November 30, 2011

Equal Time

Had a little fun at the expense of Keystone Staters this morning. Well, here's a David Harsanyi Tweet of the day:

A former Colorado sheriff accused of offering meth for sex is being held in the jail named for him

AP, who may have actually twittered the tweet in question:
Patrick Sullivan, 68, found himself on Wednesday in a jail that was named for him, facing charges of offering methamphetamine in exchange for sex from a male acquaintance.

Dressed in an orange jail uniform and walking with a cane, a handcuffed Sullivan watched as a judge raised his bail amount to a half-million dollars and sent him to the Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Facility.

Colorado Posted by John Kranz at 7:44 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Damn, I hope nobody ever names a jail after me!

Posted by: johngalt at December 1, 2011 2:47 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

If they did, it would probably be because you were their longest serving resident. (snicker)

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 1, 2011 5:11 PM

American Exceptionalism

Hoss Posted by John Kranz at 3:44 PM | What do you think? [4]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The first segment has some extraordinary analysis.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 30, 2011 4:17 PM
But jk thinks:

Yeah. I need to send him a copy of Deepak Lal's Reviving the Invisible Hand to help him contextualize America's role in a liberal international economic order.

But his explanation of limited government, liberty, and coercion are not only awesome, but might reach someone who would not accept them from Sean Hannity.

Posted by: jk at November 30, 2011 5:49 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

And "America" has what role? Forcing me to pay to protect someone's trade routes that I don't care about? Building a military that, like Britain's navy, goes beyond "protection" and instead is used as an instrument of subjugation?

One thing Jillette did get wrong: I don't give up any of my freedoms in order for anyone else to have freedom Freedom, by definition, does not encroach on any other person's freedom. (As Jefferson put it, circles drawn around each of us.)

Someone left a comment: "It's great that Penn wants to build a library, but what about the people who don't want to help? Should they still have access to the library that other people paid to build for free? And what happens when everyone sees that they could use the library for free? Who besides the few really nice people that exist will pay for it. I think Penn like many libertarians discounts the fundamental reality of human greed."

Actually, freedom-worshippers are the ONLY ones who understand human greed. We know that people abuse "free," and we know that only property rights allow us to protect our property.

If I were rich enough to make a library that I own privately but leave open to the public, I'd have the right to set rules. People must sign up for a tracking system so I know who takes what (and allows for suspension of privileges), people get booted for misuse, and I can shut it down (or start charging membership fees) if it gets too expensive for me. It comes down to this: it's my property and I'll do with it as I will.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at November 30, 2011 8:16 PM
But jk thinks:

Perry, you can certainly disagree with the "American Experiment" of constitutionally limited government in preference for anarcho capitalism (& I know you do). My suggestion is that Jillette puts it out very forthrightly and clearly, which is becoming all too rare.

Posted by: jk at December 1, 2011 11:13 AM

TEA Party Re-Rallies!

As the Occupy madness played out I was a bit nostalgic for the TEA Party rally days of yore. "We need to do that again soon," thought I. People's Press Collective posts:

Many of us in the liberty movement have observed the Occupy Wall Street Movement (“OWS”) and admired their passion even when we often disagree with their tactics. They correctly identify some of the problems our country faces, such as that too many businesses make profit by lobbying the government, not by producing better value. However, instead of proposing solutions that would take our country toward renewed prosperity, OWS instead advocates policies that would make things worse. Heavier regulation, cancellation of all debts, outlawing of private insurance, a $20 minimum wage and “free” education are simply more of the same type of government intrusion that caused the current, and projected future, economic mess. What we need instead are more free markets and more liberty – for history has shown that this is the way for our country’s restored greatness – both as a nation and as individuals.

To that end, we will rally on December 3rd at 11:30 a.m. on the West Steps of the Colorado State Capitol to show support for limited government and economic freedom. Additionally, we will be holding a charity drive for a charity to be determined to help show that voluntary contributions – not forced giving at the hand of government – is the best way to help the less fortunate. If you support not only our country’s restored greatness, but also a freer and more humanitarian world, please consider attending this event. Help us declare freedom is not the problem, freedom is the answer.

I have a scheduling conflict so I hope this posting prompts one or more to attend in my stead.

