Tuesday, March 30, 2010

More Hate™

Hmmmm.  Obviously those Angry Hateful Tea Party people.  I mean, who else could it be?

Progressivism and Socialism

In several of the arguments I've had on the web over the past week or so, socialism has come up, and degree of socialism has come up  ... and I've been wrestling with the relationship of progressivism to socialism.

I have argued from a philosphical standpoint that central planning was a bad thing -- but of course I meant in economics and in cultural matters.  Typically someone then throws up the interstate highway system -- which to me is a different animal and an exception to that general philosophy.   After all, we can't put roads just anywhere and we do need to balance that against property rights. Any coherent road system is going to have to result from large-scale agreement, not individual transactions.  Anyway, Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower are brought up -- and I was asked, were they "socialists"?

Well, you know, no.  They were, as all 20th century presidents seem to have been with the possible exception of Reagan, infected with the Progressive bug to one degree or another. 

And basically the Progressive bug's premise is that we need to get a few smart people in power, making all the decisions to allow the rest of society to "evolve" and catch up with the Enlightened Ones.  Teddy Roosevelt certainly abused the office, and he abused it in some cases to preserve some things I rather like -- some of our National Parks and National Monuments - the Grand Canyon being but one of these.  It is something I have a hard time reconciling except for to say this:

The preservation of some wilderness for the enjoyment of Americans and mankind in general is relatively inexpensive and in the long run causes no social malaise.  But the creation of entitlements always becomes much more expensive over time as the programs are expanded in scope and as people who would otherwise me motivated to avoid the socio-economic circumstances that entitlements are justified to address may find comfortable enough to trade off not having to work or work very hard -- it definitely contributes to further social malaise.  National Parks are a one time thing that we then must maintain.  Most of it was wilderness to begin with, and it cost relatively little to fire them up, not that there wasn't controversy.  Entitlements are forever, and they only grow in scope and volume.  The Department of the Interior takes up about 1/3 of 1% of the federal budget, as opposed to Social Security (19.6%), Unemployment/Welfare (16.1%), Medicare (12.8%), Medicade & Children's Health (8.2%).... I mean ... That's 56.7% of the federal budget on entitlements alone.

Peacenicks like to exclude all of this non-discretionary entitlement spending out of their budget comparisons to show how much more Defense spending is than everything that's left, leading people to believe that we spend way too much on defense and not enough on social and infrastructure programs.  But of course they intentionally mislead.  Probably the largest and most legititmate role of the federal government is national defense, which is at about 20% of the total budget, but when you exclude more than half of the federal budget -- of course the defense percentage of the remainder would more than double and dwarf everything else that is left.  But when you see the big picture it's obvious that we'd have a heck of a lot more to spend on highways, national parks, the EPA, and NASA if we weren't so busy buying votes by expanding entitlement programs that arguably shouldn't exist in the first place, or be scaled way, way back for only dire cases.

So no, Progressivism is not Socialism.  But Progressivism is the Mother of Socialism, communism, fascism, and naziism.  It is a worldview that, if logically followed, naturally leads to such systems.

Government programs are not bad just because they are government programs.  When your worldview is that government it a necessary evil that must always be kept in check and people are by and large responsible for meeting their own needs, these little things can be well and good.  When your worldview is that if there is a problem, government must solve it -- well then you're well on your way to totalitarianism.  It's just a matter of time.

Phil's Unified Theory on the Rise of Progressivism

You know, I think in general soft-science academics spend far too much time coming up with thories to support their world-view and then scouring the landscape for "facts" that they can rationalize to support said theories. They publish the resulting paper and the theory is now dubbed "fact".

This happens again and again with studies incestuously referencing each other, and eventually some of their students run for office and win.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Shell Game

A certain relative (who is a huge proponent of Universal Health Care and knows that I am not) mentioned the other night that "somebody" was lying about the bill because each side was saying opposite things about it.

I'd been doing a lot of thinking about this lately.  And I ran across a new Pat Sajak column today (yes, that Pat Sajak -- he's a good conservative writer) where he talked about some of the smearing of the Obamacare opposition.  And there I saw one of those mambsy-pambsy, "aren't I balanced"  " ... but BOTH SIDES ... " blah blah blah, once again decrying the Death Panel "lie" comments.

And it all congealed in my head as concisely as it ever had to this point.  I spit it out as a comment, which makes up the remainder of this post.

The Democrats played a shell game simultaneously arguing that certain things the oppositon were saying were not explicitly in "The" bill, and that there was no "The" bill yet to criticize when opponents did find something explicit in one of the many versions of "the" bill flying around underneath the cups.

If you listen to Democratic statements over the years and especially in recent years, their goal is clear. A single-payer, government run, universal health care system. There are plenty of articles and soundbite examples to illustrate this.  The preferred path is through a government option, they found out they weren't going to get it in one bite. So they opted for merely turning the insurance industry into a utility and bankrupting them so that a public option becomes acceptable, eventually transforming over the years into a .. single-payer, government run, universal health care system. It's no secret.

