Saturday, April 30, 2016

P.T. Barnum and Donald T. Rump

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P.T. Barnum (Vanity Fair)

I will tell you, I have the Greatest Show on Earth.  The greatest; nothing could be greater.  Believe
me, the greatest!  It's amazing!  So might have said the P.T. Barnum of New York (New England) values and the perennial victim of a world that isn't fair.  I will tell you, it's not fair!  Believe me!

A life-long Left-leaning political entrepreneur and con artist, Mr. Trump understands the nature of skid grease, and he knows where and from whom to buy it.  He can twist arms or confer favors as the situation demands.  Ethics in business is a losing game, as is principle in politics.

A New Bully in the Bully Pulpit?
There are different kinds of bullies.  Best known, perhaps, are those who get their way by main force, on the one hand, and those who are social bullies.  The rough, violent ones are the default stereotype, but those who manipulate others by the use of social pressures and intimidation are far more common.  Alinsky-style attacks, belittling and name-calling are, and have been for decades, the defining tactical characteristic of the Institutional Left; so much so that it is rarely seen among conservatives who are generally more careful to preserve the behavioral norms of civil society.
Donald Trump (Gage Skidmore Photo)

Exceptions on the Right, like the recent name-calling directed by John Boehner and Peter King against Ted Cruz, may not be so exceptional after all.  Republicans who engage in public insult often share the values (or some of them, such as centralized government) of the Left and identify with their behavior.  Aggressive, intimidating verbalizing is a shibboleth of the Left and Left-leaning; a kind of litmus test that distinguishes some Republicans from most conservatives.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Donald Trump: More Balls Than Sense. And That Ain't All Bad

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Photo by Gage Skidmore
Trump's critics tell us a lot more about themselves than the man they criticize.  John McCain and his love child, Lindsay Graham head a long list of pussified Republicrats who see a threat in anyone who dares to commit the heresy of truth-telling in public.  Donald Trump has joined Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton and (too few) others.  At least for the moment.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Is It Time, Yet, to Inquire Whether Our President is an Islamist?

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When I say "is it time,yet..." I mean, has the mountain of evidence from which we can infer the President's affinity for the Muslim enemies of the West achieved sufficient mass that we now dare to violate the canon of political correctness and broach the question.  Too harsh?  How about 'Fellow Traveler'?

Looking back on the foreign policy decisions taken by this administration (a.k.a. Mr. Obama), I cannot discover one that has not favored Islamists at the expense of America and the free world; not one.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Redcoats are Coming! The Redcoats are Coming! Shelter in Place!

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Paul Revere

Living under the care of a nanny has its place among some of our children, but, continuing the relationship after a child has reached adulthood, would be strange at the very least.  And if the nanny is a psychopathic Amazon shrew, and the former child has been intimidated beyond any dream of self-assertion, that relationship has become bizarre.  Sick.

Thinking of Revere, Dawes and the Minute Men, one can hardly avoid the sense of shock in drawing the contrast between 18th Century American patriots' passion for independence and 21st Century New Englanders cowed into submission in the trail of the Boston bombing.  Or, more recently, the lack of protest from New Yorkers "ordered" to stay in their homes in anticipation of the blizzard that wasn't.  Shelter in place has become the watch-phrase under the tyranny of the nanny state over the growing herd-like fearfulness of so many of today's Americans.

Monday, October 20, 2014

OANN: Good News

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Graham Ledger
The new, upstart One America News Network (OANN) is certainly worth a look -- in my view, an extended look.  One could say, painting with a fine brush, that Fox News Network (FNN) owns the conservative message for TV viewers; it is to television what Rush Limbaugh is to radio.  Fox has become enormously successful because it has enjoyed the distinction of being the only news and opinion TV outlet for conservative voices.  Which is not to say that it is a good or intellectually consistent outlet.  The Marxist ruling class (the Institutional Left) may rail against Fox as an instrument of right-wing extremists.  And from their perspective it is.  From my own it is nothing of the kind.  A generation ago Fox would have been seen as politically centrist, and that's how I see it today. *

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Federal Government Lurches Toward End-State Dysfunction

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Bloat and Mission Creep

End-state bureaucracies eventually crumble when four conditions obtain: 1. confusion about or deliberate perversion of mission (purpose, policy); 2. alienation of markets or constituents; 3. ever-expanding maintenance costs; and 4. institutional arrogance that forecloses adaptive change from within.
But even in a clearly moribund and declining state, inertia of scale may prolong their existence for long periods. In these times they are deceptively fragile and unable to survive crises of their own making.  That would seem to be the condition of several agencies of the federal government -- State, EPA, Justice, BATFE, Agriculture, Education, DHS and, most recently brought to public attention, CDC.

