Monthly Archives: September 2009

You Know, If Joe Wilson’s

OUTBURST is in any way shameful, it is that HE WAS THE ONLY ONE!

If it reflects poorly on Congress, it’s because the leadership in Congress sits back and smiles when the President lies to them and the American people.

Hell, Congress itself has NO room to talk. Corrupt third-world kleptocrats have nothing on these guys. At least Robert Mugabe can be said to be acting out the natural impulses of the culture he grew up in. What’s Nancy Pelosi’s excuse?

If You Want to Get a Sense

OF JUST HOW WRONG the Left is, consider the contrast between Norman Borlaug, whose green revolution made possible… in India, a more-than-doubling of the population and an increase in the production of wheat there from 12 million tones to 73 million, and an increase in the India economy of 900%, with Paul Ehrlich, who famously lost a bet with George Gilder as to whether resources would increase or run out (Gilder took the former position and cleaned Ehrlich’s clock), and who was a mentor to Obama “Science Czar” John Holdren.

Et tu, Alger? Appeals to authority?

Not at all. Compare what each man has said and accomplished in his life, then consider how their outlooks march with those of Left and Right.

I Am Struck By The Arrogance

OF A.C.O.R.N. IN THEIR presumption to represent the entire non-white population of the country.

::wobbita:: Eh?

Sure. If criticism — or even investigation — of the organization amounts to racism, than the former assumption must follow. Eh?

Ah so! Desu ka!

Quote of the Day

LIKE I BEEN SAYIN’

…the only argument that leftists have in their public encounters with others is not an argument at all but an indictment: racist, sexist, homophobe, Islamophobe. In the religion of leftists — in the fevered universe of the virus — the world is an endless plain of battle in which forces of Good (leftists) are ranged against the forces of Evil (the rest of us). At stake is the redemption of the world – or as the environmental totalitarians like to put it, the survival of the planet. No wonder they are deaf to any fact or argument that would bring them back to earth.

The only way to defeat the left — and I have failed in twenty years of arguing this to persuade conservatives — is to turn the table around and attack their moral self-image. Leftists are in fact the enemies and oppressors of women, children, gays, minorities and the poor, and conservatives should never confront them without reminding them of this fact. If Naomi Wolf and her radical friends had their way, America would be disarmed and radical Islam would be triumphant and women would be back in the Middle Ages, and the rest of us along with them.

David Horowitz

(Spotted chez Flea.)

This Post Has No Title

JUST WORDS AND A TUNE

Joe Huffman on the Threeper vs Prags contretemps.

I agree with the defiance. Statists need to be constantly reminded that they face implacable opposition.

But the opposition has to BE implacable.

I agree with the notion that one should not alienate potential allies — don’t scare the white people. (Or the brown people, for that matter.
Remember that gun control is fundamentally racist. Free men of any race are natural allies of the RKBA movement, and should be recruited.)

This does not mean that one should be concerned about alienating implacable enemies, (see above).

I believe that the possible responses of the citizenry to infringements upon liberty (or the predations of … those guys who predate on people) should be nebulous. Don’t make your personal line in the sand public. Don’t advertise your carry state. Don’t even acknowledge that you MIGHT be carrying. But do promulgate the notion that many in your surrounds DO carry, and it’s a dangerous guessing game to accost someone with violent intent — because you never know who might be armed. DO project the image of a situationally aware sheepdog-type. Keep the wolves and jackals nervous and cautious.

I firmly believe that a free people cannot rely solely on their sporting arms to keep the state in check. We must operate in the entire battlespace, and that includes gaming the system to the advantage of liberty. Ignoring the statist monster in the closet may be what you wish you could do, but it is unlikely to contribute to domestic tranquility. Statists must be challenged at every turn. If the threepers have a lesson to teach, it is this: draw a line, draw it sooner than later, attack vehemently all attempts to cross the line, do not surrender.

