Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ring-ring...Ring-ring

Secretary: "Mr. Gruden?"

Jon: "Yes?"

Secretary: "There's a call for you on line one. A Mr. Jones from Texas. He says you know him. Do you want to talk to a Jerry Jones?"

Jon: "I don't think so. It's way too late..."

Where Is The Love That Was?

Did this ever happen to JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton or Bush? At their own campaign rallies?

Unpleasant Dreams



Doing her thing:




And the real Cassandra Peterson:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Who Are You Rooting Against?

By midnight next Tuesday a lot of questions are going to be answered. Some of the answers are already apparent. In what may be the most remarkable estimation of the election day outcome, we've got this report of the largest wagering house in Ireland declaring payment on those who bet that Republicans would capture the House of Representatives a week before the election takes place.

Not Close Enough to Wait

Where I live the only slightly questionable outcome is the governor's race and this morning incumbent Republican Rick Perry was ahead of former Houston mayor and Clintonista, Bill White, by double digits. The rest is all Republicans locally.

But there are always races that you really root for but can't participate in. Those are the ones where the incumbent is one of those we love to hate. I know that despite my deepest animosity, Nancy Pelosi will be re-elected. It is highly unlikely that Barney Frank will be unseated despite his totally disgusting personality. There is a very good chance that Harry Reid may be taken down.

The ones that I reserve special levels of venom for, however, aren't all Democrats. Right now, the top of my list of desired defeats contains a pair of Republicans, at least in name. Both are self-serving and loathsome individuals that are unwilling to take the will of the voters as their mandate. Each is running as an independent and not the nominee of their party and each is jeopardizing what should be a sure thing for a pair of Senate seats.

Runner-up on my vile list is Charlie Crist of Florida. He got beat like a drum by Marco Rubio in the primary run-up and went rogue, declaring himself an independent. Rubio could win the state in a landslide and in the process significantly bolster the GOP standing among Latinos. Crist, however, dilutes the vote, and although he won't win he gives the Democratic candidate some semblance of hope for an upset. Crist is actually so liberal a "Republican" that the report yesterday was that Bill Clinton was dispatched to encourage the Democratic candidate, Kendrick Meeks, to drop out. Crist looks good to the Left!

The hands-down champ for me is the porker from Alaska. Lisa Murkowski never earned her Senate seat. She inherited it from her father when he decided he would rather milk his state for profit as the governor than get lost in a crowd of 100 Senators himself. As newly elected governor he appointed his daughter to his vacant seat. There she ear-marked her way to fame and fortune. When Sarah Palin took the governorship and went at the corruption in her state, Murkowski was on her list of targets.

Incumbent Senators don't lose primaries, but Murkowski did. Could she hear the voters? Apparently not. She has chosen to run a write-in candidacy against a Republican who is a graduate of West Point and combat veteran. He would be certain to win the general election without Lisa's interference.

The thing to watch is the handling of the write-in candidacy. The rules for write-ins are quite restrictive. The writing must be legible and correctly spelled. Murkowski ain't Jane Doe. The issue though is whether the Murkowski machine still has enough beef in the state courts to weasel around the law and accept votes for Lisa even when they aren't correctly cast.

She is below despicable. She is not interested in the public service of elected office. She earns the championship for my list of candidates I'm eager to see lose.

Got any targets yourself?

Smoking Gun

When is a campaign sex smear not a smear?

I guess that would be when there is no sexual activity involved. It would probably be even less damaging when the accuser was wearing a Boy Scout uniform! Probably even less when the uniform is borrowed. Maybe even miniscule when the accuser is taking money for the allegations and is the male roommate of the owner of the uniform who is an executive of BSA.

Simply Unbelievable: Loyal, Trustworthy, Brave, Dishonest...

If O'Donnell is such a bad candidate, why do they stoop to this sort of thing?

World Series

The Series is not going well for Texas. Apparently they went to California and left their bats home and a rampant virus has infected the bullpen leaving arms as limp as spaghetti.

What amazed me, however, more than the pathetic level of play was the San Francisco crowd. Here we are less than a week from election day and in full campaign mode but the Congressional representative from the Giants home district was conspicuously absent. Wouldn't an appearance as a real person of the people, enjoying America's pastime and rooting the team to victory be a plus? Where were you Nancy?

Saturday, Sunday and Monday the games will be in Arlington. Wanna bet former President George W. Bush will be in attendance?

UPDATE:


Bush Pere et Fils In Lineup

That bet was too easy to win.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Fighter Pilot

I've said it often and won't change my mind. Flying fighters is an assignment. Being a Fighter Pilot is a way of life. Some pilots fly fighters and will never be Fighter Pilots. You aren't a Fighter Pilot because you say you are. You are a Fighter Pilot when other people say you are. That is an honor that is aspired to by many, but not all achieve it.

But, I'm only one person and that's only my opinion.

Here's another man's analysis; a man with arguably a more poetic way of expressing himself.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Is This The Onion?

Sometimes the law seems a bit confusing. Angels dancing on the heads of pins are simple compared to what goes on in the legal mind.

But today we have a premier event. This is the coming out party for Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. (No pun intended.) She participates in the first court decision. She votes with the liberal minority.

Execution Stay Denied

I'm not surprised. Who could not be sympathetic to a heinous killer who has been tried, convicted and sentenced of a crime deemed worthy of snuffing him.

What I am surprised about is that the lower courts granted stays. The reason?


Since the only U.S. manufacturer of sodium thiopental had suspended production, Arizona officials said they had obtained a supply of the drug from a British company.
A judge had put the execution on hold because she said she was "left to speculate" whether this drug was safe for its intended use.
That is worthy of Saturday Night Live! The judge is worried that the drug might not be safe for its intended use which is to KILL SOMEBODY!

What could be the possible indicators that a drug which kills you is unsafe? Are you more dead or less dead or equally dead if it is unsafe? What does a safe lethal drug look like?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

So Not Getting It

If it weren't so pathetic, I would be laughing. The East Coast looks down on the West Coast and the pair look down on the rest of the nation. They, the anointed ones, know the truth and by listening to them the rest of us will be enlightened and led to true peace and contentment, suckling quietly at the teat of the government which determines what is best for us.

We've got cute, perky, Katie Couric, the talk show airhead who was co-opted to be the next Dan Rather/Walter Cronkite/Ed Murrow but with heels and a push-up bra. Declared to have instant gravitas, she takes the helm of CBS Nightly News and immediately drives the Big Eyeball into the deepest recesses of the network news ratings basement. But, that's OK, because she's cute and perky.

Now we've get this incisive piece from the next generation of main-stream media, the mainstream media blog! They interview the perk-mistress and find that she's getting down and dirty. She's going where she was meant to be, the field where the real reporting action takes place.

"The Great Unwashed Middle of the Country"

Yes, she really said that! If you ain't New Yawk City, you are "unwashed"! And the Daily Beast doesn't even falter at that. But, where does she go to find out what middle America is really thinking?