Tea Party Posted by JohnGalt at 3:27 PM | What do you think? [4]
But jk thinks:

I'm otherwise occupied and the weather looks to be bad.

More importantly, I'm not feeling nostalgic. Tea Partiers moved quickly from rallies to town halls to state delegations, elective office, and substantive political advocacy. Also, I cannot think of a good outcome. Yet poor attendance or any disturbance or any "racist" signs will be used to denigrate the Tea party movement.

Let the dirty hippies tantrum, let freedom lovers govern.

Posted by: jk at November 30, 2011 4:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well, I remember that you were a little jaundiced by some of the rhetoric coming from the podium, so your reticence is understandable. However...

- TEA Party rallies are NOT "tantrums."
- TEA Party disturbances [have there been any?] would compare quite favorably with those at Occupy (TM).
- Racist signs reflect thems who carries 'em - fringe lunatics or hostile agitators.
- TEA Party rallies were the genesis of all the great things you enumerate, but for some reason it's a bad idea to do it again? Show we're still here?

And I'll close with this awesome new name for the Occupiers, although I link reluctantly for reasons that will be apparent to those who click through.

We are the TEA Party, "Occupy" is the Flea Party.

Posted by: johngalt at December 1, 2011 3:27 PM
But jk thinks:

No no no no no no! I have been misconstrued and demand to see an attorney -- or a good copy editor. I come to praise the TEA Party!

I had my concerns with the Tea Party, but the #OWS hippies have made me appreciate even the failings.

My (attempted) point was that the Tea Partiers have indeed moved to a higher level. That the rallies were simply a launching pad to an astonishing level of grassroots political involvement. Accepting that, the potential negatives I enumerated outweigh any real potential gains. One Democratic infiltrator shows up with a racist sign and it will lead the news for days. A small showing in the miserable weather (23F, snowing and windy as I type) will allow your beloved Denver Post Front Page to proclaim that the movement is over.

In defense of the tantrum line: if that's all you ever do, like so many on the left, it is a tantrum. Now that the baggerz have moved up it seems a step back.

Posted by: jk at December 3, 2011 11:45 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Canceled due to icy roads. Promise to reschedule.

Thanks for the clarification. My desire to go originated with co-organizer and (my) state senator Shawn Mitchell saying on Mike Rosen's show last week, "The Occupy protesters have some of the same complaints as the TEA Party, but offer all the wrong solutions." I think it's a good point to draw attention to.

Posted by: johngalt at December 3, 2011 7:56 PM


I usually use 60W bulbs and stocked up on those and 75s this summer.

But Instapundit's admonitions have sunk in, I don't want to be caught without access. And -- let's just say it's my way of sticking it to the man! I bought 24 100W incandescents.

Here's an insty-supporting link if you care to join me.


Surging to double digits in the polls! Mary Kaye's husband might be having his moment.

Russ Douthat pens a piece on Governor Huntsman's political missteps, but the paragraphs before the "but" constitute a ringing endorsement:

It’s a plausible line, evoking William F. Buckley Jr.'s often-quoted admonition that right-of-center voters should support the most electable conservative in any given race. But is it accurate? Not if you judge candidates on their record, rather than by their affect [sic?]. By that standard, the most electable conservative remaining in the Republican race is probably Jon Huntsman.

Huntsman is branded as the Republican field's lonely moderate, of course, which is one reason why he's current languishing at around 3 percent in the polls. But as Michael Brendan Dougherty noted in a summertime profile for the American Conservative, Huntsman's record as Utah's governor isn't "just to the right of other moderates, it is to the right of most conservatives."

The only candidate supporting the Ryan plan. Let that one sink in...

UPDATE: Brother JG's awesome link.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 12:48 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

I had all but given up on Jon since the California Straw Poll. This piece describing him as a solid conservative with both political and business experience, but a crappy campaign strategy hits home with me. Yes, I dismissed him because of debate gaffes, so I never looked at his record. Looking at where Newt is after he looked like a complete goner, I think Mary Kaye might yet be our first lady. I'm already prepared to declare him the best Mormon ex-governor in the race. My advice: Move next door to Sarah Palin and do whatever it takes to get her endorsement. Or even, "Huntsman-Palin '12."

