Tuesday, December 30, 2008

IDF attacks

After suffering from days on end of rocket and mortar attacks, the Isrealis exercise their right to attack those that attacked first. This is not a violation of international law, customs or norms, as some might suggest. Instead, it is implicit in international law, and authorized under the Geneva Conventions, that any state that allows its territory to be used to attack another state, cannot claim to be the innocent victim if the attacked state retaliates.
For those who would object to the use of force by Israel, I would ask if they could show me where they have called out against Hamas and their rocket attacks even once prior to Israel's actions. But popular culture, which is not the same as real culture, tends to view Hamas as the victim and Israel as the aggressor, and they will not be stopped in their one sided denunciation of who the actual victim is in this case. Those who object usually fall into one of two camps: Those of the moral equivalency crowd, and the Chomskyites. The first are neither moral, nor equivalent. All cultures are not equal. To say that we are no better than those who would stone to death a woman who was raped is to minimize the evil of the stonethrowers in order to ease their own conscience for doing nothing. The Chomskyites are predictably unthinking in that everything of Western values is evil, and everything not Western is good. It is a waste of time to even discuss anything with them.
I am not sure which group Youtube is associating with, but the Isreali Defense Forces are attempting to get out their side of the story through Youtube, since most of the supposed liberal media fail to report accurately or in an unbiased fashion, falling into one of the two camps listed above. Now Youtube is cutting off the IDF's access to Youtube as a form of censorship.
But as an example of what is going on in this situation, I invite you to watch this video of a strike on a Hamas Government building:

The secondary explosions would seem to indicate a large amount of substantial munitions or explosives were stored in the government building. But I am sure that they were intended only for peaceful purposes.

Monday, December 22, 2008

True, Dat

From The Corner:

Rod Blagojevich, $1 trillion "fiscal stimulus", Harry Reid, expiring tax cuts, Nancy Pelosi, socialized health care, Charlie Rangel, reinstitution of the oil drilling ban, Joe Biden, liberal judicial nominees, Al Franken (maybe), nuclear Iran, John Murtha, car czars, Dennis Kucinich, PC culture, Chris Dodd, entitlement explosion, Barney Frank, entitlement implosion, Barbara Boxer, card check, the Clintons, Russian adventurism.

If Republicans can't come back in 2010 they should be sued for political malpractice.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

This is Hilarious

It seems that a former Narcotics Officer has turned against the side that he was once on, and now is working to expose the corrupt practices of the police. He set up an undercover grow operation of Christmas trees. The cops get a warrant (based on what is still uncertain) and raided the house. Watch for yourself.
The really amusing part, is that the prosecuting attorney is researching to determine if laws had been broken bu the ones who set the stage, not the police.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

Well Said.

From Samizdata

Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely 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 own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

- C.S. Lewis

God save me from well meaning busybodies.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Happy Anniversary

No, I am not talking about Electric City's posting, but the 75th anniversary of the 21st Amendmn\ent to the Constitution, otherwise known as the Repeal of Prohibition. What is most informative about Prohibition, is not just that it didn't work, but that they were trying to solve a different problem than the one that they intended. The use of alcohol was not the problem, it is and remains the abuse of alcohol that is the problem.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I Need More Cowbell

From Kathryn Lopez at NRO:

Does This Belong on a T-Shirt?

From a $50 donor: "NRO: Yelling 'Stop' at History while banging on a cowbell."

Kumbaya for Republicans?

Net Right Nation has this piece that talks about Gov. Huckabee's prescription for future electoral success is to oust all versions of Libertarianism. While Huckabee may have a certain amount of charismatic charm, especially to the Social Conservatives, I disagree with him vehemently that we need to remake the Constitution into an updated version of the Bible.
But I suppose that I am not so different, in my piece below, Wedge Issues, I thought that for the Republicans to succeed, they would have to minimize the influence of Social Conservatives, since so many independent and undecideds are swayed by the MSM portrayal of SoCons as narrow minded bigots, who want to keep women barefoot and pregnant, force you to worship their versions of the Deity and keep gays in the closet where they belong. This is totally unfair and untrue, but the power of the MSM is not to be underestimated in their efficiency to create a false narrative that is believed by the masses.
But then I read this, "A Libertarian Defense of Social Conservatism" and I had my Road to Damascus moment. Some of the good bits:
The most obvious point to me is that it is the do-gooding liberals who are telling us all what we can and can't do. The religious right usually just wants to be left alone, either to home school, pray in public or not get their children vaccinated with who-knows-what. Inasmuch as the "religious right" wants some things outlawed, they have failed miserably for at least the last 50 years. Abortion, sodomy, and pornography are now all Constitutional rights. However, praying in public school is outlawed, based on that same Constitution.

Just think for a moment about the things you are actually forced to do or are prevented from doing. Seat belts. Motorcycle helmets. Bicycle helmets. Smoking. Gun purchase and ownership restrictions. Mandatory vaccines for your children. Car emissions inspections. Campaign ad and contribution restrictions. Saying a prayer at a public school graduation or football game. Trash separation and recycling. Keeping the money you earned. Gas tax. Telephone tax. Income tax. FICA withholding. Fill in this form. Provide ID.

For the most part, the list just cited is post-1960. Neither Pat Robertson nor James Dobson ever forced any of that on us.
and on the hot topic of abortion:

Let's talk about the unavoidable issue: abortion. Who made it a federal issue? The ACLU and then the Supreme Court. Before 1973 it was left to the states; some allowed it, some didn't. Different states could adopt different criteria. Some might allow it under all circumstances. Some other none. Some at 12 or 20 weeks. Some might define "health" of the mother in different terms.

But all that flexibility was halted with Roe v Wade. Since 1973 abortion has been a Constitutional right. Do you know where that right is found in the Constitution? In these words of the 14th Amendment: "[No state shall] deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Those words, according to our finest Constitutional scholars, mean it's OK to shove scissors through the skull of a baby and suction its brains out, as long as that skull has not yet left the birth canal. I'm sure you see that in those words of the 14th Amendment. Look hard, into the penumbras and emanations - it might take a little imagination.

Regardless of what you think about abortion, to find it in the 14th Amendment is an act of ink-blot reasoning. It might almost be OK, if it meant the court said we have true sovereignty over our own bodies. But the court explicitly said otherwise.

The privacy right involved, therefore, cannot be said to be absolute. In fact, it is not clear to us that the claim asserted by some amici that one has an unlimited right to do with one's body as one pleases bears a close relationship to the right of privacy previously articulated in the Court's decisions. The Court has refused to recognize an unlimited right of this kind in the past... We, therefore, conclude that the right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision, but that this right is not unqualified...

So you do not have the right to do with your body as you please. Neither women nor men own their own bodies. That's what Roe v Wade said. In short, the decision was not "pro-choice". It was pro-abortion, pure and simple. That is the only choice it protected.

If taking abortion out of the hands of the federal government and putting it back into hands of the states, where it is legislated per each state's popular sentiment, let it be. I can stand that kind of "social conservatism." It sounds like federalism and democracy to me.
and finally, on the point that I mentioned in Wedge Issues,
I am not dead set against gay marriage. I'm mildly against it, but if it comes to an honest vote in my state and passes, I can live with that. But so far, every single time the issue has gone to a popular vote, the people voted it down. The only reason it is legal in two states right now is because of the courts in those states; a mere handful of robed Merlins made the decisions.

I also think it a bit risky to redefine such a fundamental institution that has been defined as between one man and one or more women in every successful civilization I know about, for the last 6,000 years or so. How about we use federalism and the states as laboratories before we dive head-first into opaque water on this one?

