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Friday, November 30, 2007

I am The Libertarian, Part II

This series is going swimmingly, especially since the last installment before this one, which was also the first installment, was published way back in July 21st. That was in the summer and the weblog was in the midst of its official hiatus. I never officially ended that hiatus but it jumped right back into blogging when I started school. I can only hope to officially end it this December after graduation, or at least soon after "Major Scholastic Operations" end.

I'm trying to make the point that although I am not a Libertarian by any stretch of the imagination or any exaggeration of reason, my vision is one for liberty, that which any good American would love and embrace, and that my instincts are often borne from a libertarian perspective, and some of the instincts are just libertarian regardless of the perspective. Ultimately it's an entirely separate issue whether one fits the bill for Libertarian identity, when the drive is that a libertarian view put into the forefront may be just the thing to protect your fellow Americans from personal, incremental, and small-scale tyranny.

Let me sit here and ask you, which is more natural, just seems more natural, you have what you have, keeping what is yours, be it that what was given to you or whatever trinket, item, artifact or land tract you purchased? The alternative situation is total strangers taking (what you believed is) your stuff simply to fit the legal code that's presently set in stone. Which of those alternatives feels more 'right', to you? Does it make more sense for a dog to follow his master loyally and to eat what is given him or for a man to start biting a dog? Analogy aside it's really quite simple. How is the world supposed to work best aligns the words that we generally use. "Mine" in mine and will be used presumably for good. Tax codes don't really respect the common language.

Just try a single voice, if that is what we pessimistically imagine, attempting to bring Truth to Power.

In today's session we briefly examine, highlight if you will, the difference between a Conservative and a Libertarian. I only assume the role of "the Libertarian" the same way Bruce Wayne is "the Batman". He does not literally grow wings from his sides but he has assumed a mantle, a title, for an effect. Note my effect. So while wearing my title, for this series, we all must be reminded that I am a Conservative and thus I have a philosophy my own to drive forth, and my libertarian drive is actually bridled and controlled quite effectively by a higher ethos.

The sharpest essence of Libertarians and the Libertarian movement is the future, and an ideal that is the perfect and making the perfect the enemy of the good. Libertarians seek liberty above all else, liberty for all in the country, regardless of the cost. Conservatives don't look to the future. They don't have the same resemblance to Progressives that Libertarians have. Conservatives look for the lessons of the past, to the lessons of the past, to save the present and shape the future. As a Conservative I don't look to merely achieve a shiny ideal blindly, but to test and re-test and establish a working system and to protect an establishment that I believe to be good, honorable, and just. Conservatives believe in freedom, too! You'll find that a good Conservative believes in liberty as a final stage step in that great idealistic box of future. The difference is that while Libertarians believe in liberty regardless of cost and without condition, Conservatives seek a sort of equal protection of justice (not equality in a certain state but), equal justice, an equal protection under law, rendering a good sort of society secure in its values set to enjoy its freedom.

next, in Part III, coming in 2008, we examine the most direct philosophical contrast between the Progressive and the Libertarian.... or we'll go with the reality of ownership versus "we just rent here". I haven't decided which yet.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

the complete writings of Ron Paul

I always thought it was neat to have enough of your own writings that someone can have a library of the stuff, especially neat that numerous people actually care to read your stuff.

So I fantasize that I have enough stuff written that it would take a library to contain it all.

It is useful enough that there is a Ron Paul Library. His Presidential campaign refers to it as "excellent".

I like him; I'm still not voting for him. Am I spelling "Neville Chamberlain" wrong?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

live-blogging the debate

I thought about live-blogging the CNN-YouTube debate tonight, don't think I have not considered it.

But since no one I know would or does live-read this blog, there's no point in live-blogging it!

I will be watching it tonight, though, in a party hosted by the Michigan State University College Republicans. As prudence and posterity dictates I will jot down notes as I watch the program.

Naturally all should be rooting for Fred Thompson and watch how he does. One hopes that he does not disappoint.

the Timelords - Doctorin The Tardis

Normally these come one by one without much if any accompanying text to provide context, an explanation, or a biography. Today I'll add that this is apparently THE music video and anyone with ears can recognize that the band the Timelords made this music by sampling Glitter and other bits.

That's irrelevant to me at present; in the presented fiction the car is the Ford Timelord and the sentient automobile inspired the creation of an entire musical video. Historical accuracy demands that I mention that the Timelords was the name of the band for one if not two (and possibly two) albums. Normally this band goes by the moniker of KLF.
KLF - Doctorin' the TARDIS

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The M.O. of KLF is to make songs, mostly obscure in the end, by sampling EVERYTHING. The next video is the Timelords.... doing the song live, intercut with the above video, I think. I could be wrong. It's hard to care, exactly, if I am wrong.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Fred Thompson versus Chris Wallace

Presidential candidate and former Senator Fred Thompson was on Fox News Sunday yesterday (11/25) being interviewed by affable conservative Chris Wallace. Naturally Miter Wallace was eject his own beliefs for the sake of playing a more aggressive challenger, a skilled and adept devil's advocate. That said, his choice of angles regarding Senator Thompson's anti-abortion tactic is questionable, and could possibly be seen as putting words in another man's mouth.

Larry Kudlow praised Fred Thompson:
Good for Fred. Good for his excellent, broad based, tax-cut plan — including a flat-tax option and a corporate tax cut.

Good for him for snapping back at Fox’s Chris Wallace when he tried to pull a fast one by citing Fred Barnes and Charles Krauthammer as proof-pudding that Fred can’t win. Good for Fred for mentioning National Review and Investor’s Business Daily for speaking positively about his candidacy. (So, is it true that Fox is dedicating itself to Rudy?)

Good for Fred for showing fire, energy, and animation throughout the interview. It’s the same fire in the belly that I witnessed in our CNBC interview earlier this month.

