Monthly Archives: May 2010

Quote of the Day

What one sees is a man of dubious ancestry rising on the shoulders of a previous generation, stalked by a paranoid fantasy, and becoming, as a result, a bad man with an evil intent, supported by a rag-tag collection of apparatchiks, with a megalomaniac design for a bleak future…

–Vanderleun on Obama

MEANWHILE… Joe Huffman’s QOTD from Wednesday strikes several notes.

To Hell With Fair and Balanced

I JUST WISH ONCE the furshlugginer media would — you know — do its job? Like, going and finding out the facts…? And telling people what they are?

Yet another media report — this time on catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, as reported at Watts Up With That? — which stops as “He said / she said” and never gets anywhere closer than differing opinions to the actual whatcha call the facts of the matter.

I mean, it’s not rocket science. You have a case being made for Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. Is it valid? It’s simplicity itself to determine: ask yourself what is required for the case to be validated. All four components of the contention must be proven.

The phenomenon must be catastrophic. If it’s not, then what’s all the who-struck-John about?

The phenomenon must be anthropogenic (man-made). If it’s not, then mitigation attempts are sadly misdirected, and most probably futile.

The phenomenon must be global in nature, or it will be self-correcting. That’s what winds are for, doncha know.

And the phenomenon must exhibit definite characteristics of a warming trend. Otherwise, see 2 above. If the phenomenon is actually a cooling trend, then we need to be — in the words of Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle in Fallen Angels — throwing another log on the fire. If the phenomenon is actually natural variation — mere background noise in an otherwise steady signal — then we need to be hanging a few scientists for moral fraud. Not for proposing an erroneous conjecture, but for pushing it beyond all reason, and fraudulently denying countervailing evidence.

See? That took all of fifteen minutes to lay out. The research to confirm matters one way or another might take perhaps an hour on the Internet, and writing the final article a good day’s labor at a word processor.

So, are we to assume that journalists are incompetent? Unable to perform this simple series of actions? Or that they have darker, more sinister motives?

Stupid or malicious — or a little of both? We report; you decide.


“And…?” what, Dolly?

You ain’t done no reportin’ y’badself.

True genug. I leave it as an exercise for the reader. But I will pose one salient question as a guide: how do they know?

Know what?

That the temperature has risen or will rise?

Don’t Forget Ridiculel

COYOTE relates one tutelary episode.


SO WHEN DO IT get my dividend check?

Insty Asks in Passsing

IS OBAMA GETTING a free pass on the BP oil disaster? (Whilst noting the linked item.) Which I have to answer with another question: “Why should that be any different from everything else?”

Quote of the Day

INSTY POINTED IT OUT so the whole world, like, knows it, but it bears repeating: SEIU grapethugs are “…the feral vanguard of a collapsing system.”

The American middle class holds the power to write a different ending than the fiery death spiral twisting through the streets of Athens. That fate is only inevitable if we listen to the people who tell us we don’t have any other choices. We are a nation blessed with millions of clever minds, willing hands, and radiant hearts. There’s no problem we cannot solve, once we dismantle the failed State telling us it’s illegal to try. We can work together as free men and women, or depend on the State to loot individuals for the benefit of the collective, until they have nothing worth stealing. There are no other choices. There never were.

Doctor Zero

The Banking Queen

SOUND BITTEN BY Rush at lunchtime Friday admitted that the new financial regulatory regime is designed — specifically — to be arbitrary and capricious, thus disposing with that whole pesky rule of law thing.

You go, girl — Bawney.

Remember When

CHUCK HESTON CALLED UP Rush and read that passage from Jurassic Park? You remember the one: “How arrogant you are to think you can influence, let alone save, the earth!”

People need to be reminded every once in awhile. It doesn’t matter what you think; Gaia/Terra/Mother Nature will make a fool of you at will.

A reminder and a right proper bitch slap to the greenie weenies.

Put that in your bong and toke on it.

You Know It’s Time

TO POST WHEN friends start emailing tentative “You OK?” noises, and the wife notes that it’s been over a week since your last post. (“Forgive me father, for I have sinned. It has been eleven days since my last blog post.” “Five Hail Glenns, a Hat tip to Billy Beck, and one act of snark. Go and sin no more.”)

I do plead the press of business. That’s busy-ness, not bidness, although in this case, they’re not mutually exclusive.

Posts I meant to write and let slide include a Caturday post about how the two Siamese pictured awhile back have been picking on the third — Ms Jazz. Not sure why, or even what caused the conflict to simmer down, as it appears to have done in the last couple of days.

