Monthly Archives: October 2010

It Would Be a Lot Easier

TO STOP DEMONIZING our opposition if the opposition weren’t so damned demonic.

Baby Kitty Tucked In

UNDER MY chin. Doesn’t matter what she’s doing, when the laser from the camera’s autofocus hits her, she looks right at the camera. Doesn’t matter if you direct her: “Don’t look at the camera!” She does it anyway.

iTunes Just Tossed This Out

AND IT ROCKED ME back in my chair.

Fleetwood Mac, The Sunny Side of Heaven.

Chilly Caturday Morning

HAPPINESS IS a purring baby kitty curled up on your chest while you sip your morning coffee. And she sleepily reaches out with a soft paddy-paw and touches your face.

That is, L-R, me (my t-shirt), Karma (on my leg — the moose pattern is my PJs) and a pillow.

Funny How Calls for Civility

ALMOST ALWAYS amount to “You shut up and listen to my way of thinking.”

Disingenuous, yes. Naive, possibly. Historically ignorant, most definitely.

From the Moment We First Heard

OF THE PROPOSED Transportation Safety Administration and then its subsumation into the Department of Homeland Security (Doesn’t it give you a black-and-red, roman-saluting frisson to hear that fascistic coinage applied to an American government agency?), I held that the only way it would ever be even calmed down, let alone put down like the rabid dog of an idea it was, would be if the airlines complained that the utterly useless — even offensive — tactics employed were putting off passengers in sufficient numbers to have a negative effect on business.

I just never thought it would be European airlines to complain.

Man! They REALLY Can’t

HANDLE DISSENTING OPINION! Now they want to send their enemies off planet! Hokey smokes, Bullwinkle! It’s the Botany Bay!

KHAAAAAAAAN!

You Think We Won’t Be

VOTIN’ OUR WAY OUT of this mess? Well, you’re right. We won’t. We’ll be taxpayin’ and organizin’ and marchin’ and protestin’ and letter-writin’ and — if necessary — tar-and-featherin’ and rail-ridin’ and torch-and-pitchfork-shakin’ and effigy-burnin’ and tea-in-the-harbor-dumpin’.

But before all that, we gotta be votin’.

And if you’re one of those who sits on his fat ass Tuesday and doesn’t vote, well… I may not want to know you. And I sure as hell don’t want to hear your sorry ass bitchin’ about all the tax payin’ and regulation-obeyin’ and the freedom-losin’ thanks to your lazy-assin’.

Yes, freedom includes the right to be left the hell alone. Trouble is, the world is run by the people who show up. If you don’t, guess who will.

Quote of the Day

Repeat after Glenn: “Don’t get cocky, don’t get cocky, don’t get cocky.”

Sissy Willis

As they say, the real fight starts November 3rd.

OTOH, I’m with Rush on the optimism front. I don’t think that, having thus been awakened, the Silent Majority is going to go back to sleep after the election. We-all understand the stakes and the scope of the task.

The Caturday Post

KARMA KARMA KARMA KARMA KARMA CHAMEEE-LEE-UN has been in the house for 3½ weeks, now. Toni, who has been in Michigan for the past week, swears up and down that the kitten has grown. Me, I’m not so sure, but I’ve had her purring on my chest every evening and held her in my hands while hauling her growling away from the adult cats’ food. That is to say: I haven’t the perspective to be able to tell. When the report comes back that she weighs three pounds, I’ll be able to wrap my head around the notion. Until then, growth is denied.

If you’ve been following along at home, you may recall that the pre-resident adult cats were at first reluctant to accept Karma into the household. She was something new and alien and potentially threatening. However, one advantage of keeping small predators with brains the size of a walnut (without the shell) as pets is that they have very little short-term memory. By the beginning of this week, Karma was no longer alien, but had been accepted as a permanent fixture in their environment.

If only people adapted so easily to change.

More recently, she has been apparently viewed as some sort of a self-actuating toy, with its own teleological programming, which makes it an interesting hunting lure. In the shot above, Karma is getting lessons in interaction and how to pretend you’re a mouse being hunted by the mighty Snow Lion from the Land of the Ice and Snow. From Loki.

Here we see another interaction, this time with Aqua. This is also an example of forced perspective, as it makes Karma appear about twice her normal size. Or maybe that’s the fur standing on end that does that. Here’s one that gives a better idea of her size — taken this morning.

Little Karma has been doing her own exploring of Casa d’Alger as well. She’s discovered a favorite toy…

And has been pushing at the boundaries of her physical limits. Here she wonders if she dares make the leap from the cat tree to the bookcase, a transition the adults are cautious about taking. (Notice that her attention has been caught by a tasty video treat. Mmmm. Captain Tight-pants. Yummm.)

