Wednesday, March 31, 2010

They Will Lose

The quote is attributed to many folks. I've heard it linked to Mark Twain, H. L. Mencken, Will Rogers and others. A quick web search seems to indicate it came from a Congressman from Indiana, Charles Bruce Brownson. Regardless, it is a good lesson to learn:

Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel

It applies even when ink isn't involved, as when the Obama White House orchestrated a campaign to vilify Rush Limbaugh. Rush, of course, has a huge audience and three hours a day of airtime to respond in detail.

It applies again when we see the Bamster's minions sharpening the long knives to take on Fox News. 24/7 access to millions of loyal watchers who take the accusation as a personal affront to their own intellectual capacity and choice of news sources. Not wise at all.

Now we've got the administration's reaction to the major CEOs complying with federal accounting regulations and taking a writedown for future healthcare costs that amounts to nearly two billion dollars so far. More will be joining the parade shortly.

What does the White House say? It says this is a coordinated effort by "Republican CEOs" and the Wall Street Journal to undermine His Majesty and the huge success of healthcare. They bolster their argument with the always popular rationale that the opponents position is "BS". How cultured!

Even the AFL/CIO Noticed!

I've got to believe the Waxman, Stupak, Emanuel, Gibbs, Axlerod and yea verily, even the Bamster himself, are no match for the editorial resources the WSJ can bring to this fight.

Right now the WSJ is viewed as the most credible daily newspaper in America. The subscribers are the significant players in this country. They are corporate executives, shareholders, property owners, investors, entrepreneurs and intelligent people.

More importantly, they are the people who are the not inexhaustable source of all of those dollars the majority party seeks to redistribute.

They buy their ink by the barrel and they do not take lightly to being demeaned or brushed off.

The Focus

He said it, so we know what that means. The focus of his administration is jobs. As our loquacious and perspicacious vice-president told his, it's a three letter word, J-O-B-S.

Almost a third of the healthcare reconciliation bill didn't deal with healthcare reform. Surprise, surprise! It dealt with student loans. It effectively eliminates a free market for student loans and establishes a sole source government program for financial assistance. How's that gonna work? Well, even a semi-government bureaucracy can tell us:

2500 Out of 8600 Will Be Out of Work

Of course that is a small price to pay for the nationalization of yet another segment of America.

And, of course this is going to be an equitable program for the benefit of all, isn't it?

Win Some, Lose Some

Equality defined in America?
. More money for community colleges and historically black institutions.

Excuse me, but why? Why do historically black (aka racist) institutions merit preferential treatment with taxpayer dollars?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Down The Rabbit Hole

Lewis Carroll couldn't have made up something so backwards and ludicrous for Alice even under the influence of the most potent of psychedelic enhancers. This is so incredibly backward that the future response of individuals faced with similar situations at the hands of these warped miscreants can only resort to less civil responses.

Funeral of Hero Disrespected Even in US Courts

Maybe a court in which justice were blind and a devotion to the First Amendment shielded the most egregious insults would say the half-witted homophobes who use the Bible to justify their hatred were entitled to protection of their speech. But in no perverted form of justice would victims of their outrage be asked to pay for the court costs.

Let's say for an instant that interfering with a funeral honoring a family's war dead was Constitutionally allowed and the court found in their favor. It seems that a reasonable justice would say their reward was not having their lights punched out or worse and nothing more. They wouldn't have their court costs paid by the victim.

But, there is a significant body of First Amendment law that has set a precedent that "fighting words" are not protected speech. Demeaning a son's sacrifice for his country and fellow soldiers to spew hatred over gay policy in the military can be nothing else but fighting words.

In a nation with justice there is no justification for violence. In a nation with demonstrated disrespect for justice there can be few alternative left. I know a couple of hundred fat old guys, combat veterans all, who are simply too old to engage in physical altercations with fanatics who are much younger than us. That's why we look to that famous saying about a great invention: "God made men, but Samuel Colt made them equal."

When you reach a certain age there isn't a very distant horizon. That's why dying in a worthy cause gets so much easier.

Longnecks and Whiskey, No Kool-Aid, Thanks

You've got the mailings. You've seen the commercials. You've heard the pitch.

Fill out your census forms. It's the law. (It is, and the Constitution gives Congress the authority to set out the "manner" of the count which means they CAN ask you all of those questions.) You want to do it because the numbers will determine who gets their "fair share" of federal tax dollars. You want to help determine where schools will be built and roads will be supported. You don't want to miss out.

The individualistic political culture of Texas is rearing its beautiful head. We don't want any more government here than we must tolerate.

Texas Lagging Among States. Rural Counties Lagging in Texas.

Apparently Texans know that there is no difference at all between a "federal" tax dollar and a state or local tax dollar. We know that there is no such thing as a government dollar. We know that government produces no products and hence makes no profits and therefore has no dollars beyond those which they take from us in the first place through taxes.

A dollar is a dollar and a federal dollar has only traveled further before it becomes useful to a Texan. We don't want someone else's dollar and we don't lie to ourselves that those dollars will be any easier to spend than a local dollar or a dollar from our own pocket directly.

We know that school decisions are made by local independent school districts under limits established by local voters with regard to bonds and debt. Feds don't build or fund or determine where schools will be built. We do locally in every state in the union.

We know that roads get built and maintained in large measure by cities, counties and states, not feds. We know that road planning is done by local area Councils of Governments (COGs) which are comprised of cities and counties dealing with regional planning.

The result is that we'll complete or ignore your census at our individual peril with regard to your legal penalties. But, don't try to sell us by greed over someone else's tax dollars and don't blow smoke up our butts by trying to convince us that a federal dollar isn't from our pockets to begin with.

Monday, March 29, 2010

More On Hutaree

This is getting more sinister:

You Have Been Plotting Against the Reich

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this the same FBI who didn't find anything wrong with Major Nidal Hassan's proselytizing for Islam from the pulpit of his Army rank. And the same FBI that couldn't move on Mosam Smadi when he was soliciting materials to build a bomb to detonate in Dallas. They actually drove him to the detonation site!

This group gets their doors broken open and arrested in the middle of the night.

And, when did the definition of "weapons of mass destruction" change from chemical, biological and nuclear? Now a hand grendade or a five pound canister of rifle powder is a WMD?

Sorry, it still doesn't pass the smell test. I'm still seeing Gestapo in the night here.

Where is the Outrage?

The Left has mounted an intense campaign decrying the violence, lack of civility and downright dangerousness of the Tea Party. They indicate that they have been threatened, spat upon, abused, vilified, had windows broken and their lunch money was stolen. Nothing like this has ever happened in America and they would never stoop to such crass behavior.

That of course requires a memory scrub to eliminate the Bush years. Or the Vietnam War. Or the Ayers crowd.

We had that intellectual light Sean Penn suggesting horrible deaths from various unseemly cancers for those who disagree with him, but that must have been just hyperbole.

This item seems to be getting less than front-line coverage:

Avatar Proposes High Noon Shootouts for Deniers

Wow! What a mouth on that guy!

And, the very image of a pussified Hollywood liberal standing up for a shootout is one which suggests a marketable Hollywood script!

I can see it all now. The clock ticking down to noon. The abandonment of all of his friends who simply decry guns for any purpose. The questioning and then departure by his true love and life partner, Joe Bagadonutz. The frantic scramble to find a gun show loophole in California that will ignore the 14 day waiting period so that he could be armed. The search for someone qualified to teach him gun handling skills who would ignore his asinine background and statements.

Lots of gun owners in the blogosphere are signing the waiting list for who gets to be the first to meet Cameron on main street. Maybe there will have to be a lottery.

What to Make of It

There are some things in our Bill of Rights that we take for granted. Maybe we take them so much for granted that we continue blissfully unaware when they are being removed from our society. I'm not sure what to make of this:

Jackbooted Thugs With a "Candygram" For Mister Patriot

OK, I'll say up front that I'm not all that comfortable with some of the extremist militia types. Paunchy guys with camo, an AR or SKS, some three color face paint, and a couple of cases of Meister Brau in the back of the pick-em-up truck running around the woods are weird. But, they aren't hurting me and it is just another iteration of paint-ball world for a different group. Let them enjoy their fantasies.

