Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Current Fantasy

I went to the Medford Rifle and Pistol Club's Semi-Annual Fall Gun Show for two reasons. First I wanted to look at all the rifles and see if any of them were even half as beautiful as the one I own. None were. Second I wanted to look at all the pistols and see if there was anything that really fit my small hands. There was.

On a table in the back corner in amongst the used 45s there was a small black pistol that looked oddly familiar. I picked it up and wrapped my fingers around it. It fit. I hefted it. Not bad for an all metal gun. I put on my glasses and looked at the slider. "Carl Walther Model PP Cal. 7.65 mm." I wasn't familiar with that one.

When I got home I looked it up. Oh yes.
"Walther PPK. 7.65 mm., with a delivery like a brick through a plate glass window. Takes a Brausch silencer with very little reduction in muzzle velocity. The American CIA swear by them." — Major Boothroyd to James Bond, in Dr. No.
That Walther. They've gone in and out of style over the years but Smith & Wesson wound up with the license and they're still making them, with improvements, at their Houlton, Maine plant. The little beauty above goes for just under $500 with two clips. And there's a $50 rebate until the first of the year.

www.waltheramerica.com (Except their server's down right now.)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Economic Freedoms

If the Obama administration nationalizes the mortgage, automotive, and health industries, and the tax burden becomes intolerable, where can we go? Isn't the United States the last, best hope? The freest nation on earth?

Well, not exactly. The Heritage Foundation each year ranks the countries of the world on the basis of ten economic freedoms. And the United States, although ranking fairly well, is not always at the top of the list.

Of course economic freedom is only half the bargain—you need political freedom as well, and a basic respect for human rights. But there's a link between the two, and without economic freedoms, political freedom may only mean the right to complain about a bad situation.

Herewith are the top ten countries in terms of each of the ten economic freedoms.

Property Rights
The ability of individuals to accumulate private property, secured by law.
  1. Hong Kong
  2. Singapore
  3. Ireland
  4. Australia
  5. United States
  6. New Zealand
  7. Canada
  8. Chile
  9. Switzerland
  10. United Kingdom
This is also the overall ranking. That is, the top ten countries tied in terms of secure property rights, and so the secondary sort — by overall ranking — dominated.

Trade Freedom
The absence of tariff and non-tarff barriers that affect imports and exports.
  1. Hong Kong
  2. Singapore
  3. Croatia
  4. Namibia
  5. Switzerland
  6. Canada
  7. United States
  8. Turkey
  9. Taiwan
  10. Israel
Labor Freedom
The ability of workers and businesses to interact without restriction by the state.
  1. Denmark
  2. Georgia
  3. Singapore
  4. Australia
  5. Uganda
  6. Hong Kong
  7. United States
  8. Nigeria
  9. Chile
  10. Thailand
Financial Freedom
Banking security as well as independence from government control.
  1. Hong Kong
  2. Ireland
  3. Australia
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Denmark
  6. Netherlands
  7. Bahrain
  8. United States
  9. New Zealand
  10. Canada
Business Freedom
The ability to create, operate, and close an enterprise quickly and easily.
  1. New Zealand
  2. Denmark
  3. Singapore
  4. Canada
  5. Finland
  6. Sweden
  7. Iceland
  8. Belgium
  9. Ireland
  10. United States
Investment Freedom
The free flow of capital, especially foreign capital.
  1. Hong Kong
  2. Ireland
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Denmark
  5. Estonia
  6. Netherlands
  7. Luxembourg
  8. Belgium
  9. Singapore
  10. Australia
  11. United States
In this and the following lists we had to expand the ranks to include the United States.

Monetary Freedom
Combines a measure of price stability with an assessment of price controls.
  1. Japan
  2. Singapore
  3. Finland
  4. Hong Kong
  5. Netherlands
  6. Denmark
  7. Niger
  8. Peru
  9. Macedonia
  10. Cyprus
    ...
  11. United States
Freedom from Corruption
The absence of governmental corruption in the business environment.
  1. Finland
  2. New Zealand
  3. Iceland
  4. Denmark
  5. Singapore
  6. Sweden
  7. Switzerland
  8. Norway
  9. Netherlands
  10. Australia
    ...
  11. United States
This and the next go hand-in-hand. The larger the government, the more opportunity for corruption.

Government Size
All government expenditures, including consumption and transfers.
  1. Burma
  2. Guatemala
  3. Chad
  4. Cambodia
  5. Singapore
  6. Cameroon
  7. Haiti
  8. Bangladesh
  9. Hong Kong
  10. Laos
    ...
  11. United States
Interesting that a military dictatorship ranks highest here. If size of government is your sole criteria you could worse than place the opposition under house arrest. Very efficient.

