Monday, December 22, 2008

And now the fun starts.

Please, remember it NSADP, not the 4 letter N word. Slows down the ones that don't know history. Which is a good chunk of the left.

While still think the nation will survive the next [4|8] years, being rabid to the left, like they were to the right from [1994|2000] to [2006|2008] is going to be one of my hobbies.

Every one needs a hobby.

Playing wack-a-mole with culturally elitist, of either side, is going to be one as well. You have been warned.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Illinois Politics

I am sure everyone is aware that Rod R. Blagojevich, soon-to-be-ex-Governor of Illinois was arrested on federal corruption charges today. It seems, that among other things, he was caught trying to auction of Obama's Senate seat, threatening the Tribune Company's sale of Wrigley Field until they fired the Chicago Tribune editorial staff critical of him, and threatening to withhold state approval of children's hospital unless contributions were made to his campaign.

I find this refreshing, because this is a political scandal that I was able to explain to my 11 year old daughter. I hide to fill in a few background facts, like a Governor's power to fill a vacant Senate seat. Otherwise this is a quite simple scandal to explain, even an 11 year old can understand straightforward bribery. This scandal, so far, is also free from involvement with the human reproductive system, something new in political scandals.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Remembering Arthur Carlson

“As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”

Wishing everyone the Happiest of Thanksgivings

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

So Why…Cheap Shot

I will continue my observations about the Sports Radio morning show (I really do like these guys)…While discussing some of the more egregious examples of anti-Obama talk, including KKK and Skinhead references, one of the talking trio reported on a Teacher relating her meeting with an 8-year-old girl who claimed “Obama is a terrorist”, despite the teachers attempts to dissuade, the 8-year-old was adamant. Our Obama supporter then commented “Well, there you have the next Sarah Palin.”

My question: How is your cheap shot at Palin any different than the cheap shots at Obama you were reporting on with such scorn?

So Why…Cont.

Same sports radio- talking heads as before, this time discussing the athletic ability of the Presidents. The discussion turned to President Elect Obama’s college days and the Obama supporter said “we really don’t know much about what the man did before he ran for office…”

I will repeat my query: So why did you vote for him?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Issues. We've got issues.

My personal life aside, I'd like to start a betting pool on the first "Negative" MSM* report about the Obama administration.

You youngsters may not remember it but there were "Negative" reporting during the Carter years. Even some during the Clinton years.

My money is on or about March 15th, 2009.

Minor side note. I wonder how long it's going to be before the Google tool bar or the Firefox spell checker knows that Obama isn't a miss spelling? I've added it to my personal dictionary on this machine (aka Smallbox), but I'm going to leave it off the laptops, just to see.

*Rush et. al. and Fox News do not count MSM for this bet.

Friday, November 7, 2008

So Why...

This morning’s sports radio talk touched on the economy and the stock market losses of the last two days. One talking-head mentioned the theory that the sell was a result of fear of Obama and his economic and tax policies. Another talking-head, an admitted Obama supporter, said that was ridiculous. “No one knows what his policies are.”

Ok, let’s assume that’s correct: So why did you vote for him?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Not laying off the rants

But today I've had other issues See here, and thank God here.

Ranting will return soonish.


For what's it worth, I called four states wrong: Colorado 9, Indiana 11, Ohio 20, and Virginia 13, all of which I called for McCain, although CO and OH I expressed very low confidence in my call. I guess my assumptions about the polls skewing democratic were wrong. Oh well.

More on France

Well yes, France has comparable military and economy per capita. Let's look at some other statistics. According to Freedom House, the United States ranks as the 7th most free and France as the 26th most free for civil and political freedom. The only major Western countries that are listed as less free are Germany and Spain, and Spain at least is still recovering from a nasty dictatorship. I will grant that this data is from 2000-2001, and much has changed since then. When you turn to economic freedom, according to The Heritage Foundation, the divide gets even wider, with the US coming in at #6 while France comes in next to last in the West at #42. (Only Greece does worse at #56).

In short, France is the least free country of what used to be called the West. If the American Exceptionalism is about anything, it is about freedom, both political and economic.

The more important aspect of Dale's claim about France is historical, and of a longer historical period than Mike seems to be taking into account. From the 14th through the 18th century, France was the most important country politically, culturally, and militarily in what France regarded as the civilized world. (It does not matter that France's view of its power was false. The fact that Imperial China was bigger, and by most standards more civilized had no impact on France. They believed that it was so, and that is what matters in this argument.) Since the 18th century France had been surpassed by Great Britain, Germany, Russia, and the United States. And that's just listing the powers that France saw as in its world in its heyday. This, I believe, still grates on the French soul. They are not content with being one of the G7 or a permanent member of the security council. They were number one damn it. They matter. Really. Nothing sums up the French position like the statement "Today's lingua franca is English."

A moment of refection, a rant, and some stuff about France

When "The Scrub" asked me start posting here, he was fairly up front that he wanted my slightly different point of view. It's quite obvious I don't have the same point of view as the other 3 writers here. With the possible exception of the threat posed by Islamic freaks of nature, I suspect on any given important issue I differ with at least one, if not all 3 of the other writers. If all you want is an echo chamber, well, fine, I have my own ranting spots, I can leave y'all alone. Not going to do that for a while, I've got a couple of posts about the three types of conservatives and why they normally don't get along, plus my fun post where I explain why that the Military isn't really conservative in the sense that normal American civilians think of the the term.

For today's rant, I'm go to go off on Dale. Dale should be used to this, he's see me in ranting mode, aimed at him a lot. In retrospect I should have opened fire on him or The scrub first, because they are used to it.

Dale said that with out the US economy we were France. This, as it happens, is also not supported by the facts. We are France, just with 4.8 times as many people and a lot more baths. Facts to back this up follow:

The real GDP growth of France in 2007, according to the CIA fact book was 2.1%
The US, according to the same source, was 2.0%

The US public debt was 60.8% of the GDP, France was 63%.

US Industrial growth rate was -1.7%, France +1.8% (both 2007 data)
Population below the poverty line, US 12%, France 6.2% (both 2004 data)

Value of stock market [note: this is pre current crash data] France 1.7 Trillion dollars US 17 Trillion. Adusting for size this make it 8.3 vs 17. Of course, their market didn't nose dive quite as hard as ours did. I have a gut feeling, but no proof that the are, adjusted for size, about the same now.

France's GNP is $2.075 trillion (2007 est.) US is $13.78 trillion (2007 est.). Apply the population modifier and that makes France 10.126 trillion.

Of course, "France" as we know it, isn't long for this world. Doing the same set of comparisons against the EU vs the US will show that US, as of right now, after more or less constant Republican rule for either 8 or 14 years doesn't make the US look all that good.

The US Military get 4.06 if the GPD. France gets 2.6. The fact that they have only one navy vs effectively two for the US (side effect of only having one coast to guard vs 2) and that their long range bombers don't have to fly half way around the word (Moscow being with in walking distance of France (see 1812 for more details)) does figure into this, plus they still have the draft, which lowers costs some more.

As far a grunt boots on the ground, they have 17 combat brigades, which are slightly over size compared to the US's current CBT TO&E. If I have to I'll figure this in combat companies, but that's just the miltary geek in me talking.

The US has 54, plus 10 USMC regiments.

Adjusting for population size, That means France's army is bigger than the US. (84 brigades vs 64) That 54 Army BCT,, by the way, includes the National Guard. The 17 French does not include their reserve forces.