Dance of the Sugar Plum Glocks

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The Left seems to have convinced themselves that firearms have somehow acquired their own agency.  That they have the power to act independently of human beings.  Or, as Bob Owens says, in his entertaining article they are believed to have cargo cult properties that -- via magic -- take possession of persons who touch guns and cause them to make murder and mayhem.  But I find myself wondering if, instead, gun haters don't bring the "possession" to the gun and not the other way round.  Breaking that down, what people often bring to the gun is a combination of fear, hostility and the illusion of superiority.  I'll get to that later, but now I want to discuss the simple fear of guns.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Dealing With ISIS and Other Enemies in the Middle-East

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Kemal Atatürk

[Updated on 10/16]
Erdoğan and Obama
Now, I think, is the time for America to "lead from behind", or follow from the front(?) or essentially continue to do almost nothing.  We should arm the Kurds and support them (and only them) from the air with special forces ground support.  Not more, beyond playing the role of dishonest broker among the major powers: the Arabs, the Turks and the Persians.  About this, more later.
Keeping in Touch with his friend Rouhani

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

This Administration Really Is the Most Transparent in History

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Not, perhaps, in the way Mr. Obama intended convey, but transparent none the less.  The prime metrics for transparency are consistency and predictability based on past performance.  We know what has been done and what will be done.  There are no secrets.  All actions/initiatives are and will be:
1.  Lawless and corrupt
2.  Dishonest and unaccountable
3.  Totally politicized
4.  Anti-capitalist
5.  Afro-centric
6.  Pro-Islamist
7.  Anti-Semitic

In the matter of transparency, what more could we hope for?

The reader will note that I didn't list incompetence.  This is a highly competent administration.  Charges of incompetence are generated from within as an instrument of disinformation -- used as an excuse and smokescreen to conceal pernicious intentions and strategies.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Ukraine. Once Again Obama Strikes Fear in the Heart of Vladimir Putin

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Tall tales and humor often have a way of putting human foibles into perspective.  Beyond that they may project them upon a larger stage.

I am reminded of an old but instructive yarn.  After the passing of years, I may remember it imperfectly, but the gist of the tale remains in tact.

Once upon a time when the old West was being settled there lived a rancher, his wife and two adolescent children.  They had staked out and improved a sizable spread of fertile grassland, stocking it with cattle and horses.  The rancher had built a sturdy pole house and dug a year-round well that furnished sweet, clean water. The family was happy and self-sufficient.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Throw the RASCALS Out

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No Honest Man

There is a school of thought that advocates turning over federal and state legislatures in a clean sweep.  The reasoning, as I understand it, is that there comes a time in the life of a congressman that his loyalties turn from his constituents toward his own and his party's survival.  The legislative body follows the model of bureaucracies in which the desire for increased power eventually trumps the mission -- the protection of turf becomes equivalent to the protection of self.  There may be some superficial merit to this argument, but until the time arrives when all politicians are certifiably corrupt, there is greater merit in the exercise of prudence.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Open Inquiry to Republican Leadership. And Their Response

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Honorable members of Congress and of the RNC.  I beg your indulgence to consider a scenario and solicit your reaction to it.  While, on its face, it may seem frivolous or even silly, it raises questions that I think have serious implications regarding our political precepts.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Defund Obamacare? Let's Begin by Defunding the RNC

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Tea Party in Boston Harbor

Those who are often called RINO's by conservatives and libertarians (and a few Libertarians) are, in fact, real Republicans.  They are the party, and not in name only.  Among the many things they have in common with Democrats (but for different reasons) is a visceral hatred of Tea Party conservatives and their allies. We are talking about 'establishment Republicans' -- who dance at the end of the RNC's [1] strings and those of the rent-seeking Chamber of Commerce and other business
Ted Cruz
.  But there is another class of Republicans who are reliably conservative.  Besides establishment and conservative Republicans, there are the not-altogether-predictable "swingers" whose principles yield to the pressure of political winds.  How can we isolate these factions within the Party without being long-winded or circumspect?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

There is no Serious Problem -- Social, Political or Economic -- that is not Either Caused by or Made Worse by Big Government

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The Course of Empire Destruction (Thos. Cole, 1836)

For a number of years now I have been posing the title statement as a question.  In print and in conversation.  Crickets and bullfrogs; the query might just as well have been rhetorical.  Few have responded, and no one has ever offered an apposite answer. Big-government types occasionally make an attempt, but only after they've changed the question to suit a prepared answer. The most common response, for example, is to reply that government does some things right, which I've never denied and which is entirely outside the scope of the question.

Monday, October 28, 2013

He's a Lying Son-of-a Bitch: Rotting the Soul of a Nation

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The casual reader, seeing the title of this essay, will probably (and in short order) supply one or more names to fit the specification.  He may also expect the writer to name the best-known offender and his acolytes; he'd be wrong. In this essay I set out illustrate the general and alarming erosion of American civil society's moral and ethical standards.  Particularly in regard to the virtue of honesty in civil society, and by extension, government..

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

All Things Great and Small

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Beohner Balls

Open Thread

And Beohner's the stud.  For Cantor and McCain think mustard seeds and fly specks, respectively.

