Friday, December 24, 2010
Just because you've got zombies...
I guess the 50's would have made it through a zombie outbreak pretty well.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
The perfect image to remember of ‘our’ federal government: ‘a large black, . . . creature with churning metal teeth and the shape of a cockroach spliced with a frog” there to take away your property.’”
It's the whole fantastical notion of destroying an item to prevent a behavior, bearing the same rationality as eating the heart of an animal to gain its courage.
Taranto says ‘Nothing says Christmas like taking away a child’s treasured toy and destroying it.’”
And after linking to several young woman shooters, Glen Reynolds quips:
And this is why I’m not worried about America, long-term. There are the people traumatizing their kids by grinding up their toy guns in a hideous monster, and there are the people teaching their daughters to shoot. I know who I’m betting on, long-term.
One culture is teaching responsibility, self-defense, and reliance, the other... isn't.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Let's see what they do...
It does provide all the public assistance that it can afford (and more that it borrows for), and apparently waives enforcement of most of California’s burdensome regulations and civic statutes that increasingly have plagued productive citizens to the point of driving them out. How odd that we overregulate those who are citizens and have capital to the point of banishing them from the state, but do not regulate those who are aliens and without capital to the point of encouraging millions more to follow in their footsteps. How odd — to paraphrase what Critias once said of ancient Sparta — that California is at once both the nation’s most unfree and most free state, the most repressed and the wildest.Read it all.
On a related note here's BlogProf's view on Detroit.
Funny how everytime the Left gets total power over an area it decays into a corrupt, impoverished, crime-riddled, wasteland overseen by a bloated state that is only effective at hasseling the law-abiding and productive. But I suppose that's what happens if you take the Welfare-State, identity poltics, and union graft to their end run.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
In the spirit of Bobbi's great post on this subject.
And that is how far we've come. Cutting-edge machining work in Babbage's day, children's toys in our day. Heck, the thing could've been built that way in the 1920s or 1930s.
And here's something a mite older than Babbage's creation:
Saturday, December 11, 2010
And Jim Geraghty realizes the strangeness of the Right having to chastize a democrat openly swearing at Obama in an aside: "(How did it come to the point where we have to be the ones to demand that?)"
He also realizes that once the Left turned on Hillary Clinton they crossed a major Rubicon, anything anyone will be dumped if it got in the way of the Cause. Even Mr Unicorn himself. What's strange is how open their bile is.
And speaking of Clintons... guess who Obama got to do a press conference with him, and then kept doing it after Obama left.
So Obama descided to borrow a term from baseball? Are we looking at a Releif President?
And how's that for Mr. New politics, the man who ran against Washington establishment and Clintonian triangulation (in addition to running against Bush). He makes his primary rival his Sec State, and then he makes the previous Dem-President into... puppet President?
And from Hotair being president is hard.
The leader of the free world brought his predecessor onto the stage to pull his chestnuts out of the fire — and he’s not interested enough to stick around? The Christmas party took precedence over spending a few minutes with Clinton to pitch his own deal? Michelle wouldn’t have understood if he, er, did his job?
How important is this deal to Obama? Less than a Christmas party and dealing with his spouse’s irritation. The picture on the front page says it all — he’s diminishing into a background player in his own presidency, largely because he just can’t be bothered to do any lifting for himself.
Who would have thought that Obama would be a work-shirking, responsibility-ducking, thin-skinned, hard-leftist. Oh, wait...
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
But it is an amazing feeling knowing you're helping another human being, and it's heartwarming to know you're appreciated in return.
On a tangent here's some very cute dogs eating cabbage.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Truly, we are a nation of Laws and not Men
If the US passes a law that then requires the government to issue over two hundred waivers in the first few months to avoid disastrous consequences for enforcement, doesn’t that indicate a problem in the law itself?
Nahhhh. What's wrong with giving exemptions to this great reform? It's not like it serves as mass cronyism or a way to bribe people with immunity to follow the very laws they're forcing the rest of us to adhere to.
It's just like the President said: If you like your insurance, and you have the ability to lobby the Administration for a special indulgence, you can keep it.
Kimbers and the Power of Marketing.
Kimber is basically ridding it's past reputation and only makes cosmetic upgrades to their weapons and they're quite overpriced.
Which is why I have only bought used and plain ones. I do like Kimber and I'll admit much of that is inherited fanboyism, as my father has a Custom I.
But since so many have been sold, and often sold to people with more money than sense you can pickup one used at a good price if you keep looking.
Also as a lefty I prefer their ambi safety and how it's retained. But that you can order and put into any 1911.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Was out for both desktop and laptop, had a strange area of sites that were down and loss of functionality. First new sites would not work, then everything but messanging and ftp was down, then it was just ftp, then it was everything. Then ftp and google came back, but google was only for one tab.
Needless to say nothing I tried actually did anything, and it took a while for me to get my engineer urges of "fix and win" down to where I could give up and read instead (Shane by Jack Schaefer, very classic end there). On the upside I didn't actually loose any sleep over it.
And turns out it was something I couldn't acutally fix.
The Chicago Sun-Times says that this outage hit the Chicago- region, Northwest Indiana, parts of Michigan and Minnesota and began about 1930 CST and was fixed a little after midnight.
Ah well, will post the chapters a bit later tonight. And the breaded wing recipe hinted at here.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
If President Obama has shown himself to be disappointing, Hillary has not exactly covered herself in glory. But it is the contrast between their previous bluster and the present result which is so ludicrous. Here was the team that was going to restore America’s standing among allies; going to ‘end things where they began in Afghanistan’; begin a new era of engagement in the Middle East; prosecute terrorists in court to show moral superiority; create “a world without nuclear weapons”, dismantle “unproven missile defenses”; make the oceans fall; bring prosperity to America and solve health care. And to do this they had the smartest woman in the world at State; huge majorities in the Senate and House.
And all they have to show for it are a few ripped up tickets, some smudged receipts and a few giveaways from a box of crackerjacks. That and pie in their face.
Now the Republic’s enemies must be asking themselves: where is the bottom to these people’s incompetence? Can they do anything at all? How safe is it to rush ahead? Why don’t we try?
Remember, Obama's bulster on all his domestic solutions? Any bets that those plans will be anymore competent? Interesting times.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
And More Nano
Chapters 3 and 4 have been updated with versions that have fewer boneheaded typos.
And chapters 5 and 6 have been posted.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Related is this thought by Robb Allen
Why it was so horrible that Bush wanted trained FBI agents who were required to get warrants first to listen in to phone conversations of suspected terrorists*, but it’s perfectly reasonable for some high school dropout to fondle a 3 year old girl’s privates?
Hell, I’m missing Bush simply because if he were in office, the leftists would be screaming for this shit to stop toute de suite and I’d be there right along with them. As it is, even feminists are champing at the bit (that was for you, Laughingdog ;) to get violated in the name of political correctness.
Yeah.... The first paragraph reminds me of this bit by Chris Matthews:
Generally speaking, the American right wing is pretty tough on law and order, and if a cop wants to stop a guy and frisk him, you’ve never had a problem with that on the right. Ever. Now you have a problem with people being scanned on airplanes. Why is there a big difference?
So either he's thinks the Right is a okay with letting the Police give random people off the street friskings? Or is he deliberately clouding the difference between a cop frisking a person before arresting them and other actions? Or maybe he thinks that fliers should be treated the same way as suspected criminals being put into police custody.
I guess flying is just like being placed into a governmental holding facility against your will. Good to know.
