Friday, November 30, 2012

Redefining The American Dream Down....

..or perhaps just shrinking it to fit exceptions of what we can afford come 2013 and beyond:

Step into an alleyway in the Northeast Washington neighborhood known as Stronghold, and you will see a vegetable patch, a campfire, a view of the Capitol and a cluster of what neighbors call “those tiny people, building their tiny houses.”

The people aren’t really tiny, but their homes are — 150 to 200 square feet of living space, some with gabled roofs, others with bright cedar walls, compact bathrooms and cozy sleeping lofts that add up to living spaces that are smaller than the walk-in closets in a suburban McMansion.

“This is the dream,” says Rin Westcott, 28, who lives in Columbia and came out on a wintry Saturday afternoon bundled in a flower hat to help her friend Lee Pera with a tiny-house raising.

If these affordable homes — which maximize every inch of interior space and look a little like well-constructed playhouses — are the dream, they represent a radically fresh version of what it takes to make Americans happy.

I like the use of the phrase "radically fresh" by the Washington Post; it makes it seem as if the media approves of a Brave New World where we live in closet-sized shacks, heated by wood, underneath the imposing artifices of The State.

Which of course, they do:

The small homes, some on wheels, don’t warrant many trips to the Container Store. There are no kitchen islands, three-car garages or living rooms that are never lived in. In fact, their increasing popularity could be seen as a denunciation of conspicuous consumption and a rejection of the idea that more is, well, more.

In the future, what the middle-class once called a shed will now be called "home"...

Guess those chumps gainfully employed at the Container Store will soon learn the joys of living on the dole. A feature, not a bug, to the WaPo, who apparently so approves of this human regression that they resort to racist name-calling to defend it:

Still, some of the neighbors in Stronghold — where 1,800-square-foot renovated rowhouses sell for half a million dollars — are befuddled by the tiny-house movement, largely because they spent their lives trying to upsize.

“A midget could catch the devil in one of them teeny, tiny little houses. I just don’t understand the point,” says James Harris, 70, who worked for 40 years in the maintenance department for the Smithsonian Institution and, with his wife, Patricia Harris, 65, a longtime D.C. school administrator, saved to pay off the spacious rowhouse they bought 38 years ago.

“It’s our little piece of Washington,” Patricia Harris says.

Her family is descended from freed slaves; they moved here from the South with a dream to own land and a house big enough to raise children and entertain guests. “These tiny houses feels like we are going backwards,” she says.

Calling a black man and woman "befuddled" by what the WaPo  claims is "progress" sure sounds like racial stereotyping to me. Are Mr. and Mrs. Harris just two stupid minorities, unable to determine what is best for them and their community? Or is the slur necessary in order to discredit the observations of two people who fail to see the world through enviorn-lefty glasses?

Sorry, Harris family, that you got abused by the MSM.  Can you imagine what it's like to be conservative, and to be call a name every time you point out that up is not down?

Welcome to American under Obama II - where backward is, ahem, "forward", where regression is progression, and where intimidation and humiliation by the state-slaved media is the price you pay for daring to think outside the party's line....

Hate Wins The Day At The UN

From Mahmoud Abbas' speech to the UN yesterday, in which he begged for (and got) non-member observer status for the "state' of Palestine:

The Palestinian people, who miraculously recovered from the ashes of Al-Nakba of 1948, which was intended to extinguish their being and to expel them in order to uproot and erase their presence, which was rooted in the depths of their land and depths of history. In those dark days, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were torn from their homes and displaced within and outside of their homeland, thrown from their beautiful, embracing, prosperous country to refugee camps in one of the most dreadful campaigns of ethnic cleansing and dispossession in modern history

Al-Nakba translates to "day of the catastrophe", and it is celebrated in the West Bank and Gaza every May 14th. The "catastrophe" being referred to here is the creation of the state of Israel. The Arabs began their never-ending war against the Jews the very next day...

Arab column heads into Israel, May 1948

The claim of cleansing - "uproot and erase their presence" is self-serving fiction and a defamation of the Jewish people. The new state of Israel did not evict anyone of any race or creed, instead, it was the leadership of the Arab states (as well as the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem) who urged Palestinian Arabs to flee. And of course, they were subsequently abandoned:

"The refugees were confident that their absence would not last long, and that they would return within a week or two. Their leaders had promised them that the Arab Armies would crush the "Zionist gangs" very quickly and that there was no need for panic or fear of a long exile."

"The Jordan daily Falastin wrote on 19 February 1949: "The Arab States which had encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies, have failed to keep their promises to help these refugees."

That's some pretty hateful slander to base a claim for accelerated status at the UN.  But Abbas goes further, and concludes with a veiled threat to fight until Israel is destroyed:

And our people cling to the right to defend themselves against aggression and occupation...We will accept no less than the independence of the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on all the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967, to live in peace and security alongside the State of Israel, and a solution for the refugee issue on the basis of resolution 194 (III)...

Yet, we must repeat here once again our warning: the window of opportunity is narrowing and time is quickly running out. The rope of patience is shortening and hope is withering...this racist, colonial occupation is making the two-State solution and the prospect for realizing peace a very difficult choice, if not impossible

More anti-semetic slander from the "leader" of the West Bank, used as a justification to get a squeeze-back of Israel to indefensible borders.  Combine that with Abbas continued demand for the implementation of  Resolution 194 - which would allow all Palestinians to return to the state of  Israel - and one can see clearly that Abbas' only true goal is the destruction of the Jewish state.

And on the basis of this, the UN awarded Abbas with his" non-member observer state" status by a vote of 138-9.

Israel protested Abbas's hateful rhetoric

But it is unlikely anyone heard it.  The genocide machine has started up, and its engines of death are roaring to life, as it sets a course for Israel and Jews worldwide, to complete the job it had started in 1939.

It took the UN to supply the fuel, which it offered in adequate supply yesterday, by endorsing the hateful vision of Abbas.

Dark days are coming.  Coming for us all...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Citibank Bracing Clients For A Brutal 2013...

John Crudele at the New York Post reports what the money men are telling each other:

Analysts at Citigroup are warning customers that the unemployment rate could surge to 10 percent in the coming months, up from the current 7.9 percent.

It’s quite unusual — not to mention refreshing — for anyone in the financial community to make such a daring, negative prediction. Wall Street is the charter member of the everything-is-always-great club.

Tom Fitzpatrick, one of the Citi analysts who made the prediction, told me he’s basing his insight on the recent spike in initial claims for unemployment insurance. The latest weekly claims number is being released this morning.