Posted by: johngalt at November 30, 2011 3:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Seen this yet? Douthat mentioned it, and it's also linked from

Posted by: johngalt at November 30, 2011 3:13 PM

And now, in Philadelphia News...

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Former Philadelphia schools superintendent Arlene Ackerman, who was given a nearly $1-million buyout earlier this year, has applied for unemployment.
Pennsylvania Posted by John Kranz at 11:20 AM | What do you think? [0]


The Refugee suffered a serious nightmare last night in which he discovered that he was related to Nancy Pelosi and enjoyed talking with her.

True story.

But jk thinks:

If you score a place in her will, you're buying coffee next time!

Posted by: jk at November 30, 2011 1:05 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Wait a minute... it's your turn to buy!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 30, 2011 2:58 PM
But johngalt thinks:

If Rep. Botox is in your family tree, Uncle Sam is buyin' for the foreseeable future.

Posted by: johngalt at November 30, 2011 3:35 PM
But jk thinks:

Was my turn. I'm thinkin' it's Aunt Nancy's...

Posted by: jk at November 30, 2011 3:38 PM

November 29, 2011

Some Colorado Parents to Stay out of Las Vegas

The Denver Post reports that Colorado ranks #2 in vaccination "opt outs" for vaccines among kindergartners. Seven percent of Centennial State parents of kindergartners chose not to vaccinate their children for common diseases. According to the article, most such parents site the risk of serious complications from vaccines or a philosophy toward "natural" immunization. (i.e., Let them catch the disease and hope they don't die).

However, according to the Center for Disease Control (if you can believe those guys), only one death between 1990 and 1992 can possibly be related to a vaccination. The chances of complications from a vaccination range from 1:1000 to 1:1,000,000 or more. Most "complications" are sore arms or fever. The study linking autism to vaccinations has been largely discredited. Furthermore, 10 children died in 2010 in California alone from pertussis (whooping cough).

So here's the analogy: you go to Las Vegas and approach the table. There is a 99.9% chance that the next roll will be red and .1% chance that it will be black. Which color do you bet on? Let's just say that 7 percent of Colorado parents should stay the hell out of Las Vegas.

Rep. Bachmann, please call your office.

Health Care Posted by Boulder Refugee at 5:52 PM | What do you think? [2]
But jk thinks:
Renee Chalfant of Boulder refused many vaccinations for her children, now grown, and would do it again. She said she has read hundreds of studies and is convinced it's better for children to be exposed to disease and develop natural immunity if they live in a nation where health care is available.
Renee, I'm going to flip the coin three times. If all three are heads, I will give you three dollars; if not, you give me three dollars. Posted by: jk at November 29, 2011 6:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And along with "Progressive" Colorado, the other states with the highest refusal rates are Alaska, Minnesota, Washington and Vermont. The least likely to refuse vaccinations: Them "backward" folk in the South. Perhaps Progressives rationalize this as being consistent with nationalized health care - they're proactively complying with government rationing of vaccines. But this falls apart when one considers the results of the Post's online poll (via the "reports" link) showing that the majority of those opposing vaccination cite "I don't fully trust federal health agencies" as their reason.

Posted by: johngalt at November 29, 2011 7:56 PM


I guess the "number of days without an accident" sign at Iran's military headquarters has to be set back to zero again. -- Jim Geraghty (subscribe)
Iran Posted by John Kranz at 4:41 PM | What do you think? [0]


Front page photo banner in today's DP - Photogenic Farmers A new calendar features photos of people you may have met who produce vegetables, fruit, meat, cheese or honey, along with recipes.

"We love the farming community and Colorado, and we want to get more people connected to it," said Nagy. Bad news about industrial food [sic] such as the "Food, Inc." documentary, makes people feel powerless, she added. "So supporting these local, living economies are one way we can take back control."

So Fort Collins collaborators Kelsi Nagy and Liz Gaylor invested their time and borrowed capital to create a new Farmers of the Front Range calendar. OK, pretty cool. But I have to say it doesn't seem to portray a broad spectrum of the thousands of farmers who work and live along Colorado's front range. While they spotlight folks who "farm on a few leased acres close to Fort Collins, close enough that shareholders in their community supported agriculture program can bicycle out to help work the vegetable plots in the summer," they don't seem to notice the farmers I'm most familiar with in the third leading agricultural area in the United States, Weld County. Those folks are better portrayed by Hank Williams Jr.