This last point is where I think libertarians and SoCons should be in absolute agreement, that the problem is not a creeping agenda of the Left, it is the interposing of two state's supreme courts on the will of the people, leaves all of us at risk. Whether gay marriage or abortion, these are purely court creations that do not reflect the will of the people. It is understandable why SoCons are concerned about this recent abuse of power by courts and feel the need to make laws and constitutional amendments to take back the powers that the courts have usurped. Even Democrats realize how tenuous these court made manifestations of their agenda are when they try to extract pledges of support for Roe from Supreme Court nominees because they know that it was wrong even if they believe it is for the right reason.
A useful and winning technique would be to combine the SoCons and libertarian's fear of intrusive government and unwarranted court created "rights" in unity to reverse the growth in government.
What libertarians and SoCons need to resolve is what is the proper method to avoid "cultural suicide" that is the greatest fear of the SoCons. My suggestion would be to change the entire Republican apparatus. Both Republicans and Democrats have optimized their ability to turn out their base. But outside of elections, what do the parties do other than pester us for contributions to this or that urgent need to get "our man/woman elected?" What the Republicans,whether libertarian or SoCon need to do, is to live exemplary lives, and demonstrate the advantages of their lifestyle and their choices. But more than that, what is needed is that personal assistance that only real people can provide, not bureaucrats or agencies. Conservatives have already been recognized for their generosity. If a single mother was to be helped by a SoCon couple in some way, it would also expose the single mom to the advantages of a stable dual parent relationship, in other words, what she doesn't have. It doesn't take a government to tell her that when she can see it with her own eyes.
If we can make a personal connection with the disaffected, without "preaching" but in the spirit of kindness and generosity that government cannot provide, we have a chance to expand the electoral base and move people out of their conditions much more effectively than any agency or program has ever done.
Who knows, together at a very minimum, we could close down the Departments of Education, Homeland Security and Energy, transferring any regulatory powers to the Commerce Department where there would at least be a fig leaf of constitutionality, and recall those judges who have superimposed their views on the rest of us, regardless of the law.
Well, at least I can dream, can't I?

New Addition

I have subscribed to an email list called Americans For Limited Government. They have created Net Right Nation and call themselves "America's Blogging Headquarters." Give them a look, they certainly do seem to have some good articles.

Some Sage Political Advice

From Dave Barry. Read and enjoy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fearing the Truth

Much mention has already been made of Mr. Ziegler's documentary about Media Malpractice, and How Obama Got Elected. In a discussion about the mindless following of "The One" that Rob Natelson started on Electric City, an anonymous poster left a link to 538 which claims that the poll was a "push poll" in order to get the answers that the person contracting for the poll wanted. Some of the complaints that 538 uses to justify their position are the questions that were used. Here are the questions, and the comments from 538:

"Which of the four [candidates] said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket?"

"Which of the four [candidates] started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground?"

"Which of the four [candidates] quit a previous campaign because of plagiarism?"

"Which of the four [candidates] won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot?"

As should be obvious, the veracity of several of these claims is -- at best -- debatable, yet they are apparently represented as factual to the respondent. It is not clear whether the respondent is informed of the "correct" response after having had the question posed to him.
Veracity is debatable? I especially love it when the sample from the clip uses Obama's own voice to make the statement. Biden's plagiarism is well know to anyone who was paying attention and is over 40. And of the other two questions, the last one, if I remember was actually in his book.
The ferocity with which Zogby is being attacked is indicative that people are starting to realize they voted for the pig in a poke, and now they are going to be responsible. Time to get out the razor blade and start scraping on that Obama bumper sticker.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Union Boss Security Act

Montana Main Street Blog has been addressing the issue of the Card Check method of unionizing workers. Matt Singer rises to the defense of the union bosses to collect the dues of workers by forcing them to sign the union card in their presence. It seems that in a secret ballot, the unions keep losing.
Singer of Left in the West is singing "Look for the Union Label" by claiming that all workers need to be unionized, and that the only fair way to do it is by the union bosses forcing employees to give up their right to a secret ballot. Matt feels that workers can be intimidated by management in order to prevent unions from forming. In support of that, Matt offers this:
In fact, one former Bush Administration official summed up his opposition to card check by saying, "[Corporations] have no chance to retaliate" against workers trying to organize. Retaliation, of course, is already "illegal," but the laws are so meaningless that Labor Department officials talk about it as though it is legal (the equivalent of ONDCP opposing a law because it would give pot smokers no chance to light up in the privacy in their homes).
Matt links to a site in support of this factoid. Which then links to this site in support of the assertion. Except, when you chase the links down, it wasn't a Bush administration official as Matt said, it was an audience member in a Q&A session. I am sure that Matt was just being lax in his reliance on web sites that support his opinion.
Unions are becoming as obsolete as the dinosaur, and this travesty of a law is their last hurrah. With this ability to coerce workers who would rather be left alone, the union bosses will ensure a continuing stream of revenue in the form of dues, that they will use in support of Democratic candidates for office. It has worked well for them, they have paid hundreds of millions of dollars of your hard earned pay to get their pals elected.
Maybe that is why the workers don't vote for unions in the privacy of the voting booth.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wedge Issues

Wedge issues are those arguments that are meant to split support for the opposition. Gay marriage has been used by the Republicans for sometime to split the blue collar Catholic voter from the effete elites who actually rule the Democratic Party. Now it seems that the Republicans are coming to grips with gay marriage as well. The social conservative position is very well (if not succinctly) put by Mike at The Last Best Place. While I agree with most of his post, the strength of his argument comes in the defense of the traditional definition of marriage. It is compelling, intelligent and well supported by thinkers of most of recorded history. But I am not so sure that his strong defense of traditional marriage denies that gay marriage can also have many of the same benefits.
Marriage is not a biological construct. It is more an economic and political construct that has the benefits of providing for a future of the human race. Historically, polygamy has been used for the better part of time, probably because of the low rate of survival of women in giving birth, and the short lives and violent deaths of young males. But at a micro level, polygamy and its lesser used sibling polyandry, are inherently imbalanced in the relations between all of the parties. There will always be the first wife, or the first husband, who agree to the subsequent marriages because it gives them control over the newbies to the relationship. But even in Western culture, we have arranged marriages, political marriages, marriages for the unification of property, shotgun weddings, mail order brides, Britney Spears and even the concept of a "starter marriage." All of these have had the support of authority and sometimes even the blessings of the religious powers. But that doesn't mean that these marriages are all equal in their application and construct. Perhaps one of the greatest problems that we have in Western Civilization starts with the Medieval notion of romantic love leading to marriage. This notion automatically creates unrealistic expectations of the marriage.
Since the period of human gestation is so long, and the helplessness of a newborn requires so much more, the need to have a stable structure that creates the newborn and cares for it is essential to our species survival. Marriage is the best system that we have to provide for that future, but it calls into question the reason to have marriage after a woman enters menopause. So obviously, marriage is much more than that.
Society benefits from marriage, in that it establishes clear relationships, removes issues of property holdings, and is the basic political building block. When two people come together in a long term relationship, it brings two equal but different selves to agree to cooperate for their mutual benefit, the benefit of any children and the community as a whole. But it is also a statement of commitment that society has agreed to honor. A vow to love, cherish and honor, in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer until death do us part, used to mean something. Unfortunately, marriage has now come to mean that "I will love you until I get bored or something better comes along." And that is what I think most social conservatives have a problem with, and I would have to agree with them on that point.
Marriage has significant economic benefits for the spouses. If one of the pair has benefits that are extended to the spouse, the other spouse now has the opportunity to take risks to enhance their economic viability through either a new enterprise, or staying at home to raise and school the children. But it is the legal standing of the spouses that allow this to happen. By putting a bar to use of this protection, are we not also denying the opportunity to gays?
One of the arguments against gay marriage is the perceived transitory nature of their relationships. But isn't that a chicken and egg problem. If they had gay marriage wouldn't that allow for more stability. Even if it didn't there are numerically a higher number of divorces among straight couples. In fact, it is not gay marriage that is trivializing the concept of marriage, it is the heterosexual community and their flip attitudes toward marriage that is the trivializing effect.
For marriage to regain its status as an important institution in our society, we need to make it harder to get married, thereby insuring a minimum commitment, and harder to get out of a marriage, insuring a longer lasting commitment.
Set a nationwide standard of waiting six months for a marriage license. This would prevent those who marry in haste and divorce in leisure. And do away with no fault divorce. Right now, if one party wants a divorce, the other spouse has no say in the matter. I would return to the concept of divorce as a tort. If you want out of the marriage, you surrender all of your property rights to the other spouse. That would go a long way toward lowering the divorce rate.
But the most important thing that we can do is to remove the judges who start these problems. The supreme courts of Massachusettes and California have found a right that has lain hidden all of this time. In California, the people have rightly exercised their authority over the constitution of that state to overrule the supreme court. To make matters worse, the supremes have decided to hear a case to determine if Proposition 8 is itself unconstitutional. If that happens, we have changed from a democratic republic to a rule by the judiciary.
Gay marriage advocates need to appreciate that while they may feel their rights are being withheld arbitrarily, they must also work to remove the use of the law to coerce people away from their fundamental beliefs. Whether it is the orphanage in New Jersey that Mike cited, or more locally, the demand that the pharmacist in Glendive carry birth control pills, they are using the law to change deeply held values, and that is a violation of the Constitution's right to freedom of religion.
I say that both sides need to back off using the law to foist their beliefs and values on others in either the name of tolerance or tradition.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Phone Phishing?

