Monthly Archives: August 2010

So the EPA Notices

THAT IT DOESN’T HAVE the legal authority to ban lead ammunition. Huzzah! Anybody point out to them that they don’t have the legal authority to kneecap the economy by regulating carbon dioxide, either?

Quote of the Day

It cannot be referred to as a state of freedom when anyone must beg permission to produce under threat of force.

Billy Beck

I Must Admit to Being Conflicted

OVER THE DICHOTOMY encapsulated in the formulation, “Better a thousand guilty men go free than a single innocent be punished.” Or variations.

Yes, I am on all fours with the notion that permitting the punishment of putative wrongdoers on any but certainty stands at the top of a very slippery slope, at the bottom of which is arbitrary and capricious administration of “justice,” which is no justice at all, but oppression.

On the other hand, to set even one guilty man free represents justice denied to the victim(s), and increases the probability of there being more victims at this guilty man’s hands in the near future.

On the third hand, I can’t really see where punishing the wrong man for a crime is really very just at all.

For those who rail at technicalities, I’d remind you that the purpose of the technicalities is to ensure that evidence and testimony are untained and therefore (presumably) trustworthy. Punishment on false evidence of — like as not — the wrong man… isn’t this where we came in?

I can’t really see a single, right and easy path.

Happy Annivesary

BELATEDLY TO MY dear wife, Toni, on the occasion of our 28th. It was yesterday. I sent her a card, but didn’t think to post anything here. It’s on our geneaology site, so the family picked up on it, but not too many other people. Celebration will be low key, as I’m doing the grocery shopping and herself starts an away gig today. But then, we’re pretty much given to low-key celebrations all around, so this is hardly unique. Nevertheless, we are glad and proud of the occasion. Given that 50% of marriages reputedly end in divorce, I’d say we’re doing damned good. Yeah, there’s friction, but on the whole, I think we’re doing damned good.

Oh. I said that, didn’t I?

Maybe growing senile together is a good thing.

Yeah, Right Like

THAT’LL HAPPEN (Howard Stern urges the use of DDT to quell bedbug infestation of New
York.) The reason bedbugs (and the anopheles mosquito) are so rare in developed countries is that, back at the turn of the 20th Century, public health officials used DDT to eliminate the pests.

Then witless panic merchant, Rachel Carson wrote and published Silent Spring. A more fact-challenge, emotion-ridden screed has never been published. Despite the overwhelming weight of actual scientific evidence to the contrary, wide-ranging bird die-offs were blamed on DDT, and a new movement of the ignorant led by the mendacious — the modern (scorn quotes) “ecological” movement was born.

That was 1972 (that the ban was instituted). 38 years ago.

It has been estimated, probably as reliably as is possible, that a million or more preventable deaths are suffered in Africa from malaria every year. 38 million.

Unintended consequences? If you judge progressives by the words of their philosphical forebears, not so much. But does it matter? If a course of action is warned against and a person or group undertakes it nonetheless, and dire result eventuate, how can those consequences be said to be unintended because dangerous fools assert, “We never meant for THAT to happen”?

The bedbug problem is wider spread than anyone seems willing to admit, and demands a strong response. But, given the tendency of government (which is in the driver’s seat, given the current ban on DDT) to never fail to fail in these matters, don’t expect an appropriate response until the matter becomes disastrous in scope.

As the snarkists say, good luck with that.

As I’ve Said

MANY TIMES MANY WAYS this is how you do it.

Yes, that’s correct: we made a conscious decision not to fly because of the hassle associated with the security nonsense at the airport.

CC: Airline presidents and congresscritters all.

Insty Points To

AS HE SAYS a question he’s never considered, an article at The Volokh Conspiracy which asks the musical questionnn…

Does Dressing Up as a Cop, Staging Fake Traffic Stops, Looking for Drugs, and then Keeping the Drugs Violate the Fourth Amendment?

Well. I have. Considered it. And the answer is, “Yes.” The wording of the Amendment is absolute. It does not limit the prohibition to agents of the state. In fact, at the Framing, there were no agents of the state. Professional police forces being a later development. And, As I Discuss below, a right that is enforceable only against the state is no right at all.

Apparently, the judge in the case has his head up his ass, because he disagrees with me. (And, you know, that is a primary symptom of recto-cranial inversion. Disagreeing with me, I mean.)

Y’All Know

WHETHER YOU COMMENT or not, I’m going to assume you have read the screeds below and absorbed the concept, and I’m going to allude to them assuming you have.

