Monday, December 07, 2009

Footprints on the Moon



37 years ago this week, Man visited the moon for the last time.


Footprints on the moon, at least to me, represent the greatness of Man's mind. It is appropriate, considering our national mania for punishing achievement, that we are now ending the Space Shuttle program - with no intention to replace it.


The mentality of the aversion of risk which permeates our society lives by the creed: "If I am not unconditionally guaranteed a positive absolute, action is not worth the attempt."


Were the men who conceived and built this given a guarantee of success?


This is the Bloomer Cut, in Utah. 63 feet in depth, this is a small part of what made the transcontinental railroad possible. But it would not have been built without the mind of Man and his desire to achieve his goal.

The famous photograph(s) of the completion of the railroad at Promontory, Utah show the railroad "tycoons" and dignitaries at the driving of the golden spike. Instead of looking at this photograph and seeing it for what it is, the culmination of a great achievement, we have been taught to see what is not in the picture: The Chinese and Irish laborers. Where are the workers? we have been taught to ask. They deserve to be honored for their work! They were exploited by the railroad tycoons!

This is the same attitude that demanded the 8-hour work day, which now demands that the minimum wage be a "living" wage, and that those who produce must subsidize those who receive.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Forgotten Man of Socialized Medicine, Again, Again


This seems appropriate, given Saturday's outrageous vote in the Senate.


From Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand.


This is the explanation given by a distinguished brain surgeon of why he joined Galt’s strike:


"I quit when medicine was placed under State control, some years ago," said Dr. Hendricks. "Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I would not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun. I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward. I observe that in all the discussions that preceded the enslavement of medicine, men discussed everything – except the desires of the doctors. Men considered only the ‘welfare’ of the patients, with no thought to those who were to provide it. That a doctor should have any right, desire, or choice in the matter, was regarded as irrelevant selfishness; his is not to choose, they said, only ‘to serve.’ That a man who’s willing to work under compulsion is too dangerous a brute to entrust with a job in the stockyards – never occurred to those who proposed to help the sick by making life impossible for the healthy. I have often wondered at this smugness with which people assert their right to enslave me, to control my work, to force my will, to violate my conscience, to stifle my mind – yet what is it that they expect to depend on, when they lie on an operating table under my hands? Their moral code has taught them to believe that it is safe to rely on the virtue of their victims. Well, that is the virtue I have withdrawn. Let them discover the kinds of doctors that their system will now produce. Let them discover, in their operating rooms and hospital wards, that it is not safe to place their lives in the hands of a man whose life they have throttled. It is not safe, if he is the sort of man who resents it – and still less safe, if he is the sort who doesn’t."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Who the Hell is Jimmy Carter?

If you were born in the early seventies or later, you may have asked yourself this question. If you recognize the name, it is probably from the brief mention in your high school U.S. history class. Since the Obama presidency is being compared to Carter's ("Carter's Second Term,") a brief examination of the Carter record may shed some light on the current situation.


The Carter campaign created the "misery index," a combination of the unemployment rate and inflation. Carter used this number against Ford to great success. In 1976, the misery index was 13.6.


Energy was a key issue of the day. Carter called the energy crisis the "moral equivalent of war," while encouraging Americans to put on a sweater and turn down the thermostat. Carter and Congress created subsidies for solar and wind power, despite those sources being dangerous and unreliable.


Carter, ever the human rights activist, avoided any strident criticism of China or the U.S.S.R. Carter filled his cabinet with Wall Street lawyers, university professors, and civil rights workers - all inexperienced in foreign policy; a lack of experience shared by Carter. Carter deliberately put America in a position of weakness through several ill-advised actions:


Return of control of the Panama Canal zone to Panama.


Denouncing of friendly governments in Central America, leading to a communist coup in Nicaragua.


Bribing of Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin with a $5 billion foreign aid package to seal the deal on the Camp David Peace Accords. Sadat and Begin shared the 1978 Nobel Prize for Peace. Sadat was assassinated in 1981 by Islamic fundamentalists in his own army.


Cancellation of the B-1 bomber and the ABM; delayed deployment of the MX missile.


So what, you may say. Let me remind you who are too young to remember. Back then, the U.S.S.R. was giant machine designed for one purpose: To crush humanity. They saw Carter's weakness, and moved to exploit it. They developed new ICBMs with massive single warheads designed to be used as a first-strike offensive weapon (language used by the Soviets themselves), capable of destroying our missiles before they even left their silos. We would be wide open to a full-scale invasion, a la Red Dawn. They were ready to fight and win a shooting war with the United States.


Then came the Islamic Revolution which overthrew the Shah in Iran. Carter failed to close our embassy and withdraw our personnel. Islamic fundamentalists took over our embassy and held our people hostage. Carter sat on his hands.


The U.S.S.R. launched a full-scale invasion of Afghanistan.


Polish labor unions went on strike against the Soviet-backed communist government, which distracted the leadership of the U.S.S.R. Carter failed to take advantage of the opportunity to strengthen the U.S. position by embracing the revolt against communism.


Carter, nearing he end of his term, launched an ill-fated rescue attempt of the hostages in Iran. An accident during an aircraft refueling killed several U.S. personnel, whose bodies were mutilated and paraded about by cheering Iranians.


In 1980, after four years of Carter, the misery index was 22.


Carter went on to lose the presidential election in 1980, conceding the race to Ronald Reagan before the polls closed. Reagan won, 489 to 49.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Winchester...

Is supposedly producing 500 new Model 1895 rifles chambered in 30-40 Krag. This bit of news is reported in the "Gun Cabinet" section of the latest NRA propaganda magazine.

To most, this is inconsequential news. I, however, own a Springfield U.S. Model 1896 chambered in 30-40 Krag. More guns out there in this oddball chamber means more ammunition to be used in those guns. Which means more, and hopefully less expensive, ammunition for me.

Civilize 'em with a Krag!

Monday, November 16, 2009

No Act of Contrition Necessary


To the Obama voter: How much more evidence do you need to see before you can admit your vote was cast poorly?


In just the past few days: 10.2% unemployment. Constitutional rights granted to KSM & Co. The One is absent from Berlin for the destruction of Soviet communism anniversary. Bow 2.0.


You do not need to say the Rosary, or even a Hail Mary. Just admit, openly, that you were wrong, and all will be forgiven. Your penance shall be your vote in 2010 and 2012 against the Obama agenda.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Real Number of Uninsured People in America


Is 12 million or less. Why can we not address this issue, instead of creating yet another unconstitutional bureaucracy to hammer us all into submission?

Where is the enumerated power?

How can the government legitimately require an individual to purchase health insurance, not only for himself, but for his neighbor as well?

If health care is a right, what responsibility does the recipient have to the provider?

Will we all be required to sign a "wellness pledge?"

It is immoral to require an individual to sacrifice his own life to another, or to an all-powerful government. However, this is what happens every day in this country. The producers are required to make an offering of their labor, a portion of their time on earth, to be burned on the altar of the recipient class. Enough is enough.

In other words, get your own damn health care.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Execution is Too Compassionate...

For an islamo-facist terrorist asshole such as the Ft. Hood shooter. Once he is found guilty, he should be kept in solitary confinement. No chance for appeal. No man should speak to him, except his guards, for the rest of his life. His existence should otherwise not be acknowledged. He should be given only the most meager rations for physical survival. His cell should have a good sturdy rafter across its middle, and he should be given plenty of rope.


In this way, he may achieve the only destruction of life he may rightly seek: His own.


For those such as President Obama, who cannot admit that A=A, consider the shooter's business card:



NB: "SoA" means "Soldier of Allah." "(SWT)" is an abbreviation of a Muslim honorific used when mentioning God (Allah) in this conext. Let us call this despicable piece of human garbage what he is: A Muslim Terrorist.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Sitting on the HealthCare Fence



There are "undecided" Congressmen whose seats are in jeapordy this November. Here are their names and numbers:

John Boccieri D-OH 202-225-3876

Ann Kirkpatrick D-AZ 202-225-2315

Betsy Markey D-CO 202-225-4676

Harry Teague D-NM 202 225-2365

Tom Perriello D-VA 202-225-4711

My congressman, Tom Perriello, has not had a position all summer. His campaign took money from Nancy Pelosi, so I have few doubts he will jump in her lap when it finally comes down to the vote. I pray he surprises me.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Kiss of Death

What would Barry Sotero do?

