Friday, February 25, 2011

Comment on Victor Davis Hanson,
The Corner - National Review Online:
Federal Nullification Is a Bad Idea

Federal Nullification Is a Bad Idea - By Victor Davis Hanson - The Corner - National Review Online

Nullification is politically toxic because it is associated with secessionism and pre Civil War slavery. Fairness or even exactitude in legal theory have little to do with that.

Before the Civil War Nullification was wrong because it was unnecessary. The Constitution already had an adequate built in safeguard to prevent Congress from riding roughshod over state interests. Senators were appointed by the States and could act as their Ambassadors to DC. If over a third of the States agreed to block something, and their ability to influence the Senators they appointed was an internal problem for State politicians, then they could block Federal action. That was true even if it was action that was supported by the majority of the American people. Senatorial Nullification failed to prevent Secession and the Civil War because the Southern States could not get free citizens in the North to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act and they could not stop their slaves from running away.

During the Progressive Era the XVIIth Amendment was enacted establishing direct elections for US Senators. That destroyed the role of the Senate as a brake on the Federal government and agent of the States. The States were reduced from sovereign entities that provided a check on the Federal power to mere administrative cogs in a centralized apparatus.

We should repeal the XVII Amendment. Doing so we are told will return us to the bad old days of corrupt machines controlling the Senate and give power to the unsavory and corrupt incompetents who populate most State Houses. That is true. The current system has not eliminated the corruption and cronyism, if anything it has allowed machine based electoral fraud to penetrate more directly into Congress.

The proper roles of the Federal and State governments is to keep watchful eyes on each other, spotting and prosecuting corruption as they find it. I am confident that if they stood jealous and independent of each other each would spot many flaws in the other. The proper domestic role of the Federal government should be investigating and prosecuting state legislators. The proper role of the States in the central government is to have their agents the Senators investigating and blocking abuse by the central authority.

The Rat Cornered

Found at Theo Spark

It's an Israeli Commando Mouse.

Like the Mossad Shark and the Zionist Bird it will infiltrate and strike fear in the hearts of Islamists everywhere.


On Thomas Sowell, National Review Online:
Voices of Moderation

Voices of Moderation - Thomas Sowell - National Review Online

Moderation is important. Just listen to Butch explain the importance of fighting according to the Rules. Moderation can be useful, if it means demonstrating both decisiveness and judgment.

A moderate Leader displays an inner calm that inspires confidence and comes from convictions that are not threatened by a willingness to examine new evidence. A true moderate deals with issues as they arrive and plans ahead as time and resources permit. It is moderate to prioritize and not sacrifice essential assets in a slavish devotion to narrow goals. It is not moderate to allow your opponent to define the terms of a debate. That unfortunately is what the Democrats mean by Moderation. They want to restrict what the Republicans can talk about. Most political activity by the Left displays techniques learned in High School and never outgrown. All their complicated arguments can usually be reduced to just two words, "Shut up."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Comment on CDR Salamander, USNI Blog:
Air & Space Museum, or National Aquarium?

Air & Space Museum, or National Aquarium? | USNI Blog

(Cross posted at CDR Salamander: "Don't Know Much About History")

My concern is that under the present government the Europeanization of America will proceed to the point where we may end up with a museum and no Navy. Just as Left wing groups ensconced themselves in San Francisco's Presidio in a display of triumphalism reminiscent of the transformation of Hagia Sofia into a mosque or the Dahlem Ethnographic Musuem is based on the Nazi's intent to collect mementos of peoples they eliminated, there are people who want to see the military remembered as a quaint harmless historical relic.

Museums and ceremonial units may be tolerated by the intolerant but only if they are seen as non-threatening. That means the less functional they are the more they may be accepted. Effective communications are seen as very threatening. In NYC on the West Side of Manhattan the Intrepid Air-Sea & Space Museum is opposed by the local Community Board, because it does not meet their agenda.