Fiscal Freedom
The tax burden in terms of the top tax rate and the overall tax as a portion of GDP.
  1. Kuwait
  2. United Arab Emirates
  3. Qatar
  4. Saudi Arabia
  5. Bahrain
  6. Oman
  7. Paraguay
  8. Bahamas
  9. Kyrgyz Republic
  10. Hong Kong
    ...
  11. United States
A large government requires a heavy tax burden, unless you belong to an oil cartel.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving

"Thanksgiving on the Farm" by John Clymer, November 26, 1955.

Things are fairly quiet this year. The war, in Iraq at least, is pretty much over. The seemingly interminable presidential campaign has terminated, too, with surprisingly little strife. The Democrats won and they deserve it. A black man was given the nation's worst job. He reportedly looks forward to it.

Here on the farm we finally got siding on the house, a dining room porch, and a koi pond. Rocky the horse moved on to greener pastures--literally; he's enjoying a retirement in Brookings where the winters are warmer if somewhat damp. The kids are doing pretty well in school. Marielle came home with the top math score of the entire eighth grade. In fact her teacher said it was the highest score he'd ever seen on the statewide tests.

I'm personally thankful to be working again for Activant, the biggest software company you've never heard of, that I work from home, and that I work direct—no middleman. In contracting that's known as the big time. We expect to prosper, for the next ten months at least.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ammo Day (Late)

Well I missed Ammo Day this year—just too broke. But the check finally showed up on Monday just in time to take advantage of Bi-Mart's $2 off sale. Combine that with Remington's annual Load Up On Savings rebates ($5 per box) and the price of 7mm-08s just went down to $14.97/20.

Can't beat that with a stick.

Some day, I know, I'm going to seriously have to look into reloading. But in addition to, say, $500 worth of equipment, you have to consider the components, starting with the brass itself. Just glancing through my Midway USA catalog I see that 7mm-08 brass goes for about 34¢ apiece. Bullets 17¢, primer 3¢, and powder 17¢. Right there you have 71¢ per cartirdge—four cents less than I just paid.

Oh, I know you can re-use the brass. Take that out of the equation and you can reload for maybe 37¢ each. When I have enough brass stockpiled I'll consider it. Until then I'll buy ready mades.

Desolate Wilderness and The Fair Land

The Wall Street Journal continues today a tradition begun in 1961 of publishing each Thanksgiving two articles, the first an extract from Nathaniel Morton's journal written about 1620, and the second an editorial written by Vermont Royster in 1949.

From the first:
Besides, what could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wilde beasts and wilde men? and what multitudes of them there were, they then knew not: for which way soever they turned their eyes (save upward to Heaven) they could have but little solace or content in respect of any outward object; for summer being ended, all things stand in appearance with a weatherbeaten face, and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hew.
And, in 1949:
But we can all remind ourselves that the richness of this country was not born in the resources of the earth, though they be plentiful, but in the men that took its measure. For that reminder is everywhere -- in the cities, towns, farms, roads, factories, homes, hospitals, schools that spread everywhere over that wilderness.

We can remind ourselves that for all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators. Being so, we are the marvel and the mystery of the world, for that enduring liberty is no less a blessing than the abundance of the earth.
It has been my tradition each Thanksgiving since about 1987 to read these.

Strange things happen when you read the same words each year for twenty years. Some times they seem the same old words. Other times, they seem entirely new. The text doesn't change but the reader does.

Who Killed Vince Foster?

  • Did Roosevelt have advance warning?
  • Did Oswald act alone?
  • Is Obama a natural born citizen?
Why do you ask, paisano? It is not for you to know.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Broke Into The Wrong G-D Rec Room

Mark Steyn:
On Friday I had the honor of addressing the Federalist Society in Washington on the matter of my free-speech travails up north. And, in response to a question on whether the Canadian "Human Rights" Commission were surprised that I'd pushed back against them, I quoted that great line from the Kevin Bacon film Tremors when the giant mutated killer worms attack Michael Gross and Reba McEntire's well-armed basement and wind up blasted to smithereens: "Looks like they picked the wrong rec room to break into."
If you haven't seen Tremors, you should. It's a classic. And the Rec Room Scene, of course, is on YouTube.

Another Key Appointment

Dave Burge reporting from Washington.
Ending weeks of speculation and rumors, President-Elect Barack Obama today named Bill Clinton to join his incoming administration as President of the United States, where he will head the federal government's executive branch.

"I am pleased that Bill Clinton has agreed to come out of retirement to head up this crucial post in my administration," said Obama. "He brings a lifetime of previous executive experience as Governor of Arkansas and President of the United States, and has worked closely with most of the members of my Cabinet."

