Saturday, February 26, 2011

Peter Pans

Perpetual adolescence.

Victor Davis Hanson looks on:

We live in a therapeutic age, one in which the old tragic view of our ancestors has been replaced by prolonged adolescence. Adolescents hold adult notions of consumption: they understand the comfort of a pricey car; they appreciate the status conveyed by a particular sort of handbag or sunglasses; they sense how outward consumption and refined tastes can translate into popularity and envy; and they appreciate how a slogan or world view can win acceptance among peers without worry over its validity. But they have no adult sense of acquisition, themselves not paying taxes, balancing the family budget, or worrying about household insurance, maintenance, or debt. Theirs is a world view of today or tomorrow, not of next year — or even of next week.

So adolescents throw fits when denied a hip sweater or a trip to Disneyland, concluding that it is somehow “unfair” or “mean,” without concern about the funds available to grant their agendas. We see now just that adolescent mind in Wisconsin. “They” surely can come up with the money from someone (“the rich”) somehow to pay teachers and public servants what they deserve.

Emotions are more important than facts.
Via RFAA Where Joanna sumarizes wonderfully: "It's not fair" means "it's someone else's responsibility".

And here's an example of those wonderful,oh so caring, man-children at work.

Read it, watch the vid shot by Althouse and realize just how clueless and out of touch the left really is.

Just Wow.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"The honor was ours"

If that don't bring a tear to your eye and a smile to your face then there's something wrong with you.

More info here.

Mind Control

Do you think that the government can regulate decisions.
and Judge Kessler of the DC circuit court does. It's all to defend Obamacare.

Martin Karo has some thoughts too at Powerline: "Judge Gladys Kessler of the federal district court for the District of Columbia actually held, on page 45 of her ruling upholding Obamacare, that Congress has the right to regulate mental activity."

Gabriel Malor looks on the reasoning.

The split is one of worldview. For many Democrats the federal government's power is nearly unlimited or should be. That has been the foundational premise of almost all "progressive" litigation and a great deal of Democratic legislation, which seeks to impose solutions on backward individuals and states that just won't get with the

And so Judge Kessler's "struggle" with the question of whether the Commerce Clause justifies forcing every person who takes breath in the United States to buy health insurance merely because they are breathing in the United States isn't much of a struggle after all. She goes the same route as her Democratic fellows who determined that the
Commerce Clause doesn't regulate just commercial activity but all decisions which have an economic effect. At least she has the grace to admit this is new ground

And the consequence of such a worldview?

Of course, if Judge Kessler is correct, then every "mental activity" that has an economic effect is subject to regulation by the federal government. This would indeed justify a mandate to buy broccoli or GM cars or whatever because your decision not to make such purchases is "economic activity" that affects the price of these goods in the interstate marketplace.

She tries to distinguish a health insurance mandate from these kinds of mandates by saying, essentially, that health insurance is special because there is simply no way any American will ever go their entire lives without consuming health care. Note the casual conflation of health insurance with health care. But also note that this "health
care is special" argument works for any market, so long as it is defined broadly enough. For example: no American will ever go their entire lives without consuming food. Therefore, a food mandate requiring the purchase of minimum quantities of food with pre-approved nutritional features would pass muster under Judge Kessler's

Oh unintended consequences you're so funny. And you've gotta love a legal ruling where a judge, who acknowledged that the governmental power she's approving of is vast and novel, is snidefully dismissive of the plaintiffs that object to the government trying to bully its way into a new and expansive power.

Such rulings (all coincidentally by Democratic President appointees) greatly underscore the danger of the Individual Mandate. As Judge Kessler said, this is a new expansion in the scope of the government's power to control your life, and contrary to what she says, health insurance is not special.

If this law stands then more will come. Think of the other things that by mere existence people require or use at least once over the course of their life: food, shelter, employment, speech.

How about mandates for those? We can eliminate obesity (let's ignore what it means, historically, to have a society where too much food is the problem instead of the reverse), unemployment, and homelessness with the stroke of a pen!

And, of course, if the government can regulate all decisions (as long as they have an economic consequence!) then why is there even a Constitution? What's the point of a founding document of limited government if the government has no limits?

As Malor said, it comes down to worldview. The Liberals/Progressives think there should be no limit to what the government can do, and thus are quite angry at anything that says otherwise. Hence madness such as this.

William A. Jacobson looks at the logic of this ruling as well

Our thoughts are now actions. There literally is nothing the federal government cannot regulate provided there is even a hypothetical connection to the economy, even if the connection at most is in the future.

