Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Quote of the Day - Politics Edition

Quote of the Day - Politics Edition

This time from Dave Barry's year in review: 2009:

. . . during which history is made in Washington, D.C., where a crowd estimated by the Congressional Estimating Office at 217 billion people gathers to watch Barack Obama be inaugurated as the first American president ever to come after George W. Bush. There is a minor glitch in the ceremony when Chief Justice John Roberts, attempting to administer the oath of office, becomes confused and instead reads the side-effect warnings for his decongestant pills, causing the new president to swear that he will consult his physician if he experiences a sudden loss of sensation in his feet. President Obama then delivers an upbeat inaugural address, ushering in a new era of cooperation, civility and bipartisanship in a galaxy far, far away. Here on Earth everything stays much the same.

The No. 1 item on the agenda is fixing the economy, so the new administration immediately sets about the daunting task of trying to nominate somebody -- anybody -- to a high-level government post who actually remembered to pay his or her taxes.
In humor, truth. In truth, humor!

Read the rest. It just gets better!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Quote of the Day - Politics Edition

Quote of the Day - Politics Edition
Here’s the question that puzzles me: why do so many people who view politics as a dismal parade, and hold such a low opinion of politicians, seem so willing to entertain massive expansions of the government? What do they think is going to happen to the amount of politics infusing their lives, if the government nationalizes a few more industries, and racks up a couple trillion more in deficit spending? -- Dr. Zero
That was found at John Hawkins' site in his 40 best political quotes of 2009 post. Do read the rest.

Runner up:
We seem to be moving steadily in the direction of a society where no one is responsible for what he himself did but we are all responsible for what somebody else did, either in the present or in the past. -- Thomas Sowell



I recently got a Netflix account, and my wife and I have been watching the Sharpe's Rifles series. We're now up to #8, Sharpe's Sword. Pretty good series, I recommend it. It gives you at least some idea of the culture of Georgian England, and the differences in class that were carried through to their military.

One of the characters, Hagland Hagman (thanks, Chris), is British actor and folk singer John Tams. He was chosen as much for his voice as for his acting ability. Remember, no iPods back then. Somebody sang and played an instrument, or you did without music. The song that's stuck in my head, though is a very old one, and the song they end each episode with, Over the Hills and Far Away. John Tams added stanzas for some of the episodes. I've even gone so far as to copy down the damned song.
Over the Hills and Far Away - John Tams & Dominic Muldowney

Here’s forty shillings on the drum
To those who'll volunteer to come,
To ‘list and fight the foe today
Over the Hills and far away.

O’er the hills and o’er the main
Through Flanders, Portugal and Spain.
King George commands and we obey
Over the hills to far away.

Mid smoke and fire, shot and shell,
And to the very walls of hell,
But we shall stand and we shall stay
Over the hills and far away.


Though I may travel far from Spain
A part of me shall still remain,
For you are with me night and day
And over the hills and far away.


When Evil stalks upon the land
I’ll neither hold nor stay me hand
But fight to win a better day,
Over the hills and far away.


Let kings and tyrants come and go,
I’ll stand adjudged by what I know.
A soldiers life I’ll ne’er gainsay.
Over the hills and far away.


If I should fall to rise no more,
As many comrades did before,
Ask the pipes and drums to play
Over the hills and far away.


Then fall in lads behind the drum
With colours blazing like the sun.
Along the road to come-what-may
Over the hills and far away.

O’er the hills and o’er the main
Through Flanders, Portugal and Spain.
King George commands and we obey
Over the hills and far away.
Here's a video compilation done by someone even worse off than me:

I wouldn't be surprised if this is the closest thing most Brits AND most Americans get to any knowledge about the Napoleonic wars. It certainly is for me.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Is it Time?

Is it Time?

I've seen this comment, or one very much like it, several places around the Web:
Only one solution… if the bastards have no money, they can not steal it. Tax revolt 2010. Don’t send the IRS anything. Pass it on.
This is what Billy Beck has been advocating for as long as I've been reading him. It's actually a pretty good idea, but it depends on significant buy-in by the tax-paying population - enough that imprisoning us becomes a significant problem, and confiscating our property must be made as difficult as possible. Onesy-twoseys like Wesley Snipes are easy "example" targets. Flood the system with these cases, and that's a problem of a different order.

So now we have unemployment at about 10%. Is ten percent of the population enough? Would it take twenty? Twenty-five? And what exactly happens when the .govs - Federal, state and local - can't fund their daily operations, much less their pyramid schemes? "Starve the beast" is the challenge, but we all have a pretty good idea of what a starving beast can do.

I've said previously that one thing that struck me on my first reading of Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress was that after the plotters decided to revolt against the Lunar Authority, the first thing they did was go about making the lives of their fellow citizens worse, and antagonizing that government to be the agent of that worsening. It was necessary in order to motivate the majority of the population to stand up and say "ENOUGH!"

A tax-revolt won't do that. It'll be people "not paying their fair share" etc, etc. But would it be possible for people to just drop off the IRS radar entirely? No principled stand, middle finger held high, just walk away. How would they go about doing that? CAN a significant chunk of the contributors to this society "go Galt"? What would be the actual result?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

Hat tip to LabRat for this one. The post it comes from is short, but you do need to read the whole thing for context:
The real problem for the women of our society isn't a lack of self-esteem. It's a lack of weapons.

And no, I'm not kidding. -- The Last Psychiatrist, The APA is Saying the Media is Making Women Really Hot

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Yes, That's It Exactly

Yes, That's It Exactly
These details are obnoxious not merely in and of themselves but because they tell us the truth about where we’re headed: Think of the way almost every Big Government project bursts its bodice and winds up bigger and more bloated than its creators allegedly foresaw. In this instance, the stays come pre-loosened, and studded with loopholes. Because the Democrat operators — the Nancy Pelosis and Barney Franks — know that what matters is to get something, anything across the river, and then burn the bridge behind you. -- Mark Steyn, National Review Online: Cross the River, Burn the Bridge Behind You
As always with Steyn, read the whole thing.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Another from

Edited to add:

A Christmas Poem for All Americans

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree, I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!"
"Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts,
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light,
Then he sighed and he said, "It's really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam,
And now it's my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile."

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white and blue. . . an American flag.
"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home,
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother
who stand at the front against any and all,
to ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.
So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."

"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son"
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone.
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled
is payment enough, and with that we will trust.
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

Michael Marks
December 7, 2000

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

Notwithstanding the previous entry, here's today's QotD:
Our entire political system is based on a system of payoffs. When the Republicans have the control, the payoffs are under the table, and go to men of wealth to buy their allegiance. When the Democrats have control, the payoffs are out in the open, go towards increasing the size and power of government, and buying the allegiance of the underclass.

As far as my 66 years has taken me, that's the only difference I can divine between the application of the two political philosophies in our time.

BTW, people, there is not one word of this system in the writings of our forefathers who made the rules we supposedly live by.

-- Rivrdog, Kernel O'Truth
As always, RTWT.



I don't know if it's the holidays or being unemployed or a combination of both, or something else entirely, but I haven't got the urge to blog. I still have an Überpost marinating, but I can't work up the enthusiasm to plunge into it and finish. Anyway, Christmas is just a couple of days away, and I don't see this lifting for a bit, so don't expect to see much from me for the next several days.

Thanks for dropping by.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I Could Make a FORTUNE!

I Could Make a FORTUNE!

British expat Phil B. emailed me this:

(Click to embiggen)

Now that's quality snark right there, I don't care who you are!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Quote of the Day - Repeating History Division

I am not a historian or a statistician. Nonetheless I had been skimming Climate Audit for a couple of years and knew enough to write, in January 2009, "Michael Mann should be in prison." I continue to enthusiastically endorse this view. I also do know a bit about the past.

And the past has sent me its report on Climategate. It is a short message - quite pithy - full of punch. I transcribed it this week from my favorite Ouija board. At the planchette: me and my 2-year-old daughter, Sibyl.

After data corrections, the text reads:

Your entire system of government is incurably insane.
-- Unqualified Reservations - Climategate: history's message
I am reminded by this of The Geek with a .45's observation upon deciding to get the hell out of Dodge New Jersey,
"Entire Societies Can and Have Gone Stark Raving Batshit Fucking Insane."

For some, it was brief and temporary, and for others, it was more or less a permanent state of affairs.
His quote was in the context of WWII, but he expanded it to the current government (and accepting populace) of New Jersey. And it's gone beyond just New Jersey and California.

Mencius Moldbug's post is unquestionably of Überpost status, but do give it a thorough read. (Edited to add: I think Climategate: history's message is the best post I've read in years. It's epic-length, but worth your time.) And re-peruse the Geek's piece.

And think.

"A Monstrosity" is Right

"A Monstrosity" is Right
"This bill is a monstrosity," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). "This is not renaming the post office. Make no mistake -- this bill will reshape our nation and our lives." - WaPo, Deal on health bill is reached
And who didn't see this coming?
Unless the GOP yields, the bill is expected to pass in a final Senate vote at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Negotiations to merge the bill with the House version would begin early next month.
So it's still not - quite - a done deal, but it might as well be. They are going to shove this power-grab down our throats.
Many liberals, however, were bitterly disappointed with the bargains Reid struck to win support from moderates in his caucus, any member of which could seek alterations in exchange for his or her support. Democratic leaders dropped a government insurance option and the idea of expanding Medicare to younger Americans. Reid also omitted language that would have eliminated the federal antitrust exemption for health insurers -- another nonstarter for Nelson.
Like this is going to be the final version of the bill, and it will never, ever be modified by lawmakers in the future?
Congressional budget analysts reported Saturday that the revised package would not worsen the nation's fiscal situation, as GOP critics have warned. The analysts said the updated Senate bill would spend $871 billion over the next decade to extend coverage to more than 31 million Americans by dramatically expanding Medicaid, and by offering federal subsidies to those who lack affordable coverage through employers.

Those costs would be more than covered by nearly $400 billion in new taxes over the next decade and by nearly $500 billion in spending reductions, primarily cuts to Medicare, the federal health program for people 65 and older. All told, the package would reduce federal budget deficits by $132 billion by 2019, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Over the long term, the analysts predicted, the package could reduce budget deficits even more sharply, slicing as much as $1.3 trillion from projected deficits between 2019 and 2029. That would represent a significant improvement in long-run savings compared with the bill approved by the House and a measure previously crafted by Reid.
If you believe any of that, I have the title to this bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to talk to you about. "Spending reductions" on Medicare? On what planet? Oh no, there are powerful constituencies who are loath to see their particular ox gored. Cost-cutting and deficit reduction my aching ass.

And it will never, ever be repealed. Once seized, governments do not yield power easily.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Your Moment of Zen - Otherworldy Edition

Your Moment of Zen - Otherworldy Edition

Click for wallpaper sized version.

Original artwork of where I can see myself spending a LOT of time.


Just, wow.

Brace Yourselves, We're Going In

Well, it looks like today is the day I convert my comment software from HaloScan to Echo.

Be still, my beating heart.

I guess we'll see if six and a half years of comments - at present a hair under 40,000 - transfers over. I'm not holding my breath on that one.

The Proper Response

The Proper Response

Robert Heinlein's character Lazarus Long once said:
The correct way to punctuate a sentence that starts: “Of course It is none of my business but--” is to place a period after the word “but.” Don’t use excessive force in supplying such moron with a period. Cutting his throat is only a momentary pleasure and is bound to get you talked about.
xkcd illustrates that aphorism this morning:

I imagine there are not enough excavators in Copenhagen to do the job, though.

Perhaps steamrollers would suffice?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

More FUD

More FUD

That's Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt.

Peruse the following:
"Consider whether it is in the best interests of America’s future to accept or reject the following transformations inherent in what Obama describes as “change we can believe in:”

-From a nation of investors to a nation of debtors.
-From a free market economy to a government-run economy.
-From a value system that prizes personal independence to a political system that fosters personal dependency.
-From a society where wealth accumulation, job creation and innovation are aspirations, to a society where wealth redistribution, high unemployment and stagnation are expectations.
-From a country confident that it is worthy of emulation to a country apologetic about its actions, beliefs and systems.
-From a military power that punches hard in the fight for freedom to a military that is sometimes commanded to pull its punches in the war against terrorism.
-From a quest to achieve the correct political course at the right cost to a quest to achieve the politically correct course at any cost.
-From a competitive environment where failure is part of a course correction to a government-controlled environment where the course of failure produces bailouts, handouts, payouts and layabouts
-From a public debate that is challenging because of strongly-held views to a public debate that is stifled because only one party’s views are challenged.
-From a country that celebrates strength and competes to a country that cultivates enervation and retreats."
That's from the post Basic Disbelief quoted by the hilariously named "FREUDIANSLIPNSLIDE" from a FOX News op-ed. I invite you to read his take on it.

I Can't Wait to Miss This One

I Can't Wait to Miss This One
Avatar is every militant global warming supporter’s dream come true as the invading, technology-worshiping, environment-ravaging humans are set upon by an angry planet and its noble inhabitants. But the film’s message suffers mightily under the weight of mind-boggling hypocrisy. Cameron’s story clearly curses the proliferation of human technology. In Avatar, the science and machinery of humankind leads to soulless violence and destruction. It only serves to pollute the primitive but pristine paradise of Pandora.

Of course, without centuries of development in science and technology, the film putting forth this simple-minded, self-loathing worldview wouldn’t exist. You’d imagine Cameron himself would be bored to tears on the planet he created.

There are no movies on Pandora, so he’d be out of a job.
That's from Popular Science magazine's review of Avatar.

I think I'll pass.

Quote of the Day - Linkery Edition

Just go read the whole thing. It's not excerptable.

I See Chuck Asay Knows Markadelphia

(h/t: Mostly Cajun)

I WILL NOT Register

I WILL NOT Register

Jay gives another example of why.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Quote of the Day - "Oh HELL Yes!" Edition

Quote of the Day - "Oh HELL Yes!" Edition

Via Vanderleun:
Now, I really don’t care if you overeat, smoke like a chimney, hump like a bunny or forget to lock the safety mechanism on your pistol as you jam it in your waistband. Fine by me. And as a laissez-faire social-libertarian live-and-let-live kind of person, I would never under normal circumstances condemn anyone for any of the behaviors listed above. That is: Until the bill for your stupidity shows up in my mailbox. Then suddenly, I’m forced to care about what you do, because I’m being forced to pay for the consequences.


Instituting a single-payer universal health-care system, or even a watered-down version as the government is now proposing, compels me to become a meddlesome busybody in your personal choices. And it will compel you to become a meddlesome busybody in everyone else’s personal choices. It forever douses the beautiful flame of individualism — freedom to act without interference, just so long as you are ready to accept the consequences, whatever they may be.
(Emphasis in original.)

That's from Zomblog - Why America Hates Universal Health Care: The Real Reason. Read the whole thing. (Some accompanying photos are very NSFW.) Burn it into your frontal lobes with a soldering pencil - but don't send me the resulting doctor bills.

The Bill of Rights

Remember those? They came into effect today, Dec. 15, 1791. They are as follows:
Amendment 1: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That freedom of speech and assembly thing? Not so much.
Amendment 2: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
We're doing somewhat better on this one, but McDonald v. Chicago will tell us whether that will continue, I think.
Amendment 3: No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Not a lot of applicability with this one, but it has at least received an "incorporation" decision - the 2nd Circuit's Engblom v Carey in 1982.
Amendment 4: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The War on (Some) Drugs has pretty much gutted this one. "Asset forfeiture," warrantless searches, etc.
Amendment 5: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Ah, yes. "Public use." Shall we discuss the Kelo decision?
Amendment 6: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
"Speedy"? It often takes years for cases to come to trial. "Impartial jury"? Yeah, right. Pull my other one - it has bells on it. As for the rest of it, can you say "Mike Nifong"? "Patrick Fitzgerald"? How many haven't been caught abusing the system?
Amendment 7: In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Lawsuits. Oy veh. Can you say "Tort reform"? Good idea, but abused to incredible extents.
Amendment 8: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Several somebodies have somehow decided that the death penalty is "cruel and unusual," even though the 5th Amendment includes deprivation of life through due process of law. Now I'm not a fan of government, believing that pretty much everything it does, it does poorly, but there are those cases that are so heinous and guilt so unquestionable that I have absolutely no problem with taking the perp out behind the courthouse and blowing his damned head off upon the announcement of "guilty!" by the jury. Still, can't argue with the Amendment itself, and we haven't screwed this one up too badly.
Amendment 9: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Ah, the "inkblot." Madison's nice idea to cover James Irdell's objections, but it hasn't worked out all that well. We have emanations from Constitutional penumbras producing some rights, but we have had to fight for decades to preserve an enumerated one. As Ninth Circuit judge Alex Kozinski has put it,
Judges know very well how to read the Constitution broadly when they are sympathetic to the right being asserted. We have held, without much ado, that "speech, or . . . the press" also means the Internet...and that "persons, houses, papers, and effects" also means public telephone booths....When a particular right comports especially well with our notions of good social policy, we build magnificent legal edifices on elliptical constitutional phrases - or even the white spaces between lines of constitutional text. But...when we're none too keen on a particular constitutional guarantee, we can be equally ingenious in burying language that is incontrovertibly there.
Madison's attempt has not been particularly successful at preserving our unenumerated rights.
Amendment 10: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
And this one has failed totally. As Professor Randy Barnett has put it, America has gone from a sea of liberty with islands of government power, to a sea of government power with sinking islands of liberty. The Federal government has seized powers not delegated to it, and in some cases even prohibited to it.

As Alexis de Tocqueville warned, once the Congress learned it could bribe the public with the public's money, it was all over.

Happy Bill of Rights day!

Sorry about the rant. I'm just in that kind of mood.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Quote of the Day - Recession Edition

Quote of the Day - Recession Edition
I am not so worried about the recession, it’s the recovery that terrifies me, given looming energy hikes, inflation and interest sure to rise—overseen by a government intent on redistributing income. - Victor Davis Hanson, Works and Days, Is America a Deer in the Headlights?
C'mon, Victor, everybody knows that "spread(ing) the wealth around is good for everybody." It's economic justice!

Edited to add this tidbit:
After only 11 months of Barack Obama, nearly half the country polls that it would prefer instead the old bogeyman George Bush. The poor media is equally confused. It has two loyalties: 1) it likes, for social reasons alone, to be liberal; 2) but it also is popularity-driven and has no real independent judgment or core belief.

The result is that it wants to keep promoting Obama, but not if his popularity sinks to 40%. Then it too will pile on, and we will see all sorts of 'insightful' analyses proclaiming that this pundit or that reporter saw these Obama flaws "all along."
Give that man a kewpie doll!

Oh hell, this too:
Spiraling public debt, a sinking currency, and a bankrupt popular culture are simply symptoms when the body politic no longer adheres to a time-honored protocol of proven success. Ask ourselves—are we more hard-working, more lawful, more prudent, more independent—or less—than our grandparents? Can we say that we have on average lived more upright lives, both more productive and moral, than our grandparents? If in 50% of the cases, the answer is no, then we can begin to see the problem.

When schools cannot guarantee that their graduates are literate, know basic math, and have some sense of being American—the rights and responsibilities of citizenship—then those, rich or poor, who seek government assistance and violate the protocols will grow, and those able to pay sufficient taxes for them and who follow the letter of the law will shrink.

Kewpie doll, hell. He gets the giant stuffed animal of his choice.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Matter of Faith

A Matter of Faith

Via Instapundit, and Lord Monckton interviews a member of Greenpeace and exposes what the AGW forces have done to the world through the force of faith:

Casa Grande - 12/09

Well, there was a nice, intimate turnout of gun-nuts for the shoot yesterday. Me, my boomershoot partner Dusty, Mike - one of the people I've taken shooting previously, John OC and his gracious and indulgent fiance, Exurban Kevin, and Eseell.

I brought my camera, but for once I spent more time shooting firearms than the breeze or the camera, so here's what little I did take.

Joe Huffman would be disappointed:

We took the five rightmost shooting benches:

Here's (left to right) Kevin, Mike, Dusty, and John:

And here's Kevin posing with his AR:

We did have a visitor. I'll have you know, ELVIS LIVES!

Elvis and his dad were at the range for only the second time. Elvis has a cut-down Marlin Model 60 (post-Pelleteri model) he's already pretty good with. I offered to let him shoot my M1 Carbine, but he wasn't quite ready for that. His dad said "Next year!"

I do plan on doing this again. I hope to see them there!

Oh, and lunch at Ochoa's was excellent.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

From My Brother

From My Brother

A guy who is not all that politically involved, in an email titled "In humor there's truth":


Quote of the Day - Global Warming Edition

Quote of the Day - Global Warming Edition
Man-made global warming is true. In spite of the more than 700 scientists who doubt it, and in spite of Climategate, where the Hadley Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia courageously falsified data, lied, and suppressed facts in the name of truth.

And everyone must believe this truth, or there will never be the consensus necessary to save the world by destroying its economy.

-- Let’s have an inquisition, Colin Cohen, When Falls the Coliseum

Friday, December 11, 2009

Quote of the Day - Global Socialism Edition

Quote of the Day - Global Socialism Edition

From Charles Krauthammer:
The idea of essentially taxing hardworking citizens of the democracies to fill the treasuries of Third World kleptocracies went nowhere, thanks mainly to Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher (and the debt crisis of the early '80s). They put a stake through the enterprise.

But such dreams never die.

Second Interview

Second Interview

Well, in about an hour I will be having my second interview with XYZ Engineering Co. (name changed to protect whoever) where I've been told in no uncertain terms "we want to hire you" but they suffer from the same problem my previous employer had - no billable hours for me. It's a chicken & egg thing, or perhaps cart-before-horse. Everything looks good for the first quarter of 2010, but realistically we're talking February before people start cutting purchase orders.

I fully expect to be employed again by the end of January, but sooner would be better.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Quote of the Day - Small Business Edition

Quote of the Day - Small Business Edition

A tweet from Hunter Cressall, author of one of my favorite webcomics, Vexxarr:
As a small business let me say this: This week's "jobs summit" says all I need to know about this Whitehouse. They FAILED economics.
Almost all politicians do.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

They would have never bothered her if she were on welfare

They Would Have Never Bothered Her if She Were on Welfare

Unbelievable. No, actually, too believable. I found this at The title of this post comes from the first response to the original post:
$10 an hour with 2 kids? IRS pounces

Rachel Porcaro knows she's hardly rich. When you're a single mom making 10 bucks an hour, you don't need government experts to tell you how broke you are.

Rachel Porcaro knows she's hardly rich. When you're a single mom making 10 bucks an hour, you don't need government experts to tell you how broke you are.

But that's what happened. The government not only told Porcaro she was poor. They said she was too poor to make it in Seattle.

It all started a year ago, when Porcaro, a 32-year-old mom with two boys, was summoned to the Seattle office of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). She had been flagged for an audit.

She couldn't believe it. She made $18,992 the previous year cutting hair at Supercuts. A few hundred of that she spent to have her taxes prepared by H&R Block.

"I asked the IRS lady straight upfront — 'I don't have anything, why are you auditing me?' " Porcaro recalled. "I said, 'Why me, when I don't own a home, a business, a car?' "

The answer stunned both Porcaro and the private tax specialist her dad had gotten to help her.

"They showed us a spreadsheet of incomes in the Seattle area," says Dante Driver, an accountant at Seattle's G.A. Michael and Co. "The auditor said, 'You made eighteen thousand, and our data show a family of three needs at least thirty-six thousand to get by in Seattle."

"They thought she must have unreported income. That she was hiding something. Basically they were auditing her for not making enough money."
RTWT. It gets worse.

But I'll skip to the dénouement:
Rachel says an irony of her year in tax hell is that the IRS is right about one thing — you can't get by in Seattle on what she makes. That's why she's living with her parents. To try to make a life in our shimmering city without relying on welfare, food stamps or other public assistance.

"We're an Italian family," she said. "We're surviving as a tribe. It seems like we got punished for that."
Of course you did. Can't have the plebes fending for themselves. The next thing you know, they'll start thinking that they don't need government.

At the time of this posting, there are 420 comments on the original story. The natives seem restless.

A Gun and the Willingness to Use It

A Gun and the Willingness to Use It

Vanderleun has the sound track of a 911 call from a woman in Lincoln County, Oklahoma. Donna Jackson had a home intruder who would not stop trying to get in. Listen to the whole thing.

She had a gun. She was willing to use it to defend herself - "I have a shotgun, and I will use it."

"He's breaking the window, I'm going to kill him."

"He looks like an older man. I don't want to kill him."

She was calm, clear and collected until after she pulled the trigger.

Having a gun doesn't mean you're safe. As Col. Cooper put it, owning a guitar doesn't make you a musician, either. You need to be willing and able. Donna Jackson met all three conditions. She survived the confrontation. Too many don't.

The perp was Billy Dean Riley, and was apparently high or drunk. He had a fairly long record of drug and alcohol abuse.

Remember this tape the next time someone tells you that people don't need guns for self defense and can depend on the State to save them.

I Thought I was Being Amusing

I Thought I was Being Amusing

But there seems to be no level of absurdity the AGW faithful won't descend to:

"Hopenhagen." Srsly.

AZ Blogmeet & Range Trip - It's Still On

AZ Blogmeet & Range Trip - It's Still On!

Despite my change in employment status, the Saturday, December 12 range trip and blogmeet are still a go, and I hope to see all six or eight of you there. It looks like Saturday is going to be a bit chilly and possibly damp, so dress warmly. This is still Arizona, so bring plenty to drink (non-alcoholic, of course). Since we're going to shoot until about 1:00PM or so, you might also want to bring a snack of some kind.

For those who have never been there, the Elsy Pearson Public Shooting Range is quite easy to get to:
From either the direction of Phoenix or Tucson, take I-10 towards the I-8 interchange.

Take Exit 199 to I-8 West

The first exit you come to on I-8 is Exit 174 for Trekell Rd. Exit there.

Turn left and go about 2-3 minutes. (Note, the speed limit through the residential area there is 25.) Proceed on through the first minor intersection, and keep your eyes on the left side of the road for a sign for the Casa Grande Trap Club.

Turn left again at W. Arica Rd. The road turns to dirt here, so your vehicle will get dirty. Go for another 2-3 minutes. W. Arica Rd. intersects Isom Rd. at the trap range.

Turn right on S. Isom Rd. Go for a minute or two, and you will pass the Casa Grande police range on your left, and immediately after that will be the Public range.
Here's a picture of how to get there:

And one showing the three ranges a bit better:

The range opens at 7:00AM. As I said, it is my intention to be there when it opens so I can set up my steel targets.

One further note: While the range has some very nice concrete shooting benches, there are NO CHAIRS. If you want to sit down, BRING A CHAIR or something to sit on.

Edited to add: Here's my previous list of things-to-bring-&-do:
1) It is an unsupervised range - there are no Range Officers, so we have to do that ourselves. I expect everyone to be familiar with the Four Rules. I also expect everyone to be familiar with firing range etiquette.

2) There is no potable water at the range. Bring fluids. (But no alcohol.)

3) There is, at least, a Porta-Potty on site now. There didn't used to be. I suggest that someone bring some toilet paper, just in case. And hand-sanitizer, too.

4) Even though it's late fall, and the firing line is covered, Mr. Sun is nasty. Bring sunscreen.

5) There are no targets nor target stands at this range. You can bring anything you're willing to clean up as a target (exceptions being glass and explosive targets - that's posted). As I said, I'll be bringing my steel targets, and everyone is welcome to shoot them. I'll also be bringing a target stand for paper targets. If you go out to pick something up, don't get the "stick in the ground" type target stands. The ground out there is caliche, and about as hard as cement.

6) There are three ranges to shoot from, a 100 yard range with covered shooting benches, a 300 yard range with covered benches, and a 25 yard range with no benches, but the firing line is covered too. I figure we'll take up one end of the 300 yard range. In addition, the backstop is a range of mountains. About 600 yards downrange on the side of the mountain someone has put some steel targets, so if you bring something with some reach, you have something to shoot at.

7) Sorry, but they don't allow .50BMG at this range. I suppose it's just slightly possible to loft a 750 grain .50 caliber projectile over the mountain range backstop and drop it onto Interstate 8, so they're verboten.
End edit.

At about 1:00 we will pack it in and head to Ochoa's. It's just off Trekell Rd. The address is 512 East Cottonwood Lane. Get back to Trekell Rd., turn right (North) and drive until you hit Cottonwood Ln. Turn left and if you get to Casa Grande Ave., you went too far. It's back a bit off the road on the North (right) side of the street just before Casa Grande Ave.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Wishful Thinking

Wishful Thinking

But I LIKE how this guy thinks!

Well, THAT Sucks

Oh Boy! I've just joined the ranks of the unemployed. Due to lack of work, the entire Controls staff of my office (all three of us) just got laid off.

However, I do have an interview tomorrow morning. I'm not all that concerned about getting another job, but you have to admit, the timing SUCKS.

Your Moment of Zen

Your Moment of Zen

The last one scrolled off the front page, time for a new one (and I need it):

That's from Zion National Park, Utah.

Hopenchangen Hopenhagen Carbonhagen

Hopenchangen Hopenhagen Carbonhagen

So Obamateur is flying to Carbonhagen on his way to pick up his Nobel Peace Prize to inspire other World Leaders™ to Do the Right Thing© and cut per capita CO2 emissions back to 19th Century levels in order to Save the Planet!©® In the mean time, the Imperial Senate Democrats are preparing to throw their female constituency under the bus® by prohibiting Federal funds from being used to pay for abortions just so they can get Health Care Reform©® passed and fvck the rest of us, too.

Just when do the actions of our Congressweasels fall to the level of "a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object...a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism"?

Just askin'.

UPDATE: Who needs Carbonhagen? The EPA can just make sh!t up as they go!

Remembering Pearl Harbor Day

Sixty-eight years ago today, Japanese Naval aircraft attacked Pearl Harbor and surrounding Army and Marine air bases on the islands of Hawaii, precipitating America's entry into World War II. From an article in Sunday's Houston Chronicle about the addition of a Japanese Navy mini-sub to the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredricksburg, Texas (birthplace of Adm. Chester Nimitz):
The youngest of the World War II veterans are now in their 80s and it's estimated less than 1 million Pacific war combatants, primarily from the Navy and Marine Corps, are alive.

I think I'd like to visit that museum.

Quote of the Day - Chicken Little Edition

This time it's me, paraphrasing what I've seen in several places recently:
"Environmentalism" is all about CONTROL. You can tell because no matter what the dire warning is - "Climate Change" (née Anthropogenic Global Warming), Global Cooling (The coming Ice Age), the Population Bomb (which Ehrlich is still not ashamed of [read that - how can someone be so wrong for so long and still hold a professorship?]), Nuclear Winter, and to a lesser extent Silent Spring and the Ozone Hole - the solution is ALWAYS THE SAME: CONTROL OF OUR LIVES AND CONTROL OF OUR MONEY BY OUR "INTELLECTUAL SUPERIORS," THE MORONS WE PUT IN PUBLIC OFFICE AND THE "EXPERTS" THEY APPOINT.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Quote of the Day - California Edition

Quote of the Day - California Edition

The State of California has been mismanaged literally for decades now. Governor Gray Davis was recalled because of it, and Arnold "The Governator" Schwarzenegger got himself elected - twice! - to the Captaincy of the Titanic on the promise that he could fix it.

He failed, because the electorate cannot figure out that you cannot spend money you don't have - at least not for very long, and Ahnold refuses to unsheathe the Clue-Bat™ on them.

He wants to keep getting re-elected (to something, anyway.)

So when I ran across this while perusing the internet this afternoon, I knew it would make the perfect QotD:
Mark's one sentence description of California:

California: where the Anarchists sound like Libertarians, the Libertarians sound like Republicans, the Republicans sound like Democrats and the Democrats sound like Leon Trotsky, and about the only saving grace is that they do not actually get all the government they pay for.
Can I get an "AMEN!"?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Gun You Carry

. . . when you can't carry a gun.

I live in Arizona. It tends to be a bit warm here nine months out of the year. And (to put it mildly) I'm on the husky side. My preferred carry piece is a 1911, but it's tough (for me) to wear clothes that will adequately conceal such a piece, whether it's my full-sized Kimber Classic, my Para USA Commander-sized Gunblog 45, or my Kimber Ultra CDPII.

Well, conceal it and still give me reasonable access to it.

Recently I've been toting a S&W Model 60 2" snubbie .38 revolver in the front pocket of my jeans, but it's just a little bit lumpy. My (ex-)boss purchased a Kel-Tec PF9 a while back, and I found that I really liked it - 7+1 rounds of full-house 9mm (+P rated, but not as a steady diet) in a pretty tiny package that still offered reasonable sights.

I picked one up a couple of days ago. I still need to do a "fluff & buff" on it, then run a couple hundred rounds through it, but I think this will easily fill the bill for the gun I carry when I can't carry a gun. Mine looks just like this one:

The slide is hard-chromed on mine.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Get Offa My Lawn

Get Offa My Lawn!

Borepatch, creator of the Clippy cartoon that's drawn so much traffic to TSM over the last couple of days (odd how that works, isn't it?) has been on top of the AGW thing for a while, and has some more snark to bring. But on a more serious note, he asks (and answers) the question, Should you be a Global Warming Skeptic?

Worth your time.

What Socialism Looks Like

What Socialism Looks Like

From In Iraq Now (at 56):
In a Socialist system, all the money is collective--there is one budget. Just like us. There is an Army budget. If pay goes up, procurementgoes down. The opposite is also true. Reduction in Force (the Army's version of layoffs) means more money for equipment.

Medical care is free, or the same price for all, but no one gets to choose their doctor. Just like the Army.

