KARMA REMINDS US that it’s more important to pet the kitteh than it is to read the blogs.
But then, with tendentious perverseness, she will wander over in front of my computer and demand to be petted, but goes away when the camera comes out. Oh, for a camera that takes good pictures in low-ish light without a flash! (I think the cats have been conditioned by the flash to dislike having their pictures taken.)
FIRST APPEARED ON the scene, it was looking kind of tentative. It appears they have their act together, now: GenerationAmerica-dot-Org. A “conservative” alternative to AARP. So you no longer have to choose between getting ripped off and paying dues to support socialism.
Remember: conservativism/libertarianism is the majority position. The network effect works in your favor. And AARP — not unlike public-sector unions — is not your friend.
I ACTUALLY THINK OBAMA’S RIGHT in his refusal to enforce defend DOMA.
Not technically, because he’s — you know — wrong on the merits of the question. But he’s right constitutionally.
Any citizen, including most especially officers of the government, is bound to obey his conscience in constitutional matters. I find it despicable that judges have been able to get away with denying citizens standing in constitutional matters and haven’t been strung up from the handiest suitable lamp post on a first offense.
If a law is, as a matter of fact, flatly contradictory to the Constitution, then it is ipso facto null and void, and a court’s acknowledgement of that fact is just icing on the cake. Nor is a court’s refusal to accept the unconstitutionality assertion against a particular law dispositive. Endless repetition may be required to hammer the lesson home.
It took something the like in the case of slavery. It will probably take something the like with Obamacare, the graduated income tax, gun control — hell, the highway administration.
We have to keep beating the drum of freedom until the idiots hear the rhythm of it. And then we have to keep it up lest they backslide.
Of course, you have to be right on the merits, and there’s where Obama falls short.
But the utterly despicable cowardice of congresscritters’ being most assuredly aware of the unconstitutional nature of McCain-Feingold, and the President’s awareness of it, and the formers’ voting for it and the latter’s signing it, and THEN the Supreme Court’s failure to strike the law down entirely OUGHT to be an object lesson in the perils of lackadaisicality …ish …ness.
Update: corrected “enforced” to read “defend.” Thanks to Fran in comments for the straight-setting.
ON THE NOON RADIO report Wednesday, asserting (without foundation) that “You can’t be pro-job and anti-worker!”
What is the logical fallacy found in this assertion?
Fair enough, Dolly. What is the nature of the category?
The assertion embeds the assumption that the forces arrayed on the Left are pro-worker.
And why is that an error?
Duh! Because — like — they’re not?!
What evidence do you offer to support your contention?
What happens if the union leadership get their way?
I don’t know… what?
Well, the governor has already said: layoffs. Layoffs of unionized government workers.
OK. So how is the speaker in question mistaken?
Sounds like he’s conflatin’ the individual teacher with th’ union. Assumption of identity invalid. What is good for the union — extension of power — is not necessarily good for the teacher — job insecurity.
But wait! There’s more! The statement also assumes that the teachers are the only “workers” in the picture. He ignores the burden that a whole ‘nother group of workers — the taxpayers — is forced to bear, without any choice in the matter. Or… rather, with their choice in the matter as expressed by the results of the last election taken away from them by the anti-democratic tactics — the mob action on the part of the unions, and the denial of quorum on the part of Democrat office holders. Looks to me like the real mass of workers has been electorally disenfranchised by the cowardly tactics of the Left.
They’ve managed to belittle a public trust between physicians, employers and patients. A doctor’s sick note is a serious document. It represents an employer’s desire to verify through a respected, independent, medically qualified third party the fact of an illness and the true need for convalescence.
MOI COGITATES that it may be that the teachers striking in Wisconsin are in violation of the terms of their collective bargaining agreement. And, as Lyle puts it over ‘t Joe’s place, if you bargain collectively, you can be fired collectively.
So… What if the State of Wisconsin were to terminate the union contract for egregious breach and then immediately offer to hire the members back individually at the same pay grade, working conditions, etc. EXCEPT the concessions currently on the table?
On the condition that the teachers be back in their classrooms tomorrow or face termination for cause…?
How long d’ya think the union’d last in that case?
DEMOCRATS ARE FLEEING THEIR responsibilities like the British in that classic Johnny Horton song about the Battle of New Orleans.