I’d also intended taking note of how the old brick warehouse across the Parkway from the back of our house is being torn down. It was a cool, funky, old brick warehouse from the turn of the 20th Century. It had been neglected and vacant over the last 25 years that we’ve lived here — occasionally occupied by your typical demi-urban loft dwellers (artists, musicians, small manufactories), occasionally empty. Most recently, we’d begun to notice long, jagged cracks in the brickwork that seemed to indicate massive settling or slippage in the shale slope on which the building rests, so it was only a matter of time. Regardless, it’s a jarring note in our pleasant little woodland ravine, and leaves a large gap in the psychic skyline.

And there was the singular event of Number Three Grand-daughter’s Fourth birthday. Held in the back yard at Number One Daughter’s — grilled meats, cake, and ice cream, and only one melt-down from the assembled pre-schoolers. (After Toni and I left.) Nothing to report about family tensions and the like. Move along.

And that’s the last week-and-a-half.

Yeah, I was pissed about the wetback president trying to meddling our internal affairs. Funny how that bar only swings one way. Also no end of irony about how, if we were to remake Messico in our image, it would probably be an improvement.

And, yeah, I’ve been totally bummed about how even people who claim to have studied the matter still can’t seem to face the fact that Islam is not a religion, but a toxic political ideology that has benefited mankind not one whit. I’d like to dispose of once and for all the cavil that “Surely you don’t want to go to war with a billion Muslims?” I don’t care. First: I sincerely doubt the claim as to the numbers. Second: how many of those are fair-weather Muslims who make a hollow profession of faith because it’s worth their lives to do otherwise? Seems every belief system exceptIslam recognizes that a forced conversion is worthless.

What about collectivism?

Not so much forced as gulled.


See the difference?


But otherwise, it looks good for the home team in November — if they don’t totally boot it — and we’re on a roll. I even see hope for the future that this one might be sustained past the next election. And that’s a good thing.

And, now, it’s time for bed. I put the A/C units in the windows Sunday, so we’re sleeping in cool, white-noise-sound-blocked comfort.

We Have a Saying

WHERE I WORK TO THE effect that it’s not so much whether or not you make mistakes as it is what you do when you make them. Or, as a wise man was once quoted to me as saying, the difference between amateurs and professionals is that the pros know how to fix their mistakes and amateurs don’t make them.

It bothers me a lot when people, handed a shit sandwich in life’s cafeteria line, bitch at or about God on the subject. “Why would God allow such a thing to happen?”

I never want to pile outrage ontop of pain and grief, so I never say, “Nice cop-out. Are you sure you had nothing to do with it?”

And, besides, sometimes is really does seem, for just a second there, that it really could be God’s fault.

Robin of Berkeley has a clue for that.

But me… I look at the universe, created by an ineffable hand we can no more comprehend than a microbe can apprehend the mind of a human being. Possibly less so. I look at that universe and see it — metaphorically — like a crystaline latticework of incredible beauty, elegance, and transcendance — at once amazingly simple and astoundingly complex. Seemingly strait, but filled with infinite possibilities.

It’s set up — on metaphysical rails, as it were — to run according to a set of rules, some of which we humans understand, some of which will baffle and amaze us seriatim, like an inside-out set of matrushka dolls, ever greater and grander, as we gain understanding of one matter, the next greater and grander thing comes along to whack us with the cosmic clueless bat.

And you can’t help asking — or if you can, I’m not sure I want to know you — What is Man that Thou art mindful of him?

The mind that created all that before Sunday brunch isn’t gonna worry too much about one little speck on a tiny world at the ass end of nowhere. At least, not as we comprehend worry. After all, it already knows what’s going to happen. You’re the one with the free choice. You’re the one whose actions matter in your own personal cosmic scheme of things. It’s not what you’re dealt each hand, it’s how you play the cards. What you make with the shit pile that gets dumped on you — a stinking pile of ordure, or a pile of fertilizer to enrich a greenhouse — is what determines your character.

Rather than feeling cursed, I was helped to understand that heartache is part of life.

Now that I’m a conservative, and religious to boot, my belief about sorrow has expanded. I view my life as not just mine, but as part of a larger tapestry stitched together by the Divine.

As a mere mortal, I’m not in a position to know what life is doing to me or where it is leading me. A life devoted to God involves trying to accept His will, even when circumstances are heartbreaking.

