Come for the Politics, Stay for the Pathologies

Friday, October 30, 2009

Shut Up and Sing. I Really Mean It

Michelle announced on the Leno show last Friday that she has Sting on her iPod , and the next thing you know we get this: Sting: Obama Best Person to Handle World’s ‘mess’

sting ears In addition to believing he’s the world’s savior, something else Sting shares with Obama: like dogs that look like their masters

Sting explains the basis for his assessment, based on a meeting he had with Obama (no time for General McChrystal, but time for an aging rock star?):

"I can't think of any be (sic) better qualified because of his background, his education, particularly in regard to Islam," he said.

Sting, 58, said he's hopeful that the world's problems can be dealt with, but is frustrated that "we seem to be living in a currency of medieval ideas."

The problem, according to the great statesman, lies not with Islam’s embrace of medieval ideas regarding women, infidels, etc., but with Obama’s opponents on the right:

The British singer… said he's fascinated by American politics, Obama, and also by Obama's opponents on the right.

"It's aggressive and violent and full of fear," he said of the backlash against Obama. "They don't want change, they want things to feel the same because they feel safe there."

With such powers of analysis, Sting would be wise to heed Laura Ingraham’s advice: Shut up and sing. And maybe he should revisit one of his own songs:

If Ever I Lose My Faith In You

You could say I lost my faith in science and progress
You could say I lost my belief in the holy church
You could say I lost my sense of direction
You could say all of this and worse but

If I ever lose my faith in you
There'd be nothing left for me to do

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world
You could say I lost my faith in the people on TV
You could say I'd lost my belief in our politicians
They all seemed like game show hosts to me

If I ever lose my faith in you
There'd be nothing left for me to do

I could be lost inside their lies without a trace
But every time I close my eyes I see your face

I never saw no miracle of science
That didn't go from a blessing to a curse
I never saw no military solution
That didn't always end up as something worse but
Let me say this first

If I ever lose my faith in you
There'd be nothing left for me to do

Ironic that Sting doesn’t recognize Barry as the prototype for his “game show host” lyric.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hammer Time With Krauthammer & Friends

Conservatives are fortunate to have so many clear thinking political writers to help us refine our own positions. Who do you suppose Progressives rely on for that? Oh that’s right: Sean Penn and Janeane Garofalo. I’ll get to them next week. For now, here are some good reads from a few of my faves.

Charles Krauthammer in Der Spiegel: really, too many good quotes to include all of them. For starters here are two gems:

SPIEGEL: Mr. Krauthammer, did the Nobel Commitee (sic) in Oslo honor or doom the Obama presidency by awarding him the Peace Prize?

Charles Krauthammer: It is so comical. Absurd. Any prize that goes to Kellogg and Briand, Le Duc Tho and Arafat, and Rigoberta Menchú, and ends up with Obama, tells you all you need to know. For Obama it's not very good because it reaffirms the stereotypes about him as the empty celebrity.

SPIEGEL: Why does it?

Krauthammer: He is a man of perpetual promise. There used to be a cruel joke that said Brazil is the country of the future, and always will be; Obama is the Brazil of today's politicians. He has obviously achieved nothing. And in the American context, to be the hero of five Norwegian leftists, is not exactly politically positive.

Not a bad start, and the Brazil joke just happens to be one of my personal, all-time favorites. Then there are more serious issues: 

SPIEGEL: You famously coined the term "Reagan Doctrine" to describe Ronald Reagan's foreign policy. What is the "Obama Doctrine?"

Krauthammer: I would say his vision of the world appears to me to be so naïve that I am not even sure he's able to develop a doctrine. He has a view of the world as regulated by self-enforcing international norms, where the peace is kept by some kind of vague international consensus, something called the international community, which to me is a fiction, acting through obviously inadequate and worthless international agencies. I wouldn't elevate that kind of thinking to a doctrine because I have too much respect for the word doctrine.

SPIEGEL: Are you saying that diplomacy always fails?

Krauthammer: No, foolishness does. Perhaps when he gets nowhere on Iran, nowhere with North Korea, when he gets nothing from the Russians in return for what he did to the Poles and the Czechs, gets nowhere in the Middle East peace talks -- maybe at that point he'll begin to rethink whether the world really runs by international norms, consensus, and sweetness and light, or whether it rests on the foundation of American and Western power that, in the final analysis, guarantees peace.

The whole interview is a must read. But don’t linger too long, you must move on to Thomas Sowell’s two excellent pieces “Dismantling America” and “Dismantling America II.” The series begins:

 Just one year ago, would you have believed that an unelected government official, not even a Cabinet member confirmed by the Senate but simply one of the many "czars" appointed by the President, could arbitrarily cut the pay of executives in private businesses by 50 percent or 90 percent?

Did you think that another "czar" would be talking about restricting talk radio? That there would be plans afloat to subsidize newspapers-- that is, to create a situation where some newspapers' survival would depend on the government liking what they publish.

 Did you imagine that anyone would even be talking about having a panel of so-called "experts" deciding who could and could not get life-saving medical treatments?

…Does any of this sound like America?

Dr. Sowell continues to discuss Obama’s stated position that he’s “out to change the United States of America,” and reminds us that he’s already raised the specter of forming a national police force. For what purpose, Sowell asks?

What would be the role of a national police force created by Barack Obama, with all its leaders appointed by him? It would seem more like the brown shirts of dictators than like anything American.

But the good Dr. reminds us that the people Obama has appointed to positions of power did not just slip under the radar of vetting: they reflect what he believes in. In Part II, Dr. Sowell explains why, from a national and international standpoint, the dismantling of America is a fool’s ride that we ought not let the President take us on:

 As for the benefit of the doubt, no one-- especially not the President of the United States-- is entitled to that, when his actions can jeopardize the rights of 300 million Americans domestically and the security of the nation in an international jungle, where nuclear weapons may soon be in the hands of people with suicidal fanaticism. Will it take a mushroom cloud over an American city to make that clear? Was 9/11 not enough?

When a President of the United States has begun the process of dismantling America from within, and exposing us to dangerous enemies outside, the time is long past for being concerned about his public image. He has his own press agents for that.