Again, the US is France, just with worse beer, but more baths. Lots more baths. Yeah, France didn't follow us into Iraq the second time. We didn't follow them into Chad, the Ivory Coast or any of the other African hell hole wars of the last two decades that they got them self into.

Don't get me wrong, the fact that we out mass the French by a factor of 4.88 does mean that in a pissing contest, push come to shove, we win. On the other hand, they have enough SSBN that if it really came down to it, it would be ugly. In theory, the French navy is a bigger threat to the USN than any other navy other than the PRC. Possible toss up with the RN.

Would I want to live in France? Hell no. I've been there, several times. There is a reason why I keep say "with more baths". Are they a country to be respected? Hell yes. France, of late, is starting to show some spine vs the Islamic internal invasion. While I don't currently have a "buy French" icon on my primary blog, I could see it.

The Danes, of course, get it. If I have to move some place, Denmark it my first option. Scotland is second, followed by Australia. England is #4. France or German is #5, and that depends a lot on what they do in the next year or so. If I must make a stand against The Fall of Night and I can't do it here, those are my prime choices as to where to do it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Well, damn

I still say it's not the end of the world as we know it.

Also need to find those bumper stickers I saw in 2005, to whit - "51% isn't a mandate".

Unfortunately, to many, on both sides, it is.

We are Blogging.

I just don't agree with you or her.

But three things come to mind:
List removed

1) You will note that neither Russia/USSR or China were in my list of 'Liberty restored' countries, because, IMAO, they never had it to be restored. Great idea, putting up straw men that are not in my list, then knocking them down.

2) Hyperinflation in the Wiemar Republic. Might want to check the time line on that really carefully, and let's add that Hitler wasn't elected. Even at it's best in open elections the Nazi only got about 30% of the vote. I'll also add that neither welfare state socialism or higher base tax rates were the cause of it. France wanting her ton of flesh might have had something to do with it.

3) None of the counties I listed were freed mainly due to the actions of US armed forces. I was very careful to not to include those. All of them were freed due to the actions of their own people. One of them (Greece), in fact, had a fairly nasty dictatorship come to power AFTER the US spent blood and treasure post WWII to keep it in the 1st world.

A contributing reason to the fall of Rome was too many mouths and not enough workers

So, your saying that the Roman Empire in 410 AD was any thing like what we would call a democracy and that it voted it's self into debt? A much larger factor is that serving in the Roman Military stopped being though of as civic duty, and the legions became more and more manned by the people they were supposed to be guarding against. I'm not raising the chicken hawk straw man, but which one of us has served?

Finally, since there is no historical evidence of the existence of a nuclear Islamic Jihad, should we not concern ourselves with the possibility it might occur?

No, that is not what I said, and I will point out that Pakistan (one of the two countries that recognized that Taliban, and where OBL is most likely hiding today), has the bomb, and has saber rattled with India post having the bomb, with a terrorist attack on the Indian parliament. If you don't think that makes it a historical fact, you need to rethink your thoughts on it. For the record, Obama has said he would attack a target in Pakistan, which is more than GW Bush would do. GW Bush seriously backed down on the "for us or against us" rhetoric post 9/11 with regards to Pakistan.

You see, without the strength of the American economy, we are France: Impotent and raging about where our world status went, unable to care for our own and at the mercy of terrorist threats.

A member of the G7, on the Security council of the UN, a nuclear power with it's own deference force, one the roughly 6 countries in the world that can project world wide power on it's own, with a right of center government? This isn't the US how?

Compare and contrast the French heat wave with Katrina, the French 'Islamic youth' revolt/ burning cars 2 years ago with any of the LA or Detroit riots. I'm not even going to touch the murder rate in the national capitals.

The US survived 1963-1980. We will survive, regardless of who wins today, 2008-2012.

Edited because blogger ate parts of my post and removed a tick mark

So Don’t Be Harsh –

Are we blogging or preparing a doctoral dissertation complete with footnotes? I don’t see how Marie’s statements were “about history.” When I read the blog they appeared to be more of the political philosophy bent than direct statement intended to be supported by historical fact.

But let’s go from a historical perspective;

Now for the line “her first (statement) is provably false”, you are absolutely correct. It is provably false. But three things come to mind:

  • First, I really wouldn’t have wanted to be a shop keeper in Moscow in 1916 and had a friend say “communism is a passing fad and not supported historically.” Yes, geologically speaking, the USSR was over in the blink of an eye, yet if you were 18 when the revolution began you were 90 when a form of liberty was restored (only to be threatened soon thereafter). At 90, with 72 years of your life spent without Liberty, are you really going to take the wide historical perspective angle?
  • Second: tell the followers of Chiang Kai-Shek who didn’t make it to the island that “liberty would soon be restored” Those who by some miracle managed to survive are still waiting for liberty to be restored. Further, how many were murdered after the Tiananmen Square protest in 1989 trying to restore Liberty?
  • Finally, how many were millions killed resorting Liberty to Europe after the quickly passing fad of Nazism just to have an equally (for all but the Jews) devastating Iron Curtain fall on the Eastern half? How many millions were murdered behind that curtain?

While in some cases you are correct, Liberty was restored, was it worth the cost? Do the more than 100 million who lost their liberty and their lives really deserve to be reduced to a game of gotcha? Marie is correct, for those, Liberty lost was never restored.

As for the eventual collapse of democracy due to a heavy fiscal load I have three separate thoughts:

  • First, as the first great democracy in the modern world, what historical example would you prefer? A contributing reason to the fall of Rome was too many mouths and not enough workers. The hyper inflation caused by the Weimar Republic attempting to take care of everyone helped lead to Nazism and Hitler. I think we can call Hitler a dictator
  • Second: would you please inform me of five government programs designed to “help the needy” that were ever stopped? I mean done away with completely and not renamed and given even more money from the treasury? While I know you ‘don’t know and really don’t care” it is, and always will be, “about the economy stupid.” You see, without the strength of the American economy, we are France: Impotent and raging about where our world status went, unable to care for our own and at the mercy of terrorist threats.
  • Finally, since there is no historical evidence of the existence of a nuclear Islamic Jihad, should we not concern ourselves with the possibility it might occur?

A failing economy caused by over regulation, too much outflow for social programs, a shrinking defense budget to compensate for the social outflow, and a nuclear Islamic Jihad may just lead to Sharia Law in the West.

I Voted

So I just got back from voting. Not a terribly long line, kinda odd though. They divide the voters into two lines, last names A-L on one side and M-Z on the other. My side had a line, the other didn't. When I left there was still a line on my side but not the other. More SUVs in the parking lot than hybrids. I was voter 714. Poll worker said the precinct has 3111 registered voters. Polls had been open about 4 hours.

Gratuitous LotR reference

Go, Vote.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Don't like to be harsh

To Marie, but I don't deal well with unsupportable statements about history and she made a pair of big ones in her last post.

But a constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.


Democracy exists until voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate who promises the most benefits, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to fiscal policy, which is followed by dictatorship.
are supportable by the facts of history.

The first is provably false, and there is no example of the 2nd in history.


But a constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever. -John Adams

I predict McCain will pull out a victory come election day.

Should Obama prevail; I fear we are on an irreversible downward spiral which will lead to the fall of democracy. Democracy exists until voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate who promises the most benefits, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to fiscal policy, which is followed by dictatorship.

