Saturday, July 31, 2010

Comment on PJM, Ed Driscoll:
Exit To Sweden

Exit To Sweden

To call Reform Judaism "The Democratic Party at prayer" is to play off of the chestnut that the Anglican Church is the Tory Party at prayer. Podhoretz knows that, and if anyone can help me since I am drawing a blank on who first came up with the line they would have my gratitude. Remember that the aphorism actually proves that clever as such an association may be to a raconteur it is of low predictive value. The current Anglican Church is well to the left of even the current, liberal by American standards, Conservatives in the UK. There is no reason to assume that Jews as a community could not also shift positions in this case to the Right or respond to a leftward drift on the part of the Democrats. Institutions change, it is more interesting to study why they change at different rates. The FDR coalition of Jews, Blacks, Catholics, and Socialists, has endured to a remarkable degree for over 75 years. It has survived despite having been proven to be false in its theoretical assumptions and ineffective in delivering the services promised. The loyalty to the party has united urban Blacks and unionized Jewish schoolteachers, White steel workers and Latino immigrants, Multi-millionaire capitalists or trust fund babies and unskilled clerical workers or semi-skilled advocacy agents. In most cases the real interests of these groups diverge. For over three generations they have ignored those interests and serially focused on the image of Herbert Hoover and the Rethuglicans coming to steal their birthdays.

The ultimate personification of the current Democratic Party is Anthony Weiner, who represents middle class Jews and poor blacks while getting married to Hillary Clinton's Saudi Arabian girlfriend. This contraption cannot continue to run simply on inertia. When groups bolt they may do so suddenly and en masse, as many of their great-grandparents did in the other direction.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Comment on The other McCain:
Surprise: ... ‘No Christians Allowed’ Policy

Surprise: Federal Judge Upholds University’s ‘No Christians Allowed’ Policy : The Other McCain

It seems reasonable to expect the student to counsel all who need help. Indeed I would be concerned if the school attempted to prevent a student from counseling some people because of their conflicting beliefs. As part of the curriculum they should have professionals, including clergy of various faiths, go over how they can focus on the needs of the person being counseled and perform their duties without violating their own beliefs. A good counselor should be able to counsel someone they disagree with.

Comment on PJM, The Chesler Chronicles:
"Is Marital Rape a Crime In America ...?"

There may be a perception that the Obamist revolution has peaked and that the next two years will be a period of retreat and defeat for his partisans. If they were insufferable in their brief flush of “We Won” triumph then they may become positively dangerous as they feel cornered. Partisan judges may unload a series of rulings granting favored minorities special privileges to commit mayhem, blatant vote rigging may occur, private property may be seized, and the government may both refuse to execute the laws and prevent the States from protecting themselves. Now we know that each of those cases is to ridiculous to ever happen in reality but, well never mind.

Chanteuse

We can take it for granted that very few independent musicians will ever look at this blog, an easy bet since very few people of any description have ever looked at this blog, and that it is therefor statistically unlikely that any such musician or even fan of the kind of independent folk-rock played around Stanton Street would both read this blog and agree with the writer's political sentiments. An expectation that an artistic talent would be in any way correlated with political sensibilities shows a most unconservative presumption and will here be avoided. It is possible that musicians tend to be of the Left or more likely to either conform publicly to such views if they are thoughtful or uncritically absorb them because that is the dominating meme of the community they associate with. One should not be surprised to hear a musician playing in the Lower East Side say they felt a thrill at knowing that Obama was in town.

The quality of the performance and the talent of the composer are separate from their political views. That does not mean that in the name of Art anything can be excused. Ezra Pound was guilty as sin. Roman Polanski belongs in jail. Jane Fonda has blood on her hands. One of my favorite artists played tonight at the Living Room down on Ludlow Street. I first met her about ten or eleven years ago and at one time became reasonably familiar with her and her family. Since then she got divorced and moved to Nashville and for a few years I stopped following the music. Is she a Lefty? Her signature anti-war song was recorded by Judy Collins. She is talented and for all that it is worth I recommend Amy Speace.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Comment on PJM, Michael Ledeen,
Faster, Please! » The Brothel Named Iran

Faster, Please! » The Brothel Named Iran

Just for grins I let myself speculate about what a functional post Khomeinist Iran might look like. The ideal to me would be a social revolution equivalent to that of Restoration England. That drew the teeth from the both Calvinist Reformation sects, Puritan or Presbyterian, that had fueled the Civil war (less so for defanging the Scots Presbyters) and also established a basis for Toleration for an non-aggressive and subservient form of Catholicism (in Great Britain if not Ireland.) The bad news for England was that it left them ill equipped to respond to subversion by future messianic faiths, such as Marxism or Islam. It seems only fair that the Islamic world should experience the same transformation that the English bought at such a bloody price 350 years ago.

Right now Iran is 98% Moslem and 90% of that is Shia, almost all Twelvers. Allegiance to the official cult is I suspect wide but shallow. What could Iran look like in 20 years if the mullahs discredited regime was cast out and a period of tolerance and free inquiry flourished?

01% Jewish
01% Tribal
02% Hindu
02% Buddhist
08% Sunni
09% Secular
10% Bahai
14% Zoroastrian
18% Christian
35% Shia (divided between 12s, 7s, 5s and Sufis)

We can dream.

Theoretical Overstretch and Oligarchic Gnosticism

(To Yukari Ryle whose son's HS teacher praised Neil Ferguson)

The High School Teacher is wrong, the "Imperial Overstretch" theory is like Global Warming, an interesting narrative that lacks causality. It also fails to explain any benefit from restraint in the face of rising threats. It also fails to consider the role of culture in enabling a society to be efficient at administration and restrained in resource allocation. The profligacy of unproductive Ottomans does not mean that productive democracies are self destructive. This is the kind of topic that the Belmont Club used to cover better than anyone else.

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Perhaps there is a link between various theories propounded by the Left to justify a sense of despair leading to a sense of fatalism and surrender to a managed decline under aristocratic control. Consider Imperial Overstretch, or Anthropogenic Global Warming, or Keynesian Monetary Theory, or Classic Marxism. In each case, despite the appendage of a vast and complex apparatus and claims of scientific rigor, they are ultimately dependent on arbitrarily defined categories and the uncritical acceptance of undefined terms or the expectation of results that are not predictable with the tools available. In each case they depend upon a faith in a self selecting elite with access to secret knowledge to make decisions for the greater good. Each is a form of Gnosticism. The outcomes all resemble the Oligarchic Socialism of Nineteen Eighty-Four.

The appeal of Islam may partly rest on its' granting a similar exalted role to the qadis or scholars of the sacred texts. Despite temptations and lapses the expounders of esoteric doctrine in Judaism and Christianity have tended to lose influence over time. The reasons for this disparity need more investigation.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Follow Up on Anchor Babies

(to Yukari Ryle on FB who debated my prior post with her son)

Dense is the right word for my prose. On balance anchor babies are a bad thing. Solving the problem raises some interesting issues. Do we pass another Constitutional Amendment? Do we pass a law declaring that the children of "camp followers" exclusion applies to the categories I listed? Can you hear the bien pessants scream if the issue is phrased in those terms?

On balance I agree with you about strictly interpreting the Constitution. Sloppily written feel good Amendments and Laws give to much power to Judges and got us into this mess. Most of the intentions behind the XIVth Amendment were honorable, ensuring that freed slaves were given the vote and treated as citizens. The poor construction of the document has lead to unintended consequences.