I always feel like I’ve been whacked upside the head when I get done reading his columns. But I can’t stay away. Is that a mental illness?

And then there’s the ever caustic and entertaining Ann Coulter (I fully understand  some of you put  up “strong negatives” for Annie, but this is worth your time). She describes why the state “opt out” program for health care is a hoax:

The most important fact about the "opt out" scheme allegedly allowing states to decline government health insurance is that a state can't "opt out" of paying for it. All 50 states will pay for it. A state legislature can only opt out of allowing its own citizens to receive the benefits of a federal program they're paying for.

It's like a movie theater offering a "money back guarantee" and then explaining, you don't get your money back, but you don't have to stay and watch the movie if you don't like it. That's not what most people are thinking when they hear the words "opt out." The term more likely to come to mind is "scam."

I have confirmed that, as written now,  that is a correct interpretation of the “opt out” plan: you pay whether you want to play or not. Kind of makes you wonder what else might be buried, or what other lies might be contained in a 1,990 page document, doesn’t it?

It’s beginning to remind me of the restaurant that advertises  an “all you can eat” dinner, but then you find out that the restaurant owner is the one who establishes how much that will entail.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Another Crack at Stupid Gurus

Note: this was originally written in 2006  as a skeptic’s view of the foolish complicity of business and consultants in destroying value and industry in America. It was posted on Dewey last February as it seemed interesting in light of the Autos’ tenuous situation following the financial meltdown.  Since then, two of the Big 3  have stepped into the abyss (update at the end of post).

I meant to link it to Monday’s post on self-help gurus. It’s not just individuals who succumb to the snake oil charms of false prophets. Whole organizations have been known to fall under their misguided influence; even entire nations.

So, I’m reposting it, just as a reminder: it’s almost always better to think for yourself than to hire someone to do it for you. That applies to Washington as well as business.  So, Congress: at a minimum, read your own damn bills!

Excerpt from:  “From Quality Circles to Mobius Rings”

For the next two decades consultants trotted out every aspect of Japanese manufacturing culture and force fed it to the Autos … Deming’s philosophy was straightforward: Improve quality and you’ll decrease cost while simultaneously improving productivity and market share. (Hello! Management 101. Ever heard of it?) What Deming might have envisioned as a Zen and the Art of Corporate Maintenance devolved into the most protracted exercise in group navel gazing since the baby boomers first discovered theirs.

…In spite of these efforts, things did improve for the Autos. The embargo ended, oil prices stabilized, the Big 3 laid off thousands of workers, closed dozens of plants, and outsourced the majority of components. This brilliant stroke of reverse vertical integration allowed them to get tough with their suppliers and demand that they provide higher quality components at lower costs. Meanwhile, Chrysler received a massive government bailout to stay afloat, while American Motors went gently into that goodnight. In short, the survivors downsized, accepted corporate welfare and pushed one of the industry’s inherent problems off onto their newly independent suppliers. How many McKenzie consultants does it take to come up with that?

Click here to read entire post, including update. Warning: it’s a long one.


Monday, October 26, 2009

“Come To Me, My Babies. Let Me Quell Your Pain”*

Steve Salerno had an interesting piece in the Wall Street last week; Self-Help Doesn’t Help – And Often Hurts. He captured what is undoubtedly a widely shared attitude about the huge self-help industry:

"OK, we all know this is a silly and sometimes expensive exercise in navel-gazing. But really, where's the harm?"

Salerno then demonstrates that the $11 billion industry can indeed cause a great deal of harm: financially, emotionally and, tragically, physically. He cites the case of the idiot running a $9000 per person sweat-lodge ritual in Arizona that caused the death of 3 participants and the hospitalization of of 18 more. One could of course question the mental acuity of the people who paid for the privilege of being tortured. But being vulnerable is a thing apart from preying on people’s vulnerability. The idiot-in-charge was self-help guru James Arthur Ray, best known for his cameo in the huge hit DVD “The Secret” in which he “compared mankind's relationship with the universe to Aladdin and his lamp: Ask and you shall receive.”  Sounds like Obama boot camp.

Salerno is merciless in his criticism of the malignant threat from these so-called self-help gurus of self actualization, claiming that ”large group awareness training” (LGAT) sessions incorporate  “tactics more commonly identified with psychological warfare.”

In his book, Sham: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless Salerno describes the self-help racket:

Self-help is an enterprise wherein people holding the thinnest of credentials diagnose in basically normal people symptoms of inflated or invented maladies, so that they may then implement remedies that have never been shown to work.

The Skeptics Dictionary has an excellent entry on LGAT that ought to be read if, well, you’re a skeptic. It also links to multiple other cult and cult-like self-help enterprises still thriving (e.g. est, Landmark Forum, neuro-linguistic programming, Tony Robbins seminars, and even bona fide cults like L .Ron Howard’s Scientology: spirituality for the reality-challenged actor class).

Upon my initial read of this article it brought to mind a period in the 90’s when my company’s COO was sold an open-ended consulting engagement with a firm hired to work with officers and directors to “facilitate change management'’ in the organization. The head consultant became the COO’s personal guru, and was consulted on everything. By the time the “engagement” was “over”, it had enjoyed a ten year run and grossed millions of dollars (for the consulting firm). I’m sure some of it was worthwhile, if by worthwhile you mean nobody died in a sweat-lodge. What I primarily remember was the unconscionable loss of productivity due to endless meetings spent thinking ‘out of the box’ when we should have been trying to figure out how to fill the box. That, and a year long series of multi-day off-site training sessions in which middle-aged out of shape executives spent the days swinging through trees in upper Michigan. I’m proud to say that I was the only member of the executive management group that didn’t participate in that teambuilding exercise. Then again, that might have something to do with why I was fired. But I digress. The moral of the story is “Beware of stupid gurus.”