The Dropped Stitch

I’D WAGER THAT A lot of folks wouldn’t even miss it — those who made it to the end of the post below in the first place — but I dropped a stitch in my exposition last night. (That is: the post was written Wednesday night, this is Thursday night to me, and you’ll read this Friday and thereafter whenever you stop in.)

BUT….

If you haven’t read the post below, please go do so. Otherwise, this one won’t make much sense. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Back already? Wow. That musta been simpler than I thought. OK. Did you notice the dropped stitch? OK. No games. It’s near the end, where Dolly says, “Now go enforce it.” Instead of allowing as how my logic seems sound, she should have argued that I failed to show a qualitative difference between individual rights and property rights. I even elided the fact that there might be a difference. So here we go trying to repair that. At first, I thought I’d just edit that post to include it. But the longer I thought on it, the longer this text got, and the less graceful an insertion would have gotten.

Here we go.

A lot of people have tried to stick a pin in the nature of the source of human rights. Where do they come from? What’s the first right — the ur right, if you will, from which all the others descend in cascading generations? I’m not sure I could put a fix on the exact lat and long, but I think I can define the nature of it. The core of human rights is at the core of a human being. That concept being rather fuzzy and ill-defined means that rights will be fuzzy and ill-defined — in a sort of a philosophical version of the Heisenberg principle, you can not observe both the position and speed of a right at the same time — the one affects the other, and the best you can do is a range of possibilities in a cloud of uncertainty. But it’s attached to being a human.

Call it a soul. Somebody said in my hearing recently (and thus it sticks in my mind for the moment, to be forgotten at a later date) that we don’t so much have souls as we are souls. Make sense? If a soul defines individuality, and the mind of Man permits him to apprehend that he is a soul, then the mind of Man is the apotheosis of creation, which makes us in apprehension (apologies to the Bard) so like to God. And from the mind/soul duo flows what it is to be a Man (in a generic sense, most definitely including women). So human rights are endowed by our creator (whatever you perceive Him to be, hairy thunderer or cosmic muffin), and inhere to us as individuals to the extent that they do flow from our creation, and are not our own, flawed constructs.

The right to life is inherent in our existence, as is the right to liberty. The rights of free expression, thought, and conscience, while possibly expressed outwardly, are still internal to our being. These rights, as I put it, inhere to the individual and do not require an external expression. The right to own property might be seen as being somewhat similar, as the first property one owns is onesself. But rights in property not a part of onesself require external exercise and cannot be held to be equal to those of the self.

(This is one problem with being an autodidact: you often reinvent the wheel. Right about now, some chromedome is going to come along and say, “Popper wrote about that in…[some book I never read].” If that’s so, it’s no end of fascinating, but not really relevant at the moment.)

Relevant to the post below (Remember? We’re amending that post with this one?), the right to life inhering to the individual, the right to defense of that life — of the self — must also do so. That’s the takeaway phrase: The right of self-defense inheres to the individual. The exercise of rights in property — such as defining who may and may not have access to it or use of it — do not. Not in the same manner or quality. Thus, individual rights being, in essence, superior to property rights, the former trump the latter, and there can be no conflict.

At least, that’s the theory. Now let’s do the math.

In the case of what we’ll call the lunch-counter rights — the right to equal access to public accomodation, albeit privately-owned accomodation — the free exercise of said rights is seen as being vital to ordered liberty. In theory, I am forced to disagree, feeling (without proof, I hasten to add) that there must be a better solution, which does not require the abrogation of BOTH private property rights AND rights of free association, yet still satisfies the call for justice in the matter. But, as a matter of practical fact, I do not have a better solution, so must accept the one my society has come up with, however flawed it may seem to be. And, in doing so, I must therefore apply it even-handedly across my entire spectrum of social situations as we — as a people — encounter them.

In Second Amendment rights, we have enshrined in our founding charter, the exercise in property of a right which is, in reality, far closer to a human right. The right to bear arms is the outward exercise of the right to life — and the consequent right to defend that life. And the self contained therein.

The right has recently — belatedly, and in a niggardly fashion — been recognized in the courts. (How insidious and despicable is it that the government gets to decide the merits of limits on its own power?)

If we recognize the right of the self to defend itself, then deny it the right to possession, carriage, and use of the most efficacious means of self-defense, are we not being despicable little hair-splitters, tyrants both gross and petty?

So, it follows as night does the day that no actor — state nor private — may deny a Man the right to bear arms. Nor, in the case of public accomodation, at least, may private property rights be allowed to trump.

Making any more sense?

(I can’t wait until Kevin Baker gets his teeth into THAT.)