Clinton said he was "excited and honored" by the appointment, and would work "day and night" to defeat all the key policy objectives proposed by Mr. Obama during the campaign.

"I am gratified that the President-Elect has entrusted me with this important responsibility," said Clinton. "I'm looking forward to getting back behind, and under, the Oval Office desk...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Well Alright Then

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Victory In Iraq Day

November 22, 2008. The first annual Victory in Iraq Day. As ZombieTime says,
By every measure, The United States and coalition forces have conclusively defeated all enemies in Iraq, pacified the country, deposed the previous regime, successfully helped to establish a new functioning democratic government, and suppressed any lingering insurgencies. The war has come to an end. And we won.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Uncensored!

The Sarah Palin Turkey Interview, live and uncut (well, except for his head)!

MSNBC advised us to hide the kids even though they'd "sanitized" the film. This is not the "sanitized" version! I say bring 'em back into the room, set them down, and let them enjoy that "frozen moment when everyone sees what's on the end of every fork." Oooh, yum, them's good eatin!

(I didn't hear a word she was saying because that guy in the background stole the show. Where have I seen him before?)

Seniors Gone Haywire

Tsk, tsk, tsk. Kids nowdays. Doreen Truesdell's put a new twist on the old gripe.
I took a breath and asked to speak to the store manager. That's when the eyes started rolling and the tongues began to cluck in disapproval all around me. But here's what surprised me the most: there wasn't a soul there under the age of 65, including the cashier, the man bagging my groceries and the customers in my line and adjacent lanes. Some were quite elderly, with canes or walkers. And no one came to my support....

Whatever happened to sweet old people who could be counted on to smile at children, open doors for women and honor the traditions of the Catholic faith? I'll tell you what happened, they've gone haywire.
I don't belong to my generation, either.

That's where we are now, if we defend the old values. Abandoned by the young, abandoned by the old, no support from our peers. Utterly, absolutely, alone.

< crickets >

Well that's alright by me. I like it here. "I talk to myself," as Jackie Mason used to say, "because I like dealing with a better class of people."

Heh. I laugh at my own jokes, too.

Way More Unique

Pruthviraj Patil, 11, suffers from a rare genetic disorder known as hypertrichosis — or "werewolf syndrome" — which causes a thick coat of hair to grow over every inch of his body except his palms and feet.
In the New York Post.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Better Than I Expected

Up And Out

Snowflakes in Hell said it.
Janet Napolitano gets tapped for Homeland Security. Now Kathy Sibelius for Labor Secretary. There are rumors of either Hillary Clinton or Bill Richardson at State. So we could be going forward with a lot of up-and-coming Democrats manning the decks on the U.S.S. Obama. This works out well for the Democrats if the ship turns out to be seaworthy, but it could be a godsend to the Republicans if it sinks in the harbor.

Can Good Design Be Ugly?

Jason Fried explains why the Drudge Report is one of the best designed sites on the web .
To clarify, my definition of design goes beyond aesthetic qualities and into areas of maintenance, cost, profitability, speed, and purpose. However, I still think that the Drudge Report is an aesthetic masterpiece even though I also consider it ugly. Can good design also be ugly? I think Drudge proves it can.
Via Ed Driscoll.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Glass of Wine With Dinner

According to the Oregon Revised Statutes, 471.430.
Except when such minor is in a private residence accompanied by the parent or guardian of the minor and with such parent's or guardian's consent, a person under the age of 21 years may not have personal possession of alcoholic beverages.
Translation: It's OK if you're at home and Mom says it's OK.

Thanks to John McCormack at The Weekly Standard Blog for clearing this up.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stubborn Certitude

The WSJ reviews Claire Berlinski's new book on Thatcher.
Conservatives of a fatalistic bent -- their numbers this month have swollen -- like to depress themselves with the maxim that government programs never perish. Statism's relentless march can be checked at times but rarely beaten back. Just look, they say, at those New Deal relics known as farm programs. And then they see Time magazine's cover this week -- Barack Obama pictured as FDR, with the cover line "The New New Deal" -- and they head for the window ledge.

But even those who think this way must realize that their thesis has holes -- whatever did happen to the Civil Aeronautics Board, anyway? -- and that it ignores the experience of many less developed nations where market reforms have been embraced. But the greatest refutation of their dour outlook can be expressed in a single name: Margaret Thatcher.