Yeah, they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles And they ran through the bushes where a rabbit couldn’t go. They ran so fast that the hounds couldn’t catch ’em Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.
It’s clear all this cowardice is a desperation, hail-Mary pass kind of maneuver. I wonder how long it’ll be before the Democrats realize what a loser of a tactic it is.
Well, if their aim is to shut down the legislative process, then they’ve succeeded, haven’t they?
True. But the voters can see it’s a tantrum the Dems are throwing, and they’re not disposed to let it slide.
And Rush has a most apposite question: When was the last time a clusterfuck of Democrats fled their responsibilities on your behalf, and not at the behest of narrow special interests?
I have one, too. (I bet everybody does.) Mine has the unique attribute that it might actually garner bipartisan support, if shepherded through Congress by sufficiently savvy sponsors.
First: freeze hiring. Except for military recruitment, no more Federal hires. Nobody gets fired, but no new employeeds taken on. Allow attrition to take its toll. Inter-departmental transfers are acceptable.
Second: freeze budgets. Not cuts, but no expansison, either. Preach and teach that the expansion of government is a major driver of inflation, which robs widows and orphans of their savings or endowments.
Third: any Federal department not provided for in the Constitution (with the exception of the Air Force) is to be zeroed out by date certain. Timing is to be arranged so that at no time will any department remain unstaffed, but that, once the staff is RIFed or otherwise atritted entirely, the budget is to be zeroed out and any remaining funds returned to the Treasury to be applied to the debt.
At no time is anyone to be separated involuntarily except for cause. All current retirement and health care obligations are to be met. Double-dipping is to be forbidden, but individuals’ receiving both public and private benefits is acceptable.
No math. I don’t have the requisite source material. But I suspect that, well within a decade, the budget will fall into balance, corruption in Congress will disappear, and the economy will shoot for the stars.
Without a similar program, though, I suspect it’s all over for the USA.
IN MADISON I am struck by the stark contrast between these fuzzy-minded morons and the teachers who had control of my education. All of my teachers, from kindergartn through 12th grade, spoke correct English, used idioms correctly, and — even the raging Marxists — knew the truth of the arguments they were propounding. These fools are two generations on, not selected for subject qualification, but for educationist credentials. (Billy Beck’s take on John Dewey is … refreshing, even if he did spell “weasel” wrong. (Perhaps deliberately?)) Based on the public utterances of people who, by those self-same words, demonstrate that they are unfit to stand before a classroom of young skulls full of mush and do more than serve as a bad example, I would sooner see the public school system shut down as a manifest failure than to suffer our political “leaders” to knuckle under to the thugocracy which has taken to the streets and the corridors of power in Madison — and coming soon, to Columbus. I submit to you that the average student would take less harm from the former event than the latter. And, inasmuch as there remains a demand for education, I suspect that myriads would jump up to fill the vaccum thus left in the case of the former’s eventuation.
I BELIEVE that state charity is wrong. To force one citizen to pay for the sustenance of another is tantamount to slavery. An Orwellian end is inevitable. The existence of state-forced charity is used as a pretext for infringements upon liberty on the grounds that the negative externalities of the behavior redound to the detriment of the public weal. What is ignored is that the problem is not with the externalities of the to-be-sanctioned behavior, but with the system of state-forced charity that places an unwanted burden on one for the sustenance of another.
The insistence that “we-all” should do anything, let alone enslave taxpayers to taxeaters, is morally reprehensible. No. You want something? You pay for it. You. Not we.
WHEN YOU TRY TO trip folk In the Right up on consistency — war in Iraq (we were attacked, there were treaties in force, there WERE WMDs, this is a legitimate function of the Federal government) vs. teacher compensation (asking teachers to contribute to their own health care, conserving public funds (taken by force from ordinary citizens), forced charity is not a legitimate function of government)…
ONE OF MY FAVORITES — IF NOT MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE EPISODE OF BTVS was on Chiller on Sunday evening. It’s “Becoming” (Part 2), in which Buffy is forced to kill Angel in order to save the world — again. It’s also the episode in which Principle Schneider expels her from Sunnydale HS and Joyce (foolishly, as she admits to herself), shouts to the back of a departing Buffy, “If you walk out of this house, don’t even THINK about coming back!”