That’s why Couric has spent recent weeks in Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is touring what she calls “this great unwashed middle of the country” in an effort to divine the mood of the midterms.
She's going to find the "mood of the midterms" in Chicago? Philly, Boston and New Brunswick are mainstream America? Wow, there's no limit to how open minded this cutie really is. She's taking risks here to inform the properly bathed and coifed New Yorkers what's really what out there.

When she was chatting up young voters at Boston College last week, her eyes lit up and a broad grin emerged—not the stern face of the prompter reader.

And if you really want to find out what the young adults of America are concerned with, there's no greater melting pot than Boston College!

But Katie isn't afraid to tackle the issues either. There's nothing superficial or banal about her reporting. She goes where the people need her to go and then she digs deep. To keep anyone from passing out in anticipation for the evening news, she passes her pithy observations continually through Twitter:

In the meantime, she is smitten with her 100,000 followers on Twitter. “My friends accuse me of becoming a bit of a Twitter addict,” says Couric, who has tweeted about everything from the pumpkin latte at Starbucks (she hates it) to catching the new Facebook movie (Mark Zuckerberg seems like a “jerk”). 

Maybe I'm not so unwashed as she thinks, but then again maybe I am. I love pumpkin lattes at Starbucks (I had one once a couple of years ago) and I don't think a self-made thirty-something billionaire can be too much of a jerk.

I'm betting that despite the awed adulation of the Daily Beast, we'll be seeing perky Katie disappear from the network within the next couple of years. The only qualifier is that it won't be because she is such a monumental twit, but rather because the three major networks are simply going to give up on attempting to shape the rest of the unwashed nation into their perception of what we should be.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Luddites

Remember when scientists were adventurous? Remember when research was encouraged to push the limits of what mankind can achieve?

Remember when they said man could never fly? Remember when Galileo recanted his thinking before the Italian Inquisition? Socrates and the cup of hemlock? Well, I wasn't there either, but I read about it.

So, now apparently the good scientists want man to stay in his proper little boxes, lest we be accused of messing with Mom Nature:

GlowBall Warmening Comes From Space Tourists!

Soon the eco-freaks will be throwing Branson in the dungeon.

Home Crowd Enthusiasm Down

If you wanted to list some places in the nation that are very deep blue, places that epitomize the Democratic Party and redistributionist, big labor policies, you would find Detroit on the short list. Detroit is what it is today because of the Democratic Party. That isn't a compliment.

When you are in an election which portends to be a huge defeat for you, you tend to contract and go for the warm fuzzies of the friendly crowd. When all is collapsing, you prop up the least threatened of your minions and orchestrate the sound-bites and film clips to show adoring crowds supporting you. That's why the President is rushing hither and yon from Philadelphia to Chicago to Berkeley but not to Dallas and Helena and Omaha.

So here we've got the real star-power of the Dems making the scene in the core constituency and apparently the home town crowd has begun to see the man behind the curtain:

Two-Thirds of High School Auditorium Empty

Apparently when he tells them that the reports they are reading are false, that the media are lying to them and that conditions are really improving under Democratic leadership, they look around them and see the reality of their situation.

When you can't draw the crowd for the home games your team is really weak.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Musings on an NFL Game

Watching the normal Sunday afternoon pastime and a thought began to vex me.

There are rules against grabbing the face mask and horse-collar tackles. Those are personal fouls and result in a fifteen yard penalty. Yet in a game of lightning fast reactions and split second decisions, face masks get grabbed and horse-collar tackles occur. At the same time it is becoming increasingly common to have a mane of dreadlocks or flowing curls down the back of the jersey to the middle of the back obscuring the player's name.

Why does it never happen that someone grabs a handful of hair and twirls the player around like a poodle on a short leash? It would seem inevitable.

As a secondary question on the hair issue, I ponder the dreads. Now Troy Palomolu has got the Samson thing going for him. His mass of frizzed out Polynesian Islander pompadour is quite clearly washable. But what of the dreadlocks?

Football players perspire. Dare I say they sweat as an industrial endeavor. They quite clearly don't have enough time in the day to unravel, shampoo, dry and rebraid the locks after every practice. So, the only conclusion I can reach is that they sweat, the locks get saturated, they shower and superficially soap the 'do and then get the exterior of the braids dry. That means mold, mildew and a pervasive stench, I would think.

Anybody got an alternative explanation?

Foxes In The Henhouse

It surprising to me how few Americans know that Gerrymandering is perfectly legal and Constitutional. Most think that it is a surreptitious practice of unscrupulous pols that defies democracy.

Elbridge Gerry was one of the signatories to the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. He is notable for refusing to sign the Constitution of the United States because it did not include a Bill of Rights. Hardly someone whom you would characterize as a miscreant. Yet, he is known primarily for having his name attached to the practice of carving out representative districts to favor an incumbent or a political party. When a strangely shaped district appeared in the Boston area, someone quipped that it resembled a lizard or salamander.  Since it favored Gerry, it was dubbed a Gerrymander.

Redistricting is mandated by the Supreme Court after each decennial census. The objective is to insure equality of representation. Every citizen has an equal proportionate share of his representative. The court has further extended the principle to all levels of government including state legislatures, county commissions and city councils.

Naturally it is a political process and it is recognized as such. There are attempts to encircle areas of concentrations of support and divide areas of opposition. A party in power will try to cement that control and enlarge their majority. A party in the minority will struggle to gain a foothold in new districts. Incumbents will always seek to retain their districts. And, since the Civil Rights revolution of the '60s and '70s, redistricting has been encouraged to specifically create majority-minority districts drawn with specific consideration of ethnicity. All of these are Constitutional applications of gerrymandering.

The problem is that redistricting is typically the responsibility of the state legislatures. That creates incredible partisan emphasis and often leads to deadlocks and inability to accomplish the task. The job then falls to the courts where it is no less partisan and only slightly more satisfactory.

Now this:

Pelosi Seeks Strangle Hold On Redistricting

There is a very strong argument for a citizen's board doing the redistricting. It detaches the process a bit from the partisanship of the legislatures. There still is linkage through the appointment process for the commission, but it offers a bit of removal from politics and a bit more clarity of focus. Pelosi doesn't like that.

"Financial Accountability..." is exactly the sort of terminology that tells voters who already don't understand the process even less about what is going to happen. Who could possibly argue against accountability? I guess that would be someone who actually wants more of it in the redistricting process.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sacrificial Lamb

I can believe this. I don't like the fact that someone in a supposedly responsible position would suggest it. But I believe it.

How Low and Slow Do You Want It?

Clinton officials held small, weekly White House breakfasts in National Security Advisor Sandy Berger’s office.

That is so reminiscent of the Tuesday morning breakfast meetings that LBJ and McNamara used to have in '66 to discuss what worthless targets they would dole out for us to risk our lives attacking in North Vietnam. With croissants and orange juice they drew circles on maps to isolate anything of value and then expended us wholesale in futile sorties calculated not to damage the enemy.

I guess it is a Democratic defense tradition.

