Wednesday, October 31, 2007

- Liberalism = Racism

For several years now I’ve gone on and on to anyone who will hold still long enough, about the transcendent work of economist Thomas Sowell. He is one of America’s most brilliant men, and his book “Knowledge and Decisions” is a work of such monumental scope, that it’s hard to read it without feeling like you’ve been walking around your whole life with blinders on, and Sowell has finally removed them for you. Afterward, you look at everything differently. It’s as if a fundamental truth has been revealed to you, so when you look around with your new eyes, you see evidence of it everywhere.

He came from a very modest background, and eventually went on to the University of Chicago, where he became part of the group of men and women working with the legendary Milton Friedman. For them there was no pre-conceived ideology to adhere to, only the objective quest for empirical evidence of the truth. They eventually settled on the idea that “when like is compared to like, a system which allows more personal liberty will be more productive than one which allows less”. This was Dr. Friedman’s well known quote about personal liberty and freedom.

But Sowell didn’t just parrot Dr. Friedman’s insights he added to them greatly. The simplistic sounding thesis of “Knowledge and Decisions” was that “Information is not free”. According to Dr. Sowell, all information has a cost in time, money and energy, and those costs must be considered if you are to build efficient decision-making institutions. The insights that can be derived from this very basic fundamental truth are as diverse and as ground shaking as any you have ever imagined, but if you want to learn them you should go buy the book. You’ll thank me if you do.

It’s been some time since I first read “Knowledge and Decisions” and since then, I’ve largely based my career on finding ways to apply his thinking. I’ve done countless studies that demonstrate the “cost of information” in the financial markets, and even designed and built a highly profitable program trading system based upon ideas drawn from his work. I’ve also bought and read every other book he’s written, even his economics primer “Basic Economics” so I can have a copy for my daughter when she needs it. The fact is, more than any man alive, I certainly consider him a hero of mine. If I can accomplish just a fraction of what he has in his life, I’ll consider myself successful.

But this isn’t about Thomas Sowell exactly.

A few weeks ago, I was having a discussion with a friend at work, and I was going on and on about Dr. Sowell, and how important I felt his work was. My friend took my words to heart and went and bought a copy of the book, but while he was doing so, he noticed from a photo in a dust cover that Dr. Sowell is black. This surprised him greatly, but what surprised him even more was the fact that it had never occurred to me to mention it.

The fact is I didn’t mention it, because I didn’t think about it all that much. When I look at Thomas Sowell I see a man who is a great deal like I would hope to be. He’s driven by a similar set of thought processes, and places the same value on empirical evidence as opposed to opinion, that I try to. I know from his work that he is constantly questioning himself and his base assumptions to make sure he hasn’t missed some relevant detail. And after looking at the same world that I see, he’s come to much of the same conclusions about it. I’ve never actually met him, but I’d be willing to bet we’d get along just as well as two men separated by a 30 year age difference ever could.

But if you were to believe the popular media and virtually every university administration in the country, that shouldn’t be so. I should despise him, and he should despise me because we are first and foremost, a black man and a white man, and that should be the thing that defines us. He should be envious of all the advantages I’ve gotten because I’m white (a laugh out loud riot if you knew my actual circumstances) and I should be dismissive of him because he’s “just another black man”, in spite of his obviously brilliant mind.

This is really just nonsense. I don’t believe institutional racism exists in this country anymore except in those places that are most heavily dominated by liberals. Universities openly (and proudly) discriminate by race, and so do many areas of the civil service. But in my world, the world of private industry, the only thing anyone is concerned with is talent. Our world is so competitive and demanding that we can’t afford to be worried about anything else. I pray for the day that everyone else in the business will reject a Thomas Sowell because he’s black, and leave him for me to hire instead. Unfortunately, the competition isn’t that stupid.

Most of the time, the label of racism is just a lazy replacement for critical thinking. It’s a lot easier to accuse someone of being motivated by evil thoughts about race, than it is to take a hard look at yourself and your behavior. Dr. Sowell calls attention to that fact in his current article, which can be found here: “Driving while Black”. As usual, he’s only worried about empirical evidence and fact, and is unpersuaded by the inflammatory claims of others.

I’ve written before that I think the modern gun control movement is based almost entirely on racism, and that I think the solution to winning the second amendment debate once and for all, is to remind the black community how their rights are being systematically infringed. I’m not sure how it can be said that a guy who believes in arming the black community (especially black women) is acting in a racist manner, but I’m sure there will be people out there who find a way. After all, when it comes to identifying problems, liberals are only too happy to point the finger at someone else.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Torches and Pitchforks, Tar and Feathers

This weekend I got together with about a thousand of my like-minded brethren, and we all yelled at each other about politics. It was a first for me, and it turned out to be much more fun than I would have thought. I’m not really much of a joiner, so I’ve never been to a political rally before and I always figured that these sorts of things were just organized tedium. But after watching this crowd, I’m convinced that I need to set up a shop near the state capital that sells tar, feathers, torches and pitchforks. Because if this is the way that politics will be done in New Jersey going forward, the guy with that concession is going to get rich.

This weekend’s event was sponsored by the NJOA (New Jersey Outdoor Alliance) and by any measure of the word, it must have been considered a wild success. They had a tent set up which held about 600 people, and several hundred more who couldn’t get in were gathered in the parking lot outside. The local police were there, but they were mostly helping to direct people to parking. This was a crowd of hunters and fishermen and weren’t inclined to be anything but law abiding in spite of the noise they made. And to draw that large a crowd of hunters and fishermen, in the middle of hunting season and the annual striped bass run, was really some feat.

The meeting itself was to rally our energies for the defeat of the two Trenton bills making the rounds, which are designed to eliminate hunting and fishing in New Jersey, and the animal rights nincompoops who sponsored them. The two bills, proposed in the assembly by the comically frivolous Mike Panter (Trenton’s version of a Vegan Fredo Corleone), and his partner in condescension, State Senator Ellen Karcher, seem to have been the last silly straws that the people of New Jersey are prepared to take from these two fools.

