Friday, December 24, 2010

William Kristol is gay... well, not literally

Kristol in his column says that conservatives should not get excited about the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. There should not be a call for servicemen to resign, or boycott enlistment, or refuse to re-enlist when their option comes up. The military can adapt to this, he says.

...As Fiano writes, it’s a “massive insult to our military” to assume that soldiers can’t handle the challenge of integrating openly gay troops. True, this is a burden they might have been spared while fighting two wars. But they’ll deal with it. As General James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps and an opponent of repeal, said shortly after the legislation passed:
The Marine Corps will step out smartly to faithfully implement this new policy. I, and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, will personally lead this effort, thus ensuring the respect and dignity due all Marines. On this matter, we look forward to further demonstrating to the American people the discipline and loyalty that have been the hallmark of the United States Marine Corps for over 235 years.

Fiano observes that Gen. Amos “is putting service before his own objections,” and comments, “Many Marines, soldiers, sailors, and airmen will likely do the exact same thing.”

President Obama said last week, speaking “to all Americans”: “Your country needs you, your country wants you, and we will be honored to welcome you into the ranks of the finest military the world has ever known.” Our fine servicemen and women won’t quit, they won’t whine, they won’t fret, and they won’t cause a scene. Conservatives owe it to them to conduct ourselves with the same composure and dignity.


But Kristol misses the point. Just as with the integration of women in more areas of the military and numerous practical problems that has caused, this is one more proof that the elites are more interested in advancing their agendas than they are in defending the country, killing bad guys, blowing things up, and advancing the cause of freedom. You haven't seen Obama grinning like a hyena over any of our victories in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ever. But repeal DADT, and it looks like Obama and the every liberal elite power-broker in Washington just had a toke of happy gas. They're positively giddy. America loses, they celebrate.

As such, I think Americans ought to refuse to serve in a service that increasingly sacrifices its primary purpose to secondary liberal shibboleths. And recent history is the greatest proof that such is the reality than anything I can think of.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Do flu vaccines really work?

A seasonal reminder that not all we've been told by the "authorities" about flu vaccine can actually be demonstrated scientifically. The benefits may be somewhat dubious.

Since there is a dogma, a party line, that vaccination will reduce death rates by 50%, no one will do proper scientific studies to test the truth of it. However, there are more than a few reasons to doubt that the rate of efficacy is anything near that number. Careful epidemiological studies that have been done certainly challenge the conventional wisdom.

The Atlantic Magazine did a landmark article last year on the subject, and it is long but worth reading.

Does The Vaccine Matter? by Shannon Brownlee and Jeanne Lenzer

"...The history of flu vaccination suggests other reasons to doubt claims that it dramatically reduces mortality. In 2004, for example, vaccine production fell behind, causing a 40 percent drop in immunization rates. Yet mortality did not rise. In addition, vaccine “mismatches” occurred in 1968 and 1997: in both years, the vaccine that had been produced in the summer protected against one set of viruses, but come winter, a different set was circulating. In effect, nobody was vaccinated. Yet death rates from all causes, including flu and the various illnesses it can exacerbate, did not budge. Sumit Majumdar, a physician and researcher at the University of Alberta, in Canada, offers another historical observation: rising rates of vaccination of the elderly over the past two decades have not coincided with a lower overall mortality rate. In 1989, only 15 percent of people over age 65 in the U.S. and Canada were vaccinated against flu. Today, more than 65 percent are immunized. Yet death rates among the elderly during flu season have increased rather than decreased. "

If you dare to know the truth about this controversy, read the entire article at this link -- -- or do a Google search for "Atlantic Magazine Does The Vaccine Matter."

Obama Debt Increase

In less than two years, from Jan. 20, 2009 - Dec. 20, 2010, total federal debt has increased $3.256 Trillion.

The average interest rate on the marketable portion of that debt is 2.36%, and the average interest rate on the non-marketable portion 4.13%.

I do not have the figures for the past two years in terms of average interest rate on all debt issuance. Much of it is short term, which must be rolled over frequently. But if the average interest rate of new debt the Obama Administration and Democrat Congress has taken on was only 2%, that would mean interest on the money Obama's Treasury has borrowed in the last 23 months will cost us $65 billion next year. And the year after that. And the year after that. And the year after that.
I frankly don't know whether my guesstimate of 2% interest is correct, and of course as short term debt is rolled over that number will change as new bills will earn a new rate, whatever that is. (Every since Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke started Quantitative Easing, which he claimed would lower interest rates, interest rates on virtually all Treasury debt has risen!) But even if the interest on Obama's borrowing was as low as 1%, it would still represent a staggering sum, just to pay the interest on it in the next ten years.

Get the picture? The spending Obama has been responsible for in only two years will cost the United States hundreds of billions of dollars in interest payments, just for the next ten year period alone.

Sources: US Treasury website
Interest rates, see
Total debt increase under Obama, see

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The War On Christmas started with... Christians

One of the themes of conservative talk radio this time of year is the "war on Xmas" or the removal of Xmas symbols from public property, which I think is stupid, but nevertheless... Do they understand that the war on Xmas was started by Christians?

From American Heritage magazine, December 1967, comes this short article:

Many a book, a magazine, a play, a movie, has been banned in Boston. But Christmas?

Yes, Virginia, Christmas was banned in Boston. On May 11, 1659, the legislature of the Massachusetts Bay Colony enacted the following: “For preventing disorders arising in severall places within this jurisdiceon, by reason of some still observing such ffestivalls as were superstitiously kept in other countrys, to the great dishonnor of God & offence of others, it is therefore ordered … that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by for-bearing of labour, feasting, or any other way, upon any such account as aforesaid, every such person so offending shall pay for every such offence five shillings, as a fine to the county.”

You can read the rest of the history here, in the magazine's archives.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Stop lying, Ben Bernanke!

Ben Bernanke is concerned that some of us have the impression that he is printing money.

But he is not printing money. So he said on 60 Minutes this month. Except on 60 Minutes in a previous appearance, he admitted he was, effectively, printing money.

Just cut the crap, OK?!

Jon Stewart catches him out.