Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Now, Farrakhan is infamous as the former leader of the Black Muslim group Nation of Islam, and as such is not within what most people consider the mainstream of political thought. But how about this piece that appeared on Slate over a year ago? Timothy Noah obviously noticed something. Want something more recent? How about NYT columnist Paul Krugman just 2 weeks ago: "I’m not the first to point out that the Obama campaign seems dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality."
“This young man is the hope of the entire world that America will change and be made better,” he said. “This young man is capturing audiences of black and brown and red and yellow. If you look at Barack Obama’s audiences and look at the effect of his words, those people are being transformed.”
Farrakhan compared Obama to the religion’s founder, Fard Muhammad, who also had a white mother and black father.
“A black man with a white mother became a savior to us,” he told the crowd of mostly followers. “A black man with a white mother could turn out to be one who can lift America from her fall.”
Dozens of commentators have remarked about Obama's formidable oratorical skills, his personal charm, and his popular following. Women have fainted at his campaign events, like teens used to for Elvis or the Beatles.
Many other analysts have remarked about how Mr. Obama spellbinds his audiences despite the lack of substance in his campaign promises--the glittering generalities, the populist message of "something for everyone" (except, of course, those evil corporations and rich people). The message of "change we can believe in"--without any indication of where that change will lead.
I'm no end times freak, and I am certainly not implying anything supernatural about Mr. Obama, nor do I suggest that Mr. Obama is evil, but stepping back and looking at all this, it seems to me that these characteristics exhibited by the Senator are more closely associated with the idea of the Antichrist than with the Messiah.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Now that I've read the article, IMHO it is nothing more or less than a political hit piece evidently intended to raise doubts about McCain's fitness for the Presidency and make him seem at best a hypocrite about ethics. Not only does the piece bring up events of almost a decade ago in a way that makes it seem that they were much more recent, it rehashes McCain's involvement in the so-called Keating Five scandal of twenty years ago. By way of background, don't ya know. It's artfully done--the lead sentence refers to Mr. McCain't presidential campaign of eight years ago, but then goes on to mix current and dated statements in a way that gives the impression of immediacy. In fact the piece adds nothing new about McCain, it just rakes up old stuff to roil the waters.
As to the subject matter itself, the piece tries mightily to make a mountain over what appears to me to be the most trivial sort of molehill. But guess what--whether it's true or not, I don't care!
As Perry Mason would say, the whole piece is "irrelevant, incompetent and immaterial." It is irrelevant to a much greater extent than Mr. Clinton's dalliances with "that woman, Ms. Lewinski," which, as any Democrat will tell you (and the NYT probably editorialized) had no bearing on Mr. Clinton's abilities to carry out his Presidential duties. It is incompetent because it is so largely based on anonymous sources, who being unnamed cannot be assessed with respect to their knowledge, recall or any other factor relating to their dependability and truthfulness. It is immaterial because it relates to events that happened in the distant past which shrink to insignificance when compared to Mr. McCain's public record.
I lived in NYC during the late 1950s, and I recall the differences between the New York Times and the New York Post as they then were. Looking at the two papers today, one might form the opinion that ever so slowly they are evolving in a way that will result in their changing places.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
My point is that sophisticated and well-equipped meteorologists were not able to accurately predict the weather 24 hours in advance. It seems to me that day-to-day weather prediction is, or at least should be, a much better developed science than global climate prediction. The variables are better understood, the data are more comprehensive, more available and more accurate, and the system is much less complex in the former instance than in the latter.
For the life of me, I have great difficulty understanding why we should place much stock in the predictions of global warming alarmists who want us to spend billions, if not trillions of dollars "fixing" the supposedly anthropogenic damage to our climate, based on computer models that purport to be able to predict climate one or two centuries in the future, when we can't even get tomorrow's forecast right.
It follows that the US Government is willing to demonstrate an antisatellite capability that has not heretofore been discussed much, in order to prevent sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. Such a demonstration might also be educational for anyone who believes the US has been ignoring the implications of other entities having their own spy satellites.
Friday, February 01, 2008
Both men are flawed from my point of view. Romney seems to be a chameleon and leans whichever way the wind is blowing. He was liberalish as governor of
On the democrat side, I think electing Billary will be downright dangerous for the country, because of their self-centeredness and apparent willingness to do anything to advance their own interests. Moreover, I think electing the
I think one of the biggest disservices Bill Clinton did for (or is it to?) the country was to get the public used to seeing the President as Entertainer-in-Chief. (I was making that point to my daughter a couple weeks ago and that same evening Laura Ingraham used the same term on the O’Reilly Factor. I won’t claim originality, but I sure didn’t steal it from her.) I think his antics seriously diminished the office of the Presidency and as a result a large part of the public doesn’t regard Presidential elections with the sense of gravity that they deserve. Instead, too many people regard the elections as a popularity contest, similar to a referendum on who would replace Jay Leno or David Letterman as a late-night TV host. In a way it’s a pity that his presidency didn’t confront any serious challenges – the Cold War was over and the terrorist threat was still far away, and the economy was going great guns, after the Republicans took Congress. If there had been some sort of crisis during his term, I think the public perception of
Obama is, as far as I can see, a relatively uncorrupt politician with a conventionally liberal/progressive track record, as far as it goes. I don’t think he’s ready for prime time, but as between him and Billary, I’ll take Obama. For all his lack of experience and track record, I think Obama is smart enough to surround himself with serious thinkers, even though they might be of the far left persuasion, and I don’t think he’s in the race merely for his own power and glory. As I have said before, he might very well be Presidential timber, but he definitely needs more seasoning. I think it’s a disadvantage for a politician seeking high office never to have experienced failure, because such a person has an inflated sense of his own abilities.
I registered as “no pref” a year or so ago, because I had become disgusted at the stupidity being demonstrated by the Republicans in Congress, and no longer considered them worthy of my loyalty. Living in