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

Sunday, February 28, 2010


I sat down this afternoon, put the latest issue of Vicious Circle on WinAmp, and plowed through the last of my .30 Carbine components. I ran out powder with 50 cases left to load. So now I've got the better part of 920 rounds of 110 grain .30 Carbine softpoints (950 total minus the thirty or so test rounds I fired) either loaded in magazines, or loose in a cardboard-lined .30 caliber ammo can.

A heavy .30 caliber ammo can.

I've got 1,000 155 grain Lapua Scenar .30 caliber bullets coming from Graf & Sons, and 500 M118 LR 7.62 cases waiting for half of 'em. I may be picking up another 500 cases from GI Brass if he still has those in stock next month. These go along with the 300 155 Scenar bullets and 300 Lapua .308 cases I already have, plus I've got a couple hundred 175 SMK's. I managed to score about 10 lbs. of Reloder 15 a while back, and I've got a couple thousand CCI Large Rifle Benchrest primers, so I'm set there.

I've got 1250 .45ACP cases, and I'm planning on ordering a couple thousand Ranier Ballistic 200 grain .45 caliber hollowpoints from Midway next month, too. Primers I've got, but now I need to find an 8lb. jug of Unique. I've got maybe a pound left, which is about enough for 1,000 rounds, but then I'm out.

I'm short of .223 brass, but I've got 1,200 75 grain Hornady HPBT Match bullets, plenty of Varget, and a couple thousand CCI #41 military small rifle primers. I've got about 600 loaded rounds, so fresh brass can wait until April, I think. Scharch is carrying Lake City, new unprimed and uncrimped brass for $200/1000 which is a helluva deal. I may not be able to wait.

I haven't played with my .38 Super much since I got it, but I have 200 147 grain Gold Dots, and I think I may pick up 500 Ranier Ballistics 147 grainers when they become available. Brass is available locally, and I've got a couple hundred already. Don't know about powder for this one yet, and from what I've read, small rifle primers are advised.

In short, I have a LOT of reloading to do, and then I need to take some trips to the range. I think I'm almost set for the rest of the year, anyway.

Damn it's nice to be working again.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Quote of the Day - International Edition

Quote of the Day - International Edition

This isn't the QotD, but it's the lead-in:
When soldiers from any other army, even our allies, entered a town, the people hid in the cellars. When Americans came in, even into German towns, it meant smiles, chocolate bars and C-rations. -- Stephen Ambrose
Here's another:
We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we've done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in, and otherwise we have returned home... to live our own lives in peace. -- Secretary of State Colin Powell
Today's QotD comes from Maj. Said Rahim Hakmal of the Afghan National Army, discussing what he says by radio to members of the Taliban:
"The Taliban will say things like why do you side with the Americans? Why do you sell out your country? You love Obama more than Afghanistan."

Hakmal said the standard response goes something like, "The Americans are here to help our country function again. They don't want to stay. They want to help, then leave. You should help, too."

Then the shooting starts.
They don't want to stay. They want to help, then leave.

Damned straight.

Eric S. Raymond put it well once:
I was traveling in Europe a few years back, and some Euroleftie began blathering in my presence about America's desire to rule the world. "Nonsense," I told him. "You've misunderstood the American character. We're instinctive isolationists at bottom. We don't want to rule the world — we want to be able to ignore it."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Can I Get an "Amen!"?

The Rifleman's Prayer, via Cowboy Blob.

Rights, Again.

Former co-worker Mr. Bill, the Obama supporter who, after the fact, rejected liberalism, sent me an email today:
Sorry to bother, but have been running a few thoughts through my brain recently and wanted to run them by you. I have been thinking about 'rights' and what they really are. Given you are probably the most versed in such subjects of all those I know, I thought you might be willing to discuss your thoughts with me.

To begin with, what is a right? Miriam-Webster defines a right as something a person can make a just claim to. So... what can we make a just claim to? I first started looking at this from an American standpoint, but realized I had to move past that. As American's are rights are only as good as they are recognized by others... which means the list gets really short of what actually are rights. Given that we as a human must have just claim to them, that would imply that all others would agree to that claim. Which means a right is subject to the crowd by which the claim is made. Which means, at least in my mind, that as the crowd increases the likeliness that they will all agree to your claim is less likely.

Moving past the abstract version of a right, I turned to American Rights. Obviously we have the constitution and the Bill of Rights that clearly defines our rights. However, I would argue that, as it was the government that gave us these 'rights' that they could then take them away at will. That for an American to truly have a right to something, even in America, that he/she must have the just claim that his/her fellow Americans agree and support. I could claim I have a right to all the fresh water in the country, but I doubt that many would agree with me... thus I don't have a right to the water. However, let's look at what is defined... I have the right to bare arms. For the most part, my fellow Americans would agree I have the right, but yet there would be those that disagree. Some of those people might even own a business and refuse my right to bear my arms in their establishment. With mere ownership and difference of opinion, they have stripped me of my right. So if the right can be taken away, then how is it really a right so much as just a privilege granted to me by those that would agree with me?

I know you have addressed these issues to great extent on your blog, but I am not sure you covered this outlook. If in fact the 'rights' we are granted by the constitution and the bill of rights are not really rights, but rather privileges... then what expectation can an American have of those privileges simply being taken away at the whim of anyone (or even the government that first granted them) taking them away? And, what recourse would one have against those that resend such privileges? If I grant you the privilege of drinking alcohol in my house, but then change my mind and want you to stop... as it is my house, don't I get to make that decision?