Remember: no matter how tough or fast or smart you are or how big your gun, there will always be someone tougher, faster, smarter, or possessed of a bigger gun. We keep emphasizing that guns are tools. It is up to the responsible free man to make sure that a gun is the appropriate tool for the task at hand. As we all know, while you never want to be without when it is, most of the times, it’s not.

You must be prepared to bloody your enemy — not necessarily physically, but he MUST be taught through repeated exposure to (at least) metaphorical pain in response to his outrages.

But you gotta know when the most salutary pain is metaphorical or otherwise.

I don’t think either the Threepers or the Prags have a lock on the truth. I think both groups realize that. I think individuals of both groups would be wise to remind themselves of that. Frequently.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

NEVER FORGIVE. NEVER FORGET.

Markets Allocate Resources

THROUGH A SIMPLE and atomized mechanism that sends feedback signals through the marketplace. These signals ride on transactions. They can be reduced to two objects — prices and products. A buyer offers a price for a product, a seller offers a product for a price. If they can agree, voila! — a sale. If not, then they either renegotiate, or the buyer goes elsewhere and the seller approaches his next mark.

This is a natural, spontaneous, self-actuating and self-regulating mechanism. When it operates properly, demand is met and products sell for the highest acceptable price.

Sellers get rich by meeting their buyers’ demands. Get rich by serving the needs and wants of others.

However, the mechanism breaks down when the quality of the information deteriorates. Parties not directly involved in a transaction can seek to alter it by meddling in the signals. In effect, they jam the transmission of information. Attempt to control prices, and shortages of the price-controlled goods ensue. New products appear on the market in attempts to circumvent the controls. Prices trend higher. Attempt to control supply, and buyers and sellers form new associations beyond the reach of the controlling authority — forming gray and black markets. Attempt to control demand, and your costs of administration skyrocket at the buyers revolt, necessitating ever-more-oppressive measures to control the market.

It is, therefor, a source of no small amusement to find the statists currently attempting to control simultaneously demand, supply, and price in the arena of medicine stymied by the objections of their constituents, essentially doing to them what they would do to those constituents, by jamming the transmission.

Except that the TEA partiers and townhall attendees protesting the oncoming health insurance debacle aren’t just putting static out there, although the Left may perceive it as such. They are actually transmitting information at higher volume than the controllers can overcome.

Must be frustrating as hell to have your own tactics used against you.

Was Reading One of Those

TOKEN, PLANTATION Republicans that the legacy media keep in cages and feed between the bars on Obama’s speech Wednesday night. Have to say, I’m amused as all get-out that they’ve noticed him looking a bit shop-worn.

Aside:

Forgive me if my fantasies
Might seem a little shop worn
I’m sure you’ve heard them all before
I wonder what’s the right form

— Stephen Stills, “Dark Star”

For me, there’s been no change. Oh, sure, the tone has sharpened a bit. Understandable. As usual, the progressive’s brainfart pipedreams don’t travel too well. They tend to get bruised and the boquet goes all sour. But I’m not seeing any change between the pol on the campaign and the sitting President. They both peddle the same nostrums. They both lie — (cf: Teddy Kennedy thundering in the well of the Senate: “Lie after lie after lie after lie after lie!” More projection and transferrance from the Left?). They both push solutions that are already failed before they can even be implemented — solutions to problems they are incapable of apprehending.

::shrug::

You’d have to have come down with a rolicking good case of willful blindness not to have seen all this from the beginning. The merest glance at Obama’s razor-thin resume would have told those not bullshitting themselves that the man isn’t qualified to be a meter maid. He is, in the Texas parlance, all hat and no cattle. He’s a typical progressive in that he’s managed to bullshit his way through life on glib patter, good looks, and a pleasing personality. No substance, all style.

Which may have been why those of us opposing him during the election might have sounded so shrill. We were incredulous that anyone other than another progressive could have possibly been deceived by him.

So, now the mask has slipped, and some folks are beginning (pray it’s not too late) to take a colder look at just exactly what it is he’s proposing. Dare we hope that the media — shallow as they are — might turn on him for the cardinal sin of losing his cool under fire?