The Cost of Dialog

Remember how the Bamster told us about George W. Bush causing the rest of the world to hate America? Remember how his policy of respect for other cultures, apologies for simply being American, negotiation with rogue nations for the nonnegotiable and abrogation of American exceptionalism was going to make them all love us? Apparently the love being offered is of the tough variety.

Entourage, Security, Traffic Jams, Luxury and Expense Account Living

Can you begin to add up the cost of this little escapade? All of the 5-star Taj, 125 rooms at the Taj President, another 80-90 at the Grand Hyatt and Oberoi, three jumbo jets including AF One, 45 vehicles, total grid-lock of one of the most populous cities in the world and his own private chef because he might be poisoned by our friends.

This is a headache for the Indians of the highest order. When this show goes down there are going to be another million or so folks who detest America. Security for a President is important, but this is extravagance.

Why? Maybe it will be to escape the aftermath of the election bloodbath on November 2nd. Priceless!

Conflicted in Texas

As a Chicago boy from the North Side, I've long been a baseball fan mired in frustration. I remember those spring days in our apartment when I'd be home with a cold or upset tum-tum and turn to the 13 inch black-and-white television for solace. WGN had all of the Cubs games and in those days before Wrigley Field was defiled with lights, it would always be sunlight games. The team was so bad in those days that Jack Brickhouse would be announcing paid attendance figures of hundreds rather than thousands.

But, now in Texas, I've overcome my aversion to American League baseball and the cursed designated hitter. I've become a Rangers fan and last night I had something to cheer about. The boys from the Ballpark at Arlington became the pennant winners of the AL. Next Wednesday they will be in the World Series against San Francisco or Philly.

Today is Saturday in football season and Texas plays Iowa State. That should be someone they can beat. Yet, I can't feel the total joy of these two events, nor can I look forward to the future without trepidation. Darkness looms.

Dish & Fox Dig In

This happened two years ago. It lasted for about four days after the deadline, but in the process there were some missed World Series games and NFL Fox games. This year we've been without the regional Fox sports channels for more than three weeks and the ax on the rest of Fox feeds is going to fall on November 1.

Switching providers is always an option. Unfortunately cable service in my area doesn't offer the channels and provides absolutely zero HD. The alternative satellite service, DirectTV, is still behind Dish in terms of HD offerings and pricing. Switching satellite antennae and receivers is a hassle but I'm getting sick of the threats and outages.

Maybe this is simply posturing for the negotiations. Maybe they will realize that a broadcaster makes money by advertising and viewership is what drives rates. It is in Fox interest to get the viewers that Dish offers. Dish loses customers whenever they pull this contract business. That costs them service calls and loses revenue. It is in Dish interest to resolve this and keep the customers happy. Of course there is the fair value of the products to both parties in the negotiation, but they've got a common interest in keeping viewers.

Meanwhile I'll miss the Texas football game today and if the Rangers haven't swept the Series, I might miss the important games there.

My joy over the AL Championship is severely mitigated.

Saturday Morning Mellow Rocker

Friday, October 22, 2010

Asking the Bigger Question

There are questions that come to mind when seeing this headline:

WikiLeaks At It Again

The first and regrettably the darkest question is that of Henry II regarding Thomas Becket, "Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?" It would seem that in the real world an issue like this Scandinavian do-gooder could be handled expeditiously and with the proper extreme prejudice. Where is a reliable assassin when you need one?

But the much better question to ask is, "How porous is our Pentagon security?"

How does this fool amass half a million classified documents? Does he just walk into the building with a pocket full of terrabyte drives and a USB cable? Does he have his own high-speed internet hookup to Intelligence Data Central? Is no body locking the safe at night any more?

Sure, I understand a disgruntled E-4 intel specialist being co-opted for a CD-ROM of bureaucratic reports, but this is mass access and apparently goes on without abatement.

Either there is high level administration collusion or there is a level of incompetence that has never before been achieved. Whichever it is someone better put a cork in it soon.

Manifest Ignorance

We've got a Congressional race in Dallas that is getting interesting. The long term incumbent, Eddie Bernice Johnson, is under the gun because she dispensed more than 23 college scholarships to her own family and key staff members. As a member of the Congressional Black Caucus Scholarship Committee, Johnson was supposed to administer a program to aid deserving minority students in her district. She declared a lack of "worthy candidates" and doled out the dollars to her own relatives. Voters are being asked to overlook this minor indiscretion and concentrate on the years of welfare pork she has gained for them. Johnson naively claims she didn't know that was wrong.

The opponent is a Black conservative. Clearly that is going to be a conflict for the minority majority district. How can they discredit an African/American candidate running against a corrupt Democrat caught with her hand in the cookie jar.

Well, how about this Dallas Morning News revelation:

Revolution Always an Option

The frightening thing about that is the fact that the interviewer, the DMN reporter and the Chairman of the Dallas County Republican Party did not recognize the language:

"We have a constitutional remedy," Broden said then. "And the Framers say if that don't work, revolution."
Watson asked if his definition of revolution included violent overthrow of the government. In a prolonged back-and-forth, Broden at first declined to explicitly address insurrection, saying the first way to deal with a repressive government is to "alter it or abolish it."
"If the government is not producing the results or has become destructive to the ends of our liberties, we have a right to get rid of that government and to get rid of it by any means necessary," 

One would assume that somewhere along the line one of the critics would have recognized the language from the Declaration of Independence.

That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. 

And, the apparent total lack of familiarity with Jefferson's oft-stated views on revolution simply ices the ignorance cake.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Consuming Their Young

Eating your young is a favorite activity of senior officers in the military, failing industries and apparently the far left media. National Public Radio is ostensibly a federally funded voice of the arts, culture and society at large. They offer programming that might not be readily profitable for a commercial, free-enterprise radio outlet. Saturday afternoon at the Met might not garner an audience of the demographic slices necessary to support a local FM station.

But we've also long known that NPR reaches into the realm of editorializing and pontificating to shape the news and events of the day to the advantage of the far left. It is what it is. Yet, you might think that they would welcome a participation in the rest of the world that would offer their stars a greater voice, demonstrate the intellectual superiority of their participants and possibly attract new listeners to their message.

Juan Williams has long been that sort of media star. I like Juan. He's a hard-working and obviously intelligent guy. He is articulate and well-spoken. He's a regular on the Fox All-Stars panel for Bret Baire and Chris Wallace. I don't often agree with him. He can sound like a walking talking point for the DNC. But he provides a perspective from that side of the political spectrum. He can challenge the statements of the right and he can visibly frustrate the hell out of Brit Hume who is the very model of unshakability.

Honesty Earns a Pink Slip

Did you watch the video? Don't you feel the same way? Would it be disingenuous to deny the feelings? Juan said what he feels and he acknowledged freely that it might not be just, right, or proper. But the feelings were there and we all have them. We, in the general public, have come to know what the enemy looks like. No, a potential terrorist is not going to come to the target in a flowing djellabah. He's going to be in mainstream blue jeans and look like an itinerant college student or engineer. But we still feel just like Juan.