I also predict that the same people who voted for Obama – will deny ever doing so in 2 years once we hit double digit numbers of unemployment, higher taxes and our 401K’s having been absorbed by the Government for ‘wealth redistribution” and our right to bear arms has been rewritten out of the Constitution.

This is Obama’s definition of change.


I will always find it ironic that the first time I watched Billy Wilder’s “Ace In the Hole” was the day before the Presidential election involving Barak Obama.

Early Voting

Much has been made of the huge numbers turning out to vote early, and of the relative party composition of the early voters, as if that would give some indication as to the final outcome. My state offers early voting. The courthouse where I would have needed to go to vote is about 4 blocks farther from my house than the my regular polling place. Tomorrow, because of other obligations, voting will be somewhat inconvenient. When I mentioned early voting to wife, she indignantly rejected the idea because she strongly feels that voting should be done on election day. I agree with her. I wonder, is that attitude more common for conservatives or liberals?


Barak Obama's grandmother died late Sunday night. Although I hope with my all my heart that Obama looses tomorrow, this is fairly poignant. If , as well may happen, he wins tomorrow, she will have died without seeing his greatest triumph. As it is, she died in the firm belief that the grandson she raised would become president. Rest in Peace.

That said, I do wish she had lived another 24 hours.

Don't know, really don't care

Actually, I do care, but really, when you get down to it, I don't. While I think the most important issue of my generation and the next (i.e. The Other Writers kids) is the Islamic Jihad against the West. I don't think we will loose it due to who the president is for 4-8 years. We won the Long War (1918-1989) despite some fairly bad choices in the White House. Which ones were bad choices and why I leave as an exercise for the reader. I'm sure any one that reads this blog can find a bad one in that time frame.

I have faith in the people of the West, and I don't think we are going to go quietly into that good night. If not, well, I'm perfectly willing to be a 21st century "Flandry Of Terra". I may not stop the Fall of Night, but it will not happen while I still live.

American civilization will survive a higher tax rate on capital gains. It will survive a higher base income tax rate. Hell, it will even survive single payer medical system. We might not like it as much, but none of these would kill what we call America. Sharia law, on the other, would. Noting remotely resembling America would survive under that.

Long, long ago, I posted this. It's still the most important thing. Never Surrender. Never give in.

It's not "it's the economy stupid". It never will be again. Please don't fall into that pit, for that way lies madness.

Prediction Time

As much as it pains me: Obama in a landslide with over 330

Dewey beats Truman

For the last two election cycles, I have predicted a state by state breakdown of the electoral college. Although I predicted both Bush wins, my state by state predictions were not that great. So here I go again.

Obama wins. 296 to 242 electoral college votes.

My "methodology" is this. I looked at state by state polls, using Rasmussen. I assume that there is reporting error in favor of Obama that amounts a few percent points. I also assume that the undecided are going to break for McCain. There is evidence for both of these assumptions. All polls seem to skew democratic, there is the Bradley effect and I think the new voters won't show in the greater numbers expected. There is some of evidence that most of the "undecideds" seem to be white males a group which is breaking for McCain. Taking all of that into account, plus looking into the general trend of the polls over the last month, I've called each state. Obama 296 McCain 242.

Heres the breakdown with electoral college votes for each state. Note that more asterisks a state has the less confident I am in my pick. Note also that if the only state I am wrong is Florida, the election goes the other way.

Obama 296

California 55, Connecticut 7, Delaware 3, DC 3, Florida 27***, Hawaii 4, Illinois 21, Iowa 7*, Maine 4, Maryland 10, Massachusetts12, Michigan 17*, Minnesota 10, Nevada 5*, New Hampshire 4**, New Jersey 15*, New York 31, New Mexico 5, Oregon 7, Pennsylvania 21*, Rhode Island 4, Vermont 3, Washington 11, Wisconsin 10*

McCain 242

Alaska 3, Alabama 9, Arkansas 6, Arizona 10*, Colorado 9 ***, Georgia 15, Idaho 4, Indiana 11*, Kansas 6, Kentucky 8, Louisiana 9, Missouri 11**, Mississippi 6, Montana 3*, Nebraska 5, North Carolina 15*, North Dakota 3, Ohio 20***, Oklahoma 7, South Carolina 8, South Dakota 3, Tennessee 11, Texas 34, Utah 5, Virginia 13**, Wyoming 3, West Virginia 5

Anybody else want to make a prediction?

Voting for Change

I was standing in line at the office cafeteria on Friday and people behind me were discussing the election in a very reasonable manner. One person asked the other who they would vote for and received the answer “Obama I think.” When asked why the response was “well, I just think the Republicans have been in charge for some time and it is time for a change.” Having not been invited into the conversations, I stayed silent. My fervent hope was that this was a put-on and the duo was trying to see if they could get a rise out of a bystander. I could not imagine a worse reason for voting for Barak Obama. Yes, we have had eight years of a County Club Republican. A man who has tried to out democrat the Democrats on domestic issues while waging an ongoing abortion battle (the ultimate non-issue in my mind), and fighting the multi-front war on terrorism. His only real success has been the war and there he has been too successful. So successful in fact that people no longer consider Islamofascism to be a threat.

But to usher in an era of Marxist-Socialism while simultaneously dealing with a nuclear Iran based on the notion that ‘the Republican have been in a while’ is short sighted at best. Does this person not have any core belief of their own? Can the person not distinguish between the Supreme Court writing the Constitution and interpreting the Constitution? Does this person have so little grasp of wealth and how it is created to think it is just a consistent pie waiting to be divvied up? Is this person so ignorant that they truly believe the Islomofascists are attacking the US because we don’t allow same-sex marriage and abortion on demand? Or do they think the Islomofascists hate America because we are exploiting the natural resources of the Middle East? Was the person absent the day Smoot-Hawley was taught in school? Heck, for that matter, is Smoot-Hawley still taught in schools or was it replaced by teaching ‘Heather Has Two Mommies’ or ‘You can still get Aids during a Lewinski’?

I’m all for a laissez-faire attitude, but if you don’t care, don’t vote. Don’t resign your-self to a half-hearted vote for an untried and unproven gasbag who offers nothing but platitudes and methods that have failed every time they have been tried. It is ok to not vote.

Then again, maybe this person is a socialist in the end. Who but a socialist would screw up 300 million people and imperil the safety of the world just because the party with the bad ideas hadn’t been in power for a long time?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Palin for President?

I'm off to bed, but it occurred to me as I was washing up that 2008 could turn out historic in an unexpected way. If Obama wins, a faithless elector could make Palin the first woman to receive an electoral college vote for President. There are precedents. Palin will be the third woman to receive electoral vote for VP. The second, of course, was Ferraro. The first was in 1972 when a GOP elector voted for the Libertarian Party ticket, which had a woman, Theodora Nathan, as its VP candidate. (For trivia purposes, that elector was Roger McBride, the 76 Libertarian Party Candidate for president). The precedent I like even more was 1976, when a Republican elector voted for Ronald Reagan. We all know what happened in 1976, and in 1980. If Obama wins, that is a scenario I would like to see.

However since polls, are bullshit, I am refusing to admit that Obama is going to win, so this is all crazy talk.

Why polls are bullshit.

So we have all seen the polls that say Obama is up by X points with a three percent margin of error. What is this margin of error thing?

Iowahawk explains it all.

Basically Margin of error=who the hell knows?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Presidents and War Heros

It's an interesting analysis by Mike. I'm going to push it back to 1948, not because I can remember that far back, but because I think that Mike's is an arbitrary cut point.

