Blog Consolidation

Last night I read Ed Morrissey’s farewell from Captain’s Quarters.  He’s headed to HotAir.com where he’ll Michelle Malkin and others.  Not that I’d missed the trend to move from solo blogging to group blogging, then to extremely commercial blogging, but Ed’s voluntary consolidation saddened me.  Not that it should.

Consolidation seems a natural tendency among human beings and their institutions.  Remember the CLECs?  (Competitive Local Exchange Carriers were the new phone companies like Allegiance, Onvoy, Big, McCloud.)  They were independents who consolidated then sold to the Baby Bells.  It was the end of competition in local phone service.

Remember Eastern Airlines?  TWA?  Ozark?  America West?  They’re gone, too, along with the neighborhood coffee shop and corner grocery store. 

In fact, assimilation seems as natural among our species as cell division.  That makes me wonder whether evolution theories are just plain wrong.  Evolution would seem to indicate that one species becomes two then twenty.  The number of species would tend to increase.  When we look at human behavior we might conclude that the opposite occurs. 

For example, imagine wolves and another carnivorous species sharing a common hunting ground.   The two coexist while they maintain some distinctions.  Finally, the wolf adapts the behaviors of its competitor, and the competitor flocks to the wolf pack for protection and food.  They merge.  What’s left is the wolf, only the wolf, but slightly changed from the wolves of the past.

In all of human endeavor, the natural process seems to be:  individuals begin competitive enterprises, then merge into consolidated enterprises, then cease to be what they were. The only exceptions are TV sitcoms and rock bands.

But "Laverne and Shirley" was never "Happy Days," and "Petticoat Junction" was never "Green Acres."  Though Paul McCartney and John Lennon were successful and prolific after the breakup, they were never Beatles alone. 

Would Notre Dame football still be Notre Dame football  if it joined the Big 10?

HotAir and Ed Morrissey both stand to benefit from the merger.  Running one’s own blog is a lot of work.  Were that I needed only write.  Ed can now concentrate on what he does so well–research and blog.  He’s from the management concerned that played on his mind until yesterday.

But blogging loses, at least one voice. 

When I launched The Hennessy Report in 2000 on software I wrote, I did so because I liked the idea of the lone voice yelling reason into a chaotic and ignorant world.  Previously, I’d learned the art of bookbinding in order to craft the first edition of my book.  Benjamin Franklin, after all, was printer before he wrote the contents of his books and pamphlets.  Craft before art.

I read today that more and more people get their news from the internet.  They distrust the mainstream media.  How many mergers, consolidations, and assimilations will it take before the internet becomes the mainstream media.  Will it, then, be the voice of the individual? 

The burdens of running my own site distract from my writing.  But the internet is my craft.  I don’t really want partners or collaborators in this endeavor.  I balance my job and its clients, my kids and their need for rides to school or practice, my wife and her need for attention and love.  But blogging feels too individualistic a thing to leave the administration to others.

I wish Ed Morrissey and HotAir all the best.  I do not criticize Ed in any way.  Being true to myself, though, requires that I go it alone the way I started eight years ago.

A Stalinist is a Stalinist

Pay attention to this little news bit:  Chavez sends troops to Colombian border.

Chavez is a Stalinist, and Stalin founded and expanded the Soviet Union with a combination of force, threats, and promises.  Every Soviet student expects Chavez to follow suit.

President Hugo Chavez on Sunday ordered 10 battalions of troops to the border with Colombia after Colombia’s military killed a top rebel leader.

He called the U.S.-allied government in Bogota "a terrorist state" and labeled President Alvaro Uribe "a criminal."

The next POTUS will have to deal with the domino theory in our own hemisphere. 

I say we wack Chavez now.  Hot Air notes he’s endorsed FARC, if not funding the terrorists directly.

 

Cold Winter Cools Global Warming Rhetoric

I don’t troll AOL’s news, but I do notice where links to my blog come from.  The high number of referrals from this AOL article (reprinted from the New York Times) led me to reading, and reading revealed an interesting tone coming from the global warming alarmists:  their hubris wanes.

Carl Mears, a global warming believer, said, "Temperatures are very likely to recover after the La Niña event is over."

That’s a far cry from these gems from Al Gore, the self-appointed Savior of the Universe:

If we did not take action to solve this crisis, it could indeed threaten the future of human civilization. That sounds shrill. It sounds hard to accept. I believe it’s deadly accurate.

The scientists are virtually screaming from the rooftops now. The debate is over! There’s no longer any debate in the scientific community about this.

