Monday, December 28, 2009

- Those Crazy Franciscans

I got into a debate recently with one of my catholic friends about the virtue of the confessional. We came to the conclusion (my friend proposed... and I agreed) that it's monks who should be hearing confessions instead of priests.

But clearly... not these guys.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

- Leftist Insecurity

One of my major character flaws is that when I’m writing something that I’m uncomfortable about, I end up being pretentious. It's not quite the same as an apology, but do I know where it comes from. I grew up with virtually everyone I saw telling me that I was nothing but useless, good for nothing, trailer trash that will never be anything but a complete loser. It wasn't true of course, but as an insecure teenager I didn't really know that. So I ended up being as showy as I could manage about my intelligence so that people could see at a distance that I was something different.

Those days are long gone now of course, but the pretension has hung around in spite of my best efforts, mostly out of habit. Lots of people who meet me today don’t like me, but none of them, even my worst enemies, ever think of me as stupid. Still, even though I think I've grown out of most of the insecurity, I still find myself slipping into it when I write.

Anyway, that’s my excuse…. I wonder what this guys excuse is. He talks about the healthcare bill being an empty shell as if that were a tragedy… OK fair enough. He’s entitled to his view however economically misguided it might be. But I’ve never seen anyone trying so hard to prove that he’s smart. Not even me at my worst.

That Olberman must be terribly … terribly insecure to be that pretentious.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

- Cough Sputter - LOL!!!!!!!!

Oh my god ... can you imagine a more breathlessly arrogant statement than that one? "There is a culture of believing that they always make good decisions and if they turn out badly it's someone else's fault?" Have you ever heard a better one sentence view of the Democrat political ideology?

Hey dimwit... it's people like you that are the problem here... the bankers just gave you what you asked for....actually demanded. If they were even a little ambivalent about it, ACORN (acting on the instructions of someone like you) would hold protests outside their offices until they gave in. The bankers were irresponsible only in not telling you to take a long walk off a short pier when you demanded it.

If left alone, the markets can always fix themselves. It's only when government gets involved that nonsense like what happened last year occurs.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

- Perfect Global Warming Cartoon

- Why They Need The Public Option

The public option is a vital step to the consolidation of the union’s strangle hold on the US taxpayer, but naturally the press has missed this issue entirely. The unions have over-promised a long string of benefits to their constituents, and all face massive unfunded liabilities. So if the public option dies in the senate, the unions will be facing an imminent fiscal collapse. Congress will then be forced to structure a more specific ‘bailout’ for them. And while that will be a more direct and more honest way to legislate the issue, it will be profoundly unpopular with the broader voting public.

It will also be wildly unpopular with those investors who are funding the dreams of the Obama administration. Labor unions reduce output and raise costs, making an economy less efficient. This is particularly true of civil service unions who since they are working for the government and are untouched by the incentives created by the profit motive, they are little enough interested in efficiency in the first place. Giving them a ‘bailout’ will be like throwing cash in the fireplace in terms of the return it provides and it will be seen as such by foreign investors in the US.

But team Obama and the radical Democrats in the leadership won’t let a little thing like that stop them. Obama is a ‘big labor’ president, so a bailout for the unions will be forthcoming one way or the other. It will be wrapped in rhetoric about how it’s really to ‘help workers’ or to ‘stand up for the little guy’… there really is no limit that the press is willing to stretch the truth when it comes to big labor. But it will be complete waste of money and energy. And in the end, I’d bet that it won’t even benefit the people in the union rank and file. But the labor leaders will all praise it as a triumph for American workers because it helps them personally.

By manipulating US labor laws, big labor has shattered the US manufacturing base, driven the airlines and the auto industry into bankruptcy, and still drives thousands of companies offshore every year. Now they are firmly in charge of government, and they are having the same effect on that institution’s efficiency. They finally have us all trapped, because there is no competition for government; no ‘non-union’ option for us to choose if we want to. They’ve finally got us where they have wanted us all along, and there isn’t all that much we can do about it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

- Buying a Handgun In NJ

I find that I get a lot of search hits for the phrase “buying a gun in NJ”. That makes sense I suppose. It is one of the hardest states to buy a firearm legally. Ironically, it’s still pretty easy to get one illegally, but that’s really another story. I figured that since it’s such a common search term I’d relate the story of what I went through to buy my new Beretta PX4 .45 just a few weeks ago.