Which causes Bruce McQuain at Hotair to go cross-eyed.

Excuse me while I sit down and ponder all of that for a moment. Anytime you make a choice not to act you are "acting".  Therefore, the court has now decided, any decision to not to act (related to commerce) is an act and you can be therefore required to do what the government says you must do.

Or, more succinctly, you have no real choice regardless of what you decide, so sayeth the court.

If I decide not to buy a car, I’m acting, and if the government wanted to require me to buy a car, under this ruling, it could.

Good lord.

Yes, this is the road that Obamacare takes us down. This is what the democrats want.

But don't worry, its all for the greater good. That's why they want to regulate your ability to make a decision that could one day hurt the greater good.

Smart Diplomacy.

Bruce McQuain looks at the Obama admin's incompetence and fecklessness on the Libya situation.

It took the President 9 days to speak out about the situation there and then his remarks were anything but forceful. Even Chris Matthews found them wanting saying they “lacked dignity”. Essentially we got the “unacceptable” line and a promise to send the Secretary of State to … Geneva? Well yes, that’s where she’ll repeat how “unacceptable” all of this is – in 5 days from now, of course.

So in sum, we find out that our government has no plans, other than [chartering a single] ferry – which I’m sure isn’t big enough to carry the full number of Americans from Libya who might need to be evacuated, but, because of violence, haven’t been able to make it to that particular evacuation point – to evacuate the thousands of American citizens there. No military plan. No orders to ships such as the Kearsarge group (which is the closest) or the Enterprise group off Pakistan to redeploy to the coast of Libya to aid in the evacuation of Americans.

A real evacuation would take an entire sealift of ships organized and sent out. And from the Obama gang we get... nothing.

Wow, these clowns really did think that the whole world would bend to their will simply because Obama's not Bush and can read from a teleprompter.

I'll leave you with jjshaka's comment: "Can you even imagine this group of craven imbeciles in charge during WWII? Flummoxed by Libya- good God."

Maybe the ship, at least, isn't quite as inept.

And the problem isn't just the US.

Don’t we live in a decent world? In other words, two weeks into the Libyan crisis the United States, Europe and the rest of the “international community” has done…nothing.

Get use to it.

In our new world order, madman from North Korea to Tripoli will be able to do as they please with complete abandon. And there will be very few real consequences.

Aren't you glad that we've got Smart Diplomacy instead of that evil old Cowboy style?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Anyone in New England need a dog?

A Husky named Lincoln is in need of a good home.

Good looking dog. Is near Hartford CT, go to the site for more details.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Angry, Anti Government Protestors

Joe Huffman has the opening quote.

Since they're pissed off at the state government and trying to stifle the democratic process therein, shouldn't we be calling them Angry, Anti Government Protestors?
And now it's happening here.

Democratic legislators are staying away from the Indiana House chamber, blocking the Republican majority from conducting business while hundreds of union members crowd the adjourning hallways in protest of a contentious labor bill.
Do democrats really want to repeatedly use the tactic of running away from budget problems?

The optics of this are horrible, it shows that the Dems are completely in the pocket of the Unions and totally out of touch with reality.

And speaking of bad optics and being out of touch with reality.

This also defangs Democratic cries of a federal government shutdown, given it's their party that's gumming up multiple State governments.

And Althouse notes that the Stupid Party isn't always stupid:
You know, it really was rather smart of the Republicans to let the protest/exile peter out over time. The teachers couldn't keep canceling school, and the group at the Capitol will, more and more, be UW students/TAs and old Madison lefties with more radical slogans. The legislators-in-hiding look more and more ineffectual and more and more Chicago. I don't think these developments are increasing political support around the state.

Meanwhile, Walker and his GOP cohort are waiting patiently — it only takes a few days — to get going working on the state's problems.
And here's the Stupid Party back again. A very bad move by Daniels.

Daniels told reporters this afternoon that he expects House Democrats will return to work if the bill dies. It would be unfortunate if other bills are caught up in the turmoil, he said.

He will not send out state police to corral the Democrats, the Republican governor said. The Democrat minority has right to express its views, he added.

If the Indiana House Democrats get what they want through this tactic, what’s to prevent them from using it again and again every time they think they’ll lose on a big issue?


But a concession to Democrats on major reforms like these will spur a lot of talk about Daniels’ toughness, or whether he’s too conciliatory to an opposition that has gone completely off the rails, or more accurately, out of the state….

