Monthly Archives: September 2012

Saying “No” to So-called “Smart” Meters

Dear Senator Jones and Rep. Stautberg;

We are in receipt of a rather ominous letter from Duke Energy stating that, unless we grant IMMEDIATE ACCESS (emph theirs) to our premises for the purpose of installing so-called “smart” meters, they will cut off our service.

I find this not only unacceptable but reprehensible in a representative republic. Duke claims they have authorization from PUCO to engage in these high-handed tactics. There appears to be no opt-out option. This, too, is both unacceptable and reprehensible.

As the PUCO is a creature of the Assembly, I am appealing to you for relief from this intolerable state of affairs.

Please investigate and have a stop put to this immediately.

Your constituent;
Mark Alger

And You Trust NBC… Why, Exactly…?

INSTY NOTES THAT the recent panic over a potential bacon shortage may be a load of bullshit.

Trouble is, the linked article, by an NBC News contributor, starts out: “Don’t worry, no one is coming for your BLT.”

Ri-i-i-i-i-ght. Bzzzzt! Sorry. No, we’re not going to trust that kind of tone from you lot. We’ve been lied to by you — in that exact tone — too many times for too damned long. The bald assertion is Just. Not. Credible.

And, then, to heap spite on risibility, he goes on to assert that, ” The summer drought, and rising corn prices have hurt hog farmers for sure.” No mention of the intergalactically stupid proposition of diverting food into motor fuel in and out-and-out swap of peddled influence for campaign cash.

What? You thought corn ethanol in your gas tank was a good idea? Silly rabbit. Booze is for drinking.

An Insight

SHOULDN’T BE TOO HARD to figure out why leftists love trains so much. They think they can make them run on time.

Quirks Mode Book Review

ONE OF THE MAGICAL parts about having your own library — even one as cramped and disorganized as mine — is that you can spot something unusual on the shelf, pull it down, and make a delightful discovery.


My discovery this week was a ten-year-old novel, Across the Nightingale Floor. I’m not entirely sure how this one fell into my hands. It’s not something I would ordinarily seek out or even encounter accidentally. My best guess is that it was part of my score as a participant in a sort-of estate sale a couple-few years back.

The story reminds of those swords-and-revenge plots in Japanimation shows, such as Inuyasha or Bleach, only grown-up. It also provides a window into a mystical time, in mood like a foggy river bottom at dawn.

I see from the back-cover copy on the second book in the series — called the Tales of the Otori — that the publisher thinks they’re YA. O. K. If they say so.

Highly recommended, particularly if you’re looking for a break from genre fiction.

Having Just Dropped Wheat from My Diet

A MEAT SHORTAGE TO ME is not an encouraging sign. So I can only hope that reports like this one is more of the hyperventilating that the “The SKY is falling!” crowd seems incapable to resist.

But it also puts me to mind of a growing problem in the world and makes me wonder if there isn’t an opportunity here. Can one get edible meat off a feral hog?

Those Rigged Polls

SOME TIME AGO I seem to recall that Mel Gibson, when he was in better ordure with Hollywierd, saying that his father had taught him one of those Cardinal Rules of Life, a sort of an eleventh commandment: thou shalt not bullshit thine self.

Now, nobody, let a lone a drunken bigot, should be your model for your life entire, but — as the cliche goes — even a blind pig finds an acorn every once in awhile. And that one seems like a good nugget: don’t BS yourself. See reality for what it is.

So what is it when someone jiggers polls meant for public distribution? In an attempt to cover overwhelming and obdurate sympathy for the opposition? In an attempt to suppress the opposition vote?

Who’s BS-ing whom, here?

Are the RR Campaigning Stealthily?

FROM COMMENTS here there and elsewhere around the ‘sphere, I gather that a lot of folks think — or want YOU to think — that Romney is phoning it in. Trust me; it’s not so. There are two factors — what MSM you pay attention to and what state you’re in.

If you ignore the news media (including Fox — fair and balanced is not necessarily true and verified), and are in a swing state — say… Ohio — then you’re hearing and seeing a full-court press. It’s not just the Romney campaign. There are PACs running ads that are just eviscerating Obama. And, according to what I hear about the polls (which, of course, you should give minimum credence), it’s having an effect. I’m also not seeing anywhere NEAR the bumper stickers and yard signs for Obama I’d expect to.

Bambi is flailing, folks. His ads are weak and appear infrequently. If Dexter Freebish — er, I mean Reince Priebus — isn’t blowing smoke out his ass, the RNC has plans to outspend Obama 10:1 in swing states between now and the election. From what I’m seeing, they’re ramping it up. This isn’t over, yet, but it really does look like, come the morning after, you’re gonna see a Prez with a deer-in-the-headlights look.

If he doesn’t try to pull a coup.

Quote of the Day: 9/26/12

Not to vote … is a vote.

–Glenn Beck

And amounts to yielding your franchise to someone stupider or greedier — but better motivated — than you.