And we are surrounded by stupid gurus. As I reread the article, I couldn’t help but think of commonalities exhibited in susceptible self-help participants and Obamabots. A cult leader arrives on the scene promising hope for a better life/future if only you change some of your evil habits which have brought you to this miserable place. Listen to me. Follow me. Believe in me. I will make your life better. Unhappy sojourners flock like sheep. Their glorious leader will make their lives better. All they have to do is believe! It sounds like just what they’ve been looking for. It sounds good, sign me up. No facts or proofs required: mmm, mmm, mmm!!!

They begin to sound like brainwashed acolytes in an est session, secure in the knowledge that their guru will not just show them the truth and the light, but he will make it so. He is magical, he is “cosmically plugged in”. The entire enlightened world (of which they are now a part) recognizes his import, his singularity. But the truth is, as Salerno notes, these inadequately trained gurus have no business leading people: “They're snake-oil salesmen, pitching regimens that have never been validated.”

Noted psychologist Michael Hurd is quoted as saying: "Gurus encourage these poor, already troubled souls to literally take leave of their senses, as if departing reason will somehow liberate you." Any of you troubled souls out there ready to come home yet? Christopher Buckley? Peggy Noonan? David Brooks (well, maybe you are home)? Anyone?


*Powers Boothe as Jim Jones in Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones H/T the Dennis Miller Show

Free Lunch. With Dessert!

This is worthy of reprinting in it’s entirety. From The New Republic, via AnnaZ : It’s a parable about how democracies consume themselves.

--From a teacher in the Nashville area

"The most eye-opening civics lesson I ever had was while teaching third grade this year...

The presidential election was heating up and some of the children showed an interest. I decided we would have an election for a class president. We would choose our nominees. They would make a campaign speech and the class would vote. To simplify the process, candidates were nominated by other class members.

We discussed what kinds of characteristics these students should have. We got many nominations and from those, Jamie and Olivia were picked to run for the top spot. The class had done a great job in their selections. Both candidates were good kids. I thought Jamie might have an advantage because he got lots of parental support. I had never seen Olivia's mother.

The day arrived when they were to make their speeches. Jamie went first. He had specific ideas about how to make our class a better place. He ended by promising to do his very best. Everyone applauded and he sat down.

Now is was Olivia's turn to speak. Her speech was concise. She said, "If you will vote for me, I will give you ice cream." She sat down. The class went wild. "Yes! Yes! We want ice cream." She surely would say more. She did not have to. A discussion followed.

How did she plan to pay for the ice cream? She wasn't sure.

Would her parents buy it or would the class pay for it. She didn't know.

The class really didn't care. All they were thinking about was ice cream. Jamie was forgotten. Olivia won by a landslide.

Every time Barack Obama opened his mouth he offered ice cream and 52 percent of the people reacted like nine year olds. They want ice cream.
The other 48 percent know they're going to have to feed the cow and clean up the mess."
This is the ice cream Obama promised us! - A Cow Pie. Remember, the government cannot give anything to anyone -- that they have not first taken away from someone else.

It would be nice if schools could teach kids a little about basic economics (the government can print money, but otherwise can’t “make” either money or jobs), civics (the old fashioned kind that includes instruction on the 3 branches of the federal government and what their powers and limitations entail) and history (that includes the drafting and adoption of our Constitution, in addition to how the Europeans raped and plundered Native Americans and stole their land). Then maybe they would understand that there’s no such thing as free ice cream. I hope such knowledge doesn’t permanently damage their little psyches.

This would make a nice little viral email.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion

I would like to thank Legal Insurrection for naming Dewey From Detroit as the Blog of Day.


In case you missed it, he said I’m Pathological. I’m assuming he meant that in the best possible way.

Thanks again LI. It will keep my batteries charged for at least another week.

Speak No Evil, If by Evil You Mean “Disagreement With Obama”

Now that Democrats control the White House and Congress, dissent has once again  fallen out of fashion. In case you haven’t heard the latest from the august Kennedy clan, Congressman Patrick Kennedy has tried to wave off the Catholic Church’s opposition to parts of the Health Care Reform Bill by accusing the Church of  “fanning the flames of dissent”.

Odd, since over the course of human history “dissent” has proved an effective means of reform, most notably the American Revolution. On the other hand, it’s perfectly in line with the White House’s position on disagreement (they don’t like it) i.e. the attempted ban of FOX news from a White House sponsored news event.

I guess both President Obama and Congressman Kennedy feel that the Constitution is no longer applicable (at least the 1st Amendment). Unless you’re invoking its Interstate Commerce Clause to justify the adoption of health care reform in general or the General Welfare clause (article 1, section 8) in order to require everyone to buy health insurance, as required in the current version of the bill.

But if abortion can be legalized based on the 9th Amendment’s right to privacy, don’t think for a moment that the Supremes won’t conclude that “Interstate Commerce” and  “General Welfare” (the clauses generally conceded to be the refuge of all who have no argument) can be interpreted to mean “whatever we determine is in your  best welfare”.

Although I strongly support the separation of church and state, I would have to concede that Bishop Tobin’s response to Kennedy might serve as sound advice for the rest of our public “servants” as well. Calling the Congressman’s comment “irresponsible and ignorant of the facts’’ he went on to say:

“Congressman Kennedy continues to be a disappointment … to the citizens of the state of Rhode Island,’’ ... I believe the congressman owes us an apology for his irresponsible comments. It is my fervent hope and prayer that he will find a way to provide morally responsible leadership for our state.’’


stupid people And I think you’re stupid


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Unemployment: Red or Blue? You Pick

 American Thinker has a graph tracking unemployment rates with the party controlling the US Senate over a 25 year period:

Unemployment Query: coincidence,  or something more sinister?

Hat Tip to  Canada’s Small Dead Animals. I’m beginning to think there might be more right thinking people living north of the bear line than south. Sorry about sending all the Hollywood types your way.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Clothes Have No Emperor

The Quote of the Week award (so far) from Doug Ross@Journal deserves to go viral :

"Once you get past the facade there's only an abyss...

People have mistakenly used the "Emperor has no clothes" analogy for [Obama]. The real point is the clothes have no Emperor." -- From the BrothersJudd

I have nothing to add.