Your thoughts?
Here's my response:
Actually, the multiple essays on the sidebar under "The 'Rights' Discussion" are all about precisely what you're asking. I strongly suggest that you sit down and read them in detail. The point of the original "What is a 'Right'?" essay was that your "Rights" aren't enforceable if your culture does not support them. If you want to keep your rights, you must fight for them and keep them active in the hearts and minds of your fellow citizens.
The six-part exchange I had with mathematics professor Dr. Danny Cline explored the concept of the "realness" of rights, but my slant on it was that the concept of rights isn't a stand-alone thing. I concurred with Ayn Rand that what the concept of "Rights" does is codify ones freedom of action within a society. From a practical standpoint, your rights define what you can do (or others can do to you) without fear of sanction. I don't know if you read last night's post on our withering Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search, but that's an example of what you're talking about.
I am in agreement with Rand on another point - there really is only one, fundamental right: the right to ones own life. All other "real" rights are corollaries to that single right, but how broad those rights are and how well they are protected is fundamentally dependent on the culture in which one lives. Ours is the first (and to my knowledge still the only) culture founded on the concept that the purpose of government is the protection of the rights of individuals, and that failure to live up to that responsibility is grounds to replace that government. Prior to (and to be honest, subsequent to also) the founding of the United States, the purpose of government has always been understood to be maintenance of the power structure that formed said government, and to hell with the rights of the people. The idea that the rights of the individual are the single most important factor in a culture is - truly - revolutionary.
As to your example of a business owner restricting your right to bear arms in his establishment, that's simply a conflict of rights - his property rights versus your right to self-protection. It's an interesting conflict, since he (apparently) doesn't also accept simultaneous responsibility for your protection when he denies you the possession of the tools you've chosen for that duty, but you have the choice not to give him your business, or even go into competition against him. Your right has not actually been taken, but it has been limited. No one has ever said that rights are unlimited - "Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose." What our Bill of Rights was supposed to do was place significant limits on what limitations government could put on our rights, because government is a monopoly - we cannot choose another government or start up one of our own without getting rid of the one under which we currently live. Unfortunately, people are people, and as the various courts have proven over time, we're more than willing to "constitutionalize our personal preferences" when it suits us. This is why, IMHO, education is the battleground it is - if the populace is ignorant, it's much easier to lead them around by the nose - ergo, the best place to undermine a culture is the schools, followed by the media.
Hope this helps.

Quote of the Day - Brave New World Edition

Quote of the Day - Brave New World Edition

From a commenter at Instapundit, this pretty much sums it up for me:
We’re about to become a less wealthy version of the Philippines…NASA can dream all it wants (though, it’s clear from Obama, that he could care less what they dream about), but after the first year of the Obama administration, I’m pretty sure we’ll do well to afford public sewage systems. I love the optimism behind these posts…but seriously. We have a generation of hard times ahead of us, even if we get rid of this monstrous political class we now have. I used to dream of going to space. Since Obama took over, I dream of not dying of consumption in a state run hospital when I’m 60.
And I'm about to turn 48.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Quote of the Day - Politics and Media Edition

Quote of the Day - Politics and Media Edition
the Obama administration could find itself in the uncomfortable position of reconsidering its vows
I bet that's been programmed in as a keyboard shortcut by the tech support departments of the media companies of the world by now. Ctrl-Alt-O.

Posted by: bgates February 24, 2010 at 11:48 AM
That's from the comments to Tom Maguire's JustOneMinute post One Of Obama's Great Achievements May Be Unraveling.

The snark is strong in this one.

Vietnam Virtual Memorial

Vietnam Virtual Memorial

This is the first I've seen of this, a HUGE undertaking - the Virtual Wall, Casualties by Home of Record.

Click on the state, then click on the names for their personal data. A lot of people went to a lot of effort to collect, collate, and present this web page. Wow.

Blogging Update

Blogging Update

There's been a lot going on in the world and I haven't been commenting on it, at least not on the blog. I've been lucky to get one or two (short) posts a day up, and those are pretty much linky, not thinky.

I'm pretty damned busy at work, which is a nice change from the previous several months. I'm working overtime, too, which is eating into my evening hours but funding some stuff that went on hold when I got laid off in December. I'm also trying to catch up on my reading. I've got five or six books that were loaned to me literally months ago I need to finish and return, plus I've got a stack of my own to plow through, and a LONG list I need to acquire.

Anyway, this is just notice that blogging at TSM will remain light for a bit, and at the moment there is no Überpost stewing in my head (dammit).

Carry on.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Can Somebody PLEASE Put a Bullet in This Thing's Chest

Can Somebody PLEASE Put a Bullet in This Thing's Chest?

Michael Ramirez, my favorite political cartoonist, hits another one out of the park:

Quote of the Day - Back-OFF Edition

Quote of the Day - Back-OFF Edition

It's my health, it's my choice.

-- Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams defending his decision to eschew Canada's much-vaunted single-payer health care system and travel across the border for heart surgery in Florida instead.
But, as Mark Steyn observed, it's a choice his government doesn't give him. He had to leave the country to see the doctor he chose.

And the Democrats here can't seem to (or don't care to)grasp the cause of the opposition to "health care reform" here. We know what it will lead to, and WE DON'T WANT IT.

Kudos to Obama

Kudos to Obama

And I mean that seriously.
Fed Loan Guarantees May Boost Nuclear Power Return

$8B loan guarantees for Ga. plants may spur nuclear comeback 30 years after Three Mile Island

More than $8 billion in new federal loan guarantees to build two nuclear reactors in Georgia could be the first step toward a nuclear renaissance in the United States, three decades after the Three Mile Island nuclear accident halted all new reactor orders.

With the nuclear industry poised to begin construction of at least a half dozen plants over the next decade, President Barack Obama announced the first loan guarantees Tuesday, casting them as both economically essential and politically attractive. He called nuclear power a key part of comprehensive energy legislation that assigns a cost to the carbon pollution of fossil fuels, giving utility companies more incentive to turn to cleaner nuclear fuel.

"This is only the beginning," Obama said in designating the new federal financial backing for a pair of reactors in Burke County, Ga., to be built by Atlanta-based Southern Co. Obama's budget would triple — to $54.5 billion — loan guarantees available for new nuclear construction.
Of course, he killed the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage program, but . . .

I wanted to wait a couple of days and see what the liberals had to say about Obama's announcement, and I've been surprised. Eminent nuclear physicist Michael Douglas (star of 1979's The China Syndrome) now supports nuclear power. "(P)ioneering environmentalist Stewart Brand, the founder and editor of the Whole Earth Catalog" - for years an opponent of nuclear power - is now on board.

Hey, the religion of Anthropogenic Global Warming does have an upside!

But I still want my backyard nuke.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Quote of the Day - PSH Edition

This one is by email suggestion. Reader "Cormac" sent the link. Jennifer of In Jennifer's Head brings the snark on the day that concealed-carry in national parks becomes legal. I hope she'll forgive me, but her post is not excerptable, it's of a piece and 100% USDA Prime snark, done rare just like I like it:
Today is the day that all law-abiding gun owners will collectively lose their minds and begin shooting the moment they cross the invisible barrier between national parks and everywhere else. As someone who has passed the sheriff's background check, the OSBI's (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation) background check, the FBI's background check, I intend to avoid any national parks so as to avoid the creeping insanity. I would hate for today to be the day that I break my non-murdering streak.

Thank goodness the law requires me to remove my firearm before entering a school! Just think about the carnage that's been prevented by limiting the freedoms of all those dastardly permit holders.
Bravo, Jennifer, bravo!

Obama Said

Obama Said . . .