Although life is replete with blessings, there are formidable bumps along the way.

My clients are astonished when I tell them that life is not supposed to be easy, and that we carve out our characters and our souls from the hard times.

Speaking simply, the wise say that God does these things to test the faithful. And in the saying the thing wears smooth from constant rubbing and turns into a cliche. And the young, the impatient, the immoderate all reject the thing out of hand for its cliched nature, without taking the time to appreciate the possible wisdom in it.

It ain’t a gray-haired patriarch sitting on a golden throne handing out literal lagniappes in some classic Greco-Roman marbled city on a hill. That’s just a metaphor.

But it does matter. It is true. God sends these things to test the faithful. What are you going to do with it? Bitch and whine? Or get up on your hind legs and make something of it?

As Usual, the Media

LIES, PREVARICATES, SPINS, whether from ill intent or bogly stupidity really doesn’t matter at this point.

Willis Eschenbach, guesting at WUWT, reports on an idiotic watermelon geo-engineering project. And quotes in passing an item from CBS News Tech Talk whose author asserts:

Geoengineering, an umbrella phrase to describe techniques that would allow humans to prevent global warming by manipulating the Earth’s climate, has yet to result in any major projects.

Well… no. Geo-engineering is a sucker’s bet that you can futz with Mother Nature on a planetary scale and not come acropper of the knowledge problem — a term of art in economics, but one which can be applied hubristic “plans” in any field, really.

One of the key bits of information Eschenbach conveys is that the immediate hubristion (a word I just this moment made up meaning an act of hubris) is a grant from the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation to the University of Calgary to fund research into in “possible unique solutions and responses to climate change.”

To the extent that this is an actual honest statement and not some coded sectarian incantation, it is an admirable bequest. After all, such research might yield construction techniques to permit houses to better withstand the winds from cyclonic storms. It might lead to ways to harden our electronic infrastructure against a sudden loss — momentary or permanent — of the earth’s magnetic field. It might lead to ways to use geothermal power to delay forced mass migrations of humanity at the onset of the next ice age.

But to the extent that it might actually be that coded sectarian incantation — substituting the new politically-correct term of climate change (a witless coinage, if you ask me: climate is change) for the old, now-inoperative term of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (same non-problem, same statist clusterfuck solutions) — the situation aptly illustrates the truth of my contention that specialists should not be listened to outside of their specialties. That they have chosen to specialize is a sign of their mental limitations.

I do have trouble apprehending that Bill Gates is really a specialist. I always had the impression he was a syncretist — a broadband generalist with wide-ranging interests and concommitant knowledge. Of course, one is to be reminded that Melissa French was NOT the partner with whom he’d engaged in that wide-ranging intellectual exploration, but that Ann Winblad was. Perhaps this initiative isn’t Bill’s at all.

Eschenbach does the math so you don’t have to, but you ought to be familiar with how it works, so you can nuke the idea when your enviro-wacko friends bring up the idea and try to float it as a viable solution to the non-problem of global warming.

Actually, I Saw

A RESEMBLANCE TO Tricia Helfer (Number Six, Battlestar Galactica, et al) and thought, “OMG! Rush is marrying the Cylon!”

Quote of the Day

FRANK FRAZETTA R.I…. Oh, HELL no! Kick some ass, Frank!

Tom Benton, Norm Rockwell, J.C. Leyendecker, Max Parrish, and Frank Frazetta walk into the Pantheon, see…

Scooch over, Michelangelo. A little room on the bench there. American painter, comin’ through.

— Comatus, in comments here

Literal Allusion

DARLEEN CLICK has been reading the NY Times. Poor thing. Talk about Ellsworth Toohey. Seriously: talk about him. And throw this into the hopper.

The President Bush who emerged after September 11 took his party and the country back to the divisive politics of earlier decades, giving us seven years of ideological recrimination. By the time of the last presidential campaign, millions were transfixed not by the wisdom or folly of Barack Obama’s policy agenda, but by absurd rumors about his birth certificate and his “socialism.” Now he has been elected president by a healthy majority and is grappling with a wounded economy and two foreign wars he inherited—and what are we talking about? A makeshift Tea Party movement whose activists rage against “government” and “the media,” while the hotheads of talk radio and cable news declare that the conservative counterrevolution has begun.

