Monday, August 31, 2009

- I Swear I Had No Idea...

...about this when I made that 'change my name to Guevara' crack.

Jonah Goldberg, discovers that someone in Greenwich Village must have read his book.

- The Maniacs On The Poltical Right

another example of the Tea-Party protesters, preacfully demonstrating and staying within the law, even if the leftists that want to harass them refuse to.

- Trivializing The Dangers

...of socialism.
This is an absolutely brilliant response to a much seen youtube video.

- Democrat 'Hate Mail' Response

I think I've hit a nerve with the whole Kopechne-Care thing. I've gotten a small mountain of criticism on the various message boards where it's been posted. Mostly it's the kind of childish name-calling you would expect from eternally immature Democrats. And not only does it not phase me, I wear their childish rants as a badge of honor.

Personally I think Jonah Goldberg gets the best hate-mail I've ever read (and I've told him so repeatedly). Of course he has a natural advantage. Being Jewish and the son of a well known conservative columnist, he manages to attract anti-Semitism like a lightning rod. (Anti-Semitism is much more common on the left than the right FYI.) And those people are so crazy that even their email seems to be written in crayon. He also does this for a living so he has a MUCH wider audience; deservedly so if you ask me.

Compared to his stuff, the little bit of high chair banging I’ve seen is small potatoes. Still, it’s got me fantasizing about being able to talk to some of these people face to face. I'd look them in the eye and say "You don't REALLY think this guy was great do you? He was one of the most reprehensible characters of the 20th century.... you don't really think he was impressive just because of his last name do you? Really?! If I change my name to Guevara... can I be considered great too?"

But the truth is... it wouldn't matter. Liberals believe that morality should be a personal thing, so none of them care about Ted's faults. Their philosophy is designed around avoiding feelings of guilt so there are all kinds of horrible things they're willing to forgive in the name of self congratulation. So long as your 'intent' seems OK to them, they don't care a hoot what the effect of your actions are. You can burn western civilization to the ground and so long as your goal was to help sick kids with puppies that were being exploited by an evil ‘rich guy’ with a dastardly whiplash mustache, it will all be forgiven. They have a sort of pathological short sightedness that effects everything they do.

They don't realize what a mistake that is. They forget that the supporters of every tyrant of the 20th century felt exactly the same way, and were all using the same kind of tortured logic. In their minds, 100 million dead in the 20th century was just 'the price that had to be paid' to bring the world closer to socialist perfection. They convinced themselves that it was all for the greater good and were prepared to forgive anything toward that end, no matter how terrible.

And now those same people cast a twisted eye upon Ted’s life and say "What's the life of one girl sacrificed to give us a career like Ted's? What does one life count when measured against 'The Lion of the Senate". That kind of moral relativism disgusts me; as it should you. It leads down civilization’s darkest road. It leads to history’s biggest graveyard where 100 million innocent civilians were sacrificed ‘for the greater good’.

Ted was no hero. It wasn’t even close. And you people who believe otherwise have something seriously wrong with you too. You had better get over to the shrink and find a way to get past this because the world is more dangerous with you in it.


Remember when I said:

In fact, if my grandfather had spent a little more time selling whiskey instead of drinking it, then we could be talking about my family. And maybe I could be sitting in an ancestral congressional seat waiting for my dad to die so I can move into the Senate."

Well in yet another case of life imitating art, Enter Joe Kennedy Jr. and Vicki Kennedy.

I make my living predicting what other people are going to do. But sometimes I wish you liberals didn't make it quite so easy.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

- Let’s Call It Kopechne-Care Instead

With the death of Ted Kennedy conveniently timed to match the terminal illness of the Democrat’s healthcare nationalization bill, the media condescension has finally begun in earnest. “Let’s name it after Ted’ the media cheered, “let’s win one for the tippler!’, as if that would actually rally the troops to this dog of a bill.

The bill itself has irreconcilable problems relating to the Whitehouse’s (and the Union’s) demands that it include enough socialism to result in inevitable nationalization of the entire industry. But insistence or no, the ‘Blue Dog’ Democrats all realize that if they vote yes for a bill like this one then they’ll be short lived in Washington. Then they’ll have to go back and get honest work in the …gulp… private sector. And that’s the last thing any of them want to face in an economic climate like this.

But that’s not slowing down the media any in their embarrassing attempt to rewrite history to suit present requirements of the Democrats. They are crafting obituaries about Kennedy that make him sound like some kind of pale skinned Ghandi, happy to sacrifice his own happiness for the good of America. It’s tragic if you ask me. Not the part of them rewriting history, that’s an old story as far as leftists go and who in the “news media” isn’t a devout leftist. No… what’s tragic is that they think Americans are stupid enough to believe it.

I was as generous as I could manage with the little blurb I wrote about Ted the other day, but after reading the kind of revisionist slop that’s coming from Reuters, the Washington Post and Time Magazine, I’m going to start a movement to rename the healthcare bill after Mary Jo Kopechne, just to try to balance all the saccharine out. And my Kopechne-Care bill will be much simpler than the 1000 page nonsense rattling around the SEIU offices.

In my bill we leave everything the same except, if your elderly parents get sick we’ll just load them into the passenger seat of a Buick and run them off a bridge into 20 feet of water. (If grandma turns out to be a better swimmer than we thought we’ll just take off the inside car door handles first.) The whole thing can be paid for by a tax on gin and on multimillion dollar trust funds. Although now that Teddy’s gone a revenue stream like that probably won’t go quite as far as it used to. In fact the whole Kennedy clan is getting a little thin these days so maybe we had better make that a tax on sneering condescension instead. At least that way it might finally get those journalists to shut up.

The Kennedy boys weren’t really heroes (with the possible exception of Joe Jr who had the good taste to die in the process, sparing generations of junior high school kids from reading ghost written memoirs about the battle of Britain). Or if they were heroes, they probably shouldn’t have been. They were a great big Irish family of philandering drunks who bought their way into power with money earned from the family smuggling operation. And since I come from a great big Irish family of philandering drunks myself, I know the type pretty well. In fact, if my grandfather had spent a little more time selling whiskey instead of drinking it, then we could be talking about my family. And maybe I could be sitting in an ancestral congressional seat waiting for my dad to die so I can move into the senate.

Teddy spent several decades in Washington practicing the kind of self aggrandizing power snatching that makes someone in DC a legend. His policies hurt the country and made life harder for many Americans, but they made him feel better so I guess it was OK. No… it wasn’t ok. Much of what he did both professionally and personally was shameful. He killed that young girl and the only price he ever paid for it was he had to learn to content himself with a Senate seat instead of becoming president. He shamefully slandered Robert Bork during his confirmation hearings, defining what many call the ultimate low point in the politics of personal destruction. And he not only supported the most disastrous liberal polices of the last half century but was a sponsor for most of it. It’s hard to think of a single man who did more damage to America, who didn’t get the Army sent after him in retaliation.

In the meantime there was his personal life. During his time in DC he kicked his wife to the curb the minute she became inconvenient for him, spent 3 decades soaked in gin, and managed to get seen with his pants off by nearly every woman in southeast Florida. The Kennedy parties were legendary, not the least of which because uncle Ted could smooth things over at 3AM when the noise complaints from the neighbors finally forced the cops to show up. They talk about his congeniality in the halls of congress, but given the source I wonder if that isn’t more of an indictment then a pardon.