I'm not that into extremist religion. That applies equally to extremist Christian sects as it does to extremist Muslim. Extremism is the issue, not religion. We've got a First Amendment that provides for "free exercise thereof" as long as it doesn't involve tossing of virgins (already in short supply) into volcanos.

I am into gun ownership and the Second Amendment. I am very aware of the abuses of the BATF over time. I don't have a lot of difficulty foreseeing a massive drive for confiscation of privately owned firearms. We can all become New Orleans or Washington DC or Chicago IL on any given weekend.

I am deeply bothered by a pattern of FBI raids. I am bothered by sealed warrants that provide no information to the public about a cause for breaking down doors and hauling people away in the night. I can't help but wonder about what "gun charges" were unspecified by an anonymous source. Why can't the FBI and ATF tell us the what, the who, the why and the wherefore on this?

Who was endangered? Was there a plot or conspiracy? Was a domestic terrorist plot foiled? What is going on? Bail? Charges? Miranda?

Can I expect my front door to come crashing open in the middle of some future night as a squad of jack-booted thugs come for my property?

I don't know whether these raids were justified or not. But I do know that the concept under which they were conducted scares me.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Draw Some Conclusions

Critics like to say that Political Science is a perfect example of an oxymoron, ranking right up with "jumbo shrimp" and "military intelligence" as inherently a contradiction in terms.

But consider this. Science is the discipline of observation of phenomenon and then a rigorous attempt to explain the observations with an analysis. That is what a traditional political scientist does. Admittedly the profession is riddled with left-wing ideologues and apologists seeking to rationalize their agenda. But, if done properly and objectively, political science can be informative.

Take a look at these numbers:

White Men Can Jump Parties

After a momentary excursion and dalliance with the Democrats in 2008, white men are returning in significant numbers to the free market capitalist principles of the Republicans. The numbers are a result of scientific polling, meaning random sampling of a given population with rigorous methodology and valid questioning techniques.

The analysis concludes that white men, who hadn't embraced a Democratic presidential candidate in decades, voted for Obama as a reaction to the imminent economic melt-down of 2008. That seems reasonable.

Now after watching the governance run amok, they are returning to their roots. The reaction is predicted to be a landslide in November at least in terms of that demographic slice.

Does that pass the common sense test? It does for me. White men, for better or worse, tend to be higher educated, higher economic class, more firmly established in community and career, and more vested in family than minority men. When taxes go up, job opportunity goes down, government regulation increases, and the future is threatened by liberal policies they will be the first to notice.

Who will be the next significant demographic pool to shift? It would logically be the family pairing with the white men; the white women.

Is that racist? If the 2008 election teaches us anything it is that the electorate has taken a decidedly post-racial turn. The election of 2008 at the Presidential level was color-blind. A reversal of voting behavior must be accepted as similarly color-blind.

Is the preponderance of white males returning to conservative support significant in terms of election outcomes? Since the white population percentage in America remains the majority and since white males tend to vote in greater percentages than white females, yes it will be significant. Since all whites, regardless of gender are voters in higher percentages than minorities, it will be significant. Since Obama will not be at the top of the ballot, the race issue is rendered moot.

It will be about the economy, taxes, jobs, opportunity and the future of America. That's not voodoo. That's science.


The old cliche is that flying is hours of boredom punctuated by moments of stark terror. I can't dispute it.

Writing then is days of tedium rewarded by moments of intense pride and pleasure.

Anyone who has ever aspired to write a book knows what a labor it can be. You've got an idea, a concept, a thesis, a plot and you've decided the story needs to be told. You face the white expanse of that blank sheet on the MS Word screen and you start. Maybe you organize with an outline. Maybe you create some characters or a situation. Maybe you Hemingway it, fueling yourself with Pina Coladas and good cigars, to awaken weeks later with a masterpiece before you. No matter. It's work. Maybe a labor of love, but still work.

Nothing happens though until you get a publisher. Don't believe for a moment that "publishing on demand" is the answer or sending a check for $1500 to a vanity press to get fifty copies of your work is really "having a book." It is, but it isn't. It's the difference between masturbation and actual participating partner sex.

You might send a proposal to publishers, editors and agents. They might or might not give you the time of day. You might be fortunate, as I was, in having made some contacts who were already published that would open doors for you. If you've got a good manuscript and a whole lot of luck, you might get a contract.

That's like the hopeful couple who sit before the doctor and are told the rabbit died. It is a moment of elation and celebration. It is vindication of your concept, your talents, your effort. But it is a long way from a book. The baby is merely gestational.

With one behind you, I would be dishonest if I said it didn't get easier with regard to publishers. It doesn't get easier with regard to the manuscript, but if you've had reasonable success with your first work, you'll at least have contacts for your second.

The contract is the start of a year for most writers until a book exists. We're not some celebrity of the moment with a ghost writer who turns out trash in three weeks with a tell-all about Octo-mom and gets it in bookstores before her fifteen minutes of fame is exhausted. It will take a year of editor review, formal submission, acceptance, copy-edit, page-proofs, legal review, photo crediting, cover art, jacket copy, advertising text, and layout.

Along the way there are moments. The day a page-proof arrives by Fedex and you see a facsimile of a book is a moment. The agreement on cover art and a first look at what a buyer will see is another. Getting some advance reader comments is yet another and you finally begin to learn whether your book is actually any good in someone else's view.

But, the real moment is the birth. The presses have run. The books are in cartons for shipping to retailers. The release date is set and finally you have a first-run hard-back copy of your baby in your hands. That is when it is real. All other moments pale in comparison to the release of the actual product which readers around the world will be able to buy and hold and hopefully enjoy.

That moment came Thursday of this past week when "Fighter Pilot: Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds" came with the UPS man to my door.

I am simply thrilled with what St. Martin's Press has done. The cover, the layout, the jacket text are all worthy of the story of a great man. Christina Olds has done a great job for her dad to preserve his memory, his legacy, his writings and his story. Fighter pilots around the world will have a role model to show them what the business is about. Other readers will have a hero to look up to and a leader to respect. I will have made a small contribution to preserving the legacy of a great man.

It has been a good week for me.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Let The Light Shine Brightly

Tonight is Earth Hour.

You might reasonably ask what that is. It is an environmentalist declaration of a one hour period in which they ask all of us to voluntarily renounce human progress and plunge ourselves back into darkness. That's it. Tonight between 8:30 and 9:30 in your time zone, turn off all of your lights to show your concern and abject ignorance.

Or, maybe not.

All you sinners put your lights on. Let them shine. Turn them all on. See if it is warmer or colder tomorrow. And feel good as you laugh at the idiots that surround us.

Mal-Distribution Addressed

This is one of the 100 most powerful men in America, a United States Senator, bound by an oath to "protect and defend the Constitution", speaking about healthcare:

This Will Address Mal-Distribution of Income

The entire concept is mind-boggling. The bill was about healthcare supposedly, wasn't it? It was about sick people getting access, wasn't it? Where does it become redistribution of income?

Where in the Constitution do we find any language about individual income and the equalization thereof?

This is supposedly, or at least has been in the past, a nation of capitalism, entrepeneurship, individual achievement and opportunity for success. Nowhere is there anything in the government's mandate that deals with Robin Hood. If I am rich, it is through my own efforts. If I am poor then I have the opportunity to strive to become rich.

But nowhere does it give Sen. Baucus any authority to judge what is too rich.

There is no other word to describe what he claims than communistic.

How does he get elected from a state of hard-working frontier individualists like Montana?

Y'all Come to Texas, Mr. Secretary

How stupid are they? How about this stupid:

Walk and Cycle Emphasis For Feds

Secretary LaHood, I will extend a cordial invitation for you to come to Texas and try your concept. I'll offer you free room and board at my house, and humbly note that the food is excellent and the wine well worth drinking.

You will get to bring the bicycle of your choice and your best walking shoes. You won't have access to a car and you can't hitch-hike. You will be required to go wherever I go during the week. That includes the college, the grocery store, the post office, the bank, the gun shop. Wherever I go you must go as well, but you will do it without an internal combustion engine. I don't expect you to keep up. Simply make the rounds to demonstrate your plan in practice.

