Friday, October 31, 2008


Bin Laden

Any one ever see those two together?

Fusion Report 31 Oct. 008

Rick Nebel of EMC2 explains what the recent flurry of contracts from the Navy (New IEC Fusion Experiment Contract) was all about.

This isn't a big deal. This is small, interim funding. It's called staying alive until they make a decision.
At least they are going to be able to keep the team together until a decision is made.

This is not unusual in business. I was once hired for a contract by an aerospace company for some very special work and was paid (at a very good rate) for six months to surf the Internet. Just so I wouldn't take a contract elsewhere. When the project was finally authorized I did my job and the team I worked with got it done on time and under budget. Not the norm in aerospace.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Cult Of Personality

The last day or so I have been looking at the The Mass Psychology of Fascism and how to Escape from Freedom. Not the books. Stuff on the net. Let me start with Ali Sina's discussion of the cult of personality.

There are other disturbing similarities. Like Hitler and Khomeini, Obama also likes to create a cult of personality around himself. As stated above, when a large number of a population is discontent, a charismatic leader can seize the opportunity and present himself as the agent of change. He can create a cult of Personality by associating himself with the idea of change. He convinces everyone that things are terrible and a drastic change is needed. He then casts himself as the only person who can deliver this revolutionary transformation that everyone is waiting for. He portrays himself as a benevolent guide; the only one who cares about people and their needs and can pull them out of their alleged misery. In reality, they have no clue about how to address the problem - have no experience, no track record. But they are convincing because they are self assured.

These revolutionary leaders need foes. They exaggerate the problems. They make everything look gloomy. They lie, cheat and slander their opponents while casting themselves as the saviors of the nation. Hitler chose the Jews to blame for everything that was wrong in Germany. Khomeini made the Shah and his westernization plans his scapegoats. Obama has chosen President George W. Bush to smear. He can rally people around himself, as long as he can instill in them the dislike of Bush and equate his rival, McCain to him. Sigmund Freud wrote, "It is always possible to bind together a considerable number of people in love, so long as there are other people left over to receive the manifestations of their aggressiveness" (Civilization and Its Discontents).

A cult of personality is excessive adulation, admiration and exaltation of a charismatic leader, often with unproven merits or achievements. It is similar to hero worship except that it is created specifically for political leaders.
Hmmm. Does that sound like something you have seen lately? There is way more and it is all good. So read it.

And then we have Fouad Ajami discussing Obama and the Politics of Crowds.
There is something odd -- and dare I say novel -- in American politics about the crowds that have been greeting Barack Obama on his campaign trail. Hitherto, crowds have not been a prominent feature of American politics. We associate them with the temper of Third World societies. We think of places like Argentina and Egypt and Iran, of multitudes brought together by their zeal for a Peron or a Nasser or a Khomeini. In these kinds of societies, the crowd comes forth to affirm its faith in a redeemer: a man who would set the world right.

As the late Nobel laureate Elias Canetti observes in his great book, "Crowds and Power" (first published in 1960), the crowd is based on an illusion of equality: Its quest is for that moment when "distinctions are thrown off and all become equal. It is for the sake of this blessed moment, when no one is greater or better than another, that people become a crowd." These crowds, in the tens of thousands, who have been turning out for the Democratic standard-bearer in St. Louis and Denver and Portland, are a measure of American distress.

On the face of it, there is nothing overwhelmingly stirring about Sen. Obama. There is a cerebral quality to him, and an air of detachment. He has eloquence, but within bounds. After nearly two years on the trail, the audience can pretty much anticipate and recite his lines. The political genius of the man is that he is a blank slate. The devotees can project onto him what they wish. The coalition that has propelled his quest -- African-Americans and affluent white liberals -- has no economic coherence. But for the moment, there is the illusion of a common undertaking -- Canetti's feeling of equality within the crowd. The day after, the crowd will of course discover its own fissures. The affluent will have to pay for the programs promised the poor. The redistribution agenda that runs through Mr. Obama's vision is anathema to the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and the hedge-fund managers now smitten with him. Their ethos is one of competition and the justice of the rewards that come with risk and effort. All this is shelved, as the devotees sustain the candidacy of a man whose public career has been a steady advocacy of reining in the market and organizing those who believe in entitlement and redistribution.
Yep. It is a pretty good con. And he is very close to pulling it off. Very close.

One of the big clues for me that a lot of people see through him is that many people only half in jest call him "Dear Leader".

There is a bit I came across a while back claiming his success with at least part of the crowd is due to hypnotic techniques.
THE EVIDENCE IS HERE: This document contains over 60 pages of evidence and analysis proving Barack Obama’s use of a little-known and highly deceptive and manipulative form of “hack” hypnosis on millions of unaware Americans, and reveals what only a few psychologists and hypnosis/NLP experts know.

The entire paper is located here.

I found this on another forum, contributed by one of the more certified liberal loons. On first blush my sentiments were "yeah right." But because it was Sunday morning and a slow news day, I decided to indulge my curiosity and my funny bone and have a look see into this assertion of mass hypnosis by one Barack Obama.

Needless to say, what I found was not only intriguing, but captivating in both presentation and common sense reality. What this writer has to say and the way that he presents his argument, not only captivates the imagination? But also causes the reader to call forth the images of their own personal recollections, while the author utilizes his own observations and experience to make his points and his arguments for the assertions he is representing.
You know. That does indeed seem far fetched. But there is a method behind the madness. Deduction and reasoning.
And as I read th author's presentation the thought kept bouncing back at me that these are the very same techniques and principles (as being described) employed and deployed by all successful "preachers" and "charismatic speakers" historically. And that someone at some point had simply sat down and applied analytical thinking and deduction to the process of successfully leading people through manipulative speaking.

And where better to learn these techniques for a young Barack Obama, than at the feet of the professed and by observing and emulating the performances of charismatic preachers and others in his own life.

This is where Barack Obama had his "Eureka moment" in my estimation.
Now that does make sense. Preachers tend to come in styles. The styles tend to cluster. Obama's job is a tough one. He has to translate a preaching style that worked on the South Side Of Chicago into one that will work on all of America. That is a tough one.

I am in the process of reading the pdf and I would have to say that it is slow going at first. Here is an excerpt from the beginning that I think is key.
Dr. Erickson discovered while working as a therapist, that he could hide therapeutic hypnosis within the normal content of an inconspicuous conversation with the patient, and avoid much of the patient’s conscious resistance that normally accompanied hypnotherapy.18 Dr. Erickson realized the subconscious mind was always listening, and understood better than anyone before how to access it, and implant suggestions into it. What Dr. Erickson did was figure out how to put people into trance and hypnotize them and implant suggestions with seemingly normal conversation. He discovered that people could achieve this heightened state of hyper-suggestibility without the traditional difficultly-induced coma-like state traditionally associated with hypnosis. Though his pioneering understanding, he was able to do the same and much more often with simple plays on words and embedded meanings in a single sentence. The entire field of “covert hypnosis”, or “conversational hypnosis” is based on Dr. Erickson’s techniques, and is now primarily used by hypnotists and psychiatrists.19 Conversational hypnosis is often referred to as Ericksonian hypnosis. The word “hypnosis” is never mentioned and there is nothing overt to give away that hypnosis is being used. It is impossible to detect unless you know precisely what to look for. Hack versions of these techniques are unfortunately taught to be used as persuasion tools for salespersons, and even more unfortunately also for men looking to enhance their success picking up and seducing with women.
The story really doesn't get going until pdf page 15 where the description of how Obama uses the techniques. It discusses his Denver 2008 Convention speech. So if the beginning bores you jump to page 14 or 15 and dig in.

NLP was mentioned previously, so what is this NLP stuff? It is Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Let's look at what the wiki has to say.
NLP was co-created by Richard Bandler and linguist John Grinder in the 1970s through observation and imitation of gestalt therapist Fritz Perls, family systems therapist Virginia Satir and psychiatrist Milton H. Erickson. The originators emphasized modeling of excellence as the core methodology, that is, the observational and information gathering methods they developed to define and produce the models of exceptional communicators. They also claimed that the basic assumptions of NLP draw from aspects of neurology ("neuro-"), transformational grammar ("linguistics") and cybernetics ("programming"). It has often been promoted as an art and science of effective communication and defined as 'the study of the structure of subjective experience'. Others put more emphasis on the tools, techniques and applications specific to contexts such as psychotherapy, business management and communications training, motivational seminars, personal development, and teaching.
Motivational seminars? That sounds a lot like a political rally. I'd be surprised if all candidates didn't use those techniques.