The first step in buying a firearm for NJ residents is to apply for a NJ State “Firearms ID Card”. I’m not sure about the constitutionality of it or what the claimed legal justification for it is. But I do know that it’s settled law as far as the local courts go, so there is no way to buy a firearm in NJ without one. It’s required if you plan to buy either a handgun or a long gun, so there is really no getting around it. The good news is its good for life, so you really only have to go through it once.

You can get one by going to your local police station and requesting the forms for a NJ FID. When I first moved to NJ from NY, I got one right away. Of course, I already had several guns when I moved to the state, but I knew that I would want to buy more so I figured I might as well get to it. The detective who was assigned to that duty in my town was an old world guy who was close to retirement. Most cops are actually pro-gun; it’s really only politicians who are against civilian gun ownership, and he was a guy who was cut from that cloth.

He helped me get the forms filled out correctly, did my fingerprints, and submitted my paperwork to the state police cheerfully and since I was new to the state, he even recommended a local gun club. He was big on smiles, and long on patience so even if it would take a while for everything to get processed, it was still a pleasant endeavor for me. Under the law, the review process where they check your background and fingerprints etc, is allowed to take up to 6 months to complete. Back in the bad old days of liberal hegemony in Trenton, that meant that every application submitted anywhere in the state would take exactly 5 months, 29 days to finish. But the liberal bureaucracy being what it is they weren’t able to hold to that standard, and in an ironic twist, “good enough for government work” now means that permits are actually filled more rapidly than they used to be. Mine took about a month.

Anyway, that’s step one. Once it’s complete, you can go into any gun shop in the state and purchase a rifle or shotgun. Of course, thanks to literally thousands of prohibitive restrictions and a generally anti-business climate in Trenton, there are fewer places to buy a gun than there used to be. But assuming you can still find someone to sell it to you, it would be legal for you to do so. There are also federal regs that need to be met at the time of purchase along with forms to be filled out, but I’ll let the guys at the gun shop explain those to you. If you get past the FID check then the federal stuff is a breeze and shouldn’t represent a problem for most people.

Of course, the gun I wanted to buy was a handgun, so I had another problem. To purchase a handgun legally in NJ, you have a state issued “permit to purchase a handgun”. To get one of those requires a great deal more work on your part. Each handgun you want to purchase will require you to file a seperate application for a ‘permit to purchase’ because they are only good for one each. They also expire 6 months after they are issued, so you had better do your shopping first.

In my case, when I called my local police department to apply for my ‘permit to purchase’, I discovered that the friendly and generous detective I’d worked with in the past had retired and been replaced with a younger man who didn’t share his views on civilian gun ownership. On the phone he explained to me that I could come by to pick up the paperwork anytime I liked from Tuesday to Thursday, 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, or Friday from 5:00PM to 7:00 PM only. And since I work full time I elected to ‘pop by’ at 6PM on a Friday.

When I got there he gave me the required forms, explaining which ones I needed to have notarized, and also explained who was to be paid with the two separate checks I needed to bring back. He then told me in what I was to come to understand is his typically nasty tone, that if it were up to him he would get rid of every gun in the country and never let anyone buy another one. When I asked if that might make his job more difficult having to do it without a firearm, he explained that he only meant that to apply to “you people…you know…civilians. Cops could still have guns of course”.

“Oh I see” was my only reply. I didn’t see any point in engaging in a political argument with someone whose good faith effort I needed. I expected him to meet his legal requirements but I knew there were other obstacles he could put in my way if he wanted so rather than alienate him I just let it go. Had I known what was coming I’d have just verbally opened up on him, but instead I just left with his instructions that I had to call for an appointment to bring the forms back.

Anyway… over a period of the next few weeks, I got the forms filled out properly, got the required notarization's, and picked up the needed certified checks. When I had everything in order I gave him a call only to roll off to his voicemail. I left a message explaining who I was, what I wanted, and how he could reach me, and then asked him to call me back to arrange something. When a few days passed without a call back, I tried that again… and again…and again.

After 4 voicemails I assumed there was some problem so I called the main desk of the police department and asked if he was out on leave or vacation and if so, was there someone else who could handle my permit application. They explained that not only was he in every day, but there was no one else there who could help me… I had to deal with him.