These two giants of state-craft, have a long history of elevating pointless frivolity to new heights, and making it government policy. They’re the people that brought us such important and necessary legislation as a ban on trans-fats because we’re too stupid to know what to eat on our own. They’ve proposed a ban on .50 caliber muzzleloaders because we might accidentally shoot down a 747 with our civil war era flintlock rifles. They sponsored the new law regarding dual office holding which was such a toothless waste that it was co-sponsored by a notorious dual office holder (who is also currently being investigated for corruption). And the all time topper, they proposed a ban on goose liver pate because (and this is really my all time favorite) they consider it cruel to the geese.

With a legislative record like that it’s hard to come up with something to make people think less of you, but they’ve managed. New Jersey is a state with the second largest unfunded pension liability in the country per capita. We’ve had so many decades of tax and spend policies that we’re close to the brink of bankruptcy. We’re currently trying to sell off state held assets to meet debt obligations, which is the equivalent of hocking the wedding ring to pay down the credit card debt. And at a moment like that, these two flaming dimwits decide that this is just the right time to propose eliminating a 38 million dollar a year revenue stream for the state in the form of hunting and fishing licenses, and to irrevocably anger the 15% of the population that pays for them in the process.

It was definitely an animated crowd at the rally, and no one got a bigger roar of approval than political newcomer and Republican assembly candidate, Caroline Casagrande when she announced, “She is the woman who is going to defeat Mike Panter”. This was just the kind of populist grandstanding I personally enjoy, and she delivered it well. She knew that Panter has spent his whole political career telling the people in that tent that they are idiots, and she played it for all it was worth. Besides that, since her father is the president of one of the feeder groups for the NJOA, and her brother and husband were both in attendance, she seemed to be genuinely on our side. I liked her. Not only did she seem more genuine than the others, but it was also clear that she isn’t shrink wrapped into the State government package yet. She’s too new at the game to have figured out how to be anything but herself, and thanks to that, she seems less "shifty" than her peers.

Unfortunately, the other two Republicans we’re putting up in district 12 seemed to be the minority party version of the same old cookie cutter Trenton scoundrels we’re accustomed to seeing on the other side.

Assemblywoman and Senate candidate Jennifer Beck is one of the very few people I’ve met in my life who could manage to sound dishonest while introducing herself. If she said that the sun rose in the east, I’d feel a sudden desire to check and make sure. I know I shouldn’t set my sights so high, this is New Jersey after all. But at the end of the day I was hoping that I might have someone representing me who gets more than a D rating on her voting record from the NRA. Everyone who knows her says that when it comes to New Jersey government she’s definitely a pro, and may no one ever say such a horrible thing about my character.

Then there is Declan O’Scanlon. I think he comes off OK personally. He readily fessed up to being the guy, who lost last time to Mike Panter by 65 votes. And although he works as a consultant around the fringes of government, he hasn’t actually been in the assembly yet, so I don’t want to malign him until he has a chance to earn it. But the fact that he’s back again for another try, leaves me the unsettled feeling that the machine has bubbled him back to the top because it’s still his turn. For better or worse, he’s a reminder that the Republicans have an oligarchy in mind also; it’s just that theirs is run by different people.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m still going to vote for them all. They are certainly the least bad choices. And I urge all of you to vote for them too. But I don’t think we should be operating under any illusions. With the possible exception of Casagrande, these are not “our people” we’re voting in to office. They are the Republican version of the same “enlightened” group of people who think we civilians should shut up, pay our taxes, and let our betters (meaning them) run things. They neither know nor care what we think, and are focused solely on keeping control, whatever the cost. And if we don’t keep the pressure on them every minute of the day, they will turn on us like the feckless corruptible government hacks they no doubt are.

I’ve long been a believer that our politicians weren’t smart enough, but recent events make me wonder. For instance the one sentiment that everyone mentioned yesterday was they all said “Thank you” to Mike Panter, for being such a dim bulb and so out of touch, that he sponsored the horrendous legislation that brought all of these groups together. Given the “weak tea” choices on the Republican side, I think there is something to be said for keeping the dumbest guy you can find in office a little longer because he’s easy to keep an eye on.

But to tell you the truth, at this point I don’t see how that’s going to happen. I think in his desire to be best candidate for the animals of New Jersey, “Fredo” Panter stepped on a few too many toes, and now he’s on his way out. The animal rights groups that hold his leash had a rally on Saturday where 75 people showed up to support him, and on Sunday nearly 1,000 showed up to coat him with tar and feathers. It’s an election so nothing is a sure thing, but I’d be updating my resume if I were him.

And I suppose that’s just as well. Even with a mandate of only 65 votes he proposed nonsense like this, so can you imagine what he would decide if we left him in office for another term? And in the end, I don’t think I have to worry. When it comes to elected officials in Trenton, I’m sure there is more than enough stupidity to go around.

Oh and one last thing. One of the speakers made it clear that the NJOA represents 15% of the population of the state which is larger than the CWU (the largest civil service union) and the NJEA (the New Jersey Teacher Union.) He used this point to underline that we now have the pull to set policy, but I think it was a telling final word on my thesis that the PAC is to the general public what the union was to labor.

The original piece can be found here:

The Charles E. Schumer Memorial Rifle Range

with follow up here:

The Charles E. Schumer Memorial Rifle Range: Part Deux

Saturday, October 27, 2007

- Guaranteeing The Rights of Women

Oleg Volk, whose stirring imagery and messages have made him a cyber hero of the Gun Rights movement, has come up with something new. I personally think it's particuarly applicable for all you NJ guys who's wives object to the idea of you shooting with me. (You know who you are)

As you may recall, I've made a point of saying how it's my belief that every woman in America should know how to shoot. It turns the tiniest enfeebled grandmother into more than a match for the largest thug alive. But for some reason when Oleg says it, it comes across better.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

- The Ant and the Grasshopper: 2008

An email from a friend:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, "It's Not Easy Being Green."

Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, "We shall overcome." Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray to God
for the grasshopper's sake.

Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry & Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and all call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity and Anti-Grasshopper Act, retroactive to the beginning of the summer! The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs, and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill Clinton appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients. The ant loses the case. The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.

MORAL OF THE STORY : Be careful how you vote in 2008.