It hasn’t. […]

A new strain of populism is metastasizing before our eyes, nourished by the same libertarian impulses that have unsettled American society for half a century now. […] It appeals to petulant individuals convinced that they can do everything themselves if they are only left alone, and that others are conspiring to keep them from doing just that. This is the one threat that will bring Americans into the streets.

Welcome to the politics of the libertarian mob. […]

Quite apart from the movement’s effect on the balance of party power, which should be short-lived, it has given us a new political type: the antipolitical Jacobin. The new Jacobins have two classic American traits that have grown much more pronounced in recent decades: blanket distrust of institutions and an astonishing—and unwarranted—confidence in the self. They are apocalyptic pessimists about public life and childlike optimists swaddled in self-esteem when it comes to their own powers. […]

A million and a half students in the United States are now being taught by their parents at home, nearly double the number a decade ago, and representing about fifteen students for every public school in the country.11 There is nothing remarkable about wanting to escape unsafe schools and incompetent teachers, or to make sure your children are raised within your religious tradition. What’s remarkable is American parents’ confidence that they can do better themselves. […]

[T]he movement’s rapid growth and popularity are unthinkable without the demagogues’ new ability to tell isolated individuals worried about their futures what they want to hear and put them in direct contact with one another, bypassing the parties and other mediating institutions our democracy depends on. When the new Jacobins turn on their televisions they do not tune in to the PBS News Hour or C-Span to hear economists and congressmen debate the effectiveness of financial regulations or health care reform. They look for shows that laud their common sense, then recite to them the libertarian credo that Fox emblazons on its home page nearly every day: YOU DECIDE.

Me, Too

WHAT JOE said. I like what I read in the publisher’s blurb for this book at Amazon. It almost ought to serve as a call to arms for lovers of liberty everywhere.

The philosophical idea of liberty and Capitalism reached its peak at the time our Founding Fathers were authoring the U.S. Constitution and its enumerated Bill of Rights. Standing repeatedly in the way of progress and human dignity, then and now, are the nihilistic philosophies of radical economic Socialism and its myopic mystical counterpart, violent religious fanaticism. Today, these two binary ideological forces are embodied by irrational terrorism on the part of Islamic fanatics in the Middle East (e.g. Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc.), and radical secular extremists posing as intellectuals in the socialist wing of the Democratic Party, the U.S. Congress and the White House. Together they form a political and ideological date-rape drug for liberty and Capitalism. The present work advocates amending Federal treason law to include the definition of Socialism as a traitorous act of intellectual terrorism, and prosecuting the legislative acts of Socialism by the elected enemies within the American government who would destroy Capitalism, end private property, expropriate the means of all production and manufacturing; ultimately destroying our American right to “…Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.


Awhile back, I had a bit of a spat with Roberta X over the contention that Islam is a toxic ideology, just as are Marxist communism and other, allied forms of collectivism. The spat was triggered (I think) by the impression given that those who understand that these ideologies are toxic believe their practitioners should be rounded up and transported to concentration and re-education camps or worse. In my case at least, nothing could be further from the truth.

The cornerstone of our republic is freedom: freedom of movement and action; freedom of belief, speech, and writing; freedom of conscious. You yank that out of the edifice, the whole thing comes tumbling down. People must be free to go where, do what, say, write, and think what they believe to be right.

People. THE people.

The state, on the other hand, must be straitly limited.

So, based solely on the paragraph above, the author of the work described is terribly mistaken. The treason laws must not be changed. The Constitution must be amended to make it crystal clear — with enforcement mechanisms and consequences spelled out — that the state, at all levels of authority and jurisdiction, is forbidden these things — the policies of collectivism, the specific provisions of Islamic law. THEN, if you wish to change the treason law, change it so that making law of this type is treason, with no statute of limitations.

So I Commented

OVER AT GROUCH’S place (He’s Old Grouch to you, but I’m a lot closer to his age, so I just call him Grouch.) (OK. That didn’t save any words, did it? So much for shortening things.) On his semi-regular weekend cats roundup. In which he noted:

Also, there’s currently a Fuzzy Tummy on the front page, but Mark doesn’t permlink his images.

Referring to the “pix” item at the bottom of Friday’s column, a picture of Loki from February of last year.

I have heard this plaint a couple of times. (Which, given BTB’s minuscule readership, means, “I hear that a lot.”) The reason those images aren’t permalinked is that they aren’t properly posts. However, the URLs are not protected in any way, so you can copy the address by right clicking on the image and selecting [your browser’s equivalent to] Copy Image Address.