So can those techniques be taught? Neuro-Linguistic Programming for Dummies thinks so. I haven't read the book so I can't comment.

So what is the antidote to all this? Study the product before you buy. Be sure it is what you want and that the price is acceptable and know the techniques being used on you so you won't be bamboozled.

If you would like to listen to a perfect example of hypnotized Obama supporters just click on the link. Howard Stern does a fine job of ferreting out some people who do not know their product. At all.

Amazon has a set of videos explaining the techniques by Derren Brown. It looks interesting. Especially when he is seducing the girls. I'm sure such techniques could be used in the other direction by the ladies. If they knew how.

Here is a supposed example of street hypnosis by Derren Brown on YouTube. What do you think? I think that he does have some success but his failures are edited out. What makes me think that? I was never moved by Obama and now he grates on my nerves. If he grates on your nerves:

Don't give it to him. Make him steal it.

You know. It just came to me. It is all about Jeddi Mind Tricks. He is not the President we want. We can move along now and vote for McCain.

Watch Obama in action with appropriate music:

Update: 31 Oct 008 1357z

Commenter who, me? had this to say in the comments:
I was intensively trained in NLP in 1989, by some of the best and most ethical, with some overlap of Erickson methods. I've studied and used it professionally since then, in partnership with clients for the changes they explicitly want and need and agree to.

For the most part the article is accurate.

The difficulty with using it for argument is that NLP is derived from long-standing persuasive techniques, and thus BO can be regarded simply as good at giving pre-scripted persuasive speeches.

However, the elements are there as described. Notice particularly the Big Code Words -- nominalizations. The practitioner is taught to find the subject's favorite nominalizations, the ones resonant with life and promise for the listener --"criteria" words. The practitioner need have no hint of what the specifics are. Betsy Newmark refers to public education now operating on such "motivational" abstractions, thereby priming voters for this kind of packaged appeal.

I have avoided watching Obama's speeches. So I haven't directly calibrated his lulling pacing, tonal delivery, etc. But astonishing to me is, after 19 years of close attention to my own and others' thought patterns, I was finding a kind of "drag" toward Obama -- not the candidate but the voting target -- though I do not support him. As I anticipated going into the early-voting booth, I felt especially I needed to pay close attention, not to somehow go blank and vote for him. I've never ever felt that concern in any other election, as to any other candidate.

In short, both reading the article and noting with astonishment something in the air seemingly affecting me in spite of myself, there's a lot to this. But an a-logical demagogue-ready collective-mentality population really is key, otherwise the slick Package Nominalizations, gestures, and emotion-infused appeals to free-floating futile-program-based idealism wouldn't be so effective delivered wholesale.
That is VERY interesting.

Some MDs discussing the pdf paper. It is very interesting pro and con. Thanks to commenter Penny at Classical Values. Here is a very interesting comment from the "MDs discussing" link:
William D Horton, Psy. D. Says:
October 29th, 2008 at 5:52 pm

I am the co-author and technical advisor/expert for the article. My name is on it in several of the placements, but through an error, not all. I broke it down as a way to understand the Obama sudden rise to power. The co-author wants to remain behind the scene as he is fearful of negative feedback. I personally have respect for the skill Senator Obama uses these skills. I just wanted to point out the deep emotional response he elicits. I have talked about this on several radio shows and other outlets. If I had it to do over I would have removed partisan aspects, but I do stand by the techical aspects of the article.

William Horton Psy. D. CAC Master Hypnotist and NLP trainer
BTW the William Horton link goes to NFNLP - The National Federation of NLP.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Stand Up And Fight

Don't give it to him. Make him steal it.

H/T the Jager Gazette

Fat Angel

It Is October - Surprise!

Since we love rumors around here let me pass on another one. According to The Obama File a tape in which Michelle Obama is castigating racists for working for the defeat of her husband will air on FOX some time in the next few days (given the typical election calculations it will be out some time today - the Friday before elections). I discussed the tape a couple of weeks ago at Totally Unverified. Here is what the Obama File has to say:

A final agreement has been reached between African Press International (API) and Fox News Network (USA) on the dates to air the Michelle Obama tape arising from a discussion Mrs. Obama had with the API two weeks ago. The show will take place any day/time from now, with a 15 minutes alert on when it is to take place. Other programmes will be interrupted. This is a precaution taken to avoid interference from any quarter.

In the agreement, Fox News Network will broadcast 39 minutes of the 54 minutes long tape. The whole tape cannot be aired unedited due to security reasons and especially due to the explosive political temperature in the country because of the Presidential elections that is just around the corner, November 4th.

The tape will be aired in two portions by two separate units in the Network. API’s representative will appear live in one of the shows.
So what do I think? The whole thing seems strange including the secrecy and all. Obviously Michelle knows who she talked to so the whole idea of needing security to protect any one - including FOX News - seems just a little nuts. But who knows? It might happen.

October surprises generally happen on the Friday before the election and to insure the maximum dissemination with minimum rebuttal the news usually breaks around noon Eastern Time. About 1600 GMT for those keeping Coordinated Universal Time.

Of course the Obama camp will have their October surprise ready too. So we may have competing October surprises for a change. It will be interesting and should provide a lot of blog fodder if any of this happens.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Another Rumor

Our Country Deserves Better PAC sent me an e-mail with the following information.

New polling in Michigan shows that the Obama/Biden campaign has plunged 11% in the polls over the past two weeks!

Two polls, one internal poll and one private, show our efforts for the past 2 weeks to sneak in and take this state for McCain/Palin are paying off. As you know, we stepped up our efforts in Michigan after Obama's campaign pulled most of their advertising and staff out of the state, believing the state was "safe" for Obama.

So while few people have been paying attention, we've been spending several hundred thousand dollars on TV advertising to defeat Obama in Michigan. We brought "The Stop Obama Tour" bus tour through Michigan for two swings - holding 13 rallies across the Upper and Lower peninsula of Michigan. (You can see pictures from some of our events below - we'll be sending out some news coverage of our efforts in a future email... we're definitely getting the word out!)

And we're not done! Tomorrow we'll launch another statewide ad blitz in Michigan from Wednesday-Friday. We're asking for your financial support once more so we can keep this ad blitz continuing through the final weekend before the Nov. 4th election.

Donate $5 - $5,000 online here.
So is there any truth to this or is it just hype to get donations? I don't know. All I can say for sure right now is that the trend is not Obama's friend. BTW Rassmusen in their latest poll has Obama 53% and McCain at 43% in Michigan. So is Michigan close or out of reach? The best way to tell will be if the McCain Campaign sends Johnny Mac or Sara P. to Michigan some time between now and 4 Nov. Or if Obama makes a surprise visit.

New IEC Fusion Experiment Contract has a solicitation for a bid for more experiments by EMC2, Doc Bussard's company now being run (at least on the experimental side) by Rick Nebel.

The Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division, China Lake, CA intends to procure on an other than full and open competition basis a service to provide: 1) Research of Electrostatic "Wiffle Ball" Fusion Device. The contractor is to specifically investigate the required instrumentation to achieve spatially resolved plasma densities and spatially resolved particle energies. This requirement is sole sourced to Energy Matter Conversion Corporation, 1202 Parkway Drive, Suite A, Santa Fe, NM 87501, as the only company in the world investigating and developing this type of device.
What does that mean in terms of progress with the Bussard Fusion Reactor? It means that the experiments delineated in the Fusion Report 29 August 2008 had at least enough success to warrant further work.

Dave Price has some thoughts and more details.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

It Will Not Be Approved

The Register UK is looking at how Greenpeace views fusion. Greenpeace is suspicious. Yes they are.

The (Joint European Torus) JET reactor in Culham, Oxfordshire was completed 25 years ago, and work is underway on ITER in Cadarache, France, a €10bn facility, backed by six countries (including China) plus the EU. The Czech Republic has a smaller-scale reactor, called Compass. All use magnets to force a fusion of two hydrogen isotopes, deuterium and tritium, releasing enormous amounts of energy. Eventually, it's hoped, more than goes in. ITER is designed to produce 500MW for 300 to 500 seconds with an input of 50MW.

"We'll certainly have it in fifty years," ITER's Neil Calder told the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation last week. But not if Greenpeace has its way.

Yes, the fuel for fusion is abundant, and far more productive than fossil fuel - one litre of seawater can produce as much as 30 litres of petrol. It's much safer than nuclear fission. And it doesn't release CO2. So what's the problem?

"Governments should not waste our money on a dangerous toy," Jan Van de Putte of Greenpeace International said when ITER was announced in 2005. Van de Putte predicted it will never be efficient - so why bother?