Autonomy is a Lie

THE DRIVE TOWARD DRIVERLESS CARS is a drive toward central control. The whole point of a personal vehicle is independence of movement. An “autonomous” car, marching in lockstep with every other “autonomous” vehicle on the road is the farthest thing from it.

And you KNOW the controller-wannabes will want to take over the wheel from you — for “your own good.”

Pleah!

I Know It Has a Snowball’s Chance

IN A CATSCANNER of happening, but there really should be criminal charges pursued in the Obama Administration scandals. They’re ten times — a thousand times — worse than Watergate.

I’d Like to Quote From This, But…

IT’S JUST TOO FULL OF steaming chunks of meaty goodness. It’s just five minutes and worth the listen. Ladies and Germs, Pat Condell:

Spotted at Kevin’s Joint
Make it viral

Work the American Legacy Partisan Press Won’t Do

HERE IN OHIO, DUE TO an unfortunate circumstance of political geodemographics, the state is represented in the U.S. Senate by a despicable crumb of humanity known as Sherrod Brown. If you’re not familiar with his record, some of this might not make sense to you. But he is a rabid leftist — not liberal, not at all. He pushes every odious socio-political nostrum of the Left from socialized medicine (he’s one of those 61st votes for Obamacare), to forced unionization of private-sector workers, to economy-wrecking — scorn quotes — “environmental” regulations. He claims to be a patriotic American, but has been sound-bitten (even in his own ads) as mouthing internationalist shibboleths of the classic anti-American pomo. And, although he claims to have a near-perfect attendance record in the Senate, there isn’t much he can point to that persuades me he’s anything other than a makeweight for the Demo/Socialist statists in the national establishment.

Here lately, he’s been engaged in a pretty tough battle with rising Tea Party star, Josh Mandel. Mandel’s bio is readily available and not really my point. But the threat, both to Brown, and to the national establishment is pretty clear. As has been opined many times, this could be about control of the Senate. So there has been thrown against Mandel the full array of Democrat tricks. Including, it appears, a Godwin’s Law attack.

The ads which appear in the media are pretty damned low. And it should be clear to those who pay attention that Brown is not able to run on his record — which consists mainly of supporting Obamacare and EPA regs which are eviscerating Ohio’s energy sector (mostly coal, but also a burgeoning natural gas business — Brown opposes fracking) — so he’s trying to smear Mandel. It doesn’t appear to be sticking, but it is tightening a race that ought to be a walkover.

So, it’s very helpful to have journalists — for all they don’t work for the legacy partisan press — who will provide a clear, concise precis of the situation.

Thank you, ma’am.

Calling It “The Cruelest Link”

AND ENGAGING IN A BIT of schadenfreude, Doc Mercury points to this story at Fox News. And leaves the rest as an exercise for the student. Of course, BTB regulars are already aware, this is one of the myriad paths from whence cometh the debunking of the whole CAGW/Climate Change hoax.

Our readers are aware of (and, I hope, have studied) Anthony Watts’s Surface Stations initiative, wherein a volunteer network of observers gathered metadata on U.S.-based observation stations which are a part of the US Historical Climatological Network (USHCN), on whose data the Global Warming wheeze is purportedly based.

Please take note of this next bit…

The team was able to find and locate the original log book in which the temperature was recorded. From it and other sources they were able to identify five major problems with the record temperature: it was made a new and untrained observer; it was measured with an instrument that was antiquated even at that time; the observation site wasn’t representative of its surroundings; it didn’t match other temperatures measured in the area; and it didn’t match later temperatures taken at the site.

“We found systematic errors in the 1922 reading,” said Cerveny, who also is the Rapporteur of Climate and Weather Extremes for the WMO, the person responsible for keeping worldwide weather records.

Essentially, the case likely boiled down to someone inexperienced incorrectly reading a thermometer that could easily be misread, the team concluded. The resulting reading was too high by 12.6 F (7 C), they found.

(Emphasis mine.)

Which is, as you should know by now, if you were paying attention, the point made by the Surface Stations project. The siting of the overwhelming majority of the stations in the network biased the temperature record by at least 2 and more often as much as 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Always in the direction of warming.

So, when they make fun of you for not accepting that the existence of warming has been proven, laugh in their faces. They obviously don’t know what they’re talking about.

I Certainly Should Hope So

POWERLINE comments that:

Barack Obama is a world-class liar. At least, we’d better hope he is a world class liar, because if he really has no idea what the national debt is, we are in even worse trouble.

I should hope so. America surely rates a world-class liar. God forbid we should suffer through these parlous times led by a bush-league liar.

(Spotted at Maggie’s.)

However, I disagree with the PowerLine headline. I don’t think that Obama is particularly mendacious. He’s been pretty straightforward as to what he’s about. What he is is corrupt, in that he gives the rule of law the bird and does whatever he wants, whether it comports with the American ideal or the Constitution or not. But he’s never really concealed that he was a Marxist and that he was about implementing a — scorn quotes — “Progressive” agenda.