Marlowe: Don't Negotiate With the Taliban

Ann Marlowe, correspondent (in the classic sense of the word) from Afghanistan for The Wall Street Journal, posts another dispatch.
In 2002, there were 13 schools in this province of a million people. Now there are 205, of which 53 were built by the U.S. and 30 by other donors including NGOs, the World Bank and foreign governments. U.S. troops are building 25 more now. Before the invasion not a single girl went to school in all of Khost Province. In 2002 approximately 3,000 attended school. This year, 8,000 girls in Mandozai District alone were in school, and 50,047 attended in all of Khost....
Read it all. Previous dispatches here and here and here.

This is real reporting, chock full of facts that make the point. Ann Marlowe knows her stuff; she lives there. You don't get reporting like this from the jet-set MSM fly-by reporters who post from the Hilton when they go abroad and live in Manhattan on their days off.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Message For The Republican Party

The other day I got invited to a party
But I stayed home instead
Just me and my pal Johnny Walker
And his brothers Black and Red
And we drank alone, yeah
With nobody else
Yeah, you know when I drink alone
I prefer to be by myself
Thanks anyway, Dr. Greenberg.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

William Ayers, Educator

And does he have anything to do with the debacle at Crater High School known as the "Small Schools Project?"

Yes, he does.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hillary For Sec State?

(Here she illustrates the classic French negotiating stance.)

Well, the question we have to ask ourselves is
Could she possibly be any worse than Madeleine Albright?
And the answer is
No, of course not. Nobody could.
Well, OK then! Gets her out of one dead-end job she didn't really want, and into another!

Patton In A Red Dress

I think it was Mr. Reynolds whose link I followed to this.
“Nobody ever defended anything successfully; there is only attack and attack and attack some more.”

— General George S. Patton

For all the tacky talk in media circles, where folks have extremely over-inflated opinions of themselves, one would think that Sarah Palin was the sole arbiter of Republican defeat this year.

What a pile of preposterous poppycock!

From the beginning of ’08, the accepted wisdom was that no matter whom the Democrats nominated, they would deliver to the Republicans an ignominious defeat. But this year's defeat was anything but the complete rout it was supposed to be.

And the person who nearly even saved the day — and the election — for Republicans was Sarah Palin.

This is not a minority opinion....
And we're not going away.

I often wish the United States had a third party like the Lib Dems of the UK where people like David Brooks and Peggy Noonan could go and leave the rest of us alone. I mean, really, if you're liberal you belong with the Democrats, and if you're not conservative you don't belong with the Republicans, and you ought to have another party where you can whine and whimper to an audience whose brows furrow in synch with yours.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Life Not Worth Living

Another brilliant essay by Robert Stacy McCain. On his blog. Remind me again what I need a newspaper for?
There are many... parents who, if their daughter came home from college and announced she was a lesbian, would be "understanding." But if their daughter came and announced she was going to drop out of college and get married . . . oh, the horror! The disgrace!

Too many... parents have succumbed to the prejudice of middle-classness: The belief that the object of life is to be middle class, and that the life that is not middle class is not worth living. Middle-class people have college degrees, they have careers, they work in offices, they raise their children in single-family homes on suburban cul-de-sacs, where everyone over age 16 has his or her own late-model automobile.

This kind of middle-classness is economically incompatible with marrying young and having lots of babies, and so middle-class parents discourage their children from even thinking about marriage before they've graduated college and established careers with 401(k)s and full health benefits, etc. Such is the zealousness with which this attitude is inculcated that, if you talk to college kids today, it is hard to avoid the impression that they believe it is illegal to get married before receiving a bachelor's degree.
Read it in its entirety.

And yes, I clipped a word or two out of the above citation. Mr. McCain was addressing a "Christian" audience. But this is a secular disease—or plague, more like it.

Readers of this blog know that I dwell on evolution from time to time, and that the adaptation of the human race to newly altered environments concerns me. We're still sorting out the impact of the agricultural revolution. How, I wonder, will we adapt to—or will we even survive—the invention of The Pill?

Eighth Grader Conducts Tolerance Test

"I was just really curious how they'd react to something that different, because a lot of people at my school wore Obama shirts and they are big Obama supporters," Catherine told us. "I just really wanted to see what their reaction would be."

Immediately, Catherine learned she was stupid for wearing a shirt with Republican John McCain's name. Not merely stupid. Very stupid.

"People were upset. But they started saying things, calling me very stupid, telling me my shirt was stupid and I shouldn't be wearing it," Catherine said.

Then it got worse.

"One person told me to go die. It was a lot of dying. A lot of comments about how I should be killed," Catherine said...
John Kass at the Chicago Tribune has the whole story.