The Navy is shrinking to be less than a Coast Guard while the world explodes. Right now the South coast of the Mediterranean is on fire from Morocco to Egypt and Americans are trapped in Libya. We knew, or should have known, this was coming for weeks. There is exactly one tin can available in the Med. The nearest CVBG's are off to deal with Somalia. There is nothing, neither a Battle Group nor a Marine afloat force closer than Virginia. The State Department has been tasking Laurel and Hardy to rent a ferry. Our EU Nato allies stare South at the possibility of millions of Islamist refugees heading their way with blind panic.

Comments on Doug Heye,
The Corner, National Review Online:
Democrats, Media Keep ‘Birther’ Story Alive

Democrats, Media Keep ‘Birther’ Story Alive - By Doug Heye - The Corner - National Review Online

Abe Froman has this right. If asked I would reply "Are you a journalist or a procurer for Obama?" My guess is that the birther story was created by Axelrod and Clinton's people swallowed it. My question is what are they trying to hide by making all this noise? My guess on that is his college applications and financial aid forms might make interesting reading. Real journalists should keep digging because that is the job. Nixon's people sent Jack Anderson the schedule when they put the trash out on the curb.

(Who thinks that if Obama is forced out Biden must go too)
My reading is different. Let's explore this for fun.

Ever since the XIIth Amendment the POTUS and VPOTUS are elected on separate ballots, even if they campaign on a ticket. Remember the popular vote is really just an opinion poll and the Electoral College, which I want to see strengthened and not abolished, is what counts.

If Obama was ineligible then his EC ballots are void. In that case the largest number of valid ballots that were opened before the Congress would determine the President. Those ballots would then have had the name of John McCain on them. As I see it the status of Mr Biden is a separate issue. He is indisputably constitutionally qualified for his office and he did receive the largest number of valid votes for that office. So we could get a President McCain and a Vice President Biden.

If was proved that Mr Biden was aware before the election that Mr Obama was ineligible and he participated in a conspiracy then that could be grounds to remove him. Otherwise he could either be allowed to complete his term with some dignity as part of a political compromise or be induced to resign so that a replacement could be named under the terms of the XXVth Amendment.

Curiously the Impeachment of a Vice President would pose an interesting problem. This has never happened but if it did under the Constitution he would apparently preside over his own trial in the Senate.

Perhaps Mr Biden could be induced to recuse himself so that the President protempore could perform that duty. That position is currently held by Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii. It may be possible for theatricality to get Strom Thurmond to perform the role with the assistance of a Medium.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Comment on Veronique de Rugy,
The Corner - National Review Online:
On Cutting Federal Funding for NPR

On Cutting Federal Funding for NPR - By Veronique de Rugy - The Corner - National Review Online

American Disestablishmentarianism, unchain PBS.

There is some small legitimate government information distribution function. Some safety and legal notifications should be put out to the public and not simply left to Public Affairs contacting private publishers. TV networks all offer a channel for local government and I support that. In NYC you can turn on channel 25-2 and watch fascinating land use committee meetings. The federal role in this should be circumscribed. Elected politicians should advocate for positions but bureaucrats should not. We should draw a line between honest propaganda to support out foreign policy that is the role of Department of State and the freedom of citizens to form opinions. Tavis Smiley and Bill Moyers should be free to raise money and rent air time but they should not get to use the taxpayer's money.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Comment on Daniel Hannan, Telegraph Blogs:
The EU was never meant to be a common market

The EU was never meant to be a common market – Telegraph Blogs

My understanding was that the EU was a Common Market because it was so base. It is the market equivalent of a counterfeit coin, made of lead and painted to look like silver. Perhaps if the name was changed to the Vulgar Market. That would have a nice Medieval flavor to go with the bureaucracy. They speak a secret language, a Quango Latin, that must be translated for the mob into a common Vulgate tongue in the digital pulpits. Would Mr Cameron like to get into the spirit by changing the House of Commons to the House of Vulgars?

Comment on The Other McCain:
The Blog Genie Is Out of the Bottle

The Blog Genie Is Out of the Bottle : The Other McCain

"... every man is his own Pinch Sulzberger"
There is a cringe worthy line to regret.

Those who are just shock troops and hate mongers will read. correction pass over. a thoughtful essay like this and hunt for evidence that your blog is all mindless red meat drivel, because the NY Times want it that way. Really I suspect that Breitbart feeds them one liners out of a sense of kindness, like tossing biscuits to a puppy.

Once on "All In The Family" the resolutely left wing Carroll O'Connor playing Archie Bunker simply could not understand his Black, or at that time African-American, neighbor explaining that he was an engineering student. As soon as the neighbor shifted to jive talk Archie's hearing improved. Pinch Sulzberger cannot comprehend reasoned logical journalism that does not depend on his imprimatur.

Monday, February 21, 2011

On Andrew Malcom, Top of the Ticket, LA Times:
CNN's Candy Crowley somewhat surprised by Donald Rumsfeld's ignorance of Obama's good global image

CNN's Candy Crowley somewhat surprised by Donald Rumsfeld's ignorance of Obama's good global image | Top of the Ticket | Los Angeles Times

Mr Malcom includes an extensive collection illustrating the respect and esteem that Mr Obama has generated around the world. A selection from the article illustrates the master demonstrating his skill at handling the pretentious that I for one miss.
Obama's "supporters," said Crowley, "say that in two years he has been able to return this country to a status of being liked across the world in a way that America was not liked during the Bush administration.

"That he has once again made America a beacon."

The trouble for Crowley Sunday was that she was interviewing Donald Rumsfeld.

Rumsfeld knows a little something about the world after being a military pilot, corporate executive, congressman, White House aide, Washington power-player and media adversary, as well as secretary of Defense during many of those Bush years.

"Do you agree with that?" she asked Rumsfeld with a straight face.

"Do you think that -- that the U.S. is now looked at much differently than it was and much more positively than it was during your tenure?"

Rumsfeld is promoting his memoirs, "Known and Unknown," and has been doing nonstop media appearances trying to sell as many copies as possible because he's donated all proceeds to benefit military families.

Referring to Obama, he told Crowley, "No. And I don't think there's data that support that.

"I think he has made a practice of trying to apologize for America. I personally am proud of America."

Crowley seemed surprised at Rumsfeld's ignorance about Obama's powerful positive public image abroad.

She stated: "Well, he seems to be quite popular overseas in a way that President Bush was not. The streets aren't full of people burning him in effigy."

She continued: "There does seem to be a new -- a chance to look at America in a different way than it did during the Bush administration. You don't think that's true?"

Rumsfeld replied: "I don't think that's true and I don't think that there's data that would support that."

Crowley didn't need any data. She persisted: "Even though the streets look differently?"

As you might expect from some stubborn Republican, Rumsfeld stuck to his guns: "I just don't think it's correct."
Now for my two cents worth. Mr Rumsfeld should have looked at Ms Crowley and asked her "You believe that be true, exactly why?" and then asked her, "Where have you traveled to outside of the United States and in what capacity?" The following is from her wiki;
Crowley was born in Michigan. She attended Principia College in Illinois and received her undergraduate degree from Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia, majoring in English. Crowley started her career with radio station WASH-FM in Washington, D.C. as a newsroom assistant. She moved from NBC to CNN in 1987. Crowley is known to be off-camera friends with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.[citation needed] Crowley was featured twice on the 10th anniversary edition of the popular game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? in 2009 as the expert for the "Ask the Expert" lifeline.
Given what we know about Mr Anderson the statement she is his friend can be taken to mean what you wish. Her qualifications are unimpressive at best and indicate no knowledge of international affairs or of any other functional, as opposed to political, policy issue. She appears to be someone who has advanced solely based on her aggressiveness and grievance mongering and a skill in bureaucratic political intrigue. Given his experience in the Pentagon Mr Rumsfeld can probably appreciate that but he can also puncture it as an empty balloon.

Comment on Victor Davis Hanson, The Corner - NRO:
Libya without Gaddafi: What to Expect, What to Watch For

Libya without Gaddafi: What to Expect, What to Watch For - By Victor Davis Hanson - The Corner - National Review Online

Fine post Professor. You could consider working with PJ O'Rourke on an update to "Holidays In Hell." I have three, OK 4 or 5, questions, at least in the Monty Python "What have the Romans done for us?" sense.

