Monday, January 31, 2011

A good-old heap-o Snark.

Walter Russell Mead has it on the Greens.

This is just a tiny taste. Read it all:

I can go even farther for the greens: I can collaborate with the media in forgetting the grotesque ethanol scam. This was brought to us by the infallible green wonks who, despite their well known and widely advertised commitment to rigorous scientific testing of all ideas somehow fell for a bunch of cheap lies and shiny illusions propagated by farm lobbyists. Thanks to the great green climate brains, we now have a government-subsidized rip-off that is worsening food shortages and creating political unrest all over the world while also spewing more carbon per unit of energy into the atmosphere than the evil oil companies ever did. I am not only willing to refrain from ever bringing this up in polite company, I am willing and even able to tell myself that the same idiots who fell for this claptrap can safely be trusted with even larger sums of money and power to develop even more complex systems of social engineering. And when I think about the probable consequences and side effects of the vast international carbon and permit trading markets the greens want to set up, I solemnly promise and swear not to think about the pathetic mess they have made with the European carbon market.

It makes perfect sense when you think about it: the greens are just smarter than the rest of us, better able to understand the dynamics of complex systems like the earth’s climate, European financial markets and the ethanol process than the rest of us boobs. I am only puzzled and disappointed that American public opinion seems so inflexibly opposed to the hefty tax increases and regulatory burdens that would, our infallible and wonder-working climate scientists assure us, stop the whole dire process in its tracks.

Emphasis added. And again the refrain is "shut up, know your place."

Our betters are just so much smarter and more deserving to rule.

And what do those stupid Teabaggers know anyway?

It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place.

See that's the anti-government ignorant prattle from... Federal Judge Roger Vinson striking down Obamacare as Unconstitutional. Well, he's just one judge it's not like a majority of the states are suing this law... wait...

But hey, I'm sure our great technocratic elite can run things better, sure it'll require bending a few rules but can't putting a whole bunch of the "best and brightest" together and giving them billions and the power of the state yeild results? Didn't Obama just cite Sputnik as a rallying cry for even more government spending stimulus investment.


No, the Sputnik analogy is apt in what it says about Obama and his hubristic faith in the wisdom and powers of a technocratic elite. The Apollo program put a man on the moon, creating a shining moment of national pride. It also fed liberalism’s disastrously simplistic view of how progress happens — spend a lot of federal money, put a lot of experts in a room, and wait for the wondrous results.

From Lyndon Johnson on, this has been a central element in liberalism. Obama believes in it deep in his bones. His contribution in the State of the Union was to plug this vision yet again, although decked out in red, white, and blue bunting and accompanied by the joyful cacophony of a John Philip Sousa march. The patriotic rhetorical trappings don’t make it any less arrogant or foolish.

“If we can put a man on the moon, we can . . . ” is one of the more tiresome tropes in American public life. What putting a man on the moon proved is that we can put a man on the moon. It was a feat of engineering. With time, resources, and expertise, it could be done. But it tells us as much about our ability to reform society, cure diseases, or manage markets as building the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam did.

Of course thanks to the same Greens mentioned at the very start of this post, we can't even build Hoover Dams or Golden Gates anymore.


Update: And oh so super-duper smart:

“I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that ‘if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house,’” Judge Vinson wrote in a footnote toward the end of the 78-page ruling Monday.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ireland Then and Now.



Well... at least they still have the giant puppets.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

More Backup Procedures

Added a new chapter today.

Another chapter will come up on Tues

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Ace wonders why not just limit the size of pistol magazines?

It had occurred to me, as I'm sure it occurred to many, that 33 round pistol magazines aren't used in hunting, and probably not in home defense, either, begging the question of precisely what the usefulness of such a magazine is. But I know the general stance of the Second Amendment caucus is that no additional regulation shall be passed, because, even if a regulation is more cosmetic than serious, it sets a bad precedent, re-affirms the government's right to impose other regulations, and ultimately moves the possibility of a real "gun grab" slightly along the confiscatory track.

Still, I'm always less than impressed by that sort of slippery slope argument. There is some truth in the slippery slope argument, but generally the argument is put forward when there are few other good arguments available -- thus the argument becomes not that x is so catastrophic, but x makes y more likely, and y is bad, and y makes z more likely, and z is terrible. But I can't avoid the implication contained in this argument -- So you're saying x, by its own terms, really isn't all that bad? Except to the extent that it makes y possible? Well, can't we just stop y, then?

A couple questions for Ace: Why just pistols? Surely rifles with a 30 round capacity "aren't used in hunting, and probably not in home defense"?

Also why cap at 30 rounds? Why not 10?

As for your dismissal of the slippery slope, see the previous questions. If a law passes that just limits pistol magazines to X then it becomes far easier to limit all magazines to Y
Also contrary to what you say, the slippery slope is exactly how England's gun bans were put into place. Someone goes on a killing spree and the politicians "do something". And then a few years later they do something again. Sound familiar?

The slippery slope / ratchet effect is also exactly what the gun banners over here want. Why accommodate them for no real effect?

Given Ace later says: "[N]or do I think it will prove to be terribly effective at all; it's mostly (mostly) symbolic pap that can only have the most trivial effect on things either way."

And this touches on effectiveness and enforceability. Such a law would really do nothing but hassle the law abiding. Why cede this ground to the gun banners? It has no upside to the 2nd Amendment folks, and a great very likely downside.

Friday, January 14, 2011


At first blush this does seem pretty odd.