No Conflict of Rights

I’VE DANCED AROUND the perimeter of this question for awhile. This evening, I think I came up with a nutshell formation of the issue, now let’s see if I can get it down in pixels.

The relevant part of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads, “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” There are commas in there that, according to modern style, seem irrelevant, and I take the view that they do not affect the sense of the whole, so are irrelevant.

First, and has been argued most thoroughly elsewhere, “the right of the people” presumes a freestanding and extant right, which the document does not seek to grant, merely to affirm its existence and forbid the government from infringing on it.

Or does it? Forbid the government? That prohibition has an interesting wording. “…SHALL not be infringed.”

You may recall from your reading of the Amendment, or from other discussions on the topic, that the First Amendment starts out, “Congress shall make no law…”

This, it is argued, springs largely from the fact that, at the time the Constitution was framed, several of the States had state religions, and religious tests for office. This perquisite of state was jealously guarded and nobody wanted the Federal government meddling in the matter. So there was a specific prohibition lain on Congress that it may not legislate in the matter.

But not the States.

But, that being the case, turnabout’s fair play. In none of the rest of the Amendments is there the wording specifying that it is Congress being the sole party limited here.

I argue, in fact, that these proscriptions are absolute, as is crystal clear from the wording. No one — no actor, whether state or private, Federal, State, County, Municipal, Village, or Dog-catcher — SHALL infringe upon these rights, except as limited by these texts. (SHALL being as though and having the same force as a divine commandment, a distinction largely lost in our linguistically lazy times.)

Nobody — not even a private person — may infringe upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

Now, if you think about it, this makes perfect sense. After all, if any Tom, Dick, or Harriet can infringe Willy-Hilly on an individual right, so long as they’re not the State or an Agent of the State, then you pretty much have chaos and anarchy — a state which, the Jefferson Airplane* notwithstanding, nobody is very proud of. For a society to exist in ordered liberty, individuals must respect one another’s rights, and the law must recognize that requirement for respect, or … as I said: chaos and anarchy.

Which means… Those signs in the grocery, with a revolver in black ink on a white background, surprinted with the international “NO” barred circle in red? Pretty much unconstitutional.

Wait just a damned minnit, here, Alger! I saw you palm that card. You just named the conflict between individual right to keep and bear arms and private property rights. After all, those grocery stores am private property, ain’ they?

Well, possibly. But … follow me on this … they are also public accomodations.

::wobbitawobbitawobbitawobbita::

I understand your confusion. You see, although private property rights are not enshrined per se in the Bill of Rights, they are implied in the penumbrae of the Third, Fourth, Seventh and Ninth Amendments. That is, there is no direct reference to a “Right to Property,” but restrictions on infringements on the right would seem to imply its existence. On the other hand, the right to exclude someone from entering your property would also seem to arise from the right of free association. Or the right to freely NOT associate, if you follow my drift.

But history tells us that a consensual society’s moral strictures can be turned against it by individuals or groups of ill intent, such as… oh, latter day communists or muslims. And, in the days of Reconstruction et sequelae, such individuals (mostly Democrats, I should point out), engaged in such behavior directed at former slaves and those who resemble them by virtue of enhanced melanin in the skinnal area. That is to say bitter-enders and Progressives used a property rights and free association argument in favor of invidious discrimination against black folk in America. This was not only invidious, but in many cases, it was life-threatening. And so, in the spirit of Something Must Be Done and In A Hurry (and thus my assertion that nearly all bad political ideas are born of impatience), we… well, not “we,” since I didn’t participate and don’t approve … “we” abrogated property rights and the right of free association in the special class of Public Accomodations, mandating that discrimination in these cases is Hereby Made Unlawful.

Baby, meet bathwater.

But, as we say, the die being cast, turnabout is fair play. If equal treatment under the law requires that private property rights be abridged and rights of free association infringed in this special case, then it also demands that, while you may be allowed to forbid an armed person to come into your home (and good luck with that) … in your public accomodation — bar, restaurant, hotel, grocery store, zoo, museum, or amusement park… Not So Much.

OK. Your logic seems sound. Now get it enforced.

Oh, that’s not happening for a donkey’s years, yet. But Confuscius had to put one foot in front of the other just like everybody else.

WTF?

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Oh.

(*And they are very proud of themselves…)

There. Let that marinade for awhile and see how it stands up.

Gee!

THE DAY AFTER the Obama Administration announces “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq, the mee-djya reports a rash of terrorist attacks.

Who’d ha’ thunk it?

Quote of the Day

OFT-REITERATED IN LONGER form, but here neatly encapsulated for your sound bite pleasure.

The Professional Left: “Their morals are crooked, their logic is flawed, their honor is stolen, their motives are corrupt, their methods are criminal, and their goal is a disaster.”

The People’s Cube

–As quoted at American Digest.

I Have A Suggestion

FOR THOSE OF YOU who agree with the racist bigot Reverend Wright when he says, “God DAMN America!”

DO WHILE
RantOn:()

GET THE FUCK OUT! LEAVE! YOU’RE NOT WANTED HERE! GO FIND YOUR PARADISE ON EARTH ON SOME OTHER CONTINENT — YOUR PICK!

IF<>RantOff:()
LOOP

So Ewoks Are

STORMTROOPERS in Wookie Suits?

::wobbita::

Wolves in sheeps’ clothing, Dolly.

O. IC.

A One-Song Slam Mix

MOST SINCERELY: … strong letter to follow.

Just… hilarious and clever and — yeah, I know — you already heard about it at Bobbi X’s, where I did. Don’t matter none. Go watch it again and have another chuckle. Just heed the NSFW warning.

Quick! Guess That

PARTY AFFILIATION — scorn quotes — “Religion.”

Quote of the Day

Imagine the KKK with hundreds of billions of dollars, running entire countries and commanding over a billion followers. That is what the Muslim world looks like today. Incredible wealth in the service of incredible bigotry.

Daniel Greenfield

Home. Home Again

I LIKE TO BE HERE when I can…

Having worked for decades to make a comfortable home, one discovers one day that home is the most comfortable place, and where one wants to be all the time.

Nothing more exciting than that: just an observation.

But You Knew That Dept:

THE HEALTH benefits of bacon.

O’Bama Believes

THAT MOSLEMS HAVE THE right to practice their religion…

The right to conquest by the sword;

The right to deceive and defraud their unbelieving neighbors;

The right to enslave non-Moslems;

The right to murder Christians and Jews;

The right to beat their wives and children, or to kill them under certain circumstances;

The right to beat or kill total strangers who display insufficient respect for or obeisance to Islam.

Islam is not a religion. It is a toxic political ideology that masquerades as a religion.

The holy book of the religion not only authorizes, but requires its adherents to lie and dissemble in the service of Islam. This is the doctrine called taqiyya. This means that you can, by the articles of his own faith, trust nothing a Moslem says.

Islam’s faithful seek to replace non-Moslem law with Sharia. In the United States, this means that, by hook or by crook, by stealth or naked force, they seek to supplant the Constitution.

If encompassed: This. Is. Treason. A capital crime against the people and Constitution of the United States.

The ruling class can’t admit that, because they would be tarred with the same brush.

Cross-posted to Eternity Road

Scoundrels and Last Resorts

GOV. JENNIFER GRANHOLM of Michigan levels the charge at Rush Limbaugh that he is unpatriotic for his criticism of the Chevrolet Volt — which it took the firing of a CEO to get the company’s mind right with.

I would remind our friend from the Great White North (Can a Canadian be a carpetbagger?) that — to quote a great american — the business of America is business. And markets — business — exist for the benefit of the buyer, not the seller nor uninterested third parties…

Oh, they’re interested, alright!

I mean that in a legal sense. In a proper sense, neither the state nor environmentalists have a proper interest in a transaction between GM and a private buyer of an automobile. They are gratuitously intermeddling in affairs not their own when they steal money at gunpoint and “give” it — entailed as it is — to a business to bribe it — against the interests of the business and its customers — to manufacture and sell a product nobody would pay a price based on the real costs of manufacture and sales… at a price that constitutes dumping, as it was referred to when the UAW accused Japanese carmakers of doing it back in the ’80s.

This is not only uneconomical, it is criminal. And for the United States government to coerce this tavesty into being is anything but patriotic. Resistance of it would therefore be the highest level of patriotism.

Six Drug-Addled Kittehs

TONI DECIDED TO GIVE the cats a treat and refill their catnip toys this morning. Hilarity ensued as we tried to keep the cats from jumping up on her desk and hoovering up all the loose catnip before it went into the toys. Which all of them tried to do with as much unrelent as the People’s Army coming across the Yalu river in 1950. Or the Viet Minh at Dien Bien Phu. You’d pick one up and dump him/her on the floor and another one would be clambering up. They came over the leather armchair; they jumped up from the floor; they mewled in outrage when I snatched them up two at a time and carried them across the room. Loki and Aqua were the most persistent. Belle was ladylike and demure — no, make that lurking and menacing — hanging back and watching for an opportunity.