Juan spoke the truth. And, in doing so, he was deemed "off the reservation" and NPR released him. Maybe now, Juan can earn some real money working for the free market, saying what he really thinks, and being a rational voice even with a slightly leftist bias. That would be a good thing for us and for Juan as well.

Meanwhile, NPR will sink further into the morass of media oblivion.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Alarm Words

Do recognize when someone dumps one of those irrefutable clauses into a debate or discussion? Are you even aware of them? They've become so standardized and we are so immune to them that we simply nod our heads rhythmically like the little black dog on the rear window deck of a '60s vintage Chevy.

Start listening for them in interviews as we wind down to the election. What they mean is that beyond this point no discussion by a rational human being is possible. You are about to be made aware of immutable truth and only a total fool would dare to question or challenge the assertions laid before you.

"The fact of the matter is..."
"History show us..."
"The majority of Americans know..."
"To protect the children..."
"Fairness demands that..."
"Working class families..."
"All things considered..."
"For those living at or near the poverty level..."
"Rights granted by..."
"Creating or saving jobs..."
"Cuts for 95% of working Americans..."

And, of course, "Shovel-ready projects..."

What's your favorite meaningless discussion ender?

A River In Egypt

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain..."The Great Oz has spoken!"

We've got rallies, debates, polls from the left and the right, news coverage in which even the MSM is speaking of the destruction of the Democratic Party at the polls in less than two weeks but David Axelrod tells you not to notice:

November Surprise

Mr. Axelrod, I don't want to burst your bubble but ACORN is defunct, the Daley Machine in Chicago cannot swing elections across the country, there aren't enough corpses in all of the cemeteries in the nation to get out of the vote for the pathetic bunch that you are supporting.

You are viewing the pyramids of Giza and aren't aware of the name of the river you are cruising.

Fat Old Men

Four fat old men gathered around a table at a bar in a small north Texas town, sipping Shiner and munching nachos. They weren't too loud and there weren't enough folks in the bar for a late lunch to really be disturbing anybody. They occasionally leaned forward to share something a bit profane and they laughed a lot.

Ravens

Three were Ravens and one was me. If we told you the stories, we'd have to kill you.

Return From a Reunion

God, I've loved my life.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Possessed

Seriously now, would you buy a used car from this guy:

Money Holes

What do you do if you have too much money and too much time? Well, you could invest in a money hole. It would be a lot of fun. You would meet a lot of interesting people. You would have something to do on weekends when the morning air is crisp, the sky is cerulean blue, the wild flowers aren't yet gone from the byways and the hill country of Texas beckons.






There were more, but you get the idea. Beautiful machinery, but even with unlimited bucks (apparently) they are temperamental little beasties. They left shortly after this for a ramble around the countryside, all armed with a tool kit and a willingness to get their manicured fingernails a bit greasy to keep their baby running.

I don't know the reason, or the linkage to the Cobras, but that evening in the Officer's Club bar, the survivors of the road tour gathered in retro World War II costumes for a banquet and camaraderie. They fit right into the ambiance of the Hangar Hotel.

A Matter of Degree

I teach ideology in my political science classes. I don't indoctrinate, at least not intentionally, but I try to get students to understand what drives our political process. It is the way we view our relationship to our government. What is the proper role of government in our lives? Are there limits? To whom do we look for solutions to problems in society?

Our bipolar political system emerged quite naturally from the philosophical bipolarity of the Founders. Start with the Federalists and Anti-Federalists debating over how to allocate power between the states and the federal government. From the Hobbesian principle that power of government comes from consent of the governed, it can be argued that the level of government closest to the people has the confidence and responsibility for the basics and higher levels of government can only exercise that which is delegated to them.

The Constitution establishes an arrangement of limited federal government. Federalists favored more power for the top level and Anti-Federalists argued for retention of more authority for the individual states. By today's standards, however, both factions were adamantly anti-federalist and arguably quite conservative.

The Tea Party movement is illustrating these basics to a degree that absolutely confounds the liberal left and the mainstream media. Here is an excellent discussion of what I'm talking about:

Why Liberals Don't Get the Tea Party Movement

In my estimation there is another aspect which isn't mentioned, but seems conspicuous when you recognize it. For the last twenty-five years a major wedge issue between Democrats and Republicans has been that coalition which emerged when Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell leaped into the public eye. The Christian Coalition and the Moral Majority activated an almost fanatical segment of the American electorate that previously had been unheard.

Initially they were viewed as a "stealth" party. They learned how the system worked, they instructed their supporters how to be effectively involved, and they became instantly successful at the lowest levels of government. They got elected to school boards, city councils, county commissions and soon state legislatures. When Ronald Reagan incorporated the Religious Right into a coalition with free market capitalists, patriotic Americans and an independent white collar middle class, the Republican Party was reborn.

Over time, however, the Democrats achieved success by focusing on the occasionally repressive aspects of a group which seemed intent on imposing their own religion and morality on the population at large. Rather than classically conservative in terms of low taxes, free markets, and individual responsibility, the emphasis was on restricting other people's rights and by extension denying them opportunity to fulfill themselves. Accurate or not, the perception became the truth.

The Tea Party Movement is now a manifestation of a nation ready to embrace the core traditional conservative values again. The lack of a strong moral issue agenda is the difference. They don't talk about abortion and prayer and gay rights. They talk about taxes and limited government. They want freedom to be successful and secure the future for their family and business. They want a Constitution that describes limited government rather than expansive responsibility over every aspect of our lives. They want to be left alone to prosper.

It is very appropriate when some appear at Tea Party rallies costumed in Revolutionary War era clothing. They can easily be identified with our Founders; both Federalists and Anti-Federalists. You may recall that many of them were at the first tea party in Boston Harbor.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Gatherings

This weekend I'm ensconced in the Hangar Hotel in Fredericksburg Texas. It's a great place, built in a WW II era hangar structure and themed around airplanes. The desk clerk is outfitted in airline uniform shirt, the public areas are decorated with 1940s luggage, airplane pictures and memorabilia. Outside there is, of course, an airfield with aircraft coming and going.

Hangar Hotel

The high point for an itinerant fighter pilot always seems to be the watering hole. Here at the Hangar, it's the "Officer's Club" and it is quite simply a very neat bar. Paneled walls, plushy leather arm-chairs, comfortable stools at the bar with a congenial barmaid, a pool table, some retro-style pully-driven ceiling fans lending a colonial Brit flavor and a separate TV room with a giant 80 inch flat-panel TV to watch the Rangers collapse before the Yankees onslaught.

I'm in town for the sixth annual gathering of the surviving members of the 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron that flew F-105s in the early years of the Vietnam war. We'll assemble north of town in Willow City for BBQ, beer and BS today.

But, the Hangar always has something else going on. This year it is a gathering of the Texas Cobra Club. There are more AC Cobras in the parking lot than I ever imagined could exist. All colors, all variants, all noisy and adrenaline surges on wheels. I'll try to get some pix up tomorrow.