. . . during his Primary victory speech,
"This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow . . ."
And he was RIGHT!
Climate scientists withdraw journal claims of rising sea levels

Study claimed in 2009 that sea levels would rise by up to 82cm by the end of century – but the report's author now says true estimate is still unknown

Scientists have been forced to withdraw a study on projected sea level rise due to global warming after finding mistakes that undermined the findings.

The study, published in 2009 in Nature Geoscience, one of the top journals in its field, confirmed the conclusions of the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It used data over the last 22,000 years to predict that sea level would rise by between 7cm and 82cm by the end of the century.
Between 7 and 82cm? Those are the limits of the error bars? And we're supposed to strangle the economic output of Western nations on data not even good enough to produce results THAT bad?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Character Matters

Character Matters

John McCain is running for re-election to his Senate seat in 2010. His primary challenger is former Congressman J.D. Hayworth, currently a radio talk-show host in Phoenix.

McCain is spending a lot of money on radio advertising here in Tucson. At least, I hear a lot of his ads, which are read by an almost whispering woman with a sultry voice. A while back he was running an ad about how Hayworth voted to spend money on "snakes in Guam" - an example of pork-barrel spending typical of regular Republicans, while John "Maverick" McCain would never do such a thing! "Character Matters" is his motto in these ads.

Except the legislation that included the funding for researching "snakes in Guam" was HR1588, The National Defense Authorization Act of 2004 (PDF). The wording in this act was as follows:
Subtitle B— Environmental Provisions Reauthorization and modification of title I of the Sikes Act (sec. 311)

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 311) that would amend section 670f of title 16, United States Code, to reauthorize section 108 of the Sikes Act (Public Law 86– 767), by striking, "fiscal years 1998 through 2003," and in each place it appears inserting "fiscal years 2004 through 2008." The provision would also express a sense of Congress regarding the Department of Defense (DOD) outsourcing of natural resource manager functions. Finally, the provision would establish a five-year DOD pilot program for management, control, and eradication of invasive species on military installations in Guam.

The Senate amendment contained no similar provision.

The Senate recedes with an amendment that would require the Secretary of Defense, to the extent practicable and after consultation with the Secretary of Interior, to incorporate in an Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan the management, control, and eradication of invasive species that are not native to the ecosystem of a military installation in Guam and may harm readiness, the environment, the economy, or human health and safety.
In other words, the Senate version included the same funding.

McCain voted in favor of the Act.

The "Snakes in Guam" ads aren't playing anymore.

Now he's running "French fruit fly" ads. In this one the same sultry-voiced female speaks quietly of how Hayworth voted to fund research into "fruit flys in France." Same kind of argument, Hayworth is obviously no conservative if he votes in favor of this kind of pork-barrel spending, right?

The problem is McCain's used this one before, during his presidential campaign. Only he sent Sarah Palin out to do it:

"Fruit Flies in Paris France" - this came, apparently, from the Citizens Against Government Waste "Pig Book" for fiscal year 2008.

One problem, though. J.D. Hayworth left office January 3, 2007. He wasn't around to vote on that bill.

Now the sum total of these two pieces of pork was less than $1,000,000.

McCain voted in favor of the $700,000,000,000 BAILOUT bill.

Yes, character matters. And McCain no longer has any. I wouldn't vote for the guy for dog catcher.

I'm not a big fan of Hayworth, but I hope he wins.

I Watched Glenn Beck's CPAC Speech

I Watched Glenn Beck's CPAC Speech

Think what you will of the guy, I have only this to say about his speech:

Reasoned Discourse

Reasoned Discourse

I appear to have offended Markaphasia. Apparently through an act of omission - I haven't written anything condemning Joseph Stack's re-enactment of 9/11 on an office building in Austin, Texas earlier this week in his attempt to wreak vengeance upon the Infernal Revenue Service. Since, according to Marxadelphia, Stack was obviously part of the America's version of "The Base" (aka Al Qaeda), my omission is obviously tacit approval of his act.

I've left a comment over at Marxy's blog, which, BTW, is titled a most martial "Notes from the Front". Is that the Eastern Front, or the Western Front, I wonder?

Anyway, suspecting that the comments over there might degrade into what we in the Gunblog Community derisively term "Reasoned Discourse," I've decided to print my comment in its entirety here as well:
Once again, Markaphasia, you illustrate just how right I am when I say that you are a perfect an example of the Left in this country. Thanks.

You say that you "have stated previously that it was only a matter of time before people who think like Stack start committing acts of violence."

I believe I've been saying it longer than you have, since 2003 at least. I've also said that such acts are the acts of people pushed beyond their thresholds of outrage, and they're not helpful to my side of the argument.

Now, one thing I'd like to point out is your lack of reading comprehension. You state, in quotation marks (that's "verbatim" just so you know): "As has been said many times at TSM, 'the time for reasoned discourse has passed.'"

Really? Please point, by means of a hyperlink, to that phrase in any post I've written. You just accused me of wanting to kill you - "As a Holocaust survivor once said, 'When someone says they want to kill you, believe them.'" - using those words as your evidence.

The closest you will come, I believe, are these words from my recent and oh-so-accurately titled Überpost What We Got Here is . . . Failure to Communicate:

Their vision is an activist vision, while the constrained vision is a largely passive one, intent largely on limiting the power of government to judge or interfere with individuals exercising their individual rights.

It is, indeed, a conflict of visions, and the time for passivity is over.

Which you, apparently, have read as a call to arms for "the base" to rise up and kill . . . you?

And you call us hyperparanoid?

Indeed, the time for reasoned discourse is over. It does not, however, follow logically that the alternate to "reasoned discourse" is violence (except if you're a Leftist.)

As Thomas Sowell has pointed out, repeatedly, the Left, the Unconstrained Vision, believes that talking and reason is all that's necessary to prevent violence, but when that fails, all they have left (no pun intended) IS violence. On the Constrained Vision side, we believe in deterrence.

Or as Clint Eastwood once so famously said: "Go ahead. Make my day." ;-)

Quote of the Day - Global Warming Edition

Quote of the Day - Global Warming Edition
(T)he movement to stop climate change through a Really Big and Comprehensive Grand Global Treaty is dead because there is no political consensus in the US to go forward. It’s dead because the UN process is toppling over from its own excessive ambition and complexity. It’s dead because China and India are having second thoughts about even the smallish steps they put on the table back in Copenhagen.

Doorknob dead.

As the Post story shows, the mainstream media is now coming to terms with the death. Environmentalists are still trying to avoid pulling the plug, but the corpse is already cool to the touch and soon it will begin to smell. As the global greens move from the denial stage of the grief process, brace yourself for some eloquent, petulant and arrogant rage. Tears will be shed and hands will be wrung. The world is stupid, uncaring, unworthy to be saved. Horrible Republicans, evil Chinese, demented know-nothing climate skeptics have ruined the world and condemned our grandchildren to lives of sorrow and pain. Messengers will be shot; skeptics will be blamed for asking questions and the media (and the internet) will be blamed for reporting the answers.

-- Walter Russell Mead, How Al Gore Wrecked Planet Earth
Should be fun!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Moment of Zen

Moment of Zen

Time for another:

Click for full size.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Constructive Criticism

In the comments to Why I Keep Marxadelphia Around, reader and sometimes critic juris_imprudent argued:
Back to Gramsci again Kevin? This fellow will surely go down in history as the most influential man in Western Culture in more than a 1000 years. To a small degree I agree with Markadelphia - this is one of many theories of education. It is a crackpot one no doubt - but then what leftist dogma isn't? But I don't see evidence of growth - hell sixteen (not particularly impressive) schools 40 years after the peak of leftism in the U.S., 20 some years after the fall of communism in the West?

I remember La Raza from when I was in HS in the 70s. It was just as stupid, out of place and non mainstream then. The old radicals carved out a little niche that they still hold onto - big whoop. That does NOT explain the overall decline in education that has taken place since the 50s/early-60s. Nor do I buy into any Gramsci-rooted plot to destroy Western Civ, any more than I buy into Truther, Birther or ChemTrailer folderol.

Everyone has a favorite bogeyman in education. Once it was New Math, then whole language followed by that self-esteem stupidity. A true conservative would argue for the tried and true (all the way back to teaching Latin), but the graduate system of our universities demand new and novel ideas or you just aren't a PhD. So a lot of bad ideas end up getting floated into a lot of areas; education is not immune, and may be more susceptible than others for a number of reasons.
Others rose to my defense, but let me say it myself: Yes, I'm aware that there are many other problems going on in the public education system besides the outright Marxist brainwashing that I illustrated in The George Orwell Daycare Center and Balkanization. I've never denied that, but I've never emphasized it either.

It has been my contention, however, that the root of the decline in America's education establishment does, in fact, go back to the influence of the thoughts that propagated from the Frankfurt School and its disciples. As Unix-Jedi noted one comment further down:
Literacy rates *dropped* after "professional education" took hold. Literacy rates were steady from colonial times up to the 1940s, when they started to drop.
Gee, what changed there?
We had a system that successfully taught literacy and numeracy, and starting sometime in the 1940's our public school system went off the rails. In the 1960's the booster rockets kicked in.


What influence caused the initial changes that have brought us to where we are today, and why do those in this system fight so hard to prevent fixing the obvious problems?

Continuing my habit of letting other people say things if they can do it better than I, here's Unix-Jedi again:
The educational system as it's currently constituted, with the CLAIMED GOALS IT HAS, has utterly failed. Which means that 1) The stated goals aren't the real goals or 2) it's incapable of meeting the goals. (Conceivably, 3) the goals are unreachable, despite the fact historically they have been met.)
I rule out #3. I'm utterly convinced that at this point #2 is the case, but I'm also convinced that we've reached #2 through decades of effort by a small and ever-changing group of people that embodied #1.

Reader Jason chimed in with this criticism:
I generally like what you have to say, Kevin. But "Gramsci's plan" sounds like fear mongering (almost like the "blood in the streets" fallacies that gun banners used against ccw). I wholeheartedly agree that CP is bad and we should fight against it, but let's not blame all of education's problems on it.
Fair point. It was not my intention to lay all the blame at Gramsci's - one man's - feet, though I acknowledge I can be read that way. I will say again, however, that I do lay the blame for the overwhelming majority of the destruction of America's public education system to the founders of the Frankfurt School and "Critical Theory." It began in the universities, and it has trickled down through them, the Schools of Education, and the state school boards until we have what we've got today.

I do not believe that the people involved think that what they're doing is the deliberate destruction of the public education system, leaving our children illiterate and innumerate. I think the overwhelming majority of them - like Markadelphia, and like Dr. Augustine Romero - believe that what they're doing is truly what's best for the kids in their care.

They're simply unable to recognize that they're wrong. By now, they're the products of their own systems, and in higher academia (as several others have noted) its a self-reinforcing system, continually producing more of the same.

These people end up in charge of the school systems and the systems in charge of the school systems. Teachers who actually teach are, as John Taylor Gatto illustrated, forced out of the system or neutered. Those who contribute to mediocrity (or worse) can't be forced out with high explosives. The rest, as one teacher and fellow blogger put it a while back, are just trying to "save the ones they can."

Markadelphia complains,
These EDU posts, Kevin, serve no purpose nor present any sort of concrete solution whatsoever.
The point of the Education pieces I write is to illustrate that the system is broken beyond repair. It CAN'T. BE. FIXED. It's too entrenched, it's occupied by people who cannot be changed and can't be fired. It's unionized. It's even federally-funded now, and there's an entire Cabinet-level department that since 1980 has spent over $995 billion supposedly to better educate our kids.

Well? Why aren't we getting what we pay for? Are the stated goals the real goals?

I don't think so. Do I think it's all one grand Gramscian conspiracy to destroy Western Civilization? I think at least in part it began that way, but it's taken on a life of its own. Let me rework a classic Demotivator:

How else do you explain, for example, New York's "Rubber Rooms"?

(John Stossel has more on the topic.)

The "concrete solution?" Take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

And start over from scratch with schools paid for directly by parents. Hell, there's lots of empty commercial office space available, let's take up Tom McClintock's idea! Disconnect school funding from property values, and make education spending tax-deductible. Close the Department of Education and shut down State involvement in education with the exception (grudgingly) of standards testing.

But for $Diety's sake, don't send your kids to public schools if you can help it. They deserve better.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why I Keep Marxadelphia Around

As I said in Why I Do This,
He's too perfect an example of the Left in this country not to let him illuminate their failings.
This week he provided yet another example.

In the comments to my post Critical Pedagogy, Marxadelphia responded:
It's a good thing I have the day off today. What a load of lying bullshit. And further proof of ridiculous paranoia. As usual, you start with your belief and then succumb to confirmation bias.


These EDU posts, Kevin, serve no purpose nor present any sort of concrete solution whatsoever. They don't even accurately address the actual problems. In essence, they sum up an emotional reaction--one that typifies the right these days--comprised solely of hate, anger and fear combined with a complete lack of factual foundation.
OK, two assertions are made here: One, the post linked is "a load of lying bullshit" and my Education posts "don't even accurately address the actual problems."

Let's investigate those claims, shall we?

The linked piece states:
The Critical Pedagogy Movement is coming to a school near you and it means to change the world.
One child at a time.
Most people have never heard the term, ‘Critical Pedagogy’. That is intentional.
Anyone not involved in the educational community would have little reason to be aware of this leftist theory of education. If it were merely a theory however, there would be little reason for concern.
The primary assumption of critical pedagogy is that disparities between individual and social group outcomes in life are due to entrenched societal oppression. So, if anyone or any group has ‘more’ than another it is because they are either oppressing others or benefiting from the ‘oppression of the masses’.
Thus, all whites benefit from an unjust social system and, as a result are inherently guilty of racism.
Advocates implicitly deny any definition of the ‘pursuit of happiness’, which does not result in equality of outcome. That necessarily limits American’s liberty and their pursuit of happiness to the politically correct calculus of Critical Pedagogy theory.
Pedagogy is defined as ‘the art or profession of teaching’. That definition is sometimes shortened by advocates into ‘the teaching’. The theory of critical pedagogy was first fully developed and then popularized in 1968 by the Brazilian educator and influential theorist Paulo Freire. His seminal work, the Pedagogy [The Teaching] of the Oppressed, was highly influential within the US leftist academic community and in 1969 Freire was offered a visiting professorship at Harvard University.
His subsequent work was highly influential with the Bill Ayers of the world. One might think of Paulo Freire as the Saul Alinsky of the US leftist educational community. Critical Pedagogy is the educational arm of the ‘social justice movement’, which is the political arm of “liberation theology”, all of which are aspects of ‘Cultural Marxism’.
OK, there's a pretty firm statement with assertions that a particular person is the focal point in pushing the "Critical Pedagogy" curriculum. A quick Google search on "Critical Pedagogy" brought up a link to the University of Colorado, Denver School of Education and professor Martin Ryder. Among the many links there, directly below one to The Frankfurt School, are several dedicated specifically to Paulo Friere. Nineteen, specifically, more than for any other topic covered on that initial page.

It would appear that the author is on to something, no?

Now, as to the assertion by that author that "The Critical Pedagogy Movement is coming to a school near you and it means to change the world," let's look at a piece I wrote in 2008, Balkanization. That piece was about a particular program that is apparently still running in the Tucson Unified School District schools called "Raza Studies." (The link to the original newspaper stories are broken, so you'll have to take my excerpts at face value.) The story indicates that the program, while "under fire" could grow, and reach younger children.

What is it? It's described as an "ethnic studies" program. "La Raza" in Spanish translates to "The Race" in English.
Raza Studies serves about 500 high school students, who take a four-course block of history, social justice and two Chicano literature classes.


It's the end of the school year and Raza Studies students at Tucson High Magnet School are presenting research findings to their principal.

Their PowerPoint presentation is critical of policies toward English learners; some concerns hinge on whether students are funneled to vocational tracks, and some focus on inferior equipment.

Then comes an exploration of classroom décor, with photos of classroom items students consider culturally insensitive.

First up is a baseball poster, which they say should be soccer or rugby to validate other cultures. Next up flashes the Pledge of Allegiance and a patriotic poster featuring the Statue of Liberty, the American flag and an eagle.

"Most of the kids are from a different country, and this is showing them that this is the country that's the greatest and yours doesn't matter," a student maintains.
So they're not teaching math, English, physics, chemistry, anatomy, etc., they're teaching the students to see the world through the lens of oppression, are they not?
Augustine Romero took over as head of ethnic studies two years ago, after running Raza Studies for four years. In his view, the system already divides students by ethnicity.

When he was a senior at Tucson High, his father asked school counselors to make military recruiters stop calling. His counselor couldn't believe Romero planned to go to college.

He proved the counselor wrong, and the 41-year-old just finished his doctorate. "Yes, there are examples of people who have made it, but we've made it by having to work harder than most people because we've had to endure the inequities of the system," he says.
As I said back then, anybody who gets a Ph.D has to work harder than most people, but it would appear that Mr. Romero has an ethnic chip on his shoulder. But here's the kicker:
Romero summons the work of Brazilian educationalist Paulo Freire to explain the premise of the program, hauling out a dog-eared and extensively highlighted copy of "Pedagogy of the Oppressed." He points to a passage: "This, then, is the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed: to liberate themselves and their oppressors as well."
(My emphasis.) I wonder where Dr. Romero got his Ph.D? Was it one of those schools of Education referred to in Critical Pedagogy, or another? And does it matter?

Here's what a participant in the program, one of the teachers, had to say:
John Ward taught in the department in the 2002-03 school year. Of Latino heritage despite his Anglo-sounding name, Ward was all for more thoroughly integrating the contributions of Mexican-Americans into U.S. history. But once he started teaching, he became concerned about the program's focus on victimization.

"They really wanted to identify the victimizer, which was the dominant group — in this case white America — and they wanted students to have a revolution against upper-class white America," says Ward, who now works as a state auditor.

"They had a clear message that political departments in the U.S. are arms of the dominant culture designed to keep minorities in the ghetto and to keep them downtrodden. They're teaching on the taxpayers' dime that police officers and teachers are trying to keep them down. What a perverse message to teach these kids."

Such messages, he says, won't be found in the program's textbooks, such as "Occupied America."

"The department doesn't look bad on paper. It's what happens verbally that moves the debate from benign to pernicious," Ward says.

The tone worried him: "The students had become very angry by the end of the year. I saw a marked change in them."
Of course this concern was played down by Romero:
Romero says anger is essential for transformation, but insists teachers work to transform that anger into something positive. "For me, there's a real fine line between anger and awareness," he says.

He chalks up the dispute with Ward to politics, saying Ward didn't fit in because he was a conservative while he and the teachers in the department are liberal.
Gee, ya THINK?

Now here's a really interesting part. In a second piece by John Ward himself, we're told:
During the 2002-2003 school year, I taught a U.S. history course with a Mexican-American perspective. The course was part of the Raza/Chicano studies department.

Within one week of the course beginning, I was told that I was a "teacher of record," meaning that I was expected only to assign grades. The Raza studies department staff would teach the class.

I was assigned to be a "teacher of record" because some members of the Raza studies staff lacked teaching certificates. It was a convenient way of circumventing the rules.

I stated that I expected to do more than assign grades. I expected to be involved in teaching the class. The department was less than enthusiastic but agreed.