- I think I finally topped you Don

Every once in a great while, Don Gwinn the good-natured Teacher/Ambulance Driver over at The Armed School Teacher describes for us all, some of the varied and bizarre ways that google has referenced his blog. It always left me feeling a little left out that the only thing I managed to be high on the list of searches for was searches about New Jersey Corruption, the banning Foie gras, and quotes from ex-Louisiana governor Ed Edwards. Since this is pretty much what the blog is all about anyway, I was hoping there must be a mistake.

But now, after several months I think I’ve finally got a link to a search that it will take Don and his cunning grammatical minions a while to top. “Radio Free New Jersey” is now the number one site listed in google searches of blogs pertaining to “transgender dwarves".

- Another Reason To Vote For Fred Thompson

"They set up a false choice — either we get giant busloads of people tomorrow, and round them all up, or we have to grant amnesty. Attrition by enforcement is what makes the most sense." — Fred Thompson on Illegal Immigration

John McCain and Fred Thompson are the only totally unabigously pro-gun candidates among the leaders of either party. But this puts Fred over the top for me.

A link to the AJC story for the quote.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

- Pennsylvania Pheasant Hunting

It's a well known phenomenon that the laws of mathematics are suspended while Pheasant hunting. For example, we arranged for a package of 12 birds, 4 per man, and we ended up missing two, and shooting 14. No, my algebra isn’t that bad… the place where we were shooting had a big group go through last week and out of 100 birds, they only hit 16. I guess a few of them managed to stay hidden from the coyotes and hawks long enough for us to flush them a week later.

In general terms we shot pretty well, but the day was not without its humiliating moments. After we flushed and hit the first five birds in a row, a hen flushed about 10 feet in front of us and patiently waited there while all three of us emptied our guns into the air around it. It never got so much as a scratch. When we were done embarrassing ourselves and trying to quickly reload for another dose of humility, it did a little midair pirouette, gave us the avian version of the finger, and flew quietly off to the tree line beside the sporting clays field where it knew it would be safe. It might have been my imagination, but to me it looked like it rolled it's eyes before it left.

There was also the Chuckar we flushed (but didn’t pay for), which flew straight at Steve’s face, all but forcing him to hit the deck to avoid a collision. None of us could ever remember seeing “attack poultry” before. For safety reasons Rob and I couldn't shoot, but Steve eventually managed a pair of shots as the bird departed. He didn't hit it, but they did temporarily drown out the sounds of our hysterical laughter.

Most of the grass was so high we could barely see each other let alone the pair of Brittany Spaniels who were doing all of the really hard work. And when a bird flushed, we operated by sound as much as anything else. The temperature was also much warmer than I had counted on, but it was pleasant enough. And the scenery in that part of Pennsylvania is as pretty as it gets…. “narcoleptically bucolic” if I can steal a phrase from PJ O’Rourke. The staff at wingpoint was just as nice as you would expect.

The fact that we were all peppered now and then by the shot from the sporting clays match didn’t take away from the day. I’ve been hit before, but it was a first for Steve and Rob so they will get a chance to tell the guys in the office how they had gotten "shot" while hunting. And when Steve told us that his girlfriend was quite concerned about his safety on his first pheasant hunt we tossed around the idea of making a quick call to her:

“Yes Hi, this is Tom, I’m one of the guys that went hunting with Steve this morning… Yeah hi…. Um yeah um everything is fine .. but um… you don’t happen to know what Steve’s blood type is do you? You don’t? Oh …uh no, he’s um …fine but he can’t talk right now…do you by any chance have the number of his parents?”

The guys talked me out of it.

Of the 14 birds we actually shot, I personally hit 8 or 9 of them and if their claims of success can be counted, Rob and Steve hit 26 birds and 24 birds respectively. This is another one of those ways that the laws of mathematics are mysteriously suspended while Pheasant hunting. And in a puzzling twist that took it to an even more surreal level, when we went to collect our cleaned birds after lunch, it seems they only had 11 of them there for us. Even our guide thought that was wrong, so they drove back to our field twice in case something had fallen out of the truck but the other birds never turned up. It was almost certainly just an administrative error. Some other hunting group must have claimed to hit more birds than they really did and ended up taking a few of ours as well. I know it sounds shocking, but that happens sometimes.

Either way though, the 11 birds we took home were far more than we could eat, and even after the clams, the spring rolls, the wine and the Pheasant, several of them are still left, and are relaxing in the new freezer my wife bought, just for that purpose. They seem pretty relaxed to me anyway… they certainly aren’t complaining. Now all I need to do this autumn is get them a nice Deer to keep them company.

All in it was a nice day, if a little tiring, but well worth it. Next time we're probably going to try to make it a bigger group. We were thinking that 2 groups of four guys each would work really well, but I'm still kind of a nut about the safety issues. So if you want in next time, you had better come out to shoot clays with me at my gun club a few times first to convince me that you are capable of being safe in the field, otherwise you won't make the cut.

Friday, October 19, 2007

- The Rejoicing Continues

I know it probably seems like I’ve been lazy about writing the last few weeks, but all will be explained shortly, and then I’ll be back to my usual pace of complaint and petty griping. But it’s not happening today because tomorrow, we hunt that most delectable of animal foes, the ring neck pheasant.

In the AM tomorrow, myself and a few other guys are off to shoot little birds with big guns. Then later in the afternoon all the wives, girlfriends, kids and pets will be gathering at my house where I will spend several hours cooking up the aforementioned provocateurs, along with an assortment of other things that would make my vegan state Assemblyman’s head explode. (I wonder if it’s too late to invite him?)

I’m confident that much fun will be had by all, but even if it’s not, much fun will be had by me, so I’m OK with that. And in the spirit of sharing a little of the fun, I’m reposting a piece I wrote last July with tons of fun video embedded. Ladies and gents I give you, the venerable, AK-47. When civilization is about to end, accept no substitute.

- And There Was Much Rejoicing
16 July, 2007

This week, that most prolific of firearms the AK-47 turns 60 years old. It's a big event in all places that used to be havens for communism, and there are celebrations going on worldwide wherever the "people’s revolution" was a cherished idea. "The New York Times" is no different, and they’ve done a big article on the subject for this past Sunday’s publication, which speaks in glowing terms of both the rifle and it’s creator.