Everyone who has an email account has had billions of dollars worth of offers if they would just assist the poor daughter of a deposed Nigerian dictator by giving her a safe account that she can park her money, and as compensation, you will receive a share of the wealth. Outside of repetitive stress disorder from hitting the spam button, these are not much of a problem as long as you ignore them. But lately, I seem to be under attack by phone.
It started on Monday when I was called at work, and a robo-caller let me know that there was no problem with my credit card (no card name mentioned) but that I could get a lower rate and to take part in this lower rate, all I had to do was to punch the number 1. I was ticked off that I was getting a robo-call at work, and I am on the "Do Not Call" list, so I punched 1 and waited for a real person. A woman picked up at the other end and wanted to know if I wanted to lower my credit card rate? First, I asked her what my credit card balance was. She said that she couldn't release that information to anyone but the cardholder. I told her my name, but didn't list any of the credit cards that I used. After a few seconds, she came back and told me that my credit card balance was $36,000.
"What?" I said, and then she said it was $78,000, again I repeated my brilliant comment "What?" Then she said that it was $108,000. Now, at first I thought I might be a victim of identity theft since I pay off my card balance every month. But then I thought about it for a second, and realized that she had no real information on me, that there was no way that she could figure out how to spell my name to check my account, and the fact that she didn't even want to know my account number made me think that this was some sort of in person "Phishing."
Phishing is an attempt to get you to release important information to the questioner so that they can use it in identity theft.
I informed her that I was on the Do Not Call List, and that using robo calls is a misdemeanor punishable by $500 per event. She then asked me if I knew where she lived, and guessing from her accent, I would say somewhere in the South, but I told her that it wouldn't matter, as the FBI can find her. I also threatened her and her employer with a lawsuit for invading my privacy, harassment, and fraud. She told me that I was abusing her right to privacy by pressing the number 1 during the robo-call, and she hung up.
Amusing, but to follow it up, we have been receiving calls at home about out delinquent account from some so called "collections agency." I ran our credit reports and there are no delinquent accounts or pending legal actions, so I figure this must be another form of phishing.
Off the top of my head (DISCLAIMER, this is not legal advice, and I am not your lawyer, this is just common information, and is designed to inform the public of their rights, if you have any legal questions, contact your lawyer.) when doing debt collection, they have to send you written notice of the debt and inform you that you have thirty days to dispute the debt. You can also demand written proof of the debt. The creditor cannot pursue any actions against you if you provide written dispute until that is resolved.
Whatever you do, don't give out any personal information, credit card numbers or bank account numbers over the phone.
Just doing my good deed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Very Special Club

Jack the Blogger, has a great post on Veterans Day that is well worth the read. Since 1973, you have to want to get into the military in order to serve. They would reject you if you were too old, or too young, too tall, too short, too fat or (at least in the 70s) too thin. You couldn't have a criminal record, which I found amusing (Sorry kid, your felony aggravated assault means we just don't want you).
Most of the time, you had to have at least a high school diploma to enlist and continuing education was always required. In order to get into the Sergeant Majors Academy, you had to have at least two years of college minimum, and most had a bachelors degree that they obtained while working full time. Officers had to have a bachelors degree to enter and were expected to get a Masters degree as a minimum with many getting Ph.Ds.
Once in, you had to keep on the promotion track by being competitive for higher rank. Officers especially could serve for 10-12 years and be told that their service was no longer needed. The old movie ideas that an enlisted man could hide out at a lower rank doing the absolute minimums are also out of date. Up or out is a vicious career management tool, but it does seem to work.
Once in, you quickly learn that there are very few jobs that employ a 40 hour week. In fact, the first job I had as an officer, we averaged 120 hours a week on the job. One week, I counted that I had worked for 148 hours, although, I did sleep for five of those hours (not all at once).
I have jumped out of planes in the middle of the night carrying 120 pounds of gear, and couldn't see the ground until I smacked into it. I have been hypothermic to the point of utter exhaustion and only wanted to lay down and sleep, even though I knew I would die. I have climbed rain slicked cliffs, rappelled out of helicopters, and stood at ground zero while Patriots intercepted Scuds coming my way.
But the greatest thing that I have done while in the military was to serve along the finest human beings that I have ever met. I don't know if the military is self selecting men and women who are selfless and generous, or it is the tradition that changes them into these wonderful human beings. But I do know that the civilian side has nowhere near the generosity, kindness and helpfulness that I had in the service. We took care of each other.
Jack asks all citizens of this great country to thank a vet. I have always felt awkward when someone who has never served thanks me for my service. But I have also felt great pride when a fellow veteran thanks me for my service, and I feel very good about thanking another vet for their service. I value their opinion much more than that of someone who wasn't there.
So to all of those who have served in whatever form or fashion, from one vet to another, Thanks.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Happy Anniversary Deutschland

As this article notes, November 9th has an awful lot going on for it in Germany. The end of the Monarchy, and establishment of the Weimar Republic, KristallNacht, and the end of the divisions of East and West Germany. At the time that the wall came down, I was here in Missoula teaching ROTC at the UofM, so I only got to see it on the television. But I had been in both East Germany and East Berlin before the wall came down, and I remember the changes that occurred were dynamic, but not always positive.
Before the wall came down, I would venture through the driving corridor, which required that we had to go through the East German checkpoint, and then through the Russian one. We weren't allowed to do anything with regards to the East Germans because of the Status of Forces Agreement which dated back to the end of WWII. When we got to the Russian side, I had to get out and present my papers to the Russian soldier, who I doubt could read a word of what was written on my travel papers. Afterwards, I was to go into the pass control office which had a window like at a bank, but it was painted shut. I slid my papers under the window and listened as the People's Copy Machine recorded all of my important data. After a few minutes, the papers were slid back and had been duly stamped.
While I was waiting, I started looking around in the waiting room. Brezhnev's picture was still prominently displayed even though he had been dead for sometime. I think that it was Andropov who was Premier at the time, but at the gateway to the socialist paradise, they still had an out of date photo of their dear beloved leader of the communist party and government.
When I got back, my wife told me that the guard had been circling the vehicle looking in at her and my two kids. They had been smiling and waving, as kids are wont to do, but this particular guardian of the Soviet state had no sense of humor for such antics.
East Germany was significantly different from the West. In the West, you could always find the American barracks because they still had the bullet holes from the last time the Germans undertook urban renewal. Towns were densely packed, and it was hard to find anyplace, except near the border, where towns were less than 3 miles from each other. East Germany on the other hand, had collective farms, so they had mile after mile of fields punctuated by the barracks like structures for the farmers who worked there.
East Berlin was a real trip. At least one third of the population was in uniform, and it was my guess that half of the remaining ones were undercover something or another. But the thing that I noticed most clearly, was the color of socialism isn't red, it's gray. The sky was gray, the buildings gray, even the people were gray. There was no sense of anyone having any fun there. Just a sense of dreary toil for no purpose. But I guess that is what socialism is really about anyway.
In any event, 19 years ago, after the introduction of the Pershing IIs, the GLCM, the M-1 Abrams, the M-2 Bradley, the AH-64 and other improvements, the Soviets gave up.
Now this is something especially amazing. Normally empires don't fall quietly. In their death throes, they can become extremely violent. I don't know why that didn't happen, but I sure as heck am grateful.
Germany is united again. A country the size of Montana with over 90 million people in it is a very densely packed country. And while some worried that the Germans might reorganize under another Hitler, I am not worried about it. The youth of Germany are only going to continue to invade the beaches of Spain and North Africa. They are not interested in territorial aggrandizement, but in the aggrandizement of comfort.
But happy anniversary on this Wiedervereinigungs Tag! Best wishes for the future.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

This is Ridiculous

Before he is even swore in, there are those calling for the impeachment of Barak Obama. Further evidence of the trivializing, or as I prefer to call it, the Wulfgarization of politics.
It serves no purpose, other than pseudo intellectual masturbatory fantasies, but then that explains Wulfgar, so I guess they are just his alter ego.