It's The Economy, Stupid

The "reverse speak" remains as true today as it was when I first noted it. Wasn't it just a few days ago when the Bamster announced his dedication to the recovery of the economy and the creation of jobs to put America back to work? Ignore for a moment the truism that government can't "create" a job. They can only take money from citizens and give it to someone else to do something that didn't need doing in the first place.

What do John Deere, 3M, Caterpillar, AK Steel and AT&T have in common? Yes, they are all in business. Yes, they are driven by the market and the need to make profits. But, that's not what links this group today.

Remember last week, in the last days of the period which shall become known as BH or Before Healthcare, when I posted the announcement that Caterpillar had analyzed the impact of the healthcare reform bill and noted that it would cost them $100,000,000.00 in the first year of implementation? That wasn't idle talk apparently.

Billion Dollar Chargeback for AT&T

These are real companies with real accountants. They are looking at reality not political rhetoric. They can add the numbers and what they conclude is that expansion, rehires, new jobs, product research and dividends for shareholders are not in play any more.

Rep. Henry Waxman, a California Democrat who co-chairs a subcommittee on oversight and investigations, said he'll convene a hearing next month to question company executives about their moves.

If the concept of a chairman of a congressional committee on investigations doesn't scare you already, consider the very idea of Waxman who has never been in business or industry for a single day of his life "investigating" major corporation business decisions in response to Congressional mandates. He knows not one whit about payrolls or profits or expenses of operation. He knows about socialism and pandering and pay-offs.

This is going to reverberate for a long time.

Saturday Morning Rocker

Friday, March 26, 2010

Whose Money Is It?

You understand the idea of banking, don't you? A bank is a repository for safe-keeping of your money. You put money in, they protect it, and at some future point they give your money back with some interest added to compensate for having been able to use it in the meantime.

The bank then takes money which people have deposited and loans it to other folks for reasonable purposes like homes, cars, businesses. Those people pay the money back with some interest added to compensate the bank for having fronted the capital. The bank charges more interest for loans than they pay for savings. That difference is their proft.

That's a free market system.

Now, how does that work in a totalitarian society? What determines what the bank pays you, charges the loaner, and takes for profit when the free market doesn't?

Here's how that works:

Take This Much & No More. Don't Take Anything Unless We Approve

Isn't that neat? Your money in the bank. Bank's money in the loaner's hands. Bank owners looking to run their business on sound principles...

And government defining the game AFTER a contract was negotiated and signed between parties to the transaction!

Of course it is all for the poor working class people who didn't know they would have to pay the money back or lose their homes just like it says in the contract. Can't have consequences in our perfect world, can we?

Beyond the Pale

I will fight for freedom. I have in the past and I will in the future. I took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against enemies foreign and domestic. That oath wasn't time limited.

I am honestly frightened by the direction in which we are moving. There are points beyond which certain actions may be justified but we aren't there yet. We still are in a functional, if not functioning, democracy and the first course of action is process oriented not violent...yet. That day may come but we aren't there yet.

This disturbs me:

Familiar Name Goes Too Far

If you check out my Regular Stops list at the right, you've probably visited the Sipsey Street Irregulars page. That's the Mike in the news piece. It's a blog for patriots, survivalists and gun folks. There are some great posts about equipment, techniques, preparation, and politics.

But this reaches too far. It isn't time. It isn't now. It isn't appropriate. It shouldn't be condoned. Maybe soon, but not now.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Never Forget, Never Forgive, Never Again

American Jews have tended toward the liberal agenda for many years. It is part of a culture which seeks to give and care for others and possibly part of an intellectual perspective. But despite that they have always embraced the State of Israel as a symbol of their past, their trials and their future. Israel has been our strong and stable partner in the Middle East in return.

Now we have this:

Political Ineptitude and Classlessness Masked As Policy

There apparently must have been an important NCAA basketball tournament match-up on the tube to draw the President away from his duties.

American Jews voted heavily in favor of Barack Obama in 2008. This is the fruit of that planting. One can only hope that they are paying attention and have learned what can come of it.

Leaving Israel friendless in a time of serious threats to their very survival as a nation leaves their options narrowing drastically and that is not good.

This is News?

In a shocking disclosure on Al-Jazeera today:

OBL Breaks Old Ground

Wow! He's really drawn a line in the sand now... Oh? He's been killing Americans whenever and wherever he can for twenty years now? Well, maybe this time he really means it.

But, wait a sec. Didn't KSM say repeatedly that he wants to be executed and achieve his martyrdom? Maybe he should explain to OBL to butt-out?

Seriously, it's only the Democratic congresscritters of the United States who are cowed by threats like that. The rest of us know that life is dangerous and doing what is right and necessary to defend yourself will entail risks.

Bring it on.

Multiple Appearances Reported in DC

In a rash of seemingly related events, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and swisher-in-chief Barney Frank all report encountering an irate citizen with a funny accent and a flexible fencing foil:

They have petitioned the crack elements of the Washington DC police department for additional security against this man.


Another One Bites the Dust

Robert Culp passed away yesterday at age 79. He gave us a lot of good TV viewing from the days when there were only three stations but always something worth watching:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


The number of states that have enacted "shall issue" laws regarding private citizens concealed carry of firearms is 38, 39 or 40 depending upon where you read and how the list criteria are determined. Regardless, the number out of 50 is more than significant, it is overwhelming. And, throughout those states we haven't seen the bloodshed, mayhem and idiocy that we were assured would ensue.

So, here we've got this piece from MSNBC that tries to offer "fair and balanced" but can't quite overcome their sincere belief that what they are finding can't possibly be true:

Yes, Violent Crime Rates are Down, But...

OK, in a nutshell, they report that since the movement for concealed carry roared into high gear about 30 years ago, the rates of violent crimes against citizens in those states with concealed carry has dropped precipitously. But, they deny that there is a cause and effect relationship.

Can someone make a logical case to support that contention? Is there a faulty syllogism in play? Does that fact that I'm armed, most likely, cause you to hesitate a bit in determining if you ought to demand my watch and wallet?

Possibly the most foolish statement in the entire article is this:

Helms’ friends and relatives were left to mourn, barred by the same Castle Doctrine from filing a civil lawsuit.

Aren't you simply outraged by that? The very law that allows me to be secure from armed assault in my home, place of business, vehicle, or in my very person also denies the "left to mourn" associates of the thug the right to continue the assault by suing me after I've defended myself. Is there no justice? Ohhhh, the humanity.

Conversely without that law, would it be reasonable to assume that I, the victim of the thug's crime, if I survived would be able to sue the friends and relatives for damages received? Highly bloody unlikely.

No, if you attack me, you stand a good chance of incurring serious bodily injury. Even from a fat, old man.

Making It Visible

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. Of course, if you are eating out then you knew that before you walked in the door. But, maybe if you live in a liberal bastion like San Francisco you might not always have the costs of your welfare state in your thinking about prices. That apparently is going to change increasingly in coming days:

Would You Like Some Healthcare for Your Waitperson With That?

I love the rationale of San Fran mayor and kommissar Gavin Newsome who points out that the restaurants are actually gaining from the mandate because society at large won't be underwriting emergency room visits for the kitchen help. But, aren't the kitchen help primarily working young people who are vigorous and undergoing regular health inspections by the city agency which oversees food services through licensing and oversight? They aren't a major component of emergency room clientele in a city known for its homeless and drug-addled.

Regardless, I think this is an excellent model for the future throughout the free enterprise business community reaching well beyond restaurants. I think it will be an great idea for every business to include a healthcare mandate fee on every invoice and receipt, right there along with sales taxes and other similar tack-ons. Only in this way will the public gradually be weaned away from the belief that "government" is paying for things which they dispense. They aren't.

We pay and the sooner we come to appreciate how much we pay for these programs the sooner we will regain some fiscal discipline and control of our future.

Clueless in Chicago

With age comes wisdom:

I propose a Constitutional Amendment repealing the 26th Amendment (we did it for the 17th!) and raising the voting age to 45...or maybe older. Or maybe to vote you have to come with a copy of your IRS 1040 showing that you have actually paid some income tax.