“Nothing is ever the same in history,” said Fitzpatrick. “But sometimes you see repeating themes.”

And the pattern of recent initial jobless claims figures looks similar to that of the first quarter of 1978. Fitzpatrick says this is an omen that the jobless rate is going to spike.

Why is the negative spiral accelerating at such a rapid pace?  Ask a Democrat:

I believe the probability is we’re going over the cliff and I think that would be horrible,” President Clinton’s Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast meeting yesterday. “It would be insane to breach this fiscal cliff, yet I think there is only a one-third possibility we’ll actually get something done before December 31.

Seat belts fastened, everyone?

Update:  The NY Post piece discounts the "Sandy effect" in the weekly jobless claims, stating that there should have been a drop in claims immediately after the hurricane (due to logistical issues) followed by a jump.  The "jump" existed, but with no significant drop prior.  This week's jobless claims, released this morning, were 393,000, heralded as a "drop" by the media as compared to the 416,000 of the previous week.  It still leaves us with a four-week rolling average of over 405,000 new claims weekly - much higher than the 360,000 to 380,000 average we saw through most of 2012 - a year with virtually no job growth.

And if you need a money quote as to what any "enthusiasm" over the drop is unwarranted, here it is:

We also saw initial claims from two weeks ago revised up to 416,000 from an original reading of 410,000, which doesn’t help. In fact, revisions have added to the number of claims 99% of the time over the past year, there are seldom reductions in the numbers when you look over the last 4 years.

Fashion show of the future (circa 2013)

Detroit's Back! As in...back to the 80's. Quality-wise...

Well, Barack & Biden did tell at least one truth in the 2012 general election campaign - General Motors is back!  Of course, they didn't specify where they were back to, but Micky Kaus does:

Remember all the press hype about how Detroit made cars had for all practical purposes caught up with the Japanese in terms of reliabilty? Well, that was then. If you just got your December Consumer Reports you may have noticed that in the magazine’s seemingly authoritative reliability survey Japanese nameplates took the top seven spots–Toyota is #1, followed by Mazda, Subaru and Honda. There isn’t an American name in the top 10. You have to go to #11 before you hit a Detroit brand–Cadillac. …

It seems almost like Japanese manufacturers are able to rebound more quickly when faced with challenges–as if they don’t have some institutional impediment that prevents them from making rapid adjustments...

Cadillac, the top UAW-made brand, is barely better than average, but that’s significant progress–an average car is fairly reliable these days. GM’s showing on the whole wasn’t that bad. Chrysler slipped, however (about 40% worse than average for its Chrysler and Dodge nameplates). And Ford was a disaster–60% below average, with some vehicles so bad their scores didn’t fit on the chart...

No surprise.  The unions killed Detroit, and were rewarded for it by  President Obama with ownership of GM.

A child who acts poorly and is never punished never behaves.  A child who receives undeserved gifts of high value will usually treat them casually and eventually break them before time, unaware of value.

Is it any wonder that the union workers in Detroit are doing such a slipshod job on the assembly line?  With "The Man" in the White House, who's going to hold them to account?  If they break it again, oh well - Daddy Baracky will just buy it back for them!

If you decide to buy American this year - better make sure you put some money away in a three-year IRA or something.  About the time it matures is when the doors will start falling off....

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Does Obama WANT America To Fall Off The Fiscal Cliff ?

A lot of pundits are misjudging Barack Obama at their own peril.  Remember back in 2009,  when everyone said health care reform was "dead" once Scott Brown was elected to the Senate from Massachusetts?   Obama changed the rules and jammed it through anyway, despite overwhelming public disgust with both the plan and the legislative maneuvering needed to pass it.

He had his own agenda, public be damned, and that hasn't changed.  If anyone thinks Obama truly intends to work out a "grand compromise" that will avoid the fiscal calamity that will arrive on January 1st,  I've got one word for you:  Obamacare.

Here's Eric Cantor this morning:

"We have done our part. We have put revenues on the table, something that we didn’t do two years ago during the debt ceiling negotiations. . . . But we have not seen any good faith effort on the part of this administration to talk about the real problem that we’re trying to fix.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, on Monday:

Speaking from the the Senate floor, McConnell said Republicans have made a concession in the talks on taxes but that Democrats have so far refused to produce real spending cuts to match.

Here's me, explaining why the media was so worked up over Grover freaking Norquist:

The Democrats want to turn Obama's re-election momentum into a complete repudiation of conservative principles while entrenching theirs - an ever-expanding government and welfare state - as sacrosanct and untouchable.

The left refuse to move one inch towards the middle. But we can't have them blamed if the nation falls off the fiscal cliff into Recession: The Sequel. So the ever-helpful media has found their scapegoat, and of course, he's an economic conservative....

And now Bryan Preston lays out exactly what Barack Obama is up to:

While a recession would be terrible for the country, it may not be terrible for the Obama presidency. Obama knows that he has the media standing by to blame Republicans for any failure to reach a deal, and he knows that there are enough low-information voters out there to believe whatever the media says. The media covered for him both on Benghazi and the fiscal cliff during the elections; it’s likely to keep covering for him. He also knows, based on his own re-election victory, that a terrible economy leads to more dependency on government, which leads to more people seeing him and his party as the guarantors of their government benefits. This dynamic is a very effective way to kill arguments favoring smaller government. Who needs abstractions and Milton Friedman when there’s no food on the table?

A recession in 2013 obviously comes on the calendar before the mid-term elections of 2014. If President Obama and the Democrats intend to cause a recession and blame it on the Republicans, their real game could be to use a spike in economic misery to take the House back and hold the Senate in 2014...

In the end, who do you really think Barack Obama and the Democrats are looking out for:   the American people, or for themselves?

Yeah, me too. That's why I'd be shocked to see Obama deal.  He's got much, much bigger plans.  With a compliant media firmly in his grip, he will literally bankrupt America in order to enslave us to him....while making the changes necessary to assure The Party retains absolute power, and perhaps even setting the stage for a third Obama term.  Odd, isn't it, how an almost total purge of high-ranking military officers, executed by the president, went virtually unspoken about in the national media.  Except, of course, for the story lines that involved pretty ladies...

Call me a tinfoil-hat wearing crackpot, will you? where is the president off to today?  To negotiate with the House and/or Senate to save America?