The opposition argued what the consequences would be, whether they were explicitly layed out in "the" bill or not. They were called "liars" on the basis that the bill, of course, didn't explicitly talk about rationing boards which will eventually become necessary and Sarah Palin referred to as "death panels".

Mean time, though not covertly secret about their agenda, the Democrats were tight lipped about it and would only talk about what was literally in the bill -- and rarely speak of what their actual medium and long-term goals were, and never talk about possible undesirable unintended consequences (or intended ones, either).

Thus Democrats lied by omission by narrowing the scope of what they were putting in the legislation right this minute, and projecting that narrow scope onto what the opposition was arguing.  This throws the opposition's argument completely out of the context in which it was being made, and they declared the opposition "liars".

Too bad it worked as well as it did.  But that's Alinsky tactics.   Frame the argument on your terms (always a good idea for anyone) -- and decieve if you have to (which underscores why Alinsky dedicated "Rules for Radicals" to Satan.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Extreme, Angry, White Tea Party Extremists, Being Extreme

You know ... being furious, angry, and racistly extreme.

Been out of town the least few days. Saw this friday.

Klavan is brilliant.

A Victory Over Fear

I've read several headlines about the passage of this "Health Care" bill being a "Victory Over Fear".

Well ... yeah.  I suppose you could put it that way.

You know.... as these things go.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Democrats Take to Streets with Weapons

Clearly they are encouraging their base to go out and crush Tea Partiers.  Look, she's baring her teeth!  How agressive!!!

I'm scared.  I want an apology.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Another Attempt at Defining and Dismissing The Tea Party Movement

I was pointed to this article by a progressive acquaintance, where one Bruce Bartlett set up the straw man of Tea Partiers not being aware of the exact details of their tax burden, that they had nothing to complain about.  I had a lot to say about it, but when I ran across this comment, I had to respond:

I think Barlett pretty clearly shows how our tax burden hasn't significantly changed from Bush to Obama. Wherefore the charges of socialism from the tea party, then?  It's fair to have a reasonable debate about taxes and spending, but I don't think the tea party movement wants to be a part of that debate.

Isn't it also fair to consider what you, your community, and the country gets in return for those taxes?
My response

I've seen a lot of articles and comments setting up straw men about what the tea party is about and why it's wrong. One thing Bartlett points out and I will grant him is that a significantly large percentage of Tea Partiers (and that's what most of us call ourselves, thank you, not "Tea Baggers") are not well read and do not have a grasp on the details as far as exactly how much of their income goes to taxes. Most of them have jobs, and those jobs are mostly outside of the punditry and think-tank industry.

However, what they generally are is believers in free-markets and limited government and liberty. They believe in the right things, and they know that those things have been compromised by the growth and direction of government.

In their view, and in the veiw of the founders, "what you, your community, and the country gets in return for those taxes" is irrelevant. The focus is on what the role of government is. Spending is a measure of that, and taxes are they symptom.

Critics also tend to believe that since most Tea Partiers supported Bush over Kerry and Gore, and probably McCain over Obama -- that this is about Obama. Or about Democrats only. It is not, and this goes back far before GW Bush, or Reagan, or Carter, or Ford or Nixon or Johnson or Kennedy ... this has been building for a long time, incrementally like the proverbial frog in a slowly heated pan of water who doesn't notice the incremental increase in temperature and ends up getting cooked.

Any cursory and honest look at Obama's life shows that at the very least he was heavily influenced by people who professed to be socialists, or professed socialist views but called it something different. He's been in office a year and some change with the stated intent of "Fundamentally Transforming" the United States of America. But Obama is not the problem. Obama is the latest symptom of the problem, and he is the face and current executor of the agenda for the Center for American Progress, Apollo Alliance, and TIDES. He is surrounded in his cabinet, the think tanks he goes to, and in Congress with progressives -- some explicitly socialist, some not.

To conclude that he's "not a socialist" because, "hey, taxes haven't gone up" in the 14 months he's been in office is nonsense.

And you're very wrong about the tea partiers not wanting to have a reasonable debate about taxes and spending. That is exactly the debate they would like to have (though as Bartlett points out, many wouldn't be very good at it, just as many socialism supporters wouldn't be very good at arguing for socialism).

The problem is that if the Big Government side of the equation gets to decide what is "reasonable" and what can be dismissed as a bunch of ignorant, racist, redneck "Tea Baggers" -- a meaningful debate will never happen.

Update: as if to underscore my point, in this very good editorial -- David Harsanyi writes:
Surely it is inarguable that the debate over a national mandate epitomizes the central ideological divide in the country today.

In broad terms, there is one side that believes liberty can be subverted for the collective good because government often makes more efficient and more moral choices.
Then there is the other side, which believes that people who believe such twaddle are seditious pinkos.

