Monday, February 28, 2011

Enormously Sad

I confess that I like Two and a Half Men.  It's simply very funny and well-written, a lampoon of a drunken, gambling satyr; a commentary on men when they submit to their darker natures.  That it has survived for nearly a decade on network television speaks to its entertainment value (among other less praiseworthy things).  It is a guilty pleasure of Mrs. Skeptical Observor, who resides with one and two half-men of her own.

Sadly, Charlie Sheen seems to have been typecast in the role.  He's an enormously talented guy who first rose to Hollywood prominence in Oliver Stone's Platoon and Wall Street (and never mind their politics) holding his own against his more prominent and accomplished co-stars like Willem Dafor, Tom Berenger, and Michael Douglas.  He demonstrated his range in Hot Shots, a satire on Teop Gun.

And even with his wild lifestyle, he demonstrates a self-awareness that must speak to his intelligence.  When he was connected to "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss, he was quoted as observing that men pay prostitutes to go away.  Cold?  Absolutely.  Self-aware and insightful?  True, as well.

And now, he seems to be living the life that "Charlie Harper" has been living on network television during the run of his show.  However, the consequences so rarely suffered in a 22-minute situation comedy cannot be avoided in real life, even the semi-real life of a Hollywood star.

And his self-destruction has been much in the news of late.  He's alienated all of those around him (today, his publicist), and seems hell-bent on alienating his distinguished acting family which (again, forget their politics) has stood with him.

It's truly sad to see an enormously-talented man's decline played out in a media more interested in acting like celebrity-stalking paparazzi than in reporting on real news.

Good Thing We've Got The Vanguard Of The Proletariat To Rule ... er, "Protect" Us

According to "Kaz" over at "ProgressiveDem," "Ignorant Voters Have Inflicted Grievous Damage."

And no, he's not referring to the Obamorons.

Instead, he speaks of "voters last November [who] traveled the road to self-destruction by electing right wing GOP House members hell bent on creating an even more corporate controlled government and determined to eliminate the common good."

The arrogance of that statement is astounding.  Never mind the ridiculous notion that the Republican in Congress are "right wing"; we all know that moonbats habitually refer to anyone to the right of Saul Alinsky as "right wing."  And never mind the punctuation-challenged, quasi-Marxist rhetoric about "corporate[-]controlled government."

It's that "common good" line that's truly demonstrates the author's arrogance.

I have a set of beliefs.  I believe them to be correct.  I am an attorney, and therefore, arrogance is an occupational hazard.

But the far Left is so narcissistically self-absorbed that some of its practitioners claim a monopoly on "the common good."  Ignoring, of course, the destructive effects of eighty years of Liberal governance.

As local radio talk show host Chris Plante is fond of observing, "Frequently appalled; never surprised."

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Who Is it Who's "Deranged"?

Virginia's moonbatosphere is all atwitter over the Richmond Times-Dispatch's identification of former Governor --- and now DNC Chairman --- Tim Kaine's reflexive support of nationwide Democrat's most loyal constituency: labor bosses.

Yeah, I know: African-Americans vote Democrat in higher numbers (85-90%) than union members (usually, around 60-70%).  That's why I said "labor bosses": the percentage of union money going to Democrat candidates is higher (95% or more) even than the percentage of African-Americans who are loyal Democrat voters.

Here's what the Times-Dispatch said in today's lead editorial:
Democratic activists would love to see former Gov. Tim Kaine, currently the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, take on former Gov. George Allen in a race for the Senate. Affable and sharp, Kaine would make a formidable opponent. But he may have had his macaca moment, and its name is Wisconsin.
[T]he DNC has been aiding and abetting the protesters in Wisconsin through its campaign arm, Organizing for America.

As usual, the far Left makes a false equivalency.  The Richmonder said this:
So let's get this straight; in the deranged minds of the editorial board of the Richmond Times Dispatch, Tim Kaine's display of concern for a group of American workers who are being threatened and oppressed by an out of control rogue governor is somehow equivalent to George Allen's use of a racial slur at a campaign event.