But I suppose they'd just dismiss these hard workin' folk as "industrial food" producers.

But jk thinks:

Game, set, match. (Probably NSFW)

Posted by: jk at November 29, 2011 4:45 PM
But jk thinks:

Safe For Work (which I oughtta be doin') from the same goofy site: Ten Regrettable Portraits.

Posted by: jk at November 29, 2011 5:50 PM

Fire Re-Kindled?

I trust I'm not the first to use the fire kindling analogy. If I were better read on the subject I'd probably already know it's part of the naming strategy. But knowing far less about e-readers than, well, just about anybody, I'm quite interested to know if br'er JK's jilted love has been requited.

To accompany the time that has lapsed since his misunderstanding with the device I'll add this head-to-head techie review of Kindle Fire vs. iPad. Fire leads in reader polling almost two to one, but the Pauliacs probably haven't weighed in yet.

Technology Posted by JohnGalt at 2:43 PM | What do you think? [4]
But jk thinks:

Consider it a good romance novel. The meet-cute went poorly, but the super-hunky guy (umm, that would be me) comes around in the end. And they all live happily ever after.

I like the Fire and mine is working perfectly. A backlit reader is cool to have at night, the browser is much better than the phone to check ThreeSources real quick. The hardware is elegant with a super nice screen. In comparison to an iPad, I’d certainly go with the Fire.

If I have reservations, it is the function of a tablet. At the end of the day, it browses less coolly than a laptop, shows movies less comfortably than a TV, is larger for music than an iPod, and compares poorly to a regular Kindle as an eReader. The Fire does all of them well enough for one small device and I am quite glad I bought it. But if I had to give up a gadget, it would be first out the door because everything it does, I have something that does it better.

Posted by: jk at November 29, 2011 4:05 PM
But jk thinks:

Reading the full head-to-head, I'd say they nail it. The lovely bride has an iPad, and the Apple advocate is correct that it is "closer" in productivity to a laptop. If that's on your list, I can sure see the iPad, catching up on work in a hotel room. But the Fire fits (clunckily )in a jacket or big cargo pants pocket.

Can we end with a call for the dirty hippies to shut up about the evils of profit? Apple and Amazon created a range from a $79 Kindle (if you're really shopping for an eReader, that may be the one you want) to a 64GB iPad tablet with 3G. Each of us can grab the one he or she wants (or, if married to me, a few...)

Posted by: jk at November 29, 2011 5:11 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Count The Refugee as stickin' with the iPad. Apps for about everything. Works, looks and behaves great.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 29, 2011 5:14 PM
But jk thinks:

Can the tenuous bonds of ThreeSources possibly survive yet another internecine combat? Knuckledragger!

Posted by: jk at November 29, 2011 5:35 PM

Giants Walked the Earth

What Milton Friedman might say to the Occupy movement Two awesome clips at Mankiw's site.

Walter Russell Meade on Tebow

This is not about Tim Tebow, and it is not about his evangelical faith. Via Meadia takes no view at this early stage about the merits or demerits of the various Broncos' Quarterbacks, and our inveterate Anglicanism gets in the way of embracing his faith. But bigotry is something that needs to be fought in all its forms; unreasonable fears and prejudices based on religion will always be with us, but such fears belong in the gutter among the wackos, the haters and the tin-foil hat brigades on both the right and the left. When they rise from the sewers and the swamps into mainstream publications and can be casually uttered in polite company by distinguished professors, something is going very wrong, and people who believe in the American way need to speak up. . . .
Actually, Professor Meade is discussing the NYTimes attacks on Gov. Romney. But I find it translates pretty well.
Posted by John Kranz at 11:37 AM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

It is a newspaper truism that what is good for journalism is bad for the country, and vice versa. Let's just say that regarding the pending retirement of Congressman Barney Frank, we're delighted to make the professional sacrifice. -- WSJ Ed Page
113th Congress Posted by John Kranz at 11:23 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Polite, objective and reserved. (As the 2012 campaign season begins in earnest, we may have to make this an acronym.)