Look, I have no idea whether Fred can win the GOP nomination. Frankly, I have no idea who is going to win it. And as I’ve written here before, I’m not picking sides. However, I do want a strong and determined Republican field. And I certainly think Fred has regained his footing.

I vastly prefer positive policy visions to down-in-the-mud trashing. (I know, I know, criticizing each other on the issues is a key part of politics.) But my great hope is that the Republican contenders will emphasize their key policy visions as the race heats up.
Senator Thompson noted his new tax plan, which included an end to that death tax that has bothered me lately.

All around a good deal.

Mitt Romney versus Rudy Giuliani

Byron York on the Corner overhauls the two Presidential campaign's conflicting and contrasting recent claims that the other candidate is more similar to the Hillary Clinton than their own candidate. Both make pretty good cases; a good enough case can be made, once combined, to vote for neither of these guys.

On the other hand, the seeming feud between these two candidates was covered even earlier today by that same Byron York, regarding Rudy Giuliani's choice of cronies and consistently Mitt Romney's authenticity. It's% a case of dueling narratives actually -- "The Cronyism Narrative" and "the Authenticity Narrative"; guess who owns which and which refers to whom?

What I find more compelling is “'Campaign Trail Mitt vs. Governor Mitt,'” which is part of Team Rudy's authenticity narrative.

Joe Rappaport versus Mitt Romney

The "former head of the Massachusetts Republican party" has endorsed Rudy Giuliani, which shouldn't be unusual, although it does nothing for me. What does the former Mass GOP chief think of the former Mass Governor? Most relevantly, Mitt Romney can't be trusted.
  • He "'has a strong record of showmanship as opposed to actual performance.'"
  • On his "relationship with the Massachusetts state legislature, Rappaport said of the former governor, 'His word is no good…Mitt Romney would say one thing in a meeting and literally go out of the meeting to the press and tell the opposite story. There was no desire in the legislature to be accommodating to him because they couldn't trust him.'"
  • Romney "'will be clear today on what he believes today, and he'll be clear tomorrow on what he believes tomorrow, but they may be different things.'"

Mr. Rappaport's endorsement is only relevant as it reveals possible bias, but I would be more willing to suggest that his bias is what part of what fed his endorsement. I've maintained that my biggest problem with Governor Romney is that he is the hardest candidate to trust on claims, promises, and positions, so why not highlight the testimony of the former leader of the Republicans in Massachusetts if it supports my fears and suspicions?

UPDATE (11/26 3:08 PM): Mitt Romney's spokesman strikes back in the most generic fashion. It just isn't a campaign's standard operating procedure to respond to charges directly when they can simply claim that being negative is a bad thing, and despair for the "nastiness"; what a gaggle of putzes. Of course such a comeback wouldn't be complete without self-serving promotion of values and vision, including a lie about grassroots and a rather truthful point about possible Republican contrasts with Senator Clinton.

the Second Amendment strugge in Washingon, DC has players

It has often been a peeve of mine that in the capital of our nation the Second Amendment of the Constitution (the highest law of the land) has been entirely negated. One would think that a metropolis that stands a symbol of freedom and American law would actually be the last place to find a major segment of our highest law (and the number two greatest and most important freedom) outright ignored. Recently the Supreme Court of the United States (the SCOTUS) has scheduled the review of this injustice to take place next year (2008) so there is a possibility to unravel the rest of various cities' absolute firearm bans, or to codify a flexibility in the Second Amendment that the Founding Fathers would find antithetical to all intentions.
Keeping in mind that however the Second Amendment is interpreted specifically, I believe that any correct interpretation allows the use and possession of any firearm, be it handgun, rifled long gun, or shotgun that can be effectively used for self-defense, even with a lethal result.

Trent Lott retires

Rather than being a good man of the people and a patriotic American I generally slot Senator Lott in as a useless politician who plays politics and works harder on maintaining good relationships with senators than he does on serving the best interests of his consituents. Now this embarrassment of a Republican is leaving the Senate and it is difficult to summon real emotion about it. We'll let Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid do it.
Senator Lott has been a true friend, consistently reaching across the aisle to serve the interests of the people of Mississippi and to help me serve the interests of the people of Nevada. He and I have also served proudly together as Leaders, ensuring that the Senate serves the nation’s interests. Senator Lott is one of the strongest defenders of the institution of the Senate and one of the most pleasant Senators I have ever worked with. I am proud to have worked side-by-side with such a distinguished public servant as Trent Lott and I wish him well as he leaves the Senate.
This has been retrieved from National Review Online's The Corner, as Kathryn Jean Lopez bemoans bipartisanship.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'm done done done

No time.

never enough time.

Mike Huckabee has the right attitude and the wrong angle

National Review Online takes well-reasoned and finely-measured swipes at Mike Huckabee. He has the fine right-wing compassion for life and wonder and babies and such but when it comes to government and the common man, he approaches public policy like a statist. or, as Cato put it, "The Cato Institute gave him a D on fiscal policy, noting that spending had increased at three times the rate of inflation during his governorship."

I like Mike Huckabee but this only reassures and affirms my biases against Huckabee's candidacy for President. I hope I can make time follow up on this, and other questions in December.

But no, I am not from Arkansas. This blog is written from the suffering home state of Michigan.

On a related note, back in August NRO tackled the Fair Tax and how it's inherent complexities make it an issue unfit for 2008, especially for so-called serious candidates to engage.*





* for the record, I am a properly registered Fair Tax supporter and Apologies Demanded is properly registered under the Rolls for Fair Tax Fans. I just don't believe that it is the right choice right now. Executed improperly, even slightly, the Fair Tax could cause a disaster.

Monday, November 19, 2007

THE NORTH FACE

I keep seeing this logo.