And judging from nearly every poll, the majority of Americans disapprove of President Barack Obama and his defining legislation. Whether they understand the mugging of freedoms in legal terms or in intellectual terms or only in intuitive ones doesn't matter.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Walmart Bashing Revisited

I've noticed that this post has been getting a lot of google search hits lately.  And I also found a Penn and Teller episode chiming in with me -- so I've added them at the end of the post.

In case you missed that link above, it's here.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Some other things that were "Historic™" for the date March 21st
1349: 3,000 Jews killed in Black Death riots in Efurt Germany
1788: Fire destroyed 856 buildings in New Orleans Louisiana (GW Bush blamed)
1824: Fire at Cairo ammunitions dump kills 4,000 horses
1843: Preacher William Miller of Mass predicts the world will end today (right day, wrong year ;-) )
1857: Earthquake hits Tokyo; about 107,000 die
1918: During WW I Germany launches Somme offensive
1935: Persia officially renamed "Iran" at the suggestion of the Nazis (Aryan)
1937: Ponce massacre, police kill 19 at Puerto Rican Nationalist parade
1939: Nazi-Germany demands Gdansk (Danzig) from Poland
1942: Heavy German assault on Malta
1943: Assassination attempt on Hitler fails
1945: Dutch Resistance fighter Hannie Schaft arrested by Nazi police
1985: Bloodbath at Langa (Uitenhage) South-Africa, 19 killed
Just sayin'.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wow. She actually said it.

I knew that people were plausibly speculating that Democrats liked the “deem pass” option because House members wouldn’t have to go on record as having voted for the Senate health care bill

From the Washington Times
"It's more insider and process-oriented than most people want to know. But I like it, because [House] people don't have to vote on the Senate bill," Mrs. Pelosi told bloggers in a round-table discussion Monday.
There you have it.  For all the CYA talk about the vote on the changes being a vote on the bill, that’s what this is about.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Another Bauer

No, not Jack, but Lord Peter.  This is brilliant:
The market system delivers the goods people want, but those who make it work can not readily explain why it is so.   The Communist or Socialist system does not deliver the goods, but those who operate it can readily explain away its failure.  - Lord Peter Bauer

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Our census form arrived yesterday.  Haven't yet decided exactly how I'm going to fill it out.

A few things I do know....

The Federal government doesn't need my phone number.  It doesn't need our names.

It says all of the information will be used for statistical purposes only.  You know, how many people have the first name of "Phil".  How many people have phone numbers starting with "573"?  

I could see perhaps a use for gender and age.  Maybe even race.  But of course, why, if gender, race, and age aren't supposed to matter?

Well, because, as the commercials say, it's all about "getting our 'fair share'".  And they base it partially on age and race, and who knows?  Maybe gender.   The government decides what our "fair share" is.  Already.   That's not America.  That's some social democracy, on the road to communism, as Marx envisioned.  

"Oh no it's not.  You're just paranoid!"   Yeah, I used to say that ... until one day I woke up and found a bunch of 1960's marxists and the radical organizations they started in charge of much of the government-run and government-protected social institutions in the country, and sitting in key chairs in and around the White House.  Kinda made me take a second look.

And oh, it will be used for gerrymandering.  Trust me.  "Fair Share".  And our "fair share" of the votes, thank you.

See, here's the deal.  Up until a few weeks ago, I thought if Congress passed a bill, the same bill had to pass both chambers of Congress, and if one party thought it was important enough to attempt to block, they could attempt a filibuster unless 60% of the Senate voted to end debate.  That's what I thought.

Now I come to find out that there's this fine print that's been added over the years that says, hey, we can just add a bill to one that's already passed and have a vote on some amendments to that bill and the normal rules don't apply.

Now when they added that fine print, I'm sure anybody who objected based on possible future abuse of the rule were dismissed, "that's ridiculous!  It's only meant for these little changes here and there.  Nobody would ever consider using it that way."

And today I find out that they don't even have to do that, they can just vote on approving some amendments to a bill the House has never voted on and "deem" that the bill they're amending has passed.  On top of that, since the bill they just passed was based on one that already passed the other chamber, they can send it straight to the President to sign (even though ... hello, the Senate never voted on the amendments, so then how has that bill passed both chambers again?)  Democrats say the electorate doesn't care about procedure, and they should just do it.  Pass the bill, so we can see what's in it.

Are we insane???

We listen to this stuff and shrug?

God I hope not.

But what does any of this have to do with the Census?

The information you give will only be used for statistical purposes.  "What, you crazy paranoid people!  Nobody would ever use it for anything else.  That's ridiculous!"

Yeah, never happens.  And income tax will only ever be on the top 1%, Social Security tax will never exceed 3%, and your social security number will never, ever be used for personal identification.