Here's how Obama displays his determination to do that budget-debt deal: This week he's meeting with union leaders, taxpayers and, today, some big-name business executives. Also some citizens allegedly screened to be middle-class. And he'll stage a rare Cabinet meeting.

At each event Obama will warn of dire consequences if he doesn't get to tax the country's Richie Riches and if the Bush tax cuts, which Obama used to denounce, are allowed to expire, sucking more money out of the sagged economy...

So, instead of acting like a presidential leader and, well, leading the fiscal talks, Obama is heading out of town Friday to tell Philadelphians they need to talk to Congress about what Obama wants. How about the president talk to Congress himself about what he wants and what its leaders want?

Not the actions of a man interested in negotiating, but the man interested in raising a mob, should his plans to divide and conquer fail...

Will ObamaCare Save Social Security? Barack's Diabolical Plot...

Well, first off, be aware that the White House is perfectly fine with kicking that particular can down the road:

White House spokesman Jay Carney said today that Social Security is one entitlement program that should be addressed on a “separate track.”

“We should address the drivers of the deficit and Social Security currently is not a driver of the deficit,” Carney told reporters today. The senior retirement program is solvent for another 21 years, at which time recipients could see a reduction in benefits.

Hmmmm....21 years? Could see a reduction in benefits?  More like 15 years and will see that reduction, but that's liberal accounting for you.

Katrina Trinko, over at The Corner, has a complaint:

While Social Security isn’t as much of a problem as Medicare, it’s frustrating that the White House won’t even consider any changes. Why not raise the retirement age to reflect the longer lifespans Americans are enjoying?

The real question is, of much longer will Americans actually be enjoying "longer lifespans"?

Will Obamacare kill two birds with one stone - the "crisis" of the uninsured, and the Social Security funding crisis - by lowering the life expectancy of Americans with its virtual guarantee of long waits for treatment, substandard medical practitioners, and the end of medical innovation?

Will that endless curve of retirees demanding benefits start to flatten out - or even reverse -  as we reach 2027, as an over-stressed health care system saves their resources by refusing to treat those who are no longer of use to the nation (the elderly), or to The Party?

Various liberal groups - environmentalists, for example - have been arguing for this type of population decline for years.  With unlimited access to unfettered abortions, and the imposition of a socialized medical regime that has a 100% global failure record, does Obamacare actually serve a, ahem..."dual purpose" here?

Well, I can only hope that if Social Security doesn't go bankrupt in the next 15-20 years, history will rightly credit Barack Obama for the yeoman's work he did to make sure that so many Americans never even reach retirement age....

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Seaside Heights - After The Storm...

Seems like something out of a post-apocalyptic nightmare, doesn't it?

One looks at the crystal-clear skies and calm, turquoise sea, and can imagine a future where a wanderer, coming across the twisted wreckage and metal, wonders what type of wrath  - from man or God - was brought down upon this place to ravage it so?

This photo stuck some cord of familiarity with me;  it took me a while to properly place it.

It reminded me of one of the most haunting images in sci-fi/post-apocalyptic movie history:

This picture, too, is disturbing:

A bustling summertime mini-metropolis, where hoards of people dined, drank, danced, engaged in commerce, and enjoyed hours of relaxation, now silent, desolate...overtaken by sand, driftwood, and aimless debris....

I hope they clean it up, and quickly.  These images disturb my soul.  To me they appear as a black crow on a decrepit tombstone - something to be turned away from, lest the inherit warning  these scenes posses come to pass....

There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.
~Luke 21:5-28

My life fades. The vision dims. All that remains are memories. I remember a time of chaos. Ruined dreams. This wasted land.... And in this maelstrom of decay, ordinary men were battered and smashed.
~ The Road Warrior

[images above from the Ocean County Police Blotter]

Why The "Norquist Rebellion" Delights The Media

It's unusual, one would think, for the head of a financial advocacy group to get so much negative press, especially when their stated purpose is simply to limit the growth of taxation - one of the key issues that ignited the American Revolution, and eventually changed world history.  But with the media now shedding their sheep's clothing and baring their teeth as guardians of the Democratic agenda, a man named Grover Norquist has become infamous for daring to stand up for this nation's founding principles:

Listening to Democrats and the media, you could be forgiven for thinking the point of a deal over the looming “fiscal cliff” wouldn’t be to reduce the deficit so much as to reduce the influence of one man — Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform.

Known to one and all simply as Grover, he is the keeper of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge signed by almost all Republicans committing themselves not to raise taxes. For this offense, Grover is deemed the enemy of all that is right and just.

[Meet Grover Norquist, "...the lobbyist whose Svengali-like control over the GOP has forbidden them to end the Bush tax cuts for the rich, creating unpresedented gridlock and putting them in a very “uncompromising position” negotiating the fiscal cliff."]

...everyone acts as if Grover is the instrument of the party’s Babylonian captivity. If only the dastardly Norquist didn’t make Republicans say they won’t raise taxes — and put it in writing — the party could fulfill its role in the “good governing” of Washington, namely joining Democrats to raise taxes.

...whenever a Republican says he won’t abide by Grover’s pledge, the media act like a choir of angels celebrating another saved soul.

True, that.  The most popular article on the Washington Post op-ed page this morning?

Breaking Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge:

Maybe the fever is breaking. Maybe the delirium is lifting. Maybe Republicans are finally asking themselves: What were we thinking when we put an absurdly unrealistic pledge to a Washington lobbyist ahead of our duty to the American people...

Of course, when the Democrats hold fast to an ideological position, it is called "principal". When Republicans do the same, it is absurd, unrealistic, loopy, selfish, intransigent...

But why the media pile-on here? Why is the media so forcefully pushing the meme that the Republican position is bonkers, that the anti-tax pledge is falling apart, that the needs of the nation and the call of bipartisanship compels them to abandon their principles once and for all?

Right here:

Speaking from the the Senate floor, McConnell said Republicans have made a concession in the talks on taxes but that Democrats have so far refused to produce real spending cuts to match.

The Democrats want to turn Obama's re-election momentum into a complete repudiation of conservative principles while entrenching theirs - an ever-expanding government and welfare state - as sacrosanct and untouchable.

The left refuse to move one inch towards the middle.  But we can't have them blamed if the nation falls off the fiscal cliff into Recession: The Sequel.  So the ever-helpful media has found their scapegoat, and of course, he's an economic conservative.  Portray the Republicans as slaves to Grover Norquist and his idealistic fervor, and we thus have a financial version of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.  A position which, ironically, would be better suited to the likes of Jon Corzine.  But that's not gonna happen....