The Cobras aren't originals though. They are all kit-car builds commemorating the Shelby racing classics. The result is a bit of creativity, a huge upgrade in technology and a wide variety of engines. A bunch of bored/stroked power plants offering even more ponies per pound than the original Cobra. One even displays the tiniest little bow-tie on the engine plaque; a heretic who dumped a Chevy mill into the Cobra frame. Regardless, they are all pretty.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Speaking of Food

After trying to provide at least nominal support for the nutritional inconsistencies of the First Lady, I now turn to this rather fascinating experiment. The scientist purchased a basic McDonald's Happy Meal, apparently without condiments. Since I've never been within fifty feet of a Happy Meal I cannot testify whether that is a possible option, but with at least a peripheral understanding of the nuanced taste of the target clientèle for Happy Meals, I can assume that bare is the default configuration.

The product was uncovered and arrayed on a table in the open in a New York City apartment. Apparently one with central climate control and no insect infestations manifest. Daily for six months a photo was taken and then assembled into the short video. What you might anticipate is not what occurred:

The Incredible Immortal Burger

That might explain a lot about my relative lack of enthusiasm for fast food in America. It seems that it is indestructible. Whether or not it is nutritious remains to be determined.

Naturally the McDonald's folks were contacted to provide an explanation for the remarkable longevity.

The Desert Conditions In NYC Led to Mummification Not Mold

One then might go on to assume that the dessicated burger and fries would be suitable for a camping expedition where they could be rehydrated and restored to original texture, flavor and wholesome goodness.

Do As I Say...

C'mon, I never thought she really ate the way she wants the rest of Americans to eat. One days not get that 10:45 hour-glass figure by nibbling on broccoli florets and arugula leaves. The Saturday night dinner dates dashing by AF One to Charlie Trotter's or Topolobampo back in the home town, the mad-cap round of lobsters in Maine, jambalaya on the Gulf Coast, and a dash off to El Bulli in Spain are where it's really at for the Lady Michelle.

Just Us Girls Out For Watercress Sandwiches...Not!

We should really cut her some slack. I knew the truth even without that report. Besides, everyone from Chicago knows that the only thing you can get at the Billy Goat Inn is "cheesburga, cheesburga, cheesburga." And, of course "cheeps, no fries."

Conspiracy

It was always tough to vote in the military. The simple logistics of the issue were at the root. Getting timely mail to the far-flung corners of the earth where American fighting men and women serve is difficult. Meshing that with the dates for primaries and caucuses for the hundreds of thousands of jurisdictions makes it tougher still.

But then there was the regulation and bureaucracy overlaid. It didn't ease the process, didn't visibly increase security or lessen fraud and didn't make it simple for the busy GI to get into the system. Request a ballot. Do it on the approved form. Have it notarized and counter-signed by your commander. Sign for your ballot. Get your completed ballot verified by your commander. Remember to sign across the seal of the envelope. Return to county clerk at least x number of days before election.

I thought it was incompetence, but now I'm getting paranoid.

Illinois Late and Elections Tight

New York Boots Mailing Deadline

New Mexico Must Be Forced to Comply

Let me see. Military likely to be strongly conservative. Democrats in power at federal level and in violator states. Races close and likely to oust Democrats. Yep, it all adds up to conspiracy. Maybe I'm not paranoid.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Spotting a Trend?

Even a semi-senile old curmudgeon like me can begin to see something emerging in American politics. Take a look:

Incumbent Republican Michelle Bachman. Raised $5.4 million for her campaign last week.

Kristi Noem in South Dakota, Republican challenger gathered $1.1 million in support last week.
Sharon Angle, challenging Harry Reid in Nevada now leads in polling and raised $14.1 million in the last three weeks.
And even a witch seems to be making incredible inroads into an otherwise deep blue state.
Could it be that this year's prom queens are going to be a bit easier on the eyes as well as on the mental images?
Yep, I think I see a trend developing.

Retired: Extremely Dangerous

This simply looks like a great way to spend a few hours:

Still In the Tank

How can anyone still believe the innuendos and accusations that the media is somehow in the tank for the Bamster? Of course they aren't blatant in their support! Who could possibly impugn their balance and integrity?

I mean just because you are three weeks out from an election which looks as though the Messiah's Minions are going to take an incredible drubbing why would you think that an hour of pontificating time on a fistful of major cable networks would be political?

MTV, BET, Viacom Look Like Ducks, Quack Like Ducks, Walk Like Ducks

And, need I note that their audiences may not be among the most politically astute and discerning populations we have gifted with the franchise?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pledge

I've corrected and attempted to educate quite regularly when someone expresses great outrage that an American would not stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. I bristle with exceptional regularity at those who rant about the evil atheists who would seek to remove that troublesome phrase, "under God" from the recitation.

They will ignorantly talk about the Founding Fathers' belief in God and their recitation of the incantation which didn't exist until every single one of them had been dead for at least 60 years. I run into a brick wall when I suggest that prior to Dwight Eisenhower we didn't mention God and I seem to have turned out relatively patriotic and tolerably moral despite not saying "under God". I've even tried to point out that pledging something doesn't insure you actually believe it or live by it. One need only examine marriage vows for confirmation of the concept.

This may be mandatory reading for the great unwashed of this nation:

The Pledge Now a Book With Actual Facts!

But, of course, the true patriot will not be deterred by facts and history. The zealot knows that despite facts, they are correct and they won't read the book. Why break a perfectly good string of years of isolation from knowledge?

Model for Messiah's Intel Agency

Intelligence is a very difficult business. Spies live in a veritable "labyrinth of mirrors" to dredge up the James Angleton metaphor we had all forgotten. The difficulty is discerning the truth from the artful fabrication. It isn't easy and using the right tools for the job becomes critically important.

Witness this:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Isolated, Insular, Arrogant & Clueless

Time Magazine would never make the short list or even an incredibly long compendium of conservative news sources. Their credibility as an unbiased source was slowly eroded over the last thirty years and finally came crashing down in 2007-08 when they ran monthly covers of the Messiah. He's been on the cover more often than Hitler, Stalin, Mao and all other US Presidents combined (hyperbole admitted!)

Here they try to extol the Messiah's effort to climb the unbearably steep mountain, but can't quite overcome the clear facts of the incompetence:

Why Don't People Like Him?

I can't disagree with the basic premise. The administration is very apparently not up to the task. They are too narcissistic and self-serving to be able to deal with the issues. They campaign very well, but they have no qualifications to govern.

I do disagree with the distinction that Halperin makes between the electorate and an elite. At this point, I think the elite and the electorate are one. They all  agree that the Bamster is unable to handle the task.

To Protect and Defend...

...the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic."

That's the operative phrase from the oath. It doesn't seem particularly controversial. I held no reservations when I said it and I'm comfortable that I lived it responsibly for my entire life.

We learn about "lawful orders" and how we must deal with ethical questions and disagreements. We study war crimes and treason, sedition and revolution. We are trained to exercise judgment in determining if a refusal to comply is proper. The nation has been well-served by the oath and the process.