Immediately it was clear that the class was not a U.S. history course, which the state of Arizona requires for graduation. The class was similar to a sociology course one expects to see at a university.

Where history was missing from the course, it was filled by controversial and biased curriculum.

The basic theme of the curriculum was that Mexican-Americans were and continue to be victims of a racist American society driven by the interests of middle and upper-class whites.

In this narrative, whites are able to maintain their influence only if minorities are held down. Thus, social, political and economic events in America must be understood through this lens.

This biased and sole paradigm justified teaching that our community police officers are an extension of the white power structure and that they are the strongmen used "to keep minorities in their ghettos."

It justified telling the class that there are fewer Mexican-Americans in Tucson Magnet High School's advanced placement courses because their "white teachers" do not believe they are capable and do not want them to get ahead.
Yes, that's right, The MAN wants to keep them DOWN!

Now, let me reiterate my point from Critical Pedagogy: Future teachers are being taught this stuff. They are coming to SCHOOLS NEAR YOU, and bringing it with them. They are INFLICTING IT ON STUDENTS in your school systems - not all schools, and not all students, but it is being spread. It is the outgrowth of the Frankfurt School, and it is part and parcel of Gramsci's plan to destroy Western culture from the inside. And it's working.

So to Marxadelphia's assertion that Critical Pedagogy was "lying bullshit" and "paranoia," I say, "Fuck you and the horse you rode in on."

I suggest, if you wish to read further, that you read the entire Balkanization post, The George Orwell Daycare Center (bring lunch, it's long), and also I Say We Take Off and Nuke the Site from Orbit . . .

Now there's a "concrete solution"!

Quote of the Day - American-Occupied America Edition

Quote of the Day - American-Occupied America Edition
I mean, you've got to be a decadent Westerner to wake up; note "Dammit, my computer's dead"; unplug the mouse and keyboard from it and plug them into the spare computer sitting on the desk right next to it because you couldn't be bothered to go find your netbook and power it up and then whine wirelessly to all your friends on the intertubes about how much your life sucks. - Tam

Monday, February 15, 2010

Letting the Cat (farther) Out of the Bag

Letting the Cat (farther) Out of the Bag

Fascinating headline in the Washington Post this morning:
Series of missteps by climate scientists threatens climate-change agenda
No mention in the piece of the revelation by University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit director Phil Jones' revelation that there has been there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming in the last FIFTEEN YEARS, but that headline . . .


But the media sure does.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Critical Pedagogy

If you have school-age children, you MUST READ THIS. Excerpt:
Some of the basic tenants of critical pedagogy are:
  • ALL education is inherently political…
  • A social and educational vision of justice and equality should be the foundation for all education
  • Race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, and physical ability are important domains of oppression
  • The purpose of education is the alleviation of oppression and human suffering
  • Schools must not hurt students–good schools don’t blame students for their failures
  • Good schools don’t judge the beliefs students have about their life’s experiences
  • Part of the role of any educator involves becoming a researcher into social oppression
  • Education must promote emancipatory change
Sixteen of the top educational schools in America are heavily influenced by Critical Pedagogy and are shaping the future leaders of our educational system. This belief system is now spreading out of the colleges into our K-12 systems and being promulgated by radical teachers as its ‘agents of change’. It’s a well-organized, widespread movement, firmly entrenched in many Universities and its advocates are actively seeking to spread it worldwide.
A quick Google on "critical pedagogy" brings up this link from the University of Denver School of Education. Among the "resources" listed, Rethinking Schools, the source of the article that inspired The George Orwell Daycare Center Überpost, and The Frankfurt School which I and reader Phil B. have had some things to say about.

My only quibble with the piece is that I think it's been going on longer - and more "successfully" - than the author seems to believe.

The linked piece was published in December, part II is here. Read both. Understand what it is that's going on in our public schools, and why.

RCOB™ all over again.

Thanks to Neo-neocon for the pointer.

Quote of the Day - American Dream Edition

Quote of the Day - American Dream Edition
Their (Tea Party supporter) values are pretty much mine. I live in a town in North Alabama where there are plenty of blacks driving Mercedes and living in big houses. Only in America can someone come from a little island and live the dream. I've liked it, and that's what I want for my children. [But] I saw the window closing for my own kids.

-- Les Phillip, candidate for Alabama's fifth congressional district challenging Republican incumbent Parker Griffith, as reported in Glenn Reynolds' WSJ piece, What I Saw at the Tea Party Convention
Now that I'm working again, I may have to send Mr. Phillip a campaign contribution.

If the Hypothesis Does Not or Cannot Predict Behavior, it is Incorrect.

More news from the "Global Warming" front:
Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995

By Jonathan Petre
Last updated at 5:12 PM on 14th February 2010

* Data for vital 'hockey stick graph' has gone missing
* There has been no global warming since 1995
* Warming periods have happened before - but NOT due to man-made changes

The academic at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ affair, whose raw data is crucial to the theory of climate change, has admitted that he has trouble ‘keeping track’ of the information.

Colleagues say that the reason Professor Phil Jones has refused Freedom of Information requests is that he may have actually lost the relevant papers.

Professor Jones told the BBC yesterday there was truth in the observations of colleagues that he lacked organisational skills, that his office was swamped with piles of paper and that his record keeping is ‘not as good as it should be’.

The data is crucial to the famous ‘hockey stick graph’ used by climate change advocates to support the theory.

Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.

And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.
PHIL. JONES. The center of the controversy since the CRU email release, JUST. ADMITTED. IT. ISN'T. REAL.

Read the whole thing.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Quote of the Day - Heavily Armed Edition

Quote of the Day - Heavily Armed Edition
It's very important to me that when they do my junk-on-the-bunk display, folks on internet gun forums will say "Okay, that is an arsenal."

-- Tam, commenting on her own post, If the pants fit, wet them about some guy getting arrested for having, as she put it, "fewer guns in total than I own, say, Mausers."

Working on the Sidebar

Working on the Sidebar

You may note some changes on the sidebar. There are more to come. I intend to group the "Best Posts" into categories (already done in a few cases) but there's much more to do. The blogroll has been updated. If yours is there, please make sure it works properly. If yours isn't there, and you think it ought to be, please do email me. I've got some stuff to do today, and I probably won't get back to this until tomorrow, but so far, so good.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I'm Going to the Range

I'm Going to the Range

And run a few rounds through the Power Tool™. I think I'll go to the Tucson Rifle Club and use their 500 meter range, too.

I really like getting off early on Fridays! (Even though I worked 53 hours this week.)