Normally you would think this must be a tough place for "the peoples newspaper" to be in. Their bias against guns of any kind and "assault weapons" (whatever the hell that means) in particular, is well known. But true to form, they managed to find a way to spin the article so that the noble "peoples revolution" continues. And there is still room for a negative blurb about America, claiming that the US is responsible for Russia's economic demise because it buys "knock-offs" for distribution among it's client nations in the third world.

There is no doubt about it the AK is everywhere. Many reliable estimates say that there have been over 100 million rifles produced in that form. You can buy them on the street in Karachi for about $50, in Baghdad for $100, and in most of Africa for the local price of a goat. Here in the US, the fully automatic version is illegal unless you happen to have the highly restricted license for it, but the semi-automatic knock-offs can be bought in the states for about $300 in both pre and post ban configurations, and with an assortment of options.

As the proud owner of one of the afore mentioned knock-offs, I'm here to tell you that everything you have heard about it's reliability is absolutely true. In fact, if anything it may be a little understated. This clip shows someone proving the point in unbelievably graphic terms. Firearms fans can’t help their reaction when they see this. Personally I find the gasping and cringing it causes almost as entertaining as the video itself.

Afghan soldiers clean them with their boot laces dipped in motor oil, the central American contras cleaned them with old rags and their fingers, and the child soldiers of west Africa don't clean them at all. With the AK, it doesn't matter. I've seen them thrown in the mud. I've seen them with a fist full of sand dropped into their works. I've seen them stood on, dropped, run over by cars and abused in a dozen other ways. So long as there is ammo in it, it will go bang. "And when you run out of ammo" a former Russian paratrooper once told me "you can still beat a man to death with it."

Of course, this reliability is not without costs. The tolerances of a Russian AK-47 are not what most Americans are trained to expect in a firearm, to say nothing off the fast and loose manufacturing methods used on the knock-offs. Produced in communist run factories where "quality assurance" was considered a foreign and suspiciously capitalist sounding term, many look like they were made in someones garage with hand tools. And because of that, the accuracy suffers greatly against American built weapons. I'm told that there are some AK's out there which are as accurate as an AR15, but if that's so, I've yet to see one. With mine, a semi-automatic Romanian knock-off, the first 10 shots can be put into a pie plate at 100 yards if I shoot slowly and use a scope. But after the barrel heats up, and it heats up quickly, then the accuracy drops off the cliff.

It also fires slowly compared to many automatic weapons. Here is another video of a guy abusing his AK. The smoke you see coming off the barrel is caused by the barrel getting hot enough to burn the wooden front hand guard, turning it’s underside into charcoal.

Naturally the Times has it’s own perspective, but for those of you think the AK is only a gun for bad guys, let me give you some related history. In Rwanda, over 100 days in 1994, they had a civil war where roughly 800,000 people were killed, many of them women and children. But it wasn’t the AK-47 that was used for that slaughter. The weapon of choice in that war was the humble machete. So contrary to what every gun-banning politician in the US would have us believe, when they got rid of virtually all of the guns, the murder still continued and at a terrifyingly rapid pace.

History has a way of making fools of those who ignore it, and the gun ban crowd is no different. For instance, in the 20th century over 100 million people were killed by their own governments. But for the AK-47, it may well have been 200 million. It may look scary to American eyes, and it may be thought of as a weapon of criminals and fiends, but the AK is the weapon of self-defense in the places where the government would be the only one with guns otherwise. And in places like that, the government is usually the last people you would trust with a gun.

It’s an effective, reliable, discount product, made for the man (or woman) who can’t afford anything else. It's the walmart special of combat firearms. And for 60 years in the places where it's needed most, it does just what it's always needed to: it gives the peasants a means with which to push back.

Here is a little more entertaining history on the AK. Presented for your viewing pleasure on a slow Monday.


It's an ironic bit of history that for the 60 years where the AK47 has become such an icon, it was illegal for most civilians in the eastern block to own them.

Also, this other piece of video is too much fun not to post. Remember when I said that the barrel tends to heat up a little?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

- A Call to Arms: The Invisible Fist

Craig Good, a California native, is putting together an effort to resist the changes to the gun laws of the people's republic of California. It seems the governor there just signed a law requiring that "micro-stamping" be used for all shell casings as of 2010. But the technology doesn't exist, so it is in effect, a defacto ban civilian ownership of all semi-automatic firearms.

It's another attempt to stem crime by placing an undue burden on the law abiding.

He's calling for a nationwide boycott of California by all gun manufacturers, and an individual boycott, by gun owners, of every company that refuses to do so. He wants us all to put our money where our mouth's are. for myself:

I'm down for that.

Right there with you Craig.

Here is his original blog post:

- The Role of Fish Stories in Good Government

Personally I’ve always liked a good fish story. You know what that is, don’t you? It’s a story that’s so obvious a lie that it’s told not to fool anyone but to entertain. It’s the barroom tale in Crocodile Dundee where he talks about catching a fish so big that when they cut it open, they found “four Philipino fishermen… still in their boat”.

But essential to the bon-vivre nature of the fish story is that you have to enjoy telling it. The politicians who get that always seem to do exceptionally well. George W. Bush, at the very least, owes much of his first election to his affable nature, and but for term limits, former Mayor Ed Koch might still be running New York City thanks to his. Politicians and their major media enablers all need to understand that the general public isn’t nearly as stupid as they think we are. We know we’re being lied to, but if it’s being done with style, then it goes down a little smoother.

Take this Gem from the classic 1982 movie “The Best Little Whore House in Texas”. Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds played the leading roles, but it was Charles Durning in a supporting role as the governor of Texas who was the scene-stealer. (BTW if you think this looks effeminate, remember that the guy prancing around is also a man who survived the assault on Omaha beach, and during his time in Europe with the Third Infantry was awarded a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and three purple hearts.)

Anyway, presentation counts, and Governor Corzine doesn’t seem to get the light hearted essentials of lying for a living. I mean look at this guy:

And that’s a posed picture, not me trolling around to find something to make him look bad. Does he look like the kind of guy you’d like to yuk it up with?

