Welcome, one and all to the most intense nightly read anywhere on the ‘sphere… The BitsBlog Nightly Ramble
This is the “Road to where?” edition
- That sucks: As a social conservative, I found this piece by Dennis Praeger to be very worthwhile.
Outside of politics, sports, and popular entertainment, how many living Germans, or French, or Austrians, or even Brits can you name? Even well-informed people who love art and literature and who follow developments in science and medicine would be hard pressed to come up with many, more often any, names. In terms of greatness in literature, art, music, the sciences, philosophy, and medical breakthroughs, Europe has virtually fallen off the radar screen.
What has happened is that Europe, with a few exceptions, has lost its creativity, intellectual excitement, industrial innovation, and risk taking. Europe’s creative energy has been sapped. There are many lovely Europeans; but there aren’t many creative, dynamic, or entrepreneurial ones.
The issues that preoccupy most Europeans are overwhelmingly material ones: How many hours per week will I have to work? How much annual vacation time will I have? How many social benefits can I preserve (or increase)? How can my country avoid fighting against anyone or for anyone?
Why has this happened?
There are two reasons: secularism and socialism (aka the welfare state).
Either one alone sucks much of the life out of society. Together they are likely to be lethal.
Those clips oughta be enough to get you started. Dennis is quite correct, here. As he says, the bigger the state, the smaller the people. And guess which direction the current president is pushing us, folks? To be more like the Europeans.
- Does Obama really think this will help? Speaking of pushing us in the direction of small, and sucking the creativity away, what else can be said of Obama’s latest monster for the Auto industry? 
In a ceremony today at the White House, Obama will establish the first national limits on car exhaust and dramatically raise fuel efficiency standards. The new exhaust target – an average 35.5mpg by 2016 – will force US manufacturers to produce cars and trucks that are nearly 40% more efficient.
What they will not tell you of course, is that (Assuming such figures are even possible… and that’s a large question, yet… ) there’s only one way to attain this goal. We’re all going to be driving thimbles that barely have enough power to get out of their own way, much less have the ability to haul your family, the dog and all the stuff, or for towing the boat to the water, or the camper to the mountains. And certainly, the vehicles mandated here will not withstand any kind of crash. Which, like the one on the right, here, will solve a lot of problems in maintaining a lower cost health care system. The higher degree of safety in a crash situation, particularly with larger vehicles like trucks, and stationary objects like trees is one major reason I stuck with American vehicles all this time… After watching two friends die in one car accidents in a Ford Fiesta and a Prius, respectively, I decided I was never going to drive such a vehicle. But those are what’s now being mandated by the socialist in the White House. Sorry, but Pickups and SUV, and larger American cars simply stand up better than the thimbles the left would have us all driving given the power.
Well, now of course, they’ve got the power. They’ve got control, and they’ve taken control of the car companies as well. As yet, however, they can’t force me to buy something, though I don’t doubt that’s coming. They can by means of pollution standards, force my vehicle off the road eventually. Now do you begin to understand why this ‘global warming’ nonsense has been so important the last decade or so? It gives them control. Witness ‘cap and trade’ as a prime example. 
Let’s understand each other clearly, here; If we want to buy vehicles from American companies, we have to buy cars designed by the government from companies owned by the Unions? I’m telling you, folks… I’ve never owned a foreign car in my life. I’ve restricted my buying to domestic made vehicles, as a matter of principle. I have to tell you, though, that it’s getting nigh on impossible to justify that, anymore, given the new set of governmentally imposed conditions we as Americans face. I’m now seriously re-examining that stand. I always have, of course but until recently such choices and such re-examinations have been easy. Now, not so much.
I’ve already determined that I’m going to simply drive the wheels off the SUV I now own, since my obtaining a vehicle that better meets my needs as well as this one does off someone’s car lot is a very small chance indeed. That’s particularly true now. I now wonder if when this thing does eventually need replacing, there will be any vehicle available at all that can handle my 5000lb camper. If these new regs stick, I may never be able to buy another American vehicle.
Now, all this ignores the increased costs Obama’s move will place on cars, something the American car companies and a number of foriegn ones won’t be able to well withstand just now. Tell me again, how this is going to help the US automakers back up to sustainability, Barry. Of course now, just think; How would it be if American car companies were able to make vehicles people actually wanted to buy? We’re about to see the effect of the opposite happening. I’ll tell you this… this socialist dream of a president, will likely be the best object lesson as to why socialism/progressivism doesn’t work, for the next several generations. Assuming we survive so long, as a country. And frankly, I’ve begun to wonder about that.
- Still on the payroll: The Washington Post , all in a huff, whines that former GM CEO Rick Wagonner is still on the payroll . Why is that, though, is a question the Shaft…. errrr… Post… doesn’t get into with any detail. The truth is, Waggoner is still there because the legal question about his contract is still not settled. Amazing. When the government can come in an nullify contracts, what are we to think about this government’s commitment to the rule of law?
- Speaking of removal for performance reasons: Newt Gingrich thinks Nancy Pelosi shouldn’t be speaker anymore . Fair enough, I suppose. And Limbaugh had the quote of the day on this… and I can’t find a link for it just now… (though he refers to the original comment here ) Saying that if Pelosi really wanted to break the glass ceiling, she should resign, as her male predecessors have done. Then, we’d be equal.
- Gloves Off Again: Speaking of Pelosi, after my rant about Steele earlier today, and the article I linked in my PJM pirce, I was not shoced at all to find John Hawkins sounding off similarly on the subject of Pelosi . He’s right, of course.
- Glass Houses: And no, I’m not referencing Billy Joel, I’m talking about Victor Davis Hanson’s latest column at Pajamas Media, Politicians in Glass Houses, Hurling Stones. 
- Still here: Amazingly enough, as of this morning, my piece Frustrated Conservative Base Itching to Take Off the Gloves  is still on the front page over at Pajamas Media. I do note it’s gone as of around 1500 eastern time, today. A long run indeed, though I must say, I’m a little disappointed at the way the comment thread fell apart after about 225 comments or so. (Shrug) That’s the nature of the beast, I suppose. I’m amazed the number of responses went so high, but my complaint is that the threads got a little muddled. If nothing else, though, the attention this price got and is still getting demonstrates something I wrote about in a previous piece over there…
I submit to you the reason that Joe the Plumber is elevated by conservatives to the degree that he has been is because the rank and file of the party have been ignored for too long by the leadership. The base is latching on to Joe as a drowning man does to a life preserver.
Then, too, there’s the idea that as I said in the more recent article, liberals will always scream the loudest about what threatens their governmental power the most. That includes, of course anyone who forcefully articulates the conservative POV.
- Whats the price of being ‘nice’? Melissa looks at that question.