Spokesperson Bridget Woodman said: "Nuclear fusion has all the problems of nuclear power, including producing nuclear waste and the risks of a nuclear accident."

(Which must break the record for the number of false and contradictory assertions you can cram into a 17-word sentence. But that's par for the course these days. When you hear a phrase like "sustainable energy" the opposite is usually intended - the speaker is referring to an energy source that won't sustain anything for very long or very reliably.)
Actually fusion has very few of the problems of fission power. There is no radioactive debris left over from the splitting of atoms. The nuclear waste problem is tractable because you can choose the materials that will become radioactive from neutron bombardment by design. Short half lives and low probability of activation are the order of the day. And the risk of a serious nuclear accident? Pretty close to zero. Why? First if you turn the reactor off (with an electrical switch) it stops. If you break the vacuum, it stops. At most a few minutes worth of fuel are in inventory in the fusion reactor. For a fission plant there is at least two years of fuel in the reactor at first start-up. And there is almost no residual heat in a fusion plant unlike fission plants which must be cooled for days after a shut down due to the residual heat produced by fission products.

I think the following exemplifies the Greenpeace attitude.
Two of Greenpeace's co-founders, Patrick Moore and Paul Watson long since departed: Watson to run his own anti-whaling group and Moore criticising its anti-human, anti-development agenda. "By the mid-1980s, the environmental movement had abandoned science and logic in favor of emotion and sensationalism," Moore lamented.

Fusion seems to exemplify what Moore means: an anti-modernity superstition. Greenpeace doesn't understand what fusion is, but whatever it is it will be scary, it will be bad, and it must be stopped.
I do like some fusion reactor designs better than others. Here is my favorite: Easy Low Cost No Radiation Fusion. Actually the title is somewhat of a mistake. It should be "Low Radiation" as the reactor will have some neutron output. However, it will be greatly reduced from that of a fission plant or other fusion designs. You can read more about it at: World's Simplest Fusion Reactor Revisited. If you want to get in on the research, you can do it by Starting A Fusion Program In Your Home Town. It is not very expensive. With scrounged materials under $1,000. If You go first class and buy everything off the shelf about $100,000. And if you want to join the low cost fusion experiments community may I suggest IEC Fusion Technology blog. There are links to various source materials and discussion groups on the sidebar.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Huge Democrat Turnout Advantage In Florida

Kim Priestap reports on early voting in Florida. Democrats seem to have a big advantage in turnout.

Democrats are beaming that their party is outperforming the Republicans in early voting, releasing numbers Wednesday that show registrants of their party ahead 54 percent to 30 percent among the 1.4 million voters who have gone to the polls early.

"We're thrilled at the record turnout so far," said Democratic Party of Florida spokesman Eric Jotkoff. "It's a clear indication that Democrats want to elect Barack Obama and Democrats up and down the ballot so that we can start creating good jobs, rebuilding our economy and getting our nation back on track."

But party breakdowns for turnout aren't the same as final tallies, and at least one poll offered a different view for the campaign of Republican John McCain.

A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll gave McCain a 49-45 lead over Democrat Barack Obama among Floridians who have already voted.

And Republicans continued to show a traditional strength, leading 50 percent to the Democrats' 30 percent in the 1.2 million absentee ballots already returned.
I wonder if the PUMA vote is having an effect? I looked into that at The PUMA Question. My conclusion? The PUMAs are being very underrated.

OK. That is Florida which is looking pretty good right now. What about Maine and New Hampshire?
Tonight’s been a busy night, in that we’ve talked to a half dozen people on three times as many subjects - including Team Hillary members in New Hampshire and Maine, who we know well from the primaries.

Here’s the kicker: these people aren’t McCain supporters. Several are working for Obama now in both states, because they have political jobs and thus must tow the party line. Others are voting Green and no longer campaigning for anyone, but are tuned into things in their states.

We know nothing about New Hampshire or Maine and have never pretended to. We won’t start now. All we’ll tell you is what these people told us tonight, and it’s that they truly do expect John McCain to win both New Hampshire and Maine next week, for the reasons they gave below:

(1) In both states, they have never seen an enthusiasm deficit for Democrats like this. Hillary Democrats there say there are more “closet McCain supporters” than anyone can count. Despite what the media says, people are not enthused and fired up to go out and vote for Obama — quite the contrary: people are scare of Obama’s policies and will be voting McCain. The enthusiasm deficit in both New Hampshire and Maine is “as clear as day” according to those we spoke to tonight. They say they do not see anywhere near the level of Obama signs, stickers, buttons, etc. out this year, as they did Kerry, Gore, Clinton, and even Dukakis gear in years past.
Interesting. It seems that it is the Shrinking Media™ that is the most enthusiastic for Obama and the rest of America not so much.

It also looks like Joe The Plumber has had a big effect in Maine. And as Maine goes so goes the nation.
(2) We asked why people in these states are not voting for Obama and were told that in Maine, especially, a lot of it has to do with Joe the Plumber and redistributing the wealth. Much of Maine makes its living off the sea: fishermen pull in $200,000 or more a year in family businesses. Joe Biden’s slip that Obama really intends to define “wealthy” as $150,000 a year or above sent terror through Maine’s fishing community and other small business industries. We were told tonight that Maine and New Hampshire have more small family businesses that would be affected by Obama’s redistribution of wealth than we could imagine. Joe the Plumber resonated with these people — especially the fishermen.
And guess what? The Republicans have the wife of a fisherman on the ticket. Word is that Todd Palin is going to Maine to gather some votes. I think he just might get some.

It also looks like caucus fraud is also playing a part.
The other interesting tidbit that came out of the conversation tonight was that of the Hillary Clinton convention delegates who are openly supporting John McCain, the largest number of these people come from states that held caucuses.

We were told tonight that no one is yet picking up on the fact that Democrats in states that held caucuses, and who saw firsthand the fraud, voter intimidation, and other vile tricks Obama pulled in caucus states have NOT forgotten about any of this. These people are still LIVID that a Democrat dared to use Chicago fraud and intimidation to game the caucus system. The Clinton delegates from caucus states have been coordinating efforts amongst themselves for payback against Obama on November 4th, since no state will vote in a caucus then.

We’re told this is the reason that Iowa is so much closer than we ever dreamed it would be. Remember, we have insisted McCain would lose Iowa because of his opposition to ethanol subsidies. So, we’ve been baffled by McCain and Palin’s appearances throughout Iowa, or the fact internals we see show the state incredibly close. We never could figure out why — and it was so obvious this whole time. THE CAUCUS FRAUD Obama committed back in January is coming back to bite him in a HUGE way. Because of the ethanol opposition, McCain should be losing Iowa by large numbers — but the people we spoke to this evening says he’ll end up winning the state, largely because of Democrats who are so disgusted by the behavior of Obama’s followers during the caucuses.

This isn’t just Hillary Democrats either. It’s a large swath of Democrats who feel violated by the tactics Obama employed in their state — bringing thugs from Chicago across the Illinois border to vote in Iowa’s caucuses. People there remember the truth, and will have that in mind on November 4th.
It seems like Obama had a good strategy for winning the nomination (fraud and intimidation), but it is not playing well in the general election. So in terms of strategy Obama did well. In terms of grand strategy he is a failure. We have historical evidence of just such mistakes in warfare. The Austrian Corporal made the same mistake. Easy victories were not solidified by making friends with the populations of his new conquests. It turned out badly for him.

Obama did not cement his relationship with those he defeated by offering them a large consolation prize (Hillary as VP) to make up for all the rubbed raw emotions the caucuses created. When he picked Joe Biden he made the hill he had to climb much steeper. And then along comes Joe the Plumber in the last two weeks of the campaign to put a large hole in his campaign below the water line. And Obama keeps enlarging that hole by lowering the threshold for those who will see tax increases. First $250,000, then $200,000 and finally (so far) $150,000. Worrying people the most I believe is not the actual number, but the fact that it keeps going lower. Where will it stop? I think it will stop with a huge Obama loss on the night of 4 Nov.

Do we have any other anecdotes and fuzzy data points? Yes we do. The results so far in Nevada show that the Obama/pollsters turn out model is not near what has been hoped/projected (change we can believe in - heh).
Analysts have predicted that new voters, young voters and Hispanic voters will turn out in record numbers in this election. But as Nevadans continue to flock to the polls, turnout among those three groups is lagging, at least in the early going.

While turnout statewide was nearly 25 percent through Sunday, it was just 20 percent among Hispanic voters, 14 percent among voters under 30 and 15 percent among those who didn't vote in the last three elections, according to an analysis of state early voting records through Sunday prepared by America Votes, an organization that works to mobilize voters.