As to what constitutes not a proper post, it’s this: page decoration. The pictures that (are supposed to — I’ve gotten lazy recently) appear at the bottom of each weekday’s column are not intended to be consequential or worthy of being linked to. They’re just page decoration, on a level with horizontal rules or the dingbats and logos print magazines put at the bottom of articles. In fact, they are often “quotes” — narrow slices cropped out from larger pictures published elsewhere on BTB.

And, here lately (as in over the past week), I’ve taken to re-using old ones. Thus the 18-month-old pic of Loki that Grouch was referring to.

Now, I freely admit that it would be a lot easier for readers to refer to the images on BTB if I were a bit more organized and had archival listings of old posts and pictures. I keep meaning to do something about that but find that round tuits are in short supply. The Obama economy, doncha know. Someday, you’ll be able to find all articles and pictures by topic, subject, original post date. Yeah. right. And unicorns are even this moment crapping Skittles and pissing rainbows all over the White House lawn.

And, given the weak state of our traffic and linkage, I really should thank Old Grouch for the link. Thanks, man! I can use all the help I can get.

Quote of the Year


“Do we really want to live in a country where when someone busts into your house at night you’re supposed to assume they might be cops?”

Proposed No Trespassing sign:

To you in the stack: You are about to engage in a felony — to whit, aggravated breaking and entering of an occupied structure. As the owner and occupant of this dwelling, I have the right and the legal duty to resist with lethal force. As a sworn officer of the law, you are hereby served notice that, if you do not immediately cease and desist, you will be committing an act in violation of 18USC241 and 242 (posted below). You will be 1) conspiring to infringe upon my constitutionally-protected rights to life, liberty, and property (Amendment X), and 2) doing so under color of law. If a death eventuates from this — either yours, mine, or some third party — you will be in violation of the provision which makes your act a Federal capital crime. Lower your weapon and back away from the house.

Come back in daylight and knock politely.


SKY AND AQUA in peaceful slumber, almost a year ago, now. Deceptively peaceful.

We are Siamese if you please
We are Siamese if you don’t please
We are from a residence of Siam
There is no finer cat than I am

Do you see that thing swimming round and round
Maybe we can reach on in and make it drown
If we sneaking up upon it carefully
There will be head for you and a tail for me

We are Siamese if you please
We are Siamese if you don’t please
Now we’re looking over our new domisile
If we like we stay for maybe quite a while

Meow…….here kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty

Do you hear what I hear a baby cry
Where we finding baby there’s milk near by
And if we look in baby buggy there could be
Plenty of milk for you and also some for me

We are Siamese if you please
We are Siamese if you don’t please
Now we’re looking over our new domisile
If we like we stay for maybe quite a while

We are Siamese if you please
We are Siamese if you don’t please
We are from a residence of Siam
There is no finer cat than I am

There is no finer cat than I am

There are no finer cats than we am.

Of course, our three (not two, but THREE) are not nearly so evil as the pair in Lady and the Tramp, but they are excellent at getting inta shit.

Quote of the Day - Persiflage

NEVER MIND I am so far wrong on this that it’s ridiculous to keep trying. I’m taking the post down, but leaving this reminder to myself to be more careful.

If you stopped by earlier today and seem to recall there being a post here that you were a bit puzzled or worse about, you’re right. There was. The stupid in it was pointed out to me. It’s gone, now, and good riddance.

For Me, It Started

WITH THE WHOLE John Lennon / Jesus controversy.* All of a sudden, it became clear that people who were famous for one kind of skill or expertise did not necessarily have the skill or brains to think their way out of a paper bag on other subjects. That artists especially are something in the way of idiots savante, barely able to change their socks when confronted with problems or situations outside of their specialties.

So, when Sir Paul McCartney mouths off on global warming, thank him for “I Will” and “Yesterday” — even “Lovely Linda” — and let it go.

* Note: I was all of — like — ten at the time, so it’s not like it was a terribly late realization, albeit not a very precocious one, either.

Now, you know… Some tumblefuck is going to come along and challenge my credentials. To which I can reply, I am not a specialist. I am a generalist.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

–Robert Heinlein
Time Enough for Love

(Not claiming all these skills, just admiring the ideal represented as something to strive for.) Not only that, but I got my schooling before the unionization of the public education establishment in this town. So our schools were only crippled by post-phonetic spelling, new math, social studies, and the rest of the panoply of progressivist indoctrination, but we were well-grounded in the classics and the sciences. My high-school diploma is probably superior to your baccalaureate degree in terms of the actual attainment it represents.