That's why this should create more than a momentary pause:

Baby Seized by State from Oath Keeper

Child abuse is problematic. Spousal abuse is a crime. Endangerment of a child must be prevented. But there is no way I can conclude that a public expression of support for the oath would be grounds for this action.

I try to avoid leaping on the bandwagon of the sensational. I reserve final judgment on this until more is revealed, but right now this looks particularly egregious.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Memoirs Can Be Short Too

Want to sit down before the fire place with a good book and a glass of vintage port? Well, maybe this isn't the one for you.

How Much Memoir Can You Generate In Diapers?

Seriously? At sixteen, you've spent half your life in cribs and kindergartens, upchucking and filling your Pampers. You've been coifed into an androgynous toy then packaged and re-mastered until you've got just the vibe for a nine-year old girl to swoon over.

What to Do When You Get Bored

Sometimes you just have to...

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Culture of Dependency

Nothing says Democrat more strongly than a government program. They build their base by taking our tax dollars and providing bread and circuses in return. Somehow they ignore the simple truth that if we kept those dollars we could buy our own bread from the free market baker and spend our recreational budget on the entertainment we chose.

Possibly no cause can be more heart-tugging than the support of our veterans. People who have given up a portion of their lives in service to their country deserve special consideration. Government is more than willing to provide particularly if it can be done through creation of a massive bureaucracy. Witness the Veteran's Administration healthcare system.

Just south of Alamo North where I live is the congressional district of Democrat incumbent Chet Edwards. In the five years I've lived here I've had the opportunity to listen to his campaign ads a couple of times. He is a sleaze-bag of the first order. I would love the opportunity to do a line-by-line dismantling of his blather but apparently it sells well in his district. He's at it again and this time he really looks threatened.

Here is one of his issues:

Don't Let Them Privatize Your Vet Care

First, let me stipulate that as a military retiree I operate under a different system. I qualified for Tricare, a managed care insurance plan, until reaching 65 and now I receive Medicare and Tricare-For-Life. The double coverage program provides me excellent benefits.

Veterans healthcare is offered to any who have served in the military, even those who did not stay for an entire career. There are catches, however.

Like all government benefits, availability is limited. You must register in the system and be qualified. There are a range of priority levels to allocate care. Combat disabled vets are priority one, as they should be. POWs are at the top of the list as well. Vets with partial disability incurred in combat are at the middle of the priority list, but are guaranteed services...EXCEPT you must first offer full financial disclosure during your registration.

The lowest priority are simply those who have served. If they can demonstrate financial need, they move up the list. I'm priority four, meaning partial disability from combat activity, and I don't require financial need to be demonstrated, but I still am asked to disclose my finances and assets. I refuse. I don't need them. It is none of their business.

You don't have to be a vet to be aware of the massive VA hospitals and medical centers. The ones like Walter Reed and Brooks Army Medical Center are doing a great job helping our wounded warriors through recovery and rehab. But there is a dark underside to VA medical services.

You don't have to look to hard to find people who have been harmed by incompetent care. Infections and botched surgeries are common. Abuse and neglect of hospital patients are readily encountered. Long delays for services and referral to unqualified practitioners is the norm. Like virtually every large government program it is inefficient and poorly administered. It is a money pit dedicated to self-preservation. It is the program that Chet Edwards is protecting against Bill Flores' suggestion.

Privatization of veteran's healthcare is not denial. It is enhancement. Easier access, better providers, increased convenience and patient choice at lower cost are not something to avoid. They are a better way of dealing with the issue.

Saturday Morning Rocker

I never did decide whether I liked the rock and roll cellos of ELO or the flute of Ian Anderson better:

Friday, October 08, 2010

We Misstated, Overestimated, Seasonally Adjusted

...and the numbers still suck!

Read this item critically and see how many times you shake your head in awe:

Jobs Down Still More. Now at 9.6% Unemployment

You should stumble right there in the first line with this:




The U.S. economy unexpectedly shed jobs in September
Who didn't expect that? Taxes poised to rise, indecision about health care, promises of strangling regulation and a President very visibly floundering? 


A total of 77,000 temporary jobs for the decennial census were terminated last month.
Hint: those aren't now and never were real "jobs". They produce nothing and suck at the economy. Bean counting bureaucrats do something that is mandated by the Constitution but they aren't real jobs. Memo to self: Suggest to Nancy Pelosi that she legislate to extend the census into a continuous and never-ending counting process.

The government revised data for July and August to show 15,000 more jobs lost that previously reported.  
You mean they lied to us? Even worse, that means they lied to Joe Biden leading him to announce the recovery was robust and the recession over. How evil!

It also said its preliminary benchmark revision estimate indicated employment in the 12 months to March had been overstated by 366,000. 
What? The lying apparently is endemic. Maybe that's too harsh. Maybe they aren't dishonest, only seriously incompetent. I'm not sure which is worse.

There is plenty more to choke on in that report. The outlook is bleak and possibly this news could convince the ignorati to start acting rather than hoping and change us back.

UPDATE: Low Balling Disclosed by Gallup
That's right folks. The government apparently is cooking the books to make the bad look not quite so bad as we approach election day. Who would have thunk it?

Wounded Warriors

Over at Warrior Class the cause of aid to our brave wounded warriors was raised. Support for our troops extends well beyond putting a yellow ribbon on your lapel or a magnetic logo on your trunk lid. The military has a long tradition of looking out for our own, but the "system" can only reach so far in insuring that these brave troops get all that they need when they return to the world.

When our war wound down, the formal association of air warriors that had carried the battle over North Vietnam had a choice. We could become an annual gathering for beer drinking and tall tale telling until the last old pharts died or we could do something positive along the way. The Red River Valley Fighter Pilot Ass'n (aka River Rats) established a scholarship fund to assist with college tuition for the families of our POW/MIAs. Over the years we've made our dent with more than two million dollars in contributions to young students.

RRVA Accepts Help

A few years back, Bob Pardo, of Pardo's Push fame (Google it!) learned that his former wingman was ailing with ALS, Lou Gherig's disease. Bob got active raising money to help his friend out and get him a van to retain his mobility. That effort grew into an organization to assist our wounded warriors in rehab and restoration of their lives. Today it is the Air Warrior Courage Foundation.

AWCF Maintains the Fight

Both of these agencies are registered and audited 501(c)3 non-profits. Both benefit from volunteers and low overhead so that they average 90% of contributions going directly to the recipients and not being squandered on overhead, advertising or staffing.

And both are options for you to choose when you participate in this year's United Way and Combined Federal Campaign drives.

Please take a look and consider choosing one of these worthy charities and give our wounded warriors a hand.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Nightmare on Fed Street

I went out of the country in 1972, first a year in Southeast Asia, then for four years to Spain, a few months back for school and then another three years in Germany. When I left the states I had a nice middle-class house in a new neighborhood. It cost me $32,000 dollars. When I came back ten years later that same house was worth $150,000. The unfortunate thing was I hadn't kept it and didn't experience that appreciation.

