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December 20, 2009

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August 9, 2009

Jazz Shaw: I think we’re talking past each other

by Smitty

The sweet irony of being attacked for lack of reading comprehension.
I don’t know Jazz Shaw, but I’ve read his stuff on The Moderate Voice and Pajamas Media with some agreement. However, failing to agree with Rick Moran’s assessment that Sarah Palin’s opinion that possible aspects of the healthcare legislation are

unconscionable, outrageous, and either a deliberate lie, or proof that she really is an airhead

marks me as afflicted with “Reading Incomprehension” (emphasis mine)

But there’s one teeny, tiny point which Smitty is missing in his criticism of Right Wing Nuthouse’s proprietor. Rick – along with the rest of us – are not talking about random editorials published by public officials. We’re talking about legislation, either extant or proposed, which has shown up in committee on the floor of the House and/or Senate. And these so called “Death Panels” are simply not there.

So, the crux of the debate seems to be whether:

  • one can assume that a bureaucratic entity spawned by some future, final legislation (currently 1k+ pages, rumored to have malignant tumor) would contain panels, or if you don’t like the term: board, working group, committee, team, reviewers,
  • one can infer that such a hypothetical collection of folks would make decisions affecting life,
  • one can attach a qualitative label such as “death panel” to such a hypothetical entity,

…all without being accused of dishonesty.
Young or old, one would certainly be perfectly within their rights to express concern if they thought some sort of Spartan fitness test could potentially be applied to them in the future.

Of course it’s not there

As we bandy about the final shape of legislation, which is about as predictable as the weather, we can feel confident that there will be no “Article 1482: Death Panel” in the final version submitted for vote.

Of course, history is replete with examples of why all of government-controlled health care is a bad idea. Social Security and Medicare. British NHS. Events in the last century that would be true demagoguery to bring in, yet which we entirely forget at our peril.

At the time of this writing, We Just Don’t Know. We do have a congress and administration whose goalposts are both wheeled and motorized. The concern is merited.

Palin die-hard?

From TMV:

“The big point these Palin die-hards are missing here was best summed up by Rick in another portion of his column which Smitty also apparently failed to read:”

The damn bill is plenty bad enough without lying about it. Jesus Christ! Your loyal subjects, who don’t think you can do any wrong, are smart enough to figure that out without you having to demagogue the issue like a Democrat, for God’s sake!

Look, we’ve already agreed that the bill doesn’t exist in a final, presidential signature (+ signing statement) form. How does Moran call anyone a ‘liar’ concerning an unfinished product? His title said, paraphrasing, that everyone else is doing it (demagoguery) so why not him?

Sure, in that context, accusing someone of lying works, I guess. Strikes me as a blowhard move, and I said so.

But, speaking of literacy, Jazz, I also fell short of being a die-hard Palin supporter:

It remains to be seen, but it may just be possible that Sarah Palin has as good an platform as anyone. I can, and do, see the wisdom in playing a cautious hand. Some of the Palin blogs, for example, seem as blatantly worshipful as the crappiest Obama pap.

Nevertheless, a strongly Federalist platform is exactly what’s needed. Should she deliver such, with the kind of thoughtful analysis shown here, which you seem intent on deeming dishonest, then we’ll just mentally group you with the Brooks/Noonan Axis of Useless.

What I don’t mind being called is a die-hard Federalist. When these Progressive nitwits come up with an Amendment to overturn Amendment 10, I’ll be able to shut up about the fundamental inappropriateness of the entire question. And if your reply is “Only DC can do something about health care,” my reply is “We move closer to the root of the problem. Continue your analysis.”

No, I’m not a hard-core Palinista. I’ll even entertain supporting Mitt Romney. Because it’s platform over personality. Voting Sarah over her genetic information is as overtly stupid as voting Obama over his.

At any rate, Jazz, thanks for noticing my humble post.

Here’s Newt Gingrich supporting Sarah.

Update II:
Howard “ROOOAAR” Dean: ‘She made that up‘.

August 9, 2009

The Breast-Feeding Baby Doll

Trog is creeped out, but Daley Gator merely notes the “controversial” nature of Bebe Gloton:

A Spanish toymaker known as Berjuan has developed a breast-feeding doll that comes with a special halter top its young “mothers” wear as they pretend to breast-feed their “babies.” The halter top has daisies that cover the little girls’ nipples and come undone just as easily as the flaps of a nursing bra would.
The doll — called Bebe Gloton, which translates as “gluttonous baby” — makes sucking noises as it “feeds.”

Yeah, a bit weird. But maybe we should ponder whether make-believe motherhood is really a worse play-time activity for girls than whatever imaginative future is symbolized by those trashy Bratz dolls or, God forbid, pre-teen pole dancers.

August 8, 2009

Lest we think there is no room for things to worsen here…

by Smitty

Dr. Sanity posts a haunting video compiled by Iranian women in protest to the brutality with which our current administration seems strangely comfortable. Heart wrenching.

Also on the topic of women speaking truth to power, Sarah Palin called Obamacare “downright evil”. So, that’s going to curry favor with BHO. Hat tip ABC, who also has the best graphic on the topic.

August 7, 2009

Best Wishes, Jenny Sanford

by Smitty (h/t Alan Colmes)

Alan reports that Jenny Sanford is headed back to Charleston for the school year. God strengthen you, lady. Hopefully, “From there we will continue to work on the process of healing our family” will translate into a divorce avoided.
Sanford: resign, fix your mess.