1948: Truman was an artillery battery commander during WW I and saw action. Dewey was too young for WWI and was Gov. of New York throughout WW II. War Hero wins.

1952 and 1956: Eisenhower had military experience, but never saw combat. On the other hand he was credited with beating Germany. Stevenson had no military experience. War Hero wins. Twice.

1960 As noted by Mike, JFK had PT-109 and Nixon had non-combat WWII service. Perceived War Hero wins.

The party distribution is interesting to me. Since the 60s, the only combat veterans from the Democratic Party ran as peace candidates and all of the candidates with no military experience whatsoever were also Democrats. Too much could be made of this though. For example the only other Republican candidates with military experience were Ron Paul, and Duncan Hunter, neither of which had a snowball's chance.

So what's going on here? Every postwar election until 1960 is won by a war hero, and the only instance since was father Bush, who, let's be honest, was riding Reagan's coat tails. The 1960s. Vietnam. That's what happened. Being a combat veteran stopped being useful, unless you used it to fortify your anti-war stance.

I think that this might be changing. Starting in a few years, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are going to be entering the field, and given the opinion of much of the electorate of the military, having served will be an enormous plus.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The American Dream

I would love for someone to explain something to me. Why are people like David Letterman, Dan Rather, and Katie Couric, such die-hard liberals who think in order for people to succeed they require major government intervention?

Couric is from Arlington Virginia. Her mother was a homemaker and her father was a public relations executive and newspaper editor. Katie attended the University of Virginia and lived on the famed Lawn.

Rather was from a small town west of Houston Texas. Dan often spoke of his father’s blue collar work ethic and about how his mother was a homemaker. Dan went to school at Sam Houston State in Huntsville Texas.

Letterman frequently jokes about his middle class family and lampoons his alma mater of Ball State University in Muncie Indiana.

All of these have humble middle class backgrounds and went to schools far from the Ivy League. There were no big time connections. Father didn’t golf with the president and mother wasn’t a CEO and they didn’t summer in the Hamptons or attend dinner parties on Fifth Avenue where they were introduced to Senators or Congressmen.
Yet all three have succeeded in their professions beyond most people’s wildest dreams. Only in America could a woman most often described as ‘cute” and “perky” rise to the position of the most influential man in journalism. Only in America could a bricklayers son rise to be one of the most influential journalists in the land. Only in America could a weather man with a funny haircut rise to be considered an icon in his business and his name listed among the giants of his profession.

All three of these achieved fame, fortune, influence, and admiration because of hard work, determination, dedication, and risk taking.

Yet all three think everyone else should be cared for by the nanny state. I for one just don’t understand it.

Some random thoughts about past elections

I posted this over on My whining blog as part of my post at least once a day project. I think it needs to be here as well. "Dale" and/or "Scub" Got any comments?

We, as Americans tend to think we elect military men to the presidency. Looking over the elections of my life, this really doesn't seem to be the case.

1964. Barry Goldwater had served as a pilot in Burma, among other places, and remained a member of the Air Force reserve after the war. LBJ served in the navy for a total of 7 months (Dec 10, 1941 to July 16th, 1942) He got the Silver star for being in a plane (as an observer, not the pilot) that had engine trouble and had to turn back when attacked by 8 fighters. Note that the plane was not hit. Also note he was, in addition to being a naval officer, still a member of congress at this time. This may have had something to do with the Silver Star. Any rate, winner of the election, not the real war hero.

1968 Richard Nixon served in the US Navy, as a logistical officer in Ottumwa, Iowa, (Navy. Iowa. Ok, what ever). Then went on to be a logistical officer in the South Pacific Combat Air Transport Command, part of the Guadalcanal campaign. He won vs Herbert Humphrey, who never served. While not exactly a war hero, he was the vet.

1972 Nixon vs McGovern. McGovern, of course was a real war hero, being a bomber pilot. The war hero lost. Granted he was running as as the peace candidate.

1976 Gerald Ford vs Jimmy Carter. Both served (well, Carter was in the USNA during the war, which means he gets a * by his name for war time service) Gerald Ford served on the carrier USS Monterey which one of the ships hit by the Typhoon Cobra. His action in leading fire fighting teams was credited was the saving of the USS Monterey. So, he war hero lost again.

1980 Reagan vs Carter. Wash. Both were "under arms" in WWII, but Carter was a cadet at USNA and Reagan was making movies for the Army. First post war election where neither could be called a war hero, by any terms. For what it's worth, Reagan was not medically fit for combat duty, Carter was. If the war had gone on for another year, it's a near sure thing Carter, as submarine officer, would have seen combat. Reagan, not so much.

1984 Reagan vs Mondale. Mondale served in the US army during the Korean war, to earn GI Bill money to go to law school. He spent his tour of duty in Fort Knox. His claim to fame, so to speak is that he was the first post war candidate that was not an officer. He made E-4 in two years. Just for what it's worth I made E-4 in 18 months and E-5 in two years. Just saying. Another wash on the war hero thing. At least the both did serve, and Mondale did serve during the time of shooting war. Not his fault he was sent to Ft. Knox

1988 GHW Bush vs Dukakis. Dukakis spent 2 years drafted in the Army, after the end of the Korean war. He did spend 16 months on the DMZ. Bush, of course, was a real war hero, being the youngest naval pilot at one point. In this case, yeah, the war hero won.

1992. Let's not even start about Bill Clinton and the military. Let's just say he didn't not serve and beat the war hero, GHW Bush. Of course if the Texas Gnome has stayed out, he would not have, but that's neither here nor there.

1996 Robert Dole vs Bill Clinton. Rear honest by God wounded in action infantry platoon leader and decorated war hero vs a draft dodger. Dodger wins.

2000 GW Bush vs Gore. Gore was a SP/4 news reporter for the The Castle Courier (the news paper of the 20th Engineer Brigade) in Viet Nam. Members of his paper staff were in fact killed in action. Personal side note. One of my sections chiefs in my first tour in German was in the 20th Brigade during the same time frame as Gore. (SSG later SFC Panfile. aka the Skinny Ginny He was the highest decorated member of the battery when I was here, having a Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars a 3 awards of the Purple Heart. He also had 4 Arcoms. Some of the Arcoms were post his moving to ADA I'll grant ) GW Bush was a F-106 Delta Dart driver. I'll let my Nike back ground show here, but the Delta Dart isn't a fighter, it's a missile that in theory lands after it's mission. It was steered by controllers on the ground using the SAGE system, which, BTW is exactly what the Nike Herc did as well, with out risking a pilot. Bad system, inflicted on the US by Robert McNamara and the Wiz Kids, but I digress. Again, the one that came closest to seeing the elephant lost.

2004 Say what you will about Kerry, he was over there. Bush was not. Of course Kerry's actions after he returned and the fact that his awards were of the classic Viet Nam Cracker Jack box type awards doesn't help, but again, Bush's MOS, with out even raising the issue of him actually doing it, could have been done by roughly 15 vacuum tubes and large oil filled resister element. Let's just say the one closer to hero status lost.

That brings us to Obama vs McCain. War hero vs some one that hasn't served. Doesn't look good. Only time the Vet won was Nixon and Bush 41, and Dukakis at least served on the Korean DMZ, back when that was 100 percent safe. 11 election. One war hero wining and one vet vs non vet winning, but when the supply officer went up against a bomber pilot, the REMF won. Aside from GHW Bush, we haven't elected a warrior since I have be aware of the concept of the presidency.

My brother, Random Dafyyd, will point out that that I'm not mentioning JFK vs Nixon. Why? while I was alive in 1960, I was less than a year old. Doesn't register on me at all. Even including that we have two serving officers, and the winner's claim to fame was he got his PT 109 boat run over by a IJN destroyer. His action after being t-boned might have been heroic, but it was his bad seamanship that got him there to start with.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Vice Presidential Debate

Questions and Comments for each candidate after theVEEP debate:

Senator Biden:
  • Wow! Joe, you came out against rape and genocide. Even to the point of crossing the aisle and working with those repulsive Republicans. Careful there Joe…don’t want to get too close to the radical fringe. Reminds me of an episode of the great show “Cheers” in which Sam Malone after being interviewed for a magazine says they wanted to know his ideas on politics. Diane asked “What ideas are those?” to which Sam replied “I said I thought nuclear war would be bad news.” Diane responded with “Ooh, I think you opened up a hornet’s nest there” to which Sam says “I could always say I was misquoted.”
  • Joe, that $300 billion in taxes you and Barak are going to get from companies: Where do the companies get the money to pay you? You see Joe; the question is extremely relevant because most of these companies provide goods and services to the middle class. When you raise their taxes, they raise prices that the middle class has to pay. To be Vice President you really should know this
  • Joe - so confiscating money from one person to give to another is called fair where you come from. Where I come from it is called robbery and or extortion.
  • Joe, could you please define “Affordable?”
  • Joe, if we began drilling today, how will it take 10 years for a “single drop of oil” to reach the market? This statement alone should be considered justifiable cause to prevent your election
  • Joe, as for Barak’s time line to pull out of Iraq: What happens if the enemy doesn’t agree to the time-line?
  • Joe, you made the point, not once but twice that “Ahmadinejad doesn’t run the security in Iran; the theocracy runs the security in Iran”. Well, that makes me feel better. A group of people who make Ahmadinejad look like the sane voice of reason, run the security in Iran. That said I guess we don’t need to worry about a nuclear Iran then, do we?
  • Joe, stating you led the fight against Judge Bork is not a plus, especially after your lame attempt to defend how you cross party lines (see the first Biden item). That was the beginning of the rank partisanship so pervasive these days. Saying this coupled with your ‘crossing party lines response’ is tantamount to saying “I’m all for world travel and routinely visit other countries and cultures” then, later, proudly saying “I was the first German into Poland on September 1, 1939.”

Governor Palin:

  • Sarah, about those “greedy lenders” who “talked” people into buying a $300,000 house when they only had funds for a $100,000…whatever happened personal responsibility? Whenever the mortgage company told me I could borrow up the six years salary I said no. I knew I couldn’t afford it. You see Sarah; every business I pass as I drive down the street is convinced I NEED their product. It is MY responsibility to contain my own spending. I am in charge of my budget. Blaming the business or advertising for my out-of-control spending is not only counterproductive, it is just plain wrong. Not only does it lead to solutions that have nothing to do with the problem, it lends credence to the stupidity spouted by the Democrats that this meltdown is primarily the fault of the loan companies.
  • Sarah, you are supporting taxing carbon emissions? That is either pandering or stupidity. Either way you don’t deserve to be called a conservative with that position and, just like Joe; this statement alone should be considered justifiable cause to prevent your election. Republicans need to bring a calm sanity and reflective judgment to the debate about carbon emission and any possible effect to the environment. Republicans do not need to bring more pandering and hysteria, the left has that all sew up. By making statements like this, you legitimize the hysteria and add more nails in the coffin of middle (working?) class Americans who are truly the big losers in the Global Warming hysteria

I'm sure there was much more, but I can only write so fast and who would want o sit through that twice?

Bailout and the Fourth Estate

Quick, what is the most feared line ever uttered? Answer: “I’m from the government, I’m here to help.”

My local newspaper had the headline this morning “Markets unravel at home, abroad”. (DMN October 7). Yesterday on various news shows, both radio and TV, local and national, the reporters expressed the same shock and disbelief that the announcement of the Bailout Bill didn’t stop the market slide.

Knowing the left leanings of the press it should no longer amaze me they did not understand the market’s failure to jump for joy at the news that Congress was here to help The press is gleeful of government intervention and can’t fathom why the public reacts with trepidation. The fact is Congressional intervention means new laws, more paperwork, new and greater oversight, along with ‘diversity goals’ (quotas). Almost always the cost of government help is never worth the benefits.
Please remember, billions of government dollars were spent on Katrina yet New Orleans is still a mess. While somehow Iowa bounced back after the Mississippi flooded farther north.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bailout Part F

Again I must belabor the point of disagreeing with the Scrub and the assumption that “the Feds made this mess, they might as well clean it up.” I know it is long, I hope you find it worthy.

I have several scenarios that lead to my conclusion but will start with an example.

Example: Having Congress bailout the financial meltdown is tantamount to having a 3-year-old cleanup the bathroom, unsupervised, after clogging the toilet while attempting to flush the grape juice stained blanket and complicating matters by then using the commode for its intended purpose . Yes, like Congress, the child’s intentions were good, afterall, they were just trying to solve a problem, and really, the mess was the fault of the person who purchased the juice in the first place. And just like Congress, the 3-year old will have a self congratulatory grin as (s)he drags the soiled blanket across the new white Berber carpet while taking it outside. And Congress will continue to resemble the tot who, after digging up the prize flower bed in a vain attempt to bury the blanket, tells the neighbors about how dedicatedly they rose up in sacrifice to adhere to the call-to-duty to clean up a mess they could not control. And finally, with a flooded bathroom, ruined carpet, destroyed flower bed, and half buried blanket; the toddler, looking more like Congress than ever, will demand a reward for successfully solving the problem left by some evil, mean spirited, person for someone else to clean up.

Bad case scenario: Year in year out the most fiscally irresponsible single group of people on the planet is the US Congress. Even Republicans who were elected on a platform of fiscal responsibility cannot resist the urge to play Santa Claus. With a “National Economic Crisis” (very sarcastic ‘Oh yeah’ is needed here) at hand, the desire in congress to hide $700 million of pork in a $700 billion bill is tempting beyond their limited ability to cope. When that much money is at stake they just can’t resist the opportunity to try to buy votes back at home. I would expect more ethical responsibility from the Cartagena Cartel then Congress when that much money is at stake.

Worse case scenario: Let’s do a little speculating on some of the possible aspects of what the bailout bill will entail.

  • We’ll need a new “Office of Housing and Banking” regulatory agency. This will begin with a budget of $20 million. At 5% growth per year in 2020 the budget will be closing in on $34 million and the director will be railing against budget cuts when it is suggested he suffice with a 3% growth. This will be despite the fact that after the first six months there will be nothing for an agent to do except sign a note stating that (s)he has read the auditors statement for the mortgage companies under their domain. Since the agents will be lawyers and not accountants it will be found in court that they cannot be held liable for any discrepancies. Of course the court in question will be a division of the agency. This agency will be with us forever
  • We’ll need a government “Office of Loan Application and Oversight” whose sole responsibility will be to approve all mortgage applications. You think the process was arduous before? Go fill out a passport application then multiply it by one hundred. It will take one year from offer and acceptance to closing. Oh, this mortgage oversight will be a separate government agency from the regulatory branch. No conflict of interest. While less prestigious it will still keep young law school graduates employed and have an initial budge of $75 million. By 2020, due to work load demands and the standard 5% growth, the budget will have ballooned to well in excess of $300 million. The agents will be overworked and do most application checking while on overtime. But fear not, the money will not come out of the Federal budget but will be added on to each and every mortgage in the country. The sole goal of each agent is to be transferred to the “Office of Housing and Banking”. The seniority list will be called ‘the death list’ because someone will have to die for a position to open in the “Office of Housing and Banking”. This agency too will be with us forever.
  • Since these agencies are breaking new ground we’ll need experienced personnel to oversee and direct these entities. How about Franklin Raines. He has been CEO of Fannie Mae and assistant director of the US Office of management and Budget. Experience, connections, what more could you want?
  • First order of business will be a complete overhaul of the mortgage business in the US. This won’t take the originally estimated six months. Scholars will cite standard project management methodology that a 300 percent error is within tolerances when estimating time of large unknown projects and state that getting this report done in 15 months is remarkable. Yes, they will lament that no home sales requiring mortgages occurred in those 15 months but will cite the near 100% apartment occupancy as being “good for the economy:” When asked about the lack of home sales the safety of the economy and ensuring the greedy are held in check will quiet the naysayer.
  • Both the “Office of Housing and Banking” and “Office of Loan Application and Oversight” will have diversity departments. This will be to ensure there is no discrimination based on race, creed, sex, sexual orientation, economic status, or credit history. Mortgage companies who turn down loans based on an applicants ability to pay will be declared, by each agency, guilty of discrimination and fined millions of dollars.

Worst Case Scenario: If the bailout goes through there will be a mountain of new federal regulation. Within this regulation will be a continuance of the bill to get low income people into homes. Therefore mortgage companies will be required to make a certain scalable percentage of the loans to low income high risk sector. When the company issues its X loan number each year, the percentage of low income loans will increase. This means companies will artificially cap the number of mortgages it makes. What results when an artificial limit is placed on a commodity? Well, according to Econ 101 (which apparently, no member of Congress can pass) the result is shortages. What happens when a shortage occurs? The price goes up. What is the price of money for loans? Well, the interest rate. So a couple that has saved diligently (while paying taxes on the interest) to get the 20% down and found a home that costs two years salary will be buried in paper work and wait a year before any hope of seeing their dream come to fruition. Should our heroes get the proper lottery number to actually obtain a mortgage they will have to agree to a 20% interest rate. Think interest rates can’t go that high? Does the name Jimmy Carter ring a bell?

The author wishes apologize to Dr. Tom Coburn Senator from Oklahoma for making him guilty by association, but would like to point out that Senator Coburn purposely, ran for the House and Senate.

The author further wishes to apologize to all of the world’s 3-year-olds. It will be years before any of them do anything heinous enough to be compared to Congress.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bailout Part E

Why do well feel the need for government intervention? Is the assumption that there is not enough capital in the private sector to handle the load? I understand that Warren Buffet is simultaneously calling for government intervention while buying up stocks for pennies on the dollar. This is great deal for Berkshire-Hathaway, namely have the government ensure that the stock purchased for pennies not only will grow in value, but guarantee the companies will not go bankrupt. Sweet.

The beauty of the free market is it will always find the best, lowest cost, fastest solution. I know Congress has tried to solve numerous ‘problems’, but have they accomplished any? The last problem that Congress successfully solved that I can think of was WWII. I agree with the Scrub that the Feds caused this mess, but remember, the Feds caused this mess while trying to solve a different ‘problem’, namely home ownership for low income earners. Following the law of unintended consequences; what other ‘problems’ are Congress going to create while solving this one?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bailout, part deux, or is it part D?

I saw that video as well, and was intending to post it, but you beat me to it. Damn you and your chest to hell.

I've come to the conclusion, that this bailout, or something like it, probably needs to be done. In part because to Feds caused the mess, it's their job to fix it. I don't like it, but I don't really see any other way forward.

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's the all Carter's and Clinton's fault

I don't know if the bail plan is the perfect move, but I do know it wasn't GW Bush's fault.

Bailout, Mk Twice

Is my understanding any where near reality?

Is this a good idea, or a bad idea?

Depends. Do you think 1929 to 1941 were good for America as a whole or not?

Let's not forget that we have already started our generation's long war, which means we can't depend on an WWII analog to got us out the "Great Depression 2.0", so, yeah, I'm force to say that the just shy of a trillion dollar bail out is a good thing, in the long run.

The fact that both of us own houses is, really, when you get down to it part of the problem. I'll grant that my owning a house wasn't really my idea, and I sort of got sandbagged by my brother in law on when I had to get the mortgage, but I will point out that my mortgage is not one that got sold down the line, and that I'm not doing any of those weird exotic type things, and my interest rate is both fixed and fairly high. Still, if it wasn't for the fact that we were only going for a fraction of the house's cost, we should not have gotten the loan, based on the fact that I was, at the time, unemployed (and more or less un-employable).

We are pulling out of my death spiral, but it's a long hard row to hoe.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


As I understand it, a bunch of banks loaned money to people that had no hope of paying back the loans. The banks then sold the loans, some how turning them into securities. (I'm pretty sure you have to be at least a 15th Level Thief/Magic User to cast this spell.) They then sold these securities to other banks, which then used them as assets to borrow more money. In doing so they managed to contaminate the entire banking/finance sector that, now the people who bought the houses are going back to live on friend's couches and under bridges, the entire damn financial system is threatened with collapsing to such an extent that even businesses that had nothing to do with this mess could go belly up because there will be no money anywhere.

The solution is that the Feds are going to offer to buy the securities, meaning that all the banks won't go under so there will be money in the ATMs. The Feds then will own all of these mortgages, most of which will turn out to be total losses.

Is my understanding any where near reality?

Is this a good idea, or a bad idea?

Friday, September 12, 2008


Obama is running this ad, which makes a big deal out of McCain's supposed inability to use email. As Jonah Goldberg found by using Google, McCain, doesn't use email much, because of the injuries he suffered as POW makes using a keyboard is painful. Great ad for Obama; make fun, albeit indirectly, of a war hero's wounds and piss off the large percentage of American's who don't use email. Two for the price of one.

This reminds me that this is the second time in recent history that the Republicans have nominated a disabled man for President, the other being Bob Dole. Dole, like McCain, never made much of his disability, and never used it for political effect. I brought up Dole because it gives me the opportunity to tell one of my favorite stories. It's actually my wife's story, but I'll tell it anyway.

During the 96 election, my Wife and I were living in very liberal city. My wife enrolled in the local Junior College to take a few classes. Not surprisingly, many of classes degenerated into liberal rants by the teacher, backed by the class. In one class (I think it was American literature) th topic of the day was the evilness of Bob Dole. In the class was a young man in a wheel chair. He became quite agitated and told the class they didn't know what they were talking about. And then he told his story. It seemed that he had within the past year suffered the injury that had placed him in the wheel chair. While he was still in recovery, and come to deal with the fact that he was now a paraplegic, he got a phone call. From Bob Dole. Dole had somehow heard his story and wanted to encourage him. This liberal city was not in Kansas. So the evil Bob Dole, Senate Majority Leader, had found time to try to lift the spirits of a young man who was not even his constituent. I don't really know what to make of this story except that it demonstrates that not all politicians are complete jerks. The trouble is, it is damn difficult to know who they are.

To finish up..