He needs to understand that we all know about his relationship with Carla Katz, the head of the largest of the civil service unions, and the “loans” he extended to her before his election. We know about his scofflaw traffic accident, and we know that so far he has inherited far more problems than he has caused.

We know he’s dealing with one of the most corrupt state governments in the history of the country, and that virtually everyone he speaks to on a day to day basis, will probably be indicted once the federal prosecutors can get to their name in the alphabetical list of government staffers. (That's a joke of course... if it were true... then everyone in government wound be busy changing their name to Zyzzw Zzzzyz or some such.) But if he would just spin it a little better I think we’d all feel better about it, including him.

His big news now is that he’s proposing an new “anti-crime” initiative, but thanks to the corruption, the double office holding of our elected officials, the breathtakingly large unfunded pension liability, the massive new state funded loan program to promote fetal stem cell research by less than cutting edge companies, the stalled highway privatization, the unreformed “Abbot school districts” where they steal as much as they spend, and the rolling disaster that is NJ’s “property tax” reform, there is no new money for any of his proposals.

As for the substance, of his initiative, it’s all the same “catch and release”, “blame the gun not the shooter”, root causes nonsense that we’ve been hearing from liberal Democrats since the 60’s, but what did you expect? It’s never helped in the past and it isn’t going to make a dent in the crime problem now. But that won’t stop some government paid “blue ribbon panel” come election time, from determining that thanks to the changes, on Tuesday evenings between 1:30AM and 1:45 AM, there has been a 11% reduction in violent crimes against one legged, transgender dwarves, within three blocks of the state capital.

Personally I wait with baited breath, the announcement of the surprisingly positive results. In the meantime I suppose I’m going to be lied to some more. And the truth is, I don’t really expect NJ politicians to become honest and responsible. Like the Chinese say, “All crows under heaven are Black”. I just wish they would manage it with a little more style, that’s all.

Monday, October 15, 2007

- Old Sarge's "Man of Honor"

A short, impressive and moving story from Old Sarge.

Man of Honor

Friday, October 12, 2007

- Global Warming Jumps The Shark

In honor of St. Al Gore's Nobel peace prize victory, I'm reposting a bit I wrote a few months ago on global warming. Presented here for those of you who might have missed it the first time:

I’m not a climate scientist, and I don’t know much about the weather. But I do make my way in the world by quantifying mathematically complex systems using large amounts of data, and empirically determining cause and effect. As far as it goes that’s essentially the same thing, so I feel qualified within specific limits to comment on the issue of global warming. I’ve looked carefully at the data and the reasoned conclusions offered by both sides, and I think it’s pretty clear.

I think the global warming fad has finally jumped the shark.

Oh I looked at all the available data, and to be fair there is definitely some climatology background required if you wanted to develop a full contextual understanding of everything involved. But the problem with even talking about it is that it’s so complicated that you are stuck with either speaking in generalities so broad that you seem evasive, or speaking so specifically that you bore everyone to tears. And even though it’s been tried by better minds than me, I’m going to try to split the difference.

For someone who doesn’t work with data like this it often seems that it can’t tell us much of anything. It seems that the things people are saying are all driven by political motives and pre-assumed conclusions. But the fact is, the problem is not that the data is too vague, but that it’s too specific. The things that you can say as a matter of empirical evidence are extremely limited and the gaps must usually be made up through reasoned hypothesis. For example, there is a logical difference between saying “I am not a duck”, and saying “I am a person.” While it’s entirely possible that both of those things can be true, the truth of the first does not necessarily lead to the truth of the second.

The data in the global warming debate says some very specific things about what’s going on in the climate, but the place where the argument breaks down is in the conclusions drawn from those very specific statements. Advocate claim that “I am not a duck” therefore, according to my expertise, I must be a person”, and critics say, “You assume too much…you have only proven that you are not a duck.”

Or to cite an actual example, one of the things that the data says is that the amount of CO2 has increased dramatically in recent years. And when I say dramatically, I mean D.R.A.M.A.T.I.C.A.L.L.Y!!!!!!! According to ice core samples the level now is 5 standard deviations above normal. This is very large number. In fact, if all we wanted to say was that it’s higher than 99 out of 100 measurements, then we’d be saying that it’s just 3 standard deviations above normal. To give some additional perspective, on October 13, 1987, the day of the market crash, the stock market dropped just a little less than 5 standard deviations. This is huge … and I mean, really, really, really huge. It’s a number so big, that we almost never see a change like that, in natural dynamic systems.

So what could cause a mammoth change in CO2 like that? Is it we terrible and greedy Americans? Well there is no doubt about it, according to the data we humans add to it. According to the statistics published by the global warming advocates, human industrial development accounts for roughly 6% of all atmospheric CO2. “But wait a minute…” I can hear you say “you said it was a really huge number and 6% doesn’t sound that huge.” That’s right, and that’s because it isn’t. The 6% that humans contribute is only a tiny portion of the total increase of atmospheric CO2. The rest is a product of the “natural” oscillation of the system.

See the point is that there has never really been any debate about whether temperatures have increased, they have. But temperatures go up every summer and down every winter. In fact they go up and down on a longer cyclical trend as well, even the most devout global warming believer recognizes that. So by itself an increase isn’t necessarily great cause for concern, even a very big increase. But the reason that global warming advocates cite as the cause for all the hub bub is that the most recent increase coincides fairly closely with human industrial development and since that development is only going to continue, so also, they say, is the warming trend.

Well if human industrial development is the cause of the rise in temperature, then they would be right and we’d all be in for some kind of trouble eventually. We wouldn’t have to flee from the beaches to escape the rushing water, or abandon our homes and relocate in refugee camps on the Mexican border or anything, but there would be eventual concerns that we’d have to deal with. But the economic numbers discussed by the global warming faithful are completely ridiculous, and the human consequences and their proposed solutions are even more so. And what Al Gore and the media do to that already hyperbolic conclusion set can only be described as comically shameless. Times Square will not flood, no polar bears will drown, and the wholesale famine, death, and misery will only occur if politicians cause it.