May I suggest to your son that hypocrisy is the wrong charge to throw against people who question the citizenship of the children of illegal aliens. He may have meant that it sounds unfeeling but that is a different thing. First the universal question in any dispute with an adolescent should be "Who owns this problem?" The person primarily responsible for the child is the parent, who has no claim on the United States other than that manufactured on behalf of the child they produced. We are a generous nation and I favor a generous immigration policy but I do not see why we should cede the determination of who gets in to people who are already by definition breaking the law.

What reform school does your offspring attend?

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It is interesting that Barack Obama, Sr. would under current law, I am not sure about the law 50 years ago but it was probably the same, have been ineligible for United States citizenship because he was a polygamist. That did not prevent his obtaining a non-immigrant visa which he used to enter the country and then presumably get married and father a child.

Should the law be changed to waive the bar on polygamists in general or for those who enter and subsequently find a woman, or a man for that matter, to sponsor them through matrimony? Should it be changed to bar people ineligible for citizenship from obtaining non-immigrant visas? Should the law be changed to deny the children of polygamists citizenship? These are very complicated issues.

Comment on AP via Breitbart:
US aircraft carrier leads drills with South Korea

US aircraft carrier leads drills with South Korea

It is unfortunate that the US Navy is smaller than it has been since the First World War, over 90 years ago. It is doubly unfortunate and unnecessary that Obama is effectively scrapping our nuclear deterrent.

We should have 3 Carrier Battle Groups off both the East and West coasts of the Korean peninsular. We should have Brigade size Amphibious forces ready on each coast. We should have robust conventional and nuclear air and land based forces in theater. We should have the civilian population of Seoul prepared and drilled on how to evacuate on short notice.

This war has dragged on for over 60 years now. It is time to end it.

Comment on Pajamas Media, Mike McNally: »
"Burka Bans Spreading, Though Shamefully Not in Britain"

Pajamas Media » Burka Bans Spreading, Though Shamefully Not in Britain

There is a legitimate public safety interest in banning masks in some circumstances. The old bans on the KKK hood usually included a prohibition against being part of an unlawful assembly of three or more people. The Klan like Islam claims to be a religious activity but that defense has not proven very convincing. The ACLU has had success in getting Federal Judges to strike down the ban on Free Speech grounds, notably in NYC.

Any restriction on face coverings would have to include provisions for exceptions, perhaps after petition to a court, for medical, commercial reasons, or community activities. A person suffering from Elephantiasis should be permitted a mask. An actor performing their job should be permitted a mask. Children on Halloween and adults at a fancy ball should all be permitted to wear masks without anyone thinking that the public safety is being threatened.

Why not ban the wearing of face masks on any public conveyance or in any public facility, such as a school, court, post office, or motor vehicle licensing station or in a public assembly or rally? That can be done without banning the wearing of a mask when engaged in peaceful private activity. That would protect against the real threat of terrorism in transportation and public intimidation. The question of access to private facilities should be explicitly left up to the discretion of the proprietor. If there was a real risk of the robe and mask being used to conceal a criminal or violent activity then the pressures of insurance costs and liability would induce the business owners to ban the burqa. If it was seen as a normal part of a local community that women adapted by their own free choice then they would be welcomed as customers.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Comment on "David Copperfield" Telegraph:
"Free the police and save billions"

Free the police and save billions - Telegraph

Everything the Constable says may be correct but in fairness he has only examined one independent variable, Management. There is another item to be considered, the Culture of the population being served. Edmonton may be a relatively high crime area for Canada but Canada may have a more law abiding population than England. Perhaps in a high crime part of Washington State in America the population is more like the Canadians and in Detroit the population behave more like those in parts of Manchester. Each case has to be studied. The culture of the community may have an impact. We cannot determine the answer to that a priori. It is even possible that their is synergy between these two possible causes of dysfunction. Communities predisposed to foment or tolerate criminal activity may also encourage a political culture that produces bureaucratization waste and petty corruption. That may be good news if the process is reversible, in that if the British adopt more localized and responsive policing procedures that may help shift the overall culture of the community in a more productive direction.

Comment on Boris Johnson:
"Illiteracy is bad for us ..." Telegraph Blogs

Illiteracy is bad for us – so why don't we do something about it? - Telegraph

Schools actively discourage children from learning by any but the officially approved method. Many decades ago I sat on my father's lap and followed his finger as he read Scotty Reston's column in the New York Times. In that distant age it was a well edited if Liberal paper. The teachers were appalled that I already knew how to read when I got to Kindergarten. Today no one reads and the NY Times has become an illiterate rag. Mr Reston would probably be appalled by my politics but I thank him for my literacy.

Comment on Ruben Navarrette Jr, PJM: »
GOP Playing with Dynamite on ‘Anchor Baby’ Issue

Pajamas Media » GOP Playing with Dynamite on ‘Anchor Baby’ Issue

The categories of people not "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States for the purpose of immigration law, and whose children are not US citizens are known.
1. Foreign Sovereigns, if Queen Elizabeth had delivered a child on US soil that child was not a citizen.
2. Diplomatic personnel as protected by the Vienna Treaty, i.e. the Ambassador's wife and not the cook.
3. Children born on foreign warships transiting US waters.
4. Camp followers of an invading army.

Now there are two ways that someone can be unlawfully present in the United States.
1. They could have entered legally after being admitted at an Open Port by an Immigration Officer, usually from US Custom's and Border Protection, and then overstayed their visa.
2. They could have evaded inspection and entered illegally.
For the purpose of completeness I should mention that person's paroled into the country, for urgent medical care for example, have not been lawfully admitted.

Given that people who entered legally are clearly subject to the jurisdiction of the country their children should be citizens under the XIVth Amendment if born in the US. Illegals who entered through a Port after inspection are also entitled to the full range of Constitutional protections, including due process and a presumption of innocence before being deported. The majority of illegal aliens are not in this category but we cannot assume that an illegal evaded inspection, unless they are apprehended following a hot pursuit from the border, and therefor most illegals gain the presumption that they did enter legally until it is proven otherwise.

Persons who evaded inspection are subject to immediate deportation and a permanent bar on reentry. If they were to be considered as members of an invading army, which would be a political decision, then their children would not be citizens at birth. As I read the Constitution it appears to be within the power of a State to declare itself under attack, invasion or facing insurrection. No State has the power to revoke the citizenship of someone born in the United States "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof."

Finally there may be some need to consider the implications of the term "camp follower." Is a female who enters illegally as part of a mass migration of illegals a camp follower? Is a US citizen who knowingly has sex with an illegal and becomes pregnant a camp follower, whose child would not be a citizen? Would a child conceived by an act of rape by an illegal to be considered as the child of a camp follower or of a citizen who was assaulted? It is possible to craft a law that addresses these issues but the fevered atmosphere of demagoguery being used to forestall any consideration of the subject will make it harder to craft either an Amendment or a Bill that properly addresses these issues.

This is not a new problem but it got worse after Ted Kennedy worked on it, Hold Back the Dawn.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Comment on CDR Salamander:
Sen. Webb (D-VA), meet ADM Rouhead (CNO-Diversity)

CDR Salamander: Sen. Webb (D-VA), meet ADM Rouhead (CNO-Diversity)

Search the armed forces for the graduates of Harvard Princeton and Yale. We have been at war for almost 10 years now and yet they are scarce in the service. Blacks, like White Catholics and Jews and Hispanics, know that, while you will face individual prejudice in the military, as an institution it is the best path up that rewards competence available to the disenfranchised. Now Democratic politicians like Webb are feeling the giant sucking sound that comes from the Obama administration failing massively by every criteria. They are desperate to disassociate themselves while protecting their flanks.