Soupy Sales 1926 - 2009

Yet another Detroit icon bites the dust. Along with Twin Pines Milky the Clown and the Vernor’s Gnome.

milky vernors2

SOUPY WF Soupy with White Fang, on air

Although he left Detroit in the 60’s, Soupy Sales will forever be one of ours. He started on Channel 7, Detroit’s ABC owned affiliate, in 1953 and provided years of fun for a generation of kids at lunch time and their parents at 11 PM. He’s also credited with saving a then struggling ABC network. That’s how big of a market Detroit once was.

Along with White Fang (the meanest dog in all Deeee-troit) and Black Tooth, Soupy Sales reflected the black and white world of the 50’s, for better or worse. And he took a lot of cream pies in the face along the way.

ss His most famous show was an episode in which he instructed kids to go check their mom and dad’s purse and wallets and pull out any of those pieces of green paper with pictures of presidents on them and mail them to him at the station. Of course he received hundreds of dollars, no return addresses. Of course he got suspended for the stunt. Of course he was reinstated.

From the vantage of 2009 he appears an impossible anachronism. Wouldn’t it be nice if kids could once again be entertained by such innocent silliness? Instead of being brainwashed by the edu-programming your taxes pay for: mmm, mmm, mmm?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

7 Lies in Under 2 Minutes

Wow! Technically it’s only 1 minute 47 seconds. I’m not saying it’s a record, but clearly President Obama is no piker. I suppose it’s possible that Reverend Wright was so busy railing against “rich, white people” and reminding his congregants why “the chickens are coming home to roost” that he didn’t have time to cover all 10 of the Commandments.


Just imagine what he can do with another 3 years and 3 months.

H/T Doug Ross Journal

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Health Care For Me, But Not For Thee

Kathleen Sebelius appeared a little punch drunk at the Senate hearings yesterday. No truth to the rumor that she took one for the team.  Although the plummeting health care approval polls combined with the lagging delivery of flu vaccines – swine and otherwise – does make the swollen eye suspect.

kathleenIn reality, Ms. Sebelius had a  slow growing basal skin cell removed from her forehead, causing the eye puffiness. 

According to a HHS spokeswoman, "She is back fighting to get everyone the same good health care she has." We can’t help but wonder for how long: “the good health care” part, not the fighting.

It’s probably coincidence, if you believe in such things, that the New York Times released an article today, immediately picked up by the science journal of record, NPR, that basically questions the wisdom of  early cancer screening tests. Here, from NPR:

The American Cancer Society is rethinking its stance and working on a more nuanced message that would say screening for breast, prostate and some other cancers carries its own risks: overtreating small and fairly unthreatening cancers.

I don’t know about you, but my shit detectors start flashing whenever I hear any bureaucrat talk about “nuancing” anything. It generally means that whatever follows is going to be deceptive, biased, or simply untrue. I doubt that this is the exception that makes the rule.

Here’s a little exercise for you. Can you figure out what might possibly be wrong with this statement from the NYT article regarding the analysis published Wednesday in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

In it, researchers report a 40 percent increase in breast cancer diagnoses and a near doubling of early stage cancers, but just a 10 percent decline in cancers that have spread beyond the breast to the lymph nodes or elsewhere in the body. With prostate cancer, the situation is similar, the researchers report.

Hmmm. I think I have a few questions. Could it be that they doubled the number of early stage cancers that were caught, hence preventing the spread beyond the breast by early treatment? And of the ones that did spread: what percent had early screening? Also how old were the victims whose cancers spread? And had they had any cancer before? Is the increase in diagnoses due simply to additional screening? When the number of children diagnosed with autism increased sharply, I didn’t hear anyone in the field claiming that it was simply due to earlier and better diagnosis (or an expanded definition of autism). The claim was, and still is, that it must somehow be environmentally triggered. Could that be true of breast and prostate cancers too then? I’m just asking. I’m just a blogger.

It’s not a study I’d be willing to sign off on. If nothing else, the timing seems odd. But as we all know, if you want people to swallow something you have to start the sales job early. Tell them about it early, tell them again. And again, and then you must repeat steps one thru three.

The first whiff of this new tack that the National Institute of Health was on came last spring with it’s release of a report on the ineffectiveness of the PSA test. Here’s a jaundiced-eyed post I did at the time regarding that flawed study. This new “analysis” is more of the same drivel.

It’s a preliminary step to impose cost-containment once the public option is the only option. Do not ignore these pseudo-scientific “studies” done by semi-governmental entities. The danger here, like so many things in this administration, is insidious.

This is the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

Stop Acting Stupidly

In case you missed this amidst the furor over the White House’s attack on one of the largest news media outlets, FOX wasn’t the only object of the attack dogs last weekend. Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod were also busy trashing financial institutions for not supporting Obama’s reforms for those sectors.

bo healthcare

Obama took up the banner himself yesterday at two Democratic fundraisers in New York.  In speeches highly critical of insurance companies and financial institutions the President accused them of resisting changes because they were “doing just fine under the status quo.” No mention of any one else’s proposed changes, probably because they aren’t post-partisan enough for the President. He went on:

“The financial industry is essential to a health economy and to the well-being of our economy,” Obama said. “But we also know we should never again have to face potential calamity because of reckless speculation and deceptive practices and short sightedness and self-interestedness from a few.”

Yeah, let’s not have any more reckless speculation (like jeopardizing the U.S. economy with a Cap and Tax bill in pursuit of a Chicken Little fear of non-existent global warming), deceptive practices (like a 1500 page health care reform bill hiding the real costs and impacts of the reform; and conducting negotiations of the terms behind closed doors with only a handful of Democrats and Rahm Dead Fish Emanuel), short sightedness (like trillions of dollars in deficit spending that will strangle generations to come) or self-interestedness (like refusing to address your General’s request for troops in the middle of the war in Afghanistan so as not to jeopardize the presentation of your Nobel Peace Prize.)

Yeah. Those Wall Street types are a bunch of rotten apples.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Network Lapdogs Join White House Pit Bulls in Pack Attack on FOX

This megalomaniacal White House can’t help themselves; they are so impressed with their own cleverness and power that they can’t stop bragging about it.