So the last scene of the episode starts with Buffy, having just thrust a sword through Angel’s heart, sending him into a Hell dimension forever, even though Willow has succeeded in giving him his soul back. And this Sarah McLachlan song starts up … “Full of Grace.”
I can never watch it without mouthing the lyrics, and getting all teary and choked up.
You just like to wallow in the pain.
Hardly. I love the affirmation of all of the strength and all of the courage that comes to lift us all from those places. It’s what I like about YOUR story, Dolly.
Anyway. Here it is. A sort of a prayer.
The winter here’s cold, and bitter
It’s chilled us to the bone
We haven’t seen the sun for weeks
To long too far from home
I feel just like I’m sinking
And I claw for solid ground
I’m pulled down by the undertow
I never thought I could feel so low
Oh darkness I feel like letting go
If all of the strength and all of the courage
Come and lift me from this place
I know I could love you much better than this
Full of grace
Full of grace
So it’s better this way, I said
Having seen this place before
Where everything we said and did
Hurts us all the more
Its just that we stayed, too long
In the same old sickly skin
I’m pulled down by the undertow
I never thought I could feel so low
Oh darkness I feel like letting go
If all of the strength
And all of the courage
Come and lift me from this place
I know I could love you much better than this
Full of grace
Full of grace
SHE MAY NOT CARE that I’ve noticed and am glad for her (that pesky right-left thing), but a friend has announced the sale of three novels to Tor. Abundantly good news. Congratulations, Jaime. Well-deserved success.
I STILL THINK THIS BEARS repeating. I think unions are inherently un-American. They rely for their effectiveness on violations of several fundamental principles of Americanism. They encompass the vitiation of the rights of private property and free association. They could not exist at all were it not for a corrupt and corrosive (not to mention invidious) collusion between labor and government to the detriment of society at large. Their organizing principles are founded around coercion — including, but not limited to, civil (or, perhaps, UNcivil) violence. They exhibit all of the bad traits of democracy (read: mob rule) and none of the good ones. They distort pricing signals on labor, and extort untenable promises from the organizations and institutions they batten onto like lamphreys. I believe that, not only should public sector unions be banned, but private sector unions should be stripped of their antitrust exemptions and the right to strike. If employees want to exercise their right of free association to bargain collectively with businesses, well and good. Let them play on the same field as everyone else — one of free and voluntary exchange, untainted by fraud or coercion.
For all of my forty years in the music business, I have reminded myself of this central fact: we are all in it for the music. And the music comes from the artist. Any arrangement that does not ultimately benefit the artist hurts the music.
Ask yourself: how does this arrangement benefit the artist?
IF MEMORY SERVES, we were taught that, in the Northwest Territories (Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and parts of Minnesota), public schools were intended to be independent of government.
For good reason.
At about the same time (the mid-’60s), state and federal governments (read: Democrats) started throwing more and more money at schools, who, even then were showing signs of manifest failure of their core mission — educating American youth, were feeling the squeeze at the ballot box, as an over-taxed citizenry registered protest on the only matter within direct reach: local school tax levies), and COULD NOT say, “No!” As they should have.
That is how corruption begins.
And this was before it became legal for teachers to unionize.
And this is how your local schools came to be held hostage at the state and federal level by powerful unions, rich enough to bribe legislators to benefit the leadership, if not the rank-and-file membership, and to enhance the power of the Left.
You were warned. You failed to heed the warning. Now you pay.
Take the lesson and stop supporting leftists. Remember: friends don’t let friends vote Democrat.
THERE REALLY CAN’T be any other explanation. You’re supposed to be so amazed, so befuddled and benighted at the sheer effrontery as to ask a judge who made a statement of fact that a law is unconstitutional (and therefore null and void) to go ahead and order its implementation anyway that you are just frozen in your spot, unable to react in the righteous outrage this usurpation to richly deserves.
They really must think that rules don’t apply to them.
O’BAMBI CALLS petroleum the “energy source of the past.” It is to laugh.
Either he’s abysmally ignorant, (Which I could readily believe — he’s been faking it all his life, and never had to go to class, so to speak; why should he be informed on any given subject?), or he thinks We the (Little) People are.
Pop quiz, asshole: what energy source was abandoned for steam power in the 19th Century for its unreliability and relatively low density?