The fact is, Teddy was a mess in virtually every way. But as a Kennedy he was so anointed, so privileged, and so exempt from the rules that hold sway over we peasants, that he could have raped an 11 year old boy on national TV, and the next day the NYTimes above the fold headline would have read that he ‘Cares for Children’. His was a life filled with the kind of excesses that only get excused for royalty. And in that way, he and his fawning media sycophants represent everything that this country was supposed to not be about.

He practiced the politics of self congratulation. And so long as you do that, the reliably leftist media won’t have anything bad to say about you… maybe ever. No matter who you hurt, who you slander, or who you leave to drown in your car at the bottom of a pond. Had Mary Jo Kopechne been able to walk on water like the media is pretending Ted could, then maybe she would still be alive today.

PS - If you think this is bad, just wait until the big rabbit in the sky finally catches up with Jimmy Carter.

PPS - Now that Teddy is no longer running up the congressional bar tab, the "Elder Statesman" of the Democrat Party is now Senator Robert Byrd, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan. The irony just never ends.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

- What Are You Doing On 9-12-2009

- R.I.P. Ted Kennedy

When an opposition politician dies, I usually try to think about the man and not his message. I try to mentally focus on his personal life and the people who will feel his loss. He was a father after all, and a brother and a friend.

Ted Kennedy's life was one of extreme privileged in every sense. He never had to face any consequences for any error he made, at any point in his life. Even his moments of generosity and virtue were deeply compromised by the fact that he was almost always spending money that he'd taken from others without their consent.

Sometime America chooses it's heroes very poorly. It's my personal opinion that this was the case with Ted Kennedy. But I'd still like to offer a prayer for his family, his friends, and anyone else who is feeling pain at his passing.

And may god also have mercy on his immortal soul.

Monday, August 24, 2009

- One Of The Best Things About NJ

Is that men like this occasionally come from there:

Lt. Brian Brennan... a remarkable story.

- Pacification From Altitude

In most circumstances I hesitate to offer comment on what the military is doing. I’m an expert in finance not military operations, so unlike many commentators (all of them on the left), I generally prefer to let the generals decide how to win wars. With that said however, I think there is a level abstract enough for public comment; it’s the place where strategy reaches the point where it begins to be a discussion about our goals. Strategic goals are usually political. And since they are, I figure I know about as much about it as anyone else, so at that level I’m less driven to keeping my mouth shut about it.

With all that said then, I think it’s a great measure of maturity of a person to ask them what they thought if the Iraqi war. If they talk about how Bush lied or that it was a useless war or that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9-11 (or any of the other left wing sound-bites), then I’d discard everything else they say. They may grow up eventually, but they clearly haven't yet.

If they aren’t sophisticated enough to understand that international politics is a chess game, or are so lacking in original thought that they just repeat whatever the NY Times editorial pages say, then there is no need to pay any attention to them. You wouldn't ask a third grader what they think of monetary policy, and for precisely the same reason, you shouldn't talk military operations with a leftist. Like 'teaching a pig to sing', it's a waste of your time and annoys the pig.

The truth of the matter is that the Iraq war was never about a causal relationship to 9-11, and only children believe that it was (or should have been). What it was really about was denying our enemies effective state sponsorship. We invaded Iraq because it’s where we could affect the most change in the board. It's where we could make the big game better. To over use the chess game analogy, it involved sacrificing a piece or three, but hopefully fewer in the long term than it would have if we hadn't done it.

Rather than simply responding in kind, it was a move that played to our strengths and our enemies weaknesses. And in spite of the continuing sectarian violence (which is surprising light if taken in context with the regions long term history) by any measure it should be called a stunning success. There is a clear economic interest for the US in not having the middle-east decay into utter mayhem, and that long term interest has been clearly served in the way in which we handled the war there.

But the situation is very different in Afghanistan. The only real interest for the US in that region is in ensuring that the psychotic 15th century Taliban doesn’t end up ruling neighboring Pakistan. But since no American blood need be directly risked to assure that goal, I think it’s in the best interests of the US to pull back to a respectable distance, and let the Afghans work it all out for themselves.

That isn’t to say I think we should eliminate our involvement in the area completely. But I’m convinced that we don’t need to be so intimately engaged. To quote a family member of mine whose view I share, “There isn’t anything wrong with Afghanistan that can’t be cured from 50,000 feet”. We can continue to fly monitoring missions with UAV’s and satellites. We can even keep an operating military presence in the country if it would be the best way to keep an eye on things. But the idea of turning Afghanistan into a functioning democracy, even on the level of Iraq, is in my opinion, a hopeless pipe dream.

Alexander the great couldn’t do it, and I don’t think we should try.

I think we should return to our pre-Iraq war goal of denying our enemies effective state sponsorship. And if the only way we can do that is by denying the Afghans an effective state, then so be it. We should explain to the rulers of the country which kinds of behavior we won’t tolerate (terrorist training camps) which types of behavior we frown upon (Opium production) and explain that we will be preventing the former at all times and the latter as politics allows.

We should make it clear that when they build a new hospital, orphanage, senior center or whatever that it better be clear to us from orbit, what exactly is going on there. If it looks anything like a military training facility at all, then it's a location which will be at risk. We should tell them that reserve the right to bomb any portions of the country which look suspicious to us, at our own discretion, and without consulting the Afghan government, so they had better take care in what our eyes in the sky find.

A change of goals for the military in Afghanistan wouldn’t be a defeat for our Army. We wouldn’t have to slink off in the dead of night. Like I said we wouldn’t necessarily even remove our military operation from the country. But what we would stop doing is engaging in foray’s into the countryside in an effort to ‘civilize’ the populace. There is no economic interest for the US in that country and they have no desire for our help. So it seems most natural to me that we should withdraw to a distance which is great enough to save American lives, but still close enough to affect our will if necessary.

Pacification from Altitude should be the new American watchword in the region.

My friend and sometime shooting buddy John Derbyshire has argued for some time that it’s a perfect acceptable strategy to bomb the daylights out of anyone who threatens our position and leave them standing in the rubble, to sort through it on their own. To be fair, I may be misquoting him just a tad, but I think I’ve gotten the gist of it. But either way, what that does describe is my own perspective on how we should handle Afghanistan.

I think it's possible that President Obama will leave the troops on the ground in Afghanistan because the leftist objection to it is minimal. I believe that's a mistake. I understand that sometimes a military will take losses, but those losses shouldn't be for no reason. In my view we gain nothing by further ground operation in Afghanistan. We should pull back a minimum of 50,000 feet.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

- The Political Left Is Still Frozen In 70's Amber

If you can get past the obviously dated clothing of this questioner, it's plain to see that his ideas are the same tired nonsense coming out of academia (and Congress, and the Whitehouse) today. Not only has the discussion not advanced at all, but it is still as resistant to facts and evidence as it ever was.

And if Milton Friedman couldn't talk sense to him, then I don't see who could.

- Misunderstanding Gun Culture

A friend of mine believes that at this point, there’s no way for America to avoid eventually becoming a totalitarian state. He isn’t some loony guy who only comes down from his cabin to barter animal hides for beef jerky. This is a serious thinker whose intelligence and foresight I deeply respect. Like me he’s a professional investor, so he gets paid to think of what will happen in the future. His knowledge of both history and economics are immense and like everyone in our business, the success of his predictive ability can be correlated to his financial success. By that measure, he certainly knows what he’s talking about.