Hoyer says we're not interested

First he said:
"Frankly, what we want to do is do the Senate bill as amended by reconciliation," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters today. "If we pursue this process, it is consistent with the rules, it is consistent with former practice, and in my opinion will be consistent with having members express themselves on the Senate bill as amended by reconciliation."
 Which means it's not the Senate bill anymore, then, doesn't it?  They didn't approve the amendments.  And then he went on to say:
"I don't think any American...is going to make the distinction," said Hoyer, adding that both parties have used this process and that few voters care that Republicans actually used it more often than Democrats. "Process is interesting, particularly to all of us around this room. But in the final analysis, what is interesting to the American public is what does this bill do for them and their families."
 Au contraire.  I am making a distinction.  What this does for me and my family is to demolish the country that is the United States of America.   Government.  Control.  Nanny State.

And I don't care if both parties have used it.  It is wrong.

I mean, shoot, in 1854, Democrats passed the Kansas-Nebraska act that allowed the importing of slaves into the territories.  So, by that logic ... you know, hey ... they did it.  So obviously, it would be ok for Republicans to pass a law to start importing slaves again ...  right?  I mean ... stands to reason.  Obviously.

Open Contempt for the Constitution

Much was made of Obama's "Constitutional Scholar" status during the campaign, and it gets brought up by progressive friends whenever I make constitutional arguments against Obama/Pelosi/Reid's political agenda.

Of course, I counter that I read Alinsky, but not because I'm a believer -- it's because I need to know my enemy's tactics and weaknesses.  So I believe it is with Obama and the Constitution.

Obama is clearly an Alinskyite.  Look at his biography.  Alinsky was the original "Community Organizer", Obama was a "Community Organizer" and has shown respect for Alinsky by name.  And he follows his tactics.

Whatever means necessary is a central part of the philosophy. 

And so we have flat out lies on the campaign trail, flat out lies about what the health care bill has in it and what it doesn't and what it will cost and what its effects will likely be.   Not that it's right, but that stuff happens all the time.

What's even more worrisome is the utter disregard for the design of the legislature shown by the willingness to seriously consider (it remains to be seen if they'll try them) "passing" the legislation without getting the required number of votes on it (pass it as part of a recociliation "bill"), or without even voting on it at all.

Oddly, I remember some of the initial ridicule of the Tea Party movement was that we were ignorant because the original Boston Tea Party was about taxation without representation, and, after all, we have representation.

Do we?

It looks to me like we have people who, if the rules governing "representation" get in their way, they'll find a way to circumvent it.

And this brings me to unintended consequences. 

The rules which would allow the Dems to circumvent normal House rules for passing legislation were introduced as exceptions to rules which were probably introduced to help push things through where there was clear general agreement and little to no controversy -- to make the lives of our congresscritters easier.  They don't actually have to take time out of their 5-7 hours a day soliciting donations or attending fundraiser dinners to go vote on things.  And I'm sure when these exception-to-the-rules rules were passed, everyone was assured that they would never be used to pass actual bills in a manner inconsistent with original intent.

When we bring up potential for abuse, we are ridiculed.  Sarah Palin spoke of "death panels" to the haughty derision of government health care proponents.  "It's not in the bill", or "it was only meant to do this little harmless and helpful thing, nobody would ever interpret it that other way."


If we can pass this controversial and sweeping legislation using one of those processes, they why use any other method for anything, ever?  If this is the way things can be done, this is the way things will be done and our Constitution effectively means nothing anymore.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Science is about using what we know to speculate about what we don't know, and coming up with theories. Then taking those theories and subjecting them to scrutiny by experimentation to figure out if we were right or wrong about those speculations.

That, in a nutshell, is what science is all about.

Why do I suddenly feel like Linus VanPelt?

If you didn't do those things, you didn't do "Science".

Friday, March 12, 2010

Instructions to Believe

I've probably posted on this before. But this bears repeating.  It's about what you know vs what you've heard.  And this is a good thing to keep in mind when you're calling out a big government type on all the "lies", say, Fox News or Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck or any conservative tells.

This is from Morgan's blog glossary on The House of Eratosthenes.

I Have Been Instructed To Believe…
A simple acknowledgment that nowadays, people don’t hand hard information off to each other quite as often as they dispense instructions to each other about what to think. That is in spite of what we may pretend to be doing. The distinction is a very simple one to maintain. Someone gives you an opinion, you take the time to verify it before passing it on, you have informed somebody. If you pass it along without verifying it first, you are instructing them on what to think. It’s not only an easy difference to keep in mind, it’s a very important one. A lot of other commentators will gloss over it, but that doesn’t mean we have to do that here. So when people tell us what to think, we’ll go ahead and repeat it, but we call it what it is. It’s instruction about what to believe, nothing more, nothing less.
It's not about not repeating what you hear.  It's about recognizing that that is what you are doing, and that is what others are doing when you or they haven't followed up on or verified it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Woodrow Wilson Guthrie

Ah, now I know why all the socialists I've known in academia over the years loved Woodie Guthrie.