Quote of the Day - Ayn Rand Edition

Of course, true, hardcore Randians don't really have friends....just other rugged individualists with whom they enter mutually-beneficial economic agreements. - "Anonymous" in comments over at Sipsey Street Irregulars

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cathy Young Nails Ayn Rand

Get your mind out of the gutter. Via Sipsey Street Irregulars comes a very sharp analysis of Ayn Rand and her philosophy. It's a bit longer than Dipnut's from a few years back, but it goes into greater detail.

All the News That Fits the Agenda

All the News That Fits the Agenda

I really get a kick out of Matt Drudge and his skill at arranging (and titling links). Example:

The authoritative New York Times tells us that all this cold and snow we're getting may be the result of Global Warming! (Which even the high priests of Global Warming have admitted has been on a ten-year hiatus and they don't know why: "The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t." Kevin Trenberth from the East Anglia computer hack/leak.)

But the philosophy cannot be wrong!

However, there's this interesting bit of continuing fallout concerning the "Paper of Record":
UPDATE 3-New York Times ad outlook dim, shares fall

Print advertising declines to continue in first quarter

* Q4 adjusted EPS $0.44 vs $0.38 average analyst estimate

* Q4 revenue down 11.5 percent to $681.2 million

* Shares down almost 9 percent

NEW YORK, Feb 10 (Reuters) - The New York Times Co (NYT.N) warned on Wednesday that print newspaper advertising will continue to decline, sending shares down nearly 9 percent, even as the company slashed costs to reach a higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit.

The results, like that of other U.S. newspaper publishers, show that revenue declines are easing as the economy improves and advertisers are taking ginger steps back into the market. Even so, they are reducing what they spend on print media anyway, keeping newspapers' long-term futures uncertain.
Obviously this is yet another of the myriad of problems we're told that are caused or worsened by Anthropogenic Global Warming!

Getting Your Priorities Right

Getting Your Priorities Right

This photo is one of a series ostensibly taken in Quebec City, Canada. They've had a bit of snow this year. This woman has her priorities straight, however:

Word of the Day

Word of the Day


That is all.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Quote of the Day - "Green Police" Edition

This is in relation to the previous post on this topic, Audi's Super Bowl "Green Police" ad. Reader Perlhaqr in the comments:
Now I have "the Green Police... are buried under my shed..." running through my head.
First runner-up comes from SayUncle's post yesterday, Ad Fail:
The ad says that, by virtue of buying this car, you will be a compliant citizen. In essence, you’ll be a better sheep. Fuck that.

The commercial should have ended with a guy in a big ass Ford Earthfuckertm that gets 5 miles per gallon with seats made from baby seals blowing past the roadblock billowing smoke. And, for effect, the driver flips them off. I’d buy that car.
Let's see, the Escape, Explorer, Expedition, Excursion, Exclusion, and Earthfucker. Helluva lineup!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Quote of the Day - Tea Party Edition

Quote of the Day - Tea Party Edition
(T)hat grass-roots, “never-done-this-before” sense of excitement and empowerment is the first thing that really hits you.

These are the most regular, decent people you’ll meet, and with very few exceptions not one of them has been involved in politics in any way. It’s just that – like so many of us — They’ve just had enough!

Of course, the media coverage has tried very hard to portray the normal, average, every-day Americans of the Tea party rallies as dangerous and angry racists and Wal-Mart knuckle-draggers, while identifying the mass-produced signs, the mass-produced T-shirts, the mass-produced members of bused-in wiccan nihilist anarcho-Maoist lesbian eco-weenie anti-war protestors as somehow the genuine voice of the American people.
- Bill Whittle, Eject! Eject! Eject! - PARTY TIME!
With apologies to lesbian wiccan capitalists everywhere (this means you, Deb). No offense intended.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Time for a New Moment of Zen

Time for a New Moment of Zen

Click for the full-sized version. No, I don't know where this was taken, sorry.

Well, Audi is a German Company

My mouth literally fell open while I watched this for the first time.

All I could think was, (and I'm sure the Violence Policy Center and the Brady Bunch will salivate at this) I'd kill them first. Then I'd go after their bosses.

UPDATE - Quote of the Day, seen elsewhere, but I can't find the link right now (paraphrased from memory) Cbullitt has it:
Bubba Thudd (21:35:23) :

I don’t get it. It’s supposed to be an advert for cars, but after watching it, I want to buy shotgun shells. What gives? Is there some kind of subliminal message?

Wow, China's Really Into "Green" Energy

Wow, China's Really Into "Green" Energy!
Australia signs huge China coal deal

An Australian firm has signed a $60bn (AUS$69bn; £38bn) deal to supply coal to Chinese power stations.

Clive Palmer, chairman of the company, Resourcehouse, said it was Australia's "biggest ever export contract".

Under the deal, the firm will build a new mining complex to give China Power International Development (CPI) 30m tonnes of coal a year for 20 years.
Err, no, you'll be selling them 30 million tons of coal a year for 20 years. Words mean things.
Analysts say it is further evidence of China's strong demand for resources boosting Australia's economy.

Most of China's power stations rely on coal - and demand has risen sharply in recent months after a government stimulus programme re-energised its economy.
Odd, isn't it, how a "re-energized economy" demands more energy?

Here's good news for my industry:
The plan involves building a huge new mining complex in the Australian state of Queensland, and laying 500km (311 miles) of railway line to move the coal to the coast.

Resourcehouse's executive director, Phil McNamara, said the "once-in-a-century project" would include open-cast and underground mines, with construction likely to begin later this year.

The complex in the Galilee basin, to be called China First, is expected to start coal production in 2013 and will churn out some 40 million tonnes a year.
And the extra 10 million tons per annum will go . . . where?

My employer has a lot of experience in the mining industry, so perhaps we'll get a chunk of the design work. If not, it means whoever does won't be available to compete against us on other projects.
But the lucrative Sino-Australian deal will almost certainly disappoint some environmental groups, says the BBC's Phil Mercer in Sydney.

They believe Australia's reliance on plentiful reserves of coal, both for domestic electricity generation and for export, should be reduced in favour of renewable sources of energy.
They call coal the wonder-mineral. You can do anything with it, except mine it or burn it.


Pure carbon! Except for the sulfur in it that produces sulfur dioxide and acid rain, and the mercury that is released largely from coal-fired power plants. I wonder if the Chinese power plants will have particulate scrubbers and such like ours do? And then, of course, you've got the release of all that CO2, the "greenhouse gas" that we're told we have to cap.

I wonder if NASA's James Hansen will travel to China to protest? Or will he, perhaps, go to Queensland where it'll be safer to hold a protest sign?