Mistaken Notion of the Day

The gravest problem in America today is not government, per se, but the use of government as a sock puppet for an angry, relentless partisan or interest group movement. When those groups seize governments, then the general welfare, as opposed to the welfare of special groups, melts into limp glop. The welfare of the citizens of the several states … is abandoned so that political bosses can kowtow to particular interests.

–Bruce Walker at
American Thinker.

Not that he’s not wrong that the capture of government power by leftist pressure groups is a malum in se. Rather that he’s wrong in implying that the root of the problem is not fundamental to government — as he says — per se.

Government exists to manipulate power. In a notionally free state, the power of government is constantly up for grabs, and will inevitably (however eventually) be grabbed by those whose interests are served by the exercise of government power — as opposed to that of the market, which, while being far greater than that in government, is far more diffuse and difficult of manipulation by discrete, self-selecting individuals.

And might even be said to be impossible of true manipulation without the collusion of government, so perverse is the very attempt.

In the American system, the Constitution designs the nation so that there is a power vacuum at the top. There exist those who have little or no concern for the integrity of the American experiment, and will therefore pervert the government to their own ends. Thus the incremental accretion of power we call the Imperial Presidency. About half the time, these accretions, taken singly, are exposited to We the (Little) People as desiderata. Depending on which wing you flap, you will tend to agree — about half the time. However, you are not meant to notice that the absolute delta — without regard to the sign right or left of the “y” axis — is always positive on that scale. In other words, whether driven by Democrat or Republican designs, the power of government never gets less.

The fault, dear Horatio, lies in ourselves when we practice to use the power of state to ends not meant for the general welfare. This must stop. Now.

This Just In

100% OF SELF-DESCRIBED progressives understand that water runs downhill, but pray G*d it never reaches bottom.

Related: 22% of progressives believe that Newtonian physics still apply and refuse to accept the laws of gravity, interia, thermodynamics, and the electromagnetic spectrum.

In economic news:

* 67% of self-described Progressives believe that restrictions on housing development (i.e., regulations that reduce the supply of housing) do not make housing less affordable.

*51% believe that mandatory licensing of professionals (i.e., reducing the supply of professionals) doesn’t increase the cost of professional services.

Perhaps most amazing,

*79% of self-described Progressive believe that rent control (i.e., price controls) does not lead to housing shortages.

observed at Coyote Blog.

So much for that “settled science” thing.

Recycling a Waste

HERE’S A TEST: Leave your recycling bin on the street in front of your house with your usual assortment of newspaper, aluminum cans, and plastic bottles for a week. See what gets taken.

Next, take your usual mix of recyclables to scrap vendors and see what you can get for it on the market. Find out what people are willing to pay for it. It’s a pretty fair gauge of the value of what’s in there.

Next, read this.

Do not EVER let me hear you urging recycling again. Capice?

I Tried Carbonite

FOR ABOUT 30 SECONDS and it occurs to me I might save you readers some time and sweat.

If you have an external hard drive, forget it.

They will only cover your onboard hard disk.

Anyone Who Has

EVER ENGAGED IN CONVERSATION with the nevertheless engaging young man known as Caleb on the Intarwebz can appreciate the truth of this description of him from Robb Allen.

…[H]as a remarkable resemblance to a hyperactive Jack Russell Terrier on Espresso.

And, of course, that cup of espresso is a deadly weapon in the young man’s capable hands.

Someday the Time Will Come

WHEN PANIC MERCHANTS will no longer be able to stampede humanity, because humanity will know better.

Yeah, right, Alger!

Hey! A guy can dream, can’t he?

So Obama’s FCC

IS MAKING A POWER GRAB for the Internet. If you think Congress as she is currently constituted will do diddly to block the move, go ahead and whine to your congresscritter.

How many times are you going to get brushed back, shuffle out of the way grumbling, before you step into it and swing for the fences? Just say, “Oh, HELL no!”

Don’t beg your congresscritter, twisting your hat in your hand. WARN the bastard that if he does not PERSONALLY do everything in his power to BLOCK this — and, indeed, to repeal the enabling legislation for the unconstitutional FCC — there WILL be serious consequences, and we’re not talking about elections any more.

Baise moi, people! WAKE UP!

IS MAKING A POWER GRAB for the Internet. If you think Congress as she is currently constituted will do diddly to block the move, go ahead and whine to your congresscritter.