Upon return to the States, the inflation rate was hovering just under 20% and new mortgage interest rates were fifteen percent. A car that had cost $4000 when I left was going out of the showroom at $14,000. What was that about? It was about Jimmy Carter economic policies. It was about deficit spending, welfare programs, and a problem that might cause overwhelming deja vu, an oil crisis. We were going to exhaust the global oil supply by the year 2000. Thirty cent a gallon gas zoomed to well over a dollar.

Prices skyrocketed. Your savings for a new car or a new home fell back as the price ran away from you. Your dollars in hand became worth relatively less and less. That's why this should scare you:

Tired of Low Inflation, Fed Ponders Pumping it Up

If you've got savings left this would chop them up. If you've got much value in your 401(k) after the stock market collapse in the last two years, this would drive the stake in the heart. If you had hoped to be able to eventually catch up, this would move your target down range.

Time to refresh our historic memory. Look up Weimar Republic and add the search phrase "hyperinflation" to see what can happen. It isn't a pretty picture.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Fascinating Numbers

It is not the easiest thing in the world for the small, out-of-the-loop, author to find out exactly what the sales numbers are for your work. It is tougher still to be able to compare them to what the "big boys" are doing. You get a royalty accounting every six months but you don't get updates of what happens along the way, not even if the book goes to reprint. That's why these numbers at Drudge are fascinating;




FLASH: WOODWARD 'WARS' TOP-SELLING BOOK IN OPENING WEEK AFTER SCANNING 65,347... JON STEWART 'EARTH' SLIPS TO #2 WITH 44,429 [98,401 SINCE RELEASE]... DINESH D'SOUZA 'OBAMA'S RAGE' OPENS WITH 21,173... O'REILLY 'PINHEADS' SCANS 18,101 [71,961]... CARTER 'WHITE HOUSE' 6,827 [19,179]... TONY BLAIR 4,550 [38,296]... MORE...


Fighter Pilot initial press run was 20,000 which is quite optimistic for a book in that genre. In the first week it sold through and went to a second and third press run. That puts it in the league with several of the much more prominent listings including well above O'Reilly's performance and former President Carter. It hugely overshadows Tony Blair.

That's a good feeling!

Are We a Great Country or What?

Who says Americans aren't tolerant? Sympathetic? Understanding? Compassionate? Who says we don't encourage diversity? Who says we don't welcome all beliefs? Want evidence?

The Whole Story of Snyder v Westboro Baptist Church

The simple fact that this bottom-sucking scum is not scattered across the country in pools of their own blood and body parts is clear evidence that we tolerate much more than we reasonably should. I'm thinking that fat phuque of a "minister" would fold up like a half-risen batch of sourdough bread if he got within arm's reach.

The Cutting Room Floor

It is very important to have a bit of fun while you work. Very important:

Truth to Power?

I've been saying it for a couple of weeks now. I am continually astonished that the entire news media from one end of the political spectrum to the other, right to left, all with one voice continue to refer to forestalling the January 1st reversion to pre-Bush tax rates as a tax cut. Acting to continue taxes at the current rate is forestalling a tax increase. There is no way a legislative act that refrains from taking more money from you will be a tax cut. After a cut you have more than you did before. After this act, which may or may not occur, you will have the same. Shaping the message by the Bamster has never been more blatant.

If you are about to have an increased tax burden are you going to go out and aggressively shop for a new car, a new suit, a new flat-screen TV, or a new appliance? Are you going to plan for that dream vacation? Or, are you going to wait and see how you are impacted? I know what the prudent man does.

But, more critical to the question is how this tax action impacts the unemployment situation. The Messiah asserts that giving relief to the hand-to-mouth, subsistence class which is wallowing in credit card debt will stimulate the economy and create jobs. He does not acknowledge that the greater probability is that people will catch up on their bills or rat-hole the cash for a prolonged downturn. You won't get a spending spree creating demand and therefore jobs.

That's why you get Rush going a bit hyper in this rant:

Jackass, Ignoramus, Imam-Child, Clueless Economically

Doubt and uncertainty about future demands by the government do not fuel a recovery. People will not spend or expand their business when they are afraid that the looming healthcare demands will drive them over the edge. Middle-class spending contributes to job creation, but the actual decision to hire an additional worker and pay them a reasonable wage and benefits for the long term is driven by that reviled top two percent of income earners in America.

Failure to recognize this is the failure of the current administration. The policies of redistribution don't feed a robust growing economy. They do exactly the opposite.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Does It Work?

I don't know if this works or not. I tend to like some meat in my message, but the level of content that might sway me is considerably different than Joe Bagadonutz, the common man. Does this connect? Is it sincere? Do you identify with her?

Monday, October 04, 2010

Of the People, By the People, For the People

The daily polls seemed pretty clear last summer. They were consistently against the proposals of Obamacare. The preponderance of citizens opposed to the bloated bill grew on a weekly basis and the more it was discussed the more we disliked it.

That doesn't mean the law was wrong or that it would be improper for honest and righteous legislators to act contrary to the popular will. A truly dedicated representative would willingly vote against the public clamor if he knew and understood that he was acting in the public interest and he would be able to return to his constituents and clearly explain to them the justification for his actions and the errors of their opposition. That's why representative government is supposed to be superior to direct democracy.

But the federal system our forefathers designed was expressly to be limited. It was not without boundaries. There was a clear division regarding what the national level could do and what the states would reserve to themselves. There are excellent reasons why the system was designed that way.

As we ease within 30 days of the election we see a conspicuous absence of legislators willing to stand up and take responsibility for that healthcare bill so many Americans opposed. Almost every day there is a new revelation of cost escalation or coverage degradation that proves our worst fears are going to be realized. We were right and they are unable to prove us wrong. They now seek to disavow their responsibility for the bill. They distance themselves and dissimulate about their involvement. It isn't their fault. They can't justify their support and they don't want to talk about it.

State legislatures and governors and attorney generals, however, are looking at hard numbers. They have to deal with paying the bills and most states demand that the budget not be in deficit. Mandated federal healthcare is going to be costly and the states are trying to preserve their viability financially.

Voters Offered Chance to Opt Out

These results aren't public opinion polls. They are going to be actual elections with the voters making the choice. This isn't 1000 registered voters polled with a margin of error of 5% and 93% reliability. It is citizens telling their government their choice.

Tossing out the supremacy clause as evidence that the results won't matter is an act of desperation. The Tenth Amendment hasn't been exercised much lately, but it is increasingly being dredged up as the federal government becomes more aggressive in seizing authority in areas far afield from the enumerated powers. The essential question of whether you can be forced to buy a product from either the government or a private vendor against your will is a pretty tough one to deny.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Low Cost Airline Merger

All the buzz in Big D this week is the announcement of the merger between Southwest Airlines and Air Tran. Our hometown success story is getting a big foot in the Atlanta-Hartsfield door and they have promised that it won't mean a change in service or the expected economical fare structure which has served SWA so well. Bags will still fly free despite the escalating costs incurred by the inane "Good Cop/Bag Cop" TV commercials.