This seemed like an intractable issue to me until I had a revelation. I called one more time to find out when he would be in the office, and instead of calling from my home I went down there unannounced. The police department in my sleepy Monmouth county town doesn’t even have a reception desk, just a phone in the lobby which you use to call the police behind the opaque barrier. So I walked in there, picked up the phone and asked for Officer Mike Moody.

Sure enough after a ring and a half there he was on the phone. I have no evidence of course, but my suspicion is that rather than seeing a call from an external phone which he invariably let roll to voicemail, he saw this as an internal number calling and picked it up without thinking. This view was supported by his surprised and annoyed tone. He certainly didn't sound happy to be hearing from me.

Given his stated political views, it seemed a rational conclusion to me that he might be adding his own ‘procedural delays’ to the process. I wouldn’t expect him to do anything that might leave a paper trail of course, but I wouldn’t put it past him if he were thinking that a guy could hardly be blamed if he missed a voicemail or two right? I mean, it could have been horribly garbled, or maybe he couldn’t understand my accent or something. He might have just been lazy or incompetent, but that isn't the way I would bet.

Anyway when I explained from the lobby that I had left several unanswered voicemails but was here right now with my paperwork in hand, I think he imagined the date being listed in a civil rights lawsuit and eventually came out to fetch me. His manner was as terse, nasty and dismissive as any other overly pampered civil servant I’ve ever dealt with, but he met all the legal obligations of his task. He accepted my forms and my checks and told me that it could take as long as 6 weeks for the paperwork to be processed.

I told him that was fine, through a proud grin. Whether I was right or wrong, I was feeling particularly pleased at myself for being able to circumnavigate what I saw as intentional procedural delays. And I knew that with the paperwork submitted, he would have to either give me my permit in the time allowed by statute, or show just cause why he would not. Since I was certain he would find no valid cause to deny my application, I already felt as if I had won.

Sure enough, a little over 5 weeks later I got an unbelievably nasty voice mail on my cell phone from him telling me that “I had better get down there and pick up my permit because it was going to expire at the rate I was going”. Given how I saw the circumstance of the delays, this seemed particularly obnoxious to me. I no longer needed his good will and was under no further illusions about getting it anyway, so I had every intention of getting in the jerk’s face when I went to pick it up. But instead he sent a secretary out to the lobby with it, denying me my last bit of emotional satisfaction. It’s probably just as well.

Since you deal with the local police department, it’s different in every town. And I’m told by my friends at the gun club that not all towns are so difficult. Even my town wasn’t so bad when I first moved here, it’s only recently that it's gotten so much worse. But the moral of this story is that even in a town where they really don’t want you to own a gun, it’s still your right. And the law is the law even if those that are supposed to enforce it make it abundantly clear that they don’t like it much.

Going forward, I’ll have my triumph over Officer Mike Moody to brace me up the next time I’m forced to deal with him. In fact, to be totally fair to the rest of my town’s police force, a quick google of New Jersey Public records shows that on November 19th of this year he received a 10 day suspension for insubordination and neglect of duty. I guess they don’t like him any better than I did. Or maybe some other applicant with good political connections got jerked around by him even more badly than me and complained to his boss. Guys like that are sure to offend the wrong person eventually.

Anyway …that’s a narrative, but embedded in it you can see the process for getting a gun in NJ. And in disclosure, I’m not a lawyer so if you want the official process for applying for and receiving permission to buy a firearm in NJ, I recommend you get it from your local police department... don't listen to me. Hopefully you'll have it easier than I did. I had to deal with the new breed of civil employee that sees himself as my civil master rather than a civil servant. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

- A New Low In Academic Stupidity

There was once a time when no one who is the least bit worried about maintaining intellectual credibility would ever say something as idiotic as this:

Anti-tax zealots denounce all taxation as theft, as depriving citizens of their right to spend their hard-earned incomes as they see fit. Yet nowhere does the Constitution grant us the right not to be taxed. Nor does it grant us the right to harm others with impunity. No one is permitted to steal our cars or vandalize our homes. Why should opponents of taxation be allowed to harm us in less direct ways?