Finally, one toy was filled and tied off, to be tossed into a scrum that was worthy of Manchester United versus Our Wee Rangers of Glasgow. They got it cornered between the utility cabinet and a stack of plastic containers and worried away at it.

But Loki was not so easily appeased. Even after the second toy was tossed onto the floor, he was up on the desk like the Tenth Mountain Division at Monte Cassino, going after that motherlode — the envelope that the catnip resupply is kept in. And he almost got it, too. His plaintive mewing said as loud as shouting, “I’d open that drawer myself, but I don’t have any thumbs!”

Gradually, each one of them got his or her fill, and now they’re all in the standing around going, “WOW!” phase of buzzdom. Pretty soon, it’ll be naptime.

And then, Toni and I will start with the vacuum cleaner. Heh. Ain’t we stinkers?

Anent Gauleiter Schumer

AND THE SO-CALLED “Disclose” act, (and Chucky’s obsession with shutting up his critics under color of law). Perhaps we should take a page from Bill Whittle’s playbook. (You DID go and read that post when I told you to, right?)

That iceberg is hollow. And we need to ram it, and we need to ram it now. It’s going to crush the front of our ship, and severely damage us as a culture – but we will survive. And by surviving, we can repair the damage and make ourselves better than we were.

“Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!”

We shouldn’t sit around and wring our hands, hoping some court somewhere will defend our rights. We should attack that wannabe tyrant for the treasonous fuckspittle he is. Take his ass out — politically, legally, criminally — whatever.

I keep asking an nobody answers: if it’s permissible — even mandatory — to use force — even lethal force — to prevent a felony in progress, what level of force is permissible to prevent a violation of the Constitution?

You don’t think you’ll get any stick for associating Schumer with the rank of Gauleiter?

So what? Tough shit. If he doesn’t like it, he can stop acting like a fucking Nazi.

Caturday

THE TRIPLETS just now. Saturday morning, 9:00AM.

Quote of the Day

A thousand pop stars can’t put one bowl of food on the table. These guys with their funny-looking tractors feed the world.

–Tanker, at Mostly Cajun

I saw in a music business trade publication the other day that Farm Aid is 25 years old this year. The first one might have sounded like a fair idea. 25 years makes you wonder if there isn’t something systemic they’re missing.

Funny Quote of the Day

Goats are evidence that God has a sense of humor, and a low one.

Justthisguy in comments to this post at Tam’s

…in the comments to which, Tam wrote:

I looked at Bobbi today at the fair and said “You know, it’d be a damn shame to live 80 years on a planet with elephants on it and die without ever having ridden one.”

Beautiful. Just… beautiful.

The Cutting Edge

I’VE BEEN THINKING lately of the tool-users’ rule that you should always have a sharp edge and fire with you.

I used to do that: getting dressed in the morning included putting a knife and a cigarette lighter in my pocket. Then I stopped smoking. Then I stopped wearing jeans. A multi-bladed Boy Scout or Swiss Army knife is too heavy to go in the pocket of lightweight slacks. That’s more the kind of thing you keep in the top tray of your toolbox. Just as they’ll tell you the small gun you keep in your pocket is worth ten of the high-powered safe queen, so, too, the knife you can stick in your pocket and forget until your hand reaches for it is way better than the one that has all those blades you’ll never use, but makes your sciatica act up where it presses against your leg, so you leave it atop the dresser when you go out.

I have one, and the top tray of the toolbox is the best place in my world for it.

For some time, I’ve carried a Victorinox pen knife on my keyring. Recently that knife lost the ring that held it onto the ring. No sigh. I really wasn’t that attached to it anyway. Nevertheless, I’m feeling the need to pick up something to carry in my pocket. I have a bunch of knives in my drawer, just need to pick one.

I have three more of the Victorinoxes (Victorinoces?), but they don’t appeal to me much. I may put one on my keychain again, but I don’t want it to be my main carry blade. Nope. Looking for something more substantial.

My first pocket knife after the Boy Scout do-everything knife (which taught me the relative values of mutli-purpose and dedicated tools) was a Case. Three blades, I think, the only difference being the size and shape of edge and point. No corkscrews, nail scissors, screwdriver, or any of that. I have no idea where it went. Lost in the mists of time.

I have an old Boker jackknife of doubtful provenance that somewhat resembles the Case. Two blades. The action is still workable, albeit stiff, but it’s looking a bit worse for the wear. The name badge has come off. There’s a hole in the scale, filled with a plastic retainer of some kind where the badge should be. The blades are rusty and in need of sharpening. Boker has a warranty and service facility out west. I may send the knife out there to get refurbished, if they’ll do it. The prices I’m seeing on similar models new lead me to believe it’s probably worth it.