The data provide a glimpse into the composition of the more than 300,000 Nevadans who had taken advantage of early voting over the first nine days of the 14-day period. The information comes from proprietary databases that political action groups purchase from commercial vendors, cross-referenced with the public data the state releases showing who has voted.

Traditionally, older people, whites and people who vote consistently tend to turn out at the highest rates overall, said David Damore, a political scientist at UNLV. But this year, much has been made of the idea that the youth vote, the Hispanic vote and first-time voters would turn out at unprecedented rates, galvanized by a heightened political climate and the candidacy of Democratic nominee Barack Obama.
Hope springs eternal in the Democrat camp. No surprise there. It is part of their theme song this year.
"I would have expected those numbers to be a little higher," Damore said. "At the same time, the people who come out for early voting may tend to be the tried and true."

The idea that the electorate will be radically reshaped this year remains an open question, he said, and it's possible the Obama campaign faces a challenge turning out the untested voters it's relying on to win.

Recent polling shows Obama leading in the Silver State by varying margins. Democrats' hopes have been boosted by a tectonic shift in voter registration that has left them with more than 110,000 more registered voters than Republicans, but the GOP insists there's hope because the election will be decided by who votes and how.

"What Republicans have been saying is that registration is only half the game, and they have the tried and true model to get people out," Damore said.

U.S. Rep. Hilda Solis, D-Calif., was in Las Vegas on Tuesday working to rally Hispanic voters for Obama. She said she expects high Hispanic turnout this year.
Expects and happens are two different things though. One point I have brought up before is that there is huge antipathy in the Hispanic community for the Black community. It boils down to this: Hispanics see Blacks living on the dole while they toil away at jobs like gardening and construction to improve themselves. No one likes free riders. People who are not pulling their weight. And for good or ill that is the Hispanic community's impression of the Black community they come in contact with.

So let me do a short analysis of why I think Obama will lose.

1. Caucus fraud rubbed Democrat voters the wrong way.
2. Failure to select Hillary was a failure to mend fences
3. Sarah Palin gave the Republican base and disaffected Hillary voters something to cheer about.
4. Joe the Plumber (a gift from the Maker) sealed the deal

But it is not over until it is over. Don't let any analysis - positive or negative - keep you from doing what must be done. And what is that you ask? Well I'll tell you. Again.

Don't give it to him. Make him steal it.

Vote. Vote like your life and your country depended on it. It may. If we get a very strongly Democrat legislature it is critical that McCain/Palin have all the support we can show to keep the legislature in check. So even if you live in a state that is a foregone conclusion one way or another, your show of support will matter come 20 January 2009. Vote.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

HillBuzz Needs Your Help

HillBuzz needs your help with their get out the vote effort for McCain/Palin.

We need to ask for your help. We’re putting together a canvassing trip into Ohio this coming weekend to bring what we hope will be about 70 DeMcCrats for McCain and Young Republican supporters into Ohio to canvass for McCain/Palin in the Buckeye state. We’re $1,500 short of what we need to rent buses for this trip, and cover the accommodations and costs for our volunteers while there. We’re also buying as many DeMcCrats for McCain and other McCain/Palin buttons and stickers to hand out in Ohio as we can. This is a bipartisan effort here in Chicago — and the biggest push we’ve ever made for canvassing. It’s a long ride from Illinois to Ohio, and the bus is expensive. We’ve all scraped together what we can, but need help covering the rest.
So follow the link and go over there and donate if you can. Because:

Don't give it to him. Make him steal it.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Another Anecdote

From the comments at HillBuzz Sara P speaks

Ok, I want to clear my conscious a little. Hopefully you could make a blog post to help some fellow clinton supporters out.

I work for a campaign and can’t wait for this week to be over.

I was doing it for a job. I was not a fan of any candidate but over time grew to love HRC.

The internal campaign idea is to twist, distort, humiliate and finally dispirit you.

We pay people and organize people to go to all the online sites and “play the part of a clinton or mccain supporter who just switched our support for obama”

We do this to stifle your motivation and to destroy your confidence.

We did this the whole primary and it worked.

Sprinkle in mass vote confusion and it becomes bewildering. Most people lose patience and just give up on their support of a candidate and decide to just block out tv, news, websites, etc.

This surprisingly has had a huge suppressing movement and vote turnout issues.

Next, we infiltrate all the blogs and all the youtube videos and overwhelm the voting, the comments, etc. All to continue this appearance of overwhelming world support.

People makes posts to the effect that the world has “gone mad”

Thats the intention. To make you feel stressed and crazy and feel like the world is ending.

We have also had quite a hand in skewing many many polls, some we couldn’t control as much as we would have liked. But many we have spoiled over. Just enough to make real clear politics look scarey to a mccain supporter. Its worked, alough the goal was to appear 13-15 points ahead.

see, the results have been working. People tend to support a winner, go with the flow, become “sheeple”

The polls are roughly 3-5 points in favor of Barack. Thats due to our inflation of the polls and pulling in the sheeple.

Our donors, are the same people who finance the MSM. Their interests are tied, Barack then tends to come across as teflon. Nothing sticks. And trust, there were meetings with Fox news. The goal was to blunt them as much as possible. Watch Bill Oreilly he has become much more diplomatic and “fair and balanced” and soft. Its because he wants to retain the #1 spot on cable news and to do that he has to have access to the Obama campaign and we worked hard at stringing him a long and keeping him soft for an interview swap. It worked and now he is anticipating more access. So he is playing it still soft.

This is why nothing sticks.

The operation is massive, the goal is to paint a picture that is that of a winner, regardless of the results.

There is no true inauguration draft or true grant park construction going on. There will be a party, but we are boasting beyond the truth to make it seem like the election is wrapped up.

Our goal is to continue to make you lose your moral. We worked hard at persuasion and paying off and timing and playing the right political numbers to get key republican endorsements to make it seem even more like it was over and the world was coming to an end for you all.

There is a huge staff of people working around the clock, watching every site, blogs, etc. We flood these sites. We have had a goal to overwhelm.

The truth is here. I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

I am saying this because I know HRC was better for the country, and now realize this. I was too late by the time I connected to her. To me Barack was just a cool young dude that seemed like a star. I didn’t know him or his policies, but now I understand more than I care to and I realize his interests are more for him, and the DNC and all working like puppets with dean. I always thought a president wanted the better good for the country. The end result I see is everyone dependent on the government, this means more and more people voting for the DNC. This means the future is forever altered. I don’t see this as america, so I am now supporting John Mccain.

Sarah Palin is a huge threat, and our campaign has feared her like you can’t imagine. If it seems unfair how she has been treated, well its because she has had a team working round the clock to make her look like a fool.

this is a big conspiracy and I am so shocked that its not realized.

We released a little blurb the other day that the Obama campaign was already working on reelection and now putting our efforts towards 2012. This was to make it seem like it was above us to continue caring about 2008. Trust me, its a lie. David is very smart, but its a sticky ugly not very truthful kind of intelligence.

Its not over yet, but I think the machine is working. And its a hill to climb.

I will be quitting my post on nov 5th and my vote will be for John Mccain. Fortunately, my position has been a marketing position and I don’t feel I had any part of anything I would feel guilty for. But I look forward to getting out of this as the negativity and environment upsets me.

I wish you all well, and goodluck.

PS my name is not really sarah. but I am a female and I understand your plight.
There is only one answer to efforts like these:

Don't give it to him. Make him steal it.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

You might also like Sarah Palin Swimsuit Competition. There is video.

Scaring The Swingers

Even Howard Fineman gets it.

CHICAGO – Here’s my advice to Sen. Barack Obama’s supporters: Stop predicting that the Democrats will sweep into the White House and Congress come January with a mandate to expand Big Government.

That prospect, coupled with some of your candidate’s own tax and health-care plans, could scare swing voters you need next Tuesday.
I think it is already too late to unscare them. Such an effort might take a month or more. Obama only has 6 days. Call it The Joe The Plumber Effect. BTW Obama says taxes are only going up on those making over $250,000 a year (if you don't count the cancellation of the Bush tax cuts). Joe Biden says the real number is already at $150,000. And who knows. That number may go lower yet. The Democrats have lots of ideas that are going to cost real money. And fairness. Don't forget fairness. Even if it brings in less money.

McCain Has A Poll

The Wall Street Journal has a memo from the McCain Campaign. Let me just give one highlight that touches on something I wrote about yesterday: The PUMA Question.

