From 1994 through 2003 Jeff Jacoby of The Boston Globe wrote an end-of-the-year column collecting all the examples of liberal hate speech during the past year. All of those columns are available at Hate Speech of the Left.
Most people know that California is in economic decline but may not know how bad it is. With unemployment rising from just over 5% to 13% since 2006, people and corporations fleeing the state, and public employee unions dominating the Sacramento bureaucracy, California is on the verge of becoming a failed state.
So what went wrong? Joel Kotkin answers that question this way:
The answer lies in a change in the nature of progressive politics in California. During the second half of the twentieth century, the state shifted from an older progressivism, which emphasized infrastructure investment and business growth, to a newer version, which views the private sector much the way the Huns viewed a city—as something to be sacked and plundered. The result is two separate California realities: a lucrative one for the wealthy and for government workers, who are largely insulated from economic decline; and a grim one for the private-sector middle and working classes, who are fleeing the state.
See his article in City Journal, available online: The Golden State’s War On Itself — How Politicians Turned the California Dream Into a Nightmare.