It is unfortunate that the repudiation of the EEO shell game and Affirmative Action culture will be used by a few genuine bigots. They should be rooted out by conservatives for the reason they always should be. Bigots are lousy employees and should be found and fired by any competent manager. Any Commanding Officer who needs a lawyer and an EEO officer to tell him what is happening in Deck Division berthing should be fired. Any Chief Petty Officer who does not let his XO, Department Head and Division Officer know should be fired.

Comments on Two Op-Ed Articles:
Regarding Arizona - Washington Times

TANCREDO: The case for impeachment - Washington Times
The law and the facts are on Mr Tancredo's side. This does qualify as an armed invasion and Obama is in clear breach of his constitutional duty to see that the laws are enforced and the State of Arizona is protected from invasion. Most of the attacks on Mr Tancredo are simply vile personal abuse. Some of the ostensible conservative voices may be in fact "moby" trolls seeking to discredit and weaken the Republicans with calls for violence or calls not to back Republicans because they are "RINOs." My suspicion is that the "birther" story was started by Axelrod as a distraction to discredit the opposition. Obama may be unqualified as not a "Natural born" citizen because he repudiated that status by claiming foreign nationality on his student aid forms or by traveling on a foreign passport. Both could be investigated by the House after a new Republican Congress meets in January.

To be clear, while I believe that Mr Tancredo raises valid issues I do not believe in single issue politics. Also I believe that we have a large country that could benefit from immigration, as long as that is legal immigration.


HARTWELL: Obama lawsuit invites fortified state militia - Washington Times
My suspicion is that if the State of Arizona orders the National Guard to secure the border or otherwise conduct operations against armed invaders the national authorities would move to federalize the Guard and then either order them to remain in place under DoD control or move to another location. Obama's model is the Civil Rights era and the 1957 action by Eisenhower in taking the Arkansas Guard away from Orville Faubus. It does no good to tell me that it is a poor analogy because what matters is how Obama and his supporters see things. In theory the State could create a militia separate from the National Guard that does not rely on any federal money or equipment. Not only would that be difficult to do from a financial and organizational perspective but it would raise the real possibility of having federalized Guard troops ordered to confront non-federally approved State Militia. If the governor ordered the Guard to enter federal lands that are being used as sanctuaries by illegal aliens and criminal gangs that could also precipitate a confrontation.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Comment on Daniel Hannan – Telegraph Blogs:
"What a relief not to have to worry ..."

What a relief not to have to worry when our prime minister goes overseas (except to Brussels, obviously) – Telegraph Blogs

The Telegraph article on Cameron's stop in NY left out some useful background. Mayor Bloomberg made a show of eating hot dogs with the PM outside of Penn Station. This hearkens back to the eve of WW-II, when FDR served hot dogs to King George VI when he visited the President's country house in Hyde Park, NY.


Your enthusiasm for reducing the number of MP seats puzzles me. While I grant that fewer politicians is an appealing concept there are arguments for preferring increasing the number of districts. Nothing is less democratic than large gerrymandered districts designed to protect incumbents while disenfranchising as many as possible by either dividing communities between two complex districts or subsuming them as a minority within a single oversize district.

Comment on Newt Gingrich Statement on the Proposed “Cordoba House” Mosque at Ground Zero | Newt.org

Newt Gingrich Statement on the Proposed “Cordoba House” Mosque at Ground Zero | Newt.org

Newt has proven himself all to human but he gets the big things right. The government has every right to inquire into the funding sources of this project. While it is true that the power to investigate can be abused it is not true that there is some First Amendment protection that preemptively shields any organization from scrutiny just because they claim to be a religious activity. Mayor Bloomberg is simply wrong about that. This is double true when the persons behind this may be foreign citizens and the monies involved may be seen as being used to advance not just a religious but a political agenda.

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The Golden Rule is interesting and it maybe worth while siezing on this attempt by the Islamist apologist to misuse it. His doing so is right out of the Alinskyite playbook of trying to force his enemies into following their own rules, as he defines them, while leaving himself exempt. The Christians generally say, "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." The Jews usually phrase it differently as, "Do not do unto others as you would not have others do unto you." That gives it a more passive construct, making it clear that it is a restraint on behavior. That may be seen as understandable among a threatened minority concerned to not draw critical attention. The Moslems have a different ethic, "Do unto others as you believe they may do unto you, and do it first." That is the philosophy that permeats the Koran. It is a justification for preemptive aggressive and unending war.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Free Advice

To Yukari Ryle, who is torturing her family with accents.

Mix it up to really scare them, go all Queen of England on them and make them lift a pinky for a day. Then switch to Chicago. Was that Chicago back of the Yards Irish or Chicago Black Ward Heeler? For real homework, try to get the distinction between a Bronx and Brooklyn accent. Getting it wrong could prove dangerous in some places.

Just saying ask Prof Henry Higgins.

Comment on The Daily Caller

Documents show media plotting to kill stories about Rev. Jeremiah Wright

RICO
They did it for money and power. They can call it journalism or a religion or academic research to hide behind the First Amendment but it was just a conspiracy to defraud. When these thugs are pried from power the sources of their money and influence must be taken away. That means more than that many of them should go to jail. If their hold over the universities and the fields of law and NGOs and the communications industry are left intact, those are the real permanent government, then all that a victory in November would mean is a 2 to 6 year year waiting game while they safely continue to foment destruction from their sanctuaries. We need to defund and deconstruct the lairs they come from.

Comment on PJM, Michael Totten: »
My Book is Finished, and I’m Hitting the Road

Michael Totten » My Book is Finished, and I’m Hitting the Road

Egypt is a coming story and very important as the the largest Arab country and a historical seat of power in the region. For the larger picture I suspect that the bigger story may be Turkey. The Turks sit at the juncture of so many threads, both current and historical. Religious, cultural, military, economic; all the paths lead through there. All the players sit in a circle, the US and China at a remove, centered on the Turks. You may want to review your Bernard Lewis oeuvre, or even interview him.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Witnessing

On my trip home today I had an experience on the subway. As opening lines go that belongs in some Hall of Fame. Shortly after I got on a somewhat better dressed than average for a sweltering Summer Sunday and rather presentable Chinese woman got on with two shopping bags. She put the bags down and then launched into her sermon. Now we get many religious fanatics in the subway and so many pan handlers and performers that you get to judge them as to quality and some of the regulars are well known. The worst is the blind accordion player, who has turned his instrument into a tool that belongs in Abu Gharib. Most barely pretend to practice their craft. They scratch out a few bars or croak out a few lines and then shake the crowd for money and move on. Rarely you get a real talent, a young opera student for example who can really make the cynical passengers applaud. I object to the illegal alien musicians because they are illegal aliens. Some people need to read that twice and still don't get it.

As far as I am concerned forcing yourself on people in a confined space is ill mannered at best. If someone really wishes to do good and believes in their message then they might introduce themselves and offer contact information. As far as I know the law begging or performing for money on a train is illegal and any use of an amplifier or audible electronic device is prohibited. The woman today did neither, she simply spoke or sung. The thing was she did it for a full thirty five minutes. Her voice was pleasant but after a while some people started to yell at her. She ignored them. She was not there to engage others but to witness for her own satisfaction. My biggest concern was that she strode up and down the car leaving her bags unattended. That raised the Homeland Security alarms in my head and had me thinking what would I do if she suddenly exited the car as the doors were closing, leaving her bags behind? We assume that while some terrorists might bring a bomb into the system, and we have very little protection against that risk, most terrorists would attempt to leave a bomb behind and make a get away. That may be a false assumption. "If You See Something Say Something" is a great slogan and a worthwhile campaign but to me the greatest threat is the religious fanatic willing to die delivering their message.