How many times are you going to get brushed back, shuffle out of the way grumbling, before you step into it and swing for the fences. Just say, “Oh, HELL no!”

Don’t beg your congresscritter, twisting your hat in your hand. WARN the bastard that if he does not PERSONALLY do everything in his power to BLOCK this — and, indeed, to repeal the enabling legislation for the unconstitutional FCC — there WILL be serious consequences, and we’re not talking about elections any more.

Baise moi, people! WAKE UP!

It May Not Be

TERMINAL STUPIDITY. Apparently, the upcoming NRA convention will be a disarmed victim zone. NRA has / had the option to allow weapons carry within the venue and (it seems) chose not to.

Happens I have some small expertise in this realm and might suggest that folk going off half-cocked maybe simmer down a bit.

NRA may have made a strategic decision.

That is: a wise husbanding of limited resources.

You see, any public gathering of any size is required to carry insurance. There are all sorts of items to be insured, too. Liability is an obvious one. But there are also performance bonds, insurance against weather events, and more other possibilities than you’d care to imagine.

But, as you might imagine, it’s not cheap. Conversely, with millions of dollars and thousands of lives on the line in ticket sales and expenses, participants and attractions, it’s cheap-at-twice-the-price.

And I would bet that the actuaries at the insurance companies take a dim view of the liability implications of allowing attendees at a public, mass-attendance event. Might even look on it as a species of insanity and refuse to cover under any circumstances.

It’s a relatively small market, with limited numbers of lines. If you get blacklisted, you can’t get insurance. No insurance, you can’t get the venue. That’s just how it works.

They may never say, but it’s entirely possible that the promoters of the event — whether in-house at NRA or hired — heh-heh — guns — made a unilateral decision based purely on the ability to get insurance, without reference to the rights issue.

As Most of You Are Probably

AWARE BY NOW Bug Splat has changed its default comment system from Halo Scan to something, IIRC, called Echo. Which doesn’t. Otherwise, this would be a comment over at Borepatch.

Borepatch has an interesting read for people who are into Wiki-wanders. Although it only wanders two places, it does draw a fine parallel. And, as is a requirement to any good wander, provides a bunch of not-so-trivial information you may or may not have known before (For example, I had forgotten that Harrison was initially denied the prize for his chronometer.).

Included is a brief discussion of the recent contretemps at Harvard Law over some un-PC free speech and the petard-hoisting of its author.

And I have to agree with Mr. Patch. Author has not proven the core assertion (the odious notion that “blacks” (define your terms a bit more precisely, please) are less intelligent than “whites” (ibid.)).

And, I submit, with those loose criteria, you cannot. You would need to further subdivide each “race” into sub-ethnic groups a bit more finely to get anything like a reasonable measurable sample. And then you’d have to define “intelligence.” Or, at least, how you propose to measure it. If intelligence is the ability to adapt quickly to a changing environment, to do so deliberately with — as the saying goes — malice aforethought, then how can it be measured consistently across widely differing environments?

At best you might be able to make some barely-founded assertions. But proof? Not.

But, even if you could, so what? What does it mean? As the old Roselle Rule used to go, “On any given Sunday…” Intelligence is about individuals and aggregate measures are invidious at least.

I would have a tendency to want to mock the person making the assertion unmercifully and let it go at that. That the moaners on the Left have their Jockeys in a double carrick bend speak more to their collective intelligence than anything else.

Nor Have I Been Able

TO GET THE COMMENTS to open on any Bug Splat blog for awhile, now. Dunno why, and that’s not what brings us here. This offering should be being made at BX’s place, but… Failed the test for Echo. This one is to offer and urge the offering of prayers for Roberta X’s mother, who is in the hospital.

Right before Mother’s Day, too. Man, that sucks!

All the best to Mom-X

Funny How In the Whole Debate

OVER IMMIGRATION INVASION policy, such as this anomalously wrong-headed post by Coyote, nobody mentions the key to the problem.

The Federal Minimum Wage.

::wobbita:: Wha’ th’ fern?

Sure. The Federal Minimum Wage. It makes it illegal for Americans to sell low-skill, low-value labor for what it’s actually worth. So it only makes sense that that labor would be provided in a black market for the stuff.

So, once again, stupid government policies of gratuitously meddling where the state has no business have perverse consequences. One can’t even call them unintended, since a very brief moment’s thought would reveal them to anyone of average intelligence and imagination. They were known and exposited at the time the policies were first introduced. Therefore, one must conclude that the consequences were entirely intended.