* We are beginning to once again get over a 20% chunk of the vote among soft Democrats.
Importantly as well, our long identified target of “Walmart women” – those women without a college degree in households under $60,000 a year in income are also swinging back solidly in our direction.

Finally, in terms of critical improvement, even as this track shows more Republicans voting for us than Democrats supporting Obama, we are witnessing an impressive “pop” with Independent voters.

As I said during our Sunday briefing, we do substantially more interviews per day than any public poll, but, given the shift we were witnessing, it was my expectation that by Tuesday/Wednesday multiple public polls would show the race closing. A quick glance at Real Clear Politics would indicate this is happening by today, Tuesday, and that’s good!
Which goes back to some of the points I made in The PUMA Question. Sometimes anecdotes can give you advance warning of changes not yet recognized by polls.

The memo writer also notes that there are no good models for voter behavior in this election season. So it is all seat of the pants for both campaigns and the people who do public polling.

H/T The StrataSphere and HillBuzz comments.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Noah Has A Few Problems

May I highly recommend Noah Today by Mark C. Phillips. It is an update of a classic Bible story. Very funny.

H/T Tom by e-mail

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The PUMA Question

In the comments on my post A Funny Thing Happened In The Voting Booth commenter Dr. Nobel Dynamite made the following point.

"Not to mention the PUMA factor." [that was me - ed.]

You need to turn off the propaganda for a while, my friend. Just because Neil Cavuto trots out a cigarette hag that claims to speak for disgruntled Hillary supporters doesn't make PUMAs anything more than wishful thinking from Fox.
No Bell,

In science/engineering we look at unusual results and outliers for undiscovered phenomenon.

It is more than possible that I may have discovered some interesting effects.

BTW the reports on the PUMA effect started in the high 30s. Dipped to the low 20s and then started rising again to the mid 30s. (that would be % of Hillary voters going for McCain). Since the last reports of that rise there has been no news of the PUMA effect. Did it just disappear? Or was it a case of "did not fit the narrative"?

A defection rate as a % of the total vote of 3.75% (roughly 20% [defectioon rate] of 1/2 [Hillary voters] of 37%[Dems in the electorate]) can be overcome. It will be offset by a 13% or so R defection rate (about 5% of the vote). If the defection rate is 40% of Hillary voters that is a 7.5% loss. Killer.

The question is: is that defection rate being measured accurately? Since the announcements of the PUMA factor have stopped, I'd have to say no. If it had dropped it would have been announced. If it rose above 40% it would be buried.

How about what DJ Drummond has to say on the subject of polls.
Gallup has noted the strength of early voting this year. The most significant points from that article are these; early voting is stronger than expected this year, and so far republicans have been just as eager to vote early as democrats. The third point is the most important signal of all. Says Gallup; "Early voting ranges from 14% of voters 55 and older (in aggregated data from Friday through Wednesday) to 5% of those under age 35. Plus, another 22% of voters aged 55 and up say they plan to vote early, meaning that by Election Day, over a third of voters in this older age group may already have cast their ballots."

The last two statements are very good news for McCain and bad news for Obama. This is because it demonstrates that enthusiasm to actually vote by republicans is equal to enthusiasm to vote by democrats. This runs directly against claims made in polling up to now, demonstrating that participation in polls is not directly related to voting this year. Second, the higher participation by senior voters and weaker participation by younger voters is directly in line with historical norms, again running against the poll expectations that this year would see a wave of young people voting but seniors staying at home. Gallup's own data proves this is not happening as they predicted, and the polls are therefore invalid in those respects, in addition to obvious flaws in the party weighting. The reasonable expectation from these facts, would be for Gallup to back down and correct its weighting to match the observed behavior. As of yet, Gallup has not taken that step.
Then we have this wonderful explanation of polling by Charlie Colorado at Just One Minute.
What we're hoping for the polls to tell us is how people will vote in the future. In order to figure that out, we start by asking some number of people how they would vote today.

Obviously, we don't and can't know how people would really vote (Obama could be caught with a dead girl and a live boy and Fox News with a camera.) But it's everyone's best guess, and they have a chance to answer "O" or "McP" or "undecided".

Now, if we could ask every single person who will be voting this question, we'd get a fairly precise number --- not exact, but pretty close. Asking 130 million people their opinion is pretty intractable, so they ask a much smaller number. There are mathematical reasons to let us make an estimate of the amount of error we get by just asking that smaller number, and that's where this "margin of error" comes from. The wy it works is basically like this: say we have 130 million red and blue marbles, in proportions of 51 percent red and 49 percent blue. Since they're well mixed, we can be confident that most of the time, if we scoop out a bucket full of 1000 marbles and count the colors, there will be something close to 510 red and 490 blue. It's extremely unlikely --- although possible --- that we'd scoop out 1000 blue marbles. It's also very unlikely that every time we scoop up marbles, we'll get exactly 510/490. But let's say we try it 100 times. Roughly 95 times out of 100, we'll get a count between 495/505 and 525/475.

That's exactly what the "margin of error" is: we know, mathematically, that 95 times out of 100, our random scoop will deliver a number plus or minus 1.5 percent (or, total, 3 percent) of the "real" value we'd get if we counted all the marbles.

The problem is that when we talk about a real poll, our "marbles" aren't perfectly mixed. If we were to, say, call the first thousand people in the Cambridge Mass phone book, that wouldn't represent the country as a whole very well. So instead, polling companies call a lot of people, carefully selected, and try to work backwards to what a "perfectly mixed" sample would have been like.

Now, say we were talking about the marbles example again. We know, because they were our marbles to start with, that exactly 51 percent of them were red, 49 percent blue. So when we scoop out 1000 of them, we have an "ideal sample" in mind. A little algebra lets us then compute what the perfect sample would have looked like, and it is going to come up 51/49 every time.

But now let's say we don't know what the real number is; we just think we have roughly 51 percent red when we start. now we scoop out 1000 marbles and apply the same adjustment; we think it's 51/49, and we scoop them out, checking each scoop. If they're really 51/49, the numbers we get should cluster around 51/49. If not, then we can compute what the "real" proportion is.

But now, what if we start with the wrong assumption that they're really 55 percent red, 45 percent blue? When we compute our adjusted values, we're going to "slant" what we think the real value is toward the red ones. we may compute a guess that it's really 53/47.

And that's where the polls are right now. Each one starts with an assumption, or model, of the real electorate. That assumption causes the values to slant one direction or another; how good that initial guess is will determine how good the eventual result is when all the marbles are finally counted.

A lot of the polls have fairly radical assumptions, like that people identify themselves as 40 percent D, 25 percent R, 35 percent independent. Those polls also show Obama with a big leads. Other polls have closer assumptions, and get smaller ranges. That's why I said above that the way to read the polls is really "IF the mix is really like this THEN the election results would be roughly so".
There is an interesting addition to this question from Iowahawk who shows his math.
Works pretty well if you're interested in hypothetical colored balls in hypothetical giant urns, or growth of plants in a controlled experiment, or defects in a batch of factory products. It may even work well if you're interested in blind cola taste tests. But what if the thing you are studying doesn't quite fit the balls & urns template?

What if 40% of the balls have personally chosen to live in an urn that you legally can't stick your hand into?

What if 50% of the balls who live in the legal urn explicitly refuse to let you select them?

What if the balls inside the urn are constantly interacting and talking and arguing with each other, and can decide to change their color on a whim?

What if you have to rely on the balls to report their own color, and some unknown number are probably lying to you?

What if you've been hired to count balls by a company who has endorsed blue as their favorite color?

What if you have outsourced the urn-ball counting to part-time temp balls, most of whom happen to be blue?

What if the balls inside the urn are listening to you counting out there, and it affects whether they want to be counted, and/or which color they want to be?

If one or more of the above statements are true, then the formula for margin of error simplifies to

Margin of Error = Who the hell knows

Because, in this case, so-called scientific "sampling error" is meaningless, because it is utterly overwhelmed by non-sampling error. Under these circumstances "margin of error" is a numeric fiction masquerading as a pseudo-scientific fact, and if a poll reports it -- even if collected "scientifically" -- the pollster is guilty of aggravated bullshit in the first degree.

The moral of this midterm for all would-be pollsters: if you are really interested in how many of us red and blue balls there are in this great big urn, sit back and relax until Tuesday, and let us show our true colors.

Until then, fondle your own balls.
That can be fun. More fun is when you have the right kind of help. So today I want to ask for your help.

Don't give it to him. Make him steal it.