Shorter Popehat

BULLSHIT. The wheeze that “you can’t shout ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater” in support of limits on speech is total and utter bullshit. For the first thing, the actual quote is “…falsely shout, ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater…” — that initial, qualifying adverb conspicuous in its absence from the overwhelming majority of the assertions I have ever heard. For the second, well… RTWT. Long, but filled with meaty chunks of goodness, and most thoroughly debunks the notion that limits on speech are a good deal farther away from the current, statist position than said statists would like you believe.

(Spotted at Coyote.)

Anybody who followed my last sentence up there, please explain it to me. Somehow, between composing and posting, my brain has gone into autistic mode.

A Good Start

ONE OF THE MOST WITLESS questions asked of we who urge a quick ripping off of the bandage, a short, sharp shock, a decisive, sudden, and — one might say — final solution to the problem of What do We Do About Islam is, “Do you want to kill a billion Muslims?”

Well, no. But the point should be made in response that it probably won’t take that many.

And another thing: how many of that billion are willing and how many are just going along because of the whole “Behead all those who…” thing?

And another thing: whose count is that billion, anyway? Was is Moslems who made the count? What is that, more taquiya?

And it seems rather telling that those billion don’t seem concerned to piss off two billion Christians, many of whom are not as forbearing as the Savior. Or the myriad billions of other enemies to Islam. Seems to me that Islam is beset by a hostile world that has only put up with its mad-dog-in-the-street behavior because there didn’t seem to be much to be done about it. And the leaders of the rest of the world included a great many timorous cowards and nobody thought to PUSH them off the dime.

Until now.

Lawrence Auster quotes Matthew Bracken at some length (RTWT).

That is changing now, because today the entire world sees Islam’s true face revealed when Muslims go into these insane rages after perceived insults to Mohammed. Their ingrained lack of introspection means that Muslims can easily be provoked into going beyond the stealth-mode they normally follow beyond Islam’s bloody borders, waking up the world to the existential threat Islam poses to all non-Muslim societies. Down the centuries, the West has often had appeasers and accommodationists as leaders, men who were willing to cut short-term local deals that over time always led to incremental Islamic advances. And these weak Western leaders were the only men who mattered, era by era. Today, as a contrast, average citizens around the world are beginning to understand how to push Islam’s automatic rage buttons, and this changes the former equation in a fundamental way. As you mentioned, videos released by lone, non-state actors at the right time could be used to torpedo the next sell-out by Western appeasers, such as over the inclusion of Turkey in the EU.

Vanderleun pulls this from the same article.

If Moscow, New Delhi, or Tel Aviv were destroyed by an Islamic bomb, I believe that Mecca would be wiped off the planet Earth the same day, even the same hour. And that would spell the end of Islam, after its unparalleled 1,400-year reign of terror. No Mecca, no Islam, as long as the world witnesses Mecca’s physical annihilation. There will follow a period of madness, with many Muslims committing mass suicide and mass terror, but more of them will become atheists or convert to Christianity (“the stronger horse”). In all cases, Islam as we know it will be finished. After fourteen centuries, the steady mantra “Our God is greatest” cannot become “We used to believe that our God was the greatest, but it was proven to be weaker, if not a fraud.” The glass jaw of Islam, its inability to self-examine or reform in any way, will prove to be its Achilles’ heel. The 1,400-year run of murder and madness will at last come to an end. After sixty generations, we may be the one to witness its ultimate destruction and collapse.

Things that make you go “Hmmm.”

Y’Know… There IS a Legal Definition of “Fair”

AND IT AIN’T THE constantly shifting, move-the-goalposts, tilt-the-playing-field-in-favor-of-special-interests definition the Democrats use.

It’s the Fourteenth Amendment, which reads, in relevant part:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Equal. Protection. Of the. Laws.

Now, as they always do, the Left will nitpick and pettifog, but the plain fact is that their tax prescriptions START OUT violating that principle. If you say, “Tax the rich, not the poor,” somebody’s not gonna be payin’ their fair share, and it ain’t the rich.

And then, we get to the actual practice of the tax regime as she is played.

The only thing missing is to map the actual dollar amounts to the percentiles.

Staircase Wit and a Quetschun for Plugs Biden

IF IT’S PATRIOTIC TO PAY (MORE) TAXES what does that make the 47%?

This is From the 1950s

THE KINGSTON TRIO’S Merry Minuet

They’re rioting in Africa (la-la-lala-la-la-la)
They’re starving in Spain (la-la-la-lala-la)
There’s hurricanes in Florida (la-la-lala-la-la-la)
And Texas needs rain.
The whole world is festering
With unhappy souls
The French hate the Germans
The Germans hate the Poles
Italians hate Yugoslavs
South Africans hate the Dutch
And I don’t like anybody very much.