1. Do we want to see Libya as another nasty spot where we just extract energy until technology advances and improved policy free us from the imported yoke? If so would we even want Wheelus back?

2. Is there a natural reversion of post-colonial artificial polities back into their tribal components? Is this a necessary if violent phase on the path to modernity?

3. Is Ghaddifi's ideology a colonial intrusion imposed by the Tripolitanian elites on the native Sanussi and Berber population? Are their links to Fascist and Futurist influences from the Italian occupation?

4. Will Ghaddafi devise an ingenious plot to survive by hiding among innumerable transliterations Khaddafy Qaddafi etc., as he vows "They'll never spot me." More seriously if millions flee, what will Europe do?

5. What will happen to the poor girls of the Praetorian Guard? Will Berlusconi offer them refuge to continue the Bunga-bunga parties they inspired?

Seriously, the people of the Maghreb have a Christian and Jewish heritage, after all Augustine of Hippo was a Berber, and enormous potential productivity. The agriculture has deteriorated both due to changing climate patterns over the last 2,000 years and infrastructure neglect under Muslim stewardship.

Are the recent intrusions of Salafism and Marxism and Anti-semitism (possibly more long standing) beyond our power to combat? If so we must default to my first position, extract at arms length. That may not work, Iran proves how hard it is to keep a viper caged.

Comment on Daniel Foster, NRO The Corner:
Report: Qaddafi Fleeing Tripoli, En Route to Venezuela

Report: Qaddafi Fleeing Tripoli, En Route to Venezuela - By Daniel Foster - The Corner - National Review Online

We can hope that the Berber tribes and the Senussi reject the Wahabbi-Salafist Totalitarians as another colonial imposition, just like the Marxist-fascist Green Book posturing of the Tripoli elites under Ghaddafi was. Libya had a pragmatic heritage before 1969, maybe they can retrieve it.

Has anyone researched to see if there are links between Ghaddafi's fantasy ideology and Fascist-Futurist concepts imported during the Italian colonial period?

Comments on Michael Yon's Facebook:
Pakistani Journalists: Sitcom Writers

Pakistani... (1)

Pakistanis live in a world where they are surrounded by super secret and super smart foes, Jews, Americans & Hindus who are everywhere and can perform miracles. Faced with such powers the desperate Islamists will do anything, except lead a nice quiet peaceful productive life and stay out of trouble.

The arguments about Mr Davis carrying a gun or questioning what he was doing there are red herrings. He was accredited, he was on the diplomatic list, the Pakistani government had admitted and accepted him. If they found him objectionable then they could have declared him persona non grata or asked for his removal. He had immunity and is protected under the Vienna Treaty. Full Stop.. The United States and India are watching and evaluating Pakistan's ability to honor its obligations and retain the rule of law. The weaker our assurance on that the more the presence of nuclear weapons in Pakistan, the security of which cannot under these circumstances cannot be taken for granted, becomes a liability and a possible impetus for a preemptive act to secure them.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Comment on PJM, Ed Driscoll »
Time to Party Like It’s 1995?

Ed Driscoll » Time to Party Like It’s 1995?

"Dems Vow Not to Report to Work Monday, on Federal Holiday"

There is a Murdoch Press ready headline, someone tell him to hire me.

If the Dems parade around closed offices on Monday with signs decrying the Rethuglican shutdown and dream of the Legend of the Humiliation of Gingrich on their Tivo™ will the media report it with a straight face?

Some people have to learn how to handle a government functionary.
(My regrets that the video is colorized and acid on the wound that Warner's lawyers had Youtube disable embedding)

[as he goes to hand Renault a bribe]
Jan Brandel: Captain Renault... may I?
Captain Renault: Oh no! Not here please! Come to my office
               tomorrow morning. We'll do everything businesslike.
Jan Brandel: We'll be there at six!
Captain Renault: I'll be there at ten.