Kissing Your Sister

They say a game that ends in a tie has been like kissing your sister. That, and the impetus of a lot of money in TV commercial revenue, has led the NFL and NCAA to devise tie-breaking procedures for football games. Now, you've got to ignore the fact that you've already got a game designed with varying point values for a range of scoring options such as touchdowns, one or two point tries, field goals and safeties to minimize the probability of ties. But they happen.

So, college created an arcane system of "innings" in which each team will get the ball, first and ten, from the twenty-five yard line and attempt to score. Whoever leads at the end of an inning wins. If still tied, another inning is played.

The pros opted for an additional sudden-death period. First possession, just like at the start of the game is determined by a coin toss. Unfortunately the advent of the 60 yard field goal kicker has meant that 60% of first possession teams win in overtime. So, the sister kiss is resolved by a visit to a hooker for a sure thing.

The NFL will decide this week, apparently on a revision to the process. Now, they propose that if first possession in over-time results in touchdown, the team wins, but if only a field goal results the play will continue. In a further convolution of reason they are proposing that this apply ONLY to play-off games, not regular season contests.

Stop them before they kill again!

There is nothing wrong with a tie. Ties happen.

But consider the impact of eliminating tie-breaker play. If there were no over-time possibility would we still have the last minute drive to field goal position followed with that boring series of "icing the kicker" time-outs? Or would coaches play first for a win and only as a last resort go for the lesser evil of accepting a tie?

I'm thinking it would return a lot of excitement to the game. Of course the game is secondary to the revenue and that's a shame. The emphasis on coaches' decisions in that tie game scenario is reminiscent to me of the argument against the designated hitter in baseball. When you remove the gorilla who is too muscled up to actually play the game from the line-up, the manager's choices with regard to pitching, running, base-stealing and inning-by-inning planning get a lot more complicated. Mind-games, however, don't satisfy the majority of American mouth-breathers in sports bars across America. Too bad.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Regular Stop

I hate numbers. I didn't always. I actually won a math contest when I was in elementary school. As a 7th grader I competed and beat 7th and 8th graders from fifty Chicago schools for a princely prize of a $50 savings bond. But then came college and the eccentricities of differential equations which separate the men from the political scientists. I've never been the same when it comes to number crunching.

It's that time of year. TurboTax lurks in the taskbar taunting me that the clock is running and I've got to face reality. I've hated March and April for more than a decade as every year I struggle to work through all of the carve-outs and exceptions in our tax code to try to decipher what might help me to avoid writing a check for five or ten thousand dollars next month. I'm retired, not a Wall Street broker for God's sake!

But, here's a new addition to the Regular Stops list who has taken the time to compile some numbers. They are worth a look because they ring very true for most of us:

What the Mandate Means for Productive Citizens

That's the shame of it all. We currently have a situation in which more than 40% of the population pays zero federal income tax. That's right, they are the beneficiaries of the largesse which gets our government re-elected. That means a venal politician need only attract another ten or fifteen percent of impressionable young people, liberal-minded Easterners, simpering academics, or Hollywood movie stars to take them over the top and into lifetime Washington tenure.

I'm not as optimistic as Dennis. I think this is actually going to proceed apace and we frogs will comment to each other how comfy the warming water is becoming.

Mozart & the Fighter Pilot

OK, I'm the last guy to try to convince you that Fighter Pilots are smarter than the average guy. We might be luckier. We might have a specific, job-related skill set. We might even have a cognitive angle that aids in solving spatial relationship problems in realtime. But there is too much empirical evidence of Fighter Pilots behaving like developmentally disabled morons to say that we are, as a class, intellectually superior.

But strolling through just now I found this on my suggested book list:

Mozart's Brain & the Fighter Pilot: Unleashing Your Brain's Potential

Well, maybe we are a bit smarter....nahhh. Couldn't be true.

What's Wrong With America?

I was taught when I was very young that things cost money. My mother was the absolute epitome of cost-conscious. She was thrifty to the point that I often thought it was costing her money, like when I wanted Levis like everyone else at $3.99/pair and she bought me generic denim workpants with a bloody hammer-loop on the leg for $2.95 and they sat in the closet for a year unworn until they no longer fit me.

But, if I wanted something, the choices were clear. Work and save so that you can gather what it costs to buy it. No one was going to come along and give it to me. Along the way I also learned that there was a correlation between cost and quality. Sometimes the bargain wasn't a bargain in the long run. It wasn't always true, but if you used some judgment you might spend a little more to get a lot more value. To paraphrase that great philosopher, Mick Jagger, "you can't always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need."

Today people don't seem to associate value in terms of planning and labor to actual costs. If they want it then someone should provide it. If they can't afford it then government should provide. Apparently there is a belief that government somehow is a repository of this huge bucket of cash and services which they dole out when someone asks for it. It doesn't come from anywhere, it just is.

It's Going to Be Like Christmas

Where do these fools think it is coming from? Do they somehow believe there is no cost associated? Is there no element of individual responsibility?

But was he not getting health care already? Was he lying in the gutter wasting away like some poor third world denizen without facilities available to him? Actually the situation wasn't a problem at all:

Flythe was among the patients Monday at the Walltown Clinic, a joint program of Duke University and Lincoln Community Health Center that serves the low-income neighborhoods near Duke's campus. The clinic serves 3,000 to 4,000 patients a year – 80 percent don't have health insurance – and charges co-pays based on what patients can afford.

So, he's temporarily unemployed. He's got a job with healthcare benefits now which will kick-in shortly and he's been receiving services for himself and his family for the last three years.

His Christmas has been coming every day for his entire life. Nothing really will change for him.

"It'll make the world better. It'll make us all better, actually," he said

Two things there. I sincerely doubt a global impact. And I don't think he is speaking for me at all.

Monday, March 22, 2010

What Next?

There is still the matter of reconciliation and the parliamentary procedural question of whether the Social Security impacts of the now-passed healthcare reform on SS payments breaches the threshold of making the bill ineligible for the maneuver. That won't save us, however, because a law has been passed and is awaiting signature without it. We are "reformed" either way.

And, there is the issue of whether the Senate can amend the reconciliation bill to save their individual pork slices which would then necessitate a return to the House for another circus. That won't save us, however, because a law has been passed and is awaiting signature regardless.

Of course there are the pending law suits on constitutionality from the various states raising serious federalism questions. One vacuous blonde bimbette Democratic spokesperson yesterday intoned that healthcare insurance reform would fall under the Interstate Commerce Clause and be federal territory. I wonder how the isolation of the states precluding sale of insurance across state lines will play into that rationale. It seems decidedly, under federal law, to be NOT interstate commerce! It still won't matter.

No, none of that means a thing now.

The issue looming on the horizon is comprehensive immigration reform. Have no doubt it will include a general amnesty for those already here. Once they've been assimilated into the electorate, the possibility of reversal of the socialist empire is gone. They won't be the ones paying the taxes to get the healthcare.

The promise of a 2018 "excise tax" of 40% on quality health insurance plans runs deeply afoul of the SEIU and union thugs. That is why it is pushed so far down stream. When that doesn't happen either at all or with a union carve-out, then the supposed deficit neutrality of the whole package goes very obviously out the window. Of course they know that.

This house of cards is going to tumble and it will be a very long time before America can recover, if ever.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tanker Turnaround

The USAF desperately needs new tankers. The KC-135 fleet was bought when Eisenhower was President. They've served long and well but even the best maintained vehicles will eventually show that it is time for retirement. Occasionally someone will suggest that the days of manned aircraft in combat are over, but we are still at least 25 years from that sort of capability in the UAV fleet. The wetware of a combat aircraft still can't be replaced with a micro-processor and a teen-aged video gamer in a trailer half a world away.

The process for buying new tankers has been disastrous. The first iteration started with an apparent assumption that Boeing was the only American firm left that could build a replacement. The no-bid contract came unraveled when the highest ranking AF procurement executive got caught in a kick-back scheme that was going to net her a huge payday and a corner office at Boeing for the remainder of her years.