But here is the real rub. The data doesn’t actually say that human development is the cause of the warming. The data says that temperatures are rising. The data says that humans contribute to CO2. But the data does not say that CO2 causes the warming trend, in fact quite the contrary, the data itself provides us with lots of reason to believe that CO2 increases are actually caused by the warming rather than the other way around.

I could go into the specifics but this BBC documentary

raises them much better than I, and since it involves online video, it’s automatically more interesting than anything I can say on the subject. But I wanted to raise one more issue that I don’t hear on the press very often.

We’ve all heard the term “tipping point” where a trend reaches a point of self sustainability. That sort of thing is useful in describing how fashion trends spread through cities, and global warming advocates claim that the climate has either already reached one, or will reach one soon. Well that’s simply untrue, and this IS an area where I consider myself a fully qualified expert. “Tipping points” don’t apply to dynamic systems like climate. In technical terms, our climate is a non-linear dynamic system which is self correcting, and isn’t subject to the “tipping point” logic. In that way, it’s just like the stock market where I make my living.

To cite the earlier example, on October 13, 1987 we had a stock market crash, and do you know what happened on the 14th? The market bounced back aggressively. A month later, the entire loss had been made back. You see that’s how dynamic systems work. When they see a big change one way they automatically snap back, and go much further back the other way. The literal process is called “mean reversion”, and there are literally millions of examples available in nature of this phenomenon, in fact it’s hard to find a statistic in nature that isn’t subject to this kind of cyclical oscillation.

If you look at penguin populations or wildebeest migration, or algae blooms, or tree growth patterns, or seasonal weather change or literally anything, they are all subject to the yin and yang that’s present in the mathematics of dynamic systems… all of them, every single one. It is how nature works, and there is no escaping it. There are no tipping points in nature, only in the minds of man. Like the “earth in crisis”, it’s all in our heads.

So why do I think that means the issue has jumped the shark? Well actually that isn’t the reason. The reason I think it’s jumped the shark is because I believe that the tipping point logic is valid in some cases. And I think that in order to keep people believing in global warming as a political movement, it’s necessary for its advocates to keep people from thinking about it too carefully. Like Marxism, it only looks good if you never compare it to the facts. So you need to indoctrinate new people into the core beliefs faster than you lose them to critical thinking, and to do that you focus your energies on them when they have only limited critical thinking skills.

When people reach a certain age they are too certain of their fallibility, and they become too cynical to embrace another “turn the world upside down” style of belief system. So as a product of that, it becomes necessary to indoctrinate younger and more innocent people. Global warming started as a topic of conversation in the universities, but when Al Gore embraced it, they began discussing it in the high schools and in Hollywood. (Those two areas are of roughly equal sophistication and maturity if you ask me.)

But that was last year. This year the person I see who is being most actively bombarded with the desperate panicked global warming message, is my seven year old daughter. She’s being pounded at every turn, on every form of media. The heroes in the TV shows she watches all call it important while the villains ignore it. In the books she reads, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen talk about how “cool” it is. Everywhere she goes someone else she otherwise admires tells her she needs to think about it. Except of course my wife and I… we calmly explain to her just because these people think its important doesn’t mean she has to. She believes us of course, and seems genuinely unworried. And since we think we counter it well enough, we’re not all that concerned either. But there is no doubt that it’s a constant drone in her life right now.

And that’s why I think it’s jumped the shark. The true believers in global warming are still a minority, and they have been reduced to the political equivalent of conscripting the child soldier. And no political movement can survive for long when they’ve been reduced to that.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

- The Government of Britney and K-Fed

We call it the Nanny state because it takes over for us and sets us free from the responsibility of tending to the essentials of our own lives. The Democrats are typically called the Mommy party because they are driven by emotion and will bear any expense to end any “suffering” either real or imagined. In a country where the poor are more likely to be obese than hungry, and the richest demographic in the country (the elderly) also get the largest entitlements, the “suffering” is increasingly in Democrat’s heads.

In the meantime, the Republicans are called the Daddy party because they are the much harsher disciplinarians. They are at least accused of focusing on only maintaining law and order, and although an examination of their legislative agenda hardly bares it out, (at the end of the day they are politicians first and partisans second) they claim to place emphasis on developing personal responsibility. In reality, the only difference between the parties is that the Republicans have slightly less active imaginations when it comes to creating new “needs” for government intrusion into the lives of it’s citizens.

And after decades of soaring costs from the increasingly poor performing public schools, the American public is no longer cognizant of the burdens of living in a Republic, and we have finally become the permanently immature children that government always wanted us to be. We have to a great extent grown utterly dependent of the very thing that has hobbled our ability to take care of ourselves in the first place. After years of a bloated Federal, State and Local government being balanced on our shoulders and forcing us to our knees, we suddenly find that we are no longer capable of standing erect and walking.

If the government really was our nanny and the political parties our parents, then by the modern standard they have been singularly abusive. Our mother feeds us only pop-tarts and donuts while we sit mindlessly on the couch and watch reality TV. Every time we twitch she has a new government plan to meet an invented need, and a new mandate for keeping us safe from the dangers of actually having a life of our own. In the meantime, Dad periodically kicks in the door with a no knock warrant, and does his best to remind us that he’s the one who’s responsible for providing us with all those donuts and pop-tarts that Mom keeps serving up.

And like an angry and petulant 14 year old, we’re talking constantly about our new “rights” while never mentioning the responsibilities that are supposed to go with them. According to various (usually more liberal) advocates, we now have a right to free healthcare, and a right to “marry” whoever, or whatever we want. We have a “right” to retire at full pay at a young age and have someone else pick up our bills. (As I’ve said before in this piece about Civil Servants Gone Wild, this is the same as demanding a “right” to stay out late and drink all we want while someone has the hangover for us) We stamp our little feet and claim that it’s our “right” to be protected from virtually everything that might cause us harm in even a small way.

According to the New York Times, some of the various new “rights” should also include:

remunerative jobs; food, clothing and recreation; a decent financial return for farmers; freedom for businessmen from unfair competition and monopolies; decent homes; adequate medical care; economic protection in case of unemployment or old age; good education

Basically all the essentials of life. The very things that we would need to provide for ourselves if we ever expect to be called adults.

