Give Me Liberty…

…or give me social justice:

To paraphrase Churchill’s famous statement about Munich, in which he is purported to have said that “the government had to choose between war and shame. They chose shame. They will get war, too.”

Our government has had to choose between liberty and social justice. They chose social justice. They will get neither.

As she notes, too many Americans have lost the concept of the value of liberty, or have never had it.

The Foolishness Of Reliance On Authority

Roger Simon runs into a Hollywood nitwit who believes in global warming because NASA says so.

Point 1: “NASA” doesn’t say so. One duplicitous ideologue masquerading as a climate scientist at one particular NASA center says so. That center had to confess error on his behalf (no doubt through clenched teeth).

Point 2: “NASA” has no opinion on anything. NASA is a government agency, with thousands of employees, of varying opinions. The previous NASA administrator, in fact, famously outraged the warm mongers with his own skepticism, but if any one person could have spoken for NASA at the time, it would have been Mike Griffin, not James Hansen.

Point 3: NASA has had many spectacular achievements in the past. It has also had many spectacular failures. To rely on it, as an agency, as a source of authority for something (particularly when there is no official agency position on it) is foolish. In fact, this false sense that people have in NASA as an authority has contributed greatly to the difficulty over the past decades to raise money for private ventures. This is because investors, when doing due diligence on an investment decisions, have often gone to someone at NASA who knows nothing about the venture, and relied on their foolish advice, for no other reason than they worked for NASA.

Anyway, this gets back to the foolishness of relying on people who claim to be scientists, instead of on science itself.

Obama The Party Crasher

For someone who came into office pledging more respect for the US from the rest of the world, the president’s not doing a very good job.

[Sunday morning update]

Why the world’s leaders find it easy to say no to Obama:

It isn’t just that that no one has cut Obama any slack. World leaders seem to be taking pleasure in rebuffing him, disappointing him, even, in some cases, mocking him. French President Nicolas Sarkozy famously called Obama an “inexperienced, ill-prepared” leader.

Praising and admiring Obama are still common, but raising doubts about him, even scoffing at him, is now becoming fashionable. Although he is still popular among Europeans and more popular with Muslims than his despised predecessor, Obama is being tagged with the unflattering label John Quincy Adams earned before he lost the 1828 election: “Adams can write, Jackson can fight.”

Oh, he can fight all right. But only when it comes to domestic enemies. It’s the Chicago Way.

On The Road Again

Heading out of Vegas north to Arizona, Utah, and eventually Colorado. I may check in from the road, since I bought myself a Verizon Aircard for Christmas. Hope Santa was good to everyone…

[Late evening update]

The plan had been to make it all the way to Denver tonight, but we got a late start from Vegas, and we would have gotten in very late, so we stopped in Grand Junction. Looking at the weather in the room, it looks like it was a good move, because there’s a lot of snow on the road up ahead at the Divide. I hope it will be better in the morning.

[Saturday morning update]

Well, it’s better this morning, but still looks like a slow drive. The snow isn’t blowing any more, but there are icy patches and packed snow ahead. I’m guessing five hours, but maybe we’ll be able to do better.

[Evening update]

We made a lot better time than I hoped — about three and a half hours. The only places where the roads were a little iffy were in Vail Pass and climbing up the the RooseveltEisenhower tunnel, but it generally moved at better than sixty and eighty for much of the trip. The nice thing was that there was little traffic, and virtually no trucks, doubtless due to the holiday.

Are there any Denver-area blogger parties for New Years?

Made It To Vegas

…but a lot later than we wanted, due to hellacious traffic getting out of LA. Things didn’t really start to move until we got halfway up the Cajon Pass. So, later dinner at Mandalay Bay, and then on to Colorado in the morning. But Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. I’ll leave you with a video from another Christmas eve, forty-one years ago.

I had a piece on this story last year, on the fortieth anniversary. Hard to believe it’s been a year since I wrote that.

Did Jim DeMint Kill The Bill?

This is interesting, and encouraging:

…because of the Senator DeMint’s objection, unless the House votes for the Senate bill unchanged — which is highly unlikely (see below) — then the Senate ObamaCare bill must be amended on the House floor to gain the votes they need to pass it on the House floor. And because of Senator DeMint’s objection to the appointment of the conferees, there will be no conference, or conference report.

If the House amends the Senate bill, they then have to send the amended bill back to the Senate — where all the 60 vote margin cloture votes still apply — cloture on the motion to proceed, and cloture to end the filibuster and cloture on any amendment.

Do I believe that this objection to the appointment of the conferees will kill ObamaCare? Yes, if the progressives or those 64 House Democrats who voted for the Stupak amendment do not roll over and play dead.

This monkey wrench may explain why the White House is putting out the word that it wants the health care bill to pass the House after the State of the Union, in February.

The longer this takes, the better the chances of it dying. It barely made it through the House the first time, and a lot of the Blue Dogs have to be rethinking their position, while the left will want to stand on principle (to the degree that they have any).

The Real Culture Of Corruption

Pete Wehner:

These people strike me as hermetically sealed off from how most of the rest of the country view this subject. As these backroom deals become more and more widely known, anger will swell up among voters. It is bad enough to jam through a bill on a strict party-line-vote against overwhelming opposition from the public; for it to have happened only because various Members of Congress were (legally) bribed will magnify the intensity of the opposition. And for politicians to take such obvious pride in the pay-off will make things even worse. The populist, anti-Washington wave out there, which is already quite large, will only grow, and grow, and grow.

They do seem to be completely tone deaf to how sane people view this. And I hope that there’s a terrible retribution for them at the polls next fall.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!