James Taranto:
Back in the 1960s, who’d have imagined that a septuagenarian white sheriff from Arizona with a hostility to free speech would one day become a hero to the left?

Via Glen who also has a reader remind us: "Old narrative: dissent is patriotic. New narrative: dissent is dangerous."

But here's the thing, it's not strange or bizzare at all. Roger L. Simon explains:

One of the problems that conservatives have in attacking liberals is that liberalism doesn’t really exist. There’s no there there. It’s simply a masquerade for greed – a bunch of phony precepts no one really believes that are mouthed in order to get on unmolested with the business of material acquisition... A spinoff aspect of this is that when you attack phony pieties your adversary doesn’t really care. It’s only about cosmetics.

Narrative, cosmetics, all the same illusion in the greater goal of power.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cool Ships.

Here's something less scary.

Page after page of well drawn spaceships and planes.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"It's going to get a lot worse before it gets better"

That was Bill Whittle on Trifecta, talking about the Mass Media and the Left's thrashing about due to their losing control of the narrative.

Watch it all. Scott Green also asks "The facts are coming out and everything has been in direct contradiction to what the left has said since Saturday... so why won't they back down?"

Whittle concludes that the media's actions are evil.
And he's not alone.

It doesn't matter how much evidence you present that Loughner was a straight-up whackjob, not a right-wing whackjob -- the apocryphal They will insist with Their dying breath that he was a Tea Party radical. To admit otherwise would be to betray Their cause, and that would be worse than any falsehood spoken to the enemy's face.

It's a downright evil movement at work.

Ace on the Authoritarian Media and how they keep getting deeper and deeper:

This does feel different, though. This feels, as another writer (forget the name) said, as if the media has formally declared war.

And yeah, I guess gee whiz I can't say war anymore; but it does feel like they've decided there's no sense in a covert, or cold war, with us anymore; now it's out in the open. They'll say whatever they like. Truth has never been much of a restraint, but now it's not even a consideration. What they are required to print to advance their agenda, they will print, period, full stop.

And what is this war being fought over? Over the slight they feel that we no longer pay attention to them, that we no longer care what the fuck they think; since we're not listening, they'll just have to SAY IT LOUDER THEN WON'T THEY?

What these people fear is not being able to set the boundaries of "civility". They fear unapproved ideas getting out there, of people questioning them, and thus... this.

At first they called people questioning the Leftist agenda racists, now we're being called murderers.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stupid Reality.

Ace proposes a little.... problem.

Suppose I want to say "Jared Loughner was inspired by a steady diet of Rush Limbaugh, episodes of Sarah Palin's Alaska, and Tea Party rallies."

What is the defect in that? Well, if you're a leftist, it's perfect in every single way: It connects a shooting to your political enemies and gives you an advantage you can't get via your policies. But the one problem with it -- which isn't a problem so much as an obstacle -- is that it's simply not true.

But it's so wonderful! It should be true; the fact that is not is more of a defect of reality than a defect of this wonderful sentence you've written in your head. Your ideology is perfect in its precision; it's reality that's messy, disordered, and off-message.

What to do? Well there's a simple solution really. Imply and wring your hands over the subject.

And it's not like this is the first time the "Reality Based" community tried to blame Conservatives for everything bad.

Of course some of the people preaching new civility aren't quite so... civil themselves.

But hey there's a narrative to write here.

Sherman: Well it’s clear from his web postings that he had picked up some of the extreme right positions, such as that our currency is not real currency, etc. You do hear that in the blogosphere on the extreme right. But again, my point is, if you have a heart attack, you stop smoking whether or not you can absolutely prove that the nicotine that you’ve taken in caused that particular heart attack because you know that breathing in toxic fumes is going to be harmful to our political system.

It’s also clear that Loughner admired the Communist Manifesto, was a pothead, thought 9-11 was an inside job and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are war crimes and thought NASA was one big hoax. A few of those positions are found not in the extreme left blogosphere but among the left’s leading lights. Didn’t President Obama have a Communist Truther among his constellation of czars? Why didn’t Rep. Sherman bring any of that up? Because it would have disrupted the narrative that he and his ilk are attempting to build.

And this rampage is just what some dems thought Obama needed.

And remember, hate and vitrol only come from the Right. Leftists protests never dared to threaten the President or use Nazi imagery against him.

Back to Ace.

Let me again point out that the media is very, very concerned if the "right wing" has "misinformation" about ObamaCare -- like the "misinformation" it will increase spending -- and works overtime to correct these misunderstandings by stupid conservatives.

And boy do they. And then they make fun of us for being so stupid as to think a trillion dollars in new government spending will actually increase government spending.

But notice what happens when the left if possessed of a belief that isn't true. Do they look right into the camera and say, "Look, I know what you're thinking, but the evidence does not support that?"

No. They pander to it. Without saying it's true they imply it's true; they assume it's true; they devote articles and "news segments" to suggesting it's true.

Can't say it's true, because it's not; but the leftist audience believes it's true, and whatever you do, you must not contradict them. You must reinforce their beliefs, even if you know they're factually simply wrong.

And these are the same people who think you're unfit to run your life, but they're fit to do it for you.

Really, they just want you to shut up and know your place.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

History, context

Putting the bomb shelter mentality of the 50's into context.

Glen Reynolds:

Yeah, you watch those 1950 civil-defense films and you realize the pipe-smoking dad stockpiling supplies in the basement is probably a World War II vet who just a few years before had most likely either dropped bombs or had them dropped on him (or both). Kind of puts a different color on it.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Whenever I see this:

I think of these guys, hint go 3 min in: