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?