So when you hear the Norquist named tossed about in derision, remember the media is playing you with the long con.  But they're just lesser partners to the Democratic party - whores to the pimp, the carnival barker luring you to the crooked game, the lucky "winner" designed to attract your attention to a urban 3-Card Monte table...

Somebody ought to call them out.  But our "leaders" are too busy trying to dance to the media's tune, whle distancing themselves from truths they once held dear...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Welcome To Bizarro World 2012...

...where Pravda - once infamous as a Soviet propaganda outlet -  is now the voice of truth and reason, while the American media protects their Dear Leader as if their very lives depended on it...

"Obama's Soviet Mistake" is the name of the op-ed appearing in the Russian daily. Our author is incredulous that the American people - supposedly so learned, so full of lust for freedom - would vote to re-elect a Stalinist wannabe:

Putin in 2009 outlined his strategy for economic success. Alas, poor Obama did the opposite but nevertheless was re-elected. Bye, bye Miss American Pie. The Communists have won in America with Obama but failed miserably in Russia with Zyuganov who only received 17% of the vote. Vladimir Putin was re-elected as President keeping the NWO order out of Russia while America continues to repeat the Soviet mistake.

...liberalism is a psychosis . [Obama] is a Communist without question promoting the Communist Manifesto without calling it so. How shrewd he is in America. His cult of personality mesmerizes those who cannot go beyond their ignorance. They will continue to follow him like those fools who still praise Lenin and Stalin in Russia. Obama's fools and Stalin's fools share the same drink of illusion.

You would think we would have learned from history, Pravda explains why:

Alas, the schools in the U.S. were conquered by the Communists long ago and history was revised thus paving the way for their Communist presidents.

We have reached the point where we are being lectured to by Russia about the rights and responsibilities of a civil society. The worst thing, of course, is that they are right about us, our president, and our future...

Public Sector vs. Private Sector: Powerball Edition ($425 Million?)

A dollar and a dream, the government tells you...

Actually, for Powerball, the price of a dream is now $2-, as they doubled the minimum wager a few months back.  You know,  in order to allow for bigger jackpots which would attract more players, they told us reasonably.  Although it could just be that the governing body figured that with so many low-income Americans hooked on the game, they could probably double the cost without losing many players....

You know, like drug dealers do to their strung-out customers.

I was checking the payouts on the most recent set of Powerball numbers, and something jumped out at me -actually, two things, specifically eighth and ninth place:

There are 35 numbers in the "Power Ball" selection field of Powerball.   Your odds of winning appear to be 1 in 35, although many sites calculate them to be somewhere in the 55-1 range.  Yet the payoff is merely $4 on a $2 bet, meaning that they are paying you only 2-1 on 35-1 odds.

Now I'm not saying the house doesn't deserve a little edge.  That's how your (occasionally) free drink gets served to you by a pretty girl in a bunny outfit.  Let's use roulette as a comparison betting game offered by the private sector, and look at the payouts and odds:

So roulette pays 35-1 off of 37 numbers, giving the house an edge of just over 5%.  With Powerball, the house edge has been calculated to be closer to 50%...and it only pays off 2-1.

And why, pray tell, does getting 1 match + Powerball still offer the same 2-1 payout, when the odds have increased here to 110-1?

Look, I'm not saying you shouldn't play Powerball this week.  All I am saying is that gambling, like virtually every other function of civil society, is best handled by the private sector.  Once handled by the government, the odds escalate, the payouts shrink, and the price of a wager keep rising...

Remember - the lottery, aka the "numbers game" or "running numbers", was first introduced into America by the Mafia, whose house advantage was somewhere between 20%-40%, depending on the local variation of the game being played.  It was your friendly federal government that shut these games down, and instituted a "legal" version that would give the states a monopoly on the action - still preying on the working stiffs, of course, but making the odds longer and the price higher...

I'll leave you with a final thought, courtesy of George Orwell:

“The Lottery, with its weekly pay-out of enormous prizes, was the one public event to which the proles paid serious attention. It was probable that there were some millions of proles for whom the Lottery was the principal if not the only reason for remaining alive. It was their delight, their folly, their anodyne, their intellectual stimulant. Where the Lottery was concerned, even people who could barely read and write seemed capable of intricate calculations and staggering feats of memory. There was a whole tribe of men who made their living simply by selling systems, forecasts, and lucky amulets. Winston had nothing to do with the Lottery, which was managed by the Ministry of Plenty, but he was aware (indeed everyone in the party was aware) that the prizes were largely imaginary. Only small sums were actually paid out, the winners of the big prizes being nonexistent persons.

~George Orwell, 1984

Hey - good luck Wednesday...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Republicans Dominate...When The Media Stays Out Of It

50 states.  30 of them have Republicans governors.  25 of them have complete and total Republican control - the governorship, senate, and house.  On a national level, the House of Representatives - specifically dedicated to giving voice to smaller pieces of the American pie, with races hard to nationalize - continued to be held by Republicans, despite an Obama electoral advantage.

And this is a party on the edge of extinction? Well, that's what the mainstream media has been gleefully telling  us.  Of courseGlenn Reynolds would say, as he clarifies the issue better than most:

The bigger role the national media play in a race, the worst Republicans do. So the GOP does well in state legislative races and governorships, and U.S. House races, because national media basically ignore those. Does worse in Senate races, where national media will sometimes take notice, worse still for Prez, where the national media pretty much control the game.

Reynolds also references Tim Groseclose:

"Groseclose contends that the general leftward bias of the media has shifted the PQ of the average American by about 20 points, on a scale of 100, the difference between the current political views of the average American, and the political views of the average resident of Orange County, California or Salt Lake County, Utah.”

And that's how, ladies and gentlemen, at a time of national crises, a man with no plan can beat a man who had a dozen of them. It also explains, conversely, how a Republican like Chris Christie can win the governorship of a blue state like New Jersey.

...when people are focused on who will govern in their interests better...those people will chose the serious candidate with a plan.

That's the very same focus the media worked so hard to prevent in the 2012 general election.

It's time to push back against the media and call them out.  They have inserted themselves into the playing field, and are thus fair game.  James Taranto:

...the major trend in news coverage over the past few years has been an aggressive reassertion of authority coupled with a disavowal of impartiality. The theoretical underpinning of this attitude is the critique of “false balance,” which I discussed in this space last month, and which has been endorsed by both President Obama and Margaret Sullivan, the Times’s new “public editor.” It boils down to the claim that if one side in a political argument has a monopoly on truth—and guess which side that always turns out to be?—journalists are not only justified in taking sides but duty-bound to do so.