At the end a man attempted to engage her in conversation and she just kept on singing or preaching. He was I suspect a more traditional poverty pimp annoyed that she was crowding his game. She asked for no money.

Governor's Island

Today was the perfect day to visit Governor's Island in NY harbor. About 15 years ago I spent some of my drill days as a Naval Reserve officer there. My Intelligence unit was stationed out at Floyd Bennett Field in farthest Brooklyn but every weekend one lucky junior officer got to spend a day riding around NY harbor with the Coasties. We were given a camera and told to photograph ships. More than that I would swallow a pill before revealing. People always assume that the government knows everything because they see on TV that all some sassy clerk has to do is push a button and the great electronic brain spits out the answer. The reality is that the system only knows what is fed into it. That often means whatever some reservist someplace took a photo of or what some clerk scribbled on a form. The Coasties or Knee Deeps were terrific to work with. Here are two photos from the Brooklyn side looking North, towards the Brooklyn Bridge which is to the left beyond the cranes, and to the South towards the Verazanno Narrows.



The Island had been transferred from the Army, who had it since the British left over 180 years earlier, to the Coast Guard in 1966. My father spent a short time there during WW-II. Interesting people were stationed, born there or grew up the island, look it up. The Coast Guard clearly expected to stay there for ever, because it made sense, and they were still building during the 1990s. Bill Clinton had other plans and on very short notice the Coast Guard got kicked out. Patrick Moynihan made sure that the Island could not fall into the hands of Donald Trump, who had Chinese money waiting to move in, and he wrote the transfer law to prevent any residential or most for profit activity. Given that we were attacked only five years after the armed forces were evicted from NY and only a couple of thousand yards away, someone might have rethought the wisdom of that policy. Here are two photos, one of lower Manhattan from the Island and another of the Senior Officers housing "Colonels Row" that now hosts art exhibitions.


Fortunately when the barbarians attacked they missed the Lady. She still guards the harbor.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Comment on Facebook | Mark Framness ... (or)
"The Hermeneutics of Post Rationality"

Facebook | Mark Framness Federal law states that agencies must not interfere with information requests on a person's immigration status and the immigration service MUST respond to such requests.

I am developing a theory. Left wing responses to frustration and reality can be divided into two major categories. These are termed "Spoon Banging" and "Poo Flinging." The hard part is going to be crafting a simple set of rules that will predictably assign the response in each situation into the correct category. Once we have achieved that then we be able to apply the correct response in each case.

The current issue is a determination to ignore the law and prevent anyone else from obeying the law because it impedes a desired goal, actually several desired goals. Which box should we put this in? Decisions decisions. The answer is probably somewhere in Aristotle for Idiots.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Comments on Facebook | Yukari Ryle

Facebook | Yukari Ryle "Things aren't as happy as they used to be down here at the unemployment office. Joblessness is no longer just for philosophy majors. Useful people are starting to feel the pinch." -- Kent Brockman

The good news is that for the first time in decades a sane well educated person can answer the question "What do you do?" with "Like a million others who are professionals by training and experience in this town I am looking (or doing something menial) how about you? Usually that would get the same response as an admission of leprosy but now it earns a smile and an offer of a cup of coffee. The honesty may be good for the long run. It may even allow men and women to judge each other as individuals rather than as ATMs.
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The generation that survived the Great Depression and WW-II did a terrible job of raising children. They got to be called "the Greatest Generation" by a news reader and encourage a culture of entitlement.

How will the generation that has bankrupted the West, produced the Not So Great Depression, and left it defenseless sell itself to History?
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The reflex optimism is cultivated by applying for retail jobs online that include 200 question psych-evals. The questions are on the level of "Are you eager to go to work?" and "Do you get really angry and frustrated at work?" Professional applications do not as a rule include that at the first step.

Campaign Advice

This evening Mr. Harry Wilson, a Republican candidate for New York State Comptroller, spoke at the Young Republicans (Officials) at the Women's National Republican Club. The following is an email that I sent to his Campaign Manager.
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Mr Wilson made a credible case that DiNapoli should be vulnerable. My hope is that you can put the point across that as DiNapoli was "present at the creation" of this fiscal catastrophe he cannot be part of the solution. There are a few topics that were raised which I want to address. Permit me to offer my thoughts to the candidate.

First we must be careful of the tendency of the most committed conservatives to undercut a campaign on what they perceive as a matter of principle. For more on how that can happen just ask President McCain. That is why I pointed out that the expertise demonstrated in the GM reorganization could prove a two edged sword. The reaction of the follicly challenged man who wanted the UAW members to suffer more demonstrated my point.

May I suggest a two pronged response? First is the distinction that you already make between the two cases of GM and Chrysler. This could be prepared in mind numbing indeed Clintonian detail so as to smother the issue. It may be worth producing a glossy handout on the topic.

The second way to handle unhappiness over GM is to put it in context. Sure the average auto worker has benefited beyond their skill set at the expense of the general public. In that they resemble unionized State employees with overly generous contracts. Just as at the State level the real culprits are the politicians bosses and connected beneficiaries of a corrupt system so in the case of the financial crises that bankrupted GM we should focus on those truly to blame.

GM could not be saved without government money because there was no private money available. Who was to blame for that happening? Here I would name names and place the blame not only on Fannie and Freddie but on Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, Charlie Rangel and Barack Obama. Your role is to protect the little guy and even to see his over reaching in context. UAW greed deserves a haircut. Politicians deserve to be scalped.

The other subject that was mentioned was a reform of the pension system. You could advocate shifting from using the final year to averaging the high three to calculate pensions.

My hope is that this email has proven to be worth your time. With your permission I would like to blog it, there being nothing that I believe to be confidential.

Sincerely,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lunch

Today I made a salad. Red Cabbage, Jarlsberg and Mozzarella cheese, Sun dried tomatoes, a Mango, and Pistachios. The dressing was the olive oil from the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar with a mix of romano paprika pepper celery seed and salt. The most expensive part was the $1 mango, and the whole dish probably cost under $3 to make. Poverty encourages a healthy life. BTW, we got the tile table top forty years ago in Portugal.

Comment on Facebook | Kellen Giuda
"politics is annoying..."

Facebook | Kellen Giuda politics is annoying...just a bunch of self-important people running around promoting themselves to obtain power and control.

politics is annoying...just a bunch of self-important people running around promoting themselves to obtain power and control
There are two types of non-military government positions;
1. elected,
2. appointed
They are both supposed to be called "Civil Servants."

Unfortunately they are neither acting civil nor doing good service. The arrogance of the people who pushed the incompetent empty suit Obama forward was breathtaking but that does not last. Neither does an effort to preempt all discussion and criticism as "racist." Earlier politicians like LBJ or to be fair to him even Carter could be enormous egoists and windbags among their peers or in private but they would never have dreamed of berating their own constituents and denigrating them.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Comment on Foxnews: Obama Heads North, Not South for Weekend Vacation

Obama Heads North, Not South for Weekend Vacation

Obama will say he intends not to vacation until a problem is solved and then goes on vacation because he lies reflexively. It really is automatic with him and I think that Dr Pat Santy (Dr Sanity) has implied that it is pathological. There is something wrong with Barack Obama, beyond the peculiarities of most politicians. He really will lie without reason, simply because something in him needs to yank the chain of the common herd he has contempt for.