The Madison Morningside Maghreb Messianic Axis

Eli Lake tweeted a link to an old editorial in the NY SUN, "Columbia Partner in Gadhafi Parley has Grim History."

It being a very small world his noting that Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs has lent it's name to the Libyan tyrant reminded me over other links to the world's problems. Under the leadership of John Coatsworth SIPA has become a bastion for those advancing an organized revolutionary effort. Not only has he given a forum to Gadhafi, he whose name has a plenitude of transliterations, but also to the Iranian maniac Ahmadinejad. In addition a quick look at SIPA's web site and the Dean's introduction makes clear that they are heavily invested in pushing the Left wing's Energy Agenda.
Among the recent changes is a new specialization (or minor) in international conflict resolution, to be directed by Professor Jean-Marie Guéhenno, former head of global peacekeeping operations at the United Nations. Also, in response to students’ growing interest, SIPA's Energy and Environment Concentration has launched a new, third track in Sustainable Energy Policy, to be overseen by popular Adjunct Professor Ellen Morris.

We are delighted to begin the new academic year with four new full-time faculty and two new visiting professors:

* Political scientist Yuen Ang is expert in political development and economic decision-making in China.
* Political economist Olof Folke is an expert on the comparative politics of environmental policymaking.
* Economist Suresh Naidu focuses on the economic dimensions of human rights and social conflict.
* Anthropologist Ben Orlove is widely recognized as a pioneer in the study of environmental anthropology whose work focuses how societies respond to climate change.
* Visiting professor and former Portuguese economy minister Manuel Pinho was just credited by the New York Times for “largely masterminding Portugal’s transition to renewable energy.”
* And, Visiting Professor Akbar Zaidi is an internationally recognized expert on the political economy of development and democratization in Pakistan and other countries in South Asia.
An examination of where they recruit their students from
The previous employer of the largest number of entering students is the U.S. Peace Corps. Also represented are firms and organizations such as McKinsey and Company and the World Bank, Hewlett-Packard and the Clinton Foundation, the International Rescue Committee and Goldman Sachs, Dow Jones and the United Nations.
and where they get placed after graduation is also interesting.

It being a very very small world it just so happens to be that a few decades ago I knew Professor Coatsworth. He taught me Latin American Civilization at The University of Chicago. He was an excellent teacher, supportive scholarly and easy to talk to. He was open about his communism and never gave any indication that he allowed that, or any other irrelevant criteria such as religion, to affect his treatment of a student. This is important for me to remember as the instances of open anti-Semitism on the Columbia campus have become a cause of concern in recent years.

Some decades ago in Chicago there was a demonstration against Robert McNamara at the corner of 59th street and University Ave outside of Mitchell Tower and Mandel Hall where the Trustees were meeting to give him an award. Professor Coatsworth and I both inspected a draft card that a student burned and then we chatted amiably about our differing reasons for objecting to honoring the former Secretary of Defense. My concern was that Mcnamara's cost cutting Whiz Kid initiatives had resulted in wasteful and less than combat ready systems like the Navy's FFG. We departed at the same time and heard a noise behind us that later I learned was the moment when a member of the Spartacist Youth League (SYL) or children of Jewish accountants induced a member of the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade (RCYB) or children of Jewish school teachers to throw a rock at a Chicago cop. That induced the police to arrest a member of the New American Movement (NAM) or children of Protestant school teachers, who was sitting in the street.

There is a link between these ancient theatrics and current problems both in the Middle-East and Middle West. His bio states in part, "Dean Coatsworth received his BA in History from Wesleyan University, and his MA and PhD in Economic History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison." His confident assumption that there is an inevitability to achieving revolutionary goals, shared with the demonstrators, is something that Coatsworth brought with him from Wisconsin to his work on Latin America. He knew Chicago School economic theory but once said something to the effect that the important thing was to change the society so that goals and preferences, the Utilities that Classical Liberalism assumes as a priori, are changed so that what would not work can become possible. That is the revolutionary goal of worldly academic men like Coatsworth or Obama, and was the goal of Mao and Pol Pot. Gadhafi and Amadinjehad are murderous mountebanks in that pantheon.