But my push-back here is somewhat worthless, as I concluded recently.  It is our political leaders - if that is what they wish to be - who must take almost a Newt Gingrich approach to the media  and challenge every question, question every assertion, and refute every false statement  they make.

The 2012 debacle need not re-occur in 2016, and it won't, if the national electorate is  made aware that their media is in the tank for one political party, and is participating in an attack on American democracy by distorting information and hiding facts from the people in order to bolster their preferred policies and politicians.

I've spent over 7 years screaming my head off about it, to no avail.  It is time for the big boys of the party to step up - not the Krauthammers and Steyns, but the Ryans, Rubios, Christies and Haleys, and anyone else who feels they have a future in the Republican party.

If you want that future - you're going to have to start fighting for it now.  Otherwise, you may as wll tilt at windmills come four years hence...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

WTF is going on here?

As part of my rethinking of exactly what I'm doing here, I've changed my Blogger template to something more...contemporary.  7 1/2 years of the same template is enough, no?  Especially as it was probably designed at least ten years ago, which, in internet years, is like an octillion....

But it might change yet again.  Actually, this is my second "new" template today.  I really preferred the "dynamic "setups  - with multiple posts splashed over the top of the page, tabloid-style - but those templates don't openly display the blogs you link to on the sidebar, unless you roll over a specific pop-out tab.  I thought that was kind of uncool; people who link to me are my lifeblood, the least I can do is return the favor without hiding it under a digital blanket...

I'm still uncomfortable with some of the color schemes here, so it may look different again at any time.  Bear with me.

While the decor will change, the content - at least for the moment - remains the same.  For better or worse...

Susan Estrich Wakes Up, Realizes She's Elected A Monster...

...the former Dukakis campaign manager & Hillary Clinton apologist  has no excuses, although she tries to make them:  I love Obamacare, I love Roe v. Wade, I hate war, etc., etc.  But she conveniently ignored the biggest elephant (bad metaphor?!) in the room, and now that he's beginning to trumpet, all of a sudden Susan is shocked, shocked:

"I did not vote for Obama because I think I am paying too little in taxes.

Like many people I know, I am "rich" by Obama's standards...

I work."

"I am all for closing loopholes. I am all for ending deductions for things I don't even understand. But I am not for putting a low cap on deductions that would make it all but impossible for the charities I support to raise funds. I am not for putting a limit on the mortgage deduction that would mean, as a practical matter, that "middle class" (not rich) people in California would be priced out of the housing market, and the charities I support would not be able to raise what they need to survive.

And frankly, I don't think I'm alone. As a matter of fact, on this one, I don't think 51 percent of all Americans are to my "left" — if that's how you define the higher tax constituency.

Obama needs to be very careful. Yes, he was re-elected. But so were all those folks who blocked the extension of the Bush tax cuts if they excluded individuals and small businesses who make enough money to qualify as rich — but not enough to send their kids to college, or help their aging parents, or buy a home in a decent neighborhood."

I doubt Susan realized all of this yesterday.  She knew it in her heart  all along, but voted for Obama anyway.  Why?  Probably because it was the fashionable thing to do,or more likely it was the only permissible thing to do, within her social/business/religious circles.  Or maybe she wanted to believe that all the class warfare was  just rhetoric to rile up the bitter clingers, so that the "important things" - the aforementioned Obamacare and Roe v. Wade - would be here to stay.

So sorry, Susan.  Turns out that the boob bait was Obamacare, was the "War on Women", and all the other shiny objects - college tuition, gay marriage, Romney's dead dog - that the Obama campaign threw out into the sky. You took the bait, Susan.  And now that you've help give him the flexibility he's craved, it turns out  Barack Obama's #1 priority is the class warfare and radical redistribution he ran on yet but never openly acknowledged during his campaign.

And no, he doesn't need to be "very careful".  Why would he?  You've given him his, ahem, "mandate"...

Some of us saw right through it all along, of course.  But we were tagged as racists for calling a thing what it was.  And I don't recollect you, Ms. Estrich, coming out to defend us against those, and other slurs.  In fact, you've openly encouraged it:

Oh well. You made your bed, Susan, as did the 51% of America who thought exactly like you.  We'll all share it together, unfortunately.  Maybe we'll learn something applicable for next time.

I doubt it, though...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Conservative Commentariat Remains Clueless

Jonah Goldberg today, in the New York Post:

Right now, many in Washington insist that Republican attacks on UN Ambassador Susan Rice are racist and, yawn, sexist. The basis for this claim is that some Republicans are calling Rice unfit for the job of secretary of state.

More specifically, they’re cross with Rice for what they contend to be her dishonest and incompetent handling of the Benghazi scandal.

And, because Rice is a black woman, well, blah, blah, blah. Racism! Sexism!

Goldberg's recommendation:  Go directly to the black community with alternatives.

My response here - takes one second:

You can go to the black (or Hispanic) community with the most brilliantly devised, flawless plans to lift them out of  poverty and remake their lives in a positive direction, and it still won't matter.

Because by the time you show up, all the poison vomited forth from the likes of Martha Fudge and the media  has already embedded itself in the minds of the minority community, and they are screwed tight against you.  For every well thought-out argument presented, the counter-argument is already in place:  You are a racist, and while it seems as if your plan makes sense, I have already been told you don't have my best interests at heart   Why, both the TV and Democratic congressmen and women have said you are racist and sexist, and you haven't even denied it!

Same link as above:

We sit here and laugh at the stupidity of DeWayne Wickham's USA Today piece or Marcia Fudge's obvious attempts to play the race/gender card to head off a relevant investigation, but it doesn't matter. We are in a fucking echo chamber, where we nod at the obvious wisdom of our own words but fail to make sure it penetrates the public consciousness.

We under-estimate the strength of this particular liberal poison, even after it essentially defeated us in the 2012 presidential election.

And unless our most high-profile people - the Rubios, the Christies, the Ryans, the Kelly Ayottes and the Nikki Haleys - get out there and call bullshit on the hatred directed at us, we will arrive in the minority communities to find closed minds and hard hearts.