Although we put her on the bed for the session with Loki (that was two weeks ago — a lifetime in kitten years), she has been able to get up on the bed on her own — a feat that has to equal something like a first-day’s traverse on Half Dome for a human being. (OK, I exaggerate. It’s only like climbing the face of a six-story building.)

But, like all cats, she’s been spending the most of her time curled up asleep. On, of course, some of the house’s prime real estate — the best location, location, locations for sleeping, like on my chest and next to me on the couch. That’s my knee she’s head-butted into there.

Embrace the squee.

See? See?

MEGALOMANIAC

As Ayn Rand Said

IF REALITY DOESN’T match your expectations, perhaps it’s time to re-examine your premises.

Juan Williams was purged from NPR because he spoke truth to power: the truth being that Moslems (deliberately?) make people of other faiths or of no faith nervous — the more overtly Moslem one’s sartorial choices, the more “in your face,” the more nervous people are made; the power being the coaxial aligment of leftist wannabe tyrants and their fronts and Islamofascists.

But here’s the nub: if you have to use coercion to advance your cause, you lose. Ipso facto, your premises are revealed as invalid. You have no argument and must retire from the field of debate.

In this, though he may consider the cost too high, Williams pwns NPR.

Tam Quoted Me In A Post

AT VFTP a fact worthy of a post all its own. And thank you, Tam. What with Dolly’s lackadaisical attitude about things bloggal, here lately…

Hey! I resemble that remark!

…Things have gotten a touch slack here at BTB lately. I’m sure, if one of us bothered to look, we’d see a sharp drop-off in our traffic to match.

And I suppose I should apologize for the lack-o-bloggage of late. It’s got so bad the cats have taken notice and are starting to bug me about not posting. I just… I’ve been very busy elsewhere and have also been suffering from amotivational syndrome without the benefit of drugs. Just… blahs. Combine the two and one just can’t get up the enthusiasm for a good (or bad) blog post.

Anyway. In my last post, I asserted that liberty is a binary condition. Folk commenting at Tam’s alluded to my generally wannsinnig condition and asserted the contrary — that there is (or is perceived to be) a continuum of liberty and infringements thereupon, and that free/not free is not determined by the flipping of a switch.

And, I suppose, for all conditions taken in aggregate, that might be true. We are more free in the area of speech than we are in the area of no-knock, kinetic entries, though we are not truly free in either situation. However, let me ask you this: since when does the government get to legitimately decide the limits on its power under a charter designed to limit its power?

I made a comparison to pregnancy. Surely, one must think — in a knee-jerk, I-haven’t-really-thought-it-through sense of the verb to think — that pregnancy is definitely scalar. Afer all, there is a continuum of the condition from undifferentiated blastular mass to exclamations of “You did this to me, you bastard” in the delivery room.

Right?

No. I don’t think so. There is a moment in pregnancy — almost always unnoticed by any of the parties to the condition — when the bit flag flips from “not” to “hot.” That moment has been observed under microscopes as being the veriest instant that the first sperm cell penetrates the ova’s cell wall and induces the chemical change that locks out all the others. Before that instant, the host organism (thereinafter designated “Mother”) is not pregnant, and after it, she is. The condition may not last, but, given the evidence, it is undeniable.

In the question of liberty — on any and all questions — we have passed that moment of conception generations ago. Now, we’re arguing over the color of the booties and what wallpaper to put in the nursery.

I think the analogy holds.

At some moment — possibly at Marbury v. Madison, possibly even earlier, at the moment that George Washington ordered forth the troops to put down the Whiskey Rebellion, but in any case, very early on — the American people passed from being a free people to being subjects of the state.

In terms of fighting tyranny, the situation is — in my mind, at least — every bit as black-and-white. There is a direction arrow on that thing. One way goes toward liberty, the other toward tyranny. Every action you take in any arena — political, economic, religious, interpersonal — has the same bit flag to flip. Your actions contribute to ordered liberty, or they do not. There is no “neutral” position for the switch.

For the fools who equate a preference for gainsaying all proposed government action — a prejudice, if you will, that demands government prove the case that its actions will not harm rather than help the cause of ordered liberty — who equate that stance with anarchy: grow up. Government is necessary, true. The desiderata is self government. The argument is over the irreducible minimum of state. I contend that that is far less than most people are willing to admit.

That’s my case, as incoherent as it may be. Take your best shot.