Carl Mears tone, at least in print, comes off as anything but "screaming."  He’s also not exactly certain.  "Very likely" is hardly the rhetoric equivalent of "the debate is over."  Indeed, the debate goes on even in Carl Mears’s own mind.

AOL further discredits Gore’s final-sounding pronouncement about the debate. 

Some scientists who strongly disagree with each other on the extent of warming coming in this century, and on what to do about it, agreed that it was important not to be tempted to overinterpret [sic] short-term swings in climate, either hot or cold.

Fair enough.  Gore would, no doubt, call Andrew Revkin, the story’s author, a corporate shill out to destroy human civilization in pursuit of profits.

The answer, of course, is we shall see.  One winter does not make an Ice Age, but neither does one decade.  The "long term" trends that global warming alarmists refer to, are not long term by any earth science measure, but by the measure of a single human life.  For instance, the "record summer melt" of Arctic sea ice is a record for the period 1979 to present.  My research indicates that the Arctic is older than 29 years.

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So, Obama Lies **Update**

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This is serious stuff, Terence.

Thanks to Ed Morrissey, we have some details about Obama’s open admission to telling his supporters lies in order garner their support.

On Wednesday, CTV reported that a senior member of Obama’s campaign called the Canadian government within the last month — saying that when Senator Obama talks about opting out of the free trade deal, the Canadian government shouldn’t worry. The operative said it was just campaign rhetoric not to be taken seriously. [CTV.CA]

Morrissey’s blog details Obama’s campaign’s refusal to refute the charge.  Obama’s chief economic advisor, one Austen Goolsbee, told the Canadian government that Obama’s promise to overturn NAFTA was a lie for the benefit of votes.  Now, Goolsbee refuses to talk, referring all press questions to the campaign headquarters.

So far, Obama said he’d pull out of Iraq, then changed his mind in case al Qaeda establishes bases.  Now, he’s lied about NAFTA to win favor with unions.

One more populist lie, and we call him the Kingfish.

UPDATE:

Only a little digging, and you find more Obama lies.  Of the felony variety.  From the Chicago Sun-Times on June 14, 2007:

On June 13, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), while serving as an Illinois state senator in 1998, "did a political favor" for Chicago Democratic fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko by writing letters to state and local government officials in support of a Chicago housing project proposed by Rezko’s company, New Kenwood LLC. The Sun-Times asserted that the "letters appear to contradict a statement last December from Obama, who told the Chicago Tribunethat, in all the years he’s known Rezko, ‘I’ve never done any favors for him.’ ”

Here’s the text of that interview, in pertinent part, from a written interrogatory submitted to and responded by Barack Obama:

Q: Did Rezko or his companies ever solicit your support on any matter involving state or federal government? Did Al Johnson, who was trying to get a casino license along with Tony Rezko, or Rezko himself ever discuss casino matters with you?

A: No, I have never been asked to do anything to advance his business interests.

Direct contradiction.   Obama is a fraud with friends in high security prisons.  Well, former friends. According to the New York Times, Obama has cut-off Rezko like an unsightly skin-tag.

Mr. Obama has portrayed Mr. Rezko as a one-time fund-raiser whom he had occasionally seen socially. But interviews with more than a dozen political and business associates suggest that the two men were closer than the senator has indicated.

Mr. Obama turned to Mr. Rezko for help at several important junctures. Records show that when Mr. Obama needed cash in the waning days of his losing 2000 Congressional campaign, Mr. Rezko rounded up thousands of dollars from business contacts. In 2003, Mr. Rezko helped Mr. Obama expand his fund-raising for the Senate primary by being host of a dinner at his Mediterranean-style home for 150 people, including some whose names have since come up in the influence scandal.

And when Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, bought a house in 2005, Mr. Rezko stepped in again. Even though his finances were deteriorating, Mr. Rezko arranged for his wife to buy an adjacent lot, and she later sold the Obamas a 10-foot-wide strip of land that expanded their yard.

With Clinton Inc. growing desperate, the Rezko story could get very interesting.  The Clintons "have people" in the federal prison system, you know. 

How long before some enterprising, young Chicago journalist uncovers the paper trail connecting Obama to Jay Grodner?

It’s Okay to Boo

Disks ping-pong across the floor
while Polar Bears dance on steel stilts
and the teacher in a JFK suit
tells his failing pupils all is well.  All is well.

All isn’t well in the theatre, though.
All is tight, worried and sad.  Foreboding.
The clock’s ticks annoy the voyeurs
who stand in nervous circles, smoking.