Rewarding a certain behavior will encourage more of it in the future.

Not only is Mitch's pledge to "not send out the state police" stupid politics, but as Hoosierpundit shows it's stupid legally too.

I also want to note that the Indiana Constitution is crystal clear on this. It speaks for itself. Mitch Daniels doesn't have the power to call out the State Police on the missing Indiana Democrat House representatives. The Constitution gives that authority to the majority of the House. They, and they alone, can compel the attendance of their membership.

Not the Governor. The House. Mitch saying he won't call out the state police doesn't mean jack, since he doesn't have the authority.


I don't see what Mitch Daniels thinks he has to gain out of this. Does he really think that, having proven the efficacy of the walk-out strategy, that Pat Bauer won't do the same thing again on other issues similarly threatening to core Democratic constituencies, things like education reform (which happens to be very dear to the heart of the Governor)?


Meanwhile to contrast... Daniels begs Republicans to appease the AWOL Dems, Walker gets the Republicans to stop direct deposit for their AWOL Dems.


And the latest update from DrewM at Ace of Spades has the Daniels walk-back.

You see Daniels isn't opposed to the bill itself, just the timing.
Um, if not now, when? This is the moment. Democrats are literally on the run. Public attention is focused on this issue in a way it hasn't in years if not decades (if ever). And Mitch "Truce" Daniels wants to defer it?

Sorry, sometimes you have to seize the moment. It's called leadership.

Also Allahpundit notes this action is even stranger for Daniels.

Mind you, one of Daniels’s very first acts as governor in 2005 was to strip state workers of their collective bargaining rights, which is proof enough that he’s not a squish on labor. (He also expressed support for Scott Walker just yesterday.) Still, it’s unfathomable to me that he’d decline to press hard on unions at a moment when (a) conservatives are hoping to build nationwide momentum against PEUs and (b) the Democratic caucus in Indiana has decided to skip town to obstruct the process there too.

So... why? What's Daniels thinking?

And remember what this all comes down to is who rules?

It’s about the future of the country and who is to be master — the voters or the “public servants.

In what is effectively a criminal enterprise were it not for the moment legal, public-union leaders negotiate ever-larger pay and benefits from the very politicians to whom they then kick back “campaign contributions.” All at taxpayer expense.


Powerline looks at Think Progress' rank projection:
Certainly not in the world of Think Progress, which is entirely a creature of the billionaire left. One curious feature of today's left is its obsession with "astroturf." There is a reason why lefties who work for billionaire-funded web sites like Think Progress constantly talk about astroturf: it is the world they live in. They are paid by rich liberals, and the demonstrators who are bused in to left-wing protests are generally union members who are paid to attend. No one on the left does much for free. So lefties find it hard to understand that ordinary citizens ("Tea Partiers") will turn out at rallies without being paid, that conservative voters vote on principle, not financial self-interest, and that conservative activists act out of conviction, not because they are subsidized by a sugar daddy. Failing to understand that conservatism--unlike liberalism--is a movement of principle, not self-interest, they are constantly looking for the elusive, non-existent money trail.

Emphasis added. This idea of Liberals doing nothing for free (which is why they're so big on getting the State to compell people to act "morally") dovetails nicely with Roger L. Simon's thoughts.

Liberalism has become a mask for greed in our culture — a way of hiding excessive selfishness from others and, importantly, from the self. It’s a deflection, really.

We see this in the billionaire extremes of a George Soros and a John Kerry, but also now in the demonstrators in the streets of Madison. Many are suffering economically in our country. Huge numbers are unemployed. But when asked to pull together for the good of the mean, the liberals, the ones who pay the greatest lip service to equality, say NO.


Monday, February 21, 2011


From Strategypage:

February 18, 2011: Corruption and viral marketing has provided the Chinese government with a powerful tool for controlling public opinion. It all began when Chinese companies realized that they could hurt competitors by planting damaging rumors on the Internet. This, even in China, is illegal. But the corruption in China being what it is, there was little risk of getting the police to hunt down and punish the perpetrators. This was partly because the marketing firms, hired by companies to burnish their image, or defame competitors, was careful to have other small outfits get on the Internet to actually do the work, and be careful to not be traceable.


Chinese Internet users know this sort of thing goes on, and have adjusted their use of Internet communications accordingly. It’s become more important to actually know many of the people you communicate with on the Internet. In response, the marketing companies have adapted. The opinion manipulation is now more subtle, and it has become a form of advertising. But for the government, it's a another tool to keep an increasingly irate population under control.