When Harry Ried

SAYS “WE… NEED to be able to force [insurance companies] to pay for mammograms,” he is, in fact, saying, “You WANT us to enslave your fellow citizens for your convenience.”

When a politician attacks the profit motive, remember that he is attacking the ONLY incentive universally accepted to induce producers to serve their fellow man. Slavery doesn’t do it. Command/control economic planning doesn’t do it. Beating a cow won’t incent it to produce milk.

When a politician tries to persuade you to let him use the power of government to force outcomes the market will not support, run the other way. Not only is he proposing to effectively enslave your fellow citizens, he is implicitly proposing to also enslave you. No good will come of it.

It Needs to be Said

AND EVEN GOOGLE-BOMBED if you can: Frank Lautenberg is a traitor. He swore an oath to God to defend the Constitution, and here he is — again — seeking to eviscerate one of its key provisions. He is making war on the People and Constitution of the United States, and deserves to be hanged by the neck until dead, dead, dead.

And, no, the whole “living document” booshwa won’t fly, here. You can’t say that the Framers didn’t anticipate a time when liberty would be under assault from within and without, when the state has become so large and overweening as to threaten the very life of the Republic, when hordes of unelected bureaucrats — operating beyond the law most thoroughly — have more say over the life and means of the ordinary citizen than any king ever did, when every act of the government militates against the prosperity of the nation. You can’t say that, because they did. And, because they did, they formed the Constitution as they did.

The only shame is that they depended too much on the moral fiber of men of power and the nation at large. What they might have failed to apprehend is that so few (merely two thirds of the people, and not the whole) should object.

Things That Make You Go, “Hmmm”

OVER T’ PJ’S an essay asserting that, far from fighting with the “Hippies,” we in the Right should acknowledge and welcome them as our href="http://pajamasmedia.com/zombie/2010/10/11/the-electric-tea-party-acid-test/?singlepage=true" target="_blank">forebears.

Actually, considering that the Tea Party demographic skews toward people in their 50s and 60s, it may very well be that many Tea Partiers did wear long hair and practice free love 40 years ago when they were young. In other words, a certain percentage of Tea Partiers aren’t simply like the original hippies — they were the original hippies, but in the intervening decades have grown less ostentatious and these days express their anti-authoritarian urges in a more culturally conventional manner, now that adolescence has worn off.

I’d own that.

Seems As Some Folk Just Need to Be Reminded

LIBERTY IS A BINARY CONDITION like pregnancy. You can’t be “just a little” pregnant. You either is, or you ain’t. There’s no shades of being free. There’s no compromise with tyranny. You’re either free, a slave, or dead.

Every so often, I get one of those stiff, thick envelopes in the mail and wonder if I should renew my membership. And then the NRA goes and trucks with tyrants and I’m reminded why I don’t.

If You Haven’t Already

SEEN THIS VIDEO and are wavering in your political position, you NEED to see this:

The Bribe is Never Enough

I HAVE AT PERIODIC moments in my careers been offered bribes — monetary inducements to do something my employer (or I) would find questionable at best. My response has always been, “No.”

The counter has been, predictably, “What’s your price? Everybody has a price.”

To which my reply has always been (and always will be), “You can’t afford it.”

“Oh, come on!” my interlocutor will attempt to jolly me into naming a price. Maybe, he thinks, he can afford it. But he’s wrong.

“You can’t afford it because you’d have to replace my job. Figure I have twenty years’ working life left, you’d have to come up with over a million dollars, to support me and my wife in any style at all. Figuring I’d have to defend myself against prosecution, the price would probably go up to five or ten million. How much did you say this little favor you’re asking is worth to you?”

They always walk away. See, it’s not a matter of a high moral standards (although I have them, too, I’m just trying to talk in HIS language — figuring that’s easier to explain to someone who’d try to subvert the proper order of things). It’s a matter of practicality. That’s why I’d never fall for a government bribe.

Monday, in the 1:00 hour, Rush reported on a CNN story about how myriad thousands of temporary workers are now out of work, because their jobs stopped when the (so-called) “stimulus” funds (read: government bribe) ran out.

What did they expect? That Uncle Sam was going to support them forever? Yeah, right!

While it’s morally wrong to accept stolen goods — and that’s what you’re doing when you accept government transfer payments, no matter what the rationale — it’s also stupid, because sooner or later the money runs out, and you’re stuck back where you were. Only now, the government has raped the economy of all those billions of dollars for your little bribe, and there’s even less of a chance for you to get a real job.

Suckers.