I'm not entirely sure what it was about this story that grabbed me. Partly the fact that I have a daughter almost exactly the same age. In fact, if you were to take my daughter and her best friend and morph their pictures together, the image would be indistinguishable from that of Catherine Vogt above. But there's more to it than that. I don't remember catching any flack in eighth grade for supporting Nixon. What is it that has made the Democratic Party, in the intervening years, turn so vicious?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

’63 Pontiac Tempest, No Engine

So this guy in Michigan was going to sell it for scrap but scrap prices were down so he put it on eBay instead. Ten days later he sold it for $226,521.63.

Turns out there were only six of these ever built. One was destroyed, two were rebuilt, and the whereabouts of the other three was unknown. This was one of the three.

Look in your garage.

(Via Bolus.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Doc's Got Your Palin

Doc has video of the Greta Van Susteren Fox News interview of Sarah Palin. Go watch.

Doc (The Doc Is In) is another fine blogger from Josephine County, here in the southwestern corner of the state of Oregon. Hardly a day goes by that I don't check in to see what he has postin'.

Too Early And Too Late

Abe Greenwald in contentions:
A week ago, if someone mentioned Obama's intention to "spread the wealth," they were labeled an anachronistic red-baiter. If anyone suggested Obama didn't care about victory in Iraq, they were vilified for questioning the candidate's patriotism. If someone called him a Democratic socialist, they were laughed at. Today, people are starting to wonder what they got themselves into. It is both too early and too late to figure that out now.
Feeling a little buyer's remorse, are we? Too bad, suckers.

Monday, November 10, 2008

This Shallow, Ignorant, Self-Obsessed Man

Somehow in all the fear and loathing I missed the November 5th column from my favorite curmudgeon John Derbyshire.
I see that some of my NRO colleagues are scratching around for shards of optimism — of Hope! — in the general wreckage. Good luck to them. I see nothing for conservatives to hope for in an Obama administration. We just have to stick it out. This shallow, ignorant, self-obsessed man, who held an actual job for just one year of his charmed life (low-grade editing for an obscure newsletter — he felt, he tells us in Dreams, "like a spy behind enemy lines," the enemy of course being capitalism), this red-diaper baby and his wife, will be our First Couple for the next four years and some weeks. It'll be interesting. Interesting.
Worth reading it its entirety (which, when it comes to Derbyshire, almost goes without saying).

He also cites Margaret Thatcher as the source of the "ratchet theory" which was on my mind last week as I read those pundits who said, more or less, "we survived Carter, we can survive Obama." Yes, we survived Carter, and Johnson, and FDR... but. We never were the same afterwards. We never gained back the ground we lost. It's a ratchet. Turn to the left... click! We may manage to hold it there for a while, but sooner or later there's another turn to the left... click!

Random Nature

RoguePundit blogs from somewhere in the vicinity of Grants Pass, just up the road a piece, and covers local politics in Josephine County, among other things. Today's column, Random Nature #190, is on the topic of earthworms. They're not always beneficial.
A study by researchers at the University of Minnesota has found dramatic losses of native understory plant species and tree seedlings as exotic Lumbricids invade Sugar Maple/Basswood stands in the Chippewa National Forest of northern Minnesota. Without Earthworms, decomposition of the annual leaf litter in hardwood forests is controlled by fungi and bacteria. Decomposition is slower than accumulation of new litter, resulting in a thick, spongy ""duff"? on the forest floor. In the first two years of this study, the front of invading Earthworms moved about 10 metres into the forest. The earthworms ate the organic layer out from under the plants and tree seedlings, replacing the duff with a much denser layer of black earthworm castings. The worm-invaded areas lost a dozen species of spring-flowering forest floor herbs, and Sugar Maple seedling densities dropped from over 100 per square metre to almost none.
RoguePundit's Random Nature series: always interesting because it's almost always things I never knew, or even suspected.

One More Reason to Cancel The Oregonian

David Reinhard, the token conservative, is leaving.
I've had the privilege of working with smart, witty and good-hearted people here. I've come to love my editorial page colleagues despite our battles. How often I wished these talented folks were on my side in this or that battle....

Which brings me to my chief reason for leaving. I want to be part of a team that shares a common goal and commitment. I want to work with folks who share my basic values. I no longer want to be the odd man out. I don't want to start my mornings with a running argument about politics that I'll almost invariably lose by virtue of the stacked numbers. Sad to say, today's newspaper business is not that place.
His talent was wasted there. I'll admit I rarely read his columns, unless someone from Lucianne linked to them, because I shun The Oregonian and waste no time on its web site. But I'll make an effort, when we discover his new location, to link to it.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Silent Plurality

The numbers fluctuate a little but as a general rule 30% are on the left, 30% on the right, and 40% are in the middle. It's been that way as long as I can remember. Obama just got more of the middle this time. In fact, it's not even as bad as that. Turnout, as it turns out, was not up. Nationwide something just over 60% of the eligible (free adult with a pulse) vote actually voted. Taking that into account, the actual result of the recent election was:
  • 18% Hail Obama!
  • 18% Hell, McCain!
  • 13% OK, then maybe Obama.
  • 11% OK, then I'll go McCain.
  • 40% Who gives a rat's ass?
I'm not sure if there's any way to turn this to our advantage, but it seems to me that a party that ran on an explicit platform of "we plan to get out of your face and leave you alone" might actually enfranchise a few of these, at least temporarily.