We are on largely the same page with regard to the coming collapse of the current government. We both agree that it will be caused by the economic excesses of our free spending government, and the only issue we’re unsure of is the date. But I disagreed with him about impending totalitarianism because I didn’t think the American character could swallow something like that.

We talked about it at some length and when he offered it as an argument; I gave what’s probably considered the ‘standard’ American response to statements like that: “It’s damned difficult to impose tyrannical rule over a people who have 90 million firearms”. He appreciated this perspective; after all, he’s a ‘gun guy’ too. But in the end he said that he felt it was unpersuasive. “A stroke of a pen will fix that”. He said. “All they need is an economic riot and they will impose martial law and disarm the populace.”

I should tell you that while my friend appreciates the things that make America great better than many Americans, he’s not actually American. He’s an immigrant, who’s fled here from Europe while their economy and civilization slowly collapse and their culture becomes Muslim. He has a better knowledge of early American history than most Americans, and values the liberty it offers as highly as anyone. Still he’s not an American. So there are aspects of the American experience which I think his knowledge is more academic than empirical. This I think is the reason he believes what he does about our future.

When EJ Dionne misunderstands ‘gun culture’ it’s because of his insecurity about himself. He’s being self deluding and engaging in emotional projection. He looks at people carrying guns at an Obama rally and assumes that their political motives come from the same place that his motives do. It would never occur to him to have political principles that go beyond ‘self congratulation’. To him, all politics is about believing “I’m a good person because I believe in X.” So to him those people must be carrying guns for reasons that ultimately rest on that kind of flawed logic too.

For someone like him, every motive is based one’s own fragile ego and centered on the idea of making others think better of them. And when you believe that, consensus becomes the only truth, and popularity is the only moral law. So when EJ Dionne tries to back out the motives of the gun carriers, the only things which make any sense to him are ugly sentiments based on fear, intimidation and racism. That fear and racism exists only in the heart of EJ Dionne, but he doesn’t realize that. Instead he simply projects it onto others as their ‘obvious’ motive.

But none of that is true of my friend. The sort of thinking that EJ Dionne is engaging in is only sustainable when the consequences of failure are very low. Places like journalism or the academy allow it, but the world that my friend and I inhabit does not. If we’re wrong more often than we’re right we end up unemployed, so there is no room for the kind of intellectual sloppiness and childishness that’s become the standard fare of the political left.

On the contrary, my friend is a clear headed empiricist. He’s a scientist as much as any of us in the social sciences ever can be. His view is formed from an intimate understanding of history, a careful examination of incentives, and their thoughtful application to present events. And since that’s so, I believe he misunderstands the members of American Gun Culture, not because he’s projecting his emotional problems on them like EJ Dionne, but only because he lacks experience with them.

“I don’t think you appreciate just how many American’s feel about their firearms.” I said to him. “After hurricane Katrina, 28 states passed laws preventing private firearm confiscation during an emergency, so if the federal government wants to disarm those people, they’ll have to get past the National Guard first. If they were to try anyway, Texas will almost certainly secede from the union. And the borders of Texas will probably be quickly expanded east to Georgia, north to Indiana, and west to California as well. You might end up with a civil war over it, but that’s a long way from a totalitarian regime.”

At this point one of the spectators to our conversation chimed in:

“Well a few civilian gun owners will never be able to stand up to the US Army.” he said.

“I don’t think they’ll have to. The US Army will very likely be on the side of the gun owners. They’re overwhelmingly pro-gun…because they understand that it’s pro-liberty. It’s only the politicians who aren’t. Besides, I think you misunderstand the nature of the problem here. No one is talking about suburban duck hunters squaring off against the 1st Cavalry. They don’t have to defeat the Army; they just have to not give up their guns. Even if the vast majority of them surrender their arms and only the ‘fanatics’ keep them, there is no way you can maintain martial law when your troops are being sniped at by 3 million people with deer rifles. They mayhem would be uncontrollable.

Also, even if the Army doesn’t secede along with Texas, I think it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll be able to get them to do what you want them too in a situation like that. They don’t have to obey illegal commands and it’s hard to see how disarming the populace isn’t directly illegal. Certainly in those states that have a law preventing it, it would be. US officers swear an oath to defend the constitution, not to be a useful tool to a tyrant who wants to use them to shred it.”

Besides” I said, “You can’t make a people ‘un-free’ when the idea of freedom is the only thing making them a people. This is central to the idea of being an American. And the idea of being American is really all we have holding us together. In Europe one belongs to a tribe by birth, it can’t be taken away from you. But our only tribe in America is based around an idea. The members of American gun culture are completely unwilling to compromise on that idea. They know the only way you can keep your liberty is if you’re prepared to prevent people from taking it from you by force. Sometimes just being prepared to fight is enough, and the actual fight isn’t necessary. But make no mistake; they’ll fight if they have to.

That’s why the people like EJ Dionne all fear them like they do. Those people want to be able to use talk to separate the general population from their liberty. That’s why they keep insisting that the guns be removed from the debate. It’s why they use ridicule and hyperbole and elitist sneering to try and talk them into it. But even in the face of being maligned by the elite media, American gun culture still refuses to disarm. ‘You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold dead hands’ isn’t just a sound bite to these people. They would really rather be dead than live as slaves. Most leftists are really cowards, so hopefully that commitment is enough to make the actual battle unnecessary.”

My friend agreed that it was a persuasive point, and said that he hopes I’m right. But his natural cynicism prevents him from agreeing that it will play out that way. I appreciated that; nothing wrong with taking a cynical view in my book. What I didn’t tell him was in the end I’m a cynic too. And although I really believe all the things I said to him, I’ll still keep extra ammo around just in case.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

- EJ Dionne May Be The Dumbest Man Alive

I can't imagine a single essay which includes more historical innacuracy or silly and unsupported liberal nonsense than this one. It's so chock full of stupidity that I don't know where to begin. EJ Dionne is wrong about history, wrong about the law, wrong about the motives or reaction of his subject, and he's even wrong about racism. In trying to look into the hearts and minds of 'gun rights' conservatives, all he does is explain how poorly he understands them. This may be the stupidest most self deluding and historically innacurate thing I've ever read. It reads like Al Gore trying to claim that FA Hayek supported government control of global warming.

I've tried to write a few select responses to his key points but it's useless. It's like trying to talk sense to one of those guys screaming at you about the end of the world from a traffic island. He's too far off the page of honest and reasonable debate to try to talk sense to him.

I'm currently considering attending a town hall in RedBank next week, but I'm on the fence about it. However, if NJ were an open carry state there would be no doubt in my mind about going. I'd be there with my AK47 on my back and an XD9 pistol on my hip. And while there I'd strongly support the right of anyone else to do the same, even if they were Marxist.

And as far as racism goes, since anti-gun laws all have racist origins, EJ Dionne would do far better to look into his own heart for that particular sin.

- I Blame Milton Friedman

The most troubling thing for me about the kid in this video is the resemblance he bears to my roommate from college.

With that said though, this is a great example of why I blame Milton Friedman for our current spate of Economic troubles. In this conversation, this geeky kid is trying to explain to Dr. Friedman why corporations should be held morally accountable for the actions they take. This is a similar argument to those currently being made by President Obama and the House leadership about health insurance companies.