I hardly know where to begin, but since that bit of nonsense is certain to be ridiculed high and low across the blogosphere, let me focus on this other memorable quote from the article:

When the transactions of financial speculators fuel asset bubbles, they increase the risk of financial meltdowns. A small tax on those transactions would reduce this risk.

While that may be the popular tripe in academia, as usual it doesn't bear any relationship to what actually goes on in the markets. Speculators don't cause asset bubbles, poorly structured regulation and government generated incentives do. The real estate bubble was caused by congress not by the people who gave them what they wanted. Even the run up in energy prices from last year (not actually a bubble... but I'm sure an imbecile like this says it was) was actually caused by the government's hysterical energy policy which makes exploiting domestic energy all but impossible (limiting supply) and simultaneously makes the cost outlook for foreign energy more expensive by weakening the dollar with massive debt.

Actually, I can make the argument that the exact opposite claim is true, and unlike this idiot, my view is supported by reality. Bubbles only occur when regulation and other government generated incentives overwhelm the yin and yang of the normally functioning market, and make only the option of a rising price work as a risk adjusted trade. When that happens, it effectively eliminates short sellers who by their very definition are speculators. Their presence is precisely the thing that prevents asset bubbles because the more a specific market rises the more of it they sell. And when the market begins to fall again, they're the ones who buy into that to prevent a price collapse. they add stability through their speculation, nothing more. In fact, it's the absence of short sellers that causes asset bubbles.

I'm sure this dimwitted political hack would say "oh... I only meant high frequency speculators who don't help the markets in any way". And when he says that, he gives himself away as an obvious intellectual fraud and useless deconstructionist buffoon of the lowest order. I believe he would say something like that only because HF trading is politically unpopular right now and he's just trying to kick them when they're down. In reality, all high frequency speculation does is it makes the market more responsive.

Think of the market as a poll. When government implements a policy the market reacts to it showing precisely what people expect to have happen with the sum total of governmental action, and the corporate responses to it. They aren't saying what they would like to have happen ... hopes and dreams no matter how shiny and rife with rainbows and unicorns are all ignored in the markets; the markets are all about results. And what high frequency trading does is that it causes the markets to shows those expectations in hours rather days or weeks. That's all.

I get a little annoyed that such an obvious fool with so little actual knowledge has the credibility necessary to get his Op-ed published anywhere...even in the New York Times. Since he teaches at that liberal laughing academy Cornell University, he's also deeply involved in the indoctrination of young minds as well. That's a shame because it's one more University whose graduates I now don't dare hire. They all end up misunderstanding reality so much that it takes them years to unlearn what they've been taught, and I don't usually have that kind of time.

It really is tragic what the media and academia have been reduced to when it comes to economic commentary. There was once a time when if a man dared say something this stupid he'd be ridiculed far and wide. Now he's celebrated across the academy and published in the New York Times, and only the people in industry are the ones who ridicule him. The piece is rife with intellectual stolen bases, places where policy intent is used in place of policy results, and where disastrous unintended consequences are are totally ignored. But I've come to expect no less from the people involved. Too bad that we've been reduced to such a level that something like this can pass as part of a serious policy discussion.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

- Global Warming: Still A Total Sham

I became bored with the whole climate-change sham about the time that the market exploded. Actually... it was a little before that... but that was the final nail. I knew there was simply no way the American people would allow the charlatans and imbeciles (yes...that's all their is) of the climate change movement accomplish any of their totalitarian ambitions with an unemployment rate as high as it's been since the 30's.

A basic requirement of letting spoiled rich kids from advanced economies get their way bossing others around, is a cushy lifestyle where people don't care too much if the kids want to waste a buck acting like 'know it all's'. But as soon as it starts to cut seriously into the beer money, most civilized societies tell the children that: "no they can't play with the loaded revolver after all because they might kill us... and that would be bad". That's how climate change movement has looked to me... it's been just like an economic loaded revolver in the hands of spoiled children who want to boss everyone around. Now it's been taken away from them so we can relax a little.

I haven't been paying too much attention to the whole climate-gate story because frankly, I don't think it matters. I knew they were lying about the data ages ago and wrote an essay at the time saying so. In fact, the guy who put the random number data into the temperature forecasting program that the IPCC liked so much, only to have it come back with the 'hockey stick' anyway, really did all the work for us back in 2006.

