Journalists are idiots

In case you needed further proof:

ELEANOR CLIFT: This is not a serious choice. It makes it look like a made for TV movie. If the media reaction is anything, it’s been literally laughter in many places across news-


CLIFT: In very, very many newsrooms.

They didn’t see the Palin selection coming. I did. They think it’s a joke and will turn out poorly for McCain. I think it’s an excellent choice that will help him trounce Obama. We’ll see who is correct….

One has to wonder if the effete media types dissing Palin would be quite so keen to get nasty about her and her youngest child if they knew what sort of man her husband is. They’d probably do very well to keep their criticism substantive and polite, although it would be absolutely hysterical to see someone like Colmes or Olberman get punched out by a hard-bitten snowmobile racer.

UPDATE – As I pointed out, it wasn’t exactly hard for Republicans to find recent pictures of Palin that show her pregnancy. It seems the beauty of being a Democrat is that one never has to let even the most momentary thought get in the way of opening one’s mouth.

With friends like these

No wonder Obama is sinking in the polls:

Obama’s offer: an end to US stupidity
This is the hope that Obama offers the world, of an end to stupidity. His name, his ethnicity and his message of conciliation and negotiation promise a new chapter.

So, Obama not only going to roll back the waves, but end human stupidity as well? That’s just, well, stupid! But perhaps, at last, an Obama victory would mean that the USA would finally be a nation of which British socialists could be proud. I’m sure we all know how much that would mean to the average American voter.

I can’t tell you how much I hope the Magic Negro wins. I really can’t, although I want him to win more than the average starry-eyed true believer in HopeChange does. But I can say that should Obama do for the USA what Kwame Kilpatrick has done for Detroit, what Marion Barry did for DC, what Thabo Mbeki has done for South Africa, etc, I really won’t be able to restrain my cruel and mocking laughter.

Dreams of technocracy

The commenters at John Scalzi’s place are hardly the first science fetishists to fantasize about a scientific government. That such a thing would be a violently authoritarian nightmare never seems to occur to them, however, which is interesting given the track record of the last government to claim its foundation in science, namely, scientific socialism.

A few of these would-be technocrats assert that Sarah Palin’s belief in creationism should somehow disqualify her from holding office. But this is a wildly stupid position. Everyone is ignorant of something – as the Congress and the executive branch demonstrate almost every day – and the USA is not a technocratic oligarchy, it is a quasi-democratic republic. Whether you like it or not, the vast majority of Americans don’t give a damn about science and would rather kill every single scientist in the country than hand their government over to them. And they would be absolutely right to do so; it seems that the inheritors of natural philosophy are still dreaming of totalitarian philosopher-kings two millenia after The Republic.

To claim that a man or a woman should be disqualified from political participation for failing to genuflect before the current state of science – an intrinsically moving target – is anti-democratic, fascistic, and historically ignorant. One can make a much better case for limiting government by sex, height, or even hair color, things that are far less subjective and less given to abuse by an authoritarian oligarchy. And given the fact that scientage is a dynamic entity, the abjuring of the admittedly bad science of yesterday is no guarantee that today’s scientific consensus is not tomorrow’s bad science.

Science has been a two-edged sword throughout its history. It has undeniably made many people’s lives better and it has just as undeniably caused many people’s deaths. Vaccines and antibiotics are no more created “in the name of science” than are atomic bombs and biological weapons; both are created by scientists through scientody. Science is simply not a legitimate arbiter for political leadership and it would be interesting to know who would agree that everyone who still believes in Anthropogenic Global Warming is similarly unsuited for political office now that actual science has demonstrated that the AGW theory is little more than bad data combined with poor computer modeling?

Moreover, the New York Times reported in 2004 that 65 percent of all Americans favor teaching creationism and evolution in schools. While I will not vote for the McCain-Palin ticket, Palin’s perspective is far more democratically legitimate than than that of those who think her views on the origins of Man should somehow disqualify her. If Americans are going to disqualify politicians for their ignorance, it would be much more effective to disqualify those who demonstrably fail to understand the supply-demand curve or the concept of marginal utility.