H/T
Tea Party Patriots on Facebook

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Comment on Houston Chronicle:
First rig sails away over deep-water drilling ban

First rig sails away over deep-water drilling ban | Business | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

This is easier than Health Care for the public to understand. In every Gulf State people are going to start hunting Democrats with dogs. What we need is an orchestrated message for the withering industrial heartland that drives home the Democrats Energy policy and how it kills the economy. When 20% are effectively unemployed, when houses are worth 20% less than they were 2 years ago, and when gasoline and heating fuel are going up at least 20% then people will get the point.

Right now the Democrats are counting on deflation to mask the inflationary effects of cutting off energy supplies and dumping trillions of dollars into their connected pockets. The inflow of capital seeking a safe haven from crises that incompetent governance has fostered will slow as the Chinese apply pressure to the dollar's status as a reserve currency. That has already begun.

The Republicans should run the following pictures and captions everywhere. With luck the Democrats will be so busy defending themselves in NY and MD that they will be vulnerable in places like PA and IL.

1. Senator Al Franken=Vote Fraud (photo in diaper)

2. BP=Obama Donor (photo of oil soaked bird)

3. Obama bowing to Saudi King photo (no caption needed)

4. Killing American Industry (photo of closed business)

5. Liars Cheats and Crooks - Obama Reid Pelosi Gore Soros Frank
(photo Reid Pelosi Obama)

6. 1,000+ pages unread "Deemed and Passed" = Laws Based on Lies.
     Amended Constitution and Declaration of Independence = 25 pages.

H/T Rachel Sargent's Facebook

Monday, July 12, 2010

Comment on Facebook | Jim Pfaff
Foxnews: Felons Voting Illegally May Have Put Franken Over the Top in Minnesota, Study Finds

Facebook | Jim Pfaff

Republicans need to beat on stories like the fraud that produced Senator Al Franken until it gets through to every citizen and people recoil from the label "Democrat" with disgust. Republicans have traditionally held back for two reasons;
1. a social sense of gentility,
2. fear of stimulating the Democratic base.

The first is misplaced. Morality and civilized conduct matter and there are rules to every fight but that does not mean that a patriot should be, in the Democrat Wilson's words, "to proud to fight."

The second is also a mistake because the base is already energized and more likely to advance against perceived weakness, they grow through bandwagoning, Reducing the social cachet that accrues to the Democrats by impressing on the public the "sleaze" and "ick factor" that they deserve will discourage many they count on for support, especially among media reactive cohorts,

The full phrase "Senator Al Franken" should be repeated constantly until it becomes a byword for corruption and fraud equivalent to Caligula's Horse.

Comment on PJM, Ed Driscoll: » "538 Ways to Live, Work and Play Like a Liberal Fascist"

Ed Driscoll » 538 Ways to Live, Work and Play Like a Liberal Fascist

It is mildly surprising that Krebs could not cook up an additional 65 rules so that the rules of for Liberals could equal in length the list of 613 rules for observant Jews in the Bible. For control freaks there may be a special frisson that comes from deniably duplicating and mocking the pretensions of the stodgy old Judeo-Christian god. The number of rules is now arbitrary, padded out like a College sophomore adding adjectives and adverbs to make a paper fit the expected minimum length.

Is this Krebs related to the great scientist who traced the flow of energy through biological systems? One devoted himself to discovering knowledge that spurred further research and development; leading to longer, richer and more creative and meaningful lives for billions. The other has devoted himself to pushing a collection of frauds and confidence games supported by hate, fear, envy and pseudo science to convince people to lead more impoverished and miserable lives in a country that under the plunder and auto-emasculation it is being subject to under the guidance of his ideological companions will be increasingly unable to change the world for the better.

The bad news is that human beings are capable of being trapped in an irrational death spiral, not only as damaged individuals who become self destructive but also as communities. The Khmer choose to fade into the jungle rather than defend their empire from the advancing Thai and Viet. Gibbon felt possibly incorrectly that the Western Roman empire was deliberately abandoned to the barbarians because of the flight of Christians from faith in the City of the Caesars to the City of God. We obviously do not know much about the quitters in history because they ceased to exist.

The good news is that while a small number of people become life long devotees of religious disciplines like Marxism, and vast numbers can become swept up in passing enthusiasm for what projects a display of power, few will become seriously enamored over time to a cult of failure that depends on kitschy social pressures as effervescent as the enthusiasms that propel teen-age pop stars. The forest of Green Club devotees is likely to have very shallow roots. Real beliefs sink deep but astroturf fades fast.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Comment on History Fail - FAIL Blog:
Epic Fail Funny Pictures and Funny Videos of Owned, Pwned and Fail Moments

History Fail - FAIL Blog: Epic Fail Funny Pictures and Funny Videos of Owned, Pwned and Fail Moments

It is hard to fake NorK propaganda because the real thing sets the standard. They seriously issued pictures with the Great Leader instructing ducks on how to lay eggs, with the illustration showing the birds lined up to listen to him.

The West is full of people who think it is all a joke and that they are being clever and superior by laughing at reactionary capitalist warmongers. The problem is that there is this little thing called reality and in reality the North Korean regime is every bit as insane and dangerous as the worst possible story that people say about it. People who tear down the West and promote 3rd World tyranny, whether Korean, Cuban, Venezuelan, Iranian, Gazan or Iraqi are as ignorant and destructive as the idiot in Die Hard who thought that he could negotiate with the terrorists.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

On Naval Manning
(followup to CDR Salamander)

I never served on a Minesweeper, just drove an Amphib and a Cruiser. While at GQ everyone should be at a battle station I would think that for an extended operation, as I believe sweeping a channel would be, shouldn't that be modified so as to permit some portion of the crew to stand down on rotation? Also I am puzzled by the reference to "optimal manning" leaving no slack. The reason that naval ships carry a large crew is so that they can absorb battle loses. Look at the bridge team. During GQ you will have the CO, OOD and maybe a JOOD, even on a small ship. At the wheel you would have your best Helmsman, usually a Quartermaster and another QM at the chart table with the logbook. In addition there is the Lee Helmsman, possible a Boatswains Mate, at the Engine Order Telegraph, who really serves no purpose except to be there in case the Helmsman gets killed. Ships expect to suffer casualties in combat, otherwise they would be manned like merchants. While I know that the bean counters are pushing to minimize crew size the Navy we are discussing here had not yet been McNamaraed let alone Obamaed. If the Chief knew who was where on the ship then that information could have proven useful to a Board evaluating the loss and then after seeing who survived making recommendations. The most important part of any action is the "lessons learned." What did we learn from the loss of the Magpie?

Comment on Theo Spark: WTF!!!

Theo Spark: WTF!!!


Find a girl whose last name contains 12 consonants, two "y"s, one "o" and a "u" and show up at her house driving that and wearing a hat with a spear on top. You are sure to have either a very good or a very bad but brief date.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Comment on PJM, Ed Driscoll: »
"Audio: Mel Gibson’s Explosive Racist Rant"

Ed Driscoll » Audio: Mel Gibson’s Explosive Racist Rant

Can he claim that he was "in character" and rehearsing a role? Otherwise he won't get a job playing Chuckles the Clown at a Stop and Rob Grand Opening. The Hollywood standard here is I believe to get really drunk and crash your car into a tree, then after 2 months in rehab for the stars to claim a life changing experience and raise pots of money for a battered woman's shelter and Diane Feinstein. That is a variation on the Mickey Rourke approach for getting a second career through recovery. Not sure it will work for Gibson.

Comment on CDR Salamander:
Fullbore Friday

CDR Salamander: Fullbore Friday

Welcome home Ensign.

That was a good clear account by the Chief. The only points that I could think to raise are that he did not note who he believed to be on watch at the time or other information regarding the locations of those lost or survived at the time of impact and KASTENS, Howard L., 344 82 35, USN did not have his rate given.