As they say, history may not repeat itself, but sometimes, it rhymes.

Pro Tip For

ROBO-CALLERS: Before your recording even gets past “Hello, this is.” I’ve already hung up.

If you want to talk to me, talk to me, not in my general direction. Otherwise, don’t waste my time.

Romney Gaffe Ohnos

USED TO BE “gaffe” mean speaking an inadvertent truth that runs counter to the establishment narrative.

That being so, then what Romney said was a gaffe. There is nothing untrue in what he said. Almost half of the country sees themselves as victims, see victimhood as some kind of badge of honor when it’s really more like a sees themselves as victims, see victimhood as some kind of badge of honor when it’s really more like a yellow mogen david. The Palestinians have no interest in peace with Israel. They seek the destruction of Israel and the Jews. They use their artfully-crafted victimhood as a weapon in this struggle. In reality, there is no justice in their cause. They don’t have a case.

That the Left has its bowels in an uproar over this should tell you something. In a Hollywood cliché, they can’t handle the truth. The truth is a sun-bright klieglight shining on their lies, trickery, and deceit, on their corruption and subversion.

Make note of it.

An Echo of the Past

TRILLIONS FOR DEFENSE, not one single, fucking penny for tribute.

The whole problem started when Gordon was not avenged.

Actually, it started a whole lot earlier than that.

Yeah. ::sigh:: I know.

Examiner: Obama Shellshocked

SHELLSHOCKED! (I tell you!) that Arab tumblefucks in the Middle East don’t give a shit about peace in our time.

I imagine Neville Chamberlain was surprised, too.

The Santayana Lesson applies. Appeasement never works with aggressors. And the connection between Islamofascism and the more general kind is far from uncanny. One might call it — in a non-Marxian sense — inevitable.

What Do You Have When You Have

A MILLION SOLAR ENERGY public-teat suckers in bankruptcy court?

A: A good start.

So Congress closes the barn door after the horse has fled the burning building. And, yes, that metaphor is intentional. Think about it.

I would say that, rather than pass an act, we should have a constitutional amendment similar to the one Ayn Rand proposed at the end of Atlas Shrugged: the wall of separation between commerce and state. The Federal Government must not enter into or compete with private business.

As Much as I Appreciate Michelle Malkin

I MUST DISAGREE WITH her. The Obama administration isn’t feckless. They’re all fecked up.

Um, Dolly? That’s fucked up.

Tomayto / tomahto.

How About We Propose It As Population Control…

…THIS APPROPRIATE and proportionate response to the provocations around the Middle East.

The Left is so fond of the idea of killing off humanity to save the planet, this ought to garner their support right away.

Not Only That But: Treason

IT’S NOT NEWS THAT the Left’s mask is slipping. They do that all the time when they’re out of power, or about to lose power. Rush has been observing that and the like for twenty-plus years.

Nor is it news that the Left is un-American. Democrats in a republic start out operating with bad faith intent. That they want to change the nation’s fundamental charter willy-nilly by whim and fiat amounts to an act of war-by-other-means (a.k.a., politics), and thus meets the constitutional definition of treason — barely. What I call treason-in-fact, if not -in-law.

So, when a genuine movement of the people, of the grassroots, which takes as its core principle a return to constitutional limits on the state, of course these un-Americans attack it. The Tea Party movement is the natural enemy to all who would tear down the American edifice. That the attacks on the Tea Party are dishonest, disingenuous, and amount to attacks on the Founding… well… That’s all of a piece with the American Left since Wilson.

Again: not news.

And it could never be news that the Left cannot advance its cause at all, let alone win, on the merits of its policies and arguments. That’s why leftists have to lie and cheat in order to win elections. It’s why they practice the politics of distraction and sleight-of-hand, and why they practice the politics of personal destruction. It’s why they accuse their opponents of doing the very things they themselves (the Democrats) are doing. It’s why they fight against fair-play measures like the secret ballot, voter ID laws, and the insistence on enforcement of immigration laws. Those things mitigate their ability to stuff the ballot box.

They can’t win in a fair contest on a level playing field.

What’s new is that somebody has put it all in one neat package for us, all done up with a bow.

Thank you, Mudcat.

Two Lessons to Draw

FROM THE ATTACKS in North Africa on Tuesday.

1) The West must stop referring to Islam as a religion. It. Is. Not. It is a toxic political ideology, closely related to and every bit as perilous as other flavors of fascism. It should be treated just as we would treat outbreaks of national socialism in Western Europe.

2) There needs to be a general housecleaning in the Department of State.
The Department must represent American interests abroad, not foreign interests at home. The diplomatic Stockholm syndrome evidenced by both the apologetic tweets from the Cairo mission and the general defensive crouch State displays toward aggression must be weeded out. The most powerful nation on Earth should be able to project power at least as well as Soviet Russia, whose diplomats have not faced such humiliation in worse parts of the world. You mess with a Russian diplomat, you get the horns. No doubt, no hesitation. That protection should be extended to American citizens anywhere. You touch an American, you bring down on yourself and your surrounds the fires of hell, yea unto the seventh generation.