That is something that really cheeses me, these supposedly moral, intelligent, and oh so nuanced lefties confounding vastly different ideas of governmental power and responsibility.
They'll scream at Bush, but so many of will then line up about the patriotic duty to obey the TSA and not make waves.
Flying is not the same as being arrested. Flying is not the same as being put under warranted-obtained surveillance.
Think about how sad it is that this has to actually be said.
Not all actions of the state are equally legitimate. And their legitimacy is not dependant on the party of the man in the big chair.
You know what they call people who think that anything the state does is Ipso facto legitimate and good, provided the correct Party is doing it?
Oh and the TSA? It might not be just for flying anymore.
Don't you feel safe now?
And it's all about feeling safe.
Thus for determined and well organized terrorists, there are more vulnerable areas to get a bomb onto an aircraft than via a passenger. These more vulnerable areas are given less attention partly because they are less visible, and thus provide less visibility for politicians seeking to demonstrate that they are ‘doing something’ about airline security.
Emphasis added. Security. Theatre.
And like much of what the pols do, it gives the appearance of "doing something" while lining their pockets and increasing their power over you.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
What the .gov considers a bad thing:
The fact that TSA clearly regards this as a bad thing — that it regards an unquestioning citizenry as an asset in a struggle against people who want to kill us for, among other things, being the sort of folks who question things — illustrates how completely loathsome and moronic the government’s approach to security is.
This shows that the TSA is merely a symptom of greater goverment growth and control. Think of all the other areas where those in power would just wish that the rabble would shutup, stop questioning, and get in line.
Expanded on here:
The purpose of Security Theater is to convince us that the government can do something and is doing something, and most importantly to make us accept “unquestioning compliance” with government as an American value. The purpose of Security Theater is to normalize submission. But “unquestioning compliance” is not an American value. Quite the contrary.
Paying high taxes is patriotic, at a certian point you've made enough money, you don't need to own a "military style gun", you need to buy the health insurance we tell you to buy, you need a cell-phone jammer in your car, and so on.
And of course these rules and regulations and submissions are for the little people, those in charge get handy waivers.
The wording gives him away: he fears the machines. He thinks if all those baddies had was a pack of sparklers and a few five-gallon cans of gasoline, or a double-bitted axe or a pitcher of koolaid and and a can of drain cleaner, or even an SUV, nothing bad could possibly have happened. He believes objects have volition. Presumably, were he ever to go mad and murder 37 grade-school children with a 12" #2 Philips screwdriver, it would be the "Craftsman assault driver" that did the killing while the man himself looked on in horror, a helpless tool of the tool. Mmm-hmm.
This while good is not the topper line.
For that we to to the footnote:
Mind you, I find these handguns unaesthetic. They're ugly. They're in-between things of no particular utility -- but if we banned things on the basis of ugliness and relative uselessness, there's a whole lot of people who'd never be allowed out of the house.
Though I wouldn't give the gun banners too many ideas. If they move from restricting items capriciously and oppressively to restricting people in much the same way. It's not like the government has grown in intrusiveness and inanity in the things it tells you to do...
Then again when you deny the human actor in violence and blame it on the tool how much can you really value human will and self determination?
The whole point of the gun banners is that Joe Citizen can't be trusted.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Meanwhile here's the site.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Looking towards 2012
Though I think Smith Comma John will just exacerbate the whole Birther thing.
Meet Andrew Traver
And let's go through the list.
Chicago crony? Check
For "limit[ing] the sale of multiple handguns"? Check
For banning private person to person gun sales? Check
Which is also removing the "gun show loophole" so double Check.
For "Congress enact[ing] an effective ban on military-style assault weapons"? Check
For "an effective ban on .50-caliber sniper rifles"? Check again.
Ties with the of the Joyce foundation? Again Check
Notes from here.
Some more basic info here.
And a more detailed bio here.
This'll be a confirmation hearing to watch. And a man and an agency to keep a real eye on.
Link walk started by the prof.
Edit: Am I surprised? Not really, this is the kind of guy that Obama'd pick. I am a bit interested that he picked the guy now. I guess such a confirmation would be damaging during the election season. Lame duck time?
Peons and Servants
Commenting here Tam wins: “I was unaware that I had asked to be governed, public servant.”
The problem is never with the leftist brain-trust trying to run our lives, no it's with the uppity peons. If only the government had more power, if only Obama had more staff (what dozens of new czars wasn't enough?), if only you stupid rubes would just shut up and let the government help you.
On a related note the administration found another way to "govern".
They want to mandate cell phone jammers in all new cars... for the children of course. Never mind the issues of constitutionality, enforceability, or even base functionality (how does the jammer know to jam only the driver's phone? Or is it illegal to use a cell phone anywhere near a car inside or outside). And then there's that the whole "distracted divers" plague is greatly exaggerated.
I know, government overstating a problem in order to justify some crackpot liberty lessening scheme. Shocking.
And if you have a real problem with the government doing this, well, just get a waiver. Then the law won't apply to you.
"Can you and I get waivers from Obamacare? No! But big companies, big unions, and big universities can."
Well, okay then, just make sure you work for or are a member of one of these groups.
Remember to be among those that govern. Because you don't want to be among the governed.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Reform, like rules and taxes, are for the little people.
Founded in 2002, the New England Healthcare Institute – known as NEHI – is a nonprofit, independent health policy institute dedicated to transforming health care for the benefit of patients and their families.
So an institute dedicated to finding ways to reform the health care system had to apply for an exemption from the administration’s reforms to the health care system?
Lovely. Well in all fairness, NEHI is all about transforming healtcare for all you rubes, why should their plans have to change? It's not like Congress or the President have to follow the rules of Ocare, why should their water-carriers?
Oh and don't worry about people who lobbied for "Reform" being rewarded by the administration, even if that reward is an exemption from said reform.
Friday, November 12, 2010
What do I mean by those terms? Non-repeatable is when you cannot go back and measure it again. Unlike measuring the deflection in a piece of steel or capturing a fish from a given area, temperature data is time sensitive. If you want to know the temperature in Oxnard at 14:54 March 2nd 2004 then you've got one chance to do it.
Oxnard fits into the second point, representative. All instruments only record a small area, relative to the actual medium being tested. It's like having a thermometer in your house, it does not record the temperature of the entire house, just the immediate area where it is located.
Hence the location is vital. Put it close to a radiator and it'll be warmer, in the freezer much colder, and so on. Hence when recording temperatures over a long period the integrity of the recording station is vital.
Since one small instrument is often used to represent the temperature of a vast area a small change in location or ambient conditions can create the illusion of a global change (would you think your house is on fire because your thermometer is reading your oven temp?).
The example is not as ludicrous as it appears since much of the global warming claims depend on variations on less than the order of individual degrees.
Doug Ross shows just where these probes are placed.
Also moving the amount of shade a probe gets will dramatically affect the temperature, as will the kind of probe and even the methods of averaging. The uncertainty analysis of global temperature data must be exceptionably laughable.
And even with the existing data how about comparing "human emissions (the alleged cause) and temperature (the alleged effect)?" Nahhh...
This doesn't even mention the lack of experimental verification or variation, the incredibly small time scale of "valid" data, the attempts of "scientists" to obfuscate their methods and hide raw data, and that coincidentally every solution of global warming involves the same type of big government mass industrial control.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Things I'd never imagined...
On the other hand he didn't say "The game is a foot," so that wins.
Have managed to keep up the pace so that's good, but it does take alot of work.