I Have This Tendency

TO THINK/SAY about Billy Beck, “Yeah, sure, he’s an asshole. But you know… He’s not wrong.” And I gotta tell you, I’d rather associate with his type than Obama’s — a prickly asshole who will, nevertheless, respect my individuality and liberty while demanding I reciprocate, as opposed to a smarmy, sneaky, statist authoritarian who KNOWS he has to lie to get his point across and does it oh, so smoothly.

I happen to think the former attitude helps to make me a better man. The lazy, lying, evil shit can rub off on you if you’re not careful.

And in the “not wrong” department:

Ladies and gentlemen, your very first duty is to think through this stuff on your own. You are not to believe a single word that I ever write. You are to endorse or reject them all on your own powers of reason, which is why you have a mind. The very first thing to do, however, is to make sure that you actually are thinking. Rote recitation of premises that you have absorbed uncritically over the years is not the same thing, and there is no way around ethical determinations of right and wrong. Those two concepts refer to the efficacious practice of human life: they are not interchangeable or arbitrarily disposable, no matter what contemporary sophistries attempt to offer you as rationale.

Standard Trope: Quelle Surprise

(HTML TAG: shock-SHOCK) that people are worried and surprised at the National Endowment for the Arts’ (NEA) effort to get artists to line up and support Dear Leader Doctor Zero.

What. The. FUCK. Did. You. Expect? It’s a government-supported arts organization! Subversion? Gib mir ein freckin’ break!

Idiots! These are the same people who would probably inveigh against private patrons of the arts insisting on control over content — comparing them snarkily to the Medicis, as though that were a bad thing.

Of course, being an artist supported entirely by private means — in the hurly-burly of the commercial marketplace — I have nothing but scorn for so-called “ahtistes” who whore themselves to the state. But that’s just me.

It’s Both Ignorant and Dishonest

MAYBE EVEN STUPID to assert “We spend x dollars (or x-times as much as anybody else) per individual on health care.”

What do you mean, “We,” Paleface?

Seems to me that those INDIVIDUALS are spending the money. And now the government seeks to force the public at large to take that burden on, under highly suspect pretenses.

Yeah. That’ll end well.

Calling Bullshit On

BOTH BELA PELOSI and Doctor Zero, when they dare us in the right to come up with our own proposals, then assert we have none.

Bald. Faced. Lies.

But it’s in the mode of put-up-or-shut-up, that I offer this:

First: Stop lying. Claims that the Right has no solutions are risible. Assertions of a crisis in health care when there is none are despicable panic mongering. Statements as of fact that the existence of a so-called “public” (read: “government”) “option” will not eliminate other alternatives is tendentiously disingenuous. Argument that a system which includes tax penalties for non-compliance is a voluntary, optional matter of choice is… well, no better term exists for it than a lie.

All these misrepresentations do not advance your argument. The American people are wise to you and your mendacity is, to a large part, driving the resistance you are presently experiencing.

Now: for the solution. Reform the tax code so that the perverse incentives toward employer-paid health “insurance” are eliminated. Permit the self-employed to write-off their medical expenses under the same conditions as corporations.

Encourage more spending on medicine and less on “insurance.” More money is spent on insurance than on medicine. It is the insurance that keeps going up in price. By eliminating insurance from day-to-day medicine, you immediately cut “health care” costs at least by half.

What? You don’t think that more money is taken in by insurance companies than is paid out on expenditures? You believe that any business can operate year after year with a negative margin? More the fool you if you do. Trust me: the insurance companies are no fools. They intend to make a profit. They will always charge on average more than they pay out.

From the perspective of the insured, therefore, first-dollar health care “insurance” is a waste of money. Only government “subsidies” in the form of tax breaks keep the system alive at all. If the perverse tax incentives were to be removed, the system would collapse of its own bloated weight. Sound familiar?

