Archive for June 4th, 2009

June 4, 2009

Don’t worry, Fausta

by Smitty

After reviewing the POTUS’s Egypt speech, Fausta was concerned about one missing point that I’d like to clear up:

Details on closing Gitmo “by early next year.” Surely Pres. Obama realizes that it’s not enough to say “I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.” Where will those terrorists be sent? What will be the international reaction?

Gitmo will close on 01Jan10. Simultaneously, hope and change will birth a new facility, omtiG. This will underscore BHO’s intent to do the opposite of his predecessor in foreign policy.

June 4, 2009

Greetings from Georgia!

Ah, back in God’s country again! If you’ve been wondering why I haven’t blogged in the past 14 hours, it’s because Junior and I were rolling down the road to Rome, Ga. I’m typing this from the home of Pierre-Rene Noth, whom I recently described as my “Menshevik editor.”

Pierre’s so far left, he’s almost right. He’s the intellectual proletariat of journalism, which means that he’s a victim of the greedy bourgeois — or, as it’s pronounced in Georgia, “Burgett,” as in Burgett Mooney III, publisher of the Rome News-Tribune.

Burgett is a splendid example of a greedy capitalist, which is why the Rome News-Tribune is still in business, while other papers are going bankrupt all over the place. Alas, Schumpeterian “creative destruction” required that my dear friend Pierre was offered “semi-retirement” at age 72.

Oh, the social injustice of it all! I keep telling Pierre that this is the opportunity of a lifetime, that all he needs to do is to read The Rules and become a Big Bad Blog Daddy like me — if I can be Not Tucker Carlson, why can’t he be Not Maureen Dowd?

Journalists of the World, Unite! You have nothing to lose but your salaries, benefits and bosses!

Oh, and if you’re wondering why I’m in Rome tonight, I’ll be talking to some old friends. Shhh! Don’t tell my new friends about this. But do tell Kathy Shaidle. My old friends would love Kathy in Georgia, and if she ever gets exiled from Canada, she’d be welcomed as a refugee down here. (Pierre’s a refugee from Milwaukee, which is far too close to Canada for my taste.)

June 4, 2009

You may not have heard of Eric S. Raymond

by Smitty

  But his style is spot-on. Emphasis mine:

  Occasionally people will show up on the channel looking for project-related help. Some of them become semi-regulars on the channel because they’re often working technical problems for which the project is part of the solution. One of these guys hopped on the channel last night while we happened to be in the middle of a firearms digression, listened for a bit, and then started to spout.

  “Why do you guys think you need firearms?” “Criminals will just take them from you and use them against you.” “They’re useless for anything but killing.” “You can’t seriously think they’re a deterrent against overreaching governments, the cops will just come for you you first.” And on and on and on, the same factually and historically ignorant babble civilian firearms owners are wearily used to hearing – as if civilian firearms had not been culturally and politically decisive in hundreds of struggles for freedom, from the American Revolution clear down to short-stopping Communist counter-coups in Russia and the Baltic States as recently as the 1990s.

  I listened to the others on the channel offer polite, reasoned, factually correct counterarguments to this guy, and get nowhere. And suddenly…suddenly, I understood why. It was because the beliefs the ignoramus was spouting were only surface structure; refuting them one-by-one could do no good without directly confronting the substructure, the emotional underpinnings that made ignoramus unable to consider or evaluate counter-evidence.

  The need, here, was to undermine that substructure. And I saw the way to do it. This is what I said:

  “You speak, but I hear only the bleating of a sheep. Your fear gives power to your enemies.”

  Ignoramus typed another sentence of historical ignorance. My reply was “Baa! Baa! Baaaaa!”

  And another. My reply was more sheep noises, more deliberate mockery. And you know what? A few rounds of this actually worked. Ignoramus protested that he wasn’t a sheep. At which point I asked him “Then why are you disarmed?”


  The conversation afterwards was completely different, and ended up with ignoramus speculating about meeting with one of our regulars in his area to do things with firearms.

  I learned a valuable lesson last night. I’m not normally a fan of mockery and attacks on a man’s character over reasoned argument. But when the real issue is in fact the man’s character – specifically, when the issue is where he fits in terms of Dave Grossman’s seminal essay on sheep, wolves and sheepdogs – then that’s the level on which the argument has to be conducted.

US Foreign policy applications are left as an exercise for the reader.

June 4, 2009

Scenes from the Bradley Prizes

Exclusive coverage? Got that. Phoned in a report to Jimmie Bise manning the NTCNews desk.

So once the scoop was online, it was time to go hang out with Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and eat free food at the reception, aided by son Bob.

Me and Karl Rove, we’re like this.

One of these guys has $250,000 and nice teeth.

Morton Blackwell of the Leadership Institute, Michael Grebe of the Bradley Foundation, and conservative fundraising genius Richard Viguerie.

Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness could not resist son Bob’s (hereditary) charm.

Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Spencer Abraham, who used to be Ann Coulter’s boss. Abraham told us the story about the time Ann attended the Michigan Farm Bureau reception wearing a mini-skirt and a full-length mink coat.

Spencer Abraham and investigative reporter Matt Vadum with . . . oh, I’m bad with names.

Son Bob applies the (hereditary) McCain charm to the amazing Miss Helen Rittelmayer, a Yalie.

June 4, 2009

Chuckle of the day

by Smitty

  Shannon over at Chicago Boyz expands on a comment to a post defending Milton Friedman over at Reason that skewers the left amusingly.

  The left doesn’t actually have an developed system of thought regarding the economy. They can’t actually explain why the real world political process will systematically make better decisions than the free-market. Instead, they simply point to any reversals in the real economy, regardless of cause, and then assert that in their imaginations, leftist politicians could have done better.
  It’s hard to argue against people’s imagination. You end up with a discussion much like two D&D geeks arguing over whether a dwarf with a +10 axe could take an Elf with a vorpal sword.

  The Chicago Boyz post goes on to wonder aloud about the left trying to imagine its way to “alternative energy.”
  The conclusion is that the dwarf could take the elf, and I’ve got 20 gold pieces to back that assertion.