Everywhere I go. It's just two days past driving me nuts!

Hillary Clinton suffers on Qualification Comparison

Hillary Rodham Clinton has done very little and served in few ways to prove she is qualified to be serve as the President.
facing a $2.9 trillion federal budget and 5,120,688 civilian and military employees, Hillary Clinton is ill-equipped to become president of the United States, commander-in-chief of the U.S. armed forces, and leader of the free world.
Deroy Murdock makes a point of analyzing her specific lack of executive experience, and leadership experience with the exception of her leadership of the Wellesley College Republicans and her presidency of the student-government body.

In contrast here is the most Presidentially equipped Presidential candidate, resume-wise.
Bill Richardson was elected New Mexico’s governor in 2002. He handles a $13.7 billion budget, guides 20,816 state workers, and serves 1.9 million constituents. He was a U.S. House member between 1982 and 1996. He also gained valuable global expertise as United Nations ambassador from 1996 to 1998. Under Presidents Clinton and G.W. Bush, Richardson has negotiated nuclear issues with North Korean generals and helped free American citizens, soldiers, and dissidents from Cuba, Iraq, and Sudan. As Energy secretary from 1998 to 2000, Richardson addressed Arab-oil dependency and nuclear non-proliferation, and maintained America’s atomic arsenal.
I would never vote for Bill Richardson; partisanship aside I find his politics abhorrent and his views on the war blind and shortsightedly stupid. His politics are still not too far to the Left or anywhere to the Right of the Democrat Party or its candidates and yet he is apparently boorish, and the Democrats' Hispanic candidate for President (and completely qualified in a different world, one not wrought by a terror war) is completely ignored in favor some young guy, a relative child. Deroy Murdock also contrasts the other (non-Barak Obama) much-ignored candidates and finds them to be greatly more qualified than Senator Clinton, as well as four GOP candidates, three of which are dropping executive experience of one sort or another. The one that isn't is war hero and Indian Affairs Committee Chair John McCain.

Fred Thompson on our Terror War

A PajamasMedia conversation

Mark Steyn's Thanksgiving Perspective

Despite being the pinnacle and archetype of The New World, especially the Prototype of man's civilized, organized, assent in this very hemisphere of Planet Earth, it's amazing what we grasp right out of our own history. Mark Steyn realizes just why Thanksgiving, or anything like Thanksgiving is unique to our country. Despite that we are The New World's shining boy and nations in Europe may just see us a son, a godson, a youngster in the count of nation's birthdays, our Constitution and our claims to thus our sovereignty is now the oldest on the planet... because we cling to our own history.

Whatever history Germany may claim to have, based on the feats and accomplishments of German and ancestors of Germans with feats going back to battles with Roman, and that little gap between 1933 and 1946, the fact remains that whatever history of modern Constitutional government they have goes back to the late eighties and reunification. How many Constitutions and governments have they had before that? Just how many different Germanies have there been between the American Constitution and now? Maybe it is Germanys. I tell you in the twentieth century we see the Second Reich toppled, the Weimar Republic phased out, Hitler's regime in flames, the half-conquest by the Soviets and the resistance to communism by the West, and then reunification. Now that is an old essay I wrote.

England claims to be old. When was their last Constitution ratified? What tradition do the English call to when a massive change is put forth?

Europe is "The Old World". They are that last old city port that the massive ships of exploration left from when Columbus came to discover The New World. The New World existed as its own little entity but we know that its own nascent, independent, proprietary civilizations aren't civilizations in the sense of spanning the globe, reaching out, and contacting other empires and marveling at their own respective wonders. Surely the only thing the tribes that would be called Indians had in common with Europeans protocolonialists is that they have all the natures of men, including but not limited to the practice of making the environment their own and using the natural resources to their own ends. Who reached what first determines "discovery" and certainly it is in this country that so much New reaches out to encroach on the old.... and we see the Old World as Old, and the original. How can we not see our cousin the Europeans as living in the shoes of our forefathers, as we're the wicked relatives who left to walk the earth? The Americans left. Those who would have children that spread across The New World and would come to identify with this place as their homeland certainly tend to embrace Manifest Destiny as a practice in their personal lives and cultural exuberance if not by proper name or with close recognition of the concept.

So life keeps changing but in The New World the new twists are just twists of old concepts and traditions, or the lie is put forth that the new actions are simply good steps of an old dance. What do Starbucks have to do with ye olde coffee shoppe of the twenties? Nothing! The cafe and/or diner isn't dead but it certainly is so that because the distribution and sale of coffee quickly has led to the new style "coffee klatch" as a grandfather to the grandson doesn't mean that they have anything in common any more than some folk have in common with their progenitors. From my experience the new-style mocha art house simulations (they are chain establishments after all, don't let the book shelf fool you) are likely bursting forth from the beatnik-encouraging, poetry-reading, sit-on-the-couch-and-chat places I have only read about from the fifties and sixties. But those places still served coffee. To some extent everything we see now still must hearken back to the prior time!

If you don't hearken and don't stay in the habit of maintenance of hearkening, what comes then? Damages untold and unanticipated? We fantasize about going back in time surely and certainly because we wish to place ourselves, however temporarily and for wahtever reason in the midsts of the traditions we so aspire to holding high, perhaps in a futile attempt to see it as something pure, in a pure form, with a view towards it however more pure than now; we see what we have as an outgrowth or maybe a tainted version of what was quite possibly, theoretically a better idea realized in something wonderful. Only, of course, a progressive, a leftist (a "liberal" in modern parlance to realize and refer to the Left) would see it as perfectible and the future version a perfected not tainted adaptation of the old. Like all visions of childhood we remember what we saw as a child saw it and assumed that adult eyes on the same event in the same time would see with the same sense of wonder; and we might.