Meanwhile here's somethng to read until I get some chapters cleaned enough to put online.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Second: corp money? Yes. Apparently it is the intention of the Republicans — I’m sorry, Repukes, to use the technical term — to put CORP MONEY into the college system. Cons are just aslosh with CORP MONEY; bags are dropped off every morning along with the milk and newspapers. They’ll have to do something with it. But of course they won’t! They’ll hang on to the CORP MONEY so they can fund another election, where they will run on grinding the poor and the sick into a grey, nutritious slurry that will be fed to genetically modified pigs."
Then I scrolled up and saw who wrote it. James Lileks. Cool to see him writing there.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
That, is what entitlement looks like. A politician that goes ballistic over having to run for what we used to call public service. Consider it, if they're this angry at having a slight treat to their power, how entitled will they be when it comes to exercising that power?
No wonder they think they can run our lives better than we can.
As always, Reynolds has the best advice:
But Frank’s childish behavior provides a good lesson in how to deal with the political class. Mock them, and don’t treat them with the respect they — wrongly — feel is their due. They’re not used to being challenged. Keep it up, and odds are they’ll either quit, or embarrass themselves fatally.
That's why if you find yourself near a politician, record everything.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
But I think there’s another explanation for Islam’s appearance and it’s much simpler: Stewart and Colbert are dumb and uniniformed. Although they pretend to be more, they are just mildly talented entertainers with the depth of a petri dish who rely on their writers to stoke them with material and ideas. And no one told them Cat Stevens supported killing a fellow artist merely for exercising free expression. And unlike many of you, they simply didn’t know themselves. They thought he was, you know, just a peaceful ex-hippie dude who went Islamic spiritual instead of zen. (Okay, that irritated some people, but so what? It would be nice to see them squirm.)
But Palin, the Tea Partiers, and you flyover country folks are the real rubes. Rubes in need of correcting. Simon continues
Of course these are the supposedly “cool” leaders of the liberal or progressive, call-it-what- you-want, movement right now. They are above the fray, smarter than the rest of us, and anxious to return us all to sanity.
Sanity is ignorance I guess.
Speaking of that... Charlie Martin uses his tricky evil math to figure out how many people showed up, and counter some laughable, feel-good, estimates on the part of the Mass Media. http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/so-how-much-sanity-was-there-in-d-c-yesterday/
The Beck rally covered roughly 2.4 million square feet and by AirPhotosLive’s own photographs large parts of that area were packed as densely as any overhead picture of Stewart/Colbert. The Stewart/Colbert rally had, at most, about 6/10th the space — 1.62 million square feet vs. 2.4 million. For it to have had that many people [215,000 by their estimate versus the 87,000 they said for Beck], they would have had to be packed about 6.7 times more densely than the densest parts of the Beck crowd.
Mean old math.
And from the comments... this bit of PJM policy is brilliant. Some sock-puppeteer (same comments as Chris, John, ect) complains about censorship. Martin's response?
No, you’re just an idiot who didn’t read the line “your comment is awaiting moderation” when you posted the first time. Luckily, PJM has a policy of allowing repetitious comments that complain about being censors, so when you make a fool of yourself it’s visible to everyone.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
When [PJTV’s Washington Bureau ]Pollock said that he’d be fine with filming not on the press riser, [Comedy Central’s senior vice president of corporate communications] Albani said that filming would be “strictly prohibited” between 3rd and 7th streets on the National Mall (ground zero for the event).
There's a few problems with this: legally, optically, and logistically.
It this were a private venue then sure Comedy Central could ban almost anything they wanted (like who can get into their press risers), but since this is on the National Mall I am quite sure they don't have the authority to do that.
Even if they did the optics of it are hilarious. Beck didn't care who was recording his rally. How come the hipper more liberal rally is more squeamish with press and recording than that paranoid reactionary? Is blocking out public recording part of restoring sanity?
And finally how is Comedy Central going to enforce this? Hire guards, fence in the area and inspect everyone coming in? Portable cameras are ubiquitous, cheap, and can freely broadcast. Trying to stem them is quite difficult. Why even try?
PJTV's response is the right one, be polite, then when the other side gets nutty, shrug and assert your rights. PJTV will be there and they will record the event.
Read the whole article. It's a strange, counterproductive move on Comedy Central's part. At the end there's a reproduction of the Albani/Pollock exchange so if it is all a joke it's a strange one.
"Hatchet-faced nutmeg dealer"
Maybe we should go back to the old politics. The attacks leveled were far more fun.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Men In Black.
Or as Goldberg puts it: "Why wasn’t Assange garroted in his hotel room years ago? It’s a serious question."
He then goes into the entertainment and popular visions of the inteligence community. Given the myths surrounding the governmental and corporate "shops" he asserts that if those myths were even remotely true, "Assange, super-whistle-blower of the international Left, would be a greasy stain on the autobahn already."
It's true, Assange is exactly the kind of person that would end up being dead in the opening scene thus providing the motivation for the protagonist to go down the rabbit hole and uncover the conspiracy.
And no he doesn't want Assange killed, me neither he's just illustrating the point that if this were like the movies or books he'd already be dead.
Of course, life isn't fiction, and as Goldberg points out the web being what it is, Assange could be killed and wikileaks could have the plug pulled and it wouldn't make much different.
This isn't to say that there aren't spooks out there and that they don't bump off "troublesome" people. Georgi Markov's a prime counterexample to that.
But it does show that fantasy isn't reality and that there's probably not a secret FDA shop that's running the government.
A correction, and why criticism is good.
Here is a counter point. If I'm not presuming too much here.
After thinking about it I came to the conclusion: I was wrong, simplistic and wrong.
Yes, one can make the slippery slope argument that restricting 2nd amendment is like restricting 1st amendment, but that ignores that there is a slope. It ignores that there are degrees.
It would be like confusing Jim Crow with Slavery. Just because both are bad does not mean both are the same.
There is a difference between the government oppressing a person because of who they are versus oppressing them for what they do.
Just because both are bad does not make them both the same, and it is dishonest and insulting to presume and pretend that they are.
That's like saying income taxes are like rounding up the cattle cars.
So for this I apologize. I know I don't have many readers, but it is nice to know that I will get warnings when I go off the deepend.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Fines and Fees and Poll Taxes
These people just don’t get it. What if you had to pay a fine to be a practicing Jew, Muslim, or Christian? What if the neighbors wanted zoning to keep Jewish Delis and the residences of homosexuals more than one mile from all schools? Feelings are only loosely correlated with reality.
This doesn't even touch the idea of the government capriciously and near randomly denying people to practice despite having filled out the forms and paid their jizya.
Edit: Yeah... this crossed the line. It's not the same, there's a similarity but it's not the same level of state control. /Edit
Bluntly put, May-Issue is giving the state the power to deny a fundamental numerated right on a default. You have to prove to them that you deserve it. And a May-Issue CCW permit is the only way to legally own a handgun in New York State.
Unless you happen to work for the state. And if you're connected -well- that's why the May in May-Issue allows for broad discretion on the part of the state.
But the rest of you serfs better buck up and stay in line.
Note this is a major reason why it will be a long time before I consider moving back to New York (taxes, incompetent government, and dearth of jobs aside). I have some very good friends in the Buffalo area, but I have a hard time abiding by living in such an environment.
It's a good place to visit, which was a pleasure over the weekend, but I feel somewhat naked whenever I go, now.
Two From Ed Morrissey
Obama may be the only President in American history who claimed not to have been able to pass major agenda items because he only has a 77-seat majority in the House and an 18-seat majority in the Senate. That strongly suggests that either the agenda itself was the problem, or the President involved was an incompetent. I’d say — both.