First we have the charming and accomplished Anita Dunn, White House Communications Director, explaining how this administration works by describing how they manipulated the media during the campaign:

Very rarely did we communicate through the press anything that we didn't absolutely control," said Dunn.

"One of the reasons we did so many of the David Plouffe videos was not just for our supporters, but also because it was a way for us to get our message out without having to actually talk to reporters," said Dunn, referring to Plouffe, who was Obama's chief campaign manager.

"We just put that out there and made them write what Plouffe had said as opposed to Plouffe doing an interview with a reporter. So it was very much we controlled it as opposed to the press controlled it," Dunn said.

To be fair, this speech was made last January, when Team Obama was still reveling in their glorious victory. But then, it was Ms. Dunn who launched the White House assault on FOX last week, calling them an “arm of the Republican Party” and “opinion journalism masquerading as news”

Wow. Even some of the MSM are smart enough to see that this is headed into Hugo Chavez territory and are waving the White House off. But not the enlightened White House. They sent the attack dogs out again yesterday to lob even larger bunker bombs: Rahm Emmanuel and David Axelrod  on the Sunday morning shows (FOX excepted, of course). They’ve determined that FOX News is no longer to be considered a real news network. And they “advise” (and we know what that means in Chicago) all the “real,” i.e.  supportive, news media to  dismiss FOX as well.

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel told CNN that President Obama does not want "the CNNs and the others in the world [to] basically be led in following Fox."

Obama senior adviser David Axelrod went further by calling on media outlets to join the administration in declaring that Fox is "not a news organization."

"Other news organizations like yours ought not to treat them that way," Axelrod counseled ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "We're not going to treat them that way."

After the shows, Rahmbo and Axe-man gave all the good little anchors a nice rub behind the ears.

Meanwhile, over at MSNBC, Keith Olberman, Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow are shoe-ins ( “Chicago-style ”) for Emmy’s and Edward R. Murrow awards this year. All in the category of “non-opinionated journalism.” I don’t think congratulations are premature.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dewey’s Theory of Relativity

Here’s this weekend’s must read: a Dennis Miller rant on the stupidity of relativism vis a vis the Roman Polanski apologists.

His points are valid and amusing as they can be, given the insanity of the argument:  "what Roman Polanski did was wrong but ..."

One liberal pundit or another (banality = interchangeability) was bleating on and on, and I actually heard the words "what Roman Polanski did was wrong but ..." and it hit me like an air horn in a Trappist monastery. With a simple wave of the conjunctive wand, we now believe that we can explain away absolutely anything!

Welcome to my world Dennis, where relativity has been running amok since the 70’s. However, to be fair there are several areas that are exempt from relativism. They are the basic tenants of liberalism, and hence the only absolutes recognized. They are:

Racism. All whites are inherently racists. Therefore anything that the race baiters and race mongers who promote race for profit and political gain determine to be racist, is. End of discussion. Pay on the way out.

(an aside, but a worthwhile aside:  see how the “Justice Brothers” use racism. Watch Juan Williams – who used to be black – lash back at the racist diatribe heaped on him for defending Rush Limbaugh. H/T Johnny Dollars


Diversity. All whites are inherently racists and xenophobes. Therefore anything done or promoted by anyone non-white and/or of non Judeo-Christian background is automatically assumed to be of purer intention and worthiness. Jews used to be included in the “other” column in the diversity medley because they had been enslaved and persecuted for thousands of years. But now, because the Palestinians are more persecuted –  at least according to PBS and NPR – Jews have pretty much been tossed into the “not-diverse enough” pile. I don’t think that has anything to do with Israel being the last loyal ally of the Reagan/Bush America (which is to say, the non-diverse America).

Global Warming. All Americans are greedy materialists.  We use far more than our share of material goods and services, most specifically carbon based energy. Global Warming is Gaia’s way of punishing us for being capitalistic and successful. Therefore, global warming, here-to-forth known as “Climate Change” since the earth seems to be cooling now, can only be reversed if we give all of our stuff to countries that don’t have anything now. That way it will be fairer. We’ll have way less stuff (like jobs and  GDP) and our diverse brethren will get their turn at trashing the earth.

Global Warming will never be relative. It will never get “better” and it will never go away. That’s because conservatives will always be racists and Al Gore has a lot of carbon credits to sell.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bifurcated Hypocrisy of the Day

From Ted, a commenter at Moonbattery:

Difference Between Liberals and Conservatives

If a Conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one. If a Liberal doesn't like guns, they believe no one should have one.

If a Conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat. If a Liberal is, they want to ban all meat products for everyone.

If a Conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat his enemy. A Liberal wonders how to surrender gracefully and still look good.

If a Conservative is homosexual, he quietly enjoys life. If a Liberal is homosexual, they loudly demand legislated respect.

If a Conservative is a minority , he sees himself as independently successful. Their Liberal counterparts see themselves as victims in need of government protection.

If a Conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. A Liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a Conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels. Liberals demand that those they don’t like be shut down.

If a Conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church. A Liberal wants all churches to be silenced.

If a Conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. A Liberal demands that his neighbors pay for his.

If a Conservative disagrees with a Liberal president, he is called a racist. When a Liberal disagrees with a Conservative president, it's patriotic dissent.

If a Conservative expresses his political view, he is called an idiot. A Liberal expressing his political views is expressing his right to Freedom of Speech.

To which I would add:

If a conservative wants to buy an NFL team he’s a racist, knuckle dragging drug addict. If a Liberal Obama supporter, pop tramp, confessed meth and sex addict that uses the “n” word in over half her repertoire,  wants to buy an NFL team she’s - pre-approved by the league!

Feel free to add your own favorite bifurcated hypocrisy in the comments section. I just love the word bifurcated: Hey O’Reilly, don’t bifurcate when you’re bloviating!

H/T Retriever, Big Hollywood

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Just Us Brothers

Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying “When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."

Democrats seem to have figured this out long ago, but, amazingly, they don't think it will negatively impact them. As if the demise of the republic will selectively smite only their enemies (which highlights one of the psychopathies of the left). A major part of the Democratic strategy involves identifying the aggrieved - based on gender, race, age or class – and forming a coalition that can be bought by giving them something they want. It couldn’t be simpler: pander, promise and pocket. The Dems keep giving them stuff, and their “constituencies” keep returning them to the halls of power. Win win.