Pop quiz, asshole: when was the photovoltaic (a.k.a. solar electricity) effect discovered? Was it 1776? 1839? 1895? 1903?
Pop quiz, asshole: when was gasoline first distilled from petroleum? Was it in ancient Alexandria? Medieval Poland? Ming Dynasty China? Late 19th Century Pennsylvania?
Pop quiz, asshole: which energy source is the youngest? Is it wind power?
Solar electricity? Gasoline-powered internal combustion engine?**
An interesting statistic. The “weight” of sunlight on an acre of ground is roughly that of a pack of cigarettes. Take a LOT of acres to get anything usable out of that, no matter HOW efficient your solar cells. It will never serve more than fringe uses inside an atmosphere. Even in space, it would take thousands of square miles of collectors to get large-scale-usable amounts of energy from sunlight. The good news is that there’s plenty of room in space for that.
Far from being the energy source of the past, I submit that burning hydrocarbons is the energy source of now and the future, and will remain so for a VERY long time.
WHEN LAST WE SPOKE of these, all I was aware the manufacturer made was pipe fittings — asses and elbows and sleeves: Oh, my! Just the stuff to fit between ends of pipe or tubes — cut square and cleaned of all burrs, etc.
We am pleased to note that the manufacturer — Shark Bite — has expanded their line. This is a half-inch to three-eighths, straight, quarter-turn stop supply valve. It does not need sweating. It can be used for toilet and sink shutoffs. This is, as they say, the greatest thing since the greatest thing since sliced bread.
In what appears to be a Stupid Legislator Trick, it is illegal to sell this product in California and Vermont.
WHEN I WAS A KID, there was no discussion of the right to keep and bear arms. It was in our DNA. Everybody had guns. People who couldn’t handle firearms were freaks or something. New York City, with its Sullivan Act prohibition was a laughingstock — especially considering the city’s high rate of violent crime. I mean, that’s where Kitty Genovese was killed, for crissake!
And, when you carried, you did it open. I don’t know how many times I walked the mile or so to my friend’s house (through the Hyde Park neighborhood of Cincinnati) with a pair of rifles in-hand, to gather there in preparation for a trip out in the country for some serious hunting of the wild tin-cans. And me a minor and all that.
Not a single “man with a gun” call — ever.
A concealed weapon was considered prima facie evidence of ill intent.
You could even, up until 1968, order guns through the mail. Nobody thought anything of it. The idiots who thought banning mail-order guns might have stopped that commie loon from shooting Kennedy were the fringe wackos. Not ordinary, law-abiding Americans.
Imagine from that perspective how bizzaro-world things look today. You have to have a license to carry a gun. And you have to carry it concealed? What loon thought that up?
So, yeah. Changing the law to permit open carry makes eminent sense to me. I support the effort. So should you.
THE MORE I READ about the Department of Justice’s responses on behalf of the ATF to Senator Grassley’s investigation of Operation Gunwalker, the more convinced I become that the only satisfactory outcome will be the disbandment of the bureau, its being torn down so that no stone stands atop another, and the earth where it stood sown with salt.
Or, in a more modern parlance: take off and nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.
JUST WHAT IT IS Loki is talking about. Home for lunch. He jumps up on the stool next to my desk and starts jabbering away. Well… squeaking, anyway. “Yeow! Ow!” He sounds a little worried, but I can’t figure out what it is that has his knickers in a knot.
IN THIS HOUSEHOLD major-league sports are the #@)$(*) crap that the networks interrupt the good stuff with. So — no — we did not watch the Superbowl. Instead, I watched some Pixar animation on ABC Family, including Cars. So don’t ask me about the game or the commercials or the halftime show. Don’t know; don’t care.
AS ENVIRONMENTALIST extremists conspire to keep you shivering in the dark, remember that they want you to shiver in the dark. Oh, they’ll mouth pious platitudes about responsible stewardship of resources, but when it come down to cases, their definition of “responsible stewardship” is “zero exploitation.” This is not an unintended consequence of poorly-thought-out policies. This is coldly deliberate. They mean for humanity to die back to a pitiful few stragglers, fighting for subsistence in a stone-age condition. Unless that’s your goal, I suggest you give them short shrift. That is, anybody who drapes themselves in the green mantle and presumes to dictate to the world how the world’s people should live.