But I suspect I still need to find something. I used to have a small lock-back I liked. It resembled one that Boker lists for $60. There’s no way I’d pay $60 for what amounts to a pen knife. A larger, less costy version of that might appeal. Maybe something “tactical,” as much as I hate the word.

Update: Found a cheapass lock back with about a 2″ blade and a plastic handle — forty years ago, I’d have said Bakelite; who knows what it is now. Made in China. Called a Sabre Hillman. Yeah. Me neither. Was in the cheapassshit bucket at Ace Hardware. $3.99. Cheap at twice the price, so I got two. It came out of the bucket sharp enough to slice a sheet of note paper. I didn’t press my luck and go for a double-spread of newsprint. It’ll do until I form enough prejudices to pick out and buy a real knife.

Meantimes, I reckon I’ll attempt to get in touch with Boker and see if they’ll refurbish This Old Jackknife.

YOU!

MUST Read. This: Bill Whittle — The Iceberg.

And I do mean YOU.

Seems as Though Friday the Thirteenth

FALLED ON A FRIDAY this month. This year.

I Swear I Still Think

THAT KATHRYN Limbaugh bears an uncanny resemblance to Tricia Helfer. Have they ever been seen together in one place at the same time? I mean, this is important! Did the Rushmeister marry a Cylon?

BSN, all the best to the happy couple.

Quote of the Day

It is time to stop being polite to these people.

Flea

Or, as Rodger, the Real King of France, puts it, You’re not Islamophobic? Whyever not?

Harry Ried, Racialist

EXTRAORDNIARE ANNOUNCES that he cannot imagine how anyone of Hispanic ancestry can be a Republican. Right. Hispanic folk don’t appreciate family, church, integrity, hard work, fair dealing, playing by the rules.

Actually, I have trouble understanding why anyone of American ancestry would be a Democrat.

You mean Americans don’t appreciate the breakup of the family, dependence on the leviathan state, tax slavery, civilizational decline, dirty double dealing self aggrandizing political whores trashing the Constitution for their own filthy gain?

Er… Yes, Dolly. Something like that.

I Tend to Remain Silent

ON A GOOD MANY SUBJECTS where you, Gentle Reader, might suspect I might have an opinion to offer. The principle reason for this is that there are a good many subjects on which I find it difficult to maintain a calm demeanor long enough to get out a coherent paragraph without descending into… well, the kind of spittle-flecked derangements frequently evidenced by the Left.

Who do that whole thing quite well themselves without any help from me. As Borepatch takes note of.

Buzzword of the Day

MEDIA PICKS UP a military term — “optics” — in order to sound tough, hip, edgy, and with-it… saying “the optics” of Michelle Ma Belle’s peregrination to Spain look bad.

I know how the military is using the term these days, but they are also probably better aware than the media where the word comes from. Being’s how your latter day journolist would have barely passed Rocks for Jocks and looks down on Real Science and Other Forms of Practical Knowledge as being Things We Don’t Do.

Optics, you see, is the branch of physics that deals with the transmission of light. More specifically, the bending of light. Through prisms and lenses and other cool tricks and devices.

But well… Yes, your perspective on a matter does have a lot to do with the lens you are viewing it through.

And, from where I sit, the media’s optics look really bad. Warped. Achromatic. Astigmatic. Anamorphic.

The Problem With This Thesis

ADVANCED VIA a chin-pulling session in the Wall Street Journal is that those who style themselves the “betters” of the American people are nothing of the sort. (In fact, if someone tries to persuade you he is anyone’s better, you are well-advised to suspect just the opposite.) And the examples cited bear that opinion out. Those who would lord it over the American people are, as a group (always a problematic assessment, I know), themselves ignorant, bigoted, stupid, arrogant, given to shooting their mouths off from the hip with little or no provocation, and just generally wrong.

When Nancy Pelosi denigrates the Tea Parties as crazy people “carrying swastikas” she’s either engaged in deliberate disinformation or she’s swallowing whole the media lie. She’s displaying like a red baboon’s ass her manifest prejudice and arrogance.

When Nanny Bloomberg insults the intelligence of the 61% of New Yorkers who oppose the Cordova Mosque, he either ignores or is ignorant of the fact that the project is a deliberate stick-in-the-eye provocation and is seen as such by the very “moderate” Muslims he seems to seek to placate with his mealy-mouthed nonsense. The American people merely take at their word a group of people whose faith and creed instructs them to spread it by the sword and who have declared war on us in no uncertain terms. Nanny Bloomberg seems to be living in a La Lal Land in which it is possible and even sensible to ignore such threats, to discount global opinion when it makes him uncomfortable inhis prejudices. (Is it prejudiced to accept a man’s view of himself at face value?)