Woodie was a Communist. 

And he was named after ... our first Progressive president, Wodrow Wilson.

Huh.  Was unaware of that until I looked him up in Wiki to see if he was still alive.

I already knew of the lyrics Glenn Beck recently discovered -- verses you never sang in grade school, or even knew about.  But he wrote 'em back during the long FDR administration in 1940.

As I was walkin' - I saw a sign there
And that sign said - no tress passin'
But on the other side .... it didn't say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!

In the squares of the city - In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office - I see my people
And some are grumblin' and some are wonderin'
If this land's still made for you and me.
His guitar was famous for having the "This Machine Kill Fascists" sign on it.

I gave it a little tweak.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Dodged a Bullet There

Good thing we have those laws making it illegal to carry guns onto college campuses.

You know... 'cause otherwise, somebody might have been shot.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Obama: The Time for Debate is Over™

The Time for Debate is Over™ on Health Care.

Hmmm.... where have I heard that before?

It's, "Here's my plan.  We're going to have a set amount of time to allow the opposition to argue against it, and then we're going to pass my plan and pretend we had a debate."

"Because, you know, it's all about Democracy™ and the Will of the People™.   So we're gonna pass it using parliamentary hijinx over the will of the people, so that they can be free from the constraints of Liberty.  Because they really want it.  They're just too stupid to know they want it.  So we will pass what we know is their will against their will so that they can have their will.  They won't know it's their will.  But it is.  We went to Harvard.  We're just smart that way.  We really are."

A Democrat's Rude Awakening

Democrat Congressman Eric Massa figures it out. And he is NOT happy.  And he's got nobody to blame but the Democrats who have foisted this political correctness run amok, and the Democrats who have been pushing for bigger and bigger government since the 1930's, and the Democrats who constitute the Chicago machine that now runs the White House.

(note: Clearly, Massa is a progressive.  Or at least he was.  He probably still is.  He will vote against the will of his contituents if he thinks it's best for them.  He is no conservative watch dog.  He is for a single-payer health care system.  Just not this bill.)

Update: It may be questionable how much of this guy's story is the truth.   He was apparently tim's congressman, and tim apparently has no love lost for the guy.  He appears to be kind of a loose cannon -- which doesn't mean he's lying.   But ... check this story out (hat tip to Michelle Malkin)

Alice in Health Care Land - Must Read Series

This man's simple eloquence is outstanding.

Thomas Sowell spells out the Conservative view on Health Care in plain English.
Update: He also kicks some serious butt on the concept of "fairness".
If all of my fellow Tea Partiers would read these (they're really not long) ... it might help get everybody on the same page as far as overarching philosophy and rationale.  Sometimes we know things in our gut, but we don't know how to articulate them.  Sowell will help.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Nope. No Bias here, either.

You know, we on the right are just paranoid about media bias.  I mean, seriously, those in the media have an agenda?


Friday, March 05, 2010

More Insight into Liberal Logic

In response to a Catholic School expelling a student because his "parents" are a lesbian couple, I saw this comment:
So are they going to kick out all the kids who's parents have been divorced, are living in sin, aren't Catholic at all?  Or will they continue to take money from all those folks?
Ah, the old "all or nothing at all" argument.  Popular choice.  But what the school said was "Parents living in open discord with the teachings of the Catholic faith unfortunately choose by their actions to disqualify their children from enrollment."  My bet is that it was the open discord that led to this.  My bet is that the "parents" were making an issue out of their gayness.  
Even if we accept that homosexuality is in fact a sin (I don't) why should the sins of the parents impact a pre-schooler?
Um, well, the Catholic Church does, and it's not an "even if" question with them.  It's well known.  It's not some secret doctrine they suddenly spring on you out of the blue. The question is, then, why does the lesbian couple want to send their child to a Catholic School when everyone knows that the Catholic Church condemns that lifestyle?  Are there no other schools to send him to?  Do they think he will get a better education at the Catholic School?  Why do they think that? Are there any qualities of Catholicism that might contribute to that? And if they don't think that ... do they have an agenda and maybe we haven't heard the whole story here?

Imagine a Vegan school where a set of parents showed up to every PTA meeting with a steaming, dripping turkey leg.

Wrong in so many ways.
Says you.  But it's not up to you to decide what the Catholic Church can consider moral and immoral, is it?  And it is a private school.  So butt the hell out.  Nobody's being deprived of anything here.  And this is where the insight into liberal logic comes in.  Progressives do, in fact, want to enforce their moral code on everybody.  They want to tell us all what is right and what is wrong, which is fine -- but they ultimately want their version enforced by the government, even over the will of the majority.  The much vaunted "separation of church and state" becomes moot if the State becomes the Church (otherwise known as fascism).  They don't see it.  And if any ever do, they will not admit it (or they see the light and become Conservatives.  I know people it's happened to).