A stuttering ding-dong state senator running for governor of Virginia, down by double-digits in the polls, needed something to kick his campaign (and personality) in the ass. Cut off from a cash infusion by the head of the DNC/current governor of Virginia, Timmy Kane, Deeds had been floundering for weeks. It would be bad to lose the governor's race, in a state that turned itself blue for the One, to the heretical conservative retarded knuckle-dragging cave man Bob McDonnell.

His Holiness put the Afghanistan Plan on the back-burner and bestowed the glory of His countenance on the Deeds campaign for about 10 minutes. Just long enough to say He gives His support, without lashing Himself to the mast of the sinking (perhaps scuttled?) ship Campaign of R. Creigh Deeds.


Oh, sweet sorrow.


Deeds did not want the One anywhere near his campaign, given the One's disapproval rating. While Obama is political Kryptonite, no one would mistake Creigh Deeds for Superman. Or Clark Kent.


This will be a referendum on Obama and his Useful Idiots, whether they like it or not.

Bob McDonnell, a conservative, will be Virginia's next governor. And Virginia will turn itself red next November.


NB: Conservatism is on the rise.

Monday, November 02, 2009

From Each According to His Ability, to Each According to His Need

From Atlas Shrugged, By Ayn Rand.

This is the story of what happened at the Twentieth Century Motor Company, which put the above slogan into practice - as told by one of the survivors:

“Well, there was something that happened at that plant where I worked for twenty years. It was when the old man died and his heirs took over. There were three of them, two sons and a daughter, and they brought a new plan to run the factory. They let us vote on it, too, and everybody - almost everybody - voted for it. We didn’t know. We thought it was good. No, that’s not true, either. We thought that we were supposed to think it was good. The plan was that everybody in the factory would work according to his ability, but would be paid according to his need.


“We voted for that plan at a big meeting, with all of us present, six thousand of us, everybody that worked in the factory. The Starnes heirs made long speeches about it, and it wasn’t too clear, but nobody asked any questions. None of us knew just how the plan would work, but every one of us thought that the next fellow knew it. And if anybody had doubts, he felt guilty and kept his mouth shut - because they made it sound like anyone who’d oppose the plan was a child-killer at heart and less than a human being. They told us that this plan would achieve a noble ideal. Well, how were we to know otherwise? Hadn’t we heard it all our lives - from our parents and our schoolteachers and our ministers, and in every newspaper we ever read and every movie and every public speech? Hadn’t we always been told that this was righteous and just? Well, maybe there’s some excuse for what we did at that meeting. Still, we voted for the plan - and what we got, we had it coming to us. You know, ma’am, we are marked men, in a way, those of us who lived through the four years of that plan in the Twentieth Century factory. What is it that hell is supposed to be? Evil - plain, naked, smirking evil, isn’t it? Well, that’s what we saw and helped to make - and I think we’re damned, every one of us, and maybe we’ll never be forgiven …


“Do you know how it worked, that plan, and what it did to people? Try pouring water into a tank where there’s a pipe at the bottom draining it out faster than you pour it, and each bucket you bring breaks that pipe an inch wider, and the harder you work the more is demanded of you, and you stand slinging buckets forty hours a week, then forthy-eight, then fifty-six - for your neighbor’s supper - for his wife’s operation - for his child’s measles - for his mother’s wheel chair - for his uncle’s shirt - for his nephew’s schooling - for the baby next door - for the baby to be born - for anyone anywhere around you - it’s theirs to receive, from diapers to dentures - and yours to work, from sunup to sundown, month after month, year after year, with nothing to show for it but your sweat, with nothing in sight for you but their pleasure, for the whole of your life, without rest, without hope, without end … From each according to his ability, to each according to his need …


“We’re all one big family, they told us, we’re all in this together. But you don’t all stand working an acetylene torch ten hours a day - together, and you don’t all get a bellyache - together. What’s whose ability and which of whose needs comes first? When it’s all one pot, you can’t let any man decide what his own needs are, can you? If you did, he might claim that he needs a yacht - and if his feelings are all you have to go by, he might prove it, too. Why not? If it’s not right for me to own a car until I’ve worked myself into a hospital ward, earning a car for every loafer and every naked savage on earth - why can’t he demand a yacht from me, too, if I still have the ability not to have collapsed? No? He can’t? Then why can he demand that I go without cream for my coffee until he’s replastered his living room? … Oh well … Well, anyway, it was decided that nobody had the right to judge his own need or ability. We voted on it. Yes, ma’am, we voted on it in a public meeting twice a year. How else could it be done? Do you care to think what would happen at such a meeting? It took us just one meeting to discover that we had become beggars - rotten, whining, sniveling beggars, all of us, because no man could claim his pay as his rightful earning, he had no rights and no earnings, his work didn’t belong to him, it belonged to ‘the family’, and they owed him nothing in return, and the only claim he had on them was his ‘need’ - so he had to beg in public for relief from his needs, like any lousy moocher, listing all his troubles and miseries, down to his patched drawers and his wife’s head colds, hoping that ‘the family’ would throw him the alms. He had to claim miseries, because it’s miseries, not work, that had become the coin of the realm - so it turned into a contest between six thousand panhandlers, each claiming that his need was worse than his brother’s. How else could it be done? Do you care to guess what happened, what sort of men kept quiet, feeling shame, and what sort got away with the jackpot?


“But that wasn’t all. There was something else that we discovered at the same meeting. The factory’s production had fallen by forty percent, in that first half year, so it was decided that somebody hadn’t delivered ‘according to his ability.’ Who? How would you tell it? ‘The family’ voted on that, too. We voted which men were the best, and these men were sentenced to work overtime each night for the next six months. Overtime without pay - because you weren’t paid by time and you weren’t paid by work, only by need.


“Do I have to tell you what happened after that - and into what sort of creatures we all started turning, we who had once been humans? We began to hide whatever ability we had, to slow down and watch like hawks that we never worked any faster or better than the next fellow. What else could we do, when we knew that if we did our best for ‘the family,’ it’s not thanks or rewards that we’d get, but punishment? We knew that for every stinker who’d ruin a batch of motors and cost the company money - either through his sloppiness, because he didn’t have to care, or through plain incompetence - it’s we who’d have to pay with our nights and our Sundays. So we did our best to be no good.


“There was one young boy who started out, full of fire for the noble ideal, a bright kid without any schooling, but with a wonderful head on his shoulders. The first year, he figured out a work process that saved us thousands of man-hours. He gave it to ‘the family,’ didn’t ask anything for it, either, couldn’t ask, but that was all right with him. It was for the ideal, he said. But when he found himself voted as one of our ablest and sentenced to night work, because we hadn’t gotten enough from him, he shut his mouth and his brain. You can bet he didn’t come up with any ideas, the second year.


“What was it they’d always told us about the vicious competition of the profit system, where men had to compete for who’d do a better job than his fellows? Vicious, wasn’t it? Well, they should have seen what it was like when we all had to compete with one another for who’d do the worst job possible. There’s no surer way to destroy a man than to force him into a spot where he has to aim at not doing his best, where he has to struggle to do a bad job, day after day. That will finish him quicker than drink or idleness or pulling stick-ups for a living. But there was nothing else for us to do except to fake unfitness. The one accusation we feared was to be suspected of ability. Ability was like a mortgage on you that you could never pay off. And what was there to work for? You knew that your basic pittance would be given to you anyway, whether you worked or not - your ‘housing and feeding allowance,’ it was called - and above that pittance, you had no chance to get anything, no matter how hard you tried. You couldn’t count on buying a new suit of clothes next year - they might give you a ‘clothing allowance’ or they might not, according to whether nobody broke a leg, needed an operation or gave birth to more babies. And if there wasn’t enough money for new suits for everybody, then you couldn’t get yours, either.


“There was one man who’d worked hard all his life, because he’d always wanted to send his son through college. Well, the boy graduated from high school in the second year of the plan - but ‘the family’ wouldn’t give the father any ‘allowance’ for the college. They said his son couldn’t go to college, until we had enough to send everybody’s sons to college - and that we first had to send everybody’s children through high school, and we didn’t even have enough for that. The father died the following year, in a knife fight with somebody in a saloon, a fight over nothing in particular - such fights were beginning to happen among us all the time.


“Then there was an old guy, a widower with no family, who had one hobby: phonograph records. I guess that was all he ever got out of life. In the old days, he used to skip lunch just to buy himself some new recording of classical music. Well, they didn’t give him any ‘allowance’ for records - ‘personal luxury’ they called it. But at the same meeting, Millie Bush, somebody’s daughter, a mean, ugly little eight year old, was voted a pair of gold braces for her buck teeth - this was ‘medical need’ because the staff psychologist had said that the poor girl would get an inferiority complex if her teeth weren’t straightened out. The old guy who loved music, turned to drink, instead. He got so you never saw him fully conscious any more. But it seems like there was one thing he couldn’t forget. One night, he came staggering down the street, saw Millie Bush, swung his fist and knocked all her teeth out. Every one of them.


“Drink, of course, was what we all turned to, some more, some less. Don’t ask how we got the money for it. When all the decent pleasures are forbidden, there’s always ways to get the rotten ones. You don’t break into grocery stores after dark and you don’t pick your fellow’s pockets to buy classical symphonies or fishing tackle, but if it’s to get stinking drunk and forget - you do. Fishing tackle? Hunting guns? Snapshot cameras? Hobbies? There wasn’t any ‘amusement allowance’ for anybody. ‘Amusement’ was the first thing they dropped. Aren’t you supposed to be ashamed to object when anybody asks you to give up anything, if it’s something that gave you pleasure? Even our ‘tobacco allowance’ was cut to where we got two packs of cigarettes a month - and this, they told us, was because the money had to go into the babies’ milk fund. Babies was the only item of production that didn’t fall, but rose and kept on rising - because people had nothing else to do, I guess, and because they didn’t have to care, the baby wasn’t their burden, it was ‘the family’s.’ In fact, the best chance you had of getting a raise and breathing easier for a while was a ‘baby allowance.’ Either that or a major disease.


“It didn’t take us long to see how it all worked out. Any man who tried to play straight, had to refuse himself everything. He lost his taste for any pleasure, he hated to smoke a nickel’s worth of tobacco or chew a stick of gum, worrying whether somebody had more need for that nickel. He felt ashamed of every mouthful of food he swallowed, wondering whose weary nights of overtime had paid for it, knowing that his food was not his by right, miserably wishing to be cheated rather than to cheat, to be a sucker, but not a blood-sucker. He wouldn’t marry, he wouldn’t help his folks back home, he wouldn’t put an extra burden on ‘the family.’ Besides, if he still had some sort of sense of responsibility, he couldn’t marry or bring children into the world, when he could plan nothing, promise nothing, count on nothing. But the shiftless and irresponsible had a field day of it. The bred babies, they got girls into trouble, they dragged in every worthless relative they had from all over the country, every unmarried pregnant sister, for an extra ‘disability allowance,’ they got more sicknesses than any doctor could disprove, they ruined their clothing, their furniture, their homes - what the hell, ‘the family’ was paying for it! They found more ways of getting in ‘need’ than the rest of us could ever imagine - they developed a special skill for it, which was the only ability they showed.


“God help us, ma’am! Do you see what we saw? We saw that we’d been given a law to live by, a moral law, they called it, which punished those who observed it - for observing it. The more you tried to live up to it, the more you suffered; the more you cheated it, the bigger reward you got. Your honesty was like a tool left at the mercy of the next man’s dishonesty. The honest ones paid, the dishonest collected. The honest lost, the dishonest won. How long could men stay good under this sort of a law of goodness? We were a pretty decent bunch of fellows when we started. There weren’t many chiselers among us. We knew our jobs and we were proud of it and we worked for the best factory in the country, where old man Starnes hired nothing but the pick of the country’s labor. Within one year under the new plan, there wasn’t an honest man left among us. That was the evil, the sort of hell-horror evil that preachers used to scare you with, but you never thought to see alive. Not that the plan encouraged a few bastards, but that it turned decent people into bastards, and there was nothing else that it could do - and it was called a moral ideal!


“What was it we were supposed to work for? For the love of our brothers? What brothers? For the bums, the loafers, the moochers we saw all around us? And whether they were cheating or plain incompetent, whether they were unwilling or unable - what difference did that make to us? If we were tied for life to the level of their unfitness, faked or real, how long could we care to go on? We had no way of knowing their ability, we had no way of controlling their needs - all we knew was that we were beasts of burden struggling blindly in some sort of place that was half-hospital, half-stockyards - a place geared to nothing but disability, disaster, disease - beasts put there for the relief of whatever whoever chose to say was whichever’s need.


“Love of our brothers? That’s when we learned to hate our brothers for the first time in our lives. We began to hate them for every meal they swallowed, for every small pleasure they enjoyed, for one man’s new shirt, for another’s wife’s hat, for an outing with their family, for a paint job on their house - it was taken from us, it was paid for by our privations, our denials, our hunger. We began to spy on one another, each hoping to catch the others lying about their needs, so as to cut their ‘allowance’ at the next meeting. We began to have stool pigeons who informed on people, who reported that somebody had bootlegged a turkey to his family on some Sunday - which he’d paid for by gambling, most likely. We began to meddle into one another’s lives. We provoked family quarrels, to get somebody’s relatives thrown out. Any time we saw a man starting to go steady with a girl, we made life miserable for him. We broke up many engagements. We didn’t want anyone to marry, we didn’t want any more dependents to feed.


“In the old days, we used to celebrate if somebody had a baby, we used to chip in and help him out with the hospital bills, if he happened to be hard-pressed for the moment. Now, if a baby was born, we didn’t speak to the parents for weeks. Babies, to us, had become what locusts were to farmers. In the old days, we used to help a man out if he had a bad illness in the family. Now - well, I’ll tell you about just one case. It was the mother of a man who had been with us for fifteen years. She was a kindly old lady, cheerful and wise, she knew us all by our first names and we all liked her - we used to like her. One day, she slipped on the cellar stairs and fell and broke her hip. We knew what that meant at her age. The staff doctor said that she’d have to be sent to a hospital in town, for expensive treatments that would take a long time. The old lady died the night before she was to leave for town. They never established the cause of death. No, I don’t know whether she was murdered. Nobody said that. Nobody would talk about it at all. All I know is that I - and that’s what I can’t forget! - I, too, had caught myself wishing that she would die. This - may God forgive us! - was the brotherhood, the security, the abundance that the plan was supposed to achieve for us!


“Was there any reason why this sort of horror would ever be preached by anybody? Was there anybody who got any profit from it? There was. The Starnes heirs. I hope you’re not going to remind me that they’d sacrificed a fortune and turned the factory over to us as a gift. We were fooled by that one, too. Yes, they gave up the factory. But profit, ma’am, depends on what it is that you’re after. And what the Starnes heirs were after, no money on earth could buy. Money is too clean and innocent for that.


“Eric Starnes, the youngest - he was a jellyfish that didn’t have the guts to be after anything in particular. He got himself voted as the Director of our Public Relations Department, which didn’t do anything, except that he had a staff for the not doing of anything, so he didn’t have to bother sticking around the office. The pay he got - well, I shouldn’t call it ‘pay,’ none of us was ‘paid’ - the alms voted to him was fairly modest, about ten times what I got, but that wasn’t riches, Eric didn’t care for money - he wouldn’t have known what to do with it. He spent his time hanging around among us, showing how chummy he was and democratic. He wanted to be loved, it seems. The way he went about it was to keep reminding us that he had given us the factory. We couldn’t stand him.


