It’s the Communication Skillz, Stupid

Continuing my theme of the need for conservatives to improve their arguments and pick leaders who can communicate them: I like the way Victor Davis Hanson explains the problem.


It’s ManBearPig! I’m super serial!


Okay, seriously…Although I remain open to the possibility that humans are contributing to global warming, I can’t help but be very skeptical.  Environmental science has become so politicized and inundated with activists that I doubt there is much real science going on anymore.

Stories like this aren’t helping to persuade me.

Fighting for Life

I know some of you Obama supporters thought his opponents were exaggerating when they pointed out how far to the left he is on abortion.  They weren’t.

The next battle is going to be over this:

Although, considering the makeup of congress, it may not be much of a battle. Nevertheless I encourage all pro-life readers to sign the petition so we can at least try to take as much of a stand as possible.

UPDATE: So Obama just selected Ellen Moran, executive director of Emily’s List, as his White House communications director.  Emily’s List is an abortion rights interest group that describes itself as “dedicated to building a progressive America by electing Democratic pro-choice women to office.”  At least he’s consistent.

W the Communicator

It seems fairly obvious to me that Bush’s biggest problem has been his inability to communicate (a brilliant observation, I know) rather than his actual policies (although I definitely have a problem with a few of those).  If we’d had a president who could argue clearly and persuasively — even with identical policies — his popularity rating (and the Republican Party’s) wouldn’t be nearly as low as it is now.  It’s unfortunate because, on a few of the most important issues, I think Bush actually gets it.

Consider this speech he gave on Thursday to the Manhattan Institute in which he nails it.

Yes, I know it helps when you have speechwriters to improve your language.  But in this case, he’s also right on the substance.

Imagine if we’d had a president who was effectively using the bully pulpit to make the same arguments as Bush makes in that speech.  Imagine we had a president who could make the case in his extemporaneous comments to the press every week while sounding consistently thoughtful, intelligent and knowledgeable.  Imagine how much more effective he would be against an unsympathetic news and entertainment media consisting of 90% Democrats (literally) that nevertheless place a high value on erudition and perceived intelligence.  How much more effective would he have been with swing voters who form their opinions largely on impressions gathered from that same media?

Next time Republicans, can we please nominate such a person?

Apparently I’m an Idiot

I’m afraid we’re about to start seeing a lot more of this sort of thing coming out of Congress.

How could this NOT make our economic problems worse? Who in their right mind thinks encouraging even more people to irresponsible is a good idea? Oh yeah…about half the country it seems.

PBS Masterpiece (Theatre)

I’ve always been a fan of the show “Masterpiece” (formerly Masterpiece Theatre) on PBS, especially their adaptations of classic literature, which are far superior to the versions we usually get out of Hollywood.

Unfortunately they’ve now moved into the “Contemporary” part of their schedule, which means from now until the end of the year they will continue to show nothing but awful PC plots riddled with Hollywood cliches. It’s really too bad because the “Classic” shows from earlier in the season were great.

I may be a bit biased toward this season since I worked as a video tech on the shoot for the new intro and bumpers. It was a pretty interesting. They used an air compressor to flip the pages of books while projecting video onto them and capturing it all with a high speed Phantom camera at 1000 fps.

You can see the “Classic” version here.
The “Mystery” version is here.
Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the “Contemporary” version anywhere.

Markets, Morality & Conflation

There’s an interesting discussion going on at the Corner on NRO about the meaning of “free market” and its defense on moral vs. empirical grounds.

You can follow some of it here:

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Over at CATO, Roderick Long, who considers himself a member of the Libertarian Left (a term that always annoys me — but that’s a topic for another post), has an article dealing with the conflation of laissez-faire markets with corporatism. It touches on some of the same topics.

If you are at all interested in economics or economic philosophy, his article is HIGHLY recommended.