I don't think the emails revealed anything new, but I guess they did make the lies harder to dodge by the worst offenders. But either way, I think global warming as a political issue has been on the decline for some time now, and would have ended in failure whether the emails surfaced or not.

But if you're really interested in that sort of thing, I think it should at least be entertaining to read about. And what could be more entertaining than reading Mark Steyn making fun of the New York Times. You can almost hear him laughing as he whacks away at his keyboard.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

- Obama Polls Negative

Does this mean we can give up on all this Orwellian idea of treating retread Carter Era socialism as a being something new now? Does this finally mean that the grown-ups can be in charge again?

- My New Beretta

I bought a new Beretta PX4 this week (45ACP since I know you were curious) and although I'd like to go try it out this weekend, I'm afraid I might have to wait a bit. It's the end of Deer season and my freezer is empty so I'm thinking that I might go do my part for Deer overpopulation and go shoot a doe for the meat.

A few weeks ago I shot an arrow 1/2 inch over the back of the biggest deer I've ever seen who wasn't on TV. I was too excited to see if he was an 8 or 10 pointer, but his main beams were as long and as heavy as my arms. He was a true monster, the kind of Deer that would have gotten my picture in Field & Stream at the very least. He was even standing with his head behind a tree so even the movement of my draw didn't spook him. And then I went and underestimated the range, and flubbed the shot. Oh well... there is always next year...when I may very be using a crossbow just to be on the safe side. I know... I know....weapon for poachers, yada, yada, yada... but if you had a shot at this deer and missed you'd be saying the same thing, believe me.

Anyway buddy Craig sent me this great list of gun quotes from Clint Smith, director of Thunder Ranch. Many of them you've probably heard before but there are a few that I haven't heard yet. It makes for fun weekend reading anyway. My favorite is a close tie between number 10 and number 8.

- "The handgun would not be my choice of weapon if I knew I was going to a fight....I'd choose a rifle, a shotgun, an RPG or an atomic bomb instead."

- "The two most important rules in a gunfight are: Always cheat and Always win."

- "Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way."

- "Make your attacker advance through a wall of bullets. I may get killed with my own gun, but he's gonna have to beat me to death with it, cause it's going to be empty."

- "If you're not shootin', you should be loadin'. If you're not loadin, you should be movin', if you're not movin', someone's gonna cut your head off and put it on a stick."

- "When you reload in low light encounters, don't put your flashlight in your back pocket... If you light yourself up, you'll look like an angel or the tooth fairy...and you're gonna be one of 'em pretty soon."

- "Do something. It may be wrong, but do something."

- "Nothing adds a little class to a sniper course like a babe in a Ghillie suit."

- "Shoot what's available, as long as it's available, until something else becomes available."

- "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous.. If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for."

- "Don't shoot fast, shoot good."

- "You can say 'stop' or 'alto' or use any other word you think will work but I've found that a large bore muzzle pointed at someone's head is pretty much the universal language."

- "You have the rest of your life to solve your problems. How long you live depends on how well you do it."

- "You cannot save the planet. You may be able to save yourself and your family."

- "Thunder Ranch will be here as long as you'll have us or until someone makes us go away and either way it will be exciting."

- "More Excellent Gun Wisdom.......The purpose of fighting is to Win!"

- "There is no possible victory in defense. The sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more important than either."

- "The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental."

- "Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you."

- "If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck."

- "I carry a gun cause a cop is too heavy."

- "When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away."

- "A reporter did a human-interest piece on the Texas Rangers. The reporter recognized the Colt Model 1911 the Ranger was carrying and asked him 'Why do you carry a 45?' The Ranger responded, 'Because they don't make a 46.'"

- "An armed man will kill an unarmed man with monotonous regularity."

- "The old sheriff was attending an awards dinner when a lady commented on his wearing his sidearm. 'Sheriff, I see you have your pistol. Are you expecting trouble?' 'N o ma'am. If I were expecting trouble, I would have brought my rifle.'"

- "Beware the man who only has one gun. He probably knows how to use it!"

- "'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' - G. K. Chesterton"

- "A people that values its privileges above its principles will soon lose both."