“Gerald Starnes was our Director of Production. We never learned just what the size of his rake-off - his alms - had been. It would have taken a staff of accountants to figure that out, and a staff of engineers to trace the way it was piped, directly or indirectly, into his office. None of it was supposed to be for him - it was all for company expenses. Gerald had three cars, four secretaries, five telephones, and he used to throw champagne and caviar parties that no tax-paying tycoon in the country could have afforded. He spent more money in one year than his father had earned in profits in the last two years of his life. We saw a hundred pound stack - a hundred pounds, we weighed them - of magazines in Gerald’s office, full of stories about our factory and our noble plan, with big pictures of Gerald Starnes, calling him a great social crusader. Gerald liked to come into the shops at night, dressed in his formal clothes, flashing diamond cuff links the size of a nickel and shaking cigar ashes all over. Any cheap show-off who’s got nothing to parade but his cash, is bad enough - except that he makes no bones about the cash being his, and you’re free to gape at him or not, as you wish, and mostly you don’t. But when a bastard like Gerald Starnes puts on an act and keeps spouting that he doesn’t care for material wealth, that he’s only serving ‘the family,’ that all the lushness is not for himself, but for our sake and for the common good, because it’s necessary to keep up the prestige of the company and of the noble plan in the eyes of the public - then that’s when you learn to hate the creature as you’ve never hated anything human.


“But his sister Ivy was worse. She really did not care for material wealth. The alms she got was no bigger than ours, and she went about in scuffed, flat-heeled shoes and shirtwaists - just to show how selfless she was. She was our Director of Distribution. She was the lady in charge of our needs. She was the one who held us by the throat. Of course, distribution was supposed to be decided by voting - by the voice of the people. But when the people are six thousand howling voices, trying to decide without yardstick, rhyme or reason, when there are no rules to the game and each can demand anything, but has a right to nothing, when everybody holds power over everybody’s life except his own - then it turns out, as it did, that the voice of the people is Ivy Starnes. By the end of the second year, we dropped the pretense of the ‘family meetings’ - in the name of ‘production efficiency and time economy,’ one meeting used to take ten days - and all the petitions of need were simply sent to Miss Starnes’ office. No, not sent. They had to be recited to her in person by every petitioner. Then she made up a distribution list, which she read to us for our vote of approval at a meeting that lasted three-quarters of an hour. We voted approval. There was a ten-minute period on the agenda for discussion and objections. We made no objections. We knew better by that time. Nobody can divide a factory’s income among thousands of people, without some sort of a gauge to measure people’s value. Her gauge was bootlicking. Selfless? In her father’s time, all of his money wouldn’t have given him a chance to speak to his lousiest wiper and get away with it, as she spoke to our best skilled workers and their wives. She had pale eyes that looked fishy, cold and dead. And if you ever want to see pure evil, you should have seen the way her eyes glinted when she watched some man who’d talked back to her once and who’d just heard his name on the list of those getting nothing above basic pittance. And when you saw it, you saw the real motive of any person who’s ever preached the slogan: ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.’


“This was the whole secret of it. At first, I kept wondering how it could be possible that the educated, the cultured, the famous men of the world could make a mistake of this size and preach, as righteousness, this sort of abomination - when five minutes of thought should have told them what would happen if somebody tried to practice what they preached. Now I know they didn’t do it by any kind of mistake. Mistakes of this size are never made innocently. If men fall for some vicious piece of insanity, when they have no way to make it work and no possible reason to explain their choice - it’s because they have a reason that they do not wish to tell. And we weren’t so innocent, either, when we voted for that plan at the end of the first meeting. We didn’t do it just because we believed that the drippy, old guff they spewed was good. We had another reason, but the guff helped us to hide it from our neighbors and from ourselves. The guff gave us a chance to pass off as virtue something that we’d be ashamed to admit otherwise. There wasn’t a man voting for it who didn’t think that under a setup of this kind he’d muscle in on the profits of the men abler than himself. There wasn’t a man rich and smart enough but that he didn’t think that somebody was richer and smarter, and this plan would give him a share of his better’s wealth and brain. But while he was thinking that he’d get unearned benefits from the men above, he forgot about the men below who’d get unearned benefits, too. He forgot about all his inferiors who’d rush to drain him just as he hoped to drain his superiors. The worker who liked the idea that his need entitled him to a limousine like his boss’s, forgot that every bum and beggar on earth would come howling that their need entitled them to an icebox like his own. That was our real motive when we voted - that was the truth of it - but we didn’t like to think it, so the less we liked it, the louder we yelled about our love for the common good.


“Well, we got what we asked for. By the time we saw what it was that we’d asked for, it was too late. We were trapped, with no place to go. The best men among us left the factory in the first week of the plan. We lost our best engineers, superintendents, foremen and highest-skilled workers. A man of self-respect doesn’t turn into a milch cow for anybody. Some able fellows tried to stick it out, but they couldn’t take it for long. We kept losing our men, they kept escaping from the factory like from a pesthole - till we had nothing left except the men of need, but none of the men of ability.


“And the few of us who were still any good, but stayed on, were only those who had been there too long. In the old days, nobody ever quit the Twentieth Century - and, somehow, we couldn’t make ourselves believe it was gone. After a while, we couldn’t quit, because no other employer would have us - for which I can’t blame him. Nobody would deal with us in any way, no respectable person or firm. All the small shops, where we traded, started moving out of Starnesville fast - till we had nothing left but saloons, gambling joints and crooks who sold us trash at gouging prices. The alms we got kept falling, but the cost of our living went up. The list of the factory’s needy kept stretching, but the list of its customers shrank. There was less and less income to divide among more and more people. In the old days, it used to be said that the Twentieth Century Motor trademark was as good as the karat mark on gold. I don’t know what it was that the Starnes heirs thought, if they thought at all, but I suppose that like all social planners and like savages, they thought that this trademark was a magic stamp which did the trick by some sort of voodoo power and that it would keep them rich, as it had kept their father. Well, when our customers began to see that we never delivered an order on time and never put out a motor that didn’t have something wrong with it - the magic stamp began to work the other way around: people wouldn’t take a motor as a gift, if it was marked Twentieth Century. And it came to where our only customers were men who never paid and never meant to pay their bills. But Gerald Starnes, doped by his own publicity, got huffy and went around, with an air of moral superiority, demanding that businessmen place orders with us, not because our motors were good, but because we needed the orders so badly.


“By that time a village half-wit could see what generations of professors had pretended not to notice. What good would our need do to a power plant when its generators stopped because of our defective engines? What good would it do to a man caught on an operating table when the electric light went out? What good would it do to the passengers of a plane when its motor failed in mid-air? And if they bought our product, not because of its merit, but because of our need, would that be the good, the right, the moral thing to do for the owner of that power plant, the surgeon in that hospital, the maker of that plane?


“Yet this was the moral law that the professors and leaders and thinkers had wanted to establish all over the earth. If this is what it did in a single small town where we all knew one another, do you care to think what it would do on a world scale? Do you care to imagine what it would be like, if you had to live and to work, when you’re tied to all the disasters and all the malingering of the globe? to work - and whenever any men failed anywhere, it’s you who would have to make up for it. To work - with no chance to rise, with your meals and your clothes and your home and your pleasure depending on any swindle, any famine, any pestilence anywhere on earth. To work - with no chance for an extra ration, till the Cambodians have been fed and the Patagonians have been sent through college. To work - on a blank check held by every creature born, by men whom you’ll never see, whose needs you’ll never know, whose ability or laziness or sloppiness or fraud you have no way to learn and no right to question - just to work and work and work - and leave it up to the Ivys and the Geralds of the world to decide whose stomach will consume the effort, the dreams and the days of your life. And this is the moral law to accept? This - a moral ideal?


“Well, we tried it - and we learned. Our agony took four years, from our first meeting to our last, and it ended the only way it could end: in bankruptcy. At our last meeting, Ivy Starnes was the one who tried to brazen it out. She made a short, nasty, snippy little speech in which she said that the plan had failed because the rest of the country had not accepted it, that a single community could not succeed in the midst of a selfish, greedy world - and that the plan was a noble ideal, but human nature was not good enough for it. A young boy - the one who had been punished for giving us a useful idea in our first year - got up, as we all sat silent, and walked straight to Ivy Starnes on the platform. He said nothing. He spat in her face. That was the end of the noble plan and of the Twentieth Century.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Moral Meaning of Capitalism

From Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand.

This is a statement made by Hank Rearden at his trial for an illegal sale of a metal alloy which he had created and which had been placed under government rationing and control:
"I do not want my attitude to be misunderstood. I shall be glad to state it for the record... I work for nothing but my own profit - which I make by selling a product they need to men who are willing and able to buy it. I do not produce it for their benefit at the expense of mine, and they do not buy it for my benefit at the expense of theirs; I do not sacrifice my interests to them, nor do they sacrifice theirs to me; we deal as equals by mutual consent to mutual advantage - and I am proud of every penny that I have earned in this manner. I am rich and I am proud of every penny I own. I have made my money by my own effort, in free exchange and through the voluntary consent of every man I dealt with - the voluntary consent of those who employed me when I started, the voluntary consent of those who work for me now, the voluntary consent of those who buy my product. I shall answer all the questions you are afraid to ask me openly. Do I wish to pay my workers more than their services are worth to me? I do not. Do I wish to sell my product for less than my customers are willing to pay me? I do not. Do I wish to sell it at a loss or give it away? I do not. If this is evil, do whatever you please about me, according to whatever standards you hold. These are mine. I am earning my own living, as every honest man must. I refuse to accept as guilt the fact that I am able to do it better than most people - the fact that my work is of greater value than the work of my neighbors and that more men are willing to pay me. I refuse to apologize for my ability - I refuse to apologize for my success - I refuse to apologize for my money. If this is evil, make the most of it. If this is what the public finds harmful to its interests let the public destroy me. This is my code - and I will accept no other. I could say to you that I have done more good for my fellow man than you can ever hope to accomplish - but I will not say it because I do not seek the good of others as a sanction for my right to exist, nor do I recognize the good of others as a justification for their seizure of my property or their destruction of my life. I will not say that the good of others was the purpose of my work - my own good was my purpose, and I despise the man who surrenders his. I could say to you that you do not deserve the public good - that nobody's good can be achieved at the price of human sacrifices - that when you violate the rights of one man, you have violated the rights of all, and a public of rightless creatures is doomed to destruction. I could say to you that you will achieve nothing but universal devastation - as any looter must, when he runs out of victims. I could say it, but I won't. It is not your particular policy that I challenge, but your moral premise. If it were true that men could achieve their good by turning some men into sacrificial animals, and I were asked to immolate myself for the sake of creatures who wanted to survive at the price of my blood, if I were asked to serve the interests of society apart from, above and against my own - I would refuse, I would reject it as the most contemptible evil, I would fight it with every power I posses, I would fight the whole of mankind, if one minute were all I could last before I were murdered, I would fight in the full confidence of the justice of my battle and of a living being's right to exist. Let there be no misunderstanding about me. If it is now the belief of my fellow men, who call themselves the public, that their good requires victims, then I say: The public good be damned, I will have no part of it!"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Forgotten Man of Socialized Medicine

From Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand.

This is the explanation given by a distinguished brain surgeon of why he joined Galt’s strike:

"I quit when medicine was placed under State control, some years ago," said Dr. Hendricks. "Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I would not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun. I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward. I observe that in all the discussions that preceded the enslavement of medicine, men discussed everything – except the desires of the doctors. Men considered only the ‘welfare’ of the patients, with no thought to those who were to provide it. That a doctor should have any right, desire, or choice in the matter, was regarded as irrelevant selfishness; his is not to choose, they said, only ‘to serve.’ That a man who’s willing to work under compulsion is too dangerous a brute to entrust with a job in the stockyards – never occurred to those who proposed to help the sick by making life impossible for the healthy. I have often wondered at this smugness with which people assert their right to enslave me, to control my work, to force my will, to violate my conscience, to stifle my mind – yet what is it that they expect to depend on, when they lie on an operating table under my hands? Their moral code has taught them to believe that it is safe to rely on the virtue of their victims. Well, that is the virtue I have withdrawn. Let them discover the kinds of doctors that their system will now produce. Let them discover, in their operating rooms and hospital wards, that it is not safe to place their lives in the hands of a man whose life they have throttled. It is not safe, if he is the sort of man who resents it – and still less safe, if he is the sort who doesn’t."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Nut Up or Shut Up

This past Saturday, Smallholder, the Maximum Leader and I had a day of Manliness. Our itinerary: Lunch at the best Chinese Buffet in Charlottesville. A screening of Zombieland. Shooting many rounds through many weapons at both traditional and Zombie targets . Beer (NB - beer follows shooting). Dining on roasted hog flesh at a friend's 50th. More beer. Finally, maintaining the fire and stirring the kettle of apple butter for the local fest to be held the following day.

Our arsenal: Russian SKS, 9mm Makarov, .45 Long Colt revolver, 30-40 Krag, and a 12 gauge pump shotgun. Here is the Maximum Leader scoring a direct center-mass head shot on "Jimmy" with his .45 Long Colt, the "cowboy gun:"



Smallholder is scanning for more undead...

A busy day, I did not get into bed until after midnight.

Thanks to Smallholder for initiating the plan, and to the Maximum Leader for making the trip (and for being our taxi).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pleonastic Sciolism

A recent article in the Washinton Compost by Steven F. Hayward asks, "Is Conservatism Brain-Dead?"

The author laments the (perceived) dearth of true intellectual conservatives in the current political scene. "We've traded in Buckley for Beck, Kristol for Coulter, and conservatism has been reduced to sound bites." Hayward's assertion that "off-balance" conservative intellectuals are "struggling to come up with new ideas" is inaccurate. What Mr. Hayward wishes to imply is that conservative ideas do not work, a premise which does not hold water. Conservatives have many tried-and-true ideas, albeit old, or even ancient, but nonetheless effective when put into practice. Our freedom, as men and as Americans, derives from God, whom no government can supplant. It is the left, and its worn-out ideas of tyranny and oppression, which are off-balance.

In his assault on the popular face of conservatism, Mr. Hayward is using an old trick of the left: Instead of debating the issues on their merits, go for the throat and call you opponent an idiot.
The brain waves of the American right continue to be erratic, when they are not flat-lining.

Consider the "tea party" phenomenon. Though authentic and laudatory, it is unfocused, lacking the connection to a concrete ideology that characterized the tax revolt of the 1970s, which was joined at the hip with insurgent supply-side economics.

Over one million Americans protesting tyrannical government is an unfocused phenomenon? What will Mr. Hayward call the 2009 Gubernatorial and 2010 Congressional elections, which I predict will be won by the more conservative candidates? A statistical anomaly?

Consider the following:

Today, it is not clear that conservative thinkers have compelling alternatives to Obama's economic or foreign policy. At best, the right is badly divided over how to fix the economy and handle Iran and Afghanistan. So for the time being,the populists alone have the spotlight.
How about following the Constitution? How about tax cuts? How about victory? These ideas, while simple, are not simplistic. They are fundamental American ideas. They are why over one million people showed up in D.C. on September 12th. "The left thinks talk radio and Fox News are insidious forces, which shows that they are effective," writes Hayward. Effective and accurate, these ideas are promoted daily in conservative and conservative-leaning media, which is why they (both media and message) are hated by the left.

While praising its intelligence, Mr. Hayward claims that a recent book, Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, was not well received "because it deployed the incendiary f-word..." Without actually reading the book, one would conclude from this statement that Goldberg had generously sprinkled his book with F-bombs. But a quick search shows only two occurrences in the entire 405 pages, both included in quotations rather than Goldberg's own words. Where are the complaints against the left for using this word, and rather liberally at that? To put it simply, what the fuck?

Liberal Fascism is the only pro-conservative book Mr. Hayward cites as "intellectual," while decrying its popularity. He fails to mention Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin, which is both intellectual and popular. But I digress. More worthy of Hayward's attention is the forthcoming book by John Derbyshire, in which he calls "our present condition 'Happy Meal Conservatism,' cheap, childish and familiar," and another new book by Sam Tanenhaus titled The Death of Conservatism, whose title alone explains its appeal.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Irresponsible Gun Owners

C-Ville, one of the local "free alternative weekly" papers, has a regular column called "Ask Ace." Written by someone calling himself "Ace Adkins," the author attempts to answer obscure questions submitted to the paper about Charlottesville and central Virginia. This week's question is about firearms training:
The world is getting to be a pretty scary place, Ace. I don’t know how I’m supposed to protect myself, for example, from the type of person who would carry an assault rifle to a presidential speech. Or in the event of the zombie apocalypse, which is also starting to look pretty likely. Where can I learn how to shoot a gun around here?—N.E. Oakley

I will ignore the lead-in, except to say that a zombie apocalypse is the more likely scenario.