More to the point are the expectations of the government unions in Madison, like those in Greece they simply want to keep their benefits and refuse to believe that the gravy train is now empty. Their tactics however also show their linkage to the movements in the Islamic regions.

The Palestinians have learned to expect that there is little cost to obstructionism, rejecting negotiations, violating agreements, or walking away from the table. Any concession agreed to by the Israelis, even if the Palestinians do not honor their part of a bargain, is seen as irretrievable. Any concession extracted by the Israelis, including even a statement by the Palestinians in English that the Israelis have a right to exist, is seen as temporary and can be withdrawn or dismissed in Arabic. Any potential offer by the Israelis is seen as a binding commitment, even if the negotiation fails because the Palestinians refuse to respond positively. For example at some time in the past an Israeli (Ehud Barak) offers the Palestinians over 90% of what they want in return for peace. The Palestinians reject that offer and their position weakens subsequently as more Jewish construction that they could have forestalled continues and other conditions change in the region such as the collapse of their patron Saddam Hussein. When new negotiations begin they assume the last position that they rejected will be a minimum offer and that they cannot receive less. They are supported in this irrational belief by outside supporters.

The government unions in the United States, and other Left wing unions in the US and abroad, operate with similar expectations. They simply refuse to believe that when conditions change their negotiating position should change. They believe that they can violate the process, process being sacred only when it is a means to incrementally extract concessions without reaching results as in the Middle-East "Peace Process," by having their legislators violate their oaths and the state constitution in fleeing the state and having supporters physically invade the State Capitol in Madison to prevent the operation of the democratically elected government. They believe that they can then return and without any consequences resume negotiations with the prior best offer of their opponents as a minimum they can improve on.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Comment on MacIver Institute:
Fake Doctors’ Notes Being Handed Out at Wisconsin Gov. Union Rally

Fake Doctors’ Notes Being Handed Out at Wisconsin Gov. Union Rally | MacIver Institute

The testimony of a physician in America has real legal power. People can be convicted or exonerated based on the professional word of a doctor. If any doctor who participated in this is identified, and that should be easy to do, then all their other judgments can be questioned. Imagine the liability for any hospital or insurance company or law enforcement agency that has acted on their word. Fraud is fraud, and is impossible to recover from. If you do not have your Word then you have nothing. It would be better for them if they were convicted of Theft or Assault.

As for the Teachers, as noted above they can no longer act in a position of authority evaluating children.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Comment on PJM, Michael Totten »
If Qaddafi Isn’t Safe, No One Is Safe

Michael Totten » If Qaddafi Isn’t Safe, No One Is Safe

My take is that Ghaddafi is the Arab version of Jesse Jackson now, only crazier and with guns. He is overage and an embarrassment, now easily lampooned for inspiring Berlusconi's Bunga Bunga parties. Liberals can quietly wish for a freer society. Anyone with an education knows that the relative wealth is merely a partial allotment from a largely misspent and inevitably declining oil revenue stream. Libya is ill positioned to face the future without oil and has no friends if real, as opposed to imagined Yankee, Imperialists press them. Conservatives can only be repelled by Ghaddafi with his all girl Praetorian Guard he cavorts with. At this point the differences between Ghaddafi and King Farouk are that the Egyptian King had a brilliant youth and a good education, and better taste in clothes during his decline. Those few old enough to remember might think well of the family of the deposed King Idris and his Senussi sect.

Comment on Fred Thompson's Facebook:
President Obama said...

President Obama said...

President Obama said "Abraham Lincoln helped to build the intercontinental railroad in the middle of the Civil War"

That must've been before the transcontinental railroad was finished in 1869.
Guess that was why they called him "the railsplitter" so it all makes sense now. Obama reads like the ignorant but wise talking kid who makes it up as he goes along. Teachers love to pass around those essays for laughs. Would not surprise me if he answered a question on Martin Luther and The Investiture Controversy with 3 pages on the Reverend Dr King's suit that got left at the Dry Cleaners.