Looking at those attempts from the outside one can establish his own sense of malaise but more importantly there is the development of judgmentalism. We build our own tendencies to judge other people in a negative manner, a path approaching that of cynicism. It's malaise because we no longer engage in our own wonder because our own sense of reality is so grounded we refuse to leave for even a second and in brief instants we imagine something magical but refuse to stretch out and it is like seeing rainbows while being colorblind. (Can the colorblind even see rainbows?) A slight expectation for something better combined with an inability to envision that something better could be malaise. The inherent pessimism screams! The sight of another with vision just before the rejection of the person with vision simply because he has vision in a world where you cannot grab for a second vision of your very own... hurts. The hopelessness amounts for a very second and you move on.

Perhaps that is an imperfect parallel. But see it as the future of The New World. For better or worse our own future is an outgrowth of our own past and nostalgia itself is the fuel or the spark of new creation, however barely new that creation may be. The almost-cynic condemns that nostalgia and quite nearly curses any attempt to look back, seeing a life only in the terms of the future, without realizing that attempts to re-live glory days or realize lost dreams are in part what a wondrous future may be based on. Perhaps I am wrong.

The point is that sovereignty is looking back at what is ours, realizing it is ours, and defending it. The Europeans lose that and to some extents in individual nations have lost that because they have their respective losses for their modern inability to look back. Some American looked around and said 'this is mine' and laid down his life quite nearly to defend it. Did a European? What a question! Four hundred years ago, three hundred years ago there were English, Frenchmen, Dutch, Germans, Prussians, Russians fighting for their respective people, beliefs, and territory and the concept of uniting them as Europeans with common European interests, as if Turkey may not be included lest it taint their European sensibility was unheard of! Now the borers blur, Europe has its own Europe, multi-paged not-quite-accepted-or-ratified Constitution, parliament/council, laws and other such bits of real government without a true united culture, yet the so-called individual nation-states within it refuse to take the steps to preserve their own respective cultures. Of course that would involve looking back and the left-wing progressive hates looking back; apparently they are afraid they will see a lost spark of humanity and the sudden burst of envy would burst their brains. Or their hearts would shatter: a broken heart borne of and/or from lost virtue.

Indeed said European Union exists only as an intended counterpoint to the United States, to gather the forces of the disparate countries to face off economically, compete with a nation that realizes its own culture and for better or worse regardless of true realization or otherwise will live in its culture and fight to defend it.

The irony being that the collective entity, the so-called supernation that exists without looking back and won't look back is still The Old World and is seen by The New World and its denizens "as Goethe and Mozart and 12th century castles and 6th century churches," and the birthplace of culture and we treat that with reverence. That culture is gone. The instrument of preservation of the works and plots of the people is at times often the government, for that which governs is charged with keeping the people that love and live and read safe from the evil outsiders and certainly Europe has not entirely done that.

Am I condemning my cousins in the east? Yes, and no. The important point is Thanksgiving. America exists because there is that grand tradition of liberty and justice. Our nostalgia is what fuels our visions of a better world and it's the American vision of a better world that has led to great innovations and defenses of notions older than our Constitution itself, even when the so-called great powers of the rest of the world are totally re-writing their traditions and instituting new constitutions, new constitutional governments with cracked versions of respect and love for the old ways (because we don't want to offend anybody, least of all the new people referred to as 'normal' in the present day society). Perhaps the world will see and perhaps it won't but who can truly complain when "the Americans" swoop in with a mighty hand and sweep the enemies of justice and disorder aside?

If a grown man is stronger than a young boy and a developed tradition stronger than the novelty started last year we compare America and Europe and see that for the east "the Continent’s governing mechanisms are no more ancient than the Partridge Family." Who is the young boy now?

We celebrate Thanksgiving thanking God for the old traditions that we hug and love and celebrate and despite the urge to reject them and pervert them at least we realize that way back when there is something there, and we 'taint' what we taint because it is there to taint. But it's not ending there. What was once a small urge to be our own bosses and our own nation has led to shared national ethos and the drive to defend them, even when it really is going abroad to another land risking much to defend principles, just to avoid the chance that the assault would spread, move on, and take us on at our own borders.

We thank God we still have borders. America has grown and miraculously so many of our traditions have stayed the same. The globe-spanning empires of The Old World have shrank and their peoples struggle to remember what they must hold as dear. God willing we remember what we hold dear. Thanksgiving isn't about the big big world or how America and Americans relate to the English. Thanksgiving never had any basis in war and antagonistic blood-baptized revolution. It's about sitting down, realizing that there is a vision, and being thankful that we can realize that vision. Surely it's about simply being here, but being here with the knowledge that we stuck to our guns and our principles remain intact. Wasn't that the point of the Plymouth expedition?

Note especially in terms of expeditions to The New World how fortunate the Pilgrims really were for what they accomplished and why.

Our blessings are manifest and certainly quite nearly unique from The Old World and the rest of the New.

Mark Steyn, not an American at all, certainly put his tribute and summary of Thanksgiving and our national age much better than I have, certainly more concise and with greater beauty than my meager capabilities could allow.

undoing the damage that Huckabee wrought

Well, both Governors Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee ruling over Arkansas had increased taxes in ways unimaginable to a classy, thoughtful Conservative such as myself.

"a regressive tax on food"? We don't do that here! It isn't in my stack of expectations.

Democrat Bill Clinton did it because he's a liberal. He's a leftist. What is Mike Huckabee? He's a "Compassionate Conservative". I like Mike Huckabee and I've met him. I like President Bush, too, but we really don't need more government like that. Seriously: how much more similar do we need between leftists and thought-of rightists when the tax results are the same?