What I Said

In email to Greg, a week before the election.

If Obama makes it, I see four possible scenarios, depending on whether he's socialist or centrist, and whether he's effective or pathetic in attempting to carry out his plans.
  1. Worst case: socialist and effective. Abandon all hope.
  2. Second worst: centrist and effective. Incremental damage, not much hope for improvement.
  3. Third worst: socialist and pathetic. Not much damage, Republican takeover of Congress in 2010.
  4. Best case: centrist and pathetic. Get this racism crap out of the way once and for all, do the sexism thing in 2012.
Which way will he go? Too early to tell.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Not Berry Blue

James Lileks screeds about it but unfortunately grabs the wrong map and draws the wrong conclusions. I'd email him about it but I'd have to stand in line.

The country's counties may be slightly less red than '04 or '00, but yet more so than '96 or '92. If it's Kool-Aid we've been drinking, it's still Roarin' Raspberry, not Berry Blue.

At The News Conference

Reporter: "Everyone wants to know, what kind of dog are you going to buy for your girls?"

Obama: "Our preference would be to get a shelter dog, but, obviously, a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me."

May we suggest a Black and Tan?

A Flag, on a Hill

Bill Whittle on NRO:
There is much to do. That a man with such overt Marxist ideas and such a history of association with virulent anti-Americans can be elected president should make it crystal clear to each of us just how far we have let fall the moral tone of this Republic. The great lesson from Ronald Reagan was simply that we can and must gently educate as well as campaign, and explain our ideas with smiles on our faces and real joy in our hearts. For unlike the far-left radical who gained the presidency on Tuesday, we start with 150 million of the most free and intelligent and hard-working people in the history of the Earth at our backs, with a philosophy that — unlike theirs, which has resulted in 100 million dead in unmarked graves — has liberated and enriched more people and created more joy than any nation or combination of nations in our history.

Yep

Kathy Shaidle blogs at five feet of fury:
Lots of Americans REALLY wishing they'd just picked their own damn cotton right about now...

The Newspaper Belongs in the Trash

Rachel Alexander in The American Spectator.
...Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio recently took the right's campaign against the MSM to a new level by running an anti-media television ad. In the ad, which touts his record as Sheriff, Arpaio instructs voters to throw the local newspapers away. "You can never believe everything you read," Arpaio says, holding up copies of the Arizona Republic and the East Valley Tribune. "So when these are delivered to your house, they belong in the trash." He then throws the papers into a garbage bin.
Better suggestion: cancel delivery. And stop watching the nightly news. It only makes you stupid.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Barney Bites Reporter

Good dog!

Taranto: Just remember, one man's terrier is another man's freedom Fido.

The Great National Reconciliation

Talk-therapy continues. Here's noted political analyst Iowahawk:
It's also heartening to realize that as president Mr. Obama will soon be working hand-in-hand with a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard like Senator Robert Byrd to craft the incoherent and destructive programs that will plunge the American economy into a nightmare of full-blown sustained depression. As Vice President-Elect Joe Biden has repeatedly warned, there will be difficult times ahead and the programs will not always be popular, or even sane. But as we look out over the wreckage of bankrupt coal companies, nationalized banks, and hyperinflation, we can always look back with sustained pride on the great National Reconciliation of 2008. Call me an optimist, but I like to think when America's breadlines erupt into riots it will be because of our shared starvation, not the differences in our color.

Top 10 Recession-proof Jobs

According to career counselor Laurence Shatkin.
  1. Computer systems analysts
  2. Network systems and data communications analysts
  3. Network and computer systems administrators
  4. Registered nurses
  5. Teachers, postsecondary
  6. Physical therapists
  7. Physicians and surgeons
  8. Dental hygienists
  9. Pharmacists
  10. Medical and health services managers
Looks pretty good for my family at least. But what about depression-proof?

Ahem. Dr. Steyn:
Lots of other places — from Britain to Australia — took a hit in 1929 but, alas, they lacked an FDR to keep it going till the end of the Thirties. That's why in other countries they refer to it as "the Depression", but only in the US is it "Great".