Posted by: johngalt at November 29, 2011 2:42 PM

November 28, 2011

Trickle Down from Ten-feet-six

I hate the disparaging term "Trickle Down Economics." Those who would use that fail to understand economics at all. It is not the leftovers of the rich that the poor get in a free market, it is the chance at all of it.

And yet I found myself ready to embrace it this weekend. Two different moronic, anti-business, local teevee news stations both portrayed the NBA walkout resolution in terms of its positive effects on small local businesses. Wait staff had been laid off downtown restaurants. Unlicensed vendors who sell snacks and souvenirs outside were ecstatic.

At the end of the day, a bunch of people were going to have jobs because the rich, spoiled brat players' union came to terms with the rich and spoiled owners and agreed to make fistfulls of money together. Plus, some will enjoy watching.

I find myself immune to the game's charms. But I share the exuberance of the economic community that thrives on those who are not.

UPDATE: THE WSJ claims it is a win for the owners. Good, I generally root for capital over labor: "Scrooge, Scrooge, he's our man!..."

The biggest changes will be off the court after owners scored an obvious economic win. The two sides will split the league's $4 billion in annual revenue almost equally, while in previous agreements the players received 57%. On the court, despite systematic changes like reducing contract length and increasing fees for high-spending teams, most think it will be business as usual.

But Lisa M thinks: mean they still play professional basketball?

Posted by: Lisa M at November 28, 2011 7:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Not in Philly...

Posted by: jk at November 28, 2011 8:24 PM

Quote of the Day

Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free. Why do we always act as if we have forgotten that? -- Jerry Pournelle
Context is the Gibson raid, hat-tip is the Instapundit.
Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 1:15 PM | What do you think? [0]

Smoking Gun Climategate 2.0 Quote of the Day

In a fair and honest world, my blog brother would be correct and the world would begin a serious reassessment of "Climate Science." I do not expect a multi-billion dollar international industry to fold up shop and go home. Yet I do wish there were a more honest news dissemination apparatus. True, none of the numerous emails in Climategate 1.0 or Climategate 2.0 explicitly say


Gosh! This is all a big hoax. Sure hope nobody ever finds out.


Therefore, everybody seems pretty convinced there is nothing to see there. One would have to use and understand the word epistemology.

If one of our dear ThreeSourcers would like to share something, they could do worse than this Open Letter to Dr. Phil Jones

So when my FOI request came along, you were caught. You were legally required to produce data you couldn't locate. Rather than tell the truth and say "I can’t find it", you chose to lie. Hey, it was only a small lie, and it was for the Noble Cause of saving the world from Thermageddon. So you had David tell me the data was available on the web. You knew that was a lie. David, apparently, didn't realize it was a lie, at least at first. You hoped your Noble Lie would satisfy me, that I would get discouraged, and you could move on.

The entire letter is very good. Your lefty friends will not appreciate the site that hosts it nor its tone. But if the science is to be settled, the other guys will have to play like scientists.

But johngalt thinks:

Devastating. The tone? Polite, objective, reserved, and still a totally and completely devastating expose of "climate 'science' realpolitik."

In the realm of reality ours is a fair and honest world. "One may not cheat reality," Ayn Rand said. Celebrities may be cheated. Newsmen may be cheated. Even scientists can be cheated, for a time. Eventually, however, the peer review process will attract enough attention from enough serious challengers that the soundstage for their make-believe science shall come tumbling down upon the directors' heads.

Perhaps the NYTimes will report Dr. Jones' retirement.

Posted by: johngalt at November 28, 2011 3:11 PM
But jk thinks:
Foolish me ... d'ya think I might have been more than a bit naive back then about climate "science" realpolitik?
If that is "reserved," you have perhaps been reading ThreeSources too long :)

But I agree on the devastating part.

Posted by: jk at November 28, 2011 3:51 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Too long? ThreeSources? Is that even possible?