"Ace Adkins" endeavours to answer the question "Where can I learn to shoot a gun around here?" Mr. Adkins lists two local shooting clubs where firearms training is available. One of the local clubs, Rivanna Rifle and Pistol Club, requires an extensive application process and a background check. To make his column palatable to the left-leaning readership, Mr. Adkins uses the restrictive membership requirements of this club as a cudgel to verbally assault non-member firearms owners. Here are his words:
Don’t let the prospect of an intensive auditing process discourage you, though. These safeguards are there for a reason: to separate the responsible firearms enthusiasts from everyone else in America who owns a gun.

The only responsible firearms owners are, according to "Ace," those who belong to a private shooting club which has very strict membership requirements. Everyone else who owns a firearm is an irresponsible trigger-happy boob.

I would remind Mr. Adkins that any adult who legally purchases a firearm at Wal-Mart (or any other retail store) is required to sign federal and state affidavits stating that he is not a felon, a fugitive from justice, a user of illegal drugs, abuser of legal drugs, subject to a restraining order, mentally incompetent, or otherwise unfit to own a firearm. Two forms of identification (at least one photo) showing the purchaser's address must be presented. Finally, a criminal background check is made, which the purchaser must also pay for. Virginia even requires a 30 day waiting period before a second handgun purchase may be made.

These days, all new firearms come with a locking device to render the firearm inoperable when installed. There are also various pieces of gun safety literature accompanying the firearm, which include language cautioning against easy access to firearms by children or irresponsible adults.

Owning a firearm is a heavy responsibility. It is an instrument of death, and demands respect. A fun time can easily turn to tragedy if carelessness, rather than caution, is exercised in its use. A simple idea to keep in mind is all firearms are always loaded. Based on this central premise, all other safety rules will easily fall in line.

There is no greater responsibility for a man than the safety and well-being of his family. A firearm is an effective tool to be used in this lofty endeavour.

Friday, September 25, 2009

False-Flag?

Is Jane Stone, allegedy a producer for NBC's Dateline, a real person? Did she send an e-mail containing an ethnic slur?

If so, she embodies the hypocracy and racism that the Statist left loves to ascribe to conservative Americans.

Here is an image of the "Bite Me Jew Boy" e-mail in question.

The Fallacy of Gun Control

Ramsay Scott, a 21-year-old Briton, has been sentenced to 3 years, 9 months in prison for possession of firearms. From the Adam Smith Institute Blog:

There is no evidence whatsoever that Scott had ever harmed anyone else with these weapons, nor that he had any intention of doing so. As Lord Uist remarked to the High Court in Edinburgh on sentencing him:

It is probably impossible to say what, if anything, you would have done with the weapons had the police not intervened.

He explained that Scott was guilty not because he had actually hurt someone else, but because:

There must have been at least the possibility that you would have used them to cause injury to others.


Granted, the man had an autism - type disorder, and had been collecting various weapons, parts, and ammunition. However, I can sum up the situation in one word: Thoughtcrime!

Get Your Boom Stick Ready!


Just in time for Halloween, Law Enforcement Targets, Inc. brings you Zombie Targets. They have five different designs, including two in Nazi uniforms. They lovely lass pictured above is Becky. If you look closely, you can see a target ring (printed in blood red) positioned center-mass on her cranial vault. Not sure what the disembodied brain is for; I would blow it away anyhow just to be safe.


These targets are sure to give you some realistic training in preparation for the coming zombie war.

UPDATE: Be certain to have enough ammo on hand before going to the range. The Maximum Leader reminds us that ammunition is in short supply. NB - With a shotgun, #7 or #8 shot is good for training, and cheaper than full-charge #00 "buckshot" or slugs. Just be sure to fire a few rounds of the heavier loads to acclimate yourself to the blast and recoil.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Statist Hypnocracy...

May be blocking your memory of this:



Is this about race? Are black Democrats racists for booing and calling President Bush a liar? President Bush was being booed for shining a light on the cockroaches and exposing the fallacy of the statist left agenda. In the real world, there is no such thing as reverse racism. However, the race baiters and poverty pimp demagogues love to divide us along racial lines.

Here is a fun fact: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican.

Here is another fun fact: Even if every U.S. citizen "of color" had voted for Obama as a block in the 2008 election, there is no possible way He would have been able to win without a significant number of white votes. Not every person "of color" voted for President Obama. Not every white person voted for McCain. That is not racism.

Obama won the election by a little over 52%. The President's approval rating is now down to about 40%. What happened? Did millions of white Americans suddenly wake up and realize they are really racists? White Supremacists? Perhaps members of the Sons of the Confederacy? No. They were caught up in the moment of HopeandChange, and the historical implications of voting for the first (half) black President of the United States. They now realize the bill of goods they were sold is just that: Worthless promises.

What did we get as a result of Obama and his statist left in Congress? A quadrupling of the deficit. An exponential increase in the power and scope of the formerly federal, now national, government. Wholesale violations and perversions of Constitutional authority, and a hostile attitude to those who would hold them to their Constitutional role. Rejection and destruction of our American heritage and traditions. Rejection of liberty and private propery. Rejection of the civil sociey and moral order. "Spreading around" of wealth. An unemployment rate (which was promised to be capped at 8%) hovering around 10%. A trade war with China. Abandonment of our allies Poland and Czechoslovakia. Embarrassing apologies to our enemies for our exceptionalism. A top-to-bottom Cabinet and administration of Corruption, to include 40 or so unaccountable "czars." Constant campaigning for this or that statist program. Endless appearances, speeches, and interviews (except for Fox News Sunday!). False charges of racism.

The country is going down the toilet under this administration, and race has NOTHING to do with it. The former Obama voters are realizing what conservatives have known for a long time: The President of the United States is a Marxist.

Conservatism is on the ascendancy. See you in November.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The President is a Damn Liar

And Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina is right to call President Obama on his lies. Help Congressman Wilson defeat his Statist opponent (who has suddenly "raised" over a million dollars) in November by making a contribution to his campaign here.

Fake Video of a Fake Protest

via Michelle Malkin:



Kiss it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Battle of Lake Erie, 196 Years Ago on This Day

196 years ago today, the small U.S. fleet under Commodore O.H. Perry defeated the British fleet in the Battle of Lake Erie. Perry's flagship, the Lawrence, was so badly damaged during the battle that he transferred his command (via rowboat, in the midst of flying shot and splinters) to the brig Niagara. Perry's fleet had powerful guns, but they had to tack under long-range (and highly accurate) British guns to get close enough to fire them. That took big brass balls.

A live fire demonstration of a reconstructed gun deck section shows the hellish punishment Perry's men would have taken as the inched their way towards the British. Watch carefully. Flying splinters can be seen striking the "human" targets, doing more damage than the shot itself. Scary.

UPDATE: The above link is no longer working. Here is the same video on YouTube:



N.B. to P. O'B. fans: Here is the Niagara underway, wearing around, with some nifty animation demonsrtating the process of coming around on the other tack:

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Conservative Manifesto


I am certain everyone who reads these scribblings is aware of Mark Levin's book, Liberty and Tyranny. It has sold nearly 1,000,000 copies in hardcover.

I am also certain that some who read here have a low opinion of Mr. Levin. His "conservative judicial scholarship" does not jibe with the strongly held opinions of certain persons, and he is therefore discounted out of hand.

His ideas deserve a fair shake, and now you don't even have to buy the book (even though you should). Follow the link - read Mark Levin's A Conservative Manifesto (the last chapter of the book) here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Real Number of Uninsured in America, or Big Brother is Watching Me

I disconnected SiteMeter from this blog several months ago due to technical difficulties at their end. Just the other day, I was curious about who was reading my dreck. So I re-installed the site meter code.