(I'm confident President Obama will be able to bring us the world's first Totally Awesome Depression.)
Count on it.

Beyond the Margin of Fraud?

Glenn Harlan Reynolds in Forbes:
Obama won, and he won big enough that nobody can claim that the--undeniable--irregularities in this election were enough to make a difference. His win was beyond the margin of fraud.

But that doesn't mean that there wasn't fraud and there weren't irregularities. In fact, there were a lot.
Or "was." That's a difficult sentence.

And the thesis is probabilistic: Obama's election was probably beyond the margin of fraud. If we knew how much fraud there was, we could say that with more certainty. But four Senate races are headed for re-counts, and if they're that close, then they are almost certainly within the "margin of fraud." As are thousands of other close races across the United States.

Technical solutions will be proposed, and legal ones. But this is not a political problem, it is a moral one. Gaming the election is not just a crime, it is profoundly evil. And like most acts of evil, it does less damage to the victim than to the perpetrator himself.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Talk, Talk, Talk

The conservative talk-therapy began early this morning and will run for weeks, perhaps months. As any clinical therapist can tell you, the first requirement for improvement is that the patient must want to change. These being conservatives, of course, their first instinct is to dig in their heels, to stand athwart therapy, as it were, shouting "shut up!"

This course of treatment has little chance of success. Especially when the therapists are paid by the hour. Shall I pencil you in for three o'clock Tuesdays? Perhaps twice a week would be more helpful... Three times? Let me check with my office.

Welcome Back, Governor!

Alaska
Wins!
One of the nagging regrets in the back of my mind as I voted was that if America won, Alaska would lose. Now Alaskans can rest easy. Their state will have, at least for four more years, the leadership it deserves.

The southern 48 and the western 49th can go to hell in the handbasket of their choosing; Alaska, the last frontier, the last, best hope of man (and woman) on Earth... on Earth...

I... I can't go on. The darkness... the thousand years... it's... it's closing in on me...

Click. Boot. Reset.

Forget that noise. It ain't over until I say it's over. Welcome to the rebellion, the resistance, 'Bama honey, welcome to the loyal opposition. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight in the op-eds, we shall fight in the blogs and in the airwaves, we shall fight in the comments sections; we shall never surrender.

Never. Never. It's not over. It's just started.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

“Vote A Couple A Times”

Hey, man, that's OK.

Real class act.

This wasn't the way it was supposed to happen, but man, that's OK.

John McCain's Concession Speech

A class act to the very end.

Mark Salter deserves a lot of the credit for that.

A Sense of Foreboding VII

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
—H. L. Mencken

A Sense of Foreboding VI

Derbyshire confesses.
I hesitated. The little angel on my right shoulder was saying: "Purity, Derb, purity and a clean conscience! How could you live with yourself, voting for Ted Kennnedy's and Joe Lieberman's best friend? You're a conservative, man! Go into the darkness unsullied, with your head held high!" Meanwhile the Father of Temptation had a representative sitting on my other shoulder, waving the Delonas cartoon at me, whispering: "Remember your Kipling, Derb! Stick to the Devil you know! At least when you're breaking rocks in that labor camp in the Aleutians, you'll be able to tell yourself you did what you could to stop it."

I succumbed. By an effort of will, I reached out a trembling finger and turned down the tag. Then I shut my eyes and pulled hard on the lever. Yes, my friends, I voted for John McCain. May Dawkins have mercy on my neural correlates.

A Sense of Foreboding V

Time Magazine, Dec. 1, 1980:
For weeks before the presidential election, the gurus of public opinion polling were nearly unanimous in their findings. In survey after survey, they agreed that the coming choice between President Jimmy Carter and Challenger Ronald Reagan was "too close to call." A few points at most, they said, separated the two major contenders.

But when the votes were counted, the former California Governor had defeated Carter by a margin of 51% to 41% in the popular vote—a rout for a U.S. presidential race. In the electoral college, the Reagan victory was a 10-to-l avalanche that left the President holding only six states and the District of Columbia.

A Sense of Foreboding IV

Only 18,000 people turned out to see Sarah Palin in Jefferson City, Missouri yesterday.

A Sense of Foreboding III

Dave Burge and Australian über-blogger Tim Blair are in what looks like a forty-year-old Buick Riviera heading to Chicago for the immolation--er, inaguration--er, coronation--er, whatever Tuesday night. And yes, they've been drinking. Just not enough.

Update: Mr. Blair files his first report.

A Sense of Foreboding II

Senior McCain aide Mark Salter's in a good mood.
Salter, the tempo of his voice increasing with each word, smiled as he described his own mood. "A little hard getting out of bed," he said, quickly adding: "But eight cups of coffee and a half a pack of cigarettes later, I'm feeling pretty good myself."