The holiday from history mindset we suffer from is one of the consequences of the shift to an all volunteer force. Both the Left and the Libertarian Right collaborated in that change. The professional military hates the idea of a draft. If everyone was given 6 months of basic military training and educational or small business loan financial aid was tied to military service then many of the problems we face would fade.

Korea is very much still a country at war. Indeed most of the world is either at war or in a tenuous state of truce between wars. The fantasy of pretending it was otherwise permits an endless state of self indulgence and is what leads to Obamaism.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Comment on Facebook | Links on "Michael Yon"

Facebook | Links on "Michael Yon"

General Petraeus Spokesman: Mullah Omar Not Captured

I see steady reports that Mullah Omar is captured in Pakistan, so this morning I emailed to Colonel Erik Gunhus on General Petraeus's staff in Afghanistan. I asked Colonel Gunhus if Mullah Omar is captured.

Response:
..."No, he isn't Michael."
Those who pump out unsubstantiated rumors empower those who seek to discredit conservatives. It is like the "birther" story. I suspect that both are produced by Axelrod who puts them out hoping that his opponents will fixate on them and let real stories get by while setting themselves up for ridicule. If it ever turned out to be true then we should be ready to use it against the administration for concealing it, otherwise this is a waste of time.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Comment on AP via Breitbart:
"Clinton criticizes Russia for occupying Georgia"

Clinton criticizes Russia for occupying Georgia

We should have helped the Georgians blow the Salang tunnel in 2008. That would have trapped the Russian army, similar to how Arik Sharon trapped the Egyptian 3rd Army with Russian advisers back in 1973. If we had done that then the Chinese-Russian SCO axis that has pried Turkey into an alliance with Iran would have cracked. McCain probably would have had a better chance at keeping Obama out of the White House. The Putin Pusch in the Ukraine would have been forestalled. Poland would not have been decapitated and Europe would be safer. We lost nerve and with our President sitting in China for the Olympics we let them get away with this. Actions have consequences.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Unnatural Acts

(fm the BC thread "Let the Sunshine In"

buddy larsen,
(who reported the French Finance Ministry condemning Socialism)
Here you go.


We have now entered the Silver Age of Bizzarro World.

More on the Census from Breitbart


(Reply to "Dooney" who called me an offensive troll)

Just because you think that all you have to do is yell a number at the Census worker to fulfill any legal obligation does not make it true. There are 4 types of questions on the form;
a. who lives here?
b. demographic information about residents such as birthdate sex
     and race,
c. information about the unit such as owned or rented and primary
     or secondary or vacant
d. identity of the person providing the information.
The last, which is the name address if a Proxy and telephone number of the Respondant, is essential to preserve the integrity of the process. You will never win an argument if you say you do not have to provide that. The second and third are the bare minimum left after the long form questions got removed. You may object to them but the proper way to change the law is through Congress. Some information about the status of the unit is needed to prevent double counting. I have no idea why they ask if the unit is owned or rented.

The questions are approved by Congress. If you think they are improper, such as those regarding race or whether you rent or own, then take them to court. If you think that this merits confronting the government with Civil Disobedience, like the lunch counter sit ins of the Civil Rights Era then I can understand that but you should understand that does not mean getting to do what you want. It does mean expecting and indeed demanding that the government take you into court. The only difference is whether you sue them or they arrest you, both end up in court. Personally I believe that we are better off have the legislature make our laws and changing them through the political process rather than challenging the law through the courts.

In America we make the law. There is nothing conservative in announcing that you think that the law is wrong and then you will abuse the functionary carrying it out. I have read the article about the Hawaii encounter. There is nothing in what the Enumerator did that I see as improper. If he did act improperly then the resident should have checked his ID and called his office to report the misconduct. Both men involved were police officers. They both knew that is the correct thing to do if you think a government agent is exceeding his authority. The resident instead refused to speak to the Census worker and ordered him not to do his job. He refused to accept the offered form, which was probably the Notice of Visit with the information needed to call the office and resolve the matter over the phone. The resident then called the local police to have them arrest a government agent who had properly entered his property. Government agents do have the right to enter your property in a publicly accessible place, ie to reach your door or use your intercom. For reasons I already explained no warrant is needed to conduct the Census.

People need to separate their distrust and suspicion of the administration that initially did attempt to misuse the Census from the actual legal requirement to conduct a Census as set forth by Congress. The first is understandable and I and others here who have attempted to explain the realities of what the process is and the rights and duties of all involved have made clear own own distaste for the management and the political operatives of the Obama administration. That does not mean that a refusal to cooperate with someone performing their job is justified.

Just because someone thinks the visitor may be connected to Acorn or Obama, which apparently was not true in this case and is in fact almost never true with the people actually doing the Census, is no reason to abuse them. If the resident had that suspicion he could have said "You aren't one of those Acorn guys are you?" If the response was "No, I'm a retired police officer doing a job" then any sane competent cop should have said "I don't like this but let's talk." The resident made bad assumptions and acted unprofessionally in escalating the situation. That is the kind of conduct that can get people hurt.

Finally your ad hominem attacks on me are uncalled for. You and others have responded to honest information that contradicts untrue statements that you want to believe. You have done so with personal abuse and invective. Nothing I have said is offensive except to those who wish to exclude any opposing opinion from the debate. That is conduct that I would expect in some left wing forum.

Comment on the Belmont Club: »
"Let the Sunshine In"

Belmont Club » Let the Sunshine In

Salt Lick,
(who did a brilliant whiskey parody)
You are nominated for the first annual BC Bulwer-Lytton Prize.

twobyfour,
Obama may be on to something. Maybe we could replace Charles Bolden with Ralph Kramden at NASA and make one billion Muslims very happy by sending them to the moon.


Isn't the brilliant second iteration of Obamanomics going to be where they get to buy the construction materials for the solar plant real cheap as the collapsing economy drives down the price of materials? That should be followed by the sheer genius of the third iteration when all the loans come due and a few trillion dollars more in quantitative easing are pumped out, resulting in 20-50% inflation. $200,000 a job should be no problem when that barely covers the rent on a shack with no running water.

PA Cat,
With no more environmentally destructive and selfish home air conditioners and plasma TVs the restoration of the glory days of Democratic Party hegemony should be assured. This could result in the revival of two of the key pillars they relied upon.

First the financial and ideological support for the progressive coalition is deeply rooted in the Los Angelas based film industry. Unfortunately that industry has been in decline for decades. By taking away people's home air conditioners we will induce them to return to the large air conditioned movie theaters. This will not only restore the revenue stream that the Hollywood allies of the Democratic Party need but also facilitate the delivery of a uniform message to large groups, which just feels more socialist.

Second, men would be forced to leave their homes to watch sports games and return to the corner bar which once had the only color tv with a good picture in the neighborhood. The decline of local bar is directly tied to the decline of unionism in America and the restoration of that working class associational institution should lead to a revival of America's industrial legacy and the Social Democratic coalition that governed so effectively after WW-II. Do you know that there is not a single decent saloon filled with steelworkers in Gary Indiana? No wonder US Steel collapsed.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Confession

In my windy comments on Breitbart regarding the Census I shamefully substituted Graham for Gregg. Pascal Fervor pointed me at the following cartoon to keep clear the memory of Obama's early effort to pull a fast one with the Census.



By the way PF, it is a $5,000 fine the Census threatens people with.

Knowing

(fm the BC thread "The Third of July")

wretchard
... a doctor once said: “it’s always best to know”. Is that true?

A Rabbi once said "The truth shall make you free." Personally I want to know. What else makes us human and proves that we are still alive?