And now... this:

The US government is offering private intelligence companies contracts to create software to manage "fake people" on social media sites and create the illusion of consensus on controversial issues.

The contract calls for the development of "Persona Management Software" which would help the user create and manage a variety of distinct fake profiles online.

Do I even need to comment on this?

Meanwhile the White House is trying other Orwellian tactics.

Well, it's not like they've got more important things happening in the world.

And I'll end with something actually funny.

“Listen, Abraham Lincoln helped to build the interstate… intercontinental railroad in the middle of the Civil War”.

Oh wait... no, the President thinking Abraham Lincoln helped build an intercontinental railroad is just... sad (is 10 seconds of wiki research too much for these clowns? or how about knowing what intercontinental means)

Remember, these folks think they can run your life better than you. And they'll use your money to try to convince you it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Learning computer.

So take a supercomputer, give it a massive trivia database, a list of questions and answers, and add in software that parses out inputs to find the correct "response".

Now have it play many, many rounds of Jeopardy... Eventually it'll beat the best human players out there.

It's impressive in it's implementation, and could bring further developments in interactivity and responsiveness.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Enough Gun?

Here's a compact, low felt recoil 50 bmg

And if that's not enough, also via that first site, here's a 57mm recoilless rifle.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rule of what Now?

The hundreds of waivers for Obamacare have been galling, as they show
directly that some people are above these new laws and regulations but
Ace looks at a Reason article that states exactly what it means.

Anyway, Reason magazine drops the f-bomb (feudal, I mean) so casually I have to think this is a common criticism. For me it's a bit of a (embarrassed to say) revelation, because I hadn't conceived of the socialist/corporatist model of Obamanomics as being, among other things, essentially feudal in nature, involving a raft of special privileges for baronial elites (and the reciprocal promise of those barons to support their liege in war).


This lens of a new feudalism gives me a new understanding of what is going on with Obama's waivers on health care for all his bestest baronial buddies and Obama's very special waiver for very, very powerful baron GE as regards global warming rules.


In that context, I'm wondering at what point a system of waivers becomes actually unconstitutional -- because anyone not granted a waiver is being burdened by a restrictive and possibly punitive law that others aren't. Isn't he?

That is, there is no difference, effectively, between saying "All people are subject to 80% taxation rates, but a special category of Friends of Obama shall be waived from this general rule and only pay 35%" or directly making a law of specific persons (all conservatives) who will have to pay taxes at the 80% rate. The latter would be a clearly illegal, punitive law -- but the former would be allowed (or is being allowed now, at least) while accomplishing the exact same goal, penalizing some while privileging others.

A system of waivers from the basic law is no different than a system of legal burdens being legislated against specific named persons.

It's feudal. It's unconstitutional. It's bad law and bad policy, and it's time for the special Friends of Obama star chamber to be dismantled.
Emphasis in the original.
In short: Know your place, serf.

Philip Hamburger writing in the National Review has similar thoughts:

More seriously, it raises questions about whether we live under a government of laws. Congress can pass statutes that apply to some businesses and not others, but once a law has passed — and therefore is binding — how can the executive branch relieve some Americans of their obligation to obey it?

Turns out this has a history one that dates to the Middle Ages.... familiar.

As it happens, waivers have a history. In the Middle Ages, the pope granted waivers, known as dispensations, and English kings soon followed suit. Technically, these grants relied on what were called  “non obstante clauses” — clauses in which the king specified that, notwithstanding a particular law, the recipient of the grant could do  as he pleased. Supplementing this dispensing power was the suspending power. Whereas a dispensation waived compliance with a statute for a particular individual or corporation, a suspension waived compliance for everyone.

Related to the feudal idea of privilege: that is special laws for me but not for thee. “Do government officials and members of the media actually believe that the law is really meant to protect some but not others?”

Via Glen

And speaking of Glen here's more. Citizen Activist presents traffic plan; plan is too good; acitivst annoys government; activist gets hit with “practicing engineering without a license.”

As Glen says: "Stay in your place, proles, and don’t challenge your betters."

Literally, that's what the accusation is:

Cox has not been accused of claiming that he is an engineer. But Lacy says he filed the complaint because the report "appears to be engineering-level work" by someone who is not licensed as a professional engineer.

And on a related note, the White House had decided to ignore yet another court order telling them to stop.

It used to be that there was at least the pretense of a rule of law, that everyone was accountable to the law... but what do you expect when you have a political class that recoils at the mere reading of the Constitution.