This. Shit. Must. Stop.

How many times have you said that? To what effect? How many times you gonna say it?

Until it happens or I go to meet my maker, one, first.

Also: Darling Rachel. Read. Esp comments.

I’m A Say The Same Thing I Said On 9/11/01

THIS WHOLE MESS with the embassies in Cairo and Benghazi is NOT just a bunch of random tumblefucks acting out of sexual frustration and iggerant redneck rage or something. It’s carefully coordinated warfare, probably at bottom state-directed, but certainly with a controlling hand pulling strings. The mob are sock puppets in sandals.

I was wrong about the ultimate agency on Black Tuesday. I thought it would turn out to be Saddam Hussein. But I’ll tell you who was right, and that was Ann Coulter, who said on 9/13/01…

We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity.

Now, there’s an internal inconsistency, there, inasmuch as Christianity doesn’t really go for forced conversions. But, just as you can’t force a liberal society on a stone-age country, but you can protect it long enough for pluralistic self-determination to take root, so, too can you set up the conditions necessary for choice to be exercised. Obviate Islam’s bullying by protecting those who would voluntarily convert, and they’ll come over in waves.

Just be prepared for it to take awhile, which is something, apparently, left-statists in our government are never able to do.

Unions Are Un-American

REGULAR READERS OF BTB are aware it’s not too fine a point to put on it that I hate unions. They are as far from the American sense of square dealing and fair play as you can get. They start out acting in bad faith, by using threats, intimidation, and coercion to deny private property rights, rights of free association, and self-determination.

Public sector unions are all of that on stilts — and most especially so-called (scorn quotes) “education” unions. It was clear from the foundation of the AFT that this would be the end — millions of children held hostage to greed pigs, demanding unearned pay increases in times of financial hardship for the host on which they are parasites, and refusing to accept any measure of accountability. They want to be paid — more — for not doing their jobs.

Fuck ‘em. Fire ‘em all and let them find real jobs.Putting your kids in public schools amounts to child abuse anyway.

So The Morons Are Calling Peanut Butter

AND JELLY racist. Because, you know, only white people like peanut butter.

Double-you. Tee. Eff? (!!!1!)

This is what happens when you let unions run the schools.

Did any of you moronic fuckwitted “ed-you-kay-tors” ever hear of George Washington Carver? The… fucking inventor of peanut butter? The founder of the Tuskeegee Institute? Is it possible that a white man knows more about one of the probably the most heroic black man of the past two hundred years than all of you racially-challenged IDIOTS!?

In case you really ARE that stupid, here’s a picture of him.

Actually, Alger, that item was a satire at the People’s Cube.

Does that matter? <doctorsheldoncooper> Those people call themselves educators, but they’re really not fit to teach a rock. They can barely speak coherently, they’re functionally illiterate, and, if you were to quiz them on the subject, they couldn’t name a single fact about George Washington Carver. </doctorsheldoncooper> That piece may be satire, but it’s truer than it knows.

By the way, Carver didn’t found the Tuskegee Institute. He only taught there, albeit for almost 50 years.

Well isn’t that just swell. Tear my thesis all to pieces why don’t you.

That’s it fer you, then. No more Big Bang Theory after ten.

When Laws Are Risible

I SCOFF at them, too.

And it can be effective. Years ago, the Perkins restaurant where I had breakfast on weekends put little signs on the table about you had to ask for drinking water because we need to conserve, etc. and so-forth: bullshit. I called them on it. Pointed out that we live in the Ohio freakin’ River valley. It drains the eastern half of the country, almost. From the Appalachians to the Mississippi. It carries the Allegheny, Monongahela, Kanawha, Kentucky, Green, Cumberland, Tennessee, Miami, Scioto, and Wabash river flow to the Mississippi. The flow past the port of Cincinnati is in the hundreds of thousands of cubic feet per second. We. Do. Not. Have. A. Water. Shortage. Never have. Never will. What we have is a failure of a public utility — a government monopoly, as a matter of fact — to increase output to meet demand. Or to price a commodity to reflect market realities.

Next day, the signs were gone, the policy discontinued.

Scoff away.

And you are ALL scofflaws, too. I can prove it.

How? You ask. Easily.

Do you obey the speed limit laws? At all times and in all places? See? Scofflaw. Don’t care how you rationalize it; you’re a scofflaw, too.

Good Reason to Disband DHS

THEY KEEP TELLING US THAT no government program, once instantiated, is ever eliminated.

That will keep on being true until it’s done for the first time.

People interested in the maintenance and expansion of individual liberty must continue to work to tear down government edifices and fight the creation of new ones, such as the executive order on cyberscurity.

A commenter on the Volokh thread writes:

You are observing the ratchet in action.