Enact tort reform. There is no need to deny “the rights of harmed patients,” as one panic-mongering attorney attempted to assert. There is merely the need to rein in the greed of attorneys seeking fat contingency fees.

My first choice would be to eliminate the manifest injustice of punitive damages. If something is unlawful, thus worthy in justice of punishment, then the matter should be pursued in a criminal court. Civil damages awards should and must be limited to — here’s a radical concept for you — actual damages.

Second would be loser pays. Again, there is no denial of rights for genuinely aggrieved plaintiffs. There is however a crying need to prevent greedy lawyers from taking a flyer on the offchance it may pay off — nothing ventured, nothing gained, and nothing to lose for trying. This to me defines frivolity.

Third would be a bitch-slapping of the deep pockets “principle.” (Scorn quotes because it is in truth a lack of principle the concept illustrates.) Only those persons — natural or corporate — actually parties to a situation should be held liable for bad acts. The contention otherwise should be seen as deliberate social sabotage — a drilling of holes in the bottom of the lifeboat of society, a lie intended to tear down the structure of a country for personal gain and no other — akin to treason, committed without resort to arms. Such behavior certainly should not be rewarded.

Fourth and finally would be a limit placed on attorney fees. Yes, an attorney may accept a contingent fee arrangement, but the limit on its value should be no more than the least plaintiff receives. No more should we countenance victorious plaintiffs getting a check that won’t even cover their phone bills in the matter, while the attorneys get millions or billions. I would prefer to see contingency fees eliminated, but understand that such might price counsel out of the reach of all but the wealthy. Don’t want THAT, either.

Make it a stated principle that the Federal Government has no business meddling in private medical affairs and will act to remove utterly its influence from the market in medical care by a date certain — no more than ten years in the future. This provision to be enforceable against individual members of Congress for failure of fiduciary duty if it is not fulfilled.

And, by the way, I’d even go further and urge the removal of the word “medical” in the first sentence of the paragraph above.

I Have So Far

MANAGED TO AVOIDgetting sucked into this by main force of will.

You poor, pathetic man.

Gee, thanks, Dolly.

Anytime, Alger. Anytime at all.

If You Want to Pick A Fight

I THINK IT MIGHT BEHOOVE us to consider with whom the fight is to be.

I joined Jon Henke’s Neolibertarian network when it first sprang up. However, reading Henke on Q&O, I came to the conclusion that he is a punk. He’s too busy attacking his fellow travelers for ideological impurity to pay attention to the main issue — the existential fight for the survival of the Republic.

But, rather than attack him for it, I simply stopped reading him and paid him no mind. After all, he still is a soldier on my side of the fight. What good does it do me to beat up on him? It wastes my energy and diminishes the strength on our side. Where’s the win, here?

I think that’s the case for the lot of you who excoriate those who disagree with you, as Reagan put it, 20% of the time, forgetting they agree with you 80% of the time.

In-fighting is invidious. Let’s have a little less of it.

Wow

AND THE WIFE tweaks me about MY librarily ambitions. Neil Gaiman’s library. Spotted chez Flea.

Memo

TO: BARON HILL
FR: Not your constituent
DT: 9/4/09
RE: YOUR Town Hall

Baron;

Glad to hear you decided to hold one. Sorry to hear you don’t “get” a lot about them.

When Ronald Reagan shouted down a protester with the line, “I paid for this microphone,” he spoke nothing but the truth. He had paid for the microphone and the stage and the use of thehall. And he was asserting a central truth about freedom of speech, freedom of the “press,” and so-forth: the man who pays the piper calls the tune.

When you asserted, “This is MY town hall meeting and I set the rules…” you missed a central point. YOU are not paying the piper; the attendees — your constituents, the taxpayers in your district are. YOU do not call the tune; the People do.

If the situation is other than this, if the microphone and the hall and the rest were not paid for with public funds, and this was a campaign stop (for example), then there is an entirely other set of questions to be raised. But let us not start out by assuming that species of corruption attends your office, and go with the more charitable assumption: you, sir, are an idiot.