The patient may not have the year.
The doctors may not have the room.
The semester may be out of quarters
before the class learns to add and subtract.

Liberalism Kills Poor People

The owner of a St. Louis-area pizza parlor chain, Fortel’s, recently told KMOX radio that the price of 50-lbs. sacks of flour she uses in her pizzas has risen from $11 to more than $30 in recent months.  Her suppliers told her to expect the price to exceed $50 soon.

Both the US and the UN have announced plans to reduce food distribution programs to the world’s poorest people.  Both site hyper-inflation in food prices, mostly grains, dairy, and meat, as we see in this piece on WashingtonPost.com:

The prices have risen as more of the grains are being consumed by biofuel production and fast-growing markets in China and India, The Washington Post reports.

Poor people must die for Western liberals to feel good about themselves.

The U.N. program is confronting similar price pressures. It announced this month that it was facing a $505 million shortfall due to soaring food and fuel costs, and would cut distribution if it did not receive new funds. Meanwhile, need is increasing.Afghanistan, for instance, recently put in an emergency request for $77 million to cope with skyrocketing prices that have put key staples out of reach for more and more Afghans.

If you think "hyper-inflation" hyperbolic, think again:

"Look at what’s happened to wheat prices alone — they shot up 25 percent in one day last week," said Josette Sheeran, executive director of the World Food Program. "This is really the first emergency we’ve faced without a drought, war, natural disaster. We will have to cut the amount of people being served or the amount of food being served if we do not get more funds."

The planet is dying, you know.  Despite the fact that the world has been cooling since about 1998, liberals, including that lovely couple that just moved in down the street, are convinced that human activity is causing temperatures to rise.  (Of course, they can’t explain why temperatures rose to similar levels in Medieval times.)  They just know, as an article of faith, that people like me and you are killing the planet.

So the push for bio-fuels, which emit more greenhouse gases than a 1972 Chevelle. 

We know from economics 101 that increased demand will raise the equilibrium price of a good or service.  And higher prices result in increased supply, as the profit potential influences more sellers to enter the market.  (Thus, high gasoline prices resulted in high diesel fuel prices as refiners shifted production from diesel to unleaded.) 

In this case, wheat and other kinds of farmers are shifting to corn production because the price of corn is so high.  (Corn is the principal ingredient in most bio-fuel recipes.)  Less wheat is produced relative to demand, the price rises to equilibrium, and poor people starve.  The cheapest food source on the planet, grain, leaves the mouths of starving kids in Africa to fuel Barbara Streisand’s  Tuesday afternoon lunch with Bette Midler.

Perhaps scientists will find a way to power automobiles with carcasses of African children.  Then, alas, the poorest of the poor will be well-fed. 

 

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Angelina jolie Joins Team America

425.jolie.angelina2.020808 Gateway Pundit links to the this WaPo option piece by none other than Angelina Jolie.

After a visit to Iraq, Jolie announces that America has

an obligation to win.

My visit left me even more deeply convinced that we not only have a moral obligation to help displaced Iraqi families, but also a serious, long-term, national security interest in ending this crisis.

For the many Americans who live and die by the advice of Hollywood celebrities, this story could turn the tide of public opinion–if it gets more play in the MSM.

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Obama Prefers Al Qaeda in America

Demonstrating a remarkable daftness for thinking on his feet, Barack Obama magnified the folly of a debate gaffe, today, in a clumsy rejoinder to John McCain’s response.

In a debate, Obama said he would deploy troops back into Iraq, after a pullout, if al Qaeda established bases.  (Do I really need to point out the lack of intelligence, understanding, and strategy his comment portrays?)

McCain responded by saying, "I have news for Senator Obama, al Qaeda is in Iraq, and that’s why we’re fighting in Iraq."

Obama’s response [via CNN]

But I have some news for John McCain, and that is that there was no such thing as al Qaeda in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq.

Actually, Senator, before we invaded Iraq, al Qaeda was in Manhattan killing your Democrat opponent’s constituents. 

Such details escape the junior Senator from Illinois, though.  Messiahs don’t sweat the small stuff.

The best shot in this debate came from W himself: 

I believe Senator Obama better stay focused on his campaign with Senator Clinton, neither of whom has secured their party’s nomination yet.

Touche

Gateway Pundit has more

The Giants of My Youth are Nearly Gone

My favorite cat’s name was Buckley.  The cat was nothing like my hero, but he crawled into my heart, settling there as snuggly and permanently as my hero did into my mind and soul.