The ratchet is part of the problem with accepting legislation or the state as legitimate.

They can just keep trying the same thing over and over and over again, until it passes, because the foo-roots do not have the manpower to keep fighting it every single time, Once it passes its even harder to organize to remove it, because those who would be harmed by it now have less ability/funds/etc (due to the harm) to fight it.

In short, once you accept a state there is no equilibrium solution that is libertarian.

Which could not have been written better by Saul Alinsky himself. Ellsworth Toohey couldn’t have whispered it better. Gríma Wormtongue could have dripped his venom in the writer’s ear in a flat and affectless tone: “There is no hope. Give up.”

If you accept that, you might as well eat your gun. Your only option is to fight. Fight to win. They told us gun control was inevitable. We beat it. All that’s left is the mop up. A drive toward the universal enshrinement of individual privacy could easily be next. Kill stoplight and speed cameras. Render the panopticon state stillborn. Demand absolute protection of privacy rights. No business or government may or can own the information about you. It belongs to you as much as does your skin. Make the Fourth Amendment apply to all actors — state and private. End the Internal Revenue Service. Repeal the Internal Revenue Code.

Disband the Department of Homeland Security as an anathema to a free nation, a free people.

So the Blogosphere Is Making Fun of Zero

FOR 1: NOT knowing how to dial an iPhone and B: trying to slough the blame off on a staffer’s service plan. Well, the second item is totally lame, but what do you expect from a malignant narcissist. But the first one… I found myself wondering.

You see, I have an iPhone. But I dial EVERYBODY from contacts. Contacts which I enter on my laptop in Outlook and sync with my phone using the iTunes sync utility.

So. Do I know how to actually — you know — dial an iPhone? Grab my iPhone and check it out to see if I can.

So lessee. Hit the home button to wake the phone up. Slide the unlock. Tap the phone icon on the touch screen. Tap the keypad icon. Type in the number. Tap the green Call button.

Oh. Yeah. Hold the phone up to your ear and wait for your party to answer.

Wow! That’s hard! But still… You’d think somebody with an Ivy League law degree could figure that out… on the fly, even.

How smart is this guy… actually?

First Week of Losing the Wheat Belly

I HAD MY LAST McDonald’s breakfast biscuit the Friday before Labor Day. This past weekend, Toni and I went through our kitchen cupboards and packed up anything that had wheat in the ingredients list. We were somewhat surprised to find that most soups — and especially cream soups and stews — have wheat in them. Progresso Chicken and Rice with Veggies (and a few others) does not.

For Sunday dinner, we had a wheatless pot roast. No hot bread. That was a wrench. I can see I’m going to learn to bake with rice, flax, and corn.

Today, (Monday), I start my new breakfast regime. I’m fixing hot breakfasts at home.

No weight loss to speak of yet, but I have noticed I am more alert and energetic, and my blood glucose numbers seem to be trending down.

Could be interesting.

On This Day of Rest, About Work

I LIKE TO THINK OF myself as an artist, because that’s the part of my job I enjoy, but in truth, it’s only part of it. My boss likes to think of me as a salesman — and, in fact, pays me commission as an incentive — because that’s how I mainly make money for the company. My fellow Patch Factorians think of me as The Computer Guy, because I have a knack for figuring out what the little beasties are up to.

But, really, if you had to describe me in a single, vocationally-accurate word, I am a printer.

No, I don’t run the machine that puts the marks on the paper, although I can and, at times in the past, I have. But, as someone who works in a print shop, at one of a galaxy of specialties that serve the core function of putting marks on paper, I am a printer.

Within the trade, those specialties have names — including the ones which time and technological advancement have obsoleted. They are colorful and reflect the long history of the printing crafts. There’s the actually prosaic artist — a.k.a. pasteup mechanic, layout artist — and the related specialties of designer, typesetter, illustrator, and art director, all of which job functions I have performed. And, as you’d expect in a shop using photo-offset printing techniques (well, latterly), there’s a cameraman. But there’s also stripper, (which title, when ours was a foxy woman named Bernadette (not really) we had a lot of fun with). And there are pressmen of various machines — offset, one-color, or multi-, letterpress, rotary, gravure, flexo, web, silk-screen, and all manner of variations and combinations in-between. And there are bindery specialties: cutter, folder, bookbinder, and the ubiquitous nail (which is a strictly local term for the women who do all the hand work and keep the department humming).

In small job-shops, nobody is a pure specialist. As Heinlein said, specialization is for insects. You learn to shift a ton of paper without a follow-on visit to an orthopedist. You learn how to — and develop the muscles for — jogging paper in “lifts” of 500 or a 1000 sheets. And you learn why they designate paper in the weights they do. If a machine operator has a particularly tough one and needs someone to catch, you get over there and do your best Johnny Bench at the delivery and catch. If the plate-maker is sick, or there’s a rush job of a hundred thousand of anything to have picky and boring hand-work done to it, you turn to with your rubber fingertips and your glycerin and you do the boring and repetitive shit.