The lemming-like moonbats over that Blow Me, Virgin... er, "Blue Virginia," work to create the far-Left echo chamber by repeating the charge.

Of course, the false far-Left narrative lies in the premises: that this is about "concern," and that it's about "a group of American workers who are being threatened and oppressed by an out of control rogue governor."  This is a lie.  "American workers" in Wisconsin are not being "threatened;" what is being "threatened" is union bosses' monopoly bargaining power.  And no one in Wisconsin is being repressed, except perhaps for the majority of voters whose will is being thwarted by Democrat Senators who walked off the job rather than fulfilling their duties.  And the national Democrats' calculus is not "concern"; it's a cold political calculus about those union bosses who fund their campaigns with forced union dues (which would end under Governor Walker's plan).

And "out of control rogue governor"?  That's the most lunatic charge of all: prohibiting/ending public-employee monopoly bargaining has no more radical a supporter than Franklin D. Roosevelt.

And, of course, that's not what the Times-Dispatch said at all.  What it was doing was comparing George Allen's politically-stupid moment with Tim Kaine's equally politically-stupid moment.

And if Tim Kaine has any hope for an electoral future in Virginia, the Times-Dispatch has it exactly right.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Democrat Congressman Calls For Union Violence

Just when you thought Democrat behavior couldn't be any more despicable, you read this, from Massachusetts Democrat Congressman Michael Capuano: "I’m proud to be here with people who understand that it’s more than just sending an email to get you going.  Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary."  Capuano apparently was referring to the current imbroglio in Wisconsin.

And yet, in Virginia's moonbatosphere, even today, you still find political ambulance chasers trying to smear Conservatives with the illegal actions of criminals, with 'nary a word about Democrat calls for violence.

Anybody want to make a bet as to whether Capuano will be held responsible if there's union-mob violence in Wisconsin?

Sanctimonious.  Hypocritical.  A**holes.

UPDATE: Capuano now says he regrets his remarks.  One is entitled wonder whether he regrets more that they were reported.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What Wisconsin Is Really About

All of the sturm und drang over Wisconsin is much in the news of late (see the frontpage of Drudge for numerous articles).  The newly-elected GOP Governor makes proposal to limit monopoly bargaining "rights" held by government employee unions, and require --- for the first time --- contributions to health and pension benefits to address both short-term budget issues and long-term structural issues.  Unionized government employees respond by taking to the streets on work days; government schools shut down because of teacher "sickouts" (apparently, with self-identified "medical personnel" out in the streets offering fraudulent medical excuses to avoid disciplinary action for illegal absences); Democrat state senators flee state to deny a quorum to vote on the issue.

And remember all those claims on the far Left about how those nasty Conservatives were calling them "un-American" because they opposed some or all of the policies put into place by President George W. Bush in the wake of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center?  Never actually saw such an accusation, and no links were ever provided to such slanders, but there was such an accusation leveled today against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

To be sure, there's a lot of talk about "justice" being thrown about.  You'll find post all over the Internet --- locally, from those in Wisconsin; and right here in Virginia's moonbatosphere --- denying the fiscal realities, and claiming that this is some kind of "rights" are at issue.  One of my favorites is the suggestion is that what is at issue is "the brave people in Wisconsin [who] refuse to give up their rights to organize and to bargain as a group."  Even some purportedly on "the Right" have leveled the accusation that what is going on in Wisconsin is about "rights."