The lease-back plan got shelved and a competitive RFP was let. Surprisingly a consortium of Northrop/Grumman and EADS, the builder of Airbuses, was chosen over Boeing by the USAF. The bleating from Boeing was incredible. Challenges, lawsuits and political leveraging of the highest order were called into play. Full page ads in newspapers across the country decried the out-sourcing of American military aircraft to a "French" company. It somehow asked you to ignore Northrop, deny the 45,000 American jobs and new factory in Alabama, and don't notice the 116 separate contractors which would be supplying components in the production. Boeing was "American" and EADS wasn't.

The contract win was vacated and another more restrictive RFP was released for a do-over. A couple of weeks ago Northrop conceded that the new parameters had effectively negated their ability to submit a realistic and competitive proposal.

So, now we've got this:

If You Didn't Like French, How About Russian!

That certainly underlines the concept of globalization, doesn't it? Of course there wouldn't be any American factory involved I presume. Consider all of those US defense dollars flowing into the Russian economy!

In a reasonable reaction it appears that Northrop will now reconsider whether or not to submit a proposal. I've got to think that the Russian bid will certainly make a US produced version of an originally French aircraft look at least a little bit less threatening.

Fools, Drunks & Fighter Pilots

I was the absolute definition of know-it-all fighter pilot. I was back from my F-105 tour and festering in a T-37 instructor slot at Williams AFB. Teaching basics in an airplane that often wouldn't reach take-off speed of an F-105 was frustrating to say the least.

Fridays were X-country launch days. Every student would get a week-end cross-country trip and since there were several times as many students as instructors, IPs could go traveling anywhere the airplane could reach on any week-end we wished. Willy was the best of the nine pilot training bases for a Tweet driver because we could actually get somewhere worth going. First hops took us for refueling and second hops put us on the West Coast at some pretty neat places like San Francisco, LA or San Diego.

The problem was getting refueled at that first hop which often was at a base saturated with traffic. From Willy, the choices were George, Yuma, Kirtland, Nellis and Davis-Monthan. When the afternoon launch flushed us all out, it was tough to get gas and on your way to the Friday night Happy Hour at San Fran. That's where my chutzpah got me in trouble.

I'd been checked out in the -105 at Nellis. I knew my way around and was familiar with a nice installation about 70 miles up the Tonopah highway with 10,000 feet of runway and Air Force facilities. It was then called Indian Springs AF Aux. Today it is Creech AFB.

While everyone else filed flight plans for Nellis, I filed VFR (visual flight rules) to Indian Springs. We could go low-level through the Arizona desert to Nellis, then pop-up and slide into Indian Springs all by ourselves. We'd gas and go and be at the bar in San Rafael by five PM.

It went well until I checked in with Nellis Approach for the hand-off to Indian Springs tower. All came unraveled quickly.

"Willy 24, this is Nellis Approach, be advised that Indian Springs is closed at this time. Say intentions."

"Roger Nellis, Willy 24. What's the problem at Indian Springs and how soon will it open?"

"Willy 24, they've got a Thunderbird demonstration going on for a VIP gathering. They are scheduled to reopen in two hours. Say intentions."

"Roger Nellis, Willy 24. Can you divert us to traffic at Nellis? We'll go there."

"Sorry, Nellis is closed for the demonstration as well. We suggest George or Edwards for an alternate."

A T-37 is a fun jet, but it isn't known for long legs. It flies typically for an hour and a half. With prudent planning and fuel management, you can get as much as two hours milked out of it. A desert low-level is not good fuel management. I was about half an hour away from George and 20 minutes short of fuel to get there.

"Uhhh, Nellis, Willy 24 is unable to get to George. Have you get anything else available? Will McCarran take me?"

"Standby, Willy 24..."

"Willy 24, Nellis Approach, contact Nellis Tower on 324.3. They will take you on an emergency basis."

I breathed a huge sigh of relief and had about ten minutes to get to the Nellis pattern and land, alone with my thoughts of how I'd screwed up and whether or not this was going to get back to Willy where a certain arrogant Lieutenant was going to get his comeuppance.

As I followed the blue pick-up truck to the parking space, Nellis Ground told me to report immediately upon shut-down to the Base Operations Officer. As the engines spun down, I climbed over the side to be greeted by a glowering Captain peering at me from the driver's seat of a blue sedan. "Get in, Lieutenant."

Up the flightline to the base of the old tower where Base Operations sat. The Capt. didn't come with me. He merely pointed silently at the doors. I went to take my medicine.

The Base Ops Officer was a hulking figure seated behind a large government issue metal desk with his back turned to me, staring out the window. He turned, scowling, with his head down.

"What the hell do you think you're doing. Don't you realize..." He raised his head to meet my salute and suddenly softened. "...Holy shit, Raz! What did you do now? Damn you're lucky it's me."

The Base Ops Officer was Lt. Colonel Walter "Kit" Carson who had been in the 421st TFS with me flying F-105s over N. Vietnam just a year earlier. I'd been one of the young guys halfway through my tour when he arrived. The Lts were the ones who flew the wing of guys like Kit and helped them get their feet on the ground so that they could become competent leaders and survive the tour. We had a bond.

I'd been saved. My faux pas wouldn't be reported. There would be no paperwork. The lecture shifted from butt-chewing to avuncular advice shared with a cup of coffee.

The Lord looks out for fools and fighter pilots. Especially young ones who think they've got an angle.

Refresher Course

Jeff Cooper used to drill it into his disciples. Massod Ayoob was a practitioner. Bill Jordan knew it instinctively. And, if you have committed yourself to not becoming a victim, then you should review it to be sure you remember and apply:

"Professional gunfighters, including police officers and front-line soldiers, train themselves not only to use their weapons accurately but to be mentally willing to use them.

It’s one thing to pack a gun but an entirely different thing to yank it out of its holster and take a human life.

A favored method for preparing the mind for the latter eventuality is the adoption of a color-coded threat assessment system – much the same as U.S. Homeland Security has taken for its own. It works something like this:

White: Complete safety, very little chance of a threat. This is the color code when sitting on the back porch enjoying a beer on a lazy summer day, or when playing golf (provided you are not on a course featuring large alligators in the water hazards).

Yellow: Mostly safe, but best to have your guard up. For instance, walking down the streets of any large city. Unlike Code White, in this situation you want to be fully attentive to your surroundings – mostly relaxed but alert and actively scanning for potential threats.

Orange: Under this condition, you‘ve identified a potential threat. For instance, a couple of guys following you down a dark city street, switching sides as you do and closing the distance between you. Or a car has pulled slowly to a stop outside of your house late at night, and people get out and start walking furtively toward your home. Sure, they might be lost and looking for directions, but at this point you need to be fully attuned to the idea that you may need to take action.

Red: At this point, there’s no doubt left. In the case just above, for instance, you hear the breaking of a downstairs window. Having progressed through the color codes, the trained gunfighter now knows that the next thing happening is that he or she is going to pull the trigger on the intruder and so prepares the gun and, as importantly, the mind for that to happen. In this way, when the confrontation happens, there will be little if any life-threatening hesitation (as least as far as your life is concerned)."

Complacency is costly.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Sky Really Is Falling

For more than a year now we've heard the Bamster assuring us that if you like the plan you've got now then you will be able to keep it. Regularly I've mentioned the inverse rhetoric rule for interpreting his statements. Whatever he says, be assured that he means and will do the precise opposite.

Along the way there have been regular Internet screams that we would lose Tricare and Tricare for Life. The first is the supplemental health insurance for active duty and military retirees below the age for Medicare. The latter is the supplement for Medicare which military retirees have earned upon reaching age 65. Tricare comes in three flavors ranging from a basic to an enhanced and quite complete coverage for the member and family. Basic Tricare is free and the enhanced coverage is reasonable. Tricare for Life is excellent when coupled with Medicare and has been free.

Typically a bit of research on those screams would reveal they were much ado about nothing. Snopes or similar sites would debunk them as frantic fear-mongering. Apparently, however, that is no longer the case:

Senate Bill Opens the Door and Reconciliation Doesn't Address It

This time around there is little to reassure us. There will be blood.