- "'Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.' ~ Thomas Jefferson"

- "A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy." -- Samuel Adams

- Negative Credibilty On CNBC Squawk Box

I heard a great quote the other day on Squawk box. It was said by one of their guest hosts, whose name I couldn’t find. But he said:

“As the value of information falls to zero, the value of expertise rises to infinity”.

If I were the producers and content decision makers at CNBC, it’s a quote like that which would give me chills and keep me awake at night. Because if there is one thing that’s becoming painfully apparent, it’s that the folks at CNBC, even the most informed of them, are journalists far more then business people. They are allowing themselves to become much more a source of nothing but ‘information’ and eliminating all but the tiniest portion of actual expertise. That’s a tragic shame.

A journalist isn’t an expert, but they get to play one on TV. In fact, in the world of modern journalism, even a journalist who actually knows something is forced to ‘un-know’ it in the interest of seeming non-partisan, or in not being too confrontational with the person being interviewed. Take for example a guy like Steve Liesman, who is not a stupid guy, but still finds himself forced to say truly idiotic things when wearing his ‘journalist’ hat. He knows that as a journalist, he needs to continue to get access to powerful people and that will only happen if he ingratiates himself. In the age of Obama, the powerful people all believe in rainbows and unicorns, so in order not to offend them, Liesman has to ask about the effect that rainbows and unicorns will have on the unemployment index or the value of the dollar, even though he knows that it’s all pretend.

The decay of the news media is sort of the first derivative of the Orwellian doublespeak currently being emitted by the ton from the Whitehouse and the halls of government. Guys like Tim Geithner go on TV carefully misrepresenting the facts in order to support policy decisions. Fair enough… it’s his job. But in order to stay on the good side of powerful people, the media tone’s down the content of their reporting. The result is tha they're able to generate more reporting, but less of it has any value. And you can see it most clearly in a case like CNBC where there is actually expertise some days and nothing but useless pabulum the next.

Can you think of any reason a Marxist hack like Valerie Jarrett shouldn’t be challenged when she claims that the stimulus created between 600,000 and 1.2 million jobs when everyone with a brain knows that isn’t so? But on CNBC they still gave her a pass both on that, and every other piece of public policy fiction she talked up. what's even worse is, instead of yelling at the TV like I normally would I simply laughed... because by now I've come to expect no better from them.

To you folks over at squawk box, you should really be more careful with your credibility. You all look like a bunch of puffed up overpaid fools when you let them say things like that. I’ve heard you say that you know it isn’t actually so…. You should have said so to her. Even on your best day you look more like journalists than business people, but that doesn’t mean you need to look like particularly stupid journalists as well.

Everyone has an opinion, but a great many of those opinions are obvious falsehoods so you shouldn't treat them all as equivalent. Logic, reason, and empirically observed cause and effect should hold greater sway with you than political spin, or PC equivalent nonsense. If you call a cloudless day sunny, you will still offend Indian rain dancers or whoever. But if you pander to them and call it something else, then it's you who looks like the fool instead of them.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

- The Enemy Camp

The dirty little secret of my family is that I'm actually the black sheep. Every choice I've ever made, every direction I've chosen, every relationship I've pursued and every friend I've made over the last 40 years has all been over the direct objection (and deep shame) of either one or both of my parents. Mom wanted me to work for the post office (or somewhere else equally safe and secure), and dad wanted me to be a soldier, and eventually president. Readers of this blog know that I've managed to let them both down.

I tell you this because until quite recently I had a secret plan that I was waiting to hatch which might have restored me in the eyes of my father, but I never actually got a chance to pull it off. The best man at my wedding was my buddy Matt who attended Georgetown Law School. And whenever I went down there to visit him I'd keep my eye open for senator Ted Kennedy. My thinking was that if I ran into the senator from Massachusetts, I could restore my father's opinion of me if I just hauled off and slugged him right in the nose.

I'd be brought up on charges of course, but it would be a small price to pay to restore my father's much degraded opinion of me. Unfortunately Ted Kennedy died before I ever got my chance, but it didn't really matter. The truth is, I stopped caring what my dad thinks of my life ages ago anyway... so Ted probably would have gotten off without a beating after all.

I don't know what my dad thinks of Chris Matthews. So if I ever run into him down in DC, any physical abuse he gets will have to be delivered purely for the pleasure of it. But thanks to comments like this one, I think that will be justification enough.