Of course, no such thing is at issue in Wisconsin.  The notion that "rights" are at issue is simply silly.  The Supreme Court has plainly held that there is no Federal constitutional "right" to monopoly bargaining (unions use the euphemism "collective bargaining," but "collective" bargaining does not require the monopoly enjoyed by most private- and public-sector unions in the United States).  Smith v. Arkansas State Highway Emp., Local 1315, 441 U.S. 463, 465 & n.2 (1979) ("the First Amendment does not impose any affirmative obligation on the government to listen, to respond or, in this context, to recognize the association and bargain with it") (per curiam).  Precedent in the Seventh Circuit to the same effect was relied upon and cited with approval in SmithHanover Township Federation of Teachers v. Hanover Community School Corp., 457 F.2d 456, 461 (7th Cir. 1972), quoting Indianapolis Education Assn. v. Lewallen, 72 LRRM 2071, 2072 (7th Cir. 1969) (“‘there is no constitutional duty to bargain collectively with an exclusive bargaining agent’”).

And nothing in Governor Scott Walker's proposal would limit the right --- the real one enshrined in the First Amendment, not an illusory one --- of Wisconsin government employees to voluntarily form associations together and lobby and petition government.

What is at issue in Wisconsin is the power of Wisconsin government employee unions to exercise a monopoly on representation.  Government-employee unions in Wisconsin (and in states which grant such powers, by statute) extinguish the individual right to bargain over terms and conditions of employment with a majority vote of workers in bargaining units.  What is also at issue is the statutorily-imposed obligation of the state and local governments to bargain with government-employee unions, an obligation which is not imposed for, say, taxpayer groups.

The fact that this is about the power of government union bosses was demonstrated yesterday.  It was reported yesterday that "Top leaders of two of Wisconsin's largest public employee unions announced they are willing to accept the financial concessions called for in Walker's plan, but will not accept the loss of collective bargaining rights."

Any further claims that this controversy is about "rights," and not the power of labor union bosses, is simply dishonest.

Friday, February 18, 2011

And Let The Foolishness Begin

Came across this little gem on Waldo's indispensible Virginia Political Blogroll.

It's a post on "Blue Virginia," the moonbat website that so fears dissent that it allows comments only from those who register (and, I'm informed, will revoke registration by those who don't toe the moonbat line).  Therefore, those who don't measure up to its level of moonbattery must respond somewhere else.  Here, for instance.

In this post. Miles Grant trashes George Allen because his book is for sale at bargain prices on  He also claims not to have known that Senator Allen wrote his book last year, though how one claims to be even marginally educated in Virginia politics but is unaware that a once and future statewide political candidate wrote a book is not explained.

Nevertheless, Miles goes on to note that "other more astute books on politics remain full price long after their release, either due to their irreplaceable content or due to our nation's college students being fleeced (I report, you decide)."

The link is to Nutroots ... er, "Netroots Rising," a 2008 tome by Lowell Feld (also of "Blue Virginia") and Nate Wilcox, which is apparently selling for somewhat nearer to its original price on than is former Senator Allen's book.

Well, a lot of things affect price in a free market, and I certainly don't expect any far-Lefty to understand markets.  Nevertheless, it is worth noting that Senator Allen's book is currently "ranked #268,910 out of 810,000 books in the Kindle store" (today, it's "#269,230 Paid in Kindle Store"), it's ranked "#99,500 in Books."

And where, you might ask, is Nutroots ... er, "Netroots Rising" ranked?  Well, Miles doesn't tell us.

As of this writing, it's ranked "#338,946 in Books," and "#386,363 Paid in Kindle Store."

In short, both versions of Nutroots ... er, "Netroots Rising" are ranked substantially lower than Senator Allen's book.  Of course, the latter is doubtless better, since it has the virtue of sanity lacked by the former.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Another Democrat Smear Campaign

This one will be aimed at Congressman Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

I guess that, when your economic policies leave one in ten American out of work, and your health care policies cost your party control of one House of Congress, and your spending policies run up more debt than any two of your precedessors, all you're left with is a smear campaign.

Given the tenor of the far-Left moonbatosphere, this development is hardly surprising.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Why Did Mubarak Delay His Resignation?

If there's a better reason that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak delayed for less than a day his departure than to give The Finger to President Barry, I can't think of it.

Heh, heh, heh.