Which is exactly what the Left wants.  They wouldn't keep up this line of attack if it wasn't so effective in protecting their legislative majorities.  Maybe it is time the Right realized that, and fought it head-on, instead of simply shrugging it off, Goldberg-style...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Americans prefer Tebow to Obama as Thanksgiving dinner guest

...maybe there's hope for us after all, as it seems as if America would rather carve the turkey with a positive, God-fearing, pro-life, America-loving, morally upright man than with a snide, secular, nasty politician who would put each of us at our neighbor's throat if he could somehow personally benefit from it:

Tim Tebow is America's most popular Thanksgiving dinner guest, a new survery shows.

According to the survey, conducted by Nielsen, when asked who they would like to have as a Thanksgiving dinner guest, more Americans preferred Tim Tebow to President Obama.

The survey, released today by Destination America, shows that 23 percent of people in the United States said they would prefer the Jets backup to the Commander in Chief, who only garnered five percent of the vote.

It's easy, of course.  Who'd  you rather have saying grace with you?  This guy:

Or this guy:

Looks like #2 already has a case of indigestion...

Liberal's Plot To Poison Thanksgiving

What happens when you allow liberals to assume control of our nation's education facilities?  This - a nation of young Americans who feel that Thanksgiving is a holiday tied to slavery, genocide, and theft.  Who feel  only shame on this holiday, and hatred for their own nation, and want to make sure every young person in America is taught to feel exactly the same way:

Is the re-election of Barack Obama a result of this self-loathing doctrine, or is their liberal indoctrination a result of having been taught (for most of their lives) by the very likes of Barack Obama?

Either way, the more we look at the wreckage around us, the more we better realize that winning in future elections is going to be about more than just the right candidate and the right message.   We first need a population that hasn't been brainwashed to reject it.  And if we wait until 2016 to start...we'll be wandering in the desert longer than Moses & the Israelites...

Video from Revealing Politics, but first seen (by me) at Gay Patriot...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gaza War 2012 "Ends" In Cease-Fire....

...before Israel gets a chance to finish them off. Can't have that. Then who would satisfy the world's lust for  Jewish blood? Besides the French Muslims, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the mullahs of  Iran?

What about Hezbollah?  Oh, yeah, those guys.  Funny thing, their silence over the past week.  They do have some 40,000 rockets and missiles, and usually can be counted on the launch a fusillade from the north while Hamas attacks from the south, just for giggles, and to show what big men they are.  But it seems as if they like having those 40,000 missiles after all, and recollect what happened the last time they got a bit frisky, back in 2006:  They got their asses kicked by the Israelis, and were almost run out of Lebanon by their own people.  Took them all this time to re-arm, and they can't risk having to do it all over again.  Especially if they are expected to launch a counter-attack when Israel decides to take out Iran's nuclear capabilities, probably within the next 18 months.

But Hezbollah can probably afford to lose some face this time.  Remember, a key part of the cease-fire agreement of the 2006 Israel/Lebanon war was the disarming of Hezbollah.  Yeah, that went well.   No wonder Israel doesn't trust the UN, and why the Arabs are always asking for their intercession after they start yet another war they cannot finish...

So Hamas will be back to their Jew-killing, when it is politically prudent.  And Israel buys a moment of peace, at very little cost.  And Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan got to strut around like a Chaplin-eaque dictator, while Hillary Clinton gets the warring parties to hold off on signing a cease-fire until she shows up at the scene.  So everybody wins.  Except the dead, who will not get to see the sun rise on the status quo tomorrow...

And what did Hillary Clinton do, exactly?  Nothing, as far as anyone could tell, except show up for a photo-op once the heavy lifting was finished, so as to receive accolades from the American media.  Which she seems to receive every time she takes a dump in a foreign toilet.

 Watching Egyptian President Morsi smile is like watching a shark smirk. When he starts shedding blood, Hillary may regret her hearty handshake..

Interestingly, the man who might have done the most to bring the cease-fire might have been Barack Hussein Obama, who did little other than voice strong support for Israel and disappear into Burma.  Which bought enough time for Israel to achieve the majority of her limited objectives.

What were his motivations?  Payback to American Jews for not abandoning him in droves?  A quid pro quo with Benjamin Netanyahu (who praised Obama to the skies after announcing the cease-fire, praise that was returned by the president, who claimed that Bibi had finally listened to him)?  Or just a realization that palling around with the bad guys in the Middle East will get him nowhere?

So Obama wins here, too.  A victory at home and overseas that I do not begrudge him one bit.  'Ol George W. Bush could not have done any better...

But the biggest winner in this odd little war? One Lieutenant Sacha Dratwa of the Israeli Defense Forces. A 26 year old Belgian immigrant and snowboarding aficionado  he ran the IDF's social media outreach during the conflict, did hand-to-hand combat with biased world media,  and handed Israel a propaganda victory for the first time since...oh, ever:

In the past two years, Dratwa has taken a small operation initially created during Operation Cast Lead to streamline the IDF’s YouTube and Facebook presence and turned it into the most globally visible arm of the Israeli military. In the past year, the new media desk has rapidly expanded into new terrain, from commissioning content designed for viral sharing to creating a Foursquare-style game for the IDF blog that rewards frequent visitors to the site with badges. The IDF is also posting video of its drone strikes, starting with the Jabari assassination, as well as of Israelis taking cover during air raids and of Iron Dome units successfully thwarting rockets launched from Gaza.

“We want to explain to people what happens in Israel, simply,” Dratwa said in a brief telephone interview late last week. “We believe people understand the language of Facebook, the language of Twitter.”

The goal, as Dratwa explained it, is twofold: to get Israel’s narrative out in real time, as people read about red alerts in Tel Aviv and rocket landings in Gaza on Twitter, and to cut out the middleman of “old media” in communicating with pro-Israel activists. “What we try to do is to be fast and get information out before the old media,” Dratwa told me. “We believe people are getting information from social media platforms and we don’t want them to get it from other sources—we are the ones on the scene, and the old media are not on the scene as are the IDF.

Imagine that.  Subverting the mainstream media and getting your message out to an impressionable public before the liberal hacks have a chance to poison minds with preset narratives and talking points.

Maybe, once Dratwa's tour of duty with the IDF is up, the GOP can hire him for the 2016 campaign...

Irony, Served Up Middle East Style...

Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but irony is at its most delicious when delivered on the tip of a terrorist's rocket...

Check out this video clip, taken in Jerusalem - Arab students (from Hebrew University!) protesting against the Israeli counterattack on Gaza, are forced to run for their lives when an air raid siren goes off, signalling the approach of a rocket fired from...Gaza.  One notes they seem to have little compunction about hiding in those Israeli-built bomb shelters:

Of course, the rocket missed, instead striking within...the Palestinian-ruled West Bank.