There will be some changes though as this recently released safety video shows:

At Least It Costs Less

For rational minds there was never much doubt. Get past the emotional rhetoric and crunch the numbers on healthcare and you could not conclude that what was being promised by supporters was even remotely possible.

The bill was front-loaded both in terms of positives and revenue. The bill was back-loaded in terms of negative consequences being pushed well downstream. The supporters wanted a lot of intervening time with which to create deniability. Stand on the campaign stump and point to what is promised and then hope that the electorate forgets you had anything to do with it when the collapse occurs.

Maybe the most visible aspect of the bill was the pre-existing condition provision. Anyone who has sought insurance has worried about being turned down because of some prior health issue in their history. Horror stories abound over job changes which create an opportunity for a new provider to purge you from the system because you are a drain on their resources.

Protection for this vulnerable class is a pretty easy sale. You have to ignore the limits of the argument which postulate that no one buys insurance until the moment of diagnosis. Since you've then got a pre-existing condition you can't be denied and think of the premiums you didn't pay during all those years of good health. Insurance doesn't work that way in a free market.

So, how is it working as we approach elections?

Not A Slow Start, An Orderly Beginning

California has a handful, Texas has a tiny bunch, Wisconsin hasn't noticed. Is there a reason? Sure, it's right there in the second paragraph of the piece: Premiums are too high! Even people who qualify now that they can't be denied can't pay a market price to a company that needs to remain solvent.

Lemme see, what will a Bamster do in a situation like this? Well he will usually offer a "fair" proposal. Tax the wealthy and let government subsidize (i.e. give) the product to the supporting progressive class. Government will provide.

Every cloud has a silver lining, they say. This one is that maybe this Obamacare thing won't cost very much at all for the next year.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Crack Arrest

I've watched Cops enough to know that the average scumbag arrested for drug possession is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. You can watch the slow and rusty wheels of the long defunct brain rotate slowly as they try to extemporaneously create a plausible explanation for the obvious. One would think that a competent criminal would have pre-scripted a scenario for application in those embarrassing situations.

This one must have been a Cheech & Chong moment. Traffic stop, window rolls down and cloud of pungent gray smoke erupts from the vehicle. It ain't burning upholstery. "Step out of the car, sir!"



Did You Have a Recent Episode in Your Trousers or Are You Unhappy to See Me?

If they watched Cops as much as I do, they would know that the underwear hideaway is probably not going to work. Rubber gloves and the opportunity to give a perp a free wedgie have made that cache a poor choice.

What you really wonder is how much junk is in that trunk? Why would he say the first baggie was his, but the second wasn't? Was the closet so crammed with goodies that he forgot what was stashed on the top shelf? The grass was his, but the crack crack was a friend's. That may be a case of going the extra mile for a buddy. Would you take care of this and put it somewhere safe? Sure, pal, I know just the place.

Maybe the more interesting question is that if you assume (no pun intended) that the perp's story is true; that a friend left a bag with 27 rocks on the seat of his car after he borrowed it. Then you must ponder how he sat on more than two dozen rocks without feeling a thing; how the baggie and rocks migrated from the seat, up his trou, over the waistband, down his shorts and finally found a cozy nest. And didn't he notice anything when he was stowing his grass?

This guy shouldn't be allowed on the streets alone. He is criminally dumb.

Why I Love Texas

Sure we've got some warts. Every place does. But we are pretty representative of the America we all like to think we once were. People smile and talk to each other in the checkout line of the grocery. We open doors for older people and let them pass. We spontaneously call folks, "sir" and "ma'am" and aren't averse to using "thank you" or "excuse me." Taxes are low, the weather is generally good, the country side is varied and even occasionally hostilely beautiful. Our economy is doing much better than the nation. Our cost of living is reasonable. Our quality of life is excellent.

We respect the Constitution and revere the Bill of Rights although there are some of the younger generation still grappling with some of the concepts. One right that appears exceptionally vigorous is this one:

Women Getting Concealed Handgun License in Huge Numbers

What does that mean? Well, it means we understand that the police might not be immediately available when we require them. It means that gun sales are probably healthy as well. It means that we will probably have shooting ranges as a profitable entity for quite a while. It may demonstrate a cause/effect relationship as once postulated by Robert Heinlein, "an armed society is a polite society."

And, it may even demonstrate that something good has come out of the Obama election.

Saturday Morning Outlaw Fest





Friday, October 01, 2010

Universal Mediocrity for All

Here's how you work your magic in a totalitarian society without telling the citizens that they are totally subservient.

First you create a scapegoat. Even better, create a broad range of scapegoats so it doesn't sound as though you are prejudiced. Let's say you imagine that a small segment of the world population which has achieved the benefits of modern technology to raise their standard of living well above the third world, is really evil and their good fortune is cooking the planet.

Build a scenario of global warming (maybe neutralize critics by calling it climate change) and attribute it to overuse of fossil fuels. Don't directly outlaw coal, gas and oil. Simply vilify the by-products of combustion, which coincidentally are by-products of our own exhalations. Bad things should be taxed, so tax carbon emissions.

Condition people to be environmentally friendly. Think green and remember Kermit's warning that it wasn't easy to be that way.

Mandate cuts in consumption. Spend billions on huge windmills but don't notice that steel to build them consumes fossil fuel, trucks to transport them consume fossil fuel, wires to link users with the electricity require manufacturers to use coal and oil, etc. Buy billions of dollars worth of solar panels made in China where they seem oblivious to their own environmental impact. Never allow nuclear energy because it is too fictitiously dangerous. Didn't Jane Fonda nearly glow in the dark in The China Syndrome?

Nationalize a couple of major auto producers so you can shape the products into something no one wants. Regulate, legislate, indoctrinate. Create a clamor for action and pretty soon you get this.

Fifteen Years to 62 MPG AVERAGE Gas Mileage

DOT Secretary Ray La Hood, who gave us lower case street signs yesterday, teams up with EPA chief Lisa Jackson, who you may recall was amazed that crude oil in the gulf was "gooey," have performed what we used to call an anal extraction for their regulations. With no engineering basis for the mandated numbers, they pull some out of their nether regions to shape the car of the future.

With typical ignorance of the world outside the beltway, they create a situation in which working moms won't have a van to haul the kids to daycare and soccer practice. Folks in rural areas won't have a functional pick-up truck to support their occupation, handle chores and haul materials. Those in snowy hill country won't have four-wheel drive to get out of the driveway for six months of the year. In the process we will have little, uncomfortable, low-performing, drab and arguably dangerous econo-boxes.


Can you imagine driving across Texas in one of those? Maybe with a Obama bumper sticker...

New Regular Stop

Hat tip to Warrior Class for aiming me at The Kitchen Dispatch. KD has joined my regular stops list. She's a mil-spouse blogger and she's got talent.

Here's her take on writing and those pedantic asses of our high school that discouraged so many from really taking a chance at creating something original:

What Your English Teacher Didn't Tell You

The only thing I would add is that the true reward is having a real publisher say they want to give you money for your efforts. And, the only reason they do that is because they will then make money as well. Free enterprise capitalism is a wonderful motivator.