Bad intent, bad policy, what’s not to hate?


ASSERTS here that networks of CCTV cameras are a waste, presumably of money, time, resources, and so-on. I most fervently agree.

But I would go further…

Don’t you always?

Usually. I’m a fundamentalist — a radical, if you will — in that I like to get to the root [the root of radical is the Latin radix, meaning root — GFD] of the matter.

…further, in that I would argue that — beyond a certain minimum — MOST money spent on police resources is a waste. Things done in public for public consumption but to little good effect.

Perhaps paradoxically, the best policing effort is the cop on the beat — someone who knows the local citizenry and is known by them, and can spot a miscreant a mile off. Just as the vendor in the Times Square incident did — by being intimate with the territory. We could probably solve and/or prevent a lot of crime by converting all the pretty headquarters buildings and official brass hats to shoe leather on the street.

It’s an approach Glenn should know well.

To The Asshole in Spandex

WHOM I ALMOST ran down at the corner of Fourth and Main in Dayton, Kentucky, at about 1PM yesterday, yes, I have eyes. Otherwise, the rundown wouldn’t have been almost.

If you want to be treated as an adult on a wheeled vehicle, rather than an errant child or some other random hazard to traffic, you would be well-advised to follow the rules of the road.

For example, it is considered bad form to breeze past a stop sign and dart into an intersection in front of the vehicle (which, by the way, outweighs you AND your silly little bike by a couple of tons), which vehicle, incidentally, DID have the right of way, and then curse the operator when he nevertheless manages to screech to a halt before, as I said, running you down.

If you can’t handle following the rules of the road, then I suggest you find a closed track to get your exercise.


SYNTHESIS: the end result of a dialectic.

Every so often, somebody will come along and handily sum up a longer and more-complex discussion. I believe that Lyle at UltiMAK, posting at Joe Huffman’s blog, has done so on the topic of illegal immigration from the liberty perspective. RTWT recommended.

On another hand…

Ralph Peters in the NY Post:

As the left’s blame-the-citizen demands for special privileges for all immigrants only intensify an anti-immigrant backlash, let’s apply some commonsense maxims:

* It is always the responsibility of the immigrant to conform to the laws and social norms of the host society. It is never the responsibility of a society to alter its traditions and values to please immigrants.

* The primary responsibility of government is to protect its citizens and territory. That demands robust border security.

* Illegal immigrants are entitled to basic human rights, but have no civil rights: no right to an attorney, trial or “sanctuary.”

* Washington must remove current incentives to illegal immigration. This means relentlessly pursuing both those who hire illegals and illegals themselves, doubling sentences for illegal-immigrant offenders, and a constitutional amendment eliminating the automatic citizenship granted to children born on our soil to illegals.

* At the same time, we must reform our legal immigration system to recognize the need for temporary workers, as well as for qualified new citizens.

* Turning 10 million illegals into US voters is not the answer.

Have a problem with some of each. How to decide?

Anent the Looming Greek

DEFAULT, IT APPEARS to me that a synonym for “European Union” could be “putting all your eggs in one basket.”

Deepwater Horizon as Katrina

OR SO IT APPEARS one media template is going. Now, you KNOW I’m thinking, “Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy” and “Now the shoe’s on the other foot.” And stuff the like.

But I’d like to adduce another lesson, if I may. Instead of beating the governors about the head and shoulders with a bladder for the government’s pitifully inadequate response, why not admit that, in these cases, government is really the wrong tool? Too blunt. Too large scale. Disasters look big from a distance, but they’re really all personal. Individual. And, as we saw from Katrina, it is the individual, voluntary response that is the most effective.

Of course, that means you expect Democrats to draw appropriate lessons from history.

Um… yeah.

That said, it really is pitiful that Obama couldn’t bear to get the DOD on the case any sooner. I’d be willing to bet that, somewhere in Northern Command, somebody was pulling plans off the shelf and spooling up the engines on the appropriate response vehicles, just waiting for National Command Authority to get on the stick.


LAST WEEK Tanker, from Mostly Cajun, All American, commented here that he’d never be able to get all his cats to sit still in one place like that.

At which I had to chuckle, because, around here, all you have to do is open a window. The shot below was literally taken five seconds after the window was opened.

The only reason you don’t see six cats here is that Number 6 — Oliver — was a little slow and got crowded out. He wanted to be there, too, as evidenced by his taking up station by the front door.