“From even the greatest of horrors irony is seldom absent.”
~H.P. Lovecraft

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I heard Big Bird was watching in the corner and whacking off....

Remember how strenuously Barack Obama protected the Pedophile Broadcast Network in the run-up to his re-election, creating a "straw" Mitt Romney who wanted to "kill off" Big Bird?

Yeah, funny, I don't really remember it either.  never hear it spoken about much anymore. Almost as if there's a "Ministry of Truth" out there, where folks by the name of Winston doctor historical records in order to comply with the Party's current version of the past.  Or maybe the operatives just use acronyms now, like "CNN" and "NBC" and "CBS"...

But when I read this story, it rang a bell of recognition, as if this may be somewhat relevant to the fight we just had, and lost:

Puppeteer Kevin Clash, the longtime voice of “Elmo,” resigned Tuesday after a $5 million lawsuit labeled him a pedophile who trolled telephone chat rooms in a hunt for underage lovers.

The lawsuit was filed by a second man claiming that he was just a teenager when he had a sexual relationship with the award-winning voice of the beloved kids’ character.

Clash, 52, “was an unmarried adult male living a prominent public life centered around the entertainment of toddlers, while at the same time he was, in secret, preying on teenage boys to satisfy his depraved sexual interests,” the Manhattan lawsuit charged.

Sesame Workshop, which had granted Clash a leave of absence after the first allegation of sex with a minor, issued a statement accepting his resignation after 28 years as Elmo.

According to the suit, Clash met a then 15-year-old Cecil Singleton on a gay chat line in 2003 and soon began wooing the youngster — taking him to dinner and giving the youth money.

“As a 15-year-old child, Cecil Singleton was not emotionally or psychologically prepared for a sexual relationship with a grown man in his 40s,” the suit said.

Singleton was one of “multiple boys” targeted by Clash through the sex lines, according to the lawsuit.

Last week, Clash was implicated by a 23-year-old man who said he was just 16 when the two began a sexual relationship.

Clash denied the claims and the accuser, Sheldon Stevens, later recanted.

But it later emerged that Sheldon received a $125,000 settlement in return for withdrawing the charges. The alleged victims now says the relationship was real and reportedly wants to return the money.

I don't expect this story to have any legs, really. The media has been paving the way for the normalization of pedophilia for quite some time now. This is just a little slip, really - a bit embarrassing - but let's not get to worked up here (so to speak). After all, Kevin did so much for PBS, and the community, and the children he, ahem, "entertained"...

No worries.  Expect to see Mr. Clash rehabilitated - like Roman Polanski or Elliot Spitzer - and doing Christmas specials by this time next year.  After all, it's not as if he were a (gasp!) conservative or that case, of course, it would be high time for congressional hearings into how a known pedophile lasted this long in a taxpayer-funded operation...

Where's The Pushback Against Marcia Fudge ?

Yesterday's USA Today:

McCain uses Susan Rice to relaunch war on women

John McCain and Lindsey Graham are on a fool's errand.

The hawkish GOP senators have launched a pre-emptive strike against Susan Rice, the U.N. ambassador, who is a contender to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton once Clinton quits her job as the nation's top diplomat.

But in going after Obama in this way, they run the risk of opening an even wider gap between the Republican Party and women, 55% of whom voted for Obama in his lopsided victory this year over GOP candidate Mitt Romney. A dozen female members of the House of Representatives drove home that point when they held a news conference to accuse McCain and Graham of being sexist and racist in their attack on Rice, who is black.

While the two Republican senators might prevail in keeping Rice from becoming secretary of State -- either by forestalling her nomination or blocking a Senate confirmation vote -- their opposition to her almost certainly will be seen by many others as proof of a GOP war on women.

And that will cost Republicans dearly at the polls.

Regarding those dozen female members of the House:

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D.-Ohio), the incoming chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, is accusing Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) of "sexism and racism" because the criticism leveled at U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice for telling the American people that the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was a spontaneous reaction to a video posted on YouTube.

“There is a clear, a clear in my opinion, sexism and racism that goes with these comments that are being made by, unfortunately, Senator McCain and others,” Fudge (D-Ohio.) said Friday at a Capitol Hill press conference

Our USA Today columnist and Ms. Fudge warn us in blunt language: Females and minorities cannot be held accountable or responsible for anything that happens under their jurisdiction.  If one tries to, then they will be either perceived as sexist (as USA Today claims) or will be accused of racism (as Congresswoman Fudge does).

Unless, of course  said females or minorities are Republicans.  If that's the case, well...never mind.  All bets are off.  Just ask Condi Rice, or Sarah Palin.

This is absolutely outrageous.  Susan Rice is being pilloried because she went on five different national news shows and peddled a patently false story about the 9/11 Benghazi Massacre, one that the administration news was untrue within hours.  The question of whether she told falsehoods out of ignorance, or lied to protect the president's chances in the upcoming election, is still an open one.  One that needs to be explored in an open society.  If the perpetrator here was a different black woman - again, say Condoleezza Rice, and the president had an "R" next to his name, we'd be gearing up for impeachment hearings  al la Nixon by now.

And yet - I do not hear anybody outside the blogosphere making this argument.

Which means Republicans have learned nothing from their defeat of a few weeks ago.  I can scream on top my lungs, so can every blogger from me to Glenn Reynolds, and it won't make a dime's worth of difference.  We sit here and laugh at the stupidity of DeWayne Wickham's USA Today piece or Marcia Fudge's obvious attempts to play the race/gender card to head off a relevant investigation, but it doesn't matter.  We are in a fucking echo chamber, where we nod at the obvious wisdom of our own words but fail to make sure it penetrates the public consciousness.  (see here, in which I question my own blogging existence on this basis).

And while the wall that the mainstream media has built around the Democratic party seems impenetrable, the one remaining way to break through it is for our political leadership to take a stand.  To my knowledge, no Senator or Congressperson has stood up to Marcia Fudge and called out her hate-mongering and race-baiting.  No elected official  has taken to the pages of USA Today to rebut DeWayne Wickham's threats.  No one has gone on the AM news shows and called bullshit on the McCarthy-esque tactics being used by the Democrats.