One More Try

Earlier, the California Supreme Court found that there was a right to homosexual marriage in their constitution, which obviated the law passed by referendum that said marriage is between a man and a woman. Yesterday, the voters of California passed a constitutional amendment restoring the original referendum's intent. Now, "cvil rights advocates" are filing suit in California to overturn the amendment.
While I don't really care who marries who, so long as they don't scare the horses, the fact is, that I feel no need to tell anyone who to marry or not marry based on sexual preferences. I tried talking my son out of marrying his wife, but he persisted, even though I am sure that the marriage is doomed. But that is my son, someone with whom I have a very special relationship. So how can I tell people that I don't even know not to marry? Actually, the best argument against anyone marrying, is that it is the leading cause of divorce.
But the interesting thing about the article mentioned above is that the California Supreme Court went specifically against the expressed will of the people of California by finding a "right" that was carefully hidden from the eyes of the layman, detectable only by those with the right kind of legalistic scholarship of mind.
But the amendment is to their state constitution. Under the division of labor known as the system of checks and balances, the supreme court could only interpret the law, not create it, as they did earlier. For their supreme court to find that the amendment passed in response to their earlier ruling is unconstitutional will create its own constitutional crisis. After all, it is the province of the legislature to promulgate laws, not the supreme court. For the court to take on this task is deliciously fun, having made an excrement sandwich with their ruling, they are now being asked to garnish it with mayonnaise.


To all of the successful Democratic candidates across the nation starting with President Elect Obama all the way to my fine opponent, Theresa Henry. You have won, and now have full control.
I disagree that the election was a referendum on maximizing individual liberty, but believe that it was just the final throes of 2006 and a blame the Republicans mentality that was successfully promulgated by a Main Stream Media that so desperately wanted their candidate to win that they flushed their credibility. Not that Republicans didn't deserve it to a certain extent. The growth of government under Bush would make even the hardest Left Democrat blush with envy. Throw in such useless and dangerous actions as the creation of the Dept. of Homeland Security and the imposition of certain elements of the Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind, Prescription Drug Benefit plan, etc. and you have a harbinger of the growth in government control that is going to expand even more in the next few years.
But we should also not forget those few things that Bush did right. Contrary to public opinion, from a geo-strategic point of view, the invasion of Iraq was justified and if allowed to mature will become a very valuable ally against the depredations of extremist Muslim fanatics, like the ones in Somalia who stoned to death a 13 year old girl because she had been raped. The much reviled tax cuts stimulated an economy that was lurching around after the dot.com bubble and the assault on the economy from 9-11. Before the Democratic Congress, unemployment was running at well under 5% and real wealth was increasing across the board in spite of Mark T.'s assertions to the contrary. Bush and company should have not let the powers that be obstruct the implementation of controls on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The fact that they didn't push the issue harder shows that even they did not realize the severity of the crisis that was to ensue.
I expect that the Democrats will be frustrated by their inability to solve everyone's problems immediately. There will be those who will blame Bush as an excuse for failure to accomplish anything. You get to do that until June. After that, it's going to be your baby. In the words of the SNL investment banker "FIX IT! JUST FIX IT!!"
I will not succumb to the personal attacks that the Left have employed for the last eight years (Selected, not Elected) even though it would be easy to do. But I will oppose those policies that I think are dangerous vigorously. I will do it with out ad hominen attacks, just to show the friends on the Left how a grown up reacts to disappointment.
In a way this is a very liberating election for me. There is the chance, albeit small, that the Democrats will bring about all of the improvements that they have promised and at no great cost to individual freedom, dignity or economic costs. And if they succeed, I will applaud them. On the other hand, if they do as I expect, and use heavy handed tactics that will destroy individual liberty and choices, I will be ready to help change the makeup of Congress in two more years.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

They are Afraid of You

Sen. Schumer in his own words:

It is only speech that they disagree with that they equate with pornography. Personally, I find everything that Sen. Schumer says to be pornographic. Does that mean I can keep him off the public airways? If only it were so.
What he forgets is that there is no longer a monopoly on the dissemination of information. I do believe that one of the new Congress's acts will be to reinstate the "Fairness Doctrine." And that will have an even bigger effect on their ability to govern than the Don't Ask policy that was Bill Clinton's first act.

let Me be Perfectly Clear

In his own words:

Monday, November 03, 2008

Final Comments on the National Election

The end is near, and many candidates for public office (myself included) are heaving a sigh of relief after all of the hours, the doors, the meetings. Don't get me wrong, I personally found meeting voters to be invigorating, it's just that after working all day, to get home, have a bite with the wife (The Good Democrat) it is easy to want to just say the heck with it and stay home. But instead, you go out get in the car and move on to the next block to spread the message. At the national level, the difference is that you get on the plane and jet off to somewhere that you have a scheduled appearance, trying to brush up on the local tidbits of information that will help make the connection with people who are already excited to see you. For me, the election has lasted seven and a half months. For Obama, it seems to have been for the last 47 years.
But tomorrow, the end will be here, and the voters will have made their choices, subject of course to the lawyers interpretation of the votes. Right now, Obama is solidly in the lead, and most of the media show him ahead by a seemingly insurmountable lead. But what bothers me, are the undecided voters. How in the Hell can you be undecided after all this time? Undecideds make up anywhere from 6% to 19% in some polls. My theory is that the undecideds are either obtuse, and will just flip a coin, or they are secretly McCain voters, but don't want to advertise it so that they don't get into an argument over their choice.
McCain was not my first choice, nor my second, nor . . . oh heck, I am still ticked off at him for McCain Feingold, McCain Kennedy, and McCain et al, that are further encroachments by the nanny state into our lives. But I am more worried about the direction that an Obama-Pelosi-Reid triumvirate will want to go for the next two years. Admittedly, their excesses will be necessary for the rebirth of the Republicans who will be propelled into office if they can just come up with a coherent and intelligent message beyond "We are not Democrats."
Newt, where are you, now that we need you more than ever?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Almost Makes Me Miss Jimmy Carter

Last Spring, while driving to Kalispell, I was listening to a radio talk show that featured then Democratic Congressional Candidate Jim Hunt. Hunt was talking about the need to increase the CAFE standards, or the average fuel ratings for automobiles. He said that due to the high price of fuel at that time, he had to park his pickup and buy a Prius, and that his wife was no longer running around in her SUV. The irony seemed to be lost on him that pricing changed his behavior much more effectively than legislation did. Now, as noted below, Obama wants to raise the costs of using coal fired plants to such a level that it would "bankrupt" anyone who sought to produce energy from coal.
He wants to use a cap and trade system to make the production of CO2 so expensive that it would reduce their emissions, and then use the money to promote "green energy" solutions. This scheme seems to be the heir of the fairy tale "carburetor that gets 100 mpg." The only reason that it is not available to the general public is that the oil companies bought the patent and are hiding it from us the consumer, or so the fable goes. This ignores logic and facts, so it is a prime candidate for an urban myth because people want to believe in it. Forget that any such patent would have to be open to the public because you have to research to make sure that there is not a pre-existing patent when you apply for one for your invention. Not to mention other countries that have much laxer intellectual property rights laws would ignore such proscriptions.
It's the same for "green energy." If someone could develop a solar panel that achieved even 60% efficiency, they would be the richest person on earth. How about cold fusion? Again, no radioactive waste, unlimited power, no drawbacks, and if it could exist, it would. But the idea of using tax policy to create technical developments is just stupid.
The power to tax is the power to destroy. Government doesn't create technological breakthroughs. Yes, I know that Darpa is a government agency, but it is not mandated to produce certain scientific breakthroughs. Instead, smart people are allowed wide latitude to follow their interests and to see where they go.
Which brings me to the title of this post. Much as I thought that Jimmy Carter was a micromanager in the finest traditions of Hyman Rickover, even he would have recognized that tax policy does not create technological advancements.
Just goes to show, Obama isn't even as smart as Jimmy Carter. Going to be interesting if he gets elected.

Out of Context?

Obama made a statement last January, that seems to say that no one will be able to build a new coal fired power plant, because it will bankrupt them to do so. This quote has only now surfaced, (it was hidden in plain sight) and Gov. Palin is using it to beat him about the head and shoulders in those critical states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. An Obama spokesman says that the quote is taken "out of context." But then, just about every stupid thing that he says is "Taken out of context."
And people claim that because news organizations belong to corporations, they are automatically biased in favor of conservatives. Hah!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Bad Luck

From Instapundit, which is quoting Heinlein:
Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as "bad luck."

Class warfare, or even just class envy will prevent people from creating any new wealth. But at least, we will all be "sharing."