Unfortunately, the price of this voter block bribery is beginning to strangle what’s left of our economy.  When that happens, Margaret Thatcher’s famously brief critique of Socialism kicks in: “The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

Rational Jingo has a good post on Detroit’s shameful  contribution to our demise, specifically the Cobo Hall fiasco where 50,000 showed up to collect their Obama-dollars.

Talk show hosts compared this to the Katrina aftermath. They are wrong it is more like Zimbabwe with little smatterings of Argentina and Yugoslavia thrown in for seasoning.

These self-inflicted “man-made disasters” threaten to take us all down.

This type of entrenched entitlement mentality is reason enough to restrict the voting privileges of anyone who’s on the receiving end of transfer payments. Please, don’t anyone report me to the Justice Brothers for saying that.

justice brothers Justice Brothers poster H/T Chickaboomer


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Team Dewey Celebrates a Great Run

Team Dewey is celebrating our 37th anniversary today. No, we’re not really that old. We married young. I think we were 12.

But since that sets our wedding date in the way-way back machine to 1972, we thought it might be fun to reflect on a few interesting things that happened in the first half of that most peculiar decade, vis-à-vis today:

Some amazing technological firsts that were introduced: microprocessors, CAT scans, cell phone batteries, email, pocket calculators. Today you can email your CAT scans via your iPhone to your mother.

Some new businesses formed: FedEx, HBO, and NASDAQ. Apple and Microsoft were just a few years away. Today FedEx operates on a Microsoft system, HBO and Apple have teamed up to offer “Sex in the City” on your iPhone. And NASDAQ is now the sexiest exchange.

Regulators were busy: EPA was formed in 1971. Wasting no time they, banned DDT in 1972 ( no Rachel, it didn’t really destroy bird eggs, but it did allow the proliferation of malaria in the third world. Fist bumps, all around); childproof caps invented (taking aspirin would never be the same); Amtrak formed (I think that worked out well); Title IX passed (girls, we’ve always ruled the world); Center for Science in the Public Interest was founded ( in case you didn’t know that eating a gallon of Hagen Daz was not part of a wellness program).

But on the political front - amazingly -  not that much has changed. The country’s still deeply divided over abortion (Roe v Wade, 1972), and foreign wars (Vietnam v Iraq and Afghanistan). Oil prices are still at the mercy of OPEC and the Middle-East is still a snake pit of Islamic rage seething with hatred of Israel and anyone brave enough to be her ally. The U.S. president is visiting Russia and China and they still dislike us (although they may be even more dangerous in the new era of a kinder, gentler America). The Federal Government is still bailing out failing businesses (Lockheed in ‘71, GM, Chrysler(part deux), AIG, Bear Sterns, etc. in ‘09 ). They also benevolently bailed out the city of New York in the 70’s, this time around maybe it will be Detroit.

And, interestingly, in 1971 Nixon unilaterally ended the US dollar’s gold standard  – due to an excess of printed dollars combined with a negative U.S. trade balance that caused debtor nations to demand fulfillment of America’s “promise to pay” in gold. Ostensibly this was intended to deflate the dollar and ease inflation. It didn’t end well, in case you’re ever inclined to believe economists in the future.

But not to worry. That couldn’t happen again. Because we’re not on any kind of gold standard anymore. Although, maybe Obama could use Nixon’s next trick: wage and price freezes. Hey! The wage czar is already working on the wage part! Can price freezes be far behind? Because Nixon did it to halt inflation and that didn’t work, so maybe it will work for the opposite problem: stagnation. It’s worth a try, no?

And finally way back in the ‘70’s, Jimmy Hoffa went missing. As far as we know, he still is.

So it seems we would have to say we’ve come a long way, just to arrive back where we started. As the  great 20th century philosopher Yogi Berra said: “it’s déjà vu all over again”.
But it’s been a good ride … for us … so far. But beware. Sharp curves ahead.

For another glimpse into the past you might like our post : It Seemed a Good Idea at the Time from the vault.

Michigan Doubles Down

In a contest between the governor of Michigan and Las Vegas real estate developer (Bellagio, Venetian, Treasure Island, Mirage and Wynn Las Vegas) Steve Wynn, who would you put your money on?

Take Wynn and a million points.

As an aside, Michigan’s overall unemployment stands at 15%.  Detroit’s rate is  28%, with youth unemployment at 52%. No one’s betting on those numbers coming down any time soon.

In related news, the Michigan Legislature today is toying with the idea of tacking a 3% tax on physician services. No, I’m not kidding. What could go wrong there?

More later on Jenny’s green dream for Michigan.

H/T Moonbattery

Monday, October 12, 2009

You Can’t Handle The Solution!

Finally, two honest articles on the plight of Detroit in one of Detroit’s major newspapers. The last time that happened was … well, never. Dan Howes’ articles Detroit Supplies Ammo For Its Bad Image and Bing Battles an Environment of Corruption finally begin to pull the curtain back on the the real issues that caused Detroit’s collapse.


In the past the majority of articles written about Detroit by local journalists have adopted the stance that there’s no point in bashing the city; what we really need to do is stand together, lock arms, swear off our racist attitudes (if you are a white suburbanite) and work together to fix our problems.

Heaps of blame has always been piled on the suburban communities for being parochial and unwilling to go all-in for “regionalism:” in which Detroit gains and everyone else loses. For years the Annual Detroit Chamber of Commerce Meeting on Mackinac Island served as a meeting place for regional business and political leaders. The main event consisted of a kabuki dance of the “Big 4” –  Executives from Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties plus Detroit’s mayor.  Year after year, even as the players change, the dance remained unchanged: lip service was paid to working together to solve regional problems that would result in the creation of a fantasy regional megatropolis. Resources were committed, everyone wined and dined and then returned to their respective corners to conduct meetings until the following year’s dance.