Who moved Arkansas back from the brink? "This is where freshman Democratic governor Mike Beebe comes in."
Mike Beebe, in his first year as governor, has delivered the biggest tax cut in Arkansas history, one that has lifted a burden from the backs of the state’s poor and middle class. Neither Clinton nor Huckabee can ever say that.
Good to remember.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Jonah Goldberg and Fake Diversity in the Democrats

It's fun to compare the sheer amount of differences and those specific differences among the Republican candidates for President and even some of the most prominent and preeminent Republicans, guys let in the club and encouraged to work for common ends through some commonality of ideas even if a lot of the philosophies and ideas are just so different from your ideal Conservative. Yes: there is a big tent in the GOP, with many poles.

Jonah Goldberg compares notions of diversity and media rejection for the sake of ideological preference.

Now, the Republicans are genuinely different and I hope to go into that later, as well as list how Mr. Goldberg does it but I don't have time today.

His criticism of the Democrats reflect more or less exactly my complaints about the execution of diversity at Michigan State University and more specifically Michigan State University James Madison College.
the Democratic Party is the party of real diversity — defined as a black, an Hispanic, a Southern white guy, and a woman who all believe pretty much the exact same thing.
What am I supposed to learn from someone of a different skin color? I still don't know.

I don't have time for this

Atomic Trousers has "The Ten Most Obnoxious Bumper Stickers I Have Seen In Madison." Tom McMahon modified the "COEXIST" bumper sticker to be more appropriate to his own sensitivities.

Lisa Schiffren at NRO questions the entire Corner to the notion of leaving religious beliefs out of the Primary inquisitions, explicitly asking questions about discrepancies between Governor Romney's actions and the tenets of his religion (as well as hinting about discrepancies between each candidate's actions and his or her purported God-centered creed). She also notes that we should probably be more aware about specific differences between the Mormon demands and traditions:
on the very narrow matter of the Mormon religion, reasonable questions exist for the naturally curious. The Mormon church was founded about 150 years ago, with highly specific and interesting divergences from mainstream American Protestant theologies. Even now there are a mere 13 million or so adherents worldwide. Those of us who struggle with our own religion, and the authority behind the law are naturally curious about how someone comes to embrace a brand new religion.
I only note that any non-Mormon who insists that Mormonism is yet another Christian/Protestant denomination is speaking out of ignorance and is being broadly insulting to both Christians and Mormons. If you are a Mormon and you believe that the title of "Christian" belongs to both you and I, then you are welcome to that belief, but I won't listen to any attempts to persuade me until after Christmas.

Victor Davis Hanson discusses American public ignorance of American military success(es) in Iraq.

Kathryn Jean Lopez argues that Hillary Rodham Clinton is clearly a professional politician and she shouldn't be underestimated in this arena.

Running parallel to VDH's message of public ignorance is the NRO Editorial regarding leftwing and Democratic Party denials of military progress in a foreign land.

I hope I can make the point in a later post to properly follow up on my comments on Social Security below. As it is, part of my intended follow-up is Ramesh's Corner post about Democrats and Social Security.

More on most of this stuff later.

contacting the Detroit News or sending a Press Release

The relevant web page states:

To send news releases to individual editors or reporters, please consult the staff list by department.

It is not necessary to call or e-mail the recipient to make sure they got your release. They will call you if they want to follow up.

If you do not know whom to send your release, you can e-mail it to the appropriate department:

Metro: metro@detnews.com
Business: business@detnews.com
Sports: sports@detnews.com
Features: features@detnews.com
Photo: photo@detnews.com
Online: online@detnews.com
The proper mail addresses:
The Detroit News
A MediaNews Group company
615 W. Lafayette Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48226
phone: (313) 222-2300 / fax: (313) 222-2335
The contact page has more information, including specific departments and reporters.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

the costs of Vista

The Technological Progressives have struck again.
Windows Vista includes an extensive reworking of core OS elements in order to provide content protection for so-called “premium content”, typically HD data from Blu-Ray and HD-DVD sources. Providing this protection incurs considerable costs in terms of system performance, system stability, technical support overhead, and hardware and software cost. These issues affect not only users of Vista but the entire PC industry, since the effects of the protection measures extend to cover all hardware and software that will ever come into contact with Vista, even if it's not used directly with Vista (for example hardware in a Macintosh computer or on a Linux server). This document analyses the cost involved in Vista's content protection, and the collateral damage that this incurs throughout the computer industry.
That's the Executive Summary of A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection, written by Peter Gutmann of University of Aukland. Technological Progressives are a more irritating strand of the cursed and destructive breed, for the most part because Technological Progressives are capitalists. Like all Progressives they reach forward and outward to develop based on a self-driven need to develop with a broad justification that any change must be better than the status quo, without heed to unanticipated consequences. You know the Hammond character from Jurassic Park? The book, not really the movie. He was a fictional Technological Progressive (as Michael Crichton's books are crawling with that sort of character). He anticipated all sorts of possible consequences, headed them off quite successfully and then something he didn't anticipate occurred and his guests started getting eaten by dinosaurs. In real life most Technological Progressives work for the major software companies. They create more powerful software and more complicated software without much heed for how this will actually effect how previously constructed (and standard) software works, or if it works. This is generally done to sell more stuff, regardless of how it hurts the people who have purchased stuff already; these capitalists don't need to take heed of how it will hurt their loyal customers, because ultimately computer users are slaves who need to purchase new software to heal these old wounds.

As for Progressivism in a broader context, Hillary Clinton claims to be a "Modern American Progressive". Woodrow Wilson is one od this century's founders of Progressivism as a movement and to some extent is historically the most famous Progressive. Historically I would put forth that Franklin Delano Roosevelt is the most destructive Progressive, as far as government, economics and public policy goes. Your mileage may vary.


also: Slashdot reported in August that playing music on your Windows Vista system slows it down. The basic pillar of Microsoft Windows' promises: multi-tasking, has now been violated.