And the reason I blame Milton Friedman for our economic troubles is that if he hadn't rudely gone and died at age 96, then there would still be someone around with his clarity of vision, his credibilty and his verbal grace, to explain to the political left why all of their "new" ideas are still just as wrong as they were in the 70's. And then maybe we wouldn't have to go through all of this 'government control' nonsense again.

- The Ground Is Coming Up Awfully Fast...

This is a first rate piece of journalism that tells the story of the problems with NJ better than any I've ever read.

"Jersey is an object lesson in how big government can come to care more about feeding itself than taking care of basics."

The punchline is that, just like I've been saying for years now, there is no way Chris Christy is going to be able to do what is neccesary to help NJ because he's a part of the problem. The government, both Democrats and Republicans, have long since abandoned the idea of looking out for the interest of anyone other than those in government. The union drones, the bureaucrats and the elected classes, all of which produce nothing, will none the less be exquisitely well taken care of by the state while the productive classes will continue to get nothing but the bill.

If you ask me, we would be better off burning the state house to the ground, sending everyone home, and starting over from scratch. But with the lack of political sophistication of NJ voters, we'd only be back here again in no time.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

- Silencing The Opposition

In a shameful abuse of their public authority (even for them) House Democrats have decided that they can intervene in the affairs of any company they damned well please, whether they've been given government money or not. Here they are poking about in an effort to find villains in the healthcare industry in an effort to silence their political opponents:

"By Sept. 4, the firms are supposed to supply detailed compensation data for board members and top executives, as well as a “table listing all conferences, retreats, or other events held outside company facilities from January 1, 2007, to the present that were paid for, reimbursed, or subsidized in whole or in part by your company.”

Be afraid.... be very afraid.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

- Obama's Big Picture

The big picture in the healthcare debate is one that I’m quite sure the mainstream media and the elites in Washington and on the coasts will never tell you. The reason Obama’s healthcare plan is failing to win popular support is because of them. They believed that if they could simply get this man elected by whatever deceptive means they could, his vision of a society organized from the top down would become inevitable for a dim witted and pliable public. So they allowed (and encouraged) him to present himself as a centrist when in fact he was a leftist ideologue. But the American public wasn’t quite as stupid as the progressive left believes. And when they saw what he was up to they rejected not just the man’s philosophy, but the man as well.

I don’t believe his ratings will be springing back anytime soon. I believe the American public was fooled into electing Obama under false pretenses. And now that they know that, I think his legacy and his presidency will begin to look much different. In the meantime the left continues its self delusion of Obama as a centrist savior. But the difference is that now they’re only fooling themselves.

At the end of the day a top down society relies on force to compel the citizenry. and we may yet be forced by Obama and the Congress to do what they want us to. But the illusion of the masses being happy about that tyranny has been expsed as just that... an illusion. Or to put it another way... it's become a joke.

Monday, August 17, 2009

- The Pacificist's Post-Apocolypse

I think Mythbusters is my favorite show on TV. Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman are the geek kings, and they do things for a living that my friends and I would do for fun. That is, it’s what we’d do if we lived in a universe which gave us both unlimited time and resources, and that lacked liability insurance and trial lawyers. It’s an awesome show that has only gotten better over the years. But these days it’s got some close competition in my heart in the form of the new Discovery ‘reality’ series, “The Colony”.

"The Colony" is an attempt to simulate the stresses of a post apocalyptic world for a small group of volunteers that have been cordoned off in an industrial section of Los Angeles with no power or water. That in itself is a pretty cool idea, but that’s not what makes the show so watchable. What makes it great is the way the producers mess with them while they try to ‘normalize’ their world.

Before the experiment began, each of the participants was kept in isolation and denied sleep for 30 hours. Then 6 of them were put together and were allowed to loot an abandoned department store for 10 minutes taking whatever they could find that might be of use. Immediately following their looting session, they were set upon by a bunch of actors pretending to be other ‘survivors’ who threatened them and tried to steal their stuff. The show may be pretend, but from that point on I’m sure all the stress was real.

But the truth is we’ll never really know because we’re only given a description of these events at the beginning of the first episode; we don’t actually get to see any of it. And the reason for that is that all the things I’ve just described are the things that were done to these people before they ever really turn the cameras on. This isn’t the show… it’s just the preamble. It’s the things they did to get the participants in the right frame of mind before the show began.

When the show begins, our intrepid and already filthy survivors are forced to walk 8 miles along the cement wasteland of the Los Angeles river, part carrying and part dragging their precious ‘loot’, while they’re taunted by bike gangs and harassed by more actors with Molotov cocktails. Eventually, they are steered into an 80,000 foot “abandoned” factory where they are encouraged to ‘set up house’. It’s from here that the show actually begins. And we get to see our much harried participants try to solve the very real problems of water, food, and shelter with no resources but the garbage they’ve been hauling along with them.

Understand, I’ve just described the boring part of the show which is delivered to the viewers in the form of a 90 second description at the beginning of episode one. The fun hasn’t even really started yet.

All of these people are still more or less strangers to one another, but their individual skills have all been carefully chosen. They are an emergency room nurse, a few different types of engineers, a handyman, and a self defense instructor. They each have something unique and important they can bring to the post-apocalyptic party. But until a few hours earlier, they had never met so there is the expected conflict of personalities while they try to organize themselves. Then before they can really get settled into their new home, the producers throw them yet another curveball. Four more ‘survivors’ who are also volunteers and have been going through a similar sort of pre-show harassment show up at their door and want to join the crowd.

I think you’re beginning to get the picture of what these people are being forced to put up with.

What goes on after that is for the most part a bunch of very bright people trying to get back to some sense of modern normalcy without the benefit of water or power, and with their sense of security being deeply and continually messed with by an omniscient production staff. Its similar to the CBS show ‘survivor’ in some ways, only there are no bikinis, no one is voted off the island, and instead of running through a brightly colored obstacle course every other day they have to keep a bike gang from breaking in and stealing the last of their cooking oil and flour. It’s ‘big brother’ meets Mad Max.

There are silly elements to it as well. For instance while all the men in the show seem to have embraced the ‘we’re fighting for our survival at every moment’ suspended disbelief that the producers were going for, the girls seem to be a little more cavalier about it all. It’s clear that they realize that it’s only a TV show and if they get really pressed, there’s still a “Bobs’ Big Boy” about three blocks away that’s open all night.

But the guys are really getting into it. For instance, at one point a bunch of heavily armed “trader’s” show up to negotiate a swap of supplies, and the men involved treat the whole endeavor as if they’re all a second away from being killed. This highlights another of the silly aspects of the show. Sticking firmly to political correctness of their discovery channel hosts, no one inside the colony has any firearms of any kind.

In Africa where there are large sections of the continent who live with the same harsh conditions and virtual lawlessness that we’re shown in post apocalyptic Los Angeles, they have a very specific word for people who go around unarmed. They call them slaves… but sometimes they call them dead slaves. And in a situation like that, if someone showed up at your door armed to teeth and all they wanted to do was trade, the first thing you would want to trade them for is one of the guns. If it were me I think I’d be happily pushing the pretty blonde emergency room nurse into their truck in exchange for an AK47 and 200 rounds of ammunition.