Reagan, Thatcher, and William F. Buckley Jr.  That my children were privy to such greatness.

A woman called Rush Limbaugh today as I left work to grab a hotdog and soda for lunch at the near-by QuikTrip.

“Rush,” she said, “I went out to my mailbox to get my issue of National Review–it was there–then I heard your opening monologue . . .”

My God, I thought.  William F. Buckley died.  Some things you must hear; others you intuit.

I thought it would never happen.  Buckley dying, I mean.

When I came home on my first leave from the Navy, my sister, Sue, told a story to a small group who’d gathered to welcome me home.  Sue told us she had been talking to our mom about a great new television show called “Family Ties.”

“I told Mom that this kid reminds me of Bill,” Sue said.   “His dad told his mom, ‘I’m worried about Alex–he sleeps with a poster of William F. Buckley over his bed.'”

“Mom said, ‘Sue, come here.’  She took me upstairs to Bill’s room, and there was a picture of Buckley right above his bed!”

Buckley is, was, and always will be the human being I’d most like to become.  I started watching ‘Firing Line’ in 1978 when I was in 8th grade.  I received a subscription to National Review for my matriculation into high school.  I encourage my boys to look first to the Church, then to Buckley, when deciding the best way to think, to act, to pray, to write, to vote, to praise, to attack, to live.

Eternal rest grant unto him, o Lord, and may Your perpetual light shine upon him.  May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Now, please read the rest of the blogosphere.  I dare to say that every blog linked from this one reflects the copious love we on the right hold for our dearly departed founder.  He left us well.  May we advance his great cause with the dignity, certainty, and success by which he launched us.

John McCain writing on NationalReview.com:

With Bill’s passing, freedom has lost one of its greatest defenders. Bill was a great American who helped change the course of history. When conservatism was a lonely cause, he bravely raised the standard of liberty and led the charge to renew the principles and values that are the foundation of our great country.

And from Mark Steyn, same source:

it’s still hard to believe there’ll be no more Buckley columns on this week’s news, and next week’s and next month’s, and hard not to feel cheated that we were denied a nonagenarian Buckley sailing on in vigorous health toward his next century. I liked the way Rich put it at the 50th anniversary gala, after the announcement of some highly technical-bureaucratic change in Bill’s title or responsibilities: “This is still Bill Buckley’s National Review, and it will always be Bill Buckley’s National Review.” Just so.

Hell, just go read them all on NRO.

Then view this video [click].

 

A Hard Blow for Global Warming

When some people suggested that sun influences earth’s climate, the wack0 pseudo-scientists scoffed.  "How could man possibly influence the sun?" they asked.

Now, two prominent climate scientists, Robert Toggweiler of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton University and Joellen Russell, assistant professor of biogeochemical dynamics at the University of Arizona, conclude that wind has a larger influence on Arctic ice than man.  (h/t Gateway Pundit).

It’s not ice melt but rather wind circulation that drives ocean currents northward from the tropics. Climate models until now have not properly accounted for the wind’s effects on ocean circulation, so researchers have compensated by over-emphasizing the role of manmade warming on polar ice melt. [source]

Coincidentally,  North American snow and ice cover this winter is greater than any year since 1966, a full 0.3 degrees F below the 20th century average.  More coincidentally, Arctic ice is as thick as ever (in recent times, anyway).  (Watts Up With That is one of the best climate blogs on the warming cooling planet.)

So what about the sun, Hennessy? You must be wrong.

Slow down.  Solar activity is at a modern low, and that just happened over the past year.

Kenneth Tapping of our own National Research Council, who oversees a giant radio telescope focused on the sun, is convinced we are in for a long period of severely cold weather if sunspot activity does not pick up soon.

The last time the sun was this inactive, Earth suffered the Little Ice Age that lasted about five centuries and ended in 1850. Crops failed through killer frosts and drought. Famine, plague and war were widespread. Harbours froze, so did rivers, and trade ceased. [source]

I blogged about this reality over a month ago, and received a snotty , "you’re not scientist" lecture from a global warming nut . . . who’s not a scientist, either.  (At least I’m a software designer–much closer to science than this wack.)

So bundle up and enjoy the miseries of non-nuclear winter.  Here in St. Louis, we’re waiting for today’s rain to turn into our 3rd snow and ice event in a week.  (The school year’s already been extended.)

UPDATE:  Reading this entry from Accuweather and the associated comments will make you want to strike a global warming nut.