Also feeding the incompetence and bad agenda idea, how doe Obama try to sell Obamacare? Well... by saying it's like Social Security. Sure it will start out one way, but its just a framework and will grow in scale and scope.
Huh. Morrissey again:
If you want to sell ObamaCare to a deeply skeptical public, is Social Security the best example Obama has? It may have started out as a “widows and orphans” fund, but it rapidly turned into a Ponzi scheme that is now running monthly cash deficits, thanks to a historic lack of workers per beneficiary. It’s part of a gigantic entitlement catastrophe that is rapidly approaching, and which will require serious change and downscaling in one way or another if the US is to avoid getting swamped by its own debt and unfunded liabilities.
Actually, the better analogy is Medicare, not Social Security. Originally targeted at a small group of beneficiaries, the program grew into a massive insurance program for all Americans that has an even worse financial foundation than Social Security.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
What fascinates us about the John Frum movement and cargo cults in general is that the cultists had no idea where “cargo” comes from, and assumed it must be created magically and sent by spirits or deities. They had no conception what the world was like outside their island, or that there even was a world outside their island.
So, instead of figuring out how to generate cargo — or wealth in our terminology — themselves, the Tannans wait for a messianic figure to arrive and rain riches down upon them as a reward for their piety.
Guess just guess what Zombie is talking about?
Here's another hint:
John Frum is the son of God, but he’s not Jesus. He’s a black Melanesian, but sometimes a white man – or, according to others, a black American GI. He’s a kastom messiah, come to turn the people of Tanna back to their old ways before the missionaries – but he’s also a universal avatar of change, a successor to Buddha or Jesus or Mohammed.
Ahhh, now it gets obvious.
Of course Obama didn't start this cargo cult, he's just the most visible headman. Much of goverment depends on giving people the "cargo" they've been waiting for. Speaking of waiting...
One of Obama’s most potent campaign slogans was “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” While many have since noted the not-so-hidden narcissistic megalomania encoded in the slogan — Obama was asking us to vote for him, after all, not for ourselves, so by “We are the ones” he really meant “I am the one” — but it was the second half of the sentence which disturbed me even more. “Waiting for”? The implication is that Americans have been pining for a messiah to rescue them, as if that was our default position. Waiting. Waiting.
I saw this as vaguely insulting, because plenty of Americans haven’t been waiting for anyone to do anything — we’ve gotten on with our lives, under our own steam. But then it hit me: a certain percentage of Americans — 52.9%, as it turned out — were indeed passively waiting for someone to come along and make things better, and by “make things better” they meant give me more stuff (“stuff” being the American translation for “cargo”). And that someone wasn’t John Frum — it was Barack Obama.
Read it all, there's some good news at the end.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Joe Huffman looks back and notices where things have gone.
It’s pretty amazing to think how much has changed in the last 10 years. And don’t forget it could have changed that much or more in the other direction. Think of the change in recreational drug use/tolerance from the early 70’s to the 80s’. Think of naked pictures of airplane passengers now versus 10 years ago. Think of Jews in Germany in 1930 versus 1940.
And speaking of things going south...
Harry Emerson Fosdick: Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have.
[I don’t think most people understand this. They see the little hazards of liberty and freedom like accidental gun shoot wounds and the occasional mass shootings and overlook the genocide enabled by prohibitions against the private ownership of firearms.
Utopists want the world to be perfect and see any imperfection as an affront. Toss in a myopia that focus on smaller events while ignoring the larger ones and that's what you get. Think of all the people that scream about evil corporations while ignoring the butcher's bill various governments have rung up.
What's worse is when you have someone who is enthralled with the coercive power of the state and dreams of all the wonderful things that could be done if the right people were in charge.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
"Hypocrisy is a force multiplier to ideological prejudice."
Here's where he talks about Juan Willians being fired by NPR.
Standard stuff, don't say things the libs won't like, don't go to places they don't like, and don't question them, unless you want to get fired or worse.
So Williams wakes up in the morning a respected journalist and goes to sleep a few hours later with the burden of proving that he is not a bigot, and not unhinged and not under medical care in the eyes of his employer, and not guilty of a litany of additional but unspecified crimes. All this comes from soft-spoken contemplative NPR, which prides itself in being the antithesis of intolerant shock-jock right-wing talk radio. Hypocrisy is again a force multiplier to ideological prejudice.
Isn’t the network that takes public money supposed to be the more tolerant? Is this a reflection of audience taste and assumptions: Fox knows its viewers don’t care whether liberal Williams works at a liberal network; NPR fears mightily that its intolerant audience can’t stand anyone who is associated with Fox?
Tolerance. As long as you don't rock the boat.
Notice that ideologue and partisan George Soros just offered NPR nearly $2 million to hire 100 reporters — and NPR accepted the gift. Would it have accepted money from, say, a more soft-spoken but conservative philanthropist such as Charles Koch who might target where NPR needed “help”? And, if it is a publicly funded agency, why do zillionaires have the right to donate and determine hiring for their pet causes? Maybe Bill Gates can offer to hire some IRS auditors, or Warren Buffet can fund a new branch of the SEC?
Good question. It's like NPR wants to have it both ways, screw the rules. Which is fitting, after all the greater good is more important and rules, like taxes are for little people.
Meanwhile, prominent Dems in entertainment and politics, even the Whitehouse are going after the idea that it's crazy to question the President's great plans and wonderful acomplishments.
Hmm... questioning Dear Leader being a symptom of insanity. That sounds... familiar.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Reality brings... cheer
Monty at Ace of Spaces has some sobering thoughts.
Half of the US population, in short, lives not by the fruits of their own toil but by the (coerced) charity of others, as filtered and distilled through the hand of the government. This can not -- it can not, by the laws of economics and simple physics -- continue. The mathematics of the problem trump even philosophical issues of fairness, of governance, of ethics or law. The mathematics simply will not allow it.
Consider the French. They are rioting over a proposal to raise the national age of retirement from 60 to 62. Germany's is 65 (going to 67) -- how happy will German workers be to subsidize the early retirements of their French neighbors? The French labor unions are on a rampage, denouncing the move as a violation of a "promise" the country made to the workers. (If this reminds you of California, New Jersey, New York, and Michigan -- well, the situations are closely analogous.) The word "promise" is illuminating: people have stopped thinking of social welfare as a "benefit" or a "perquisite", and have begun instead to think of it as a "right" or a "promise"... Reality will assert itself, one way or another.
Mean old reality and facts. It also gets into the falling birthrates and the question of immigration. Hmmm... familiar.
If the governments of the West have an excuse -- however weak and puling -- it is this: they meant well. It is not wrong to wish that every citizen have free health care, free food, free housing, and some money to spend even if they have no job. It's not wrong; it's just impossible. Health care is a service that has huge costs associated with it. These costs cannot be "magicked" away just because we find them inconvenient. Food must be grown, transported, packaged, and prepared -- all costs that must be accounted for. Shelter does not precipitate out of thin air.
But if we mean well then it has to work! Otherwise, well, it'd all be unfair!
I'm remined of this bit I saw on Robb Allen's blog where he gives up on a gun-banner due to her... specialness.
She doesn’t bring up any valid points, and is as lost as they get.
She believes it’s legal to sell guns to a felon because felons can get guns. Logic like that is impossible to argue against since you can only bring facts and logic is wasted on the illogical.
This also shows a naive and deluded trust in the power of the state and the compliance of the populace. It's very magical thinking, all that needs to be done to stop something is to pass a law and everyone will fall in line.