As to the fondling balls question. I'm looking for volunteers of the female persuasion. Urn fondling in return. Then maybe a cigarette afterwards.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

It Is Not About Race

Howard Stern goes to Harlem and asks some man on the street questions. You have to wonder why the Shrinking Media can't do stuff like this. Did I mention that the Christian Science Monitor is going weekly and the LA Times is laying off 75 more? And that there is a general circulation decline?

H/T Drudge Report

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Funny Thing Happened In The Voting Booth

Red State has an interesting anecdote about some Democrats who got together to vote early.

Yesterday, I heard a great story from a friend who describes herself as a “Legacy Democrat” she says that everyone in her family has been a registered Democrat as far back as she can remember – parents, grandparents, great-grandparents… you get the picture. Well the other day, her and four of her friends, all proud Nevada Democrats piled into the car and together went to early vote for Obama.

On the way to their polling place, she said they were all very excited but she kept having this funny feeling in her stomach. Upon entering the voting booth, she said, the anxiety worsened and standing there poised to cast her vote a little voice or call it instinct began gnawing away at this life long Democrat (life long - well she’s only 35) She finally said “I can’t do it... I can’t vote for Obama, he’s just not ready” and voted for McCain.

She said she was shocked walking out of the polling place, she didn’t think she would ever vote for a Republican… Ever!!!

On the ride home with her four friends the mood was a bit somber I think she even called it sobering. About halfway home she let the cat out of the bag, so to speak, and told her friends she had voted for McCain and her reasons for doing so. Their reaction was shocking, even to her, all but one said they had done the same thing and for the same reasons.
Steve Foley goes on to discuss what he calls The Readiness Effect. Read the whole thing and follow the links. Steve has been on this for a while.

H/T The Infidel Bloggers Alliance

Cross Posted at Classical Values

The Problem Is White People

Yep. White people are messing up the election. But there is a fix for that. Don't allow them to vote.

As a lifelong Caucasian, I am beginning to think the time has finally come to take the right to vote away from white people, at least until we come to our senses. Seriously, I just don't think we can be trusted to exercise it responsibly anymore.

I give you Exhibit A: The last eight years.

In 2000, Bush-Cheney stole the election, got us attacked, and then got us into two no-exit wars. Four years later, white people reelected them. Is not the repetition of the same behavior over and over again with the expectation of a different outcome the very definition of insanity? (It is, I looked it up.)

Exhibit B is any given Sarah Palin rally.
We are really lucky the white guy is no bigot. If he was some kind of racist bigot he would be saying things like "black people shouldn't be allowed to vote because of the color of their skin and because they are too stupid to make good choices". Which of course is not true. Except in the case of white people. So maybe I have this whole race thing in America wrong. I'm going to have to get with the program. Does the Aryan Nation accept Jews?

H/T Newsbusters

Cross Posted at Classical Values

You Have Too Much Money

This bit by Obama advocating wealth redistribution was up at Drudge but I got my hint from Hill Buzz. One point that Hill Buzz makes is that the Obots have not shown up to contest this bit of history. Here is their theory:
Whenever Obama is in trouble, these people clam up.

The worse something is for Obama, the quieter his followers get.

It’s how we gauge the impact of something around here.

Not a single Obamabot comment in the last hour. We’d usually have 30 of them in our spam filter in that hour.


Where did they all go?
Back to the mothership for new instructions.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

The New Aristocrats

Sgt. Mom looks at the deep wounds Sarah Palin has opened in the guts of the American aristocracy. Sarah is not one of them. She is a mom with five children. Way above the 2.1 considered normal. She kills her own food. A job best left to the servants. All in all a backwoods rube not fit for polite society.

Our career-serving political class, the education establishment, the traditional news media, the people responsible for (in a good and in a bad way) for our movies and television entertainment — it seems of late that too many of them are singing with the same voice and the same song. Different words, perhaps, and out of some obscure motivation, but all to the same end, and now and again I detect some whisper of the same motivating contempt for the American public. Contempt for our tastes or lack of same, of our habits in shopping, amusing ourselves, our persistent attachment to religious beliefs, to habits of self-sufficiency, and our stubborn disinclination to do or believe as our self-nominated betters dictate — it’s all on very ugly display. The media gang-up on Joe the Plumber, for having the impertinence to ask a tough question of the favored candidate was just the most recent and most open, and the most unsettling display.

Really, what do these new aristos expect of the masses, the proletariat, the common citizenry? More and more I have the feeling that we are seen as a kind of herd animal, to be periodically sheared like sheep, relieved of whatever fleece or funds that the new aristos feel they could make better use of, to do as we are told, to not really consider our property, our children, or our earnings as our own. If the aristos decide that they require such things to be given up… well, then, fall in line the loyal peasantry. And don’t forget to smile.

We are being put back in our place, after a two-hundred plus year experiment of being responsible and independent citizens – not so much by actual physical repression, but by words … words and deeds wielded by the new aristos, to wreck our institutions from the inside, and water down those basic freedoms as established in the constitution, to shred free speech and condemn us to silence for fear of a mob – a mob directed by an unholy confabulation of the aristos. Not too late to go storm the Bastille though - on Voting Day. Don’t give up. Ever.
I'm down with that. Totally.

Don't give it to him. Make him steal it.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

What The Captain Really Meant

I just came across this and it is located at some obscure site that may not have the longevity of blogspot. So I'm totally reposting it here for the humor and to make sure it is around for a while longer. From PPrune. You can read the Sharkbait 21 story there.


I stumbled upon this gem from a now long ago war in my archives and it occurred to me that there is probably an equivalent out there regarding the current fracas in Iraq. If there is, and someone willing to post it on a public site like this has access to it, I’d love to see it. I have the original audio tape of ‘What the Captain Really Means’ (along with the equally funny ‘Sharkbait 21’). WTCRMs was taped in a crew room by a group of USAF pilots in Vietnam around 1967, with the sound of jets taking off sometimes obscuring the words in the background.

Oh, and for Grandpa and people with similar feelings about the cousins, it was made tongue in cheek. Tongue in cheek, OK?


(Serious, professional and very monotone American voice.) "The following statements were recorded when a civilian correspondent interviewed a shy, unassuming Air Force Phantom jet fighter pilot. So the correspondent would not misconstrue the pilot's replies, a Wing Information Officer was on hand as a monitor to make certain that the real Air Force story would be told. The Captain was first asked his opinion of the F4C Phantom.

Pilot: "Shit, it's so friggin manoeuvrable you can fly up your own ass with it."

WIO: "What the Captain means is that he has found the F4C highly manoeuvrable at all altitudes and he considers it an excellent aircraft for all missions assigned."

Reporter: "I suppose Captain you've flown a certain number of missions in North Vietnam. What did you think of the SAMs used by the North Vietnamese?"

Pilot: "Why those bastards couldn't hit a bull in the ass with a base fiddle. We fake the shit out of them. They're no sweat."

WIO: "What the Captain means is that the surface to air missiles around Hanoi pose a serious threat to our air operations and the pilots have a healthy respect for them."

Reporter: "I suppose Captain you've flown missions to the South. What kind of ordinance do you use, and what kinds of targets to you hit?"

Pilot: "Well, I'll tell you, mostly we aim at kicking the shit out of Vietnamese villages, and my favourite ordinance is napalm. Man, that stuff just sucks the air out of their friggin lungs and makes a son of a bitchin' fire."

WIO: "What the Captain means is that air strikes in South Vietnam are often against Viet Cong structures and all air operations are under the positive control of Forward Air Controllers, or FACs. The ordinance employed is conventional 500 and 750 pound bombs and 20 millimetre cannon fire."

Reporter: "I suppose you've spent an R&R in Hong Kong. What were your impressions of the Oriental girls?"

Pilot: "Yeah, I went to Hong Kong. As for those Oriental broads - well, I don't care which way the runway runs, east or west, north or south - a piece of ass is a piece of ass."

WIO: "What the Captain means is that he found the delicately featured Oriental girls fascinating, and was very impressed with their fine manners and thinks their naiveté is most charming."

Reporter: "Tell me Captain, have you flown any missions other than over North and South Vietnam?"

Pilot: "You bet your sweet ass I've flown other missions other than in North and South. We get fragged nearly every day for.. uh, those mothers over there throw everything at you but the friggin kitchen sink. Even the goddamned kids got slingshots."

WIO: "What the Captain means is that he has occasionally been scheduled to fly missions in the extreme western DMZ and he has a healthy respect for the flak in that area." (Translation: the 'extreme west' of the Demilitarized Zone was 'neutral' Laos, where most if not all of that section of the Ho Chi Minh Trail was located and where the Americans did not officially go.)

Reporter: "I understand that no one in the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing has got a MiG yet. What seems to be the problem?"