To my surprise, I was getting hits from all over the place. AARP, the Pentagon, and the U.S. House of Representatives had all stopped by to read this post, titled "Breaking Down the '47 Million Uninsured People in America' Number." I found that as of yesterday, this blog was #3 on Google for the search terms "real number uninsured." I have since dropped a few, but I am still on the first page as of this morning. Astonishing. A little blog I created for my own amusement (with little readership outside of a few friends) hits #3 for search terms pertaining to the current national political debate.

I am happy with the minor success, but I must credit Mark Levin. His book, Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto provided a great breakdown of the information used to create the illusion of 47 million uninsured Americans. I only added his footnotes as links in my blog post.

The creepy part of reaching #3 on google: The visit from House.gov was number 1,984. Is that an omen?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

See You Next Tuesday

Due to circumstances beyond my control, this blog will be on hiatus for the next several weeks. Thanks to my regular and not-so-regular readers for wading through my pointless drivel. I hope to be back soon.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The President of the United States is a Damn Fool

In his initial, unscripted, un-teleprompted comments about the arrest of Prof. Gates, Mr.Obama said "any of us would have been angry"about being arrested in our own home. Any of "us." Who are the "us" to which the President refers?

It could be "Us Americans" or "Us Statists." He could also be saying "Us in the Elite Class."

One could easily conclude he intended to say "Us Black People" in the light of his closing remark at the time: "Race remains a factor in this Nation."

Race remains a factor in this Nation for those who wish to use skin color to their advantage - The Statist left.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Find the Fish

I wonder where that fish did go...

which I used for this post?



I guess it came back.

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Fails

At least Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb had brains enough to vote in favor of the Thune amendment, #1614 (S.1390), to allow concealed carry reciprocity within the states which allow concealed carry. Too bad it failed. Webb actually came to the defense of the amendment, as quoted in the Washington Compost:

During the debate, Schumer -- who led the campaign efforts in 2006 and 2008 --- offered the hypothetical example of a gang member in New York City moving to Vermont, which has some of the least-regulated gun laws in the nation, and establishing residency there. That person could then buy guns and transport them back to New York, Schumer argued.

But he was rebuffed by one of his prize recruits, Sen. James Webb (D-Va.), whose victory in November 2006 gave Democrats control of the Senate. "The reality of that particular situation is the gang members already have their guns. . . . The people who need this bill are the ones that the gang members might be threatening," Webb said.


This was a close vote, but at least they did the right thing.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The President of the United States is a Damn Liar


"You will be able to keep your own [individual] heath insurance" is the rhetoric we hear from Dear Leader Chairman Maobama and his sycophants. The text of H.R. 3200 says otherwise, to wit:

SEC. 102. PROTECTING THE CHOICE TO KEEP CURRENT COVERAGE.



    (a) Grandfathered Health Insurance Coverage Defined- Subject to the succeeding provisions of this section, for purposes of establishing acceptable coverage under this division, the term `grandfathered health insurance coverage' means individual health insurance coverage that is offered and in force and effect before the first day of Y1 if the following conditions are met:

      (1) LIMITATION ON NEW ENROLLMENT-

        (A) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day of Y1.

        (B) DEPENDENT COVERAGE PERMITTED- Subparagraph (A) shall not affect the subsequent enrollment of a dependent of an individual who is covered as of such first day.

      (2) LIMITATION ON CHANGES IN TERMS OR CONDITIONS- Subject to paragraph (3) and except as required by law, the issuer does not change any of its terms or conditions, including benefits and cost-sharing, from those in effect as of the day before the first day of Y1.

      (3) RESTRICTIONS ON PREMIUM INCREASES- The issuer cannot vary the percentage increase in the premium for a risk group of enrollees in specific grandfathered health insurance coverage without changing the premium for all enrollees in the same risk group at the same rate, as specified by the Commissioner.



Section 102 (a) (2-3) make his claim impossible, as it would hamstring the private insurance provider. Any change, such as employer, dependents, age, deductible, even an annual increase in premium for any reason, would make the issuance of the private policy illegal.

This, like the rest of the Obamagenda, is designed to kill the free market and establish power for Dear Leader and his Statist enablers. THIS BILL IS NOT ABOUT HEALTHCARE. IT IS ALL ABOUT BARRY.

What? I thought he was a moderate centrist...oops

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More Perriello Bashing


Here is a link to Tom Perriello's top donors. The list is populated with unions and left-wing groups. Some highlights:

The University of Virginia, Jefferson's "Academic Community," is Congressman Perriello's #2 donor. UVA owns much of the land in Charlottesville, and is one of the area's largest employers. UVA also operates the UVA Health System. They like to do as they please, and a congressman in your pocket never hurts.

#14 on the list is Nancy Pelosi for Congress?

#8 is a corporation called Grassmere Management. A search of this name at the Virginia Corporation Commission yields this result: Grassmere Management is listed as corporation number 0465193 1, with Linda Perriello as president. I would guess Linda Perriello is the congressman's wife. The latest year an annual report for Grassmere Management is available is 2004. Should not a corporation making significant contributions to a U.S. Congressman's campaign be up-to-date in filing their annual reports?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Not the Only One

My tyrannical representative in the tyrannical United States Congress, Tom Perriello, had a puff piece written about him in yesterday's Charlottesville Daily Progress.The story highlighted the spreading around of wealth as a result of the stimulus "package" recently signed into law by Chairman Maobama. The hero of the story, and Perriello's stunt, is a veteran who works at UPS:

Yowell, who served in Afghanistan and at Guantanamo Bay as part of the Virginia Army National Guard, said the tax credit, an attractive mortgage package from the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs and a secure job with UPS all combined to make this year the time right to buy his first home.

Yowell received his $8,000 tax credit check two weeks ago, having submitted an addendum to this year’s tax filing.


The "credit" is worth 10% of the value of the property (however value is determined), up to $8000. I would like to think a veteran of the Army, working full-time at UPS, would be able to purchase a house without any help from the taxpayer. The story mentions the "attractive" loan policy of the VA. As a former employee of UPS, I know for a fact the pay and benefits one receives there are quite good, even if non-management personnel must join the Teamster's union.

This is an illustration of the undesirable effect of government meddling in the housing market. I don't think I need to rehash the whole Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac thing, but the market is over-inflated as a result. Propping up a stagnant housing market by using taxpayer dollars to keep prices from naturally falling is POOR POLICY.

Former city councilman Rob Schilling, the conservative pariah of Charlottesville, had this to say last week about Perrello's meeting with the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors:


Maybe it’s nothing new that a United States Congressman would stoop to this level of intimidation. But local, non-partisan Associations like CAAR, should not be asked to do Congressman Perriello’s self-promotional “dirty work” for him. Such organizations can hardly say “no” to a request from their Federal representatives, since these groups rely on their relationships with Congressmen and Senators to protect and promote their own business interests.

“Pandering Tom’s” attempt to purchase patronage in advance using OUR money and OUR gullible (but possibly well-meaning) neighbors is an outrageous and blatant abuse of his office, but sadly, it is what we have come to expect from our freshman Congressman.

In considering this attempt, and Perriello’s previous efforts to “sell out” America, the prophetic words of Benjamin Franklin come to mind:

“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”

You were right, Ben. Apparently, that time has come.

Thanks for the extra nail in America’s coffin, Tom, it’s just what we needed.


Indeed.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

More Bad Assumptions

The Maximum Leader at Naked Villainy wrote about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg's recent interview in which she seemed to endorse eugenics by way of the Roe decision. She is not the only eugenicist around. Check out John Holdren, President Obama's Science Czar (Zombie via Michelle Malkin). It is sickening. This has the potential to become policy and practice should the Statist's wet dream of nationalizd health care come true.



If memory serves, a certain favorite president of many "progressives" endorsed eugenics. He is second from the right on Mt. Rushmore.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Newsletter from a Tyrant, a.k.a. Congressman Tom Perriello, D-VA(5)

During the recent melt down of the D.C. switchboards over so-called "cap and trade," my representative let slip he wanted the bill to pass so he could vote against it. Then he decided he would vote in favor of the bill. I will not go into a lengthy discussion of the bill, as others have done that already. I will say it is the most destructive piece of legislation to commerce that the House has ever passed.