Studied Ignorance

Word is that the Congressional switchboards have been receiving more than 100,000 calls per hour...and that is since Thursday. Voicemail boxes are full. Email is overflowing. Fax machines are buzzing along. Through it all our elected represenatives are studiously ignoring the electorate. They seem intent on dismantling the last vestiges of the grand experiment which was the American republican form of government.

The Key Word Remains: Condescending

The story is often repeated of Ben Franklin emerging from the deliberations on our Constitution into the streets of Philadelphia. He was met by an older woman who asked him, "what kind of government have you given us, Mr. Franklin."

His reply was cryptic, "A republic, Madam. If you can keep it."

Until this blatant debacle we haven't fought to keep it. In fact we seem to have become quite aggressive in our desire to give it up.

Let us hope that it is not yet too late. Somehow I fear that it is.

Saturday Morning Rocker

Friday, March 19, 2010

They Just Don't Get It

So, I wonder what part of "Representative" don't they understand? Could this have been what Hamilton, Madison, Jefferson, Franklin, Jay, Adams, et. al. were creating to govern us?

Constituents Calling Their Congressman Not Harrassment

One can only contemplate what has been promised to pseudo-representative Garamendi which would convince him it is in his interest to act this way?

Video For Democratic Representatives

As I watch this week in our federal legislature I keep thinking that the Democrats in the House being asked by the Messiah to follow his lead on healthcare need to recall Jim Jones:

Jim Jones And The Jonestown Tragedy
Uploaded by LSD25. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.

"Is there enough Kool-Aid, Rahm? Will everybody get a serving? Did you only get grape? Can't you do anything right?"

Don't fear the Reaper. Fear the voters.

Next For Nationalization?

Ever wonder how these magical government programs really impact businesses? We've got these 535 idiots running through the halls of the Capitol not more than a handful of whom have ever worked in the private sector, created a real job or met a payroll. They simply mandate and hand out goodies to the ignorati.

Here's what Caterpillar said after taking a look at the proposal:

$100,000,000.00 In Additional Costs in Year One Alone

Could we get the Bamster to explain how that is going to make Cat more competitive globally? Could he describe how this will create new jobs in manufacturing? What's the impact on world trade and balance of payments? Should Cat be planning on building any new plants in the near future? Economic recovery?

Maybe we need to simply recite regularly, "there's no such thing as a free lunch..."

Thursday, March 18, 2010


OK, if you wish to risk having your mind turn to mush you can go here and read the full text of the reconciliation bill:

Glaring Omissions

I confess, I merely skimmed it. I read the contents page and then scrolled through it to see what I could learn.

What I learned was that it tells me nothing about reform of healthcare. There was no deletion of Lousiana Purchase, Cornhusker kickback, Connecticut hospitals, Montana asbestos or any of the sweetheart provisions which were supposed to go. There was no language that I could discern prohibiting federal funding of abortion. There was nothing about the tax increases, penalties for non-purchase of insurance, guarantee of coverage with pre-existing conditions, etc. etc.

What I did find was almost half of this is about Pell Grant increases, subsidies to small and traditionally black colleges, re-financing other loans and increases of federal expenditures in a variety of cat and dog programs. And, a lot of delete a comma and change "happy" to "glad".

One reason they've been reluctant to get this stuff online is that people might just look at it and be astonished.


New info in the Fishwrap this morning discloses what my quick scan missed. The Cornhusker provision apparently was removed (the convolutions of legislative language undoubtedly might have masked it in seemingly innocuous language which didn't mention Nebraska specifically but which made the provisions exclusive to that state.)

Lousiana's deal has somehow been tweaked from $100M to $300M for those poor storm victims who haven't got their stuff back in a small bag after five years! Connecticut and Montana remain, and if you've got a job so that you therefore pay Medicare wages, your withholding will increase and will also be applied to royalties, interest, dividends and capital gains.

The language about the student loan programs nationalizes it, making the government the sole source of student loans which will be administered through a single bank nationwide from South Dakota.

Meanwhile, two California legislators threatening to vote "no" have had the water turned back on for their constituents in the San Fernando Valley. Magic, ain't it?

Hotel Recommendation

I'm not saying you shouldn't stay at a Budget Inn, but you might consider spending a buck or two more:

We Change the Sheets Usually...

The New Math

The pace quickens on the downhill slide into socialized medicine. Majority whip, James Clyburn, declared himself "giddy" with the CBO report that the bill won't cost more than a trillion dollars for the first ten years.

That questionable landmark was listed as a must-have for the legislative debacle to move forward. Come in under a trill and you've got a winner!

But, even the CBO offered some caveats on this report:

Preliminary Numbers Only Pending a Reality Check

If the CBO won't take a stand on the reliability of the conclusions what should we learn?

Some things to consider:

  1. The CBO can only deal with the language which is presented to them. They don't get to throw a flag about bad assumptions, false assertions, or duplicitous accounting.
  2. The "language" they've got is a hodge-podge of a Senate bill which won't be passed and a ball-park list of changes which the House supposedly will wish for in reconciliation.
  3. The Medicare fix assumes that a cut in Medicare payments to providers which has never been allowed to occur in the past will this time stand legislative muster and yield better care for more people at $500,000,000.00 less.
  4. The first ten years involves ten years of taxing to pay for six years of benefits.
  5. The second ten years requires accepting that a Congress eight years from now will enact a substantial tax increase.
  6. The deficit neutrality of the pseudo-bill is because of the imposition of incredible tax increases, penalties and fees on anyone who owns a business or holds better than a minimum wage job.

Once again we are beginning to see the collapse of promises of transparency, responsiveness and bi-partisan process in the sequence of actions for this week-end. No taxes on 95% of Americans? Out the window. Full text of the proposal available for 72 hours prior to a vote? Apparently that is subject to change. Deficit neutral? Only with huge taxes to subsidize it. Bi-partisan? Don't make me laugh.

There shall be a reckoning soon.

Once Upon A Dream

I was living in Europe and packing as much into it as I could. I'd met a girl and she took me skiing with a group of her friends. Neither of us had skiied before and at the end of the day we came to the conclusion that this was something which needed to be done more often. The only way to do that would be to develop some level of competence because it was obvious that the skiing part was much more fun than the falling down part. That meant taking some lessons.

I bought some ski magazines and tried to get smart about where was a good place to learn this skill. I was in Europe so the usual suspects for an American were not on the table. That meant a European resort and it doesn't take a genius to quickly narrow the choices down to Switzerland or Austria. Sure there is some French skiing and Italian as well, but the real place to experience it had to be one of those two nations.

There were factors beyond skiing driving the choice. We were planning a two week vacation over Christmas and there was always the possibility that we might not like it as much when immersed in the sport. We would have to fall back on our love of great food, fine wine and living large, European style.

The magazines helped me conclude that Zermatt was arguably the greatest ski area in the world. Plane reservation from Madrid to Geneva. Train tickets first class to Visp then switch to a narrow guage up to Zermatt, a village which allowed no cars and employed horse-drawn sleighs to get around. Reservation for two weeks at a four-star hotel with two gourmet meals a day included. Top it all off with a view of the Matterhorn.

It's changed a little bit since then, but the Nicoletta Hotel remains and the skiing is just as incredible. The three huge areas seem to go on forever and during the next eight years we returned regularly discovering it was possible to ski for a week or more at a time and never retrace your steps.

There were unbelievable lunches in small mountain cafes, each of which seemed to have a specialty that was unique to them alone. In the spring you could almost always sit on the patio, surrounded by snow banks, sipping on Fendant and a hearty lunch of spiegeleier mit rosti or maybe fondue or raclette. It was impossible to sit without regularly finding yourself entranced and silently staring at the mountain. No place on earth can rival it.

I wish I were young again.

Sleazy. It Reeks!

"Rahm, if we've lost CNN, we've lost America..."

The original of that came during the darkest days of 1968 when Walter Cronkite was spinning the Tet Offensive, which was a full-blown defeat of the Viet Cong and NVN Regulars, into a glorious victory for the people's revolution. LBJ commiserated that "if we've lost Cronkite, we've lost America." And that November it was proven that he was right. We lost the war, the Dems lost power, and the nation would be wracked with riots and unrest for the next twelve years until 1980 and the election of Ronald Reagan.