But if you can get past the fact that a single teenager with a 12 gauge could declare himself king of this pacifist’s post apocalypse, its damned entertaining TV. The show may be totally put on, the stresses for the participants are very real, and just a few episodes in the signs of it are already showing. But in between all that you get to see some furiously bright people solving life’s most serious problems in terribly creative ways. In relatively short order they’ve reproduced a semblance of normalcy and have gotten far further than most of the world’s insurance executives, hairdressers, and tax accountants ever would. There is apparently no room in the post - apocalypse for people who can’t actually do something. So in this case the producers left those people behind.

I’m not a survivalist exactly. I don’t have a cave in the woods with 2 years worth of Ramen and a diesel generator, and I haven’t been bankrupting my family to prepare for a stellar object impact or the return of the back death. But I do manage risks for a living. So in that vein I’ve spent some time and energy learning about the likelihood of some of the large scale risks that exist in the modern world, and have taken some prudent steps to address those risks for my family. I’ve invested some real effort in learning about how societies fall apart in the hope that I’ll manage to avoid some of the mistakes that many others will likely make. And I've made a few carefully chosen investments in the kind of equipment and tools that will become much more valuable in a survival situation.

Speaking from that perspective, I don’t think ‘The Colony’ is a very realistic show at all. It would be years before the resources of the modern world turn into the rusting useless waste that makes up the environment for ‘The Colony’. Besides, when the government bureaucracy falls apart, other institutions will rapidly expand to fill the power vacuum left in its place. Those institutions that progressives have been doing their level best to dismantle for the last 100 years; things like family, and church, and local community, won’t just go away. Instead they’ll become the organizing principles of the new world. Man is a naturally social animal and our society is still held together by things other than the government. Even if the media elite would prefer we believe otherwise.

But like most things, if ‘The Colony” were more realistic, it would probably make for awful TV. And awful TV it’s not. And however much I might watch with a jaded eye today, deny me sleep for 30 hours and have a bike gang wave an AK47 in my face every third day or so and I’m sure I’d believe every second of it.

- The 99 Trillion Ton Gorilla

Friday, August 14, 2009

- Gotta Give It To The Aggies

Some people think this describes my worldview perfectly.
From Michael Ledeeen (indirectly) on NRO:

'Political Correctness,' Texas style [Michael Ledeen]

A friend e-mails to say that Texas A & M has an annual contest for the best definition of a contemporary expression. This year it was "political correctness." And here's the winner:

Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

- Cost Of Government Day: Aug 12, 2009

This means that the average person has 61.34% of all the work they do confiscated from them by the government. Can you believe that? Not only can they do whatever they like to us, but we're paying them most of what we make to do it.

This year it's 26 days later than last year and a full 43 days later than in 2000.

Monday, August 10, 2009

- Beyond All Parody:
Why The Democrat's Don't Get It

In short, it's because they're accusing all of us of doing what they are. See this example:

I’m finding it surreal, this whole healthcare debate. The conservative critics of the program are looking at the contents of the plan, and seeing issues like the mandatory end of life counseling and the ‘taxpayer subsidized insurance option’ and are then describing the inevitable results of such legislation. The Democrats in the meanwhile, are saying that that those consequences aren’t what they intend for the legislation at all. Actually… that’s what they might be saying if they were being honest about it. In reality what they’re saying is that the features that the critics are worried about aren’t in the bill at all.

This is more than just another lie by a politician whose lust for power is showing. It’s actually the Democrats looking at their own bill and saying that the critics aren’t being short sighted enough to understand it the way that they do. In effect they’re calling it unfair to look at what will actually happen if the bill is passed, instead of what the drafters would like to have happen. In reality, the critics of the bill understand the facts even better than the people who drafted it, but the people who drafted it are accusing the critics of not understanding the facts.

Actually, they’re doing more than that too. They’re actually accusing them of using boisterous demonstrations to express their view. This wouldn’t be an issue except that the town halls were all supposed to be carefully scripted pep rallies for the program. That’s why the Democrats think this is all illegitimate, because they know how manufactured their support for the program is. They genuinely don’t realize that this is ‘Real America’ speaking up. They think it’s just a bunch of people the Republicans hired to counter the bunch of peole that they hired on the ‘pro’ side.

So the Democrats, outdoing any possible parody of themselves, are accusing their critics of using the very same tactics that they are currently in the process of using. They’re accusing them of being an artificial grassroots movement whose only fault is that it’s a better artificial grassroots movement than the one they’ve put together with designs on turning the town halls into pep rallies.

Add to this the ‘rat out your friends’ line, Obama demanding that all opposition be silenced, and the Orwellian version of reality the Whitehouse and Democratic leadership are sticking to (that depicts themselves as the good guys and everyone else as the villain) and I don’t know how they manage to look themselves in the mirror. Even the very worst of them should be managing to find a drop of shame deep down there somewhere by now.

Yes, that’s my view. In my opinion even soul-less Nancy Pelosi should have trouble looking into the mirror at that drum head stretched face of hers. And yet these people are happy to go on national TV and declare these ordinary Americans ‘un-American’ for doing nothing but disagreeing with them.

The whole thing really is beyond belief.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

- Of Course We're Not Going To Pay The Chinese

This is a funny bit of video, and I like Peter Schiff in general, but in truth I don't agree with this this particular conclusion of his. And the reason I don't is that the Chinese are smarter than he gives them credit for. Eventually the Chinese government is going to say to some future Whitehouse:

"If you don't negotiate a deal with us we're going to sell all your debt tomorrow and shove America back into the 16th century. Your living standard will go in the toilet. Tomorrow the President of Khazahkstan will have more global influence than you do.

But... if you pay us 60c on the dollar today, and in tandem with that, go on the gold standard or some other fixed currency mechanism to prevent further inflation, we'll sell it all back to you right now. You can inflate your domestic bond holders to your hearts content. Your poor people will become destitute and your middle class will become poor, but at least your rich will still be rich and America will still matter.

So either we get 60c on the dollar at the new currency rate and a deal to prevent further inflation, or you get cardboard box cities, outdoor plumbing and taking your chances in the Thunderdome. What's it going to be President Pelosi?!"

The 60c on the dollar number is just off the top of my head. I think the actual number will be as much as they can negotiate at whatever the new 'inflated currency' value is.

- Obama Wants You To Shut Up And Obey

Well you had better tell congress to shut their mouth's then.

Wanna know a secret that no one in the media, Congress or the Whitehouse press office is telling you? There is nothing wrong with our Healthcare system that wasn't caused my Medicare. Our system isn't bankrupt, our government's version of our system is bankrupt. Get rid of Medicare and the drop in demand will immediately cause prices to revert to normal. That will be more for some things (at least until the industry can bring additional supply online), but much less for others.

Then of you get rid of the frivolous lawsuit by changing the system so that "the loser makes the winner whole", all prices will fall, and our medical care will not only be the best in the world, but also the cheapest.