As is frequently observed, ordinarily, the voters seem collectively to have a short memory. A gaffe committed in an off year might be assumed to have been forgotten come Election Day. This election cycle, however, well… not so much.

I suspect your arrogance may have just cost you your office. Or, as Darleen Click observed in the above-linked post, get ready to be pwn3d.

Word of the Day

I MEAN: word.

As in “Word to your mother.”

They Say You Shouldn’t

USE A PUBLIC communications channel for private conversations, but WTF, it’s my blog.

Hey, Toni! You were axing about what to do with old cell phones. Check this out.

Quote of the Day

WITH ALL DUE allusions to The Won…

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Percy Bysshe Shelly
“Ozymandias” – 1818

I Don’t Know

ANYTHING ABOUT Paul Taylor’s politics, and I’d prefer to keep it that way. But this frame jumped off the page and tapped me on the forehead with a coulda-hadda-vee-eight bop.

It immediately put me mind of the Che t-shirt and the pictures of Chairman Mao and all the useless oxygen thieves in this country who praise Castro’s Cuba.

It’s from Wednesday’s strip. Which will mean little-to-nothing if you haven’t been following along.

And if not, why not?

I Know I Don’t Have

THE CHOPS TO DO a national talk radio program. But there are times when I badly wish I could sock-puppet the hosts who do.

Like the inestimable Mark Steyn Wednesday on the Rush Limbaugh show. He had someone on trying to make the case for the government “option” who claimed that the insurance company let some relative or friend of hers die.

And my question immediately would be, “Well, was the procedure even covered by the policy?”

Because, you see, that really matters.

And if you think that it won’t matter under a government option — or an out-and-out single-payer, full-court, balls-to-the-wall socialized medicine system — then I’m here to tell you not even the communists in the cabinet believe we can run our cars on unicorn farts. (Sly referential call back to a sound byte of “Green Jobs Czar” Van Jones played earlier on the Glenn Beck show.)

Nice. But what do unicorn farts — in or out of a windstorm (Clever allusion to a comment you left over at Og’s blog.) — have to do with communized medicine?

“Communized…?”

You know me: I prefer to call a spade a spade. And “socialism” and all the “social-this” and “social-that” obfu-speak are code words for communism. You know: the greatest single evil brought forth by the hand of man — ever.

So I refuse to use the euphemism when the plain old Anglo Saxon pollysyllable will do — it’s communism, and I’m gonna call it that. So what Obama and his myrmidons and fellow travelers in the government and the Northeast Liberal communist establishment want to do is commun-ize medicine. Not “health care”; medicine.

Now, answer the question.

Question?

What’sitgottado?

Oh. The third clause of Alger’s Laws of Leftism — engaged in wishful thinking. Brainfart pipedreams. Reliance on unicorn farts for a source of energy. Thinking that whether or not a procedure is covered under a given policy won’t matter if Uncle Sam is paying the piper.

Oh. I see.

By The Way I

HEARD IN PASSING on the Hitler Channel’s documentary on the crumbling U.S. infrastructure, somebody — might have even been Ed “Fast Eddie” Rendel, the gubernator of Pennsyltucky — saying that, if we don’t pay attention to maintenance and repair of our infrastructure, that we’d find ourselves to be a Third World — or even a Second World — country in short order.

Fuckwit.

For those of you who haven’t been paying much attention:

• Old World/First World = Europe and the Classical “World” (roughly Europe, North Africa, and the Near East,);

• NEW World/”Second World” = The Americas (I have never heard the term “Second World” used by anyone who was actually aware of the meaning of the term);

• THIRD WORLD = everywhere else.

There is some overlap between the New World and the Third World, as the Third World is supposed to be non-European, poverty-stricken, mostly-tropical hellholes, thus including those Marxist Utopias in Central and South America, as well as South Asia, which properly ought to be Old World.