Comment on Danger Room |
Latest Pentagon Brainstorm: Nuke-Powered War Bases

Latest Pentagon Brainstorm: Nuke-Powered War Bases | Danger Room |

No huge cooling towers, your imagery like your understanding of technology is antiquated. These plants are based on submarine propulsion designs which have been dramatically improved in recent years. The visionaries of the 1950s and '60s were simply ahead of their times. Soon we will be able to build a thousand small sealed modular reactors. Not only will military bases become more secure, with the costs and risks of logistical support dramatically reduced but other uses will have even greater military and economic effects. Merchant shipping costs will fall when ships are powered by these systems, that use a small crew. Enron and Russian style manipulation of energy commodities and resulting political instability, will become a thing of the past. These will even be able to generate heat for shale cracking and extracting operations that will result in a quantum increase in the supply of petrochemicals. The dependence on Islamic or Marxist (Chavez) controlled oil will end. Right now the cost is about $50 million per unit. When that comes down, and it will, to $10 million or less then prosperity and power will flow back to the wealth generating societies of the West. We have been suffering from Peak Totalitarianism and it has been a near thing but the tide is turning. If you are a betting man put your money on America.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Timecapsule From PJM's Ed Driscoll

Today's Ed Driscoll is a collection of topics that should be preserved as a record of the times.
Preview of “Ed Driscoll”

Comment on Rick Moore's Facebook:
Dems Fight to Save Planned Parenthood


Dems Fight to Save Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood, PBS/NPR, Dept of Ed, etc. are institutional sources of organization and funding, both are critical, for the Democratic Party. That is reason enough to defund them. If they performed an essential task, and they don't, then it could be supported through other means. At a basic Constitutional level no function that is not needed to carry out an enumerated power should be funded by the federal government. If the States want it then they can pay for it. The Fed can support targeted education programs for the Military and targeted Health Care programs for Veterans, Indians, the Military and Merchant Seamen. There is a very limited Federal role in providing information to a domestic audience, providing that it is both apolitical and does not compete with any private business. The government should produce propaganda for distribution to foreigners. Public Affairs activity to support policy or assist citizens in using the government should be very carefully controlled.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Comment on PJM, Ed Driscoll »
You’re So Vain, You Probably Think That Egypt’s About You

Ed Driscoll » You’re So Vain, You Probably Think That Egypt’s About You

There is a Google representative in Egypt who is claiming credit for this putsch. If he were to have an equivalent in Iran or China or any place under the protection of the Shanghai Cooperative Organization and the helpful protection of experts from the People's Public Security Bureau and said Google employee were to offer an opinion or attempt to use his expertise in social networking to organize a demonstration then said person would likely get returned to Mountain View California, strained through a sieve into a glass jar.

(In reponse to the following from Steve Skubinna)
We know there’s no equivalent to this heroic Googler in the PRC – since Google itself worked as an arm of the Chinese state, turning over dissidents to the goons in Beijing.
That's my point. They had strong incentives to cooperate and beat a hasty retreat when they realized that not only did they have to betray their customers to remain in the market and not only were the Chinese government fully intending to extract their engineering secrets and intellectual property as imperial tribute but that they were dealing with people who really were professional killers that viewed their pretensions with the same contempt that Harry Ellis elicited from Hans Gruber in "Die hard." It would not surprise me in the least if one of the wittier Chinese with familiarity with the West had a horse's head left in Eric Schmidt or Mark Zuckerberg's bed.

The reason the Mubarak regime could not crush their opposition as effectively as the Syrian, Iranian or Chinese can was due to local conditions. First it proves that the Egyptian regime was a relatively mild by Middle East standards Authoritarian and not a Totalitarian Dictatorship. They were adapted to coexisting with a strong presence of foreign observers and a tolerated minority. The military sees their future and that of their nation in association with Europe and not in isolation or submission to a foreign Caliphate. In this they may resemble the Turkish model. Second they did not have a core of despised alien barracks troops prepared to act as an occupying army in their own cities. Truly repressive regimes know that they are always potentially at war with their own nations. The Chinese brought in troops from Inner Mongolia to replace the Beijing garrison and crush the students in Tien An Men. The Iranian Mullahs rely on Arabs in the Revolutionary Guards to terrorize their people. Most Arab regimes, including the minority Alawite based Syrian, rely on long service military contingents that are kept isolated from the general population. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded using such a militia, the Ikhwan. Later it was itself transformed into the current KSA National Guard.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Comment on Daniel Hannan, Telegraph Blogs:
MP selected through open primary turns down place on government payroll: the system works