Socialism never works... never has... never will. And I guess I can still say that because I didn't cause a damned thing. And if you're upset about the idea of ditching Medicare let me tell you another secret... it's going to happen eventually. We have no choice. either we get rid of Medicare or we let the government collapse and lose Medicare along with it. This is a long way off yet... but make no mistake... sure as the sunrise, it's going to happen.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

- the Idea of 'Gay Marriage' Is Idiotic

I was sitting in my daughter’s Karate class perusing my National Review, when I finally worked my way through to an article on Carrie Prejean written by Maggie Gallagher. You remember Carrie Prejean right? She was the beautiful young girl who incurred the wrath of the gay rights lobby by saying that she believed that marriage was between a man and a woman. What immediately followed was a rash of media venom and character assassination unmatched since Sarah Palin winked at America from the podium of the Republican convention.

She’s not really my type young Carrie Prejean. She’s beautiful of course, but for all I joke about it I actually married my wife for her wits. And in that regard I’m not so sure a tall blonde from California and I would be such a good fit (to say nothing of the 20+ year age difference.) Still, she seems a likable enough and Maggie Gallagher’s portrayal of her did nothing to convince me otherwise.

But getting back to the article, there are lots of good reasons to subscribe to National Review, and I’ve grown accustomed to finding entertaining and insightful essays in its pages. But there was something in particular about this piece by Maggie Gallagher which really struck me. In fact, when I stopped to read a bit of it to my wife next to me, I found myself misting up. What a story of courage this is:

A stunning young Christian beauty-pageant contestant was asked on National Television by a gay celebrity blogger (whatever that is) what she thought about gay marriage. Watch the video clip on youtube. You can see in her eyes that she knows: If she says what she thinks, she is not going to be Miss USA. She’s 21 years old. She’s worked very, very hard for that tiara. She comes from a modest family background. Money is tight, especially since she had to quit her job to prepare for the pageant.

The tiara means a luxury apartment. It means the possibility of a lucrative modeling career. You can see in her eyes that she realizes that all she has to do is … fudge. “I don’t like to watch that video” Carrie has told me. She doesn’t like it for the very reason I found it so powerfully moving: In the space of 30 seconds, you see a young woman first be tempted then decide that no, she cannot fudge, she has to tell the truth. “I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anyone out there.” You see her choose between the truth and the tiara. She never asked for this ordeal, but she was tested and triumphed.

It’s a powerful moment and I found myself just as moved by it as Maggie was. I can say without hesitation that my tendency toward ‘sticking to my beliefs’ has cost me in small ways through my life. But it was never the kind of price that Carrie Prejean had to face. And if I’m ever in such a situation I can only hope to be as true to my convictions as she was to hers.

She certainly didn’t deserve the treatment she got from the media from that point on. And it says something terrible about our media elite that they would let something like that happen to a young girl who was doing her best not to offend anyone, but couldn’t find a way top compromise her values. I cant’ tell you how much I admire her courage and dedication to the truth.

In her essay, Maggie goes on to relate the details of a political movement run by a very small but persuasive minority who is foisting their will on the majority, mostly though threats and intimidation directed at the elite. It’s their belief that if they can make it impossible to speak up against gay marriage in public then it will be impossible to stop it. She also relates many of the details of the movement that have probably escaped the public eye.

One particularly egregious example she relates was an incident where the Boston Law firm Ropes and Gray had to drop the Catholic Church as a client because of the church's opposition to gay marriage. They were told that if they did not, then they would be unwelcome to recruit for new staff at Harvard University. In my mind this incriminates both the gay rights mafia and Harvard University. But I’d have never hired a Harvard graduate anyway. (Many Areas of Wall Street have already figured out that they arent’ worth the hassle anymore.)

Maggie has also had trouble hiring legal help for the National Organization for Marriage” which she heads. Even conservative lawyers with deep connection to Republican and conservative causes have told her that there would be:

…too expensive- too much economic retaliation and potential interference with their ability to recruit top legal talent at Ivy League Universities.

Her appreciation of the battle being waged by her opponents is impressive; second only to the case she makes for her own view. Her position, eloquently argued in NR was that polling indicates that ‘gay marriage’ is not a terrible popular cause for Americans and if left to the people instead of ruling elite, it would be a dead issue. This view is supported by proposition 8 in California where the people resoundingly defeated a Gay Marriage law and made marriage legal only between “ a man and a woman”.

But the gay rights mafia has managed to achieve a level of small successes through a combination of legal battles in sympathetic jurisdictions, and through making it seem inevitable to everyone else. That inevitability managed to keep most people silent on the issue for fear of being branded ‘discriminatory”. They then would strong arm their ideas through the legal system and force the majority to accept them even though they would disapprove if it were left to them. It was an effective tactic. Effective, that is, until Carrie Prejean.

In a single sentence Carrie single handedly ended the media blackout of the issue. She raised it as a front page topic of discussion, and caused the polling in support of the issue to drop almost 10 full percentage points overnight. By being courageous and true to herself, Carrie Prejean made it OK to not be in favor of gay marriage in the urban centers where the elite dwell, and gave people who needed it the fortitude to stand up and declare their feelings on the issue.

Personally, I’ve never had much trouble discussing my political opinions in public. But to my knowledge the issue of gay marriage has only come up in conversation once. As usual, I was unafraid to declare it a stupid idea that misses the whole point of marriage.

“Marriage is about the children not the adults.” I said, “I’ve lived with women before and that’s most certainly not the same as getting married to them. And since that’s all gay people are doing, the idea of them getting ‘married’ is ridiculous.”

But then I thought about it a minute and said:

“Actually … it seems to me that gay people can get married the same as everyone else… but where a gay guy will find a woman willing to marry him is really beyond me, and what’s more… if he’s not going to have kids with her why would he want to bother? Then again, if he can convince her then it’s really none of my business.”

My opponent in the conversation was a not too terribly bright liberal, who was far outgunned. I think his response was “Well that means you’re against gay people.” or something equally as childish. If I remember correctly I laughed at him.

My point is that it’s never been a topic I was afraid of, and now that I’ve seen the kind of tactics being used against Carrie Prejean and others, you can better believe I’m going to go looking for fights on the issue. This isn’t going to be a conversation I avoid… it will be one I instigate… in public places and at high volume.

When I start chatting about how idiotic gay marriage is in places like DelFrisco’s and Pastice, I’m not going to be doing it in a way that makes anyone think I’m embarrassed by my opinion. I’m going to make sure everyone in the place is discussing it when they get home and that they aren’t afraid to object to it. And in my social circles talk like that will filter up to the media elite pretty quickly. I can't get it on the evening news. But maybe I can get the people who can... to feel less frightened of discussing it.

Most of the people who read this blog have never met me personally but I’m sure those that have will tell you that I’m not one to be cowed over politics. When I know I’m right I’ll say my piece and not give a damn how people will react to it. And in this case I figure if this little beauty pageant winner had the courage to speak up in public, then the very least I can do is have the courage to do the same…especially since unlike her, it’s not going to cost me a thing.

This quote from National Review was reproduced without getting clearance so do me (and yourself) a favor and go subscribe to it here to keep them off my back. It’s more than worth every penny.

Friday, August 7, 2009

- Unions: Not Gonna Say I told You So

Here is an example of those conservative hired goons from the fringe being "subdued" by some of the red blooded All American citizens who coincidentally are also wearing SEIU jerseys and jackets. But I'm sure that's just a coincidence.

Ugh ... just repeating the Whitehouse doublespeak makes me feel dirty. And it may not seem like much effort is needed but you'd be surprised. It took me 10 minutes to turn the actual event (an American private citizen being attacked by union thugs for expressing an opinion the union didn't approve of) into the sentence above.