My suspicion is that there has been a change in the attitude of doctors that mirrors larger changes in society. At one time physicians were Prussian authority figures. They decided what was good for their patients, told them what they wanted to and prescribed medication and performed procedures as suited their own judgment. Many sought the god-like power and respect that came with this. Most performed admirably and a few did not. Given the primitive level of knowledge that most doctors had until recently they relied to varying degrees on the respect they commanded to bluff their patients. The cost to them was the possibly crushing burden of responsibility and the gnawing sense of inevitable failure.

Now it is easier for the doctors. They are gaining new tools and shedding an emotional burden.

First they actually are gaining some ability to understand and combat disease. The next 20 years may see a revolution in health care greater than anything since the days of Pasteur and Lister. That is to say it might happen if government administration, corruption, and the impoverishment of our society under the control of rapacious oligarchs leave sufficient resources to pursue the promised cures.

Second the shift from seeing them as personal authority figures to mere functionaries in a politically supervised Health Care System may be welcomed by many doctors. Now the question of what to tell the patient is lifted off the practitioner's shoulders and and transferred to a Best Practices Committee.

Paging Dr Irons and the other BC Ascelpian Irregulars.

herb,
I lost three aunts this year. 103, 97 and 88

God bless. With advertising like that I want to kjnow your gene pool. Any single girls?

Comment on AP via Breitbart:
"Census worker taken to court for trespassing"

Census worker taken to court for trespassing

We fought a Civil War. The Federal Government won. The Census worker was an Agent of the government present to carry out a lawful government function that is authorized under the Constitution. The local police officer should be arrested for Obstruction of a Government Process. The quality of the Census worker and the poor quality of the ID they were issued is not the subject here. The person contacted had a duty to identify themselves and cooperate. If they had any question then they could have accepted the information from the Census worker with the identification codes for the property being inspected and the phone number for the office. Failure to identify yourself to an Agent lawfully present should be grounds for someone to be charged with suspicion of trespass or burglary themselves. Since the person who refused to identify himself or accept the offered forms could themselves have been some armed intruder on the property.

The Census has been very badly managed. Workers are under extreme pressure to turn in large numbers of completed forms. Supervisors do not routinely call contacted Respondants to verify information and ascertain the quality of the Enumerator's service. At the same time there is no incentive for the public to cooperate, except for advertisements appealing to their greed for more government services. This will result in widespread fraud as Enumerators give up on attempting to pry accurate information from the public and resort to using Google™ or simply inventing answers.

The same juvenile people offering fist bumps for refusing to cooperate with the Census are the ones who will complain about how a shoddy Census was used to justify a reapportionment that keeps the friends of Acorn in power.

-----
For over 200 years the government has conducted the Census. This is not a Liberal versus Conservative issue. To be Conservative means to participate in making the law, ensuring that it is honestly and impartially administered and obey it as it is an expression of the people's properly elected representatives. If the law is unjust then change it. In the case of the Census the excessive "long form" questions are no longer included.

Both the Bush and Obama administrations failed to properly organize the Census. The Bush Commerce Department should have done a much better job preparing the effort, educating the public, and ensuring that locations were accurately listed and properly surveyed. The Obama administration failed completely at the beginning by attempting to sucker punch Senator Graham into taking a Cabinet position, so that they would get their 60th vote, while moving the Census into the White House. That did not happen but precious time was lost and more important they tainted the public perception of the Enumeration that followed.

Anyone who uses the anonymity of the internet to boast of or advocate illegal activity, such as submitting a false official report, deserves to be tracked down and tossed into prison. The fact is that the law said that the forms should have been returned by April 1st. No one gets in trouble for that violation but the point is that when the Enumerator knocks on your door they know that you are already in violation for non-compliance with the US Code. They cannot leave forms with you to possibly be filled out sometime over the next few months if you so choose. Also they know that even if you sincerely believe that you complied it is possible that the records may show you as not having done so for legitimate reasons. For example if 10 years ago it was reported that an upstairs unit was separately rented at your address then they may need to verify who lives there and in how many residences. The Census workers are all sworn to secrecy and that means that they cannot tell you what they may have heard about your location. In fact the field worker will not be told what the office has, for the same proper reason of confidentiality. However failure to comply could result in the Census going to neighbors to find out what they can.

-----
(Reply to "Dooney")
You are wrong. Full Stop. This is another internet myth getting tossed around in an echo chamber. It is on the order of the people who assert, and this is where people are arrogant, that they "know" that the Income Tax is illegal or those who think that no one has to report to Jury Duty or carry an ID at the airport. All of these, along with the fantasy that you only have to yell how many people you want them to count through the door, is simply tin foil hat nonsense. The law is the US Code passed by the United States Congress. There are no optional questions on the Census. Every person has a duty to comply with the Census and to provide truthful answers to the questions the Enumerator asks in the performance of their duty. If you are reasonably uncertain as to the identity of the person asking the questions then you can ask for the Notice of Visit with the tracking information for your case and a phone number for the office. Failure to give the mandated information or giving false information is an offense.

If you think the Census asks questions beyond its authority bring a case before a US Magistrate and good luck with it.

-----
(Reply to "clickhiker" who agreed with me)
I am Conservative. Those who encourage contempt for the law and hope for a world of small authoritarian communities at war with the outside are not only very ill but are also among a type of socialists. They think that their ego can trump over the Constitution and their tiny band can defy the lawful government. It is a nostalgia for seccessionism I suspect. These attitudes are more at home in the corners of the Democratic Party than among Republicans. They do not seek to learn the law or improve it, they only complain that under the current gang they lack power. The Obama crowd have done everything to corrupt the process, that does not excuse unlawful behavior by others. The bottom line is that in this case the local law enforcement officer behaved unprofessionally.

-----
There is no general right to Privacy that entitles people to tell the government to go away beyond what is given in the Constitution. The only grounds for refusing to provide the information could be under either the IVth or Vth Amendments. No special warrant is needed to gather information for the Census because it is specifically authorized under the Constitution. Complying with the Census is an obligation for every person on United States territory and subject to the jurisdiction thereof. That last means that foreign diplomats should be exempt but it would not shock me if they voluntarily complied. Just as there is no need for Customs to obtain a warrant before searching you at the border there is no need for the Census to obtain a warrant before asking you the questions approved by Congress. If anyone wants to make a case that the name, age, sex, race questions exceed that which should be asked without a warrant then go ahead and make the argument in a Court of Law. You may win although I doubt it. Right now they just ask the questions and accept your answers. Perhaps if challenged the Congress will then demand fingerprints from everyone so be careful what you ask for. In America we do very little to track people. In many parts of this country you can vote without producing any ID.

There is no argument to be made against the Census under the Vth Amendment because all Census workers are sworn to secrecy and no information will be shared with any Law Enforcement Agency so there is zero risk of self incrimination. In fact if you are a criminal with illegal aliens from Mexico in one room and Osama and his friends in another room, with some working girls living in a side room and a meth lab in the back for good measure, the smartest thing you can do is tell the Census. If there is a wiretap on your house they would almost certainly have to suppress the evidence.

The Census worker cannot arrest you but if you did threaten them so that they had to send out US Marshals to accompany an Enumerator for his own safety then that Law Enforcement Officer would not be sworn to secrecy regarding your personal information and they could arrest you if they discovered something illegal. Now this never happens but my point is that there is no reason to abuse the Agent and few people would act so foolishly towards a real LEO. The question of whether they have a right to be on the property is also misstated by many. They have a right to enter the property when under official business. An unlocked gate means nothing and if there is a bell or intercom and the Census worker identifies themselves then there is a duty to cooperate. If a locked gate is used to deny access because there is no accompanying bell that is simply a foolish way to live. There may be laws regarding the need to provide access to emergency services so walling yourself off and preventing anyone from communicating to request admittance could be not only unwise but illegal. The bottom line is that refusal to cooperate or at the very least refusal to arrange some other contact such as by phone will only result in further attention.