I was web surfing for porn.

Really. Was part of my job. The company I was working for at the time was working on a "child safe browser". Part of my job was to find porn sites and make sure we blocked them.

After the first plane hit we all more or less migrated into the owners office where he had a very large TV.

As it happened, our next round of venture capital was coming from a company in the WTC. The company I was working for started bouncing paycheck shortly there after.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I was. . .

Working in Georgetown when I heard a loud boom. . . . .followed by emergency sirens, helicopters, fighter jets and military vehicles driving down the streets of our nations capital. Ultimately stepping outside and looking towards the sky and seeing nothing but black smoke. Being able to witness first hand the damage to the Pentagon before the flag was draped over the facade; is something I shall not forget.

Where was I.

In surgery. Assisting in the largest ventral hernia repair I have ever done. The defect was so large that two of the largest meshes made had to be sewn together. I don't normally work Tuesdays, but had gone in because they were short handed. Surgery starts at my hospital at 7:15, so we were already started before the news broke. The case was a long and involved one, and as anesthesia personnel came into the room , and went , they brought news, much of it jumbled. First there was a fire at the WTC, then the second tower had exploded. Then a story that a helicopter had hit the Pentagon, then the same time the report that the Towers had collapsed and that a plane had crashed in Pennsylvania. Strangely the news that a plane had crashed in Pennsylvania shook me more than buildings being hit in New York and Washington, or even the news that the Towers had collapsed. New York and Washington, I could understand as targets, but Pennsylvania made it suddenly seem that everywhere or anywhere could be attacked. Of course no one knew the story, we didn't know that only four planes had been hijacked. I, at least, didn't know that all air traffic had been grounded. We didn't finish the surgery until late morning. By then, some semblance of the story was beginning to become clear. I sat in the break room, and watched the film of the towers collapse, and seldom have ever felt as alone. (I somehow missed the big unity moment everyone else had.) I remember hearing the talking heads talk about the search for survivors, and I remembered Oklahoma City. I was in an OR that day too, and I remember the word filtering out that they were finding no survivors in the part of the building that collapsed, only bodies.

Where was I?

I was sound asleep in my warm comfortable bed in north Texas. Coming out of the fog the radio was on and I heard "a plane has hit the second World Trade Center tower". I thought it was a review of a bad movie or a tasteless joke made by the typical morning AM yuk monkey.

My wife on the other hand was in Georgetown and heard the crash and felt the ground shake. I still feel fortunate that I got through to her on the first call as she daily took the blue line metro from King Street to GWU. For those not familiar with the DC metro system, the blue line stops under the Pentagon. Having a rudimentary understanding of probability I was not all that concerned, still it was very nice to hear her voice. We realized the phone system was overworked, counted our blessing and quickly ended the call.

Thanks Mike for opening the subject

Where were you?

If you have to ask, given today's date, what I meant, you are either too young to read this blog or to stupid.

Either way works for me.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sarah Palin and well, not sure.

I, for one, would like to know what this is of. Regardless, it's way freaking cool. I mean, seriously, what the hell? On the other hand, this does make me want to vote Palin/McCain more than before. I mean, if we can have VP who will hang out with people in odd costumes, in 16 or so years having a President who used to be Prince of Drakenwald will not be so weird.

Sarah Palin is Teddy Roosevelt?

Aside from the obvious lack of a killer mustache, seems that way to me. We could do worse than having a reincarnation of TR as veep, at least IMAO.

Random Thought

Given Ashton's (a 21 year old self proclaimed hippy semi-retired exotic dancer) response to Sarah Palin's speech, the Obama camp is in trouble.

When The Darling Wife (a 43 year old self proclaimed hippy retired exotic dancer pagan fluff bunny) says that "There is something sort of corrupt feeling about Obama", they are in real trouble.

I suspect that neither of them is going to vote for either candidate, but they both fall into the "should be Obamanicas" demographics, so it's a net win for the Palin/McCain camp.

And, yeah, that's how I'm refering the Republican ticket now.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Shame on Sean

I guess Sean Hannity just couldn’t stand it. When given a preview copy of Sarah Palin’s speech the conservative commentator apparently was compelled to quote some of the best lines in an attempt to out-bicker co-host Alan Colmes. This was a full 90 minutes before Palin was presented to the Republican National Convention. Shame on Sean for his cheap attempt to steal her thunder.

Her Guy?

Fearless prediction: the feminists raise an issue with Sarah Palin’s comment “he is still my guy." They will ask “like her car or her jacket, does she own him?” This will be the feminists attempt to show they are “fair” when in fact that will only show they don’t understand simple affection between people who are still in love after many years of marriage.

The Hypocritical

It appears there is something about outspoken conservative women that drive the liberals to hypocrisy.

Why are these liberals who complain endlessly about the glass ceiling and constantly chant that conservatives “want women barefoot and pregnant,” now suddenly concerned about Sarah Palin’s capability to be a good mother?

These are the same liberals for whom abortion on demand is the single most important issue, are now concerned with Palin’s family values?

The same liberals who demand equal rights for women in a “man's world”, and have been stating that women “can have it all,” are suddenly now concerned with Palin’s parenting skills and are shocked above all that she has five children . . . . 5 children!

Why is it acceptable for a man to have five children and not be questioned about juggling a career and family. Yet, a strong, outspoken woman is now being accused of crimes paramount to child abuse by putting her own ideals in the forefront.

On a related topic these liberals somehow have managed to overlook for five years the fact that Nancy Pelosi has five children; yet, there is not a peep from the liberals on her capabilities to run Congress and manage a home.

According to the left, its time for Sarah Palin to get back into the minivan and the kitchen.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

VPILF Grandma Part Twice

Regardless of the status of the 5th child, the Obama camp had better tread really freaking lightly with regards to Bristol Palin's current pregnancy (speaking of which, doesn't the the timing of that more or less rule out the possibility that Trig Paxson Van Palin (the newborn with Down's Syndrome) isn't Gov. Palin's own?) giving his own mother's history?

Some important Sara Palin Facts

  • Sarah Palin’s finishing move in the VP debate will be pulling Biden’s still beating heart from his chest & taking a bite.

  • Sarah Palin isn’t allowed to wield the gavel at the convention because they’re afraid she’ll use it to kill liberals.

  • Sarah Palin doesn’t need a gun to hunt. She has been known to throw a bullet through an adult bull elk.

  • Sarah Palin can read EBCDIC You are a geek if you get that

  • Sarah Palin makes Andrew Sullivan regret some key life choices. You are a blog-wonk if you get that

Monday, September 1, 2008

Vice President Grandma?

I wonder if any of the news outlets speculating on the possibility that Palin’s fifth child is actually her grandchild are the same news outlets that refused to report on the Edwards / Hunter affair because they did not have concrete evidence?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hello all

I'm an ex-military odd duck with issues. On damn near any subject I can get into an argument with either err, Dale or The Scrub, or both, and most likely have in the last mumble teen years. I like to rant a lot, so expect odd posts on subjects that may or may not have any thing to do with that, err, The Scrub thinks this blog is supposed to be about.

Let's start with this. Internet Privacy. Ur Doing It Wrong.

You may have noticed I have a real looking name on this blog. I'm not hiding who I am. It's a waste of time. If some one really needs to find out who you are on the internet, they can. Don't ever forget that. Any thing you do on the internet is public and forever. You may live to regret that 'topless-held-the-camera-with-one-hand-pointed-back-at-me-because-I-can't-figure-out-how-to-use-the-timer-function-on-my-cheap-digital-camera" MyFaceFilickeringInSpaceBook-dot-net photo some day.