MP selected through open primary turns down place on government payroll: the system works – Telegraph Blogs

The American experience gives reason to be cautious of Primaries and very cautious of Caucuses. The selection of the candidates is the part of the process most vulnerable to fraud. This is especially true if participation is not restricted to designated members of the local party already registered. The Party should be treated as a private club. not as a public agent of the government.

Mubarak Falls

The Shanghai Cooperative Organization now rules.
The are now only two only ways for any politician to survive in power.
1. Total surrender and hope for support as a functionary of the SCO.
2. Massive violence against all possible enemies and isolation.

Expect the total isolation of Israel and the US and streets to run with the blood of opposition groups and intellectuals everywhere. We hear much about the army in Egypt as a pro-US force for stability. Was anything different said about the army in Iran in 1979?

Thousands of rockets will be launched from Gaza. Tens of thousands of missiles will be launched from Lebanon. Jordan will fall and thousands of rockets and mortars will be fired against Israel from the West Bank. This will be a death struggle.

Expect allies of America from Columbia to Iraq to Afghanistan to make pilgimage to Beijing and beg for their lives. Expect blood.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


Lunch was at Prime Catch in Boynton Beach.
Sweet Potato Crusted Grouper
Tender Fillet, Sautéed and Served
with a Spiced Rum Butter

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Comment on Urban Infidel:
Exclusive Video Interview with Michael Scheuer

Urban Infidel: Exclusive Video Interview with Michael Scheuer

Congratulations on the best interview with Scheuer that I have heard. For what it is worth I am very proud of you and hope that you get more opportunities in journalism.

My take is that he draws an artificial distinction between Jews and Christians because of his personal antipathy. This warps his otherwise reasonable analysis. Scheuer has a personal history that affects his agenda. He was demoted before the 9-11 attack.

He could under the logic of his exposition support Israel if Israel did act more aggressively to support threatened minority communities in the region, such as the native Christians of Bethlehem whose basilica was desecrated by the Palestinians.

The effort of Israel to assume that role reached its high water mark with the first invasion of Lebanon and the putative alliance with the Christians. The failure to respond to the Syrian regime's assassination of the Lebanese President at that time, a failure under American pressure, has lead to many problems.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Comment on David Webb's Facebook:
Why does Fox & Friends...?

Why does Fox &...

Why does Fox & Friends go to Dick Armey for tea party movement reaction? Which tea party did he actually found and runs?
Armey wears a funny hat so that makes him an expert on quirky and colorful political eccentrics. Most journalists covered a rally while in school or as an intern and they learned to head straight for the guy dressed as Uncle Sam or carrying a weird sign. They look for the midpoint between the really scary guy and the earnest but dull majority. Combine that with Insider bias and Armey has a lock on the populist Republican franchise. That is as opposed to the intellectual fringe slot that goes to Gingrich. Newt could lose that if he becomes a credible candidate and thus a threat. Armey benefits by having no expectation of a political future. If he is honest regarding why he is being used then he could do the job credibly, since he is a fairly bright guy. Huckabee would get the populist face job but he works for Fox, so most media won't touch him.

The Best We Can With What We Got

TBWCWWWG was a motto in the US Navy going back to WW-II. Yesterday's lunch consisted of eggs. The chopped nova, mushrooms, chives, pepper, and onion were grilled in butter and olive oil, then added to the eggs along with ementhaler cheese for an omelet poured back into the seasoned oil to cook. After placing the eggs on the plate some spinach was heated until wilted and soaked up any remaining oil. The toasted challah with butter and honey on the side completed. My approach to cooking is to minimize the clean up. This needed only a bowl plate skillet fork and spatula to clean, and nothing was hard.