Fred Thompson on Kudlow & Company tonight!

On NRO's the Corner television economist Larry Kudlow reports the Senator and Presidential candidate as being acceptably aggressive and substantial policy position-wise.
He attacked Warren Buffet’s tax-hike proposal on the rich as totally wrong, and Buffett himself as nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Democratic party.

He agreed with Dick Armey that the GOP will lose if it departs from the first principles of limited government and lower tax rates.

He called the farm bill “disgraceful” and would veto it if he were president.

He said Hillary Clinton and the other Democratic candidates are wrong on taxes. He noted that the top 5 percent pay 60 percent of all tax collections now; that the tax code is progressive enough; that there’s plenty of economic mobility in the country; that for those who have fallen behind, the problem is poor education, not tax rates; and that America is the freest, most prosperous, most powerful nation in the history of the world.

Thompson is a staunch free trader. He stood firmly behind his Social Security reform plan that would slow down future benefits and provide for private savings accounts.

On inflation, he said he’s not worried about today’s reported 3.5 percent increase in the consumer price index for October. Nor is he overly concerned about the weak dollar. Ben Bernanke is doing a good job, he said, though he refused to say if he’d reappoint the Fed chair.

On politics, the former Senator made it clear that he will continue to attack former mayor Rudy Giuliani’s support of federal funding for abortion, gun control, and sanctuary cities.

He said you might as well say what you believe is right; that life is too short for the aggravation of not telling the truth.

It was a lively interview, and Fred Thompson is not afraid to mix it up. I went at him. He came right back at me. It was great fun. He’s a serious and impressive man. Much stronger than when I interviewed him back in June.
Larry Kudlow also reported about the nature of Senator Thompson's Iowa campaign. The only reason that Sen. Thompson's Iowa campaign matters to me at all is this: MIGOP Chairman Saul Anuzis is working to set up a second GOP Presidential debate in Michigan. The only way to successfully lobby for a Presidential debate in one's own state is to make it unique and to make to make it distinct, especially in regards to voices, and the number of voices. The hook is that the top three winners of the Iowa Caucus are the only candidates invited to (hypothetically) debate in Michigan. It is appropriate at this time to winnow out the supposedly lesser candidates. Debates take time and if a standard one is approximately two hours long it is more useful and substantial if the time is split between the three most likely candidates and not everyone who purchased a spot on the ticket. Thus while I would normally declare campaign resource allocation to any state besides Michigan as irrelevant to my interests, as the entire Tancredo Presidential campaign is now the least relevant campaign in my field of view, that the results of actions in Iowa directly impact Presidential candidate appearances in my state, it's directly relevant.

The interview airs tonight at 7PM Eastern Time on CNBC. I hope I can catch it. Better yet, I hope that it is on YouTube.

On a related note, Ramesh from NRO comments about a Brookings Institute's detractor of Fred's Social Security plan. Let me clear this up. As a candidate Fred Thompson naturally has a plan to deal with our country's Social Security SNAFU (The Editors of National Review Online, in general, approve of Senator Thompson's policy plan). "Jason Furman, a liberal economist at the Brookings Institution" has (apparently negative) criticism of the plan. Ramesh Ponnuru doesn't understand his friend's criticism and assesses Fred Thompson's plan as sound.

Barak Obama actually claims that "that Thompson's plan 'undermines' the promise that Social Security made to seniors and characterized it as an effort to privatize the government retirement system. 'If we simply ask higher income Americans to contribute a little more, we can shore up Social Security for generations to come,' he said."

Barak Obama is younger than Fred and his career is ultimately less mature and his judgment is weaker for the lacking. He also carries a leftist ideology into the policy argument, which is why he insists that innocent citizens carry a burden for a system that shouldn't require those citizens to put addition cash in. That is why Barak Obama's points should be dismissed outright, but not before taking the words away from the inexperienced junior senator. Barak Obama won't defeat the anointed one's race for the Democrat nomination; he, personally, is irrelevant. As a voice of typical Democrat politics and ideology his words are useful to highlight a Democrat approach and how harmful it is to the American citizenry.

I think I'll deal with that next.

Neil Diamond singing I'm a Believer

He wrote the song; the Monkees sang it as their own; he sings it here.

This blog is going on hiatus for the next five days. To keep it updating I'll swing by daily and embed a youtube video.

That's about it.

Also: my Ron Paul post was Technorati's featured political post for all of five minutes, I am sure.
It's worth nothing.

Africa

Pakistan is a real place

Best not left up to your imagination.

I actually never read all of Steyn's article here.

Ron Paul is not an antisemite

But he does have problems distancing himself from white supremacists, white nationalists, and other similar groups of evil men. He also has inaccurate notions of American history (which the American Thinker thus corrects him on).

Of course, the largest problem distancing is that the campaign simply does not do much, apparently, to actively distance themselves when they should be doing all they can! He should be doing all he can!