And everybody has to be a mechanic. You have to know your machine at least well enough to set it up for a run, to adjust it, to do routine maintenance, and when it gets cranky, to know when you have to call in the multiple-hundreds-per-hour PRO mechanics. You have to be familiar with — even own your own set of — the fundamental tools of cutting, striking, turning, and when and where it’s appropriate to use them.

There are a lot of skills that go into making a book. Or a business card. Or… anything that has ink or toner on it and is produced in mass quantities to professional standards of quality. And a lot more have been lost. In my career in the field, which, to date, has spanned 32 years man and boy, (as Chick MgGee puts it), I have worked on typesetting machines from hot lead to the latest wiz-bang desktop computers. I have shot lith film and stripped up negatives to burn metal plates and I have sent PostScript code to a Lino imagesetter. I have seen hundred-year-old technology and the skills to make it magic obsoleted even faster than overnight — with the snap of your fingers. And there has been terrible attrition. At the height of our labor force, the Patch Factory employed thirty full-time workers and ran five offset presses. We are down now to under ten employees and have sold all the big iron — the Heidelberg Druckmachinen. Nowadays, everything is digital. I suspect that, within a year or two, even the diecutting equipment will be replaced with lasers.

And, as it has every step along the way, our products will improve behind it in quality, lower price, and greater flexibility.

I guess what I’m getting at is that, although I sit at a desk and wander around offices where we sit in comfy chairs and natter at each other all day to get what we call “work” done, I do think of myself as a working man, and not an executive, white-collar type, although I’d guess a government bureaucrat would think of me so.

And, although my main off-hours avocations principally comprise and revolve around computer-centric activities, I also enjoy immensely working with my hands in my off hours. That’s why, when I do a quick bio, I include carpenter or cabinetmaker in my list of skills or activities, even though its been more than that 32 years I’m a printer since I made a living at them. (And, boy howdy, have THOSE fields changed in the interval!)

So, Mike Rowe is a guy I like and admire. And, although I think his political ecumenism is naive — Democrats do not mean good things for the working man; get used to the idea — I do like his ideas about trying to persuade the government to get on board with a national conversation about work, jobs, skills, training, and the like. I particularly like the open letter he sent to Mitt Romney. (And, Holy Crap! Mitt read it!) I would encourage all and sundry near and far to join in and urge your political representatives to do the same. As Walter Russell Meade has observed, the Blue Model is dead, and, if we’re to survive the twitchings of the corpse, we need to build a new model. I think Rowe has a piece of it.

A-a-a-a-and We’re Back!

LADIES AND GERMS, the Incomparable Joan Osborne:

As you can tell by the speed of our return, that exit was fraudulent.

Hell, I Doubt Michael Stipe Would

EVEN KNOW IRONIC subtext if it bit him on the ass.

And yes, you did hear me laughing.

The Plan in Three Steps

IT GOES LIKE THIS:

Elect Obama

FULL EMPLOYMENT!!1!

And you trust this guy?

Well, no…

Captain’s Projection and Transferrance Log

STARDATE: 120908.0632

Did the President really say that Mittens oughtn’t insult our closest ally (the place where Great Britain used to be)?

REALLY?

Remember: if you want to know what Democrats are up to, what’s bothering their consciences, look at what they accuse their enemies of doing. Sooner or later, it will come to light that that is EXACTLY what THEY (the Dems) were doing at the time. So cut out the middleman and just assume it’s so even though the Dems’ sins remain concealed. So far.

No, Democrats don’t have opposition. They only have enemies.

The Main Problem With Calls For Civility

IS THAT THEY FALL on deaf ears on the Left. It may be rude to call your opponent a communist or a fascist or a national socialist when he is not, but what is one to do when one’s opponent makes proposals that could have come from the … well, the extreme Left? What should one do when one’s opponent behaves as a commie or a fascist or a Nazi? Is it worth the harm to the republic those toxic ideologies represent to maintain a civil tone? Or is it incumbent upon patriotic Americans to point out the perfidy of the Democrats?

You Know, Clinton Has a Point

WHEN HE SAYS THAT NOBODY could have repaired all the damage to the Republic in JUST. Four. Years.

After all, it’s taken the progressives over a hundred years to bring us to this sad estate. One presidential term is hardly going to be enough to restore America. One election won’t. Voting Obama out of office won’t do the job.

But it’s a pretty damned good start.

And, as grandma told us, well begun is half done.

Spot On

AS USUAL and worthy of your regular attention, The People’s Cube.

I Didn’t Watch the Obama Speech

I NEVER DO. I don’t watch political speeches. I have more important things to do than to listen to liars piss on me and try to tell me it’s raining — like (oh, I don’t know…) — sleep.

But the reactions are sometimes fun to take the piss out of. Take Jennifer Rubin (as point-tucked by Insty in his roundup).