August 7, 2009

It’s a small binary world after all

by Smitty (h/t Open…)

Apparently, some bloke in Georgia (not RSM’s home state, but Edward Shevardnadze’s) was the cause of a globally visible ruckus yesterday:

A Georgian blogger with accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal and Google’s Blogger and YouTube was targeted in a denial of service attack that led to the site-wide outage at Twitter and problems at the other sites on Thursday, according to a Facebook executive.

Open… quotes the victim as saying:

this hackers was from Russian KGB

I had a personal, albeit orders of magnitude smaller, experience along these lines last year when I put up something on the Slashdot Firehose.
Displeased people, presumably from Russia, mod-bombed me into oblivion and wrote rather threatening replies all over the site.
Granted, it’s only a website, but it does give one pause. The concept of free speech is not universally deemed a feature.

August 6, 2009


It’s been six months of Groundhog Day with a twist: everyday we wake up to some new piece of jaw-dropping news regarding the short-term tactics and/or long term strategies of this Administration

August 5, 2009

Midnight Oil:A Renewable Energy Source

The heights by great men reached and kept,
Were not obtained by sudden flight.
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

August 4, 2009

Gutzman’s GOP criticism is nearly on target

by Smitty

Via Political Class Dismissed, Kevin R. C. Gutzman takes the GOP to task for Phony Originalism at Taki’s Magazine.

Since the days of Ronald Reagan and Edmund Meese, the Republican Party’s position has been that judges should be bound by the people’s understanding of a particular constitutional provision at the time they ratified it. This notion goes under the name “originalism.” Recent events, including the Republican response to President Obama’s nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, reveal that the party is a highly unreliable vehicle for this principle.

Examples cited in the article include Kelo v. City of New London, enforcing the Second Amendment at the state level, abortion, and affirmative action.
Here is an interesting point, emphasis mine:

The Bill of Rights as an obstacle to federal infringement on state authority was only one element of the underlying principle of the U.S. Constitution. This is “federalism,” the notion that the states (meaning the sovereign people of each state) had delegated only particular powers to the Federal Government. In the Reagan era, with Edmund Meese as attorney general and Charles Cooper as assistant attorney general, this principle received an emphasis it had not since 1937.

Gutzman concludes:

In short, then, Republicans generally do not stand for principled adherence to originalism, which once was called “the Constitution.” Across a range of questions, they mirror their Democratic opponents in advocating judicial legislation of their preferred legislative outcomes.

While no lawyer, I have read the Constitution and Amar’s book avidly. Oh, and Goldberg. What seems missing in Gutzman’s analysis is any acknowledgement of the importance of Progressivism in digging the current political/economic pit. Progressives of both stripes, Democrats by commission and Republicans by omission, have supported excessive centralization in DC since the Wilson administration (I’d be interested in knowing why Gutzman picked 1937 as a turning point for federalism).

In discussions with an older, conservative colleague at work, I hear a common, bogus apology: “Social Security was OK as originally conceived, it only went wrong after the fact.”

I try to explain that there is no Constitutional argument in favor of Social Security: anything like a sober reading seems to argue against it. And that’s neglecting the moral argument that the Amish make so well. Pssst, Baptists: you’re asleep at the switch. Finally, there is the crushing economic argument:

Ponzi schemes are OK as long as you’ve another generation of victims. Possibly acquisition of another round of victims explains the Democratic non-command of border security.

Social Security was never more than an interesting experiment underscoring the wisdom of the 10th Amendment. That one can find examples of people who were helped by it (as my colleague does) only serves to underscore the fundamental evil of government dependency. Having perverting liberty, people are reduced to a form of slavery:

Exodus 14:10-12

10. And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD.
11. And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
12. Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.

(Note that I’m not arguing against Progressive policies per se. They should certainly be allowed to succeed/fail at the state level, to whatever degree the residents of the state desire.)

Thus, while Gutzman seems to be arguing against the GOP from a snarky leftist “see, they’re just like us, only hitting different notes” standpoint, I’d hit the GOP from a “screw you pack of Progressive squishes, and all the jackasses in tacit alliance with you”.

Excessive, concentrated power, and the resulting tyranny is precisely what the Constitution was written to preclude, and exactly what the Progressive legislative re-write has given us these last 80-ish years.

If there is a lesson drawn from Obama the Joker and Chicago-on-the-Potomac, it is that “We the People” had better be about continuing the project begun by Ronald Reagan, placing these entitlements on valid economic and Constitutional footing, and protecting our liberty from the Vision of the Anointed. The eyes of that vision seem to be of the Overworld.

August 4, 2009

Don’t Threaten Dan, Griffin

Dan Riehl and I have an agreement to work together on the Jesse Griffin story. If we hadn’t both been so blind with exhaustion today, we might have agreed to go with what we had about 6 p.m.

Me? You can ask anybody who’s ever worked with me, I’m a hotheaded loose cannon. Dan is sensibly cautious, and here is one very important fact: I would never want to have Dan Riehl angry at me. Never threaten such a man:

As I’ve just received a threat which seems to be from Jesse Griffin and suggests lawyers are already involved, please refrain from making any comments here that suggest Jesse Griffin is guilty of any crime, particularly as regards children. I have suggested no such thing.

That is correct. I’ve got no idea what has been suggested. But let me explain something an editor told me a long time ago, “As long as you’ve got your facts right, they can’t touch you.” Please don’t even try that threatening crap with me, Griffin.