Friday, October 31, 2008

Just Words

The only thing that allays my concerns about an Obama presidency, is that I don't believe a word that he says. Think FISA, Public financing for campaigns, the Surge, etc., etc.
Yeah, that's the sort of change I can believe in.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Taxes, Wealth Spreading and the XIIIth Amendment

Obama in his conversation with Joe the Plumber, stated that he wanted to "spread the wealth around." When given a chance to repudiate the comment, The One declined to do so. Obama is basing his tax plan on the populist notion that he will give a tax increase to the top 5% and a tax break to the remaining 95% (which he has subsequently had to amend to the 95% who work, the rest are left out). He is continuing the Orwellian notion that taxes should be "progressive."
What do we mean when we use the word "progressive: with taxes. It is generally understood that the more you make, the more taxes that you pay. This definition is inadequate, because under a flat tax system, if you made more, you would pay more than someone who made less. What we have are a series of steps that increase at arbitrary levels. So, up to a certain level, you pay 10%, then 15% and so on to a maximum rate of 35% for the top earners. Now the $64,000 question: Why?
If the purpose of taxes is to fund the necessary organs of government, why do we have a graduated tax rate? You could do the same thing with a flat tax. Remove all of the deductions, and charge everyone the same 22.5% of all income, and you could fund the government at nearly the same rate that it is today. The advantage to this method is that everyone would have a stake in the efficiency of the government, because everyone would be paying the same rate. Wouldn't matter if you were working as a burger flipper or were the CEO of a corporation, everyone would bear the same burden.
Tie this in with "Tax Freedom Day," the day when you stop working to pay taxes, and start working to provide for your basic needs, and a chance to get ahead and make something more with your life. For all tax payers, it would come on the same day. At 22.5%, assuming 2000 hours per year of work, that time would come at 450 hours, or roughly eleven and a 1\4 weeks, sometime near the end of March, in other words. Everything else for the remainder of the year would be yours, except for those taxes for the state and local governments of course.
But some taxpayers pay nothing in federal income tax (yes, I know that Social Security is a tax, but we are talking about income tax, not payroll tax, so please stick to the topic at hand, we can discuss the morality of the payroll tax at a later date), so their tax freedom day is January 1st. If you throw in the Earned Income Tax Credit, they could almost say that their Tax Freedom Day was sometime in the previous December. For those paying at the 10% rate, their tax freedom day would come at 200 hours, or sometime in the beginning of February. This pattern would continue until the 35% rate, where their federal income tax "Freedom Day" would come at 700 hours, or right around the Middle of May. Obama's plan would push this out to 900 hours, the middle of June. So, the upshot is that if you are in the highest tax rate, you will slave for the government for nearly half of every year.
Which leads me to the third element of the title, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which says:
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime where of the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Why do I bring this in? Think about it, everyone of us is considered to be equal before the law. But when it comes to involuntary servitude, some are more equal than others. Ah, you say, but you don't have to make that much money, and therefore, you would have less involuntary servitude. But wouldn't that just promote and reward sloth and laziness? If you are talented, intelligent and hard working, wouldn't the present scheme make it counterproductive to fully maximize your talents, intelligence and hard work? By doing so, aren't you depriving the general society of new inventions, procedures or techniques that could be generally beneficial as a whole?
But working is not the same as involuntary servitude is it? No, not if we all shared the same burden. But under the present and proposed tax schemes, if you have to work twice as long to pay your tax burden as someone else, is that not involuntary servitude? Sure, no one is making you work hard, but the fact that you have to work longer to begin earning anything for yourself is not much better than working as a sharecropper.
And think about not paying your taxes and what would happen. While in the days of slavery, the overseer with his dogs chasing you through the swamps was certainly terrifying, is it that much less terrifying to receive the letter from the IRS saying that you were being audited? And while the overseer had no legal constrictions on what to do to an escaped slave, if the slave made it to a free state, until Dred Scott, many states would offer sanctuary. Today, we have the IRS with their investigators, prosecutors, judges, courts and jails, so I suppose it is marginally better. Although the end result of a captured slave, or a tax resister is going to be the end of their freedom. If you don't think that the IRS is fully capable of using every form of legal coercion available to it, you have never had to deal with them, have you?
The framers of the Constitution recognized that the right to property was an essential element to the development of the human condition. As a result of that cognizance, they prohibited income taxes, which only came about after the introduction of the XVIth Amendment. The fear of the framers was that if the general populace could vote themselves largesse from the treasury, there would no longer be any reason to have and hold private property, since the government could simply take it from you to satisfy the populist braying of those who have less.
Seems that that day has arrived.

UPDATE: This is illuminating:

Monday, October 20, 2008

Coming Crackdown?

It's easy to think that the efforts by the Obama campaign to silence its critics are just overblown hysteria. But then, the evidence starts to accumulate. First came the threatening letters from the Obama lawyers to stations that ran an NRA ad. Then the aggressive mob tactics to silence a critic of Obama from speaking. Add to it, the inappropriate request by the Obama campaign of the Justice Department to investigate a group who questioned Obama's assertions about Ayers as being untrue.
Luckily for Obama, the LA Times came to his defense and said that the entire event was untrue. Except, it was true. As Patterico points out in this post, he pointed to a blog by a liberal blogger who described the event. Then after Patterico pointed it out to the LA Times, the article disappears. Luckily, the evidence is still preserved at his site.
The problem that I am having with this is the combination of heavy handed thuggery in conjunction with the complicit MSM. Was the LA Times so inept that they missed the evidence? If so, why did the evidence suddenly become "disappeared?"
Democrats may feel that they are just trying to avoid being Swiftboated by using these tactics. What they forget is that the essential elements of the Swiftboat vets are true, and if Kerry had responded in the same manner as Obama, it would have been an affront to open and honest discussions about a candidate.
GGuy at Electric City has posted a piece that mentions a new blog Unfair Doctrine, that is covering the suppression of free speech by the Obama campaign.
If you don't agree completely with "The One," be afraid. Be very afraid.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Last 8 Years vs Last 2

The unending drumbeat of "the failed policies of the last eight years" is annoyingly tendentious and just plain wrong. Compare the state of the nation at the end of the Republicans in the majority in Congress with what's happening right now. Conveniently, that has already been done for you.
If the last two years are a harbinger of things to come, start buying gold and hiding it in your back yard. And, don't forget to stock up on ammo.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

C'est Plus Change

Who said
(Voters) will either choose to continue along the road we have traveled for the last four years or they will take the new road to progress I have offered.
You are the people who have contributed so much to our culture but have not shared equally in it.

Sounds like someone we know now, doesn't it? Even though most of the posters on the Sinestra may think that it was Obama, I wonder how surprised they would be if they found out it was this guy?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bush's Resignation Speech

I know that many of the Sinestra are hoping, but the humor can be found here.

A Plumber is what he's fighting for!

So, now Barak is making fun of the people who work. I guess we should be getting used to this. Of course, I guess I am one of the people that Barak is fighting for, a government employee. It's just that I am doing Public Defender work because I think it's important, and I think that I am making a difference. Now, if I was back in private practice, I am sure that I would not rate The One's attention in this matter.
But the original YouTube posting had Barak taking the stance that he wants to "Spread the Wealth Around."

Now, I keep coming back to the same basic question. What moral theory says that it is okay to take from the sweat of the workers to pass on to those who either don't work, or are not as successful? If you want the rich to pay their fair share, don't you mean that they should get a tax cut to the same as everyone else? Others have written very well that this is nothing more than the politics of envy.
We have succumbed to the idea that progressive taxation is acceptable. The question is: Why?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What's Next?

"There comes a time when a man must spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." H.L. Mencken.

I was reminded of this quote when I was reading the comments in Right Wing Nuthouse which talked about what is going to happen to the Right if Obama should get elected. While I can agree with the sentiments of the original post, there is still that juvenile desire to return to the Left all of the pointless pain and suffering that they have been spreading over the last eight years. To vilify and harass with baseless charges, crass commentary devoid of thought, and otherwise be just a royal pain in the ass. But then I would be no different than the Left, at least as far as it is personified by the worst representatives.

No, this country was built on the backs of conservatives, those who worked hard, provided for and care for their families and friends. The ones who give tithing at church every Sunday, and join in with Habitat for Humanity and donate game to the food bank. They are decent, honest and moral. To stoop to the tactics that have been used against conservatives is to let them win. They have worked hard to destroy this country and remake it into their own image. If we become like them, we accelerate their attempt to do so.

The Left may now have to actually be responsible (I am looking forward to that, but don't really believe that it will happen) for everything that happens. Yes, they will blame Bush and Republicans, and that will be fine until June of 09. Then they will actually have to accomplish something. And while I won't be up there cheerleading the personal destruction of Obama and his presidency like they have to Bush, I will oppose those policies of his that I think are wrongheaded and dangerous.