Like an aging rock star, President Obama, in a downsized venue, with downsized proposal and spewing downsized rhetoric only reminded us how far he has fallen from the heady days of 2008.

…or, as in some subversion of The Emperor’s New Clothes, he has finally shown the world just how empty his suit was back then and he stands revealed before the world as the Potemkin president he’s always been.

Can We Take It As Given That Elizabeth Warren

IS A MORON? Corporations aren’t people? What are they, then? Broccoli? Cheese? Komodo dragons?

Massachusettensians should be ashamed this woman hasn’t been ridiculed off the public stage long ago.

So Some Demwit

RANTS THAT “being asked to pay your fair share isn’t class warfare, it’s patriotism!”

How many ways can such a short sentence be wrong? Let me count the ways.

First, is the mendacious premise that what the Democrats are doing is asking anybody to “pay his fair share.” A fair share is everybody pays the same. That’s actually what the Constitution requires and why the graduated income tax is unconstitutional. By any realistic measure of fairness, the only people not paying their fair share are members of the Democrats’ core constituency — life’s takers. The people who (e.g.) commit burglaries because the government “doesn’t give us enough money” or who demand that Obama pay for their new car “out of his stash.” Those are the people who are not paying any taxes. The people who are being importuned to lay back and enjoy being raped for more and more-extortionate tax monies are already paying some outrageous and indefensible high percentage of the total burden. How is that fair?

So the whole “fair share” thing is a lie. And ought to disqualify the rest.

Second, nobody’s being “asked.” It’s not as though a collection plate is being passed. Oh, hell no. There are gangs of armed thugs roaming the streets of American, demanding ever larger chunks of the nation’s sustenance to be “redistributed” to people who haven’t earned it and don’t deserve it. OK, so I exaggerate. How much do I exaggerate? Does not the IRS operate beyond the limits of constitutionally-protected rights of the citizenry? Was not the Founders’ Revolution started over taxation — importunate and grasping? If God can be satisfied with ten percent, why should the state feel it meet to demand thirty? (And, pleased to note, God does ask, does pass the collection plate, does say, “let your conscience be your guide”, does accept what’s given without complaint. Can the state say the same? Where are the Treasury monks who have taken a vow of poverty and dedicated their lives to the service of the state, asking no material recompense?)

What do you suppose happens when you refuse to pay “your fair share?” Ask Wesley Snipes. Ask Willie Nelson. Just don’t ask Timothy Geithner.

“Being asked” is not morally or logically equivalent to “being held up a gunpoint.” The two are not the same.

And, no, it’s not “being asked” that’s class warfare. It’s the asking. It’s the demonizing of the successful. It’s the lie that even a 100% tax rate on the so-called rich (which somehow always manages to exempt the Kennedies and the Rockefellers) would not make a dent in the government’s fiscal problems and would have no positive effect — would indeed, have a negative effect — on your life.

So the whole “being asked” thing is a lie. And ought to disqualify the rest.

And when was the last time one of these well-off Democrat demagogues voluntarily paid the government more than the least they could get away with? Warren Buffet, call your tax attorney.

And, finally, there’s the patriotism dodge. It says right here on the side of the box, “In order to preserve these rights, governments are instituted among men. And, when those governments fail in their duties, free men have the right — indeed, the obligation — to tear them down and replace them with mechanisms better-suited to the service of the people.” OK, it’s not a direct quote, but you know what I mean. And if you don’t, kindly be quiet. Adults are talking, here.

It is not patriotism to knuckle under to your oppressors, to toady to tyrants, to beg for crumbs from their hand, from their table, laden with the ill-gotten goods, stolen from better men and women. That is slavery. That is treason to your fellow man. And it is certainly not patriotic to accept stolen goods from corrupt politicians.

And, yes, the attempts of the Democrat party to regularize their corrupt, grasping practices, and make them mainstream are — exactly — class warfare, when they set one group of Americans against another. Most assuredly is.

Customer Service FAIL

HAS GLENN BECK still not heard back from American Airlines?

What the [BLANK] Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Incomplete? Seriously?

THE WAY I REMEMBER IT from my schools days, an “incomplete” was a grade given to someone who actually did fail the course in the most spectacular way possible — by not even trying. It was a grade given to whiney little titty-babies (a lot of time after fervent negotiation) because the teacher didn’t want to listen to WLTB’s parents. It was a failing grade, but it wasn’t an “F”.

This is not a passing grade, nor is it a good argument for a second term.

But it is to be expected from the entitled affirmative-action hire who never earned anything he ever had in his life, skated by on — scorn quotes — “good looks and personality” his whole life, and would rather bullshit you into giving him what he wants then actually do the work to deserve it.

In other words, a typical Democrat.

Day One, Wheat Belly

FIRST CHALLENGE… eliminate the McDonald’s breakfast biscuits.

Baby steps. Baby steps.