 Foremost among the Republican Party's "littluns" from The Lord of the Flies,

Friday, June 21, 2013

Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the Rule of Law (Part II)

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The Hydra Myth: a Fitting Metaphor for Comprehensive Reform
 A law that is not enforced is no law at all.

Immigration reform has become the enormous problem that it is today for a simple, obvious reason that generally escapes mention by media and lawmakers alike.  The failure of the rule of law.  If immigration laws had been rigorously enforced from, say, 1986, our current difficulties would not exist.  As in so many other areas (summarize the current government scandals as examples) enforcing existing law has become optional; the rule of law is largely subjected to the rule of men – the rule of power.  The inability of Republicans, in general, and conservatives in particular to understand this elemental fact goes a long way towards explaining the naivete of a Marco Rubio and his compatriots.  They understand the idea of conservatism, know the lyrics and the melody, and they consistently sing on key.  But it is one thing to understand an idea, and quite another to perceive the world as it is and apply conservative principles.  Consummate naivete presumes that progressives reciprocate in good faith.  A dangerous assumption.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the Rule of Law (Part I)

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I begin with a brief reprise of a subject about which I have written at length [1] -- the pernicious consequences of any comprehensive reform. I have argued always for incremental reform. Comprehensive reform – by its nature – has two serious weaknesses. The first is hubris; the second, obfuscation and legal murkiness that creates the certainty of mischief.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Promising New Republican Senators. Open Thread

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I have updated this list -- as events unfolded -- since it was first published in April.
-- June 20.

Ted Cruz
Mike Lee
Rand Paul
Marco Rubio
Paul Ryan
Pat Toomey

Friday, April 5, 2013

Big Government's "Problem" Racket

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Understanding the Rackets

If government is the problem, why would government want to solve it?  Think about it.

Since Marxist-leaning John Dewey's educational reforms took hold in America, our citizens have been conditioned to turn to government when difficulties arise.  It was a long transition from the instinctive habit of individualism and self-reliance that held on stubbornly from pioneer times through the late 50's.  Vestiges of America's independent spirit remain (as seen in the Tea Party, Tenth Amendment initiatives and scattered patriot groups sandwiched between the coasts), but recent social, political and economic developments in America suggest that self-reliance is now more relic that viable force.  We turn to government.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Foreign Trespassers

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US Soldier at Border Fence - 1916

It is remarkable when I find myself in agreement with the AP, but in this case I do -- at least in part.  The use of the phrase "illegal immigrant" should be abandoned, as should "illegal aliens" and "undocumented workers".  But the use of language in this sole instance is all I will stipulate to AP.  They carry the matter much farther in support of a pervasive relativist ethic -- no labels at all, anywhere! [1]  We may describe an action as illegal, but never a person.  Someone may belong to the CPUSA as a loyal and activist member, but he may not be called a communist; he may, with malice aforethought, take the life of his fellow human beings, but we mustn't call him a murderer.  And so on...  Too judgmental. [2]

Sunday, March 24, 2013

"Comprehensive": Cover For Central Planners

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Alter to Reason

Comprehensive legislation -- whether emanating from a city council or the US Congress -- is bound to be destructive.  The differences lie only in limits of hubris and the scale of harm. At the moment I'm thinking of the push for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, the recent fiasco of healthcare reform and proposed "grand bargains" to reshape the economy.   I believe the principle applies universally.

Incremental legislation, by contrast, is more targeted, manageable, easily understood, simple and transparent.  Its outcomes and costs are less difficult to predict. When mistakes are made they are easier to remedy.  On the other hand, incremental is harder than comprehensive.  Since incremental initiatives will be elements in a larger (comprehensive) scheme, they will require careful planning, sequencing, coordinating and prioritizing.  Once implemented and evaluated in action, an element may indicate the need to revise parts of the plan not yet launched.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Open Thread

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Guest Conductor, Barack Obama, Leads NRSO In Offenbach Series -- Washington, DC, 16 January, 2013

File:Sagebrush Symphony Orchestra, 1916.jpg
Sage Brush Symphony - 1916
Interviewed this morning, maestro Obama was effusive in his praise of the National Republican ensemble.  "It has been an experience conductors can only dream of.  I have never before led a symphony orchestra more attentive -- more responsive -- to my baton", said a relaxed, confident and cordial Obama to this reporter. 

First violinist, John Boehner (now in an offsite meeting with the orchestra), has not been reached for comment, but it is believed that he, like the maestro, is looking forward enthusiastically to upcoming performances.  While the schedule is closely held by the conductor, there is strong speculation that, following the concluding work in the current series (La Perichole), the next performance will be Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

What Is An Assault Weapon?

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Simple answer: it is a totalitarian term of art.  But the skewing of the language by the Left to serve their purposes of aggression and control should neither surprise nor trouble us; it's who they are and what they do.  What is troubling is that conservatives uncritically accede to the terminology and thus to the premises of our enemies.   We should immediately and instinctively correct the usage to "defense weapons" (better still, "defensive firearms"), and when there is a mass killing simply point out that a defensive firearm fell into the wrong hands -- most often the hands of persons who are mentally ill.