Instead, they've reacted to the bullying with...fear.  I have little doubt that Obama will nominate Susan Rice to State - partially as a reward for her subterfuge on his behalf, and partially just to roil up the pot of racial and gender tensions.  It makes sense - Obama has never lost a battle when he's drawn that particular sword.  Why would he stop?  As soon as he - or his cadres - whip it out, the Republican party falls to its collective knees.

The Republican party responds...

So I am not going to waste my time any further on this particular tempest.  At least, not until I see some representatives of the Republican party take a stand against this race/gender nonsense that the Democrats have used in an attempt to build a shield around the contemptible Susan Rice.

Why should I fight, when my own leaders are cowering in a corner?

UPDATE:  The Democrats pound away at their advantage.  And why not?  If your enemy is in full retreat, why not press the offensive (in every sense of the word)?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hamas Confesses To Using Woman, Children, Elderly As Human Shields

It is a barbarism out of the darkest days of human history.  Which may still be in front of us, mind you.  Hear the mouthpiece of Hatred and Death brag about the use of the innocent as human shields:

In my mind, every person who supports Hamas in this battle - or even refuses to support Israel - is taking up arms with Hamas MP Fathi Hammad, and is fighting with him for a future in which these tactics are not only permissible  but praiseworthy.

What we are seeing in the Middle East today is an existential battle between good and evil.  One side openly claims to worship death and rejoices at the despoiling of innocence, all while waging non-stop war against a good neighbor who merely want to live in peace on their tiny strip of land.

 A no-brainer, one would think.  And is amazing how much of the world community (and the media) is lining up behind Hamas.

I had always thought the devil tricks humanity with complex disguises, hiding evil under a veneer of false goodness, bright lights, and dazzling arrays, while offering temptation just on the border between allowable and illicit, all in order to slowly, but certainly, bring us over to his side.

But is seems as if Occam's Razor applies once again.  No sorcery or subterfuge is necessary for the devil to get his due.  All he has to do is declare himself openly, and make his vile intentions clear, and 51% of humanity will flock to his banner.

(Kind of how Barack Obama won the election?)

Alas, it appears as if God, in his cruel kindness, may well let us suffer the fates of our own choices.  It is the only way the children will learn, I suppose.  But it's gonna be a hard, hard lesson...

Yahoo: Sourcing Hamas For Headlines

It's not a surprise; Yahoo is as reliably anti-Israel as the left-wingers that control their content.  This is what you'll see if you open their home page right now:

It's all about enforcing the morally inverted narrative here - Israel bad, Hamas good. It takes clumsy, incoherent work to make it happen, but Yahoo is up to the task:

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli aircraft struck crowded areas in the Gaza Strip on Monday, driving up the Palestinian death toll to 94 and devastating several homes belonging to one clan — the fallout from a new tactic in Israel's 6-day-old offensive meant to quell Hamas rocket fire on Israel.

Escalating its bombing campaign, Israel on Sunday began attacking homes of activists in Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza. These attacks have led to a sharp spike in civilian casualties, killing 24 civilians in just under two days and doubling the number of civilians killed in the conflict, a Gaza health official said.

The rising toll was likely to intensify pressure on Israel to end the fighting. Hundreds of civilian casualties in an Israeli offensive in Gaza four years ago led to fierce international condemnation of Israel.

Yahoo takes the word of a "Gaza health official" in order to pump the civilian death toll to sexier levels (maybe he was one of the "medics" in this Pallywood production?  And did the "death toll" include this "victim", I wonder?) and to justify verbiage painting Israel as the aggressor in this close-quarter combat (never mind the previous 800 rockets fired into Israel from Gaza this year).  It seems like a pretty big jump to then demand "international condemnation" of Israel, but Yahoo manages it, albeit in unconvincing, anti-intellectual fashion

Hey -  all it takes is blind faith in the honesty of Hamas, and the ability  to completely wipe out from history the hundreds of rockets that were aimed directly into Israeli civilian populations by Gaza militants over the past few months, and - presto! - you too can flip morality on its head!

Once you rape reality like that, well....that's what it takes to make Yahoo's reporting possible, I suppose...

(More on the unhinged bias and animosity of Yahoo News can be found  here, here, here, here and here, and here and here...and here. Oh, and here...)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Another Loss From Hurricane Sandy, But Barack Obama Is Not Impressed...

Besides the tragic loss of life, many long-standing attractions - such as boardwalks in Atlantic City and Seaside Heights - were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy as well, and although they will be rebuilt, they will never be the same.

Incidentally, it's hard to explain the feelings of loss attached to these "inanimate objects" to those who are unfamiliar with them.  Sure, they'll rebuild Seaside, but that wacky ice cream stand (a fictional example) that may have stood in an odd position in the center of the boardwalk  - the one that my dad took me to, and I have taken family to - will not be rebuilt.  If it is replaced at all, it will be with a Dairy Queen quick-dispense, or something similar.  The memory will end, and eventually vanish from history.

It's why Chris Christie shed a tear when he viewed the Seaside Amusement Pier floating out to sea. He understood...

Here's another hidden gem that none will every see again:

In the late 1800s when winter ice closed down Staten Island Sound, the waterway separating New Jersey from Staten Island, an estimated 15,000 tons of shipping were forced to use the narrow channel that ran along the eastern shore of Staten Island. In doing so, the vessels passed dangerously close to Old Orchard Shoal. A bell buoy and a lighted buoy initially marked this shallow area, but mariners considered these navigational aids grossly inadequate.

The Lighthouse Board asked Congress for funds in 1891 to place a lighthouse on the southeast end of Old Orchard Shoal and to rebuild the tower at Waakcaack, near Keansburg, New Jersey, to serve as a rear range light to the new lighthouse. After $60,000 was approved, construction of the lighthouse was completed in 1893. The new fifty-one-foot, cast-iron tower was cone-shaped, built in the “spark plug” style common among offshore lights in that region....

And there is stood, for almost 120 years.  Until about three weeks ago, when Hurricane Sandy rolled into town.  Now all that's left is this:

I remember this light well, from fishing off these waters.  It was just one of those things that was always there, and now never will be again.

I realize this structure is only a "thing".  Just as many survivors have lost only "things", although for them that may well be every thing.  It's just that these pictures -and the emotions it rekindled  -  reminded me of how much people in this region are still hurting right now, and how much has changed, for all of us, forever.

Which is why I didn't find the humor in this picture, which apparently - if I can trust my news feeds - is the most important thing going on in the world today:

President Obama imitates Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney’s “not impressed” face during a White House visit last week.

Apparently, the media is impressed.  Enough so to continue to ignore the wreckage, and the dead...