That is the responsibility of every American. The personal and baseless attacks are the responsibility of those on the Left. Let's leave them there.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Watch Banned Videos Here!

NBC was apparently not happy with a portion of the Saturday Night Live skit that showed that the Democrats could possibly be to blame. As a result, they have pulled it, but like just about everything else on the Intertubes, it can't stay hidden forever. You can watch the portion that is banned here.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Post Debate

Having watched the debate while I am stuffing envelopes for the absentee voters, I was not particularly impressed by either of the vice presidential candidates. But I was amused by my wife, The Good Democrat, who was giddy in anticipation of the debate that it would show Sarah Palin to be "dumb." At the end of the debate, she had to concede that Sarah Palin was not dumb. When I pointed out that she was relying on the spin that was provided by Main Stream Media, she seemed a bit discombobulated by the notion that she was being manipulated in her opinion.
She is still for Obama, and when we were talking about the state of the race after the debate, she said that Palin is good, but she lacks the ability to be president. When I questioned her further, pointing out that she has been governor of a state just like Brian Schweitzer, (whom she loves) and that should account for something.
My wife then said that Obama was a community organizer, which has to count for something. When I asked her what it was that Obama had accomplished as a community organizer, she replied "a lot." When I asked her what could she say that he actually accomplished, she could not provide an answer. Then she got mad at me for pointing out that she couldn't name anything that Obama had actually done.
Such is the state of the political discourse, that questioning the unquestioned beliefs results in hard feelings.

Bill O'Reilly and Barney Frank

Gateway Pundit has a piece from the O'Reilly Factor in which Bill confronts Barney Frank. But the funniest piece is in the lead in where they describe Barney Frank as the
failed Chairman of the House Services Committee for his role in the Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac scandal tonight.

I like that, list all of the Democrats as "The failed . . . " whatever, whether it is the "Failed Senate Majority Leader" or the "Failed Speaker of the House."
Should be a tag line for the entire Democratic party.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Nancy Pelosi and Spin

Reminded me of this:

So, let me see if I can get this right. The Bailout bill fails not because 93 Democrats voted against it, including several chairmen of influential committees, and they came up 13 votes short. And it is the Republicans who are at fault, because their feelings were hurt by Nanny's partisan tirade?
If this really was a serious vote, would she have taken the time to do the tirade, or would she say that this is something that the country needs and do anything to make it happen. But again, the question answers itself.

A 9 Minute Explanation for What Happened

UPDATE: Apparently, Youtube pulled it because it was too embarrassing to the Democratic Party that brought you this mess. Thank God for the WWW part of the Internet. The video is now running again.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Blogging has been non-existent because of work and my campaign, but it's Friday night, and I had to stay home to watch the debate. So, without further ado, some observations:

For those Democrats who say that Obama is going to restore America's greatness, which country is now the greatest?

How can Obama give a tax break to 95% of the people in this country if one third doesn't pay taxes? Is he going to lower their FICA?

Why is it that Sarah Palin is considered an inadequate Vice President because she has no foreign policy experience, but that is okay for Obama, whom the Democrats have selected as their Presidential nominee? And why do they seem to forget that if Palin did become the President, there are these collections of bureaucrats called the "State Department" who may be able to assist her?

Why do we never hear all of the stupid things that Joe Biden says?

During campaigning, I have found that the poor are not automatically Democratic voters. In a way, this makes perfect sense to me. Thirty-four years ago, I applied for unemployment, and found that it was easier to get a job. I took student aid for my undergraduate, and learned to never do that again for my MPA and my law degree. If you look closely, you will find that the bureaucrats who are supposed to provide service find it easier to deny, delay and obfuscate than to actually provide service. There is a rich field to be tilled by the Republicans if they are willing to try.

With the mess of the economy, why aren't Republicans hoping that Obama wins, just so they can have two years of saying "I told you so!"

Who doesn't think that if Obama is elected and he gives $5,000 for each student to afford college, that the tuition will not increase by exactly $5,000 per year?
I thought s

Friday, September 19, 2008

Biden Questions Rangel's Patriotism

Joe Biden has now declared that it is patriotic to pay taxes. Aside from forgetting the fact that 40% of all Americans pay no income tax, this is the most ridiculous argument that I have ever heard. It is designed to set up the false premise that to be patriotic, you have to pay taxes. So, if you don't pay taxes, you are a traitor? Seems curious that Biden would make that statement about people who are just scraping by on their social security checks.
But what is amusing about this absurd argument, is that Rep. Charlie Rangel, (D-NY) the head of the House committee that sets the tax code, has come into some problems of his own for not paying taxes. I can see every tax attorney before all of the tax courts of this great land, pleading that their clients should never have to be convicted because the code is so complex, that even the guy who writes it can't follow it.
Of course, this is just another example of the arrogance of power. But it's okay. They're Democrats. They mean only the best for us.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Democratic War Room

Caution: Don't watch this with the sound on if you speak German. It's too distracting.

Has Obama been driven back from Stalingrad already?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Islam and Free Speech

I always enjoy reading Samizdata, and came across this posting for the weekend.

Caution contains words that are nor appropriate for children or those with a sensitive ear.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

It's the End of the World as We Know It.

Let's face it, this was supposed to be the Year of the Democrat. After eight years of endless abuse by the media, um, excuse me, eight years of Bush, the American public is ready for change. Democrats just knew that this was their time, and they had a post racial candidate to atone for all of the sins of America. When he was coronated, he declared that now "was the day that the oceans stopped their rising." Of course, he didn't say how, since that will be something that he will address as soon as he is elected. But in the meantime, trust him, that with all of this goodwill and heartfelt desire for change, it is inevitable.
Except, something happened.
There has been a detour on the way to the annunciation of "The One." So, what happened? What is this force that has seemed to thwart the inevitable?
Answer: Sarah Palin.
Actually, that is an incomplete answer. By herself, Sarah Palin would probably not have been enough. Instead, it took the active collusion of the Main Stream Media in their absolutely ignorant attacks on a "hockey mom" who also happens to be a governor. Throw in the ridiculous accusation that the "Everymom" may be a pervert, and you have no reason to doubt that the media that have always supported their Democratic choice, have collectively lost their minds. But you need to add to the equation, that Barak Obama and his campaign are being run by egotistical idiots. He has decided to pursue a fifty state strategy even though he does not have the resources to do just that. When you look at the most ineptly run campaign in history, you have to wonder what his administration would look like.
It is amazing to me that our system for selecting presidential candidates is so perfectly flawed. We do not actually pick the best person for the job, instead we pick the popular fraud of the moment.
It should not come as any surprise, that panic has set in in the Democratic Party. Of course, this is not to minimize the imperfect vessel that the Democrats have actually managed to select. I am really coming to believe that the Democrats do not want to win the Presidency this year.
Think about it, if Obama wins, there will be high expectations to turn rhetoric into reality. On the other hand, if McCain wins, the Democrats can continue to blame a Republican for all the ills that exist throughout the land.
Plus, for the local Montana bloggers of the Left, it will be exactly what they want, even if they don't say so. Wulfgar, the Lesser Pissant, will continue his junior high school level of correspondence, even though his level of reading comprehension remains even lower than that. Mark T. on the other hand, will seek solace that the Republicans have stolen another election, and Barak could never win because of all of the incipient Republican racism.
So, the end result is that McCain will win, the Democrats will control the Legislature, the Sinestra will always have an enemy to rail against, and they will not be held responsible. At the same time, we will avoid the increasing assault on personal liberty of socialism represented by an Obama administration.
So, it is a good thing for everyone that Obama loses in November.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Can We not Agree?

Pete Hegseth at The Corner has this piece which explains a resolution to be brought before the Senate. The letter requesting support for the Resolution is reprinted in its entirety here:
United States Senate

September 9,2008

Dear Colleague:

We invite you to join us in cosponsoring Senate Resolution 636, a bipartisan resolution that recognizes the strategic success achieved by the surge in Iraq and expresses our gratitude to the brave men and women in uniform who made that success possible.

As you know, the war in Iraq has been deeply divisive for our country. The Senate spent much of last year locked in intensive debate about the wisdom of the new strategy that General David Petraeus was pursuing in Iraq and the deployment of approximately 30,000 additional U.S. Army and Marine Corps servicemembers in support of it.

In fact, it was just one year ago this month that General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker returned to Washington to report on the progress of the surge. At the time, many Americans still doubted whether the surge was working.