I was talking to my friend Whitehawk the other day about the gay marriage issue and where I stand on it.  We were talking about the specter of the government forcing churches to perform these marriage.  I spelled out the first amendment and said "no way" that will ever happen.  But with people like this around, and the indoctrination of our youth in the idea that the Government is the ultimate moral authority, and morality must conform to the lowest common denominator ... I dunno.  The Constitution, after all, is ink on a piece of paper.  It can't defend itself.  It is merely a "remarkable document", according to our President, as if it is some antiquity to be admired for what it was in its time -- but it is ultimately replaceable by whatever he and his Progressive friends see fit.


I was talking to a friend about all the ways the Obama Administration hasn't lived up to, and in fact has proven to be quite the opposite of -- many of the things that were promised in the campaign.

Of the "post-partisan" era, I said, speaking for them "Well we would be post-partisan if it weren't for all of those pesky Republicans!"

I saw this in a comment stream somewhere today, speaking of the Health Care push:
"the only bipartisanship in the matter is coming from those opposed."
Which, if you think about it, they have a tendency to get one or two of the opposing party on board things and then call it "bipartisan". So why don't they see the opposition, which includes Republicans AND Democrats -- as "bipartisan"? All of those in favor to this point are Democrats.

Something about having your cake and eating it, too springs to mind.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Wanna See Alinski Tactics in Action?

Here is a perfect illustration.

The reporters know what his position is. They've heard him explain it. They even have access to footage of all of this.  They know they're not allowed on the elevator. They are doing this for one reason and one reason only. They do not like his position and they seek footage to put on the air and spin to embarrass him.

They want to make him look like some sort of out-of-touch, elitist bully.  He is the one in touch with fiscally conservative Americans concerned about our 120 trillion dollar debt.   It is the reporters who are the bullies here.

United States of Argentina

I missed this a year ago.  Wow.

Must read.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Liberal Labels

It further occurrs to me, after this little conversation, that Progressives are always in search of an easy, shiny label they can slap on themselves to make them feel good about themselves.  They are not concerned with the glue that makes the label stick, only the shiny design and outward appearance.  And when they tire of that label, or it doesn't make them stand out sufficiently anymore, or they start actually catching flack over it -- no problem, they just find a new one and slap it on to take to Show and Tell.

Here's the discussion that got me thinking about that:

He: (triggering a long comment chain): "The Coffee Party is about sound, reasoned political deliberation and demanding a smart government that works for the people. We are not anti-tea party, but we are against obstructionism and discourse of hatred."

Me: Huh. Go figure.


He: I worked in Indiana to get out the vote for Obama. Does that disqualify me from future activity?

Me: Nope. She's fully entitled to her opinions, and her community organizing and activism.

But I am pointing out that she is lying about not being "anti-tea party", and is almost certainly not non-partisan, and is no less "hateful™" than she believes the tea partiers are. She is purposely misrepresenting her positions to attract followers she would otherwise not attract -- to seem perfectly reasonable while projecting exactly the behavior she pretends to abhor.

Progressives invented "astroturfing", and they know they are purposefully misleading -- which is why they're so reflexive about calling any movement they are opposed to "astroturf". I think it's projection of guilt.

The handbook for this is Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals". This is why ACORN passes out boxes of the book and other progressive leaning associations recommend the book.

Saul was the original "Community Organizer". Dishonesty never bothered the man. Results were all that mattered.

Victoria Jackson - There's a Communist in the White House!

Another former SNL cast member joins the ranks.  Awesome.

Communists Discuss their Worldview and the Obama Administration

Communist Jed Brandt alternately praises and condemns the Obama Administration for persuing the Communists' goals but not doing it fast enough for their liking. Also, we have confirmation that the Communists consider Glenn Beck their enemy.  So Glenn goes up another notch in my book.

Just listen to these all the way through.   Then pick up the rest of this post below the videos.


 "The idea that some people have rights and priviledges that are not granted to all human beings, and the solution to that problem is called 'Communsism' and 'Socialism'".
Among the things we learned is that calling Communists "Communists" is "red baiting" -- I guess to somehow de-legitimize calling Communists "Communists".  Of course then he goes on to say that they should be proud to call themselves Communists and Socialists.  They're so conflicted.  It is telling that he says they've lost every single battle in this country.

Now to some of the language and talking points:
" We have to help destroy this system and that requires increasing the alienation that working-class people feel."
So they need to agitate.   Huh.
"The way Change is going to happen in this country is going to be through the destruction of this thing called the United States of America."
Change.  Fundamentally New Society.  Meet the needs of the people.  On a global scale.  Our opponents are racists.  They're imperialists.