And that went on very much longer than I intended.

Hummers

ORDINARILY THE WINDOWSILL between the bookcases on the east wall of the study at Casa d’Alger is reserved for the cats. It’s curtained off and private and, during hot summer days, probably the warmest place in the house — a feature the cats seem to appreciate in an otherwise chillilly-refriglerated house. But every once in awhile, I hear a little chittering conversation going on between a couple of them, and I’ll open the curtain behind them to look out the window and see what’s piqued their interest.

Toni hung up a hummingbird feeder on the front porch earlier this year. It went through pretty much all of the first batch of hummingbird “food” (red sugar water, essentially) by evaporation. As far as we could tell, we got exactly ZERO visitors.

But here lately — the last couple of days — we’ve been seeing little thumb-sized critters with sewing-needle beaks and wings that are not even moving slow enough to blur hovering around the thing.

Now, the cats freak out at the sight of a bird in the birdbath out in the middle of the yard — maybe fifteen feet away. Imagine how excited they get when something not only appears in their field of view MUCH closer, but also appears to violate the laws of physics as cats understand them. Damned things HOVER.

Won’t stand still for a camera, either. I got one shot of one on the OTHER side of the feeder. Took two more because it was so small I couldn’t see it in the camera’s viewscreen. Didn’t know it was gone.

So be vewwy vewwy quiet. I’m hunting hummers.

Bawney Fwank

(I ALMOST QUOTED Dick Armey’s freudian slip, but decided at the last minute that it would be tacky.) Bawney Fwank, (you old drama queen), says that government is simply those things that we decide to do together.

Which is a very twee formulation. Just so cute and precious! But you know it’s utter bullshit.

The nation is a republic (if, as Dr. Franklin put it, we can keep it) for the reason best exposited by Churchill’s aphorism that democracy is three wolves and a sheep deciding on what to have for lunch. (If that even WAS Churchill. Did anybody get a good look?)

That is, if “we decide together” to enslave our fellow citizens so that they must work for our maintenance while we while away the time doing nothing much productive at all… That’s. Not. Right. I know it; you know it; the American people know it. But, if we decide to do it together, well who’s to stop us from camel-walking down the old goldbrick road to wish fulfillment city?

Hmmm?

Well, it’s that thing that Bawney seems to be utterly bereft of: principle. And if that’s hard for you to wrap your head around, it’s written out in convenient prose for you to refer to.

Remember? You swore an oath to it?

And you know…? We have a word for people who try to subvert that, as you do when you go against its strictures to “do what we agree to do together.” It starts with a “T” and it rhymes with “Benedict Arnold.”

KnowwhutImean?

So you’re saying that Democrats are unprincipled, corrupt, lying, treasonous SOB’s. And B’s.

Well… Yes.

So quit beatin’ around the bush and furlin’ come out and SAY it!

All It Takes to Nuke the Basic

CONCEPT BEHIND the watermelon movement (altogether now: green on the outside, red on the inside) is this simple question: Pollution is a crime against property. Why then do all of the so-called “green” solutions result in a weakening of private property rights? And why (as we have learned more recently) are the places where environmental damage is the worst those places where private property rights have been the weakest, and those places where the state has trammeled its citizens’ rights of free exchange in open markets most severely?

Oh, come ON, Alger! You know you can’t confuse a leftist with facts! It only makes their eyes big as saucers and spin around and around and around.

Thank you Dolly Christian Anderson.

It’s Hilarious to Me That

DEMOCRAT POLLSTERS are finally realizing what I was saying 35 and 40 years ago: the reason that local tax levies get voted down at such a rate is that those are the only ones within reach of the electorate. Protests. Cries for help. For the rest of what the political class visits upon We the (Little) People, the voters grasp at the straw of divided government and hunker down as best they can. It takes a near revolution for politicians to wake up to this? Idiots.

We are headed for a tidal wave the dimensions of which we have yet to determine.

— Pat Caddell

Warning: Graphic, As They Say

GRAPHICS at the link.

In case — yanno — you need help getting a head of steam up this AM.

Got News For Ed Markey

HE SAYS THAT Global Warming “deniers” should start their own country.

Sorry, Ed. You’re late to the party. We already did.

Now GET THE FUCK OUT!

Fascist butt monkey!

Why Izzit?

THAT REALLY OUGHT to be done with echo, kinda like the old “You Don’t Have to Be Jewish” company’s routine “Where is it Written (itten-itten-itten)?” Why (why) Izzit (izzit/izzit/izzit)?