And like the abusive parents they are, the government is only too happy to give in to everyone one of our childish demands. For them you see it all works out just fine. The people in government have figured out that the less we rule ourselves, the more we are ruled by others. And ruling others was the whole reason they went into government in the first place. Democrat or Republican, it really makes no difference. Abusive parents sometimes fight with each other too, but they always agree that the children (otherwise known as Taxpayers… or private citizens) need to be excluded form the important decisions of the household.

We are no longer fostering the growth of an independent citizenry of a great nation, but instead are creating a generation of demanding and spoiled children who will never have the self-reliance to leave the nest and tend to themselves. They will remain frozen in time as the obese pimply faced adolescents, firmly anchored in front of the TV, game boy in hand, and constantly complaining that nothing is being done for them. Our governmental parents are not building independence and character, but continual dependence on them as a source of the essentials to survival. And they’re doing it, because it’s in their personal interest to, and because they don’t really give a damn about us.

So what’s the solution? Good question. We don’t dare appeal to some over-arching authority, because the more power a government has, the worse and more corrupting a parent they would make. And frankly, that’s how we ended up living out of the trailer with Britney (The Democrats) and K-Fed (The Republicans) in the first place. But since there is no grownup in the house maybe it’s time for us to simply grow up and become one. Just like it is with most spoiled children, it’s our “parents” which are the real problem here, not us. We just need to have the strength to step up and tell them so. Being an adult without a good example is certainly a tough business, and we’ll no doubt make mistakes. But it would still be better than staying here with parents that we know won’t do the job, and will hurt us more than help us.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

- The Problem with the Middle-East

Even the most vapid and self-involved liberals seem to be inherently aware, that the problem in the Middle East is one of culture. As usual, liberals and conservatives disagree about how to address the problem, but we can all basically agree that the Muslim world lacks the institutions that will foster what we would call a civilized society. And their long tradition of honor killings, treating women as chattel, and a religion based on the subjugation of their enemies doesn’t help the situation.

I’ve written before that I think it was the obvious failure of Arab society that has fostered radical Islam. The movement was begun by the powerful oil sheiks as an attempt at re-invigoration. They looked around and saw that the west was several hundred years more advanced than their society in virtually every way, and it left them feeling envious. So they started throwing oil money at religious leaders to try and re-energize the faithful and cause a new Islamic renaissance. Add to that several hundred suicide bombs, 9/11, and the US SOCOM command along with 200,000 of their closest and most heavily armed friends, and we’re pretty much right up to the present day.

Personally I don’t believe their efforts will work. Our society has Augustine and the Greeks, and we’ve firmly embedded the idea of “reason as a source of truth” in our culture so our society is simply better at problem solving than the Muslim world. When an Arab wants to know what the truth is he only has one choice. He looks in the book, and if he can’t find it there, he asks an expert. When we want to know what the truth is, we have a logical structure that lets us figure it out on our own. The Koran says nothing about jet engines or gasoline refinement, so to the Arab world, these things are western wickedness. At the same time, the Bible says nothing about subatomic physics, or hydroelectric power, but we seem to get there from here all the same without stoning anyone to death for it.

So how do we “solve” this problem of cultures? How do we find a way to let enough modernity creep into the Arab world so that they will adopt our ideas about not killing us, or each other and just concentrate on making a buck? How do we teach the Arab world to be “civilized” by our definition of the word and not their own?

To be perfectly honest, without some massive and catastrophic tragedy that increases the cultural confidence of the west, I’m not sure we can. To explain, lets chat about empire a minute.

At its peak, the British Empire exported its culture very vigorously and without a moment’s hesitation. As an example, several generations of Indians were raised to believe that they would be reaching the peak of achievement if they managed to be “good Englishmen”. The left will whine endlessly about how bad a thing this was, and yet, if you look at the places where British culture was successfully incorporated, those areas far outshine their near neighbors in terms of wealth, productivity, and what we would call “civilization”. If you can set aside your other biases a moment, compare the situation in the US with that in Brazil; Compare South Africa to that in Zimbabwe; Compare India with Pakistan; Compare tiny Singapore with the rest of Malaysia or compare Hong Kong with… well pretty much anywhere. Those places where British ideals were incorporated all lead the world in the both the pace and level of development.

So why don’t we just do the same? Well contrary to what you might read in the more delusional liberal blogs and forums, America isn’t really an imperial power. We don’t have all that much interest in exporting our culture by force, and we lack the societal confidence it requires in the first place. Personally I think this is because the only thing that holds “Americans” together is the idea of being American, while all the other societies of the western world (even Canada to a very limited extent) has a more tribal component to them, and that fosters greater confidence.

So we’re back to the original question … how do we “solve” this problem? Well as usual when talking about the Middle East, we have few choices, and they are all fairly unpleasant. The most extreme is that we can wait for some fundamentalist Arab NGO to get their hands on a nuclear weapon, put it, and a hero of the faith into a cargo container, and let them blow up London or Los Angeles harbor. We can then overreact to that by nuking the major population centers of Iran and Syria from space. A shock like that will make the Arab world accept the necessity of modernism even if it’s contrary to their view of the Koran, but it’s an awfully high cost all around. Unfortunately, some version of this is also what will probably happen if we decide to do nothing. We may sleep, but our enemies do not.

I have another idea, but given how popular this blog has become in the military, I don’t think you are going to like it.

In short, we make a deal with the Chinese. We occupy Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and any other oil producing country that wants to play nice. And we agree to turn our heads and arrange news blackouts while China occupies the problem children of Syria, Iran, Iraq, and maybe Pakistan. China has the cultural confidence to change Arab culture one bullet at a time if necessary, and will have no problem with using force to press the Chinese (extremely) long-term view over the short-term views of the Muslim world. 3,000 Chinese casualties is just another day in the world’s largest army and would bother them not at all. For the countries of the Middle East it becomes a question of either a deal with the benign US as the carrot, or dealing with the less benign Chinese as the stick. And at the end of the day, all of the oil is fungible and for sale on the open market, so don’t believe the things Hollywood tells you about how the energy economy works. And although they go about it a little differently, the Chinese want the same thing we do…. for everyone to play nice and concentrate on making a buck.