Meanwhile, Detroit sunk deeper and deeper into the muck. You were not to criticize city government or it’s leadership too harshly. You were not to point out the waste, patronage and other corruption that went on in the city. And you certainly weren’t to mention that Detroit taxes were anathema to business inside the city limits.

In our increasingly hyper-sensitive world, criticism is seen as “mean” and unhelpful. The prevalent bumper-sticker philosophy: “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem” expanded to include critics; casting then as useless naysayers. But the trump card for shutting down criticism, of course, was the charge of racism which immediately shifted the debate.

To avoid charges of racism there were only a few proscribed approaches for discussing the city’s problems:  you were allowed to wring your hands helplessly, you were allowed to mourn the demise of the city as long as you acknowledged that its fate was the result of white flight and governmental neglect, or you could pull a Pollyanna and proclaim that Detroit was simply in hibernation waiting to rise from the ashes. But under no circumstances were you allowed to speak the unspeakable truth: that for over 30 years Detroit has been governed by Black leadership - with the complete complicity of the Democratic Party – and that each year the city had grown worse.

Does that sound racist to you? If so, you’ve made my point. It’s not racist to speak the truth, and it’s irrelevant whether the city was trashed by blacks or whites. But you can’t have it both ways, you can’t have exclusive Black control for 30 years and still claim that all of your failures and shortcomings are due to racist suburban whites. And yet that’s the game that Detroit’s been playing, and local media have, by and large, served as willing accomplices.

The facts are that Detroit has been in the hands of a Black mayor and a predominantly black city council for over three decades. During that time the public schools have been destroyed, the neighborhoods have been destroyed, city infrastructure has crumbled and both residents and businesses have fled. This, while sucking into its maw billions of dollars in federal funding for asinine projects like the “People Mover” which sometimes moves, but often is lacking the people. If these results don’t constitute gross mismanagement, what does? Every stone that’s turned over in this city reveals another repository of graft and/or corruption.

So much for the diagnosis, is there a cure? The good news is it doesn’t require brain surgery. Just some very, very bad tasting medicine. As it turns out, the problem is not that solutions are so elusive, it’s that - to paraphrase Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men - “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE SOLUTION!”

Mayor Dave Bing (who ‘won’ the office after Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted of a felony and further embarrassed a city that you wouldn’t have thought could be further embarrassed) will be the doctor trying to administer the dosage to a patient that will fight it at every turn.

Do you know who Dave Bing is? He’s a successful businessman and former Detroit Piston who does not need this aggravation at this point in his life. He’s not in the game for the money or the glory – he’s done all that. He’s here because he is genuinely aggrieved by what has happen to his adopted city. He comes from a political mold that we barely recognize any more: he’s a citizen statesman who brings something to the table. He has run his own business for years and therefore understands economics, accounting, finance, business planning, customer service and accountability. He could turn this city around.

His race? It should be irrelevant, but as we all know it isn’t. He’s a Black man: accomplished and capable.

dave bing3

But when all the vested interest groups begin to grasp the intent and impact of his turnaround plan he will not be Black enough. He’ll probably be accused of being an Uncle Tom. He has thus far refused to play the game by the decades-long rules of racial gimme politics.

In his column, Howes  points out some constituencies he’ll likely not be able to count on:

Not the unions, accustomed to living off an expanding public sector now contracting because revenue is disappearing. Not City Council, captive as some of its members are to the quasi-religious belief that privatization of any city service is bad, mostly because it would impact political patrons in labor. And not vendors, their bank accounts fattened by city contracts.

Dave Bing has a plan for turnaround, but odds are it will be “change Detroit won’t believe in” or support.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Goodbye Columbus, Redux

The Wall Street Journal ran an article yesterday titled “Is the Columbus Holiday Sailing Off the Map?” in which they explain why Columbus Day is no longer a noteworthy holiday for some.

This gives me an excellent opportunity to celebrate the day and do a little green-blogging (aka “re-cycling posts”).

From the vaults to your eyes: “Goodbye Columbus” in which we mourn the demise of the holiday at Brown University.

As noted in the WSJ article:

His supporters acknowledge Columbus took slaves back to Spain and opened the door to conquistadors who killed Native Americans. But much of the criticism is built on "judging a 16th century man by 21st century standards," says Dona De Sanctis of the Order Sons of Italy in America, a group of half a million Italian-Americans that tries to defend Columbus' legacy.

And yet, in the morass of multiculturalism, we refuse to hold 21st century men accountable for practicing 16th century customs.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Welcome Back, “Welcome Back Carter”

MWC’s comment on Who Didn’t Win the Nobel Peace Prize just reminded us of one of our earliest forays into Obama-rama: so from deep in the vault we’re reposting for your entertainment Dewey’s First Flatsimile Production: Welcome Back Carter.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Who Didn’t Win the Nobel Peace Prize

Rational Jingo has a great post on “who didn’t win the Nobel peace prize”. 

I would just like to add a few additional people who did not win:

  • Hugo Chavez (Venezuela)
  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Iran)
  • Kim Yong-Il (North Korea)
  • Muammar Gaddafi (Libya)
  • Mohammed Omar (former head of the Taliban in Afghanistan)
  • Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua)
  • Omar al-Bashir (Sudan)
  • Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe)

In related news, the Administration, based on Military analysis,  is considering giving the Taliban a role in the government of Afghanistan. The rationale is that the Taliban is no longer considered the main enemy: 

It also raises prospects for reconciliation with some of them. For example, two major insurgent groups are believed to have allied with the Taliban to protect their sphere of influence, not to wage a holy war against the West.

The report says “Taliban” no longer means what most Americans think. Yes, that’s what happens with deconstruction: soon nothing means anything any more.

But congratulations President Obama, for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. What ever that means.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ambient Psycho-Pathologies Go Viral

As you can see above, our motto at Dewey From Detroit is “Come for the Politics, stay for the Pathologies.” It used to be that the pathologies were as much fun, if not more so, than the politics. But lately we’ve found ourselves being a little uneasy about that phrase, for no specific reason.