But I degrease.

Why is it that people who couldn’t reason their way out of a paper bag can style themselves intellectuals solely on the basis of their Ivy League sheepskins, while those who not only could but do on a regular basis are styled the hoi polloi because they might work with their hands?

Just sayin’s all.

This Is Entirely Too Apropos

This instance spotted at Instapundit.

People Have Been Remarking

ON AL FRANKEN’S — after all, remarkable — behavior while presiding over the Senate.

And, yes, Franken isn’t funny — hasn’t been funny since…. ever. Yes, he’s abysmally ignorant and proud of it. Yes, he is a typical Democrat, failing upward at an ever-accelerating rate. Yes, he stole that election with the help of ACORN and should be in prison orange instead of Brooks Brothers gray. BUT…

(You knew there was going to be a “but…”)

In this case, I think his behavior has merit. It reminds us what a bunch of clowns THAT WHOLE BODY is.

The Millions Whom Stalin Ordered

EXECUTED OR SENT to Siberia went wondering if Uncle Joe knew the horrors being committed in his name…

“I feel really confused, I don’t understand how something like this is possible. I can’t imagine that at the top of the Obama administration that they realize that something like this is happening,” Jamieson told CNN.

Silly rabbit. You are sadly lacking in imagination.

What IS It With These

DEMOCRATS AND THEIR marriages of convenience. First Kennedy and Clinton and now — apparently — Obama.

And they all come with the… not so much CHILDREN as ISSUE.

Indeed, Dolly. Indeed.

Reading About the Cordova House Protests

AT THE PEOPLE’S cube, I it occurs to me that, if the voice of the people is still ignored by Our Betters™, maybe we should let the thing go ahead — subject to all the promised monkey warfare, such as delays in building permits and inspections, the refusal of patriotic skilled tradesmen to work on the project, and so forth — and then, when it’s up, tag it.

I mean, when you can’t keep bridges and subway trains from getting a fresh coat of graffiti once a week, why should a stick-in-the-eye mosque be any different?

I bet somebody could do a brisk business in stencils of the image of Mohammed with a bomb on his mind.

I bet after the first gang tagger struck, there’d be mobs of Moslem thugs roaming the streets surrounding the site.

Oh, goody. Gang warfare. Great for community relations.

Quote of the Day

SPEAKING TRUTH to assholes department:

I want us all to see what the Muslim mind is really like. Purposely provocative, inconsiderate, discourteous, and insensitive.

Bernie at Planck’s Constant
Quoted by Kathy Shaidle

(Hat tip: Our Very Own Flea.)

Wait! What?

A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT declared unconstitutional?

Sounds to me like the judge is unconstitutional.

Or his ruling, one.

Whatever. It’s out of order, however you put it.

Look On My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair

BOREPATCH ALWAYS has something to say, and generally says it well. I don’t comment nearly as often as I should, because I really don’t have much to add. And, true, Wednesday’s essay is no exception. But I have a tangent to throw on the pile.

Jackstraws: yeah.

That’s not a tangent; that’s a non sequitur.

Right. That wasn’t my tangent. This is:

I have a solution to the problem of an overwhelmingly large Federal Bureaucracy. It is one that will be viewed and demogogued as draconian (by people with no clue how the actual Draco would have dealt with them), but I view that as a feature. You can tell when you’ve made a hit when your opponent yelps at the sting.

Freeze Federal spending. No baseline budgeting, no current-services baseline. Freeze. Not one dollar more next year than this.

Disable (opposite of Enable) those departments viewed In the Right as being dedicated to unconstitutional purposes. Render without force those regulations the department has promulgated via the Federal Register. Don’t shut them down, simply remove their authority to act. Forbid their bureaucrats to interact with the public. Freeze their budgets. Freeze their hiring. Allow their work force to draw down by attrition. Permit those who remain to serve out their careers in office at their current levels of compensation and benefits — no increases. Permit them to draw the benefits promised them. But deny them any purpose or future in their vocations. Nor may they be hired by any government department left enabled.

No. New. Spending. New revenues are to go toward paying off the national debt — including unfunded obligations, such as Social Security and Medicare.

What departments would be on your list?

What do you reckon we could save?

Politicians talk about hard choices, about having to make the politically tough decisions. Do you suppose, if the people demanded this with the kind of clarity shown this week in Missouri, those choices would be a tad less hard? Politically… more tender?

People threaten that we cannot vote the leviathan state out of existence. How sweet would it be to prove them wrong?

Cross-posted at Eternity Road.