I FIND THE WHOLE debate-and-vote process surrounding the Republican dismemberment of Obamacare somewhat unseemly. It is a very ugly process. And so unnecessary. The idealist in me shudders at the fundamentally dishonest realpolitik that requires a continued fight against an obdurate opponent, like Jackson at the Battle of new Orleans, weeks after the peace accord had been signed in Europe. (Except Jackson didn’t know the war was won.) The law is unconstitutional. The courts have said so. It is, ipso facto null and void. No American is bound to obey it. You may safely and lawfully cock the snook at any Federal underling who dares to try and enforce it — calling him criminal for the attempt.
But the Democrats refuse to accept the ruling — waiting, they insist, for the Supreme Court to rule in the matter. (But what if SCOTUS denies cert? What then?) Where are the contempt citations? Why are not Kathleen Sibelius and other officials being frog-marched from their offices in handcuffs, under charges of gross contempt of court?
SO WE HAD HER IN to get her fixed. All perfectly normal, but she had to stay in the clinic’s kennel cages for ALL that TIME [cue: violins]. It was long enough for cats, with their nanosecond attention span and 4-bit memory to almost forget her. When Toni brought her home today, the elder cats were going through the “Do I know you? Do *I* know YOU? You talkin ta ME?” phase. By dinnertime, they had it figured out and were back to the old state of mutally-assured tolerance. While I was watching the boob toob this evening, she snuggled up on my chest, purring, then perched on the back of the couch by my shoulder and ZZZZ’d out.
IT THAYS IN THE Conthtituthion that Congrethth CAN require citithens to buy gunth. </newcastrati> In Article 1, Section 8, that Congress shall have the power: “…to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia…”
Which reads to me, as strange as it may sound in this day and age, that Congress may require that citizens buy (or, at least, own — however they get them), arms. I would guess they could even specify which arms citizens must own — say, an M16.
DOING HOUSEHOLD chores after dinner this evening and there was a bio of the Bee Gees on. I stopped to listen a bit. At the end, Barry and Robin sang a bit of this unplugged.
I was hoping to find something close to the studio version from the Trafalgar album. No such luck. This semi-live thing is as close as I could get.
I’ve mentioned several times that I think one of the reasons pop music quality and variety peaked between the ’60s and the late ’80s is that music was what our generation was hacking — just as the current generation is hacking smart phones and the Web. When I first started buying records, you could still buy mono. (You probably still can, but it was easy for that to be your default choice — stereo was the novelty.) Stereo was relatively recent development. At that moment, the album was just coming into its own as an art form. Before that, an album was a collection of one or two hit singles and a bunch of crap filler. After, if you wanted serious LP sales, you had to have every track be a potential hit. There were bands for whom every track on an album at least got airplay, even if it didn’t chart.
The Bee Gees was one of those acts.
I was a rock snob in the ’70s. There was something about disco’s beat and wall-to-wall synthesizers that just set my teeth on edge. But the Bee Gees weren’t consciously a disco band. R&B, yes. Disco, no. I guess it’s past time I realized that.
REQUIRING ALL CITIZENS to buy a gun would, if passed at the Federal level, meet constitutional muster, given that Article 1, Section 8 includes the following:
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
What the South Dakotans are doing is right in line with the definition of a militia by 18th Century terms. (Remember that the Constitution predates the advent of professional police services by one or two years.)
And, in fact, that Congress as a body can be anticipated to resist such a move can be seen as a strong indictment of the un-American character of some of its members.
Well… yeah. Politicians do that all the time. And I do mean all the time. They neglect their fiduciary responsibilities of office to go haring off after… Squirrel! Short of beatings, I have no idea how to stop them. Maybe we shouldn’t stop short. Of beatings, I mean.
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I HAVEN’T been paying a lot of attention to this blog since … well, since Chas. Hill passed, to tell the truth. Not that there’s a connection, mind… So I happened to get a note from WP that somebody’d commented … Continue reading →
TONI AND I set out toward Hamilton(!) Monday after a late breakfast to pickup a couple of lady bug-painted bowling balls for The Yard (for a top-rated gaming computer, this thing has a wonky left shift key). We ended getting … Continue reading →
THIS IS AN American blog. We here in this benighted land are ruled by a Constitution. The Founders, in order to get the Constitution ratified, were required to include a Bill of Rights, the first being the rights of free … Continue reading →