Today, by contrast, it is beyond dispute that the surge has been an extraordinary strategic success for our country, an operation that is certain to be studied and praised for decades to come in the annals of American military history.

Although the war in Iraq is not yet over, virtually every indicator of progress-political, economic, and military-has dramatically improved since General Petraeus took command in February 2007 and the surge began.

Large-scale sectarian violence has effectively ended. Al Qaeda in Iraq-which our intelligence community last year characterized as "the most visible and capable affiliate" of al Qaeda's global terrorist network and "the only one known to have expressed a desire to attack the Homeland"- has been dealt a near strategic defeat, in the words of CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden. The Iranian-backed militias that once controlled large swaths of the country have been routed. And as our enemies have retreated, American casualties have likewise plunged.

These represent more than mere "tactical" gains. Because of the surge, the United States has been saved from a strategic defeat in the heart of the Middle East that would have carried catastrophic consequences for our country, and our allies, far beyond the borders of Iraq. Indeed, because of the success of the surge, America's strategic position in the Middle East and the world is stronger; our most dangerous enemies- al Qaeda and Iran are weaker; and our country is safer.

General Petraeus is expected to hand over command of coalition forces in Iraq on Tuesday, September 16. After months of divisive debate, we hope that members of both parties can set aside whatever disagreements have divided us over Iraq in the past, and join together now to acknowledge what we all know to be true: that the surge has been a strategic success; that we owe our deepest gratitude as a nation to the courageous men and women in uniform who fought so valiantly to achieve that success; and that their
struggle and sacrifice must not be squandered.

We hope that you will join us as a cosponsor of Senate Resolution 636 to send a bipartisan message of national unity that we salute our heroic troops for their extraordinary achievement.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Vance Serchuk in Senator Lieberman's office or Jen Olson in Senator Graham's office.

Best regards,

Joe Lieberman, United States Senator
Lindsey O. Graham, United States Senator

I will be interested to learn how our two senators decide to vote.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Just What You Always Knew

Mike at the Last Best Place has a certain reassurance for Republicans in the face of Ron Paul being the Constitutionalist Party candidate and the hype surrounding Obama's numerous field offices, but it seems that Montana is returning to its roots of being solidly conservative. I think that the difference between this election year and two years ago is the effectiveness of the Democratic noise machine. It worked much more effectively then, resulting in the near election of Sen. Tester, who couldn't have done it without his best friend, the Gov. B.S.
Combine the change in the most recent polls with "The One's" difficulty in maintaining a steady flow of cash on hand, and all those field offices might start going dark early here in Montana. Anyone want to bet that they won't survive until we change off of Daylight Savings? That money would be put to better use elsewhere, along with the staffers, those sweet young innocent naifs who actually believe in him because they don't know any better.
Of course, I suppose that this means we still won't see McCain.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Blind Men and the Elephant

When I was a little kid, we didn't have culturally sensitive books, but I do remember one that had a story about blind men trying to figure out what an elephant was simply by feel. The one who held the tail thought that it was a rope. The one at the legs thought it to be a tree, and the one at the trunk thought it to be some kind of giant snake.
The reason that I bring this up, is that the adage "while victory has a thousand fathers, defeat is an orphan" needs to be updated at least in regards to the Surge. Apparently, the Democrats who were calling for our defeat and had adopted it as part of their campaign against Bush, are now confronted with reality, and they don't like it. Obama had originally said that the Surge couldn't work, but now has backpedalled to say that it did work beyond people's "wildest dreams." But that the Surge was only successful because of the Anbar Awakening. He then backtracks again and says that the surge has failed because the Iraqis haven't met all of the goals that we have set for them. Like the blind men, Obama seems to be concentrating on the small parts and ignoring the whole.
This article is a pretty good analysis of why the Surge has succeeded. It was not just more troops, it was their method of employment that shifted everything. It allowed for the continuance of the Anbar Awakening, and at the same time provided the necessary impetus for Sadr to figure out that he was going nowhere fast if he continued his Mahdi Army operations.
It must be disappointing for the Democrats that their prized child (Defeat) is succumbing to the success of what they said could never happen.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

You Can Almost Smell the Fear

The Moderate Voice Blog points out that the balance of joy in the race for President has shifted to the Republicans. I am sure that the Democrats are beginning to feel like they have seen this movie before. Like some sort of monster flick, where the alien/monster/zombie keeps coming and coming with nothing able to stop it.
This was supposed to be the Democrat's year. After eight years of the unpopular George W. Bush, and a war that was seemingly going nowhere fast, they all looked around and licked their chops and declared themselves the "Savior of their country." Hillary had the aura of inevitability, and swiftly moved to the center in advance of the general election.
The trouble is, the guy who was probably only planning on laying the groundwork for a future run, ended up being their nominee. Sort of like Forrest Gump with a Harvard Law Degree, he then began to believe his own press and became convinced that he was "The One" that we have been waiting for. This was still not a problem for the Democrats, because this was their year. Except they had two problems that they couldn't quite grasp.
First, primaries are not for real. Okay, among the committed (or should be for that matter) political hacks, every vote in a primary is important. That is why Obama could count Idaho as a victory state even though he has no chance of it in the general. Losing more primaries at the end than Hillary, he was still able to limp across the finish line and claim the nomination.
Second, the Republicans are not playing fair. By that, I mean that they are not conforming to the playbook that the Democrats drafted for them. "McCain will be Bush's third term, that the surge was a failure, at least until it succeeded beyond the imagination of even those who supported it (What the heck is that supposed to mean?) but doesn't negate that we shouldn't have been there in the first place." and that McCain has so many houses that he can't count them, and that he has voted with GWB 90% of the time. Those are the talking points that are repeatedly distributed to the believers to be repeated on every news show and shotgunned to every editor of every newspaper in the land. So far so good.
But then, McCain, who the conservative base of the Republican Party felt had been selected for them and who was not their choice, picked Sarah Palin to be his Vice President. The initial response from the Obama campaign, was that she was just a small town mayor and lacked the requisite resume to be vice president. They quickly retracted the snark, for the reason that the Presidential nominee has even less experience than she does. And then it started.
The Main Stream Media taking its cues from the Left Blogosewer started to make every kind of idiotic smear that came to their little heads. As soon as one was knocked down, two more sprang up in their place, just like sowing dragon's teeth. Some were taking odds on when McCain would have his Eagleton moment, and drop Palin from the ticket. Mostly, because in their closed little minds, they thought that conservative closed little minds would reject Palin for having less than perfect children.
But then, the everymom stood in front of the country on Wednesday of the Republican convention, and spoke, and seemed, well, entirely normal. Except that she was funny, and smart, and dinged "community organizers" for having less responsibility for results than a, you know, governor. And America, (who aren't rabid partisans) fell in love. And none fell so hard as the conservative base.
This has driven the Democrats absolutely berserk. They are responding out of anger which is just energized fear. And boy, are they energized in their fear. The New York Times which had found little of interest in any past doings of Obama, sent teams of investigative reporters throughout the breadth and depth of Alaska to dig up some dirt on the good Governor. Any dirt. And if they can't find any dirt, they make it up. And so far, none of it has stuck.
So, all of a sudden, Republicans are happy. But how can this be? the Democrats ask. All of the above talking points still remain valid until later rescinded. But still the popularity of the McCain Palin ticket grows, and now has surpassed that of "The One." When your reality is found to have been a fraud, it can be psychologically disorienting. In this case, maybe devastating. For you see, the Democrats acknowledge that they are going to have a problem with racism that even their base is causing for them. Obama will probably need to have a lead of more that 6% going into the election just to overcome the "Wilder Effect" and even that may not be enough.
It is still possible that Obama with all of his non FEC money will be able to pull off the election. But if he does, what will be his mandate? How will he govern effectively if he has just snuck across the line again? Add in the fact that the first 100 days of his administration are going to be tied up just trying to pass the spending bills that the present Congress has not done, and Obama will have raised expectations and failed to deliver on them. The ultimate "community organizer" results I suppose.
And how will he govern when everyone in America will be comparing him to the governor of Alaska and how she is doing? Knowing that they could have had her instead, and that they will in 2012 because of the strange machinations of how Republicans select their favorites to run for President, she will be the leading choice for that election. And all of this assumes he survives a challenge from Hillary.
Maybe they are right. Maybe the Democrats have real grounds to be afraid.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Battle to Replace Leni Riefenstahl

It's apparent that our shortened attention span has resulted in all truth coming from videos. First, we have Truth Through Action who are not ashamed to point out the purpose of their agitprop is to get Obama elected.