This would raise a wealth of other problems of course, and in fact, the cure might turn out to be far worse than the disease. But it’s all predicated on the idea that eventually, the wilder parts of the world will have to become civilized and my view of history says that the most likely way that will happen is pacification by force. Whether we want it to be that way or not is irrelevant, it’s just the most likely course of events. And since we lack the resolve to do it ourselves without it costing potentially millions of lives, and I’m just trying to look long term and figure out how we get from here to there with a minimum of cost in blood and treasure.

Then again, 20 years after we make that deal, we’ll probably end up at war with the Chinese and they are much better at it than a bunch of 15th century goat herders, so I guess there is really no easy way out of this. The truth is, this Middle Eastern stuff is a tough nut to crack. Maybe I better stick to shooting clay birds and criticizing dimwit State Assemblyman for trying to make silly putty illegal or some other useless nonsense. In the meantime though, I’m going to give that “nuke em from space” idea just a little more thought…. There might be something in there after all.


UPI - Asia has a story about how China is increasingly making it's influence felt in the oil producing regions of Africa. you can find the article here. It backs up my perspective that as resources begin to grow short enough to curtail growth, we will have two major powers influencing the the producing regions, the benign US, and the less benign China.

Friday, October 5, 2007

- The Political Pendulum

Are you a good rifle shot? How about a large caliber rifle? And I’m not talking some little 30-06 bean field gun or a modern 50 BMG which ports off all the recoil. I mean a great huge thunderer, an 11 pound double barreled elephant rifle in one of the those legendary African calibers that loosen teeth and separate retina. Something like the .585 Nyati, or the unbelievably massive .700 Nitro Express which launches a 1000 grain bullet, and which is so gi-normous and packed with so much cordite, that a single shell can cost you as much as a Yugoslavian car. How are you with one of those?

Except for a very small number of you the obvious answer is, you have no idea because you’ve never fired one. Oh I’m sure you can extrapolate a little from your existing skill with a rifle, but there are exceptions. My wife, who weighs in at an adorable 103 pounds soaking wet, can outshoot me with a .22 or a 30 caliber all day long, but I think it’s safe to assume that with one of these it would be a slightly different ballgame. However, without actually toeing up to the line and letting one rip, there is really no way to know. So my point is that with many things, unless you actually test your assumptions, there is really no way for you to know the outcome of your decisions.

Economics is like that too. It’s a complex discipline where there are lots and lots of varied feedback mechanisms, and that makes it difficult for anyone, even an expert, to have a clear understanding of all the effect of a policy change. And because that’s so, it’s my belief that leftist economic policies can only gain in popularity during times of continued economic success.

But don’t misread me or mistake cause and effect. I’m not claiming that leftist policies cause economic success, in fact there is tons of evidence to indicate the exact opposite is true. Rather, it’s my assertion that extended periods of economic success cause the rise of leftist economics, by providing an environment where short sighted or foolish ideas can go unchallenged by the harsh realities of life.

For example, suppose New Jersey decided to eliminate it’s state income tax, reduce it’s sales tax to 1%, and switch to a voucher based system for education, cutting property taxes by 60% across the board…assuming they also made corresponding cuts in spending, what do you imagine would happen? Probably not all that much in the near term because in New Jersey, the government giveth and the government taketh away… in other words, no one would believe it’s permanent. But if enough time passed and people began to believe it was really happening, it would cause one of the greatest local economic booms in measured history. Real estate values would soar, businesses would thrive, and the Holland Tunnel would be packed day and night struggling to accommodate all the business that would be moving across the river.

Then suppose the following year, one of the more childish and frivolous leftists in our state government, like my local Assemblyman Mike Panter, managed to get a bill through that he felt was important. Something along the lines of a law requiring that all ice cream stores must sell the same amount of chocolate and vanilla in order to ensure “diversity”. He would then track the total sale of ice cream, and the increase of the number of ice cream stores, and in a year he would be claiming that his policy obviously helped the ice cream sellers because there were so many more of them.

That’s silly of course. Because the economy was already screaming, all he did was fail to hurt the industry enough to make a dent. His frivolous nonsensical, irrational policy didn’t have anywhere near the effect it might because the success of the economy was so great that his idiocy was overwhelmed by other good news. Had he tried to implement that policy during a period where the ice cream sellers were barely making ends meet, his silly rule would push a few of them over the line into insolvency and substantially lower the profits of the rest. There would be no way for him to maintain the illusion that his nonsensical leftist mandate did anything but harm. This example is hyperbole of course, but only a little.

What’s really happening now is that we have an entire generation of college graduates who have never seen real economic hardship. They never had to fear communism, and don’t have any real experience with “national malaise”. They’ve never seen a time when the government tried to solve every problem, and how that basically left every problem unsolved or worsened. And they’ve been guided in their views by the member of academia who were raised themselves during a time of plenty, and spent their lives sheltered from economic realities by tenure, and research positions where failure was without consequences.

And since that’s so, they’ve bought into the empty promises of socialism en masse. They say foolish things about how immoral it would be for healthcare to be driven by profit, without realizing that if it’s driven by anything else then many more people will just have to go without. They say that taxes on “the rich” are a good idea without considering that “the rich” are far better at using their wealth to help others than the government who is going to take it from them. In short, they play right into the hands of those cynical politicians who are prepared to say anything to anyone to get as much power as they can.

Leftist thought is for the most part short sighted and frivolous. It’s about making the secondary and tertiary concerns of a society its highest priority because the business of survival is so effectively taken care of that it seems inevitable and unchanging. But it isn’t. The political pendulum doesn’t swing of it’s own accord; it’s pushed to the left by the liberty provided by abundance, and to the right by the necessity of dealing with hardship. But there’s no need to be disheartened. Thanks to the recent popularity of leftist economics, the hardship is most certainly on it’s way.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

- Shameless Anti - Americanism

At long last someone has finally come right out and asked all those anti-war protesters the salient question. According to a Fox News poll, 19% of all Democrats thinks the world would be a better place if the US Lost the war in Iraq. Personally I'm speechless.

If you're one of that 19%, and you somehow muster the courage to tell me so to my face, you should expect violence to ensue.

A link to the Fox News Story