Just like how "free things are nice", people should get free things, therefore the goverment should and can give free things to people.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
A party like itself.
1773" would you screech about them being historically ignorant, given the declaration of independence was signed in 1776.
Or would you realize that maybe telling the Tea Party to not party refers to some other event in US history. Maybe something tea and party related. Maybe something that did happen in 1773. Nah... better to just assume Palin's a moron and try to revel in your own elite status.
Ed Driscoll asks: "Why don’t elites know their history — or at least how to use Google?"
Because they're so super-duper smart they knew Palin was being stupid and meant to talk about 1776 (again when the Declaration of Independence was signed, not when the rev war was won, or when the constitution was written or enacted).
And these are the goons that think they're so superior to you that they and their allies can and should run your life because you'll just screw it up.
As Rand often says: "I wouldn’t mind quite so much if they were really, you know, elite, instead of someone who managed to get a piece of paper from Harvard or Yale."
Though to be fair to brain trust behind this latest attack, Kos: Northern Illinois University (B.S.), Boston University School of Law (J.D.). But at least Kos hates the right people, and has "good" intentions so that's what counts.
Now shut up you mouth-breathing, American history-citing, gun-clinging, Hayek- reading ignorant hayseeds.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Mean old reality, Part XIX
Sold to the American public as “sort of God,” marketed as a political
savior of such extraordinary intelligence and giftedness that there
had simply never been anyone like him, Barack Obama so misrepresented himself that hundreds of pundits are still trying to make sense of what went wrong.
When reality met branding-myth, the whole thing fell apart.
Truth happened, you nitwits.
See previous Left views on how it's always failure to brand and label.
Tsk. Tsk. That would be one mighty big class action suit if
politicians had to follow the same credibility rules they set for
Hah! Imagine. Holding a monopolistic organization with legalized violence to the standard one holds a hotdog vendor.
Know what's racist now? Noting which border most of the people illegally entering the US use.
This is a typical leftist tactic, when faced with a reality they don’t want to acknowledge or be forced to defend the simply go on the offensive and charge ‘racism’. What racism exactly is never mentioned because it doesn’t exist and even if it did, the charge and change of subject is all they are ever really after in the first place.
Remember in the aftermath of 9/11 the image of the three firefighters raising an American flag over the rubble of the towers? When it came time to create a statue of that iconic image, the PC crew wanted to change the three white men into something more diverse, more inclusive, more untrue.
That same type of thinking is at work here. Reality doesn’t meet Serwer needs so he simply demands that it be changed. Are there Europeans and Asians and Africans who stay here illegally? Sure. Do some cross over a border? Probably, though most in those groups are people who come here legally and overstay their visas. But that’s inconvenient, so Serwer simply wants the world portrayed in a way that isn’t true but fits his narrative better. Failure to accommodate him is simply “RACISM!”.
Again. Reality == Meanie.
And speaking of lazy, incompetent, charges of racism...
On one level, as Douthat points out, this is a lesson about desperate liberals making up comforting myths. (”The Democrats are weeks away from a midterm thumping that wasn’t supposed to happen, and the liberal mind is desperate for a narrative, a storyline, something to ease the pain of losing to a ragtag band of right-wing populists.”) But it is also a cautionary tale about the willful ineptitude and outright laziness of the mainstream media.
A single intern did what not a single mainstream outlet, with collectively thousands of cameramen and reporters, refused to do: get the facts. The mainstream media eagerly recited false accounts of racial epithets but could not be bothered to do a systematic report on the Tea Partiers’ actual message.
But it's the rightwing that is anti-science and hung up on fantastical
delusions taken as faith.
Friday, October 15, 2010
"The only problem with that: facts."
It seems to me that, if I were president, and I not only staked vast swaths of my credibility but gambled the prosperity of the country generally on this concept of “shovel-ready jobs,” I might be a bit miffed with the staffers who swore that shovel-ready jobs were, like, you know, a real thing.
And yet, if you read Peter Baker’s Obama profile, it’s clear that Obama isn’t mad about that. In fact, he still thinks he got all the policies right. Baker writes that Obama is “supremely sure that he is right,” it’s just that the president feels he didn’t market himself
It's not about facts or results with Obama et al. as always it's about marketing and narrative.
As Goldberg says: "This is an old progressive lament: Our product is
perfect, we just didn’t sell it convincingly to the rubes."
And here's some more.
But wait a second. If they spent “much more time trying to get the
policy right,” how come nobody said, “Uh, Mr. President, these ‘shovel-ready jobs’ you keep talking about? They’re sort of like good flan — they don’t exist.”
Mean old logic. Why do facts have to get in the way of the earnest desire to do "good" and be glorified for it.
Repeated from an earlier comment: lacking experience in the real world is a source of pride for these "elites". As is the incomprehension of empirical arguments (Y has been tried in the past and has failed every time) or functional logic (if you make X more of a hassle you will get less of X). Most beam with never having to meet a budget, show a profit, or be measured by the real world.
It's akin to a dandy showing off his baby-soft hands to prove he's untainted by manual labor.
Speaking of a new aristrocracy, here's Bill Whittle:
Watch it all.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
And these people want to control your healthcare...
Organizing for America decided to put a big old list of names and phone numbers avaliable to -well- anyone.
This is a massive security problem for anyone whose name is on that list, which appears to include identified Democrats and Independents. And it’s caused by the Democrats and Organizing for America. With full names and phone numbers easily available, there’s probably enough there for identity thieves to go to work.
This is more boneheaded than anything else. And these clowns want more power? And think they can run your life better than you.
You don’t just let any person wander in off the street, rifle through your voter files and make calls on your behalf. But that’s just what the DNC and OfA are doing here. And these are people who want us to trust them with our health care?
Of course we've seen what such hubris brings.
Victor Davis Hanson notes:
Add all that to new health care and financial regulations, and the message is clear the American private sector is suspect rather than industrious and critical to our nation’s economic life. “At some point”, after Obama’s slurs against Fox, the Republican leadership, insurers, Wall Street, doctors, police, the people of Arizona, or opponents of the Ground Zero mosque, fairly or not, a lot of people
conclude that he does not like them or what they do or what they represent. So trillions of dollars in capital are waiting on the sidelines until November and proof that the Obama agenda is stalled. Even the SEIU or Nancy Pelosi cannot change that fact."
As Goldberg said in today's GoldBerg File (sorry email only)
Just for the record, a bunch of readers and a few commenters seem to think I am now an anti-elitist; I'm not. Never have been, never will be.
I'm anti-snobbery, anti-government meddling, anti-government condescension, anti-all number of things. But I'm not anti-elitist per se. I just don't like much of what passes for the current elite.
Yup. That these goobers are so inept makes their grubby power grabs all the more insufferable.
I'll end with this gem from VDH: "Hypocrisy is a force multiplier to paranoia."
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
According to this story out of Greece the the Benefits Division of the state insurance provider has decided not to provide special footwear to diabetic patients anymore since amputation is cheaper. But don't worry - under Obamacare if you like your foot, you'll be able to keep it. For now.
You gotta love State Healthcare. The goal of removing heartless capitalism from healthcare leads to even more impersonal, dehumanizing penny-pinching.
It's like trusting the State to be compassionate with monopolistic power over your body is a bad idea.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Here have something happy.
Via Cracked's ... 6 Things That Are Secretly Turning You Into A Bad Person
Dirty foreign-money threatening our lily-pure democratic process. And it's all being orchestrated by the sinister Chamber of Commerce and the (yes the) Gillespie.