American Centurion from TruthThroughAction.org on Vimeo.

Then we have the other side, who reject Truth Through Action, but use the same tools:
Part 1

Part 2

Who is right? All I know, is that Truth Through Action has obvious misstatements of fact, while the second set use the words of those who now deny them.
I guess you will have to figure it out for yourself.

Why Obama won't ban guns

He doesn't have the votes in Congress.

True Dat

Watch the whole thing, it only takes two minutes, but is well worth it.


A while back, Mark T. postulated that while not all Republicans were racists, all racists were Republican. I suppose that is the willingness to suspend disbelief that keeps him in his insular world. I wonder what he would think about this article?
The fact that the ward manager and the union representative are trying to use the palliative that "He's half white" to get Democrats to line up and vote for the standard bearer of their party, should be rather unsettling.
But I am sure that Mark would just observe that they are really Republicans masquerading as Democrats. The things you have to do to keep your sanity.

UPDATE This isn't about racist Democrats this time, but the blog Concerned Democrats for McCain is pretty interesting. It' written by a guy that has the ultimate in Dem cred, and he rejects TeamObama. Give a read, I'll be adding their link on the right.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Answer to the Question

Right before Memorial Day, Mark T. asked what I am sure is an honest question for him, why is it that we honor those who serve in the military? I know that in his mind, wearing the uniform of our country is tantamount to an admission of war crimes. But during McCain's speech tonight, he said this:
I was in solitary confinement when my captors offered to release me. I knew why. If I went home, they would use it as propaganda to demoralize my fellow prisoners. Our Code said we could only go home in the order of our capture, and there were men who had been shot down before me. I thought about it, though. I wasn't in great shape, and I missed everything about America. But I turned it down.

A lot of prisoners had it worse than I did. I'd been mistreated before, but not as badly as others. I always liked to strut a little after I'd been roughed up to show the other guys I was tough enough to take it. But after I turned down their offer, they worked me over harder than they ever had before. For a long time. And they broke me.

When they brought me back to my cell, I was hurt and ashamed, and I didn't know how I could face my fellow prisoners. The good man in the cell next door, my friend, Bob Craner, saved me. Through taps on a wall he told me I had fought as hard as I could. No man can always stand alone. And then he told me to get back up and fight again for our country and for the men I had the honor to serve with. Because every day they fought for me.

I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else's. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn't my own man anymore. I was my country's.

It is a shame, that Mark will probably never understand what that means.

Why the Panic about a Palin?

Since her announcement as McCain's running mate, there has been a steady stream of derogatory statements by our friends on the Left. The most recent being Helen Thaomas' screed. Now Helen Thomas, is like Dave Barry (unintentionally) without the humor.
When you add up all the others, Wulfgar, Mark T. and my personal favorite Left in the West you see a consistent theme. Sarah Palin is going to be the next President after McCain.
Get used to it. I know that I am looking forward to it.

The Not Ready Candidate

Much has been made by the MSM (We all sold our soul to get "The One" elected, but I got the highest price!) of Sarah Palin not having the experience to run the country if she should become President. But we have only to look at her opposite number to see what more than thirty years of being in Washington as a Senator can do to prepare for the highest office in the land. First, it was we are going to prosecute the Bush Administration for crimes, then, it was "No I never said that."
If experience in Washington means that you can lie like a rug, I don't think that we need that kind of experience.
Another small step in the proof that Obama lacks judgment by picking Biden.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington

Kate at Big Sky Cairn is liveblogging Palin's speech. Good job Kate!

UPDATE: Having just watched her speech, I am reminded of the contrast between her and Geraldine Ferraro. Ms. Ferraro had the disadvantage of being the absolute first, and it may have been due to the times but I thought she came off shrill. Sarah Palin on the other hand had her few moments of imperfection, but I think that she has hit this one out of the park.

Memo to President Obama


31 OCTOBER, 2010

Mr. President:


First the good news, your approval ratings have jumped dramatically in the last two weeks. You are now at 15% approval which is your highest in the last eighteen months. Primarily, this is due to your decision to stay away from all press conferences that do not use teleprompters.

As you know, the restoration of the Fairness Doctrine has enabled us to better manage the information that is coming out about the various problems of the Administration. The New York Times is continuing to work with us on getting your message out to their 86 subscribers, who are behind you 100% of the time.
Unfortunately, we are having a harder time controlling the Internet and cable television. Your initiative to impose the Fairness Doctrine on Internet bloggers and comments has not been as successful, and in fact, has backfired terribly in that bloggers are using remote servers overseas where we are not able to enforce the law. We have had the FBI pull more agents off of counterterrorism actions to confront these scofflaws, but they seem to pop up at a rate of 10:1 as soon as we arrest anyone.
Jamming continues against Rush Limbaugh’s pirate ships that are broadcasting from offshore and Mexico, but your restrictions on only using alternative energy reduce their ability to jam his signals to just a few yards from the antennae. He is continuing to ignore your message of Hope, in spite of the law mandating that everyone have hope no matter how dire their personal situation is. His audience seems to be mostly amused by his suggestion that people should hope in one hand and defecate in the other, and see which fills up faster.
Your communications director, Keith Olbermann continues to provide the press with the Administration’s message from his position as head of NBC News, but their viewers seem to overlap with that of the New York Times, and we are having a difficult time with the other 310 million voters.
Senator Clinton continues her investigations of your Administration in her role as Chairman of the Senate and does not seem to be slowing down. She is now investigating if her proposed nomination to the Supreme Court is just an effort by you to derail her investigations and her already underway campaign to replace you in 2012. We have our operatives working on the matter, but they are unable to get through the barricade of women voters who are now saying “We told you so!”
The financial markets continue to plummet as your phased in increases of the capital gains tax are set for all gains after January 1st of 2003. The Supreme Court has upheld the retroactivity of the tax in this case thanks to your appointment of Barbara Streisand who has tipped the balance of power there. It seems most of the Justices would rather kill themselves than have to deal with her legal reasoning, thereby resulting in the recent spate of 1-0 rulings from the Court. Not to mention the pictures we have of Justice Kennedy with that sheep that he is not married to. We have instructed the Senate Banking and Finance chairs to begin investigation of market manipulations, but to be truthful, we could only leave a message on their answering machines since they refuse to take our calls.

Internationally, our emissaries continue to seek out anyone from the former terrorist group Al Qaeda to apologize for putting Boston in the path of their nuclear weapon. We are also having trouble with Russia, in that Tzar Putin is rejecting our message of hope and understanding. It seems he may be trying to mislead us as he continues mop up operations against Ukraine and the Baltic states. We have been assured that any images showing the destruction of the cities in those countries are just photoshopped and not really indicative of what is happening on the ground.
Europe continues to reject your offers to mediate their desire to surrender to Tsar Putin, and this has been disappointing. It is our analysis that the Tsar may have bitten off more than he can chew as it seems that Al Qaeda appears to have declared war on the Russians as the infidels, thereby reducing any threats to our nation, except for San Francisco, which our scientists estimate will be able to be reoccupied in about 250 years if the anthrax eradication continues on schedule. Al Qaeda operations have continued against the Russian occupied cities of Prague, Vienna and Rome. We are having a difficult time getting reliable information from those areas due to the residual high levels of radioactivity. Our scientists continue to investigate if that radioactivity can be used as an alternative source of energy since it is in such abundant supply at the moment.
There is good news though in Korea, where Kim Jong Il has declared peace after the successful elimination of all resistance in Seoul. With the surrender of the Republic of Korea, our emissaries are now negotiating with those of the People’s Republic so that you can have a face to face meeting with the Beloved Leader and negotiate his use of the trademarked word “Change” in violation of international intellectual property rights laws.

Politically, we have not seen the benefits of a filibuster proof majority in the Senate. It seems that every Democratic Senator has decided that if you could become President, that they are all immensely more qualified than you and are also running for President. All except for Senator Schumer who seems to be running for the position of God. He believes that is his appropriate pay grade, since no one else has it.

Your staff wants you to know that we will continue to promote your message of Hope and Change as the solution to all of the Nation’s problems. However, if you could, a few specifics would be greatly helpful. Not that we doubt your sincerity that Hope and Change will work, but we lack your intellectual firepower to figure out how to implement it.

In summary, we are eagerly awaiting the November elections where it is expected that the Republicans will retake majorities in both houses of Congress. At that time we will implement your proposed strategy of blaming them for everything once again.

The future never looked brighter Sir.