Here’s A Glimpse Into the

COLLECTIVIST MIND-SET. A million years ago, in another lifetime, I drove a cab for a living. One of the guys on my shift had as his claim to fame that he had Seen the Elephant. He had been to Detroit and Worked the Line — Makin’ Thunderbirds as the Bob Seger song goes. He was, it might should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, a Democrat. A big union guy. Years later, he was probably a Reagan Democrat, but right then, Nixon was still in the White House, and Things Were Different.

He was, as I say, a big union man. Me, I’d heard chapter and verse about how unions actually screw the worker in exchange for power, how Samuel Gompers was a one man Marxist front, and the rest of the John Birch paranoia. But I hadn’t yet developed my libertarian view that unions are at bottom evil and do no good for anybody. I was, as a matter of fact, a Teamster myself.

The cab company being a closed shop, you see.

One day, we were sitting in his car in the local Big Boy. It was after our shift and I was catching a ride home with him. He was slurping the last of a large soft drink of some kind — lots of ice in a coated paper cup, just like they still serve today. He determined that there was no more virtue in the thing, and he opened his door and dropped it on the ground, explaining as he did so, “I’m a big union guy. There’s a guy whose job it is to clean this lot, and I’m in solidarity with him. If I don’t litter, he loses his job.”

Even then, as naive as I was, that rang a bit hollow. I had been raised by old school conservationists — long before the watermelons even dreamed of Earth Day — NEVER to litter under any circumstances. If there wasn’t a garbage can around, you held onto your litter, sticking it in your pocket if necessary, rather than drop it on the ground. Litterbugs were next to Satan in my book. The union solidarity dodge had/would never occur to me. But the guy was giving me a ride home, so I held my tongue.

But every time I hear of a leftist mob leaving mountains of trash behind — especially when contrasted with a crowd In the Right of a larger size, but better behavior — I think about my co-worker back in the day. No concern for the externalities of their supposed solidarity with their fellow man. It’s all just bullshit, a dodge so they can get away with trashing the planet with a clear conscience.

But they’re really lying to themselves.

Well, yes, Dolly. They are. Isn’t most leftism founded in self-deceit?

A Note to the Despicable

ALAN GRAYSON (Slimeball representing Florida in Congress): Alan, the point of mud-slinging is to get dirt on your opponent. Which means that, you know, in the stuff you sling at your opponent, there has to be some real dirt. Otherwise, it’s just water you’re flinging — the political equivalent of pissing into the wind.

Just thought you should know.

Heisenberg’s Cat

YOU’VE NO DOUBT heard of Schrödinger’s cat. Well, here at Casa d’Alger, we have Heisenberg’s cat. In layman’s terms, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle goes something like this:

In quantum mechanics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle states by precise inequalities that certain pairs of physical properties, such as position and momentum, cannot be simultaneously known to arbitrarily high precision. That is, the more precisely one property is measured, the less precisely the other can be measured.

(Wikipedia)

Karma, our Heisenberg’s cat, exhibits behavior such that it is impossible to determine her position in the plenum contained within our house to any degree of precision whatsoever, because by the time you’ve figured out where she is, she’s somewhere else.

A Demurrer

I MUST HUMBLY BEG TO disagree with Jeffrey H. Anderson when he writes to urge that the Constitution be amended to require a limited government.

That is what the Constitution is for — to place limits on government. The governing class, believing they know better than the framers how the Constitution should have — well — constituted our government, refuse to acknowledge those limits. And that’s putting it kindly.

No, Mr. Anderson. What is needed is a constitutional amendment specifying penalties for government officials not hewing to the clear text of the Constitution. Draconian penalties.

Incentives, doncha see.

Jumped the Shark Indeed

ECO-FASCISM HAS always been a bit of a death cult. You can’t, after all, reduce the world’s population to its so-called “carrying capacity” without breaking a few eggs. It’s revealing, however, that the more people realize how much of the watermelon* agenda (as opposed to true conservation and pollution abatement) is a load of utter bollocks, the more snarling, wicked, homicidal and misanthropic the die hard eco-fascists become. Keep it in mind the next time somebody asks you do to some mindless going-through-the-motions bit of theater. You may think it witless and funny, but they’re deadly serious.

You may not be interested in ecology, but ecology is interested in you.**

Very apropos, Dolly.

::preens:: Thenk yew.

*Watermelon — referring to eco-weenies, describes them as red on the inside and green on the out, a “front,” in the Marxist revolutionary parlance. ** Paraphrasing Trotsky (or close enough for our purposes), who — apparently paraphrasing someone else himself — is reputed to have said, “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.”

Hey Obama

We the People are calling. We want our country back.