Blogroll Bleg

Blogroll Bleg

OK, it's well past the time to do some site maintenance. It looks like it's going to rain here all day, and I don't have a dog in The Big Game™®©, so I thought I'd spend the day cleaning up the left sidebar and getting things squared away. I realize that a lot of people will be watching the game, etc. but if you have TSM blogrolled and I don't have a reciprocal link up, please drop me an email and I'll try to correct that over the next week or so.

I'm also going to revamp the "Best Posts" list and try to organize them by general topic, dropping some, and adding others. If there's anything you think I need to add, let me know.

One last thing - if there are any truly outstanding essays by other bloggers (including yourselves) you think I should link to, I'm giving serious consideration to putting in a section of those. Suggestions are welcome.

Quote of the Day - Out of the Mouths of (Relative) Babes Edition

Quote of the Day - Out of the Mouths of (Relative) Babes Edition
Usually, the State of the Union address is a laundry list of proposals spiced with sycophantic applause and dipped in an admixture of boredom and bravado. It is rarely a statement of basic philosophy.

Not for President Obama.

President Obama's State of the Union address was the greatest American rhetorical embrace of fascist trope since the days of Woodrow Wilson. I am not suggesting Obama is a Nazi; he isn't. I am not suggesting that he is a jackbooted thug; he isn't (even if we could be forgiven for mistaking Rahm Emanuel for one).

President Obama is, however, a man who embodies all the personal characteristics of a fascist leader, right down to the arrogant chin-up head tilt he utilizes when waiting for applause. He sees democracy as a filthy process that can be cured only by the centralized power of bureaucrats. He sees his presidency as a Hegelian synthesis marking the end of political conflict. He sees himself as embodiment of the collective will. No president should speak in these terms -- not in a representative republic. Obama does it habitually.

Ben Shapiro, Human Events - Obama's Philosophically Fascist State of the Union Address
(h/t to Neo-neocon for the link.)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

*Sigh* - I Wrote a Long Post Because I Didn't Have Time To Write a Short One

*Sigh* - I Wrote a Long Post Because I Didn't Have Time To Write a Short One

Via House of Eratosthenes comes a truly excellent (as in concise and spot-on) post saying in about 3/4 of a page what I spent 25 pages on last week. Please read Is it Crazy to Call Obama a Socialist or a Fascist? over at the appropriately-named Clue Batting Cage.

Quote of the Day - Vicious Circle Edition

I made my first appearance on Vicious Circle Thursday night. The other guests were JayG, Aepilotjim, LabRat, Stingray, Breda (for about half the show), and our host Alan. The topics of discussion were Hollyweird and movies (our favorites, least favorites, Avatar etc.), and my most recent überpost, What We Got Here Is . . . Failure to Communicate. Aepilotjim zinged me with this one:
The money-quote for me in your post, and I've got it up here and I'm going to quote it, I mean, this sums up the entire thing for me in one nice little line. You said, "I know this post is already excruciatingly long."
I actually liked this one better, though, by Jay :
This is a good parallel for 2001, because reading Kevin's überpost, I felt like the monkey staring at the monolith.
Vicious Circle #38 is now available for your listening . . . pleasure?

Friday, February 05, 2010

Quote of the Day - Shameless Edition

Quote of the Day - Shameless Edition
Whether or not you believe the authenticity of Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau’s quote of 1939 – “We are spending more money than we have ever spent before, and it does not work. After eight years we have just as much unemployment as when we started, and an enormous debt to boot” – the substance is true. The New Deal made the Depression worse – and we are doing it again, only with bigger numbers and more zeros. Furthermore, now the Chinese own us. We enact this nonsensical budget and we might as well give them the whole thing – the Statue of Liberty, McDonald’s and Apple Computer. No backsies. They can have Steve Jobs’ next iPad extravaganza in Shanghai. They build everything over there already anyway.

But unfortunately this is no joke. The passing of this budget is a straight out act of economic insanity. Everyone knows it. The 217 Democrats who passed it surely know it too. Only they are too corrupt to face it honestly. Shame on them. Shame on them. Shame on them. - Roger L. Simon, 217 Democrats take suicide pact
They have no shame, Roger. They haven't for decades. They're politicians elected to national office who have made, as Mencken described, so many compromises and submitted to so many humiliations that they have become indistinguishable from streetwalkers. The shame has been campaigned out of them.

And this isn't limited to Democrats.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

But What Happens When One Becomes the Other

But What Happens When One Becomes the Other?

I found a very interesting quotation from Henry Louis Mencken tonight that raises that very question:
THE VALUE the world sets upon motives is often grossly unjust and inaccurate. Consider, for example, two of them: mere insatiable curiosity and the desire to do good. The latter is put high above the former, and yet it is the former that moves one of the most useful men the human race has yet produced: the scientific investigator. What actually urges him on is not some brummagem idea of Service, but a boundless, almost pathological thirst to penetrate the unknown, to uncover the secret, to find out what has not been found out before. His prototype is not the liberator releasing slaves, the good Samaritan lifting up the fallen, but a dog sniffing tremendously at an infinite series of rat-holes.

H.L. Mencken, The Scientist, first printed in the New York Evening Mail, March 25, 1918
What happens when someone who should have a "boundless, almost pathological thirst to penetrate the unknown" instead becomes enraptured with the idea of doing good?

We get Anthropogenic Global Warming Climate Change.

And when these people are exposed for what they are, they pull themselves down those rat-holes and try to disappear.

Quote of the Day - Previous Election Edition

Quote of the Day - Previous Election Edition

From this comment thread:
My favorite comment from last election (I think it was here, actually) was "I like Cthulhu's foreign policy of destroying everthing and devouring everyone, but not so much his domestic policy of destroying everything and devouring everyone. Still better than Hillary, though." - Ken
I don't care who you are, that's funny right there.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

They Never REALLY Mean It

They Never Really Mean It . . .

That's User Friendly, one of my daily reads.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Fool Me Once, Shame on You . . .

Fool Me Once, Shame on You . . .

. . . fool me twice, shame on me. And still we're stuck with the lesser-of-two-evils choice.

That's by Nate Beeler of the Washington Examiner.

Monday, February 01, 2010

More Misbehavin'

More Misbehavin'

Traveling from out of state to campaign for a candidate for Senate, on your own dime. Good on 'ya, mate!



More vehicular free speech seen on the streets of Tucson today:

If you can't read the bumper sticker, try this:

It says "B.O. Stinks." And painted on the window, obviously, "Marx Sux." I couldn't read the fine print on the way by.

Obviously a racist.