In a Socialist system everyone gets the same pay if they have the same rank, regardless of their productivity. Unions work this way. In the Army an E4 with four years service who is a first-rate Blackhawk crew chief, fit, and fully qualified makes exactly the same pay as an E4 with four years service who is truck driver flunked the PT Test and still can't fill out a maintenance inspection form.

And also about Charlie's Angels.

Thursday, December 03, 2009



Congressional Candidate Lieutenant Colonel Allen West:

Hell yeah. I'd vote for him in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

First "Law Abiding Citizen" now "Harry Brown"

First "Law Abiding Citizen" now "Harry Brown"

Watch the trailer:

It was supposed to release in the US on 11/6/09, but I can't find it showing anywhere. It's also supposed to have opened in the UK on 11/11. Someone's seen it, because there are currently 40 User Comments at IMDB. This is typical:
This film accurately depicts life in modern Britain today.

Not the image of a flowing rolling countryside of middle class England which is often depicted in typical international films but one of an inner city "sink" estate - Elephant & Castle in London - with all of its associated problems.

I saw the film last night and it brought back all the memories I have of having lived in similar circumstances.

Michael Caine is excellent, this is probably one of his best films and I expect film nominations for his role.

The film gives a gritty but realistic view of the life most people live on the sink estates of Britain, all are there through no choice of their own, but some are aware of the conditions they are forced to live in.

I don't think we'll see the British government promoting this film as it portraits the country in a very bad light, though, if you are not from Britain and would like a taste of what some of us have to put up with I recommend you see this film.
I'd like to see it.

Interesting Question

Interesting Question
This is a serious question to all readers of The Market Ticker.

Where is your personal breaking point?

No, I'm not asking how far you have to be pushed before you "go postal" and commit random acts of violence. That's not a question to ask in polite company, even though for virtually everyone, there is such a point.

No, I'm asking how much abuse you have to have personally served upon you by the banksters and other scam artists in this country before you have had enough, and start doing unto the other guy - because he has done you.

-- The Market Ticker, Where's the Breaking Point?
RTWT, and the links.

The natives are getting restless. Billy Beck gives us the Quote of the Day:
I am beginning to consider this year since January as a fairly close comparison to events elsewhere in 1917, with the temporal slipped-disk of George Bush as Alexander Kerensky for eight years. If we take Obama as the first post-American president, then Bush was the president of a provisional government. In any case, the slow-motion revolution of Amsoc is no longer slow-motion. We're living a moment in history that will reverberate through history as the turn of a great wheel, into precisely what cannot be completely foretold right now, but it must surely be enormous in its consequences.

We are more and more in it, every day, and none it is anything good for anyone. As the struggle intensifies, every person's principles will be more clearly illuminated, right down to the street-level where you live. Pay close attention, and keep both hands on the wheel.

I'm a Smart Engineer

I'm a Smart Engineer

I love xkcd.

Best Joke I've Heard in a While

Best Joke I've Heard in a While
What's the difference between a golf ball and a Cadillac Escalade?

Tiger Woods can drive a golf ball 400 yards.

I Miss Michael Crichton

I Miss Michael Crichton

He was a very rare voice of intelligence and reason.

Found at Theo Spark.

I Can Haz M14

I Can Haz M14!

Cue the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for a rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus! Just over a year ago I sent a substantial check to Ted Brown at the recommendation of my readers, and I waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

I finally got good news. My LRB M25 rear-lugged receiver shipped last Wednesday and should be at Ted's shop no later than the end of this week. My rifle is next in line for assembly!

I already have a scope (the Leupold Mk 4 LR/T I had on the Remington) and 11 magazines. The receiver comes with a built-in Weaver base:

All I need to get is some LaRue QD rings, I think, and load up some ammo.

I shouldn't have to wait more than another month or so . . .

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

AZ Blogmeet & Range Trip - Update

AZ Blogmeet & Range Trip - Update

OK, Saturday December 12 is the agreed-upon date by the majority of respondents. I've had one (1) recommendation for the after-range gathering, Ochoa's in Casa Grande on Cottonwood lane, between Pinal Ave and Trekell Rd. Since the range is just off Trekell, finding it shouldn't be hard. The description was as follows:
Family owned and family recipies. They have been a Casa Grande institution for decades. The hot sauce is hot, the enchilada sauce is smooth and the Green Chile is the best! They have tables in the back room for large groups.
Next question is: how large? How many people are planning to attend the range trip and noshing? Here's a new poll:

The poll only allows one vote per computer, so if you're bringing family/friends, please let me know in the comments.

Again, the range opens at 07:00, and I figure we'll shoot until about 1:00PM, then go eat, drink, and be merry for a couple of hours at least.

So who's in?


Reader Russ linked to this:

All of the above?

UPDATE: The original creator of the artwork is Borepatch, Another gunblogger! Credit where credit is due!

This Made Me LOL

This Made Me LOL

I'm such a Geek.

(That's today's Argyle Sweater cartoon.)