That's right people, we have the CoC and their foreign hoard under the dark influence of Gillespie. A class 1 Gillespie threat.
Back to reality... Why yes, this was a charge being leveled by the same folks that consider that Arizona law as akin to a new apartheid.
Anyway, CNN was on this morning and Mien Gott, the sycophantic faux (maybe I hope too much) paranoia was in full display. They were gleefully pounding the meme of shadowy billionaires, foreigners, and fringe kooks spending millions to "influence elections". The perky blonde teleprompter-reader was breathless about how these organizations dared to claim the legal limit of privacy for their donors.
Towards the end they decided that their subtext was too subtle and spelled out their idea: "These scary Republican groups can spend millions in secret because the law allows them too." Gee...
And at the very end the fig leaf of impartiality. "We'll note that all the organizations we talked about today were republican ones, and that there are Democratic ones trying to fight their influence, but they don't have the millions the republicans do." Really.
I guess the Soros constipation or Organizing for America or the Obama Administration itself couldn't be reached. Then again Soros has taken his ball home for this round at least.
Gerghty looks at the mind-blowing hypocrisy of it all.
By one count, $63 million came to Obama from foreign sources. Even if that figure is exaggerated tenfold, this is still a big deal. It’s not only hypocritical for President Obama, of all figures, to suddenly thunder about the menace of sinister foreign money helping the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; in 2008, we had actual evidence of foreign money ending up in Obama campaign coffers.
He sums with: "This is like Al Capone accusing Eliot Ness of being a
But as John Pitney points out, the Left has been searching for a new enemy to fill Bush's shoes all year.
It's been an amusing and increasingly inane list: Limbaugh, Roberts, Boehner, Fox, Rove, Gillespie, Koch, Hayek, Kosh, Ryan, Bonaparte, Hotchkiss, and the Chamber of Commerce. I may have embellished a bit towards the end.
Pitney nails is: "If the person next to you in the subway or
supermarket line is muttering about “the Gillespie threat,” avoid eye contact and step away quickly."
The phrase is so ludicrous I'm thinking of making "Gillespie threat" a term in this year's NaNoWM project.
At Ace of Spades there's a full list of scapegoats and bogymen. It's... impressive.
What can you expect from an administration that considers Doctors part of an organ harvesting cartel and the Chamber of Commerce a grave threat. Keep punching down chief.
Hugh Hewitt is gobsmacked that this, this is their October surprise (or at least one of them).
And today Gibbs doubles down calling the Chamber of Commerce a "“threat to the democracy we have in this country."
But it's the right wing that's the fear-mongers.
And Dana Perino questions the timing:
With all of the mudslinging at American corporations in the last several days (conveniently timed to be a bright shiny object to draw attention away from last Friday’s dismal jobs report), it’ll be fun to watch how the Democrats contort themselves to convince us that no, they really, really do support the businesses in America. Now this I gotta see.
Anyway... speaking of presidential enemies... A reader writes to Jay Nordlinger:
I didn’t vote for George W. Bush either time . . . But one thing seems to draw little comment: He was subjected to the most intense and odious opprobrium in my lifetime, substantially worse than that flung at Nixon. There were the most vicious and vile accusations. And I cannot recall one instance where Bush lashed back or replied in kind.
Nordlinger replies: "Well, that’s the belligerent, crude cowboy for you."
Nordlinger has a whole piece on our graceless Dear Leader.
I'll finish with Victor Davis Hanson:
When the history of this administration is written, a key theme will be the abyss between the hope-and-change, across-the-aisle rhetoric and the almost gratuitous way Obama has caricatured his supposed opponents. The current “don’t make me look bad”/“like a dog” psychodrama follows attacks of various sorts on Arizonans, Wall Street, opponents of the Ground Zero mosque, insurers, police, doctors, and anyone above the hated $250,000 income level."
Edit: One more bit. Ed Morrissey talks about David Zurawik's comments on the latest DNC ad which claims the Gillespie threat is "stealing democracy".
Zurawik is unimpressed and claims it's McCarthist, lacking in any evidence, and the "politics of fear".
Morrissey has more:
Zurawik, though, comes closer to the point. It’s not just “Democrats” who are demanding that the Chamber of Commerce prove itself innocent. It’s the executive branch of the American government demanding it, including its two top officers, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. They have publicly accused the Chamber of illegal operations without a shred of evidence, basing their official actions on an unsubstantiated allegation from John Podesta at the Center for American Progress. That is nothing short of an attempt by this administration to intimidate its political opponents into silence.
That is an unconscionable affront to the rule of law, and it reeks of the McCarthyism that the Left supposedly reviles. Without a public price paid for this attack on dissent from the highest offices in the government, this will become the norm and we will be less free as a result.
Bannnnnannaaaa Republic! Emphasis in original. Really do you expect any respect for the rule of law or limits to govermental power from this crowd?
Nice to see that the Left will throw all their values out the window when there's an election to save. Way to make the Stupid party look like they've got integrity .
Saturday, October 9, 2010
"Free prize inside."
This isn't meant as a utilitarian argument; the best possible defense of freedom of conscience in matters of religion is that it's not only repugnant to attempt to police the contents of people's minds, it is ultimately impossible. It is a nice side-effect that, if you leave people's beliefs be, there's often a free prize inside.
The counter argument is utilitarian (for varying definitions of "utility"): a person's conscious and actions have to be controlled, guided, or nudged. Otherwise results that are aesthetically unpleasing, unfair, or sub-optimal will come up.
Though for a religion to really mess things up they need to be hitched with a State. Hmm... maybe that's why it's part of the First. Though I suppose that's an axiom right there. "For X to really mess things up, they need the power of the State."
I'm reminded of this Glen Reynolds quip: "Those dangerous libertarians — they want to take over the government, and then leave you alone!"
For many, the idea of government leaving people alone is dangerous. Me, I'd prefer the robber barons, at least they just want money.
And a quote fresh today from Prof. Reynolds:
I don’t like this fatalistic attitude: “This is something that we’re going to have to live with for a while.” I miss the days when scientists told us we didn’t have to live with things like bloodsucking parasites.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Via Hot air.
I love the bit at the end when the guy gets his candybar slapped away.
Though goverment would never be so petty and controling? Right?
Heh, we all know the answer to that one, if they can regulate any economic decision you make then they gan regulate anything you do.
Yeah, that’s the greater worry, I think — that if we’re all necessarily “active” in health-care commerce at all times, theoretically there’s no limit to what sort of further activity can be mandated in the interest of spreading costs. Can the overweight man or woman be forced to diet because he/she is more likely to need medical services? Presumably that would be dealt with via higher insurance premiums, but we all know only too well already that federal pressure on insurers to keep premiums down will create all sorts of inefficiencies, which is where we get into ye olde rationing problem. Simple question: What’s the limiting principle on this decision? Would the feds be barred from penalizing people for failing to maintain, say, a certain BMI target because of the right of privacy or bodily autonomy, etc? Or would they not be barred at all? Where does this end?
And it's starting with Nanny Bloomberg's idea for some fun new food stamp restrictions.
But don't worry soon we'll all be on the gov dole for our food. If not directly then indirectly because they'll be paying for our health.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Newsradio back on the air.
But you can watch most of the series on Hulu.
It's been years since I watched the show, but recalled enjoying it a lot when it came out in the mid 90's. It's still enjoyable, but the laugh track really grates now.
What really struck out was how different of a world the series was set in.
The tech changes are some of the biggest stuff: cell phones were rare, the internet was known but just for geeks, payphones were common. It's an interesting situation because it's on the threshold of a lot of the long tail tech that's around today.