- Democrats Emulate Chavez Tactics

As if anyone was surprised that this would happen.

Apparently the plan now is that if someone disagrees with them, they hire a bunch of burly guys to shove those people out of the room and close the door on them, excluding them from the conversation.

The truth is, this doesn't help the liberal position at all. Unless the fawning media can portray these town hall's as yet another popular triumph where Democrats are standing up for the little guy, no one is going to be fooled by it. You can suppress all the civil liberties you like and you'll still lose the argument with the American people. The truth is, this just makes Obama look more like Hugo Chaves.

I swear the unions are utterly destroying this country.

And liberals... spare me the hypocritical platitudes. You think it's free speech to burn the flag, and to bicycle nude, and to throw cows blood around the recruiting station. But now you claim that it's contrary to free speech when all people want to do is speak, but have something to say that you don't like?

Even Abbie Hoffman would be disgusted with you.

- America's Buyer's Remorse

I’m convinced that the people who are rebelling against the SIEU/ACORN Democrat healthcare initiative were Obama supporters in the election. I know this because the NYTimes says that there are only a few ultra-conservative right wingers in the whole country and I’ve never seen any of these people at the meetings. They aren’t particularly gifted orators, and they aren’t the framers of debate. It’s obvious to everyone but the orwellian Whitehouse media office that they are regular Americans. And they are expressing their deep concern in the ways that they’ve been told by the media will be effective at changing policy.

They’re scaring the Democrat operatives, as you can clearly see from their faces. Those operatives are accustomed to being the instigators of such disorder rather than the recipients of it. and even the Democrat ads on the issue say that since Obama was elected they feel they have a mandate to change the country in any damned way they please. They all imply that it’s some sort of betrayal to vote for him in the election and then fail to support his ideas. Paul Krugman, ever reliable in his political idiocy, has even said it’s racially motivated, which is ridiculous on its face.

Of course, the American people elected Obama, but they didn’t elect THIS Obama. They elected the centrist, moderate practical and reasonable Obama, and we haven’t seen him since the inauguration. Instead he’s been replaced with his leftists twin; the socialist ‘community organizer’ who is a policy slave to the UAW and the civil service unions, and is determined to remake America into a socialist workers paradise.

Socialism has failed everywhere that it’s ever been tried, very often in wasteful and bloody ways. The American people know that, and knew it before the election. Had the media portrayed Obama in his true light he would have never been elected, and I’d be complaining about president McCain right now. But instead Obama was elected on a false premise. And all these Healthcare protests demonstrate is America’s buyer’s remorse.

The Democrat leadership believes that thanks to the election, they are entitled to do whatever they like to America, and we should shut up and do what we’re told by them. But Marxism killed 100 million people in the 20th century, and if we let the Democrats do what they like, then it will assuredly continue its streak into the 21st century.

We didn’t sign on for any of this. And we all need to make that clear to Nancy Pelosi and Barak Obama before it's too late.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

- It's Hard Not To Like This Guy

Glenn Beck has all the right ideas, but most of the time it seems like he must have picked them up through osmosis. He's an entertainer whose trying to get ratings in a timeslot when most people won't turn on their TV. So he usually does a bunch of goofy stuff with dolls and a blackboard, and all while wearing lederhosen. It's very entertaining but in a "Rush Limbaugh meets the three stooges" kind of way. He is, as we endearingly say in my house, "a big goof ball". but I'm still a big fan.

He doesn't really understand economics at all as far as I can tell, (I heard him call Dr. Thomas Sowell 'Tommy' once) but he understands liberty, so he gets most economic questions right by default. He doesn't seem to understand big business, but he understands free enterprise so he usually gets that one right too. He doesn't know markets, or trade regulation, or monetary policy, but he has a moral center and a functioning conscience, and that seems to be enough to get him pointed in the right direction almost every time.

It's great to have a guy on TV whose contempt for politicians is almost as developed as mine. When he's on, I don't have to yell at the TV because it's already yelling back at me. I wish to god I could act as an adviser for his show sometimes because it's clear he's often confused by finance. But mostly it makes me feel better to see a guy who's only real talent is as an entertainer, and yet he still manages to gets it right more often than either the Democrat party, or the Republicans. He gets it, and I'm thankful for it.

I'm glad to have him in NJ and on my TV. We're all the better off.

By the way ... we should expect this kind of political parlor game in NJ in the next few years too.

- They Seem Like Hired Thugs To Me

An AARP healthcare meeting gets 'out of control' because of the well dressed, ultra right wing, swastika carrying thugs bussed in by the lobbyists and insurance companies.

I haven't been able to link video of it but Gibbs today was inartfully dodging a question about the, "name the disloyal" program. This issue looks to me like it's going to get out of control. And team Obama, by sticking to their own Orwellian version of reality, is only making it worse for themselves.

- There Will Be A Middle Class Tax Increase: Part 1

This NRO piece is a good one, but the title of it is world class:

Obama vs. Mathematics


- The Left's Guilty Concience

One autumn Thursday when I was in college (back when the earth was still cooling and pangaea was one) I got into a heated but friendly debate with a buddy of mine about religion. The details weren’t important… just the same old metaphysical argument every undergraduate has with every other undergraduate. And like all those who came before us in this epic battle, we too decided that adding a little ethanol would only enhance our debate and enrich our appreciation of it.

There was nothing unusual about that… just another Thursday in a college town, except that I had originally planned to spend the evening with a girl I was dating. My friend was leaving town in an hour or so anyway so I didn’t want to cancel. Instead I decided to give her a call her and let her know that I’d probably be just a little late.

She offered to come meet me in the bar but I was engaged in the discussion and wasn’t ready to make her the center of attention just yet, so I told her that I’d prefer to meet her later. But she was surprisingly insistent. She almost ‘demanded’ to come down and meet us. This seemed a little odd to me. I explained that we wouldn't be long and by the time she got here we would probably already be on our way.

It made no sense to me for her to come all the way across town, only to turn around again when she got here. But she was still most insistent. In my mind she was being silly, so without getting upset I gently explained that to her and let her know that I wasn't negotiating the issue. But I still had to all but hang up the phone on her to get things to end my way.

When I got to her place just a little while later, still smiling from my verbal victory over my buddy, I walked blindly into a tempest. She instantly demanded to know who the girl was that I was with. I handled her question with my typically brilliant verbal panache.

“Huh?!” I said.

“WHO WAS SHE!!!!” screamed my girlfriend. “I know that’s why you didn’t want me to come down and meet you!”

“I didn’t want you to …I was with …. Huh?!” I brilliantly parried.

It went on like that for some time; her accusing and me utterly dumfounded. I explained who I was with and what we were doing. I even named a few acquaintances who were in the bar at the time and could be used to check my story. They were all casual acquaintances rather than close friends so they would be unlikely to lie for me, but she was unpersuaded.

Eventually it came out that when I was working the prior weekend, she had been with someone else she met through a girlfriend who didn’t like me much and was trying to sabotage the relationship. It worked. But she was so torn up about her own guilt that she was imagining all sorts of malfeasance on my part to justify it. It was classic projection. I’d never seen anyone step right out of a psychology textbook like that before and it was a true revelation for me.