The Bamster should be paying attention. When CNN's chief editorialist won't even take the Wolf Blitzer offered bait to soften his remarks then the Dems are in serious trouble:

The backlash is going to be remarkable.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Not Concerned with Procedural Rules

This is what happens when the Bamster goes without his teleprompter. It illustrates why he has been reluctant to go one-on-one with non-passive news media. It will be repeatedly endlessly:

Any pretense that he has respect for the Constitution of the United States has now been summarily abandoned.


You've heard it by now. Yesterday the Attorney General of the United States floundered before a Congressional panel in discussing how we treat terrorists.

The essential is that Mr. Holder apparently has no concept of war. He makes no distinction between a jihadist in an Asian souk with a bomb around his waist killing American combat troops and a citizen of the US who violates our laws. He knows he is on shaky ground here and he hopes that he won't be caught in the conundrum of his own making. But watch his eyes during the questioning:

A prudent manager plans for any contingency. Most will not happen but when they do you simply must be prepared. Is it likely that Osama will be captured alive? Mr. Holder thinks that is beyond the realm of consideration. But how then does he explain Saddam Hussein or KSH? They certainly proved to be a bit reluctant to check out when their empire collapsed around them. Why should we assume that OBL will be more courageous?

We can look back no further than Christmas Eve and a plane on short final into Detroit to see what happens when you've got no contingency plan in place.

But, let's take Mr. Holder at his word. Isn't it implicit in his statement that coalition troops have instructions not to take bin Laden alive? Doesn't that clearly stand out?

So, if Mr. Holder is speaking of a policy choice that has been made with regard to no capture then can we assume immunity for the hapless trooper who pulls the trigger on OBL? Will he be able to act decisively as ordered and kill the terrorist so that Mr. Holder will be proven correct? Or will Holder then drag the squad which handled the task into a kangaroo court for vilification?

Erin Go Bragh

As an honorary Irishman by virtue of graduation from St. Patrick's High School in Chicago, I offer this concert of various Irish tunes:

But, of course, not all Irish music is about drinking and jigs. Some is hauntingly beautiful:

Of course there's always the essential Irish classic with a special percussion section:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Deemed Passed

The Speaker of the House seems to realize the toxicity of a vote for the healthcare reform bill in the coming election. So, she suggests an end run on the need to actually put your name on the bill and state your position relative to it:

"It's more insider and process-oriented than most people want to know," the speaker said in a roundtable discussion with bloggers Monday. "But I like it," she said, "because people don't have to vote on the Senate bill."

Madame Speaker, it isn't more process-oriented that most people want to know. We actually do want to know who votes for it so that they can be held accountable. We want to know who stands where. We want it visible and dare I say transparent so that we can say, "ahhh, the Constitution is still serving us well." For that matter we want to see a bill, an actual text file of a piece of legislation which will be voted upon and we would like to see it before the vote is taken. We DO want to know.

I would think that reasonable people in the House would be against the "deem and pass" self-executing rule. Those who oppose the bill and are in step with their constituents would clearly benefit from being able to stand up and point to their vote whichever way it turns out. But if this gets stuffed down our throats under this no-vote required option that means that every single one of the Democrats will be assumed to have been in favor of it.

Simple self-preservation instinct should come into play here.

And Article I, Section 5, paragraph 3:

3: Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Paternalistic Ideology

Paul Ryan explains what is happening in language that even some Americans might comprehend. I would call it the death of our republic, but then I tend toward hyperbole. He calls it simply a debate which has not been about healthcare reform but about paternalistic ideology.

Ryan in WaPo Speaks Truth to Fools

Seems pretty clear and also it seems increasingly to be a fait accompli. Jefferson, Madison and Franklin can be heard weeping softly in the background.

Fear vs Facts in Strongville

Still on the campaign trail and despite the fact that the legislature is in Washington DC, the Messiah took the family jet to Ohio yesterday to meet with a couple of hundred mindless drones and convince them to pass healthcare reform. OK, I don't understand it either.

He was on the top of his rhetorical game, however, throwing aspersions left and right, assuaging doubts about what the unwritten bill will have in it when it is passed without a vote and imposed on the nation which doesn't seem to eager for it, and tugging at the heart strings with the tale of a woman with a recurrence of cancer who is getting treatment at one of the finest medical facilities in the nation even without health insurance.

You see the problem is that she couldn't afford the premiums so she cancelled her coverage last year. Now she fears she will lose her home and be bankrupted. She's afraid therefore the Bamster to the rescue!

But wait! What's this?

There are Eight or Nine Options and She Won't Lose Her Home

Whoa! That's an inconvenient truth! Facts appear to contradict the rhetoric. Not just a bit but completely.

Apparently it is more important to deal with the fears of a single woman than to be encumbered by what actually is going on. Won't life be wonderful in our utopia when we have no fears left, not even unfounded ones?

Symphony of the Absurd

Indoctrination can be blatant or subtle. Here we find it manifesting in the pretentiousness of classical orchestral production. It truly is worthy of Leni Riefenstahl:

Hope is Essential and Community is the Basis

Click the link beneath the top video screen capture to enjoy the performance. It is so much more polished than the earlier links to Bamster paeans we've seen.

Be sure to read the comments at the end about the conspicuous lack of diversity in the worshippers.

Monday, March 15, 2010

It Doesn't Need to Be Broken

When the objective is total government take-over of all aspects of our lives then you don't need to have a crisis or a problem to justify expansion of bureaucracy, over-regulation, and a "leveling" of the playing field to allow the incompetents to reap the benefits from Reardon Steel or Taggart Transcontinental. Nothing government does seems to work better than free markets yet they strive to screw it up.

If you've been around computers for the last 25 years you've seen magic happen. A simple gadget that made number crunching, data-base management and word processing easier has hooked up with other machines to create a way of life. The 300 baud modem leap-frogged from 1200 to 24,000 to 56k to broadband. We suck up information through wi-fi and local networks while getting continually cooler gadgets to put it all at our command. Along the way the computers gained power and dropped in price while the network services grew their infrastructure and kept costs competitive. Free market at its best.

So, now we see this:

Net Neutrality Neuters Networks and Grows Government

If 95% of Americans receive some form of broadband and 94% of Americans have a choice of four or more providers, why is there a problem requiring government intervention?

Of course if you control information and the delivery pipeline you can most assuredly control the populace. Does this frighten anyone else?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

IQ Test

Apparently in the next week you are going to watch the members of the United States Congress submit to an intelligence test. We've all harbored suspicions but this may prove to be irrefutable confirmation of the state of their intellects.

There is ample evidence to indicate that many, if not most, of our congress-critters are chronic prevaricators. They campaign for office and without batting an eye or nervously dampening a palm they tell us what they know are untruths. They willfully and repeatedly look us squarely in the eye and recite talking points which are designed to convince us of "facts" that aren't so. They are professional liars.

They know they are liars. They do it for a career.

Now here is the intelligence test. If you are a professional liar and you are in a legislative body of professional liars how would you behave when faced with this proposal:

Trust Me:
  1. The check is in the mail
  2. I'll respect you in the morning
  3. I won't...

The Constitution says that legislation must be passed by both chambers of the legislature, House and Senate. That means the same act must be voted on and approved by the necessary majority. Not two different acts, but one.

The House passed a bill in December. The Senate passed a bill in December. The leadership opted not to have a conference committee to resolve differences. The leadership know proposes a reconciliation bill in the Senate. That requires a law and that means the House must pass the Senate bill as it exists without ability to change or amend it. They must then allow the President to sign it into law--which he is only too eager to do.

The House is being asked to assume that once this law is signed that the Senate will then consider their objections, corrections, amendments or proposals under the reconciliation process.

Would any intelligent person in a Congress of liars believe that such a thing could happen?

Meanwhile Louise Slaughter (D-NY) wants to just foregoe any voting at all and let the President sign a Senate-only enactment. Can we get that lady a copy of the Constitution?