More sticking is how news has changed. Newsradio was centered around the fictional WNYX, New York City's #2 News station. So, the show was set in the news world and had fun lampooning it.
Which makes the changes so stark: CNN respected, Dan Rather frequently mentioned and as a laudable impressive giant, no Fox News, no blogs, no Drudge, and the financial death spiral of the news was limited to a few companies that had botched their budgets.
Speaking of CNN here's a brief bit on how bad that network has been.
Even in the 90's .
Also what's interesting is that there's sense of worship or water carrying for leftist politicians, no desire to go out and "get" ones on the right.
Again I'll stress there's no desire to build a narrative to correct "social justice". On the whole the show is remarkably free of lefist hectoring and needling. They mock of ideas like smoke free offices.
Mist importantly there's an overall sense of fun. The show had fun with the characters
and itself. Unlike a lot of shows these days, even comedies alas, it was not weighted down with self-importance. And this was set in a station that was #2 in the NYC and was awash in industry awards, so it was hardly portrayed as some fringe operation.
Could a show like this be made in these days?
Well, in the mid-90's a show about a news station in Manhattan was pretty much a-political. It also showed newscasters as paranoid, ignorant, ego-driven talking heads with little actual ability to generate their own stories, and were only good at sounding "legitimate". Their reporters were either neurotic wonks, incompetent spastics, insane blowhards, or immature empty-suits. And yet, as previously mentioned they were quite legitimate.
Today would a TV show so openly mock the world of news?
Or how about a show that portrays a ruthless, unapologetic, billionaire
businessman constantly acquiring new companies as one of the saner, and
sensible characters, who is beloved by his staff.
Would that exist these days? Jimmy James doesn't even have the fig-leaf of supporting "correct" causes. His only entry into politics was part of a scam to find a wife.
I'm having fun watching it, and taking interest in it as a time capsule.
Friday, October 1, 2010
More thoughts on 10:10
But everyone that that refused to comply was killed. So the people that got bloody and were horrified by it were those that had already agreed to go along with the program.
The secondary message is clear: “You are alive, but only because you toe the line. The second you fail to comply, it’ll be your blood splattered on everyone.”
The Greens: Agree with us or we'll kill you.
weapon-phobic they ban their own knights from owning swords.
Now their green movement has released a star-studded advert proposing killing those that don't tote the green line.
Edit: I'll add a graphic tag. The explosion itself isn't that graphic but the messy, chunky aftermath is.
I love how the hippy-dippy teacher tries to sound nice and reasonable and "come on let's all save the world it'll be fun", and then remorselessly murders the all the children that don't comply.
Edit: also the blatant lies of "No problem, no pressure, your choice."
That's the message: comply or die.
What makes this fascinating is that the people who produce this dreck have no clue as to just how far removed they have become from normal human sensibilities, or at least they didn’t until the video began provoking the fully-predictable reaction. They have become so wrapped up in Gaia that they seem to have little connection to humanity.
At least here the mask is off. "With No Pressure, the environmental movement has revealed the snarling, wicked, homicidal misanthropy beneath its cloak of gentle, bunny-hugging righteousness."
And not very far beneath either.
There's a certian honesty to their murderous and totalitarian aims. Kind of like the Audi Green Police ad. Where the titular Green Police could condut warentless searches, do mass checkpoint, detain people without arresting them, and eliminated all privacy in order to make sure you were complying with "green law". At least Audi wasn't directly endorsing such a police state, they merely stated that their car would make collaboration easy.
Ace looks on the bright side.
I don't think they should apologize at all. I think they should be
applauded for an honest and forthright statement of their beliefs... people are the problem and those who stand in the way of 'progress' will be removed.
This isn't anything new, progressive and totalitarian regimes have been doing killing their enemies (in propaganda and in fact) for years. Once you've identified those who are responsible for all the ills befalling everyone else, it's only logical that the state be empowered to remove them.
Better to have it on the table than not.
Once again, this demonstrates that the best way to find out what a leftist is really thinking is to pay attention to what they accuse the right of doing. People on the left never tire of accusing the right of fear mongering and creating enemies. Yet here we have a clear picture of who environuts think are the true enemy...kids who won't get with the program.
Just for fun, do you think they could have gotten a guy like Curtis or all those celebrities to participate in a video warning of the dangers of expansionist Islam? Imagine if it featured suicide bombers chanting "Allahu Akbar"? Of course not. And if they did somehow pull it off, the UK police would have arrested them on a hate crime charge.
But it's for your own good!
Hmm sounds familiar.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.” –C.S. Lewis
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Check the Consitution? That's crazy!
Now it's Newsweek that thinks this whole checking a bill for constitutionality is crazy talk.
Michael Tanner has some thoughts as well.
The Obama administration and congressional Democrats have adopted a view of virtually unlimited government power that is clearly contrary to the Founders’ vision of a constitutionally limited government. In their vision, government roams the countryside fixing problems — any problems. Having trouble paying your mortgage? Don’t worry, the federal government will help you. Your local school not doing a good job? The federal government will be there to help. Don’t have health insurance? The federal government will make you buy it. As Rep. Pete Stark (D., Calif.) told constituents, “the federal government can do most anything.
The Constitution, with all its messy checks and balances and its attempt to limit government to only certain “enumerated powers,” is little more than a nuisance. “I don’t worry about the Constitution,” if it gets in the way of passing legislation, Rep. Phil Hare (D., Ill.) told a town-hall meeting. And Rep. James Clyburn (D., S.C.), the
third-highest-ranking Democrat in the House, proudly told Fox News, “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says that the federal government has anything to do with most of the stuff we do.”
It makes one wonder why members of Congress take that silly oath to “support and defend the Constitution” when they are sworn into office.
A bloated runaway government naturally sees people that point out the limitations designed to check it as a threat.
And who are some of the people on suspected terrorist lists? Those that:
“Make numerous references to US Constitution,” “Claim driving is a right, not a privilege” and “Attempt to ‘police the police.’” In addition, “People whose political motivation is usually Marxist/Leninist philosophy,” “‘defenders’ of the US Constitution against federal government and the UN,” computer hackers, and “Lone Individuals”
Charming, so they want to watch you and possibly take away your right to arms and travel. All for supporting a docment they swore and oath to uphold.
It's not like they'd be willing to kill you. You're a US citizen there are rules that keep the goverment from simply killing you because they want too.
Right? Well ask al-Awlaki.
Ah damn it.
If our covert-ops guys light up some al-Qaeda redoubt in the mountains and al-Awlaki bites the dust, no tears from me. But those are very different things from having the U.S. government draw up a list of its own citizens to be targeted for assassination. The fact that the Obama administration went out of its way to make this fact public tells us something interesting, too: It is making a specific political point, and establishing a specific precedent. It is crossing an old and important line, and conservatives should never let the rule of unintended consequences be very far from our minds.
Roberta X looks at how naked it all is.
Bad stuff, that's what it leads to. Seems the Executive Branch is arguin' in court that they have a right to [State Secrets!] declare a U. S. citizen a bad guy and then [State Secrets!] put him to sleep like a mad dog. Well, actually, they're not even doin' that; near as I can figure out, they want the court to forget anyone even asked about it, 'cos it's a [State Secret!].
But you see... it's those of us that want less goverment power and a return to limited government that are crazy.
As Rep. Pete Stark said "the federal government can do most anything."
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Though, it serves as a great example of the cascading effect of cutting back on preventative maintenance and repairs. It started when the complex came under new owners.