As Jonah Goldberg said
Conservatives have a lot of experience with this, starting with Buckley. The left is perfectly happy to blur the lines between a mainstream conservative and a Klansmen. For this and other reasons, it's that much more important for conservatives to make those distinctions very clear. Of course, sometimes this can seem like hoop-jumping for a bunch of jerks who, in their monumental bad faith, don't care what the truth is and merely want to make all conservatives appear evil to the American public. Hence, it can be very annoying. And there are times when it is right to refuse to jump through their hoops. But there are other times when it is wrong not to make a clear statement, even if it's prompted by someone yelling "Dance!"
Ron Paul is a Republican, and still is a Presidential candidate. Regardless of whether he wins or loses certainly he owes posterity, history, and his family the effort to make the greatest public distinction, and no mere implicit distinction, between himself and this most evil particular brand of extremists. Especially since Congressman Paul is an extremist of an entirely different sort:
Not in the way the left uses the term necessarily, but an extremist nonetheless. All you need to do is look at his positions, compare them to where the two parties and 98% of journalists, intellectuals, academics, bureaucrats, politicians and the like are and it's almost impossible to conclude otherwise. Heck, the whole appeal of his campaign is that he's an extremist by the standards of the Beltway... there are all kinds of extremists. Some are quite lovable and well-intentioned. Some are misanthropic but harmless cranks. And quite a few are very, very nasty or downright evil. It's easy for people standing very close to the political center to draw bright lines between themselves and extremists. But it's much less necessary (or interesting) for them to do so. For someone in Paul's position it's much more difficult for him to do it, but far, far more necessary (and interesting).
If one doesn't, he should suffer the consequences. Frankly I could care less if Ron Paul or another in his position suffers (however unfairly) from not denying purported associations and correlative (yet untrue) viewpoints. It's the potential damage to the actual movements that concern me.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Weather Channel founder claims global warming is a "total scam"

The founder of the Weather Channel is John Coleman and he is not a businessman but a scientist and meteorologist. He is no longer involved in the Weather Channel and actually regrets that his "baby" is no longer his and thus is quite annoyed that what was once (simply, easily, usefully) a station that one could turn to to check the weather is now.... something quite different.

As it is the meteorologist is in his retirement job as a local meteorologist and thus has nothing to gain in any economic sense: he is not on an anyone's rope or payroll and thus has nothing to gain but satisfaction and is in thus the perfect position to make comment. He believes that global warming is a "non-event" and a scam.

More later...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Template Update

Iadded the following widget to the sidebar.Use it. Vote for Fred Thompson.

Of course, improving Senator Thompson's standings in my poll will have no effect on the larger world. But it might.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Blog Identity

Generally this marks the line where I try to put the weblog out there more, without changing my blog's initial purpose.

That is, while the core idea has always been a quick shorthand what I want to remember and reference above all else, it can only help more people if I keep the contents more consistent in theme.

I am loathe to change this thing to something that is more commercially appealing and generic and write about things that don't interest me, especially since I am not getting paid, I cannot compete with actual professional writers and bloggers; I don't have time to seriously pursue this blog or any blog to its full potential and I cannot afford, at all, to put so much energy into something that won't actively assist my own living needs.

It's a hobby. It's an avenue to practice writing and put out information. It is writing experience and since I have a relatively small number of readers it is mostly about the writing and the content and less about keeping on top of current events and hot topics that other people cover to a better extent, and frankly, I won't put out the best and the most of any single topic in the first place, least of all to the extent that I neglect some "lesser" topics, simply so I can possibly get to be a top blog somewhere and lose. Especially since a top blogger probably won't make a profit off of that anyway; I don't get paid for my efforts. A lot of the best and most appreciated are doctors and lawyers and professionals of some sort or another anyway. They are experts and they generally can survive and thrive within their own non-internet fields anyway.

That said, I will no longer post self-deprecating humor. I will not write to denigrate myself or this weblog for my amusement or that of hypothetical people. I will not fake a lack of confidence, especially since I almost never lack confidence. My work is quality and never to be measured by who or who is not reading it.

I will cover comic books, but not so much. I will cover movies and such, but not so much. I will do basic link dumps and write tiny chunks devoted to stuff that is cultural! Knowing what our culture is is necessary to defend it. That is more than half the point of being a Conservative; keeping alive what we think is good to go and good to run.

So I will pursue the politics and ideas regarding public policy, government works, government attacks on mankind, citizens, residents, and the people. I will pursue the influx of illegal aliens and the attempts to legitimize the presence of illegal aliens. I will search out stuff of my immediate interest on terror war and national security regardless of illegal aliens. I will not do this stuff to my own personal detriment simply with results that are mere effective duplicates of knowledge and articles that are out there in the blogosphere when I probably won't reach someone who the info is that good for. I can supplement and complement if someone cares.

Reach who cares. I am out to expand my influence only for the good of others.

That's why I am doing this.

Actually I am still doing this for me. Basically for me. But since I cannot advertise for me on this site, I can at least use my footprint to sketch out new notions. This is good reference, and let it be! My own "shameless self-promotion" here doesn't work for me, but some day I will look back to most of this stuff.

That's the point. Eventually you will read this you will see this you will find it interesting.

Reclaiming the Republican Brand Name

Given the sort of ads that the MIGOP put out after the tax increases I often wonder if this injury to the state was useful to making the Republican Brand Name more distinct from the tax-hikers.

activists learns from blogs primarily, apparently

Pew Studies: internet blogs and political activists (from 2004)

Michigan Blogger Summit

Attending:

Right Michigan (the host)

No Amnesty - GOT IT?

Save My Michigan

The Lunchbucket Conservative

Chetly Zarko's Outside Lansing

The Republican Michigander

Luke's You Tube Done RIGHT/Republican Planet

and of course, my self!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Discovering the New World

They say it is a ridiculous notion to discover someplace that already has someone living there.

Let me tell you the truth.

If I haven't been there and my buddies certainly aren't sure where it is and I find it and I find it full of people and I bring that knowledge back to my friends and then we go and visit it then it certainly would not be inaccurate to say that I discovered it! I mean I didn't know it was there and then I knew it was there and I could do with the new knowledge as I wish.

I found it! It wasn't lost to some but it was lost to me.

It was thus that Christopher Columbus discovered the New World.

Why not discuss why one is the New World and the other is the Old World and how one term is not necessarily derogatory? Must I?

What have I done?!

I don't know.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

that Samsung Juke ad is wierd

Every time I see the television commercial I see that dude dance and then there is that one song "watch me move like my" and the word I hear at that end of that phrase is "jew".

It's supposed to be "juke", right?