But, by some, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil are all Third World Countries, and by others, so are India and China — the latter two displacing the “Southern Hemisphere” daffynition.

Another One of Those Things

WHAT BEARS REPEAT over and over until you get it right.

A slight shock to the sense of unreality in politics came to me — oh, years ago, now, I suppose — when I stumbled across a snippet of video of President Reagan at some kind of a major do at the White House, chatting with Queen Elizabeth II, and he blurted out his astonishment at the statistic that welfare en toto managed to convey only thirteen percent of the money appropriated for the purpose to the actual end recipients. The rest went to “overhead,” both in Washington and out in the boondocks. Bureaucracy ate up eighty-seven percent.

I suspect that insurance companies operate somewhat more efficiently. However, it would astonish me not a white to discover that more money spent on — scorn quotes — “health care” went to insurance companies than to providers of medical care, service, or products.

Why?

Well, think about it. If your employer spent — in round numbers — $10,000.00 a year on your “health care” coverage, and the insurance company then turned around and paid out $12,000.00 to medical providers on your behalf, well… That’s not the kind of loss you can make up in volume.

Far more likely that your insurance company pays out something like $5,000.00 in covered expenses and you pay out $2,000.00.

From this perspective, it can be seen that, were it not for the perversity of the tax code by which it makes more sense for your employer to pay for your “health care” insurance than to simply pay you the money outright and let you make your own arrangements, you would probably be far better off paying cash on the barrelhead for the majority of your quotidian medical needs and simply maintaining a major medical policy to cover those large and unexpected expenses, such as hospitalization after a heart attack, or bypass surgery.

It is said that government does not have the profit motive. Some argue this is a good thing, I say it is perverse. Regardless, there is neither a motive in the halls of government for efficiency.

Actually, I find the idea of an efficient government more than a little horripilating.

You just love that word, horripilating, don’t you?

::big grin:: Eee-YUP!

So I have two words for you: thirteen percent.

Think about that as you watch the government try to take over the practice of medicine in America. Figure out what it really means for you.

So ‘Splain Me This

TO ME, WOULDJA? Perusing Marko’s Monday Search Term Safari, I came across this item about how it’s a Bozo No-No to put a buttstock on a pistol, because that would make a short-barrelled rifle (SBR).

Which presumably would be like a faster computer allowing you to go to hell at warp speed; SBRs would seem to have the downside of both pistols (short barrel = diminished accuracy) and rifles (butt stock = longer and harder to conceal). So why would you want one?

The butt stock would make the entire platform more stable, thus more accurate than the unmodified pistol.

Yebbut. Why not just — oh, I dunno — just carry a rifle?

I mean… doesn’t the whole thing revolve around concealment? And aren’t easily-concealable weapons, by this standard, somehow not cricket? As in, you’re not supposed to carry concealed, because that’s sneaky and not according to The Cowboy Way?

Except that, these days, most polities find it preferable to issue CCW permits than to just “let” people carry openly — presumably because that doesn’t scare the white folks?

Wassamattachoo? You expect logic and sanity from government regulation?

::sigh:: I guess not.

I just… Sometimes, I feel like Rip Van Winkle, not having been immersed in the gun culture since I was a kid. Things have changed so much.

This Is So Prevalent

A PATTERN of behavior that I have to believe it’s intentional. First, background. Thomas Sowell:

So many “rights” have been conjured up out of thin air that many people seem unaware that rights and obligations derive from explicit laws, not from politically correct pieties. If you don’t meet the terms of the Geneva Convention, then the Geneva Convention doesn’t protect you. If you are not an American citizen, then the rights guaranteed to American citizens do not apply to you.

From Real Clear Politics
as quoted by
Nicholas Packwood at
Ghost of a Flea

So many people have worked so assiduously to obfuscate the truths of these matters that I must see it as prima facie evidence of intent. The left — Democrats, progressives, and the rest of the usual suspects — means for it to be this way. And Sowell’s point needs to be made forcefully in rebuttal.