VPFL 2008 draft today 3 PM central

I still haven’t heard from TheMadItalia (Silver Spooners) or p-dawg (Black Mouth Curs) yet so I’ve gone ahead and created their teams and selected their keepers. I won’t be at the draft, unfortunately, since I’ve got a party to attend. Also, don’t get bent out of shape about the draft order’s failure to switch between rounds three and four as it’s an artifact of Yahoo’s keeper system. The real draft begins at round four; the first three rounds are merely placing everyone’s keepers on their teams. The order is worst to first among the old school, then worst to first among the new school, the entirety snaking from round to round. It’s worked quite well in the past; it’s not as if Nate picking first every year has helped him at all.

If p-dawg and The MadItalia will email me, I’ll install them as co-managers and then remove myself as a manager from the Curs and the Spooners. If they don’t do so within a week, we’ll add two new managers.

Less than zero

Fresh from their unsuccessful attempt to enforce a radio speech doctrine, a spokesman from Obama campaign manages to insert his foot in his mouth so deep that he bloodied his nose with his knee:

“Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement.

“The Obama campaign, on the other hand, offers the opportunity to put a man with no experience of any kind outside of law school and the legislative branch even closer!”

I find it hard to imagine that Sarah Palin will hesitate to remind people that Alaska borders Russia either. I don’t know what sort of border issues they’ve had there lately, but I’d be very surprised if there hadn’t been a few. And I cannot believe that this marketroid was dumb enough to openly diss small Alaskan towns in the name of the guy who is still trying to recover from doing the same thing to rural Pennsylvanians and West Virginians.

I expect the Obama campaign will drop this theme very quickly indeed.

Finally got one right

Or so it appears:

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a self-styled “hockey mom” who has only been governor for a little over a year, is GOP Presidential candidate John McCain’s choice for Vice President, CNBC has learned. According to a Republican strategist, Palin is the nominee, though McCain’s campaign has not comfirmed this.

It looks like McCain thinks he can win this now, as Palin is the choice of someone who is actually trying to win. It will help nicely in defanging the “historic” nature of the Obama campaign; among other things, she’s actually 100 percent woman. And just to show how bad political bloggers are at predicting these things, I was one of just four of the 65 bloggers surveyed by Right Wing News who correctly anticipated the Palin selection… and this is the first thing I’ve gotten right this presidential election cycle. (I had Hillary as the Dem nominee and George Pataki as the Republican… however, I did make my picks long before the cycle got rolling.)

UPDATE – it’s quite humorous to read the innocently optimistic reactions of devoted Democrats, such as those that inhabit Whatever. They apparently believe that John McCain has no experience outside of the Senate – what is this Vietnam of which you speak so strangely? – they assert that the totality of Hillary’s electoral appeal lies in her stance on the issues, and they genuinely think that Palin’s selection will somehow prevent McCain from hammering Obama on his near-complete lack of experience.

Worst of all, they fail to realize that attempting to belittle Palin by pointing out that Alaska is not a large state and Wasilla is not a big city is not exactly the most tenable position for a candidate who is already perceived as a too-effete elitist by the residents of many small states and cities across America.

UPDATE II – This is why Palin was a brilliant choice for McCain and why Biden was such a stupid choice for Obama: “Ah so, it’s going to be a woman. I’m hearing this for the first time at 8:37 Central Time. I will reveal that, instantly, a chill ran through my body when I heard that, and I have broken a sob or two as I write this.”

Yes, Virginia, a significant percentage of the female electorate really is so shallow and stupid that they will vote for a woman simply because she is a woman. It’s the same reason that more than 90 percent of the black electorate is going to vote for Obama. This isn’t rocket science.

The greatness of the Derbyshire

Derb at his conservative and gloriously pessimisstic best:

American optimism has got completely out of hand. A corrective is needed. The corrective must come from conservatives, the people who understand that “human nature has no history.” We must revive the fine tradition of conservative pessimism. In this age, optimism is for children and fools. And liberals.

Some children will be left behind. You cannot “remake the Middle East” or “defeat evil.” The poor will always be with us. Black and white will never mingle together in unselfconscious harmony. Corporations will not research and explore without hope of profit. Russia will not become Sweden. Forty million immigrants speaking a single language will not assimilate.

Conservatives used to know all this. Some — the infallibly sapient Roger Kimball, for example — still do. The smiley-faces are leading us to perdition. They must be shouted down.

“Yes, we can!”

No, you can’t, you bloody fools.