Any of this sound at all familiar?
Well at one point he's busy bashing the Obama administration for being more of the same imperialist war-mongering racist system -- and I love these bit of fuzzed leftist "logic"
"We can change the definition of what 'whiteness' means"
The Left is always about changing the meanings of things or changing names for things when they become inconvenient.
"When Obama says that there will not be health care for illegal immigrants, and I might add, abortion -- what he is saying, right, very clearly, is that America always has 10% of its population enslaved."
So Obama is for our goals, but can't push it through to people who are here illegally because the people of this country are against it (never mind, this time, that "Democracy" they claim to be all about).   So he's persuing our goals, but not on a grand enough scale and certainly not fast enough.
But later he says something that's pretty telling.
"When the Los Angeles riots and rebellions happened, I was there and it changed my life. A few years before that I said it's all over. I watched 1989, I watched Tieanamen Square, I watched the Berlin Wall, I said it's all over - right? But then Los Angeles erupted and the people who were told they did not matter they burned that city to the ground. And the next time this fight happens I want an organized fight that's progressive and not simply arson. I watched France burn, and God damn it, I'm in with those people. That's it. We have a Left, there's a fight to be had, and we should stop pussyfooting around about it."
Wow.  So to him the collapse of the Soviet Union was bad.  The fall of the Berlin Wall was bad. What the dude with the flower against the tanks started at Tianamen Square was bad.  So there goes the argument that today's American Communists aren't THOSE kinds of communists.
But there's no cooperation between Communists and  Progressive Democrats on the Left, right?  I mean, he said that, he bashed Hillary and even Obama.
But he also said this:
"I sat in meetings in this city where leading members of the Left said we will not have an anti-war movement, we will not embarrass our Democratic Party Candidate. And we don't need to say their names... "
So.... you sat in meetings in NYC with other Leftists in the Democratic Party who had "a" candidate that they didn't want embarrassed, saying that "we" ... (who is "we"?)  will not embarrass him..  About whom could they possibly be talking?  And they don't want to mention names ... why?   One can only assume it's because they don't want their allies on the inside exposed, even if they are a tad upset with them.

Free Speech and "Hate™"

This is a great comment I read on the Legal Insurrection Post about Annabel Park.

It was in response to this little tirade by one "Christyne"

Interesting how reading this blog, and the comments to it, that the majority of posts are so remarkably hateful. Civil discourse includes the actual discussion of relevant topics, but all the people posting here seem to be interested in is name-calling, spewing vitriol, and apparently the total destruction of any kind of governance. Is it any wonder that no thoughtful person takes you seriously? If you wish to be taken as seriously as you claim that you are, replace the anger with some level-headed, well-informed and CONSTRUCTIVE conversation about things that we can actually DO instead of bitching endlessly with increasing volume. Because it seems like the only thing you are interested in doing is drowning out every other voice within the radius of your bloviating. And that infringes on my right to free speech, and that of others who are just as much citizens of this nation as you are. Shame on you.
Captain Obvious' Response was so good I'm going to re-post it here in its entirety.
Christyne, I level-headedly well-informedly, and constructively suggest you read the Constitution. Your right to free speech protects you from the government prosecuting you from saying arbitrarily "illegal things." It does not protect you from being rightly ridiculed by the public for saying "clueless things." You had your say, and you weren't thrown in jail. That's all anyone is entitled to.

You obviously have no idea what "hatred" is. Founding a group based on the automatic negative game-saying of partisanship, and then slandering about 20% of your fellow citizens with incessant sexual innuendo is hatred. Then hiding behind a fig leaf of "oh, but we're for civil discourse" wouldn't fool my collie. The RESPONSE is not hatred, but righteous indignation.

Nobody "hates" you, but if you're going to hide behind feigned ignorance and hyperbole, we're certainly going to mock you. "Gosh, how could anybody be upset that they were satirized, insulted, and then condescended to of how they have no right to be upset?"

Show us one commenter who advocated "total destruction of any kind of governance." Do you REALLY wonder why "all" the people posting here were called names, and are now inexplicably "interested" in name-calling? Is it any wonder no thoughtful person takes you seriously? We don't hate you, but we're not laughing WITH you either...

And if you're spewing vitriol, go see a doctor (while you still can). But if you're just complaining about OTHER people's first amendment rights, then shame on you. I hope you appreciate the irony of your misguided bit of bloviating, which regrettably, was not drowned out.

But I'M FOR civil discourse, so you are not allowed to be upset with anything I've written. Contradicting me would only be bitching endlessly with increasing volume. So I get the last word... because I'm for civil discourse...


Don't cry over spilled coffee

Heh.  You can't hide.  (or even better, go to the source at Legal Insurrection)

"Astroturf!  Astroturf!" they cry about the Tea Parties. 

"We're nonpartisan!"

Hey, you know what?  I made a vow long ago to be very suspicious anytime I hear the term "non-partisan".  I'd wager 95% of the time, it's a smoke screen.  Tell me what you're for and against.  Explain your political philosophy.  I'll go from there.