Formerly Known As Freaks

I have no problem with instead referring to some people as The Human Marvels.


There are some people, of course, that are just freaks.

five important lessons

I received this list in an e-mail (from my mother). I have no idea if the anecdotes are genuine or truly biographical but for my purposes I will presuppose that they are.


1 - First Important Lesson - Cleaning Lady.

During my second month of college, our professor
gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student
and had breezed through the questions until I read
the last one:

"What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"
Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the
cleaning woman several times. She was tall,
dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name?

I handed in my paper, leaving the last question
blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if
the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

"Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers,
you will meet many people. All are significant. They
deserve your attention and care, even if all you do
is smile and say "hello."

I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her
name was Dorothy.



2. - Second Important Lesson - Pickup in the Rain

One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older African American
woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway
trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had
broken down and she desperately needed a ride.
Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car.
A young white man stopped to help her, generally
unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960's. The man
took her to safety, helped her get assis! tance an d
put her into a taxicab.

She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his
address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a
knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a
giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A
special note was attached..

It read:
"Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway
the other night. The rain drenched not only my
clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along.
Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying
husband's bedside just before he passed away... God
bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving
others."

Sincerely,
Mrs. Nat King Cole.



3 - Third Important Lesson - Always remember those
who serve.

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less,
a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and
sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in
front of him.

"How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked.

"Fifty cents," replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled is hand out of his pocket and
studied the coins in it.

"Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired.

By now more people were waiting for a table and the
waitress was growing impatient.

"Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied.

The little boy again counted his coins.

"I'll have the plain ice cream," he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on
the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice
cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress
came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the
table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish,
were two nickels and five pennies..

You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had
to have enough left to leave her a tip.



4 - Fourth Important Lesson. - The obstacle in Our Path.

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a
roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if
anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the
king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by
and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the
King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did
anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of
vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the
peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the
stone to the side of the road. After much pushing
and straining, he finally succeeded. After the
peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed
a purse lying in the road where the boulder had
been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note
from the King indicating that the gold was for the
person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The
peasant learned what many of us never understand!

Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve
our condition.



5 - Fifth Important Lesson - Giving When it Counts...

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a
hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who
was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only
chance of recovery appeared to be a blood
transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had
miraculously survived the same disease and had
developed the antibodies needed to combat the
illness. The doctor explained the situation to her
little brother, and asked the little boy if he would
be willing to give his blood to his sister .

I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a
deep breath and saying, "Yes I'll do it if it will
save her." As the transfusion progressed, he lay in
bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did,
seeing the color returning to her cheek. Then his
face grew pale and his smile faded.

He looked up at the doctor and asked with a
trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away".

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the
doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his
sister all of his blood in order to save her.



Most importantly.................. "Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt, and dance like you do when nobody's watching."

Election Day

Yesterday was Election Day.



Not that this off-year bit really matters; I know when I went to the polls there was nothing for me to vote on.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Jerry Seinfeld versus Larry King

Larry King farked up.

Apparently he is an idiot.

Doctor Who 1996 telefilm (part 1)



In 1996 the Americans created a two-hour unofficial pilot with the unofficial title of "The Enemy Within". It's noteworthy what country the movie's creators came from simply because Americans putting forth a Doctor Who story based on their own sensibilities is akin to the Japanese putting forth a Fantastic Four story, or more appropriately, the British creating a Superman comic book.

For some reason the movie has been retroactively rendered as canon by the creators of the current television series, which fits fine to me as I naturally consider stuff of similar or identical medium to be of the same canon/continuity automatically, depending on the franchise! There are some weird bits as this the only televised appearance in the canon of the eight Doctor, played by Paul McGann, presents the alien main character as half human, among other foibles and items of note.

Of course "items of note" are only items of note to Doctor Who fanatics. Otherwise this is just weird bit of nineties kitsch, complete with obligatory reference to the impending millennium. As it fits in with the massive American nee world stupidity regarding the passage of one century and millennium towards another the film parallels the real world super large mistake in portraying the New Year's point between 1999 and 2000 as the change from the 20th century to the 21st. The reality is that since there is no year zero the 21st century starts on January 1st, 2001. Similarly the first decade in the 20th century stretched from January 1st, 1901 to December 31st 1910. Thus as decades and centuries are calculated, so must be millennia. Actual passage of time need not be calculated in pop culture. I prefer to think the inclusion of the 'new millennium' crap to be exclusively nineties kitsch and so far that really does pan out. What significance this sort of thing can have to a time traveler I really don't see.

Part of the kitsch is the massive outstretches for nostalgia! Thus we have a 'modern film' presenting stuff from past Doctor stories, including items from the seventies, eighties, and sixties that is not genuinely relevant to the matter at hand.

It's surprising to find the beginning boasting a narration by the eighth Doctor who has not been seen on screen yet. The tale begins on Skarro, the home of the Doctor's arch-nemeses the Daleks. I don't understand the whole bit regarding the trial of the Master. The Master is the Doctor's evil antithesis. The Daleks are brutal alien slugheads wrapped in suits of armor who are intent on sterilizing the universe of all "inferior lifeforms, which translates roughly into "anyone that is not a Dalek." So far the Daleks are not in this movie and I doubt they will be. On the other hand the Master is quasi-effectively introduced to the story, the movie's theme music is fairly awesome and we see the beginning of what will end up being the last moments of the Doctor in his seventh form/life/incarnation.

The video file is a slice of the movie and it was uploaded to youtube by a stranger who seriously violated BBC copyright. The movie is one by and for Fox. I merely write about it.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

why do I bother?

I don't know.
Writing about politics is usually miserable, pointless, and time-consuming. It would be just as productive for me to sit by the road, giving the finger to people with the wrong bumperstickers.
I just don't know.