Genocide in Georgia--Part Deux

Following in the footsteps of yesterday's dissection of ludicrous claims we've got this:

Outlaw Abortion Based on Race or Gender

In response to that I would direct the legislators of the good state of Georgia to the Fourteenth Amendment of a document with which they are apparently unfamiliar:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

You see that pesky "equal protection of the law" phrase seems to get in the way.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Endangered Species

This is so ludicrous you know it could only come from Washington. Anyone who can look around would immediately realize the initial premise is flawed:

A Conspiracy of Genocide

Apparently Catherine Davis, speaking for Georgia Right to Life, sees these factors as problematic:

one study shows there is a direct correlation between the location of most abortion clinics in urban areas and the number of abortions by black women

So, there are a lot of abortions taking place in areas where there are abortion clinics? That's suspicious. Are there a lot of people buying gas in areas where there are a lot of gas stations?

In Georgia, she said, 100 percent of the clinics are in urban areas. Nationwide, it's 75 percent, she said.

Wow! You find services concentrated in areas where people are concentrated. I'll bet 100% of hospitals are found in urban areas as well. Do you find many shopping malls being built in the hinterland?

"I believe it's deliberate," she said, citing Oregon as one example where most abortion clinics are located in black neighborhoods despite an overwhelming white population in the state.

I wonder how many rural regions in the nation are predominantly black? So, we find black neighborhoods in urban areas, heh?

Davis noted that in 2008, blacks made up 30 percent of the population in Georgia but more than 57 percent of the abortions.

Ahh, the "smoking gun"! Hard statistics to prove the thesis. But wait a second. Do pregnancy rates track in parallel with population percentages? There is plenty of evidence to show fecundity rates are not equivalent. In other words those numbers are irrelevant.

"You can still get an abortion," she said. "Is there all this hoopla because these doctors are doing what I suspect they're doing?" she said. "Otherwise, why are they up in arms about our campaign?"

Davis, who is black, said she just wants to see an end to what she called a racially motivated practice.

"If they will stop targeting my people, I will fade softly into the background," she said.

So, the final claim is that somehow black women who are pregnant seem to be dragged from the streets into these proliferating abortion clinics in black neighborhoods and then without their permission or approval their precious and rare black fetuses are ripped from their bodies leaving the black population in America in a state of contraction and decline. Got it. We'd better pass a law.

Saturday Morning Rocker

One trick pony for sure:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Porn Flick

This is simply an unnatural act:

Must See TV

Run, do not walk, to New Paltz Journal for this:

All the Movies You'll Never Need to See

The Law, Gravitas and Weight Management

Here's a man who speaks clearly on issues with which I am familiar. In fact we could be twins separated at birth:


Do coincidences happen? Of course they do. Do they happen often? No. Do they happen in a time frame which fits the agenda of dismantling a major competitor of Government Motors through law suits, regulation and a campaign of distrust? In this America they do.

Now consider for a moment what you do when something frightening and unexpected and possibly even life-threatening occurs? That's right, you don't deal with it, you fish out your cell phone and make a call.

Read about the Prius event:

Why Didn't You Turn Off the Ignition and/or Put It In Neutral?

For those who skimmed through them, here are some interesting points:

He called 911 and reported that his gas pedal had become stuck, and spoke to dispatchers in two calls that spanned 23 minutes.

He made TWO calls? The runaway car incident took 23 minutes? What does that tell you?

He planned to be sure to have the calls become an issue. He set up the situation in a place where he could run at high speed without traffic lights, congestion or unnegotiable curves. Can you think of a place where you could run your car flat out for 23 minutes straight? You've got to plan ahead for it.

Don Esmond, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales, said all Priuses are equipped with a computer system that cuts power to the wheels if the brake and gas pedals are depressed at the same time — something Sikes was doing.

When was the last time in your vehicle that you drove it with BOTH the brake and gas pedals depressed? Could you hold that posture for 23 minutes while diverting your attention to make a couple of calls?

When asked why he didn't simply put the car in neutral, Sikes responded: "You had to be there. I might go into reverse. I didn't know if the car would flip. I had no idea how it would react."

Your car is acclerating wildly and your demise is imminent but rather than take the car out of gear or turn the ignition off you worry about not doing it right?

Give me a break! This is a setup! Even an enviro-geek who would buy and drive a Prius wouldn't be this stupid. It was planned, orchestrated, and promoted.

Sikes Update:

Unwanted Scrutiny Reveals Much

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Business Opportunity

Ever wonder what would happen if you didn't turn in your homework on time?

Well, enforcement is apparently going to get a bit tougher:

Fourteen Inch, Ghost Ring, 12-Gauge Tactical Only

How did that model get selected?

LOP are designated as the only shotguns authorized for ED based on compatibility with ED existing shotgun inventory, certified armor and combat training and protocol, maintenance, and parts.

Well that makes sense. It's a compatibility issue with existing armor, combat training and shotgun inventories of the educrats.

There's got to be some application here, but it isn't jumping out at me. Arne Duncan's department doesn't have any responsibility for security in schools anywhere. And his office buildings are protected by local police and contract personnel.


What's Your Sign?

It is a decennial year and that means we are going to be subject to the census. There is a lot of grumbling about what is on the forms and whether or not they (meaning the Congress) have the right to ask those questions.

We know that the composition of the House is determined by population. The legislatively set fixed number of 435 House seats is "apportioned" among the states based on their population. Districts are established within states to maintain approximately equal numbers of citizens in each representative district. People move and the population grows so every ten years we count and then some states gain a seat or two and some lose.

The US Constitution establishes the requirement for the census with this simple statement:

Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.

So, every ten years we get counted. The key clause is the last one. "in such manner as they shall by law direct." Who gets counted? What gets asked? How is it done? Must you respond?

That's more complex. I honestly thought it was basically a body count. I don't like to discuss how much income I've got or how many TVs or whether my toilets flush with total strangers. Must I respond?

Here's the reference to the body of law which governs:

"Persons" and the "Necessary & Proper Clause" and More, Oh My!

Notice that there is no mention of citizenship. Since the Fourteenth Amendment made the former slaves citizens and offered equal protection under the law, we count bodies, not citizens. A person is a person, period. Wherever that leads us.

The combination of the power to conduct the census in "such manner as they (the Congress) shall by law direct" and the blanket authorization of the "necessary and proper clause" allow the census to delve into questions which we undoubtedly might find intrusive. "The law is an ass...", Mr. Bumble was heard to say, but it remains the law.

Should we exercise civil disobedience and skip questions we don't approve of or simply opt out of responding? There are legal penalties for doing that. If, as a component of your civil disobedience you are willing to face those penalties then go for greatness. Otherwise, grin and bear it...and meanwhile work to restore some sense to our laws.

The Role of Government

A topic which never seems to be raised any more is one which should be central to all political discussion. What is the proper role of government?

There are different levels of government in our federal system and obviously that would mean different roles. But the essential question is still relevant. What should government be doing? And, maybe more critical, what should government stay out of?

Why is that important? It is important because the more government is involved in making the choices in our lives, the more intrusive and repressive it can be. The essence of our freedom is tied to the role of government.

Take a look at where we are in our national debates. We are in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Should government be involved in defending us from threats which are generated in those regions? Clearly the role of defending the nation is a proper one for government. The question can then be where it is best done and so the debate can proceed with clear understanding that this is something government should be handling.

Should government be determining whether or not a woman can have an abortion? Ahh, a more complex question. If you understand on one side of the argument the position is that the role of government should not involve intervention in significant decisions between a woman and her significant other, her family, her healthcare provider and her faith then you might be pro-choice. If you understand on the other side of the argument that a proper role of government is protection for those who cannot protect themselves, then you might be pro-life. But understanding the role of government is essential.

Failure to stop at the beginning of every debate and ask about the proper role of government can give us this:

Nanny Says No-No to Tasty Food

Someone needs to tell Assemblyman Ortiz that the preparation of restaurant foods, beyond maintaining of health standards, is none of his business.

Jack Bauer Results

Recent capture of the #2 Taliban leader in Afghanistan and interrogation by the Pakistanis give this revealing picture:

Chirp, Chirp, Chirp, Tweet, Tweet, Hummmmm

It has reported during a brief interlude in his screaming that he asked for intervention by US Attorney General Eric Holder. He said something about his rights having not yet been read to him.