When asked how he was planning to get through the marathon seven-state day, Salter quipped: "Crystal meth. Me, personally, that's how I'm going to do it."

A Sense of Foreboding I

From the Seattle Post-Intelligence:
A Seattle P-I analysis of voting returns in Washington shows that increased turnout in Republican-dominated counties gives Rossi an edge and that Gregoire needs to either improve her margins or achieve nearly universal participation in the Democratic stronghold of King County to win.

Monday, November 03, 2008

My Predictions

America will someday elect a black man as President. Not this man; not this time.

Oregon will most likely cast its seven electoral votes for the Man from Audacity, but if it does not, if by some chance a majority in Oregon choose Vietnam war hero John McCain instead, I predict that within fifteen minutes the AP will note that Oregon was a hotbed of the Klan in the 1920s.

That is not how the first black man will become President of the United States. Not by racism and threats of racism.

As I said before, if "socialist" is a code word for "black" then "racist" is a code word for "conservative." And that is a label I will wear proudly. I will gladly support for President a man or a woman of any color or no color at all if that person supports individual freedom and a capitalist free market. I will always and everywhere oppose socialism, in any form and of any color.

Not this man; not this time. Instead we will elect the first female Vice-President of the United States. What will become of her I can't say, but I have hopes.

Further down the ticket, Gordon H Smith will lose his battle for re-election and Oregon will slip further into the blue camp. The Democrats will muster 57 Senate votes, at least while Ted Stevens appeals his conviction.

Greg Walden will continue as the lone Republican from the Beaver State. As such he will prosper. There's an inherent advantage in fighting on defense.

As for Oregon State candidates and measures I don't know and I barely care. It would be a shame if Measure 56 passed or Measure 59 didn't, but if the People's Republic of Oregon wants to penalize me for working then I will take the hint and work less. For 60¢ on the dollar I would just as soon spend my time drinking. Get yourself a new boy.

An Encouraging Word

Republicans, this is directed at you. Hillary's Army remains strong, and committed to putting McCain/Palin in the White House. Do not listen to the media. Ignore the trolls. Corral your Eeyores and put them on the endangered species list. Because by our most conservative estimate, you're going to get 4 million Hillocrats on your side next week, with roughly another 3 million Democrats who voted for Kerry staying home or throwing their votes to McKinney or Nader. That's 7 million votes Obama has lost from lifelong Democrats — because we love this country more than Republicans have ever given us credit for.
From HillBuzz, by way of neo-neocon.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Mark Steyn In The Corner

“Grab your goat and get your hat...

“Life can be so sweet on the Saudi side of the street. Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of Saudi Arabia's much coveted Most Beautiful Goat award.

“That is one smokin' goat.”

Saturday, November 01, 2008

October (OK, It's Late. So Sue Me.) Surprise

Ann Althouse has uncovered the single, primary, fundamental reason why this man must not be allowed to become President.
It turns out that Barack Obama, in fact, has no pets.
None. None at all. Not even a weasel.

Thomas Sowell On Barack Obama

Anyone who has actually had to take responsibility for consequences by running any kind of enterprise-- whether economic or academic, or even just managing a sports team-- is likely at some point to be chastened by either the setbacks brought on by his own mistakes or by seeing his successes followed by negative consequences that he never anticipated.

The kind of self-righteous self-confidence that has become Obama's trademark is usually found in sophomores in Ivy League colleges-- very bright and articulate students, utterly untempered by experience in real world.
Thomas Sowell, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, writing at Townhall.com.

“Skinny Legs”

Arnold's comments on Obama's pitiful physique: YouTube.

Free to Choose?

The Wall Street Journal:
On Tuesday Arizonans will vote on a ballot initiative that could resonate in the national debate over the future of health care. Proposition 101, the Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act, has set off a storm of opposition, though its language hardly seems controversial. It reads that "no law shall be passed that restricts a person's freedom of choice of private heath care systems or private plans of any type." Also: "No law shall interfere with a person's right to pay directly for lawful medical services . . ."

Who could be against an initiative that protects the right of patients to choose and pay for a doctor or a health plan? The answer is proponents of a health-care system run by the government. For them, enshrining into law protections for private health plans is anathema....

Proposition 101's fate is up in the air because its opponents, led by the Governor, are spending about four times more than supporters. They are doing so in the belief that if health-care choice passes in Arizona, it will spread to other states. It is ironic the groups opposing the rights of Arizona citizens to choose their own health care purport to back a "patient bill of rights." In what way is the freedom to choose one's care not a fundamental patient right?
We'll be watching that one.