Turns out this other big Coffee Party group I posted about a couple of days ago is the brainchild and work of one Annabel Park.  She's the cute (and I mean that), doe-eyed young woman in the hoodie at the beginning of that first video on their website.

Not anti-Tea Party?  My asterisk.

Monday, March 01, 2010

But Glenn Beck is a Crackpot Conspiracy Theorist ...

VAN JONES: One of the things that has happened I think too often to progressives is that we don't understand the relationship between minimum goals and maximum goals. Right after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, if the civil rights leaders had jumped out and said, okay, now we want reparations for slavery, we want redistribution of all wealth and we will to legalize mixed marriages, if that had been there, if they had come out with a maximum program the very next day, they would have been laughed at. Instead they came out with a very minimum program: You know, we just want to integrate these buses. The students came up with a very minimum program: We just want to sit at the lunch counter. But inside that man demand was a very radical kernel that eventually meant that from 1954 to 1968, you know, complete revolution was on the table for this country and I think that this green movement has to pursue those same steps and stages. Right now we're saying that we want to move from suicidal gray capitalism to some kind of eco capitalism where, you know, at least we're not, you know, fast tracking the destruction of the whole planet. Will that be enough? No, it won't be enough. We want to go beyond existence of exploitation and oppression altogether, but that's a process.
Basically, this is a first hand illustration that Socialists are willing to use the environment as a pretext to bring about Socialist Revolution, and that they will obfuscate and otherwise lie to hide their real agenda from the public.*

We knew this, but this is a great illustration.

Now, on to Glenn's original question concerning Van Jones.  Did the White House know who he was when they hired him?
VAN JONES: I was fully candid, I mean, about my past, about the ideas that I have explored. I was a midlevel White House staffer. I reported to a Senate confirmed nominee. Midlevel White House staffers go through a vetting process, a process that's very, very rigorous. But I wasn't a cabinet secretary. I was a worker in the White House. Some people decided to give me this crazy title of green jobs czar in the media. I don't know if you remember this. I came right out and said I'm not the green jobs czar. I'm the green jobs handyman.
Valerie Jarett seemed to confirm that when she introduced him when they hired him, saying among other things that they had been watching him since his early activist days.  So the answer is "yes".

Now the question to the Administration:  Why is that ok with you?  What parts of Van Jones' agenda are you on board with?

*(I really don't think civil rights activists were at all trying to hide the noble agenda of ending racial discrimination by choosing simple, targeted protests. Everyone was always fully aware of what they wanted and of course a majority sypmathized with them.)

Time for Tea - Final Version

I think.

I am an amateur photographer.  I was reading a couple of books on lighting, and I had never done a still-life before.  I'd been kicking this idea around in my head for an inspiring "Tea Party" poster, and eventually came up with this one.  Bought an old silver tea pot at a flea market and the cup & saucer from Ebay.  Printed the custom tea bag label from the computer.  I'd already had the little Liberty Bell.   The candle holder came from my wife's collection.   The glasses are mine, and the book is not actually The Federalist Papers.  The modern copy I have just didn't fit the mood of the photo.  So I stenciled the title on the back of an old, worn, red novel I picked up at a flea market.  This photo is now blown up to a 20x16 and lives on our living room wall.

Got the candle light to reflect the title.  This way, I don't have to use the "blue" pen light and the cover retains its redness. I killed the "key" light altogether and lit it from behind a sheet behind me.

The New Colossus

I watched Glenn Beck's CPAC speech ... the whole hour long one, and it was good.  Very good.

But the climax ... see how little of our own history most of us been taught?  I had no clue about the intentional paralells between the Colossus of Rhodes and the Statue of Liberty.   And frankly, no connection was ever drawn in my history classes between the great French political philosophical writers and our own founders. 

Anyway, the climax of his speech concerned The Statue of Liberty, The New Colossus -- which is the title of the poem in the inscription.  I also had no idea the inscription didn't start with "Give me your tired, ..."

Watch this.  Show it to your kids.  It's less than 5 minutes.  Notice that the crowd titters a little when Glenn says that the Colossus of Rhodes was the idea behind the design of the Statue of Liberty. They didn't know. Neither did I. I blame my instructors.

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

—Emma Lazarus, 1883

General Welfare

I was reading comments on a YouTube video and ran across this:
Listen, this is not the time to think with our hearts, but with our heads. We all would like to entertain fantasies that we are perfectly free, that we can live without govt control over our lives, but as human beings we are political, economic and social creatures, and this is a reality we have to accept. I believe in the Constitution too. The Constitution says that the govt has the mission to "promote the general welfare," and that means protecting my best interest.
To which I had to respond ... and I'd like to remember this for later:

"General" and "me" ... General and Specific -- are two very different concepts.

You are responsible for protecting your best interest. The government is responsible for maintaining an environment in which we are as free as possible to do that.