-----
(Reply to ACRScout)
That is the most fairly worded rebuttal I have seen today and I thank you for it.

Incompetence and disorganization or abuse make it much harder for the honest worker. This debate has put me in an awkward position because I am being accused of being some kind of Obamist for defending a legitimate government act that is unfortunately being badly managed. Part of the trouble may arise from the need to verify some addresses, due to possible historical uses or errors in prior years. Due to confidentiality it is impossible to determine that in each case. A much better management system is needed. The obstructions raised by the ideological deniers of even this most basic government function, one that I believe that conservatives should support, act like sand and increase inefficiency to the ultimate benefit of those like Acorn who do want to substitute wholesale fraud for the Census. That is why I suspect that some of the most vociferous critics here are really "moby" trolls sent to advocate disruption.

Less Heroic Sounding History

(fm the BC thread "The Age of the Demon")

2x4,
The Normans were Norsemen, tough characters those Danes. They make cartoons of their enemies and so frightened the French King that he ceded his northern seacoast. Then they invaded England and defeated the Saxons on October 14th after King Harald had to race 241 miles South from stopping another Norse invasion at the battle of Stamford Bridge on September 25th.

The secret of the Saxon tradition of mocking history is that it encourages self deprecation. This works to make you look more powerful, not less. The English have a tradition of that, think of "1066 and All That."

-------
Marie Claude,
(who defended the wisdom of the Carolingian Charles the Simple)
Yes but it was an invasion and they were not totally assimilated. My point was to encourage all of us, you included, to occasionally embrace a humorous play on History. It only makes us look more confident. Think of Asterix.

Not that the 4th is the best day for the idea, it may not be. I would not mock American History on that day and I would not make a point of mocking French History on Bastille Day.

Is there a French equivalent of Blackadder?


-------
Dave,
(whose Norman ancestors earned heraldic devices)
Good for you. There is nothing snobbish or wrong in studying genealogy. Everyone comes from somewhere, obvious disclaimer inserted to prevent thread hijacking, and a good exploration of the shepherds, goats and sheep, white or black, decorating the family tree is a fine thing.

-------
(referencing a coupke of sub-topics in thread)
Bob,
Ever hear of the Canadian Twilight Zone?

You wake up and nothing has happened.
You toss a ball in the air and it comes back down.
You take a long plane flight and someone behind you snores.

This can continue until the audience rebels.

Davy Crockett was interesting. His (non)-attendance record in Congress lasted until Adam Clayton Powell. There was a story that he once boasted to his drinking companions about killing a large number of “bares.” His buddies reportedly refuted his claim with argument that he couldn’t count that high. He died well.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Comment on the Belmont Club: »
"The Third of July"

Belmont Club » The Third of July

America was founded by a practical nation of people who choose "the simplest solution." Whether in designing furniture or laying out the case for dissolving a political contract a clear spare and focused approach was preferred. How different, how Un-American it is to tie down every act with regulations that take into account every extraneous private interest and impose them on individuals through the coercive power of government. The government by becoming a representative and advocate for some imposes their interests upon others. The personal becomes political. Those who have the interests of some imposed on them become not individuals solving problems as simply and effectively as possible in free association with others but at best contractors seeking to have their services approved by a central mediating contracting or hiring hall authority.

The government must be constrained lest it eat everything. To that end we attempted to chain it down by prohibiting the government from imposing a religious test on office holders or taxing to support a State Church. We prohibited the government from restricting freedom of speech or of the press or restricting the right to keep and bear arms. We restricted the right of a State to regulate interstate commerce and gave no power to the federal government to regulate commerce within a state. Only when the XIVth Amendment was discovered by ambitious jurists did those restrictions on the government become transformed into tools that can be used by government or individuals appealing to the favor of government to impose on private citizens.

In the Kagan hearings the nominee for the Supreme Court evaded a question as to whether the government has the power to make people eat their vegetables and not any desired trans-fats. We now have people who would appeal to these mythical rights to impose on every transaction that should be between consenting adults by private mutual consent. That includes efforts to tell a blog owner what subjects he should provide a forum for discussing and who he may communicate with and under what circumstances.

The men of the Revolution, there were ladies involved also but I shall use the inclusive grammar of a different age, did not always agree. In fact many of them cordially disliked each other. They always however respected each others privacy and it would never have crossed their minds to appeal to the power of the State to enforce their private interests. The unending tangle that slavery brought to America was not only the moral stain involved but also that it compelled the constant intrusion of appeals to government to sustain what otherwise was an unnatural imposition on a political and social system of otherwise free and open choices between individuals meeting each others needs.

Reliable Voices

(fm the BC thread "The Age of the Demon")

LotM, I feel like I descended into some high school foyer
An excellent analogy 2x4. Having been there and having absorbed criticisms of you two the high school approach to social and political forums is what we need to get America past. It is important though to consider that this is the level of emotionally based engagement in what should be political analysis we are dealing with. It can happen with people on either side of the big political divide. Just because someone says that they like Sarah Palin you cannot assume that their judgments will be either reliable or not on other matters. Now this may be seen as an iteration of a whiskey thesis or as a one off in that people do act out for personal reasons or as a datum for a larger argument of some less despairing theory regarding modern culture and education and the impact on personal values and reasoning of young people.

My biggest criticisms with whiskey were;
1. he was bad for the blog for reasons that wws and you both set forth,
2. his negativity was so relentless as to leave no room for growth or hope.

Regarding this little episode I have adjusted my Facebook "Friends" list. What voices we listen to and who we share our precious time with matters. My hope is that I remain worth your time.

-----
Background, An intelligent but I believe insecure young woman named Stephanie, whose concerns can be determined by reading her comments on the BC, posted an inaccurate comment that I had failed to back her and had urged her to attack whiskey because of "his attitude towards" me.

My response follows;
While her physical condition is an excuse I must apologize to this community for introducing someone emotionally unstable. Those I contacted on her behalf when she was being bullied know how I put myself out for her. Given that this is someone I met at a job and why it is reasonable for most of us unlike L3 to use a nome de plume I must now be concerned for my privacy. whiskey did not cyber-bully me. His problems were as listed.
Given that I had worked with her for a few weeks last year and introduced her to the Belmont Club and had her on my Facebook, this is disturbing. As she is one of the very few people with both my RT and VT identities, this is very disturbing.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

(fm the BC thread "The Age of the Demon")

bogie wheel,
(who defended 50's Dads)
You are correct. Those fuddy duddy Dads of Leave it to Beaver and My Three Sons were the same guys, like my father, who had landed at Oran or Anzio or Normandy or Guadalcanal or Okinawa or who flew those bombers over Ploesti and Schweinfurt and Tokyo or who manned ships under kamikazi attack. Only the self obsessed boomers who as perpetual children evaded Vietnam and then claimed credit for the suffering of all the others who fought over 3 generations could think that the world was soft and dull before they showed up. The Boomers are the people who think they invented sex. Pity they never let their parents in on the secret.

The Man In the Gray Flannel Suit had quite a life.


virgil xenophon,
For the record I agree with whiskey's assessment of Michelle Obama's job at the University of Chicago. I was there and I am confident it was arranged at the behest of Penny Pritzker, as was her prior job for the Dean of the College.