As fate would have it, everyone’s favorite recovering liberal, Robin from Berkeley, explains the probable cause of our distress, in her latest American Thinker post. The politics of Obama have caused the normal ambient psycho-pathologies to go viral. Since Robin is a therapist by trade, she describes the resulting situation in terms of an abusive relationship: we’re all suffering from post-traumatic-stress syndrome, minus the post.

It really takes all of the fun out of it.

We have people at the highest echelons of our government who may be rotting this nation. They espouse twisted notions of humanity, like de-evolution and forced sterilization. They eat, drink, and sleep revenge.

They are throwing much of this country, at least those of us who are paying attention, into a psychiatric emergency -- into trauma.

They dominate. They control. They terrorize.

They are abusers.

I can hear the fun being sucked down the drain. Robin continues…

But the best and the brightest of abusers never get their hands dirty.

Their work is done through a look, a blank stare, a grin, a devilish laugh. They can incite trouble without lifting a finger.

So if you feel uncomfortable, and tense, and scared, this is why. This is what abusers do.

I thought therapists were supposed to make you feel better.

The daily force feeding of leftist ideology designed to control every aspect of our lives. The health care rationing that threatens our families. The strangling of business through Big Brother intrusions.

I’m getting a double migraine.

Of course Robin’s right. Many have a sense, if not an outright taste, of fear on their palate. The violation of this country’s first principals, the danger to our way of life, the tyranny that may be bequeathed to future generations - all unimaginable just a few short years ago – are now a lurking possibility.

Robin presents her 5- F (didn’t that use to be a deferment? No? Oh yeah, 4-F.) options for dealing with trauma/abuse: Fight, Flight, Freeze, Fawn and Faith; the last of which she describes:

There's a final "F," the most formidable one, the one taking root and flourishing all across the country: it's faith. Faith in a Higher Power or ourselves or the American system or its people

All well and good. But we upon whom the responsibility falls to reverse the pernicious creep of socialism, marxism and statism already have faith in something more powerful than the government, or we wouldn’t be opposed to Obama’s tyrannical regime in the first place.

There is only one cure for the self-inflicted trauma of this run-away government: fight it with our votes. I get the sense from Robin’s piece that she believes that we of sound mind and spirit will rise up and prevail over the dark side. But I don’t get a sense that she knows how we will do it, and she didn’t give us a scrip to deal with our malaise.

I’m not a therapist, so I can’t write a scrip. But here’s a script: it contains no antibiotics or anti-depressants. The only way to fight this disease is at the polls, or, as the Democrats would say “get the vote out.” It’s the oldest play in the political book, and still the most effective: we work to garner support for the people who reflect our beliefs and values; and we work to defeat those who don’t. We need to fight to defeat every Congressional Representative and every Senator that is currently enabling and facilitating the demise of our liberty by voting for legislation that tightens the noose of tyranny.

The 2010 mid-term election is the launching point. If your Senator is good, work to get him re-elected. If he’s not, work even harder to throw him out. Ditto with your Representatives.

People, we live – at least for now – in a representative democracy. Obama is having trouble getting his radical agenda rammed through even with a super-majority in the Senate and and overwhelming majority in the House. It’s our job to make it impossible. By working to crush those majorities we will render Obama a toothless lame duck.

In our lovely garden state of Michigan, we’ll be working to re-elect our Representative, Thaddeus McCotter – even though he does appear with Greg Gutfelt on Red Eye regularly, and plays in a garage band. mccotter Also in Michigan, and deserving of our efforts is Mike Rogers who represents an area including the state capital of Lansing. Unfortunately neither of our extreme loser Senators, Stabenow and Levin, are up for election in this cycle. We’ll get them in 2012 & 2016.

And certainly if you live in Connecticut you can work to throw the liar and thief Chris Dodd overboard. Or in Pennsylvania: it’s time to broom the newly minted Democrat Arlen Spector back into the dust bin of history. And what would I give to be a resident of Nevada! To work for the demise of Harry Reid, undoubtedly the only person in that state who made money in the real estate market in the past year. And last but not least: you lucky dogs in Illinois. You need to stay up late working against anyone the RambObama team picks to run for the Blago-Burris seat. In any other state, that would be a no-brainer, but in the land of Lincoln it’s going to require Herculean effort.

So OK team, suit up! Let’s get out there and win one for the Gipper!ronald-reaganThere. I’m feeling much better now. Thanks Robin.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

It’s the Economy, Stupid

In case you’ve run out of things to worry about this week, there’s this little gem: it appears our up-to-now friends and our sworn enemies have banded together to end the dollar as the world currency denomination. According to “The Demise of the Dollar” in the Independent:

Gulf Arabs are planning – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar.

This is certain to result in economic war between China and the US. And increased energy prices. And a devalued dollar (inflation). Still think deficit spending doesn’t matter? That we need more “stimulus”? And that trade deficits don’t matter?

The American currency has maintained its pre-eminence in the world because of America’s economic dominance, not the other way around. Keep piling up a national deficit in the trillions of dollars, and we can kiss that dominance good buy forever. Yes, I realize that most people educated in our public school system in the past 40 years believe that will be a good thing. More egalitarian… and fair: why don’t we just spread the wealth around? But then, having been educated in our fine public schools, they think this without any concept of how the economy works. The first clue they’ll have is when they discover what a truly failed economy will mean to them personally. You know - that nasty intersection where utopian concepts and reality collide?

But the Obama administration has bigger fish to fry: they sent the puppet to Denmark to lobby for the Chicago Olympics, and they’re busy lining up Hollywood morons to hump for healthcare.

For all the Anglophiles out there: congratulations. We are well on our way towards joining them as another once great empire. Sleep well, the government has everything under control.

Oh, and we might want to reconsider our “energy plan”. I don’t really think you’ll want to be relying on those windmills if there’s another oil embargo. ANWR might not be such a bad idea after all. And perhaps a nuclear plant or two couldn't hurt either: if we start now, we could have a couple on line in a decade or so. That might help the grandkids.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dr. O No!


You don’t usually want to see your President surrounded by 2 guys in white jackets.



People might get the wrong  idea.






obama smokin



If you catch my drift.






We’ll Meet Again: Vera Lynn


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