Pilot: "Why you screwhead! If you knew anything about what you were talking about, the problem is MiGs. If we got fragged by those peckerheads at 7th for those counters in MiG valley you could bet your ass we'd get some of those mothers. Those glory hounds at Ubon get all those frags while we settle for fighting the friggin war. Those mothers at Ubon are sitting on their fat asses killing MiGs and we get stuck with bombing the goddamned cabbage patches."

WIO: "What the Captain means is that each element of the 7th Air Force is responsible for doing their assigned job in the air war. Some units are assigned the job of neutralising enemy air strength but hunting out MiGs, and other elements are assigned bombing missions and interdiction of enemy supply routes."

Reporter: "Of all the targets you've hit in Vietnam, which one was the most satisfying?"

Pilot: "Oh, shit, it was getting fragged for that friggin suspected VC vegetable garden. I dropped napalm in the middle of the friggin pumpkins and cabbage, while my wingman splashed it real good with six of those 750 pound mothers and spread the fire al the way to the friggin beets and carrots."

WIO: "What the Captain means is that the great variety of tactical targets available throughout Vietnam make the F4C the perfect aircraft to provide flexible response."

Reporter: "What do you consider the most difficult target you've struck in North Vietnam?"

Pilot: "The friggin bridges. I must have dropped forty tons of bombs on those swaying bamboo mothers and I ain't hit one of the bastards yet."

WIO: "What the captain means is that interdicting bridges along enemy supply routes is very important and a quite difficult target. The best way to accomplish this task is to crater the approaches to the bridges."

Reporter: "I noticed in touring the base that you have aluminium matting on the taxiways. Would you care to comment on the effectiveness and usefulness in Vietnam?"

Pilot: "You're friggin right I'd like to make a comment. Most of us pilots are well hung, but shit, you don't know what hung is until you get hung up on one of those friggin bumps on that goddamned stuff."

WIO: "What the Captain means is that the aluminium matting is quite satisfactory as a temporary expedient, but requires some finesse in taxying and braking the aircraft."

Reporter: "Did you have an opportunity to meet your wife on leave in Honolulu, and did you enjoy the visit with her?"

Pilot: "Yeah, I met my wife in Honolulu, but I forgot to check the calendar, and so the whole five days were friggin well combat-proof. A completely dry run."

WIO: "What the captain means is that it was wonderful to get together with his wife and learn first hand about the family and how things were at home."

Reporter: "Thank you for your time, Captain."

Pilot: "Screw you, why don't you bastards print the real story instead of all that crap."

WIO: "What the Captain really means is that he enjoyed the opportunity to discuss his Tour with you."

Reporter: "One final question. Could you reduce your impression of the war into a simple phrase or statement, Captain?"

Pilot: "You bet your ass I can. It's a f**ked-up war."

WIO: "What the Captain means is it's a f**ked-up war."


Aren't they all.

On Being Right

I take no pleasure in being Right in my dark predictions about the fate of our military intervention in the heart of the Muslim world. It is immensely depressing to me. Nobody likes to be betting against the Home team.

Hunter S. Thompson

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Reposting To Omaha

Michael S. Malone has a few words about the bias of the Shrinking Media in this election season.

The traditional media are playing a very, very dangerous game -- with their readers, with the Constitution and with their own fates.

The sheer bias in the print and television coverage of this election campaign is not just bewildering, but appalling. And over the last few months I've found myself slowly moving from shaking my head at the obvious one-sided reporting, to actually shouting at the screen of my television and my laptop computer.

But worst of all, for the last couple weeks, I've begun -- for the first time in my adult life -- to be embarrassed to admit what I do for a living. A few days ago, when asked by a new acquaintance what I did for a living, I replied that I was "a writer," because I couldn't bring myself to admit to a stranger that I'm a journalist.
So what can be done about the occasional reporter who lets his enthusiasms run away with a story? Send them back to the Minor Leagues.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those people who think the media has been too hard on, say, Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin, by rushing reportorial SWAT teams to her home state of Alaska to rifle through her garbage. This is the big leagues, and if she wants to suit up and take the field, then Gov. Palin better be ready to play.

The few instances where I think the press has gone too far -- such as the Times reporter talking to prospective first lady Cindy McCain's daughter's MySpace friends -- can easily be solved with a few newsroom smackdowns and temporary repostings to the Omaha bureau.

No, what I object to (and I think most other Americans do as well) is the lack of equivalent hardball coverage of the other side -- or worse, actively serving as attack dogs for the presidential ticket of Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Joe Biden, D-Del.

If the current polls are correct, we are about to elect as president of the United States a man who is essentially a cipher, who has left almost no paper trail, seems to have few friends (that at least will talk) and has entire years missing out of his biography.
So if reporters can be corrected, who exactly is at fault for what we see in the press?
So why weren't those legions of hungry reporters set loose on the Obama campaign? Who are the real villains in this story of mainstream media betrayal?

The editors. The men and women you don't see; the people who not only decide what goes in the paper, but what doesn't; the managers who give the reporters their assignments and lay out the editorial pages. They are the real culprits.
And what can be done about them? It is easy really. Put them out of business. Turn off the TV. Cancel the newspaper subscription. And if you really want to hand them a shocker - vote McCain/Palin. Get your friends to do likewise. If McCain wins this election the Shrinking Media is going to have some 'splainin to do.

Computer Wars

Obama's Computer


McCain's Computer

F-22 Cockpit

Worth A Bucket

The folks at Hillbuzz have managed to corner a Real Pollster™ to find out what is really going on in this election.

I was having dinner a night ago with a friend of mine who is a statistician for a well-regarded private polling company. They do some work for Republicans in California, but most of the work they do is for Democrats or Democrat-leaning operations (Unions, etc.). Anyway, her shop was retained to do a few Presidential polls for targetted states on behalf of a union so the union could decide where to spend their ad dollars for the last week. They did Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Missouri. After mocking the hell out of the voter id spreads used by Rassmussen, Zogby, etc. (and this is coming from a committed Dem who will be voting for Barry O) she said the results of their polling lead her to believe that McCain will definitely win FL, OH, NC, MO and NV. She says Obama definitely wins New Mexico. She said that Colorado and New Hampshire were absolute dead heats. She said she thinks there is a 55% chance Obama holds on in Pennsylvania and a 75% chance McCain wins Virginia. She absolutely laughed at the public polls showing Obama leading Virginia–and pointed out that all of those polls rely on Dem turnout being +4 and as much as +7, when in 2006, Republicans actually had the advantage by +3. She also pointed out that the numbers for Obama in SWVA look absolutely awful and that McCain is running 10 points better then Allen did in NoVa.
And how about the public polls?
She said she has very little doubt that the public polling is part of a “concerted voter suppression effort” by the MSM. She said IBD/TIPP was the only outfit doing public polling that was “worth a bucket of warm piss”.
And what do I have to say to that? Those of you who have been paying attention can see it coming.

Don't give it to him. Make him steal it.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

We Are The Ones

I was reading the American Thinker and came across this interesting characterization by a commenter of the PUMA Movement.

We are the ones no one was expecting.

Attributed to Darragh Murphy. No Quarter has some video of her. You can also visit her www site PUMA PAC.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

China Is Having Some Problems

The world wide economic crash is affecting China in some good ways and some not so good ways.

Tao built River Dragon from a start-up with four employees into one of China's biggest textile printing firms in just five years. He had even grander dreams: He wanted to see his company's stock trade on Nasdaq alongside the likes of Microsoft and Intel.

The dreams are dead. River Dragon shut down on Oct. 7. Tao and Yan have vanished, leaving behind more than $290 million in debt and a lot of anger in this city 140 miles south of Shanghai in the Yangtze River Delta. The company's demise put 4,000 workers on the street and jilted hundreds of suppliers and creditors.

The speedy rise — and speedier fall — of River Dragon is a depressingly familiar story in China these days. Thousands of Chinese factories have shuttered in the past year, done in by:

•An export-killing global slowdown that began with the collapse of the U.S. housing market and the ensuing financial crisis. Local textile merchant Fang Xingquan, a River Dragon creditor, is among many who believe a sharp drop-off in exports was a key factor in the company's demise.
China has not been immune to the property crisis.
The Chinese economy is absorbing another blow beyond crumbling exports: collapsing home prices. Nicholas Lardy, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C., reckons a slowdown in construction could shave another 1 to 2 percentage points off China's economic growth.