In today's devotional from Tom Perriello, he (actually, some anonymous staffer) writes of the wonders of cap-and-trade: Bio-fuels, bio-refineries, and former tobacco farmers (formerly subsidized by the government) growing the bio-mass needed to make the bio-fuels (subsidized once again by the government). Batteries! Energy-efficient doors and windows! There is mention of a few companies by name, likely the recipients of more government largesse, who stand proudly on the front lines of the "new clean energy economy."

Wow.

A brief mention of nuclear energy attracted my attention: "Some of the biggest winners should be agricultural areas that can produce biofuels, and areas like Region 2000 that are connected to the nuclear industry, as well as former manufacturing hubs that can support the new advanced manufacturing of efficiency technology." Somehow I became distracted again by the Bright New Future:
Central and Southern Virginia served as the cradle of American liberty and also the economic driver of the Commonwealth for more than a century. We can be that again as we blaze a trail towards energy independence and a clean technology future. In these tough times, we must have the courage to think beyond merely surviving as a region and dare to think about how we can thrive again. The new clean energy economy is the answer.

What was that thing about Nuclear? Region 2000 or something? Americans have been force-fed fear of nuclear-generated electricity. France, the nation of cheese-eating surrender monkeys, uses nuclear for the bulk of its energy needs. Why can't we? It's the greenest of all.

What about "clean" coal, or coal, oil, and natural gas power plants? Why can't we build more of them to keep up with the demand until the Ultimate Green Energy is developed? In other words, do you like air conditioning in the summer?

As far as energy independence is concerned, why can't we go get our own oil, which is just waiting for someone to come along and tap into it?

Tom Perriello is a coward, a sellout, a puppet, and a TYRANT.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Head Cheese

No, it is not really cheese per se. It does have a formed-curd kind of look to it, though. Head cheese is made from, yes, a pig's head, as well as the trotters (lower legs with hooves) and in this case which I shall describe for you, a beef tongue.

Recently, I had the delicious opportunity to prepare this wonderful delight from the world of charcuterie thanks to the hayseed-encrusted and (allegedly) manure-splattered Smallholder. Proper celebration at a recent family event required the roasting of a whole pig carcass (and the drinking of beer during said roasting). The head and trotters from this pig were delivered to me fresh from the slaughter after riding in the Maximum Leader's lap, assisted by the Minister of Propaganda, in Smallholder's truck. It was almost as disgusting as it sounds:




I used the recipe from the great book Charcuterie by Ruhlman and Polcyn. As they allow for the omission of pink salt in the recipe, I used a fresh beef tongue instead of a cured one as the recipe instructs.

The first step is the cure, accomplished by brining:


Lovely.

Next, a simmer in an aromatic bath for about 3 hours:



(Note: the streaks on the head, apparently a blood stain, were scrubbed in vain.)

Now for the dissection and chopping of the meats:



Into the mold they go, to be covered with the now highly gelatinous bathwater.

Molded and set, ready to eat:






A lot of time and effort went into making this two-and-a-half pound loaf. But even the finest deli would have trouble equaling the taste. Delicious.

While we are on the subject of charcuterie: We wants it, my precious!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In Defense of Freedom

Our President is now "moved" by the protest in Iran. Perhaps He should wait until he is in he bathroom...

Other countries, including France, have condemned the violence and repression being used against those protesting the sham election in Iran. Why can't we? Where is our president on the issue? His wait-and-see attitude betrays his cowardice, and demonstrates his lack of education and experience with the concept of ordered liberty. He does not value freedom, and cannot recognize its importance to the civil society and moral order.

It is important to realize the Iranian election itself, not the results, is the sham. To the religious kooks running Iran, the candidate is irrelevant. The winner is whomever they want it to be.

Those in Iran who are protesting, and I would wager a large majority of Iranians, want freedom. They want to be free to pursue their own interests without the heavy hand of a repressive regime directing and dictating their every move according to a strict religious dogma. We should support them, at least in the moral sense. And so should our president.

We don't want them to think we are going to come fight for them.

We do not have to use our military to support a freedom movement in Iran. We can express our support of freedom, while at the same time condemning the rulers in Iran who would deny freedom to its people. Think of what Ronald Reagan said in 1981 about Poland:



Our President may have blown an opportunity. Instead of being "moved," he should have taken his cue from Reagan and issued a similar statement. It may now be too late, the momentum in Iran may be waning. Instead of challenging the rulers of Iran, Obama is busy producing his own prime-time special on his plan to destroy the health care industry in the United States while the struggle for freedom has its throat cut.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Back from the Dead

My wonderful wife gave me an antique pocket watch this past Christmas. It is a Waltham model 1857, manufactured in 1872. Waltham was the premier American watch manufacturer at the time, and the model 1857 was the finest grade of its day. It is a massive size 18, key-wind and key-set, with 17 jewels. The pictures speak for themselves:




I have always been fascinated with pocket watches, and the tiny mechanical wonders which make them run. My watch ran for a brief period, but stopped one day and would not start again. I had it cleaned and lubricated by a local jeweler who specializes in antique watch repair. After a week under his care, my watch once again ran perfectly, the tiny flywheel spinning like mad and the escapement making the beautiful ticking sound absent in any modern timepiece.

In late April, my family went to Chesapeake to visit Mrs. Polymath's family at her brother's house. They have a large pool in the back yard. Number 1 son, not heeding his non-swimsuited father's admonition to stay away from the deep end (and especially the diving board), could not wait for the rest of the family. His six-year-old brain decided its desire to jump in alone was greater than any notion of punishment or perception of danger. The water was cold and over his head. The former lifeguard in me thought in an instant "reach-throw-row-go!" There was no pole or rope, so I ran over to the ladder on the side. Getting my shoes wet standing on the topmost rung and leaning out as far as possible, I was a few inches short of reaching him. I could see in his eyes that he was panicking. I had no choice but to jump in and grab him.

He was fine, and I would gladly sacrifice anything to protect his life. I did not think about it at the time, but I had my watch, cell phone, wallet, etc. in my pockets. The wallet was fine after a little drying. The phone was fried. My watch was still running. I immediately opened its case front and back, the crystal, and the cover over the "works." I tried to get as much of the water out of it as possible, and set it in the sun to dry.

Eventually, the watch slowed and finally stopped. I returned to the jeweler's, sure that it was ruined. He said it was repairable, but would take a long time in order to disassemble and clean all the tiny parts. He also mentioned that the hairspring may break, and finding a new one would be difficult because of the watch's age.

The hairspring did not break. My watch was repaired, and has been keeping good time for the two and a half days I have had it back. I will never again take it anywhere near a swimming pool!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Breaking Down the "47 Million Uninsured People in America" Number


From Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin:



"In 2006, the Census Bureau reported that there were 46.6 million people without health insurance. About 9.5 million were not United States citizens. Another 17 million lived in households with incomes exceeding $50,000 a year and could, presumably, purchase their own health coverage [1]. Eighteen million of the 46.6
million uninsured were between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four, most of whom were in good health and no necessarily in need of health-care coverage or chose not to purchase it [2]. Moreover, only 30 percent of the nonelderly population who became uninsured in a given year remained uninsured for more than twelve months. Almost 50 percent regained their health coverage within four months [3]. The 47 million "uninsured" figure used by [Speaker of the Houe Nancy] Pelosi and others is widely inaccurate."
Allowing about half of the 18 million (ages 18 to 34) as part of the 17 million (household income > $50K), 9.5 million + 17 million + 9 million = 35.5 million. 46.6 million - 35.5 million = 11.1 million potentially "uninsured."

The real number of "uninsured Americans" is less than 4% of the total U.S. population. As usual, this is a tempest in a teapot designed to give the Statist even more control over your life.

I would wager that the 9.5 million non-citizen number is actually higher. As far as I know, these numbers do not take medicare, medicaid, and VA benefits into consideration. So the real number is likely to be even smaller.