I really hate that style of photos, in case it doesn't show.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

An Olympic Rant

While I recognize this is a political BLOG and much is happening this election year, I still feel the need to rant as I watch the Olympics.

Kobe Bryant – Don’t we see and hear enough of the LA Lakers Superstar during the basketball season? Do we have to endure seemingly endless (so far I have seen three) interviews during the International Games? Don’t get me wrong, Bryant is a GREAT player, but come on. There have to be some other interesting people NBC can talk to rather than a man who get constant exposure during the winter and early spring.

Then again, do we really want to hear from these less well-known athletes? I’m referencing Dara Torres, the 41-year old California swimmer. As a weekend (athletic) warrior in my mid- 40s, I am in total awe of Ms. Torres. Her ability to continue to compete at such a high level is beyond my comprehension. She has earned every accolade and is deserving of any and all praise. But personally if I have to hear about how “awesome” her two-year-old is one more time I may lose it. I recognize how children raise the difficulty level of life in general and how, for an Olympic class athlete already strained, it can be overwhelming. But does every snippet of her have to include the “awesome” daughter quote? I will personally state, unequivocally, that all mothers of a two-year-olds think their children are “awesome”.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Obama and Urban Renewal

There are delicious ironies in life. One recently example: Senator Barack Obama is spouting that urban renewal begins at the local level and if he won the White House, the mayors should not count on significant additional help from Washington. He said “Change comes from the bottom up, not the top down.”

So in the one area of life that Obama has any significant experience, dealing with the government and urban renewal, he personally has declared the experiment a failure. All by himself he has determined that throwing federal money at the problems of inner-city life is insufficient and a waste of resources. This from a man who thinks the Federal Government is the panacea.

Is it arrogance that he believes the Federal Government will work better if he is in charge? Is it blind ambition in refusing to learn from experience? Or is it stupidity to fail to apply those lessons?
Or a combination of arrogance, ambition, and stupidity that he believes that government is the solution to all problems except the ones he personally failed to fix while working in the government?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The French and NATO

It seems that French are ready to play with NATO again. I'm not sure what exactly this will entail, especially since the French Army is broken.

But it does give me chance to post the best scene from the best movie ever.

I, of course, offer this in the spirit of European unity.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The most basic right

When one mentions political rights, the Bill of Rights is what usually comes to mind. In particular, free speech, free press, freedom of worship, right to a speedy jury trial, the right to counsel in court proceedings, and the protections against unreasonable searches and cruel and unusual punishments, come easily to mind. If you are not a democrat, the right to bear arms might come to mind. For some, who believe in "penumbras" the right to privacy and the right to abortion might come to mind. The most basic right, however is not mentioned explicitly, although it is implied by the third and fourth amendments, and the eminent domain clause of the fifth. It is the right to own and be secure in one's own property.

Indeed many of the above rights can be seen as extensions of this right. If I own this altar and this goat, then they are mine, and I can do as please with them. If I want to sacrifice the goat to Zeus, then that is my affair, and nothing you think about it matters. In a like manner, if I own this printing press, ink and paper and I want to combine them in a way that makes fun of my representative's voting record, then I can do that. If I further want to trade my printed papers for money, so long as my trading partner owns the the money, then it is no one else's business. The Democrats, of course, don't actually recognize this right. The Republicans often merely play lip service to it.

One problem is that this right, like most others, cannot be absolute. If each piece of property were a hermetically sealed unit, then perhaps one could have untrammeled rights over it. However since humans live in close proximity to each other, it is possible for me to use my property in such a way as to deny my neighbor the use of his or her property. Sorting all of this out is one of the valid roles of the government. That role, however, is one of the governmental powers most subject to abuse. Although conservatives often tout local governments as the bodies most responsive to the will of the people, local governments are often the most abusive of the right to be secure in one's property. It is easier for small special interests to seize the reins of power in a locality than in a larger governmental unit. Property rights are abused by local governments through the manipulation of zoning and building codes, the abusive use imminent domain, and a myriad of other ways small and large. This not to say that local governments should have no control over property. Zoning codes and the like are essential tools. These tools, however, are far to often used by local vested interests to forestall competition, control "undesirable" groups, or merely enforce the aesthetic preferences of the local gentry.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Judicial Imperialism

Last week’s Supreme Court decision in Boumediene v. Bush, one might think the Court had stopped an elitist dictator from stomping on civil liberties.
The 5-4 ruling is judicial imperialism of the highest order.

These five judges ignored the Constitution’s structure, which grants all war decisions to the President and Congress.

The recent ruling should finally put to rest the popular myth that right-wing conservatives dominate the Supreme Court.

The only real hope of returning the Supreme Court back to its normal role rests in the November elections. Because of the advancing age of several justices, the next president will be in a position to appoint a new Court that can reverse the damage done to our nation’s security

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bill Oh Really

Watching Bill O'Reilly the other day and a woman whose identification I did not catch but was a Democrat strategist had the following (approximate) exchange:

Bill: "So why are Bush's ratings so bad?"

Guest: "Because there are still 47 million Americans without health coverage."

I must admit a level of amazement. Bush never made a point of giving health benefits to all and it was not part of the Republican platform so how can his failure to provide health insurance cause his poll numbers to plummet? Well of course they didn't. This woman was "staying on point" and Bill O. could have asked her what time it was and she would have responded "time for health care coverage for the 47 million Americans without it."

Wouldn't it be nice if guests on these shows, especially when given such a golden opportunity, could at least TRY to address the question?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Thoughts on the election

So it looks like Obama vs McCain. This should be an interesting race. Both candidates are essentially running without the whole hearted support of significant portions of their party's traditional coalitions. Let's look at some of these groups. Keep in mind that people have three choices; Obama, McCain, or Stay Home. Keeping that in mind, let's look at some of the groups that have been talked about.

African-Americans: They will vote 95%+ for Obama and will turn out in much greater numbers than before. In some places, New York for example, it won't change the electoral map at all, it will merely pad Obama's margin of victory. In some places, like Virginia, it may make a significant difference.

Hispanics: Obama had difficulty with this group in the primary, Bush did better with them than any previous Republican. McCain does well with them in Arizona. I think this may the election that tips Hisanics more firmly into the Republican camp. Immigration will be an issue that can spoil this though. All bets are off if Obama picks a Hispanic Veep.

White working class: This is the group that matters. Obama did not do well with them at all in the primaries. McCain's war record will play well. Many of these people were in their teens and twenties in the 80s and were the young Reagan Republicans. McCain's no Reagan, but this is one group that won't have a problem voting Republican.

Boomer Women. These are the "Soccer Moms" of 12 years ago. A lot of them wanted Hilliary and wanted her bad. These are the people that think that Hillary was subjected to all sorts of sexist outrages. Some will consider McCain, and might even vote for him. Some will, with reluctance, vote for Obama. Many will stay home. This is a problem for Obama, as they were a vital part of the coalition that elected Bill, and kept Kerry and Gore competitive.

Younger voters: Will go for Obama in big numbers in some parts of the country. But will less of a factor than commonly supposed.

Conservatives: Some will hold their nose and vote for McCain. Some will stay home (or vote third arty) to teach the Republicans a lesson. I think the election will depend on this ratio. If enough conservatives opt out, McCain is dead.