"The property bubble is already starting to burst," says Yan Yu, a business management scholar at Peking University, researching the export center of Dongguan in southern Guangdong province. "House prices here in Dongguan have fallen by up to 50% this year," leaving many homeowners owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

"People have worked all their lives and believed the hype and bought overvalued properties, then saw their savings vanish," says independent economist Andy Xie in Shanghai. "That carries more political risk" than rising joblessness.
Well that is the bad news. How about the good stuff?
"Chinese authorities appear to be well aware of the global economic situation," JPMorgan Chase reported this month. The bank expects government to turn the spigot on spending, quadrupling the budget deficit to the equivalent of 2% of economic output from 0.5% this year.

The authorities aren't going to save everyone. The Chinese government has put pressure on small firms that foul the environment, pay miserly wages and turn out cheap products. "Beijing no longer wants to be the world's sweatshop for junk," CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets says in a recent report.

First, China cut tax breaks for exporters and imposed new export taxes on polluters, even targeting producers of disposable chopsticks. Then it introduced a labor law in January, requiring companies to give workers written contracts and making it harder for them to lay off employees or to hire informal part-time help.

The combination of tougher regulations, weakening exports, rising costs and a stronger Chinese currency has hammered thousands of small factories. The pain has been especially agonizing in Guangdong, a low-cost manufacturing center across the border from Hong Kong in southern China.
So it seems that even the silver clouds have a dark lining. Pollution will be declining, but so will jobs.

It will be interesting to see if China can weather the current economic storm.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Wrong Parties

It should probably be the "wronged parties", but then we would be talking about citizens. Which will come up eventually but not quite in that context. And what is the context? Obviously some one is getting it. What the heck am I gibbering about? The inevitable political season wheeze that "we need to punish a given political party by seeing it defeated" in order to make it live up to its principles. Radly Balko is the latest purveyor of this trash.

Which brings me back to why the Republicans need to get throttled: A humiliated, decimated GOP that rejuvenates and rebuilds around the principles of limited government, free markets, and rugged individualism is really the only chance for voters to possibly get a real choice in federal elections down the road.
What Radly fails to take into account is that it is the voters who choose the candidates. If you are trying to win in a conservative district you had better be running conservative candidates. (See Democrats, Blue Dog) So Radly, we don't have a government of the Parties. We have a government of the people. Want better candidates (according to your lights)? Get better people.

Radly: for good or ill we get the government we deserve. And for the Radlys of the world the answer is always the same: we need a better party. The Libertarians have been improving their party for 30+ years. So far the results are minimal. I propose a different tack. A long march through the institutions. Work to get a libertarian people. The libertarian government will follow shortly thereafter.

OH, yeah. Palin has more libertarian tendencies than I have seen in any other politician currently on the national scene. I'm voting McCain/Palin to give her a chance to show her stuff.

I ♥ Sarah'cudda and Johnny Mac

And for those of you who are a little short of love for the Republican ticket may I suggest:

Don't give it to him. Make him steal it.

I think people who try to steal elections (ahem, ACORN, hem) ought to be denied a victory on principle. It sets a bad precedent.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

The No Sh*t Tour

Well, I was going to say "Crap", but I felt it was not colorful enough. Navy man's prerogative. Any way John McCain is doing a Joe The Plumber tour in Florida using his "Straight Talk Express" bus.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Republican John McCain is trying to keep Florida from swinging to the Democrats with a cross-state bus tour and a series of "Joe the Plumber" events aimed at blue-collar workers.

From Ormond Beach on the Atlantic Coast to Sarasota on the Gulf Coast, the Republican nominee was to ride his "Straight Talk Express" bus Thursday between stops focused on criticizing Democrat Barack Obama's tax plans and promoting his own proposals to cut them for individuals and businesses. He was visiting a building materials company, a doctor's office, a restaurant and a farm.

The route not only traverses the vote-rich "I-4 Corridor" through Orlando, in central Florida, but includes informal stops between the more formal rallies. Its goal was to boost McCain in a state George W. Bush won in 2000 and 2004, but which Obama is threatening to seize despite a strong GOP machine and McCain's endorsement by Republican Gov. Charlie Crist.
Let's hope McCain can hold on. We will know soon.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A. Hitler Big Obama Fan

What? You think this is some kind of Godwin joke? No my friends, it is not. It is for real. A. Hitler has made a Credit Card (CC) donation of $19.45 to the Obama Campaign. Obama has all the safeties turned off on his credit card (CC) verification system.

Frankly, its easier than I'd believe to do this. Courtesy of my (real) CC number and expiration date, the Obama campaign has just received a $19.45 donation from mister Adolf Hitler, whose occupation is "Dictator" at the company "National Socialist Party of Ger" (I got cut off). I captured screenshots to prove this.

No verification required. The listed address wasn't even close to my real address.

While I hate to think I'm giving any money at all to these bastards, its worth it to prove once and for all that they are engaged in fraud. I will verify whether my card gets charged and report back.

Which is how he got all those contributions from people like Good Will who works at "Loving" and whose profession is "You". It might explain how some people from the Gaza Strip were able to donate $33,000 to the Obama campaign.

And yet it seems like our Shrinking Media is shrinking from this story. I suppose we could get their interest up if we reminded them that it was Republicans who were pretending to be A. Hitler. True Progressives™ would have pretended to be Hugo Chavez.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Is California In Play?

Is California in play? You might think so given this report from Yreka, California in The Siskiyou Daily News.

Last week, Louise Gliatto, a volunteer at the Republican campaign office, handed out the last McCain-Palin yard sign. The last campaign button went a few days earlier. There is a good supply of McCain-Palin bumper stickers, however, and local Republicans have been visiting the campaign office to get them. At both offices, voters have been interested in information on the state ballot initiatives.

“A lot of Mount Shasta people have been coming in,” Democratic office volunteer Mike Cassady said of the Yreka office.

The Democrats are staffing a single office in Yreka, while the Republicans have opened offices in Yreka and Mount Shasta.

Before Monday’s deadline to register to vote, both offices were busy helping residents fill out registration cards. The Democrats also spent four days registering voters in front of Raley’s in Yreka. Cassady said several dozen voters from both parties were registered.
That is all very odd for a state that is not supposed to be in play. And the Republicans opening two offices to the Democrat's one? And how about those polls? Whatever they mean. Here is my motto from now until 0600z 5 Nov. 2008.

Don't give it to him. Make him steal it.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ripping Them A New One

Orson Scott Card is a Democrat. He is also a fierce critic of the press. The in the tank for Obama press.

An open letter to the local daily paper — almost every local daily paper in America:

I remember reading All the President's Men and thinking: That's journalism. You do what it takes to get the truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.

This housing crisis didn't come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.

It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were authorized to approve risky loans.

What is a risky loan? It's a loan that the recipient is likely not to be able to repay.

The goal of this rule change was to help the poor — which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it help these people to give them a loan that they can't repay? They get into a house, yes, but when they can't make the payments, they lose the house — along with their credit rating.

They end up worse off than before.

This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.
And then he goes on to name names. You know. The usual suspects. Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Barack Obama, Franklin Raines (referred to as Freddie Raines). And then he says that the media today has no honor because it is helping to blame the crisis on Republicans when the Democrats were in fact the main drivers. That by not treating both parties at least somewhat equally they have lost their way.
If you want to redeem your honor, you will swallow hard and make a list of all the stories you would print if it were McCain who had been getting money from Fannie Mae, McCain whose campaign had consulted with its discredited former CEO, McCain who had voted against tightening its lending practices.

Then you will print them, even though every one of those true stories will point the finger of blame at the reckless Democratic Party, which put our nation's prosperity at risk so they could feel good about helping the poor, and lay a fair share of the blame at Obama's door.

You will also tell the truth about John McCain: that he tried, as a Senator, to do what it took to prevent this crisis. You will tell the truth about President Bush: that his administration tried more than once to get Congress to regulate lending in a responsible way.

This was a Congress-caused crisis, beginning during the Clinton administration, with Democrats leading the way into the crisis and blocking every effort to get out of it in a timely fashion.

If you at our local daily newspaper continue to let Americans believe — and vote as if — President Bush and the Republicans caused the crisis, then you are joining in that lie.

If you do not tell the truth about the Democrats — including Barack Obama — and do so with the same energy you would use if the miscreants were Republicans — then you are not journalists by any standard.

You're just the public relations machine of the Democratic Party, and it's time you were all fired and real journalists brought in, so that we can actually have a news paper in our city.
Sorry to say Mr. Card, but the internet is taking over the function of your local daily paper. Just a bunch of ordinary Joes with an interest in having their point of view heard. However, as is already obvious to you, there is a place for you on the internet. Keep up the good work. Oh yeah. Read the whole thing. En Fuego.

Cross Posted at Classical Values