That event has stayed with me all my life and I learned a couple of important things from it. Number one was that when it comes to sins I’m not personally guilty of; I’m often totally clueless about them in others. As an example I don’t feel envy so I don’t really understand how it can be such a strong motivator for others. Or another, I don't lust for power so I can't understand people who do. I never anticipate it and usually don’t even notice it until it’s already blatantly obvious to everyone else.

And the other thing that has always stayed with me about that day was that when someone accuses you of something that seems outlandish to you, it tells you something important about them as well. It tells you what they think is possible and reasonable. It tells you what they themselves have at least considered… and more than likely have probably done. It gives you a gauge by which to assess their actions, and exposes their hidden motivations.

That’s the moment I think of when I hear Nancy Pelosi go on about how these town hall and tea-party protests are all ‘astro-turf’ (an artificial grass-roots movement) or when I hear about Robert Gibbs saying that none of the anger of the protesters are real or legitimate. When I hear Barbara Boxer say that these people are ‘too well dressed’ to be legitimate or read about the Whitehouse drafting private citizens McCarthy style to “name names” and to connect these spontaneous protests with lobbying groups.

We think they are all kool-aid drinkers... but really the issue is that they think we're all just like them.

All this tells you what happens behind the scenes when it’s the Democrats on the other side. It gives you a hint of what they think motivates people, and what they’re doing when the cameras are pointed away. It’s like all the complaint about the ‘right wing media’. It’s just transference. They know what they’re guilty of and they assume the political right is guilty of the same thing.

This may all seem old hat to those inside the political machines, and maybe the right is just as guilty as the left… I don’t know. Remember point one… I’m not personally guilty of it so I don’t notice it in others. But whatever else may be true about these protests, that the Democrats are guilty of all the sins they are accusing the right of, seems obvious to me now.

- The Road To Serfdom

In Comic Book form.

This has been the underpinning of my political and economic beliefs for 25 years so it might look a little a little better to me than to some of you. But this seems like the perfect insruction tool for the smart high schooler or undergraduate. I figure we're right around slide number 12.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

- The Whitehouse Wants You To Name Names!

- I Know A Liar When I See One

Here's another great bit of video brought to you from my buddy Tim. This is Majority Leader Steyn Hoyer trying to explain to a bunch of voters how stupid they are. There are a couple of great quotes here and the best comes from the protester singled out by Hoyer:

"I know a Liar when I see one."

His name is probably going on a Whitehouse list for it, but it was a great line. And as you can clearly see, these are the kind of professional, polished activists that you would expect to be hired as bussed in thugs for a Democrats only meeting. You know ... like Joe the plumber.

At this point the longer the media continue to ignore it the more foolish they look.


- As New Jersey Goes...

I was driving home from my office in Greenwich yesterday. It was a warm pleasant afternoon and I had the top down and the radio on. I was rolling along at about 40 miles per hour, in heavy commuter traffic on Rt. 9 (the one from the Springsteen song) when a man pulled up beside me in a white truck.

He was younger than me, I figure about 35, and had the clean cut look of a cop or a soldier. In truth at first I thought it was my friend Vinnie the port authority cop, but I knew he’d be with his kids at that hour. The man blew his horn at me a few times but not in anger… more as a benign notice. He was rolling down his window and was clearly trying to get my attention.

I turned down my radio and looked over at him to see what he wanted. He leaned out of his window and said to me… “Hey thanks for Paying my Mortgage!” and flashed me a big smile with a thumbs up. I smiled back and waved, then when he pulled up ahead of me I could see the McCain - Palin sticker on his car, and I knew exactly how he meant it. He was just trying to let me know that even in deep blue NJ I wasn’t alone.

I’ve often said that as NJ goes, so goes the nation. Mostly I meant it in a derogatory way, but I think this is probably the case as well. Come November we’re going to have a Republican governor. He’s not a conservative exactly and is still a machine politician (who in NJ isn’t?) but he’s marginally better than the alternative. He may do all the same stupid things, but at least he’ll know that he isn’t supposed to be doing them.

For the common people in NJ. the Obama cool aid is wearing off and they no longer care that the “news” media is telling them to drink more. This is the turning of the tide I think. And just like in NJ, a change of controlling party in DC isn’t going to make things any better, but at least it will stop actively making it any worse.

Entitlement spending will still bankrupt us both in NJ and DC. The civil servant’s unions will see to that, and no politician currently on the scene is prepared to stand up to them. Until it looks like that’s possible, I’ll continue to assume that our fate is sealed. But with someone running the show other than a delusional ‘wealth redistribution’ democrat, it will probably take a little longer to do it. We can’t keep the state or the country from going off the cliff, but at least we can get the driver’s foot off of the gas.

- Protests That Democrats Don't Mind

Much media noise has been made by on behalf of the Whitehouse's view that the ObamaCare protests are "manufactured" and don't really represent the will of the people. This is nonsense of course, and I think most people know it, but the media will repeat the story on behalf of Democrats anyway because it's what they do.

HotairPundit has put together a bunch of video clips of vocal protests much like the healthcare townhalls which were run by bussed in ACORN and code pink activists. Unlike the healthcare protests they represented a fringe minority position, but Democrats thought they were legitimate all the same.
Here is my favorite where it looks like a Berkeley Policeman is 'staying neutral" by allowing the Code Pink protesters to break the law.

Go to this link and watch them all.
The blatant double standard and hypocrisy is astounding... even for Democrats who usually make every effort to institutionalize that sort of thing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

- Had It Up To Here...

... with those idiot voters trying to tell him what to do.

"No matter what happens we are going to enact healthcare reform by the end of the year," said Senator Charles Schumer..."

That the Democrat plan is opposed by a majority of Americans is utterly irrelevant to the party leadership. They truly believe that they know how to spend our money better than we do.

- The Solution Not The Problem

I don't want to ruin the surprise, but a few people in my life will be getting this for Christmas. I suspect it will be good for the rabidly anti-wall street crowd.
There is a John Miller audio - interview at the link.

Monday, August 3, 2009

- In Case You Haven't Seen This Yet

Details Here.

- I Wonder if They Get It

Here is a really great set of videos
from the Townhall on Healthcare reform that turncoat Arlen Specter held in Philly this weekend. Every time he talks about the standard Obama method (exaggerate the crisis then pass legislation that spends a boatload of taxpayer money, and do it so fast that congress can't even read the bill) the crowd went nuts.

I wonder if they get it that it takes an awful lot to get people like this out there. ACORN and the SEIU are basically professional protesters so they're always out at events like this. They are the kabuki theater of democracy. But to get these people out there, real people, you have to get them really riled up. Movements in support of the individual are notoriously disorganized.... everyone involved is by definition an individual so they don't join up well.

But here you see a large group of them shouting down two of their rulers. So if those rulers still have the 'audacity' to do this thing over the directly voiced objection of their constituents, at least they will know that the masses aren't happy about it. And when that same crowd all show up with torches and pitchforks demanding Arlen Specter's head, at least he won't be able to claim to be surprised.

Personally I think it's only natural that some of the contempt that our elected officials have continually shown for us, now be reflected back at them. Wouldn't it be great if we could get the media to quit taking sides and cover it too?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

- The Reign Of Terror Begins...

I think this event will mark the moment that historians say meant the beginning of the end for "The Old United States". The taxpayers and voters are finally being put in their place by their rulers.

California Civil Servant's Union Authorizes Strike in Protest of Budget Solution