But now it's getting to where at least a quarter of the units are empty. I'd think it was a plan to liquidate the facility, but they are renewing leases. They also just completed construction on a building to replace one that was lost in a fire. Those expense could be why maintenance has been defrayed.
The fascinating part is that maintenance hasn't gone critically downhill (yet?), but it is enough to get people itchy feet.
For my part my lease is a short term and come spring I will be looking, so there's that.
My concern lies in commute time (never spend more than an hour on the road driving too and from work if you can avoid it), allowing pets, and atmosphere (quiet, facilities, accessibility).
What I like about my current place is that it's quiet and peaceful... more so now I suppose. Though it's age is showing, and wouldn't be if they were maintaining it.
Bah. At least now with the renewal I have a firm timeline when I have to get things done. Now to find areas that are within a half hour's rush hour drive of Kentucky and Raymond
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
From the Face Book
So Yesterday I reached the pinical of my scientific career. While wearing a full lab coat, with ten pens in the pocket, I turned to the technician and said with full relivance and intent "More power to the Laser" and it was so.
Thought it deserved sharing.
Now... were goggles worn? In my experience, you can't use a good laser without goggles.
Monday, September 27, 2010
For this you'll need 6 sausages, 15oz can of tomato sauce(I prefer plain and work my own), 1 large shallot, 5 pearl onions, clove of garlic, olive oil.
Spices: black pepper, white pepper, red pepper, red pepper flakes (any kind to spice, cumin, basil, oregano, bay leaf.
First you put some oil in a good flat pan, you want enough to cover the surface with a thin layer. Put it on medium and add in half of the shallot, onion, garlic. Rough dice, IE the pearl onions can be divided into eight pieces.
As this happens get a small pot with for the sauce. It should be about 2 to 3 times the size as needed. Pour the sauce into the pot and put in the rest of the diced roots. Add spices to taste.
Once the oil has heated up and taken some of the flavors you can add the sausage. As they brown up you can keep an eye on the sauce.
As the sausages near completion you can take one, dice it up and put it in the sauce. Then when the rest finish you should put them on a paper towel and blot out all the excess grease. Clean the pan.
By now the sausages should have set and cooled, now put them in the sauce. This will finish it all and give you a good among of very meaty sauce.
Can be served with bread or pasta. There, I wanted to get somthing of this recipie up for a while.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Unconstitutional? What are you a judge?
thinks is weird?
A politician considering the constitutionality of a bill she would be voting on.
I have been fascinated by Christine O’Donnell’s constitutional worldview since her debate with her opponent Chris Coons last week. O’Donnell explained that “when I go to Washington, D.C., the litmus test by which I cast my vote for every piece of legislation that comes across my desk will be whether or not it is constitutional.” How weird is that, I thought. Isn’t it /court’s/ job to determine whether or not something is, in fact, constitutional? And isn’t that sort of provided for in, well, the Constitution? In 2003, O'Donnell said of the Supreme Court that "it's kind of like we have the nine people sitting there in Washington who have a constitutional monarchy and that is an abuse of the system." So I do wonder a little whether she's claiming that her view of what's constitutional trumps theirs. Not a lot of space for checks and balances in that reading.
Emphasis in original
There you have it. The potential constitutionality of a bill should not be a concern of a legislator, as it's somehow against checks and balances for an elected official to worry his pretty little head about that.
Oh and it "trumps" the courts. Never mind that both legislators and judges (and executives) take the same oath to protect and defend the constitution.
So of a legislator can't take constitutional concerns in their votes why vote at all? Why not have judges decide if a bill or even an agency has met the "legislature’s own publicly stated commitment to welfare" and adjust accordingly?
Lithwick's repeated confusion is a bit scary.
The message that the Obama administration is repeatedly pushing unconstitutional legislation is clearly important to O'Donnell—and important more broadly, too—and so, like you, I've been trying to understand what she's trying to say.
Huh. So Lithwick sees no potential constitutional questions of legislation that say... makes it illegal to not purchase a private government-approved health insurance. I guess in her world the government can and should have the authority tell you to buy a good or service. And not only that but such a thing is so patently obvious that anyone questioning the conditionality of that is incomprehensible.
Lithwick is either being quite disingenuous or is impressively thick. She seems unable to understand the simple concept of "I don't want to vote for something that's unconstitutional."
One wonders how Lithwick would react to a comedically unconstitutional bill. Like say one that would establish Lutheranism as the official Federal religion, eliminate military barracks and quarter the troops in local private housing, remove trial by jury, and allow cruel and unusual punishments.
Apparently in Lithwick's world legislators should not look at said bill and vote no, merely because they think it's unconstitutional. It's not their job to determine that.
They should vote on the bill independent of those concerns and then it can go to the courts to decide if it meets constitutional muster.
More broadly Lithwick clearly thinks that the unwashed masses have no place in determining "constitutionality". If a Senator has no authority to go "Huh, this law looks illegal I'm voting no," then an angry yokel has no place to protest the actions of his government.
That job's for the courts.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Some very Scary Math
What happens if you plot federal spending versus median household income?
Well you get a very interesting and very frightening chart.
From 1967 to about 2000 the trend is linear. Then after 9/11 and Runaway Republicna spending the slope jumps up, showing spending outpacing income.
Then.... then the real nightmare begins, under Democratic congressional control the line goes beyond vertical. Income drops and spending shoots right up.
Powerline has other thoughts.
The obviously unsustainable explosion in federal spending that the Democratic Congress has embarked upon since 2007 is the central issue of our time. Among other things, it is the genesis of the Tea Party movement. That which can't continue, won't; the only question is whether sane hands will take over the tiller and restore some sort of balance, or the federal government will crash in a fiscal disaster.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
here he is via via Ed Driscoll Talking about the latest de facto state religion.
Take this no-name pastor from an obscure church who was threatening to burn the Koran. He didn’t burn any buildings or women and children. He didn’t even burn a book. He hadn’t actually laid a finger on a Koran, and yet the mere suggestion that he might do so prompted the President of the United States to denounce him, and the Secretary of State, and the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, various G7 leaders, and golly, even Angelina Jolie. President Obama has never said a word about honor killings of Muslim women. Secretary Clinton has never said a word about female genital mutilation. General Petraeus has never said a word about the rampant buggery of pre-pubescent boys by Pushtun men in Kandahar. But let an obscure man in Florida so much as raise the possibility that he might disrespect a book – an inanimate object – and the most powerful figures in the western world feel they have to weigh in.
Aside from all that, this obscure church’s website has been shut down, its insurance policy has been canceled, its mortgage has been called in by its bankers. Why? As Diana West wrote, why was it necessary or even seemly to make this pastor a non-person? Another one of Obama’s famous “teaching moments”? In this case teaching us that Islamic law now applies to all? Only a couple of weeks ago, the President, at his most condescendingly ineffectual, presumed to lecture his moronic subjects about the First Amendment rights of Imam Rauf. Where’s the condescending lecture on Pastor Jones’ First Amendment rights?
True liberty requires the realization that others will use it to do things that you find offensive and repellant. I'm talking about things that do not hurt anyone else or infringe on another's rights, like say burning your own property, or writing a book critical of a group. Free people will do things that go against your religion and your core convictions.
That's just how things are.
If you try to "correct" this. If you use speech codes and such to enforce niceness... then you have a place where offensive speech and blasphemous acts are not covered by free speech.
From there you do not have freedom of thought and expression.
Go theocratic statism. Either a state religion or a religion of state it's all the same.