Posted by: johngalt at November 28, 2011 5:03 PM
But Lisa M thinks:

Slightly less elegant but just as devastating, from Climategate 1.0:

Posted by: Lisa M at November 28, 2011 7:28 PM

November 27, 2011

Otequay of the Ayday

Happily, the left's pernicious, economy-destroying and false global warming ideology is collapsing under a growing body of evidence that the CO2 scare is a fraud.

Who says we have nothing to be thankful for? -Investors Ed Page

But jk thinks:

Now if we can just get everybody to read IBD.

Posted by: jk at November 27, 2011 4:54 PM
But johngalt thinks:

It may not be on the weekday morning news shows or in cartoons for the kiddies, but the "dead DAWG" message is getting out to the public somehow.

Just 51 percent of Americans -- or one percentage point more than in 1998 -- said they worry a great deal or fair amount about climate change, Gallup's annual environment poll says.
Posted by: johngalt at November 27, 2011 8:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Woohoo! Up to 49% are we? Break out the champagne!

I should save my swarmy sarcasm for Facebook lefties, but this is not a dead DAWG, it is more a wounded bear (polar? that would be cute -- little fuzzy white thing mauling everything in sight...)

Posted by: jk at November 28, 2011 12:04 PM
But jk thinks:

...and drinkin' a Coke®...

Posted by: jk at November 28, 2011 1:05 PM
But Lisa M thinks:

Clearly the link I shared above would have been more appropriate here. Still makes me laugh, two years later.

Posted by: Lisa M at November 28, 2011 7:31 PM

Quote of the Day

In the course of a typical day I usually receive at least a couple of emails from readers lamenting that America is now the Titanic. This is grossly unfair to the Titanic, a state-of-the-art ship whose problem was that it only had lifeboat space for about half its passengers. By contrast, the SS Spendaholic is a rusting hulk encrusted with barnacles, there are no lifeboats, and the ship's officers are locked in a debate about whether to use a thimble or an eggcup. -- Mark Steyn
Posted by John Kranz at 11:10 AM | What do you think? [0]

November 26, 2011

The Palin Card

Lest we forget, has yet to be played in the 2012 nomination contest (derisively called "the ongoing Gong Show courtesy of the GOP dunceworks" by a commenter at JK's Huntsman Rising! link.) While the race has proven to be a combination of the Romney establishment candidacy and a game of musical chairs between the "anti-Romney's, an endorsement by the ex-governor from the AK time zone is a development that still promises a tectonic effect on the race. And RCP's Scott Conroy says, Gingrich May Have Inside Track on Palin's Endorsement.Gingrich May Have Inside Track on Palin's Endorsement

Palin and her advisers have in recent weeks discussed when her endorsement might have the greatest impact on the race, but the timing remains undetermined.

But Palin would likely have the biggest influence if she were to back a candidate before the Iowa caucuses. Her still considerable clout with the evangelical and Tea Party-leaning wings of the party could have a particularly significant impact in Iowa and in the first-in-the-South primary in South Carolina.

Aides emphasized that while Gingrich currently appears to be the front-runner for Palin’s endorsement, her thinking could change.

Sing it, Sarah!

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 1:14 PM | What do you think? [0]

Your DEA at Work

The enforcement-heavy segment of ThreeSources can be proud today.

Here's a Mercury News profile of Bob Wallace, an 88-year-old chemist who started a very successful cottage business selling iodine crystals under the "Polar Pure" brand new, used by hikers and disaster relief workers for water purification. Wallace has been put out of business by the Drug Enforcement Agency, who say they once busted a meth lab that was using Wallace's iodine in their process.

I share this link both to torque the enforcement-heavy segment of ThreeSources and also to share Mr. Wallace's awesome response:
For Wallace to comply, the state Department of Justice fingerprinted the couple and told Wallace he needed to show them such things as a solid security system for his product. Wallace sent a photograph of Buddy sitting on the front porch.

"These guys don't go for my humor," Wallace said. "Cops are the most humorless knotheads on the planet." Even so, Marco Campagna, Wallace's lawyer, promised to strengthen security and make other improvements to allay the government's concerns.

A bigger dog? Hat-tip: Insty

War on Drugs Posted by John Kranz at 11:57 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

But, iodine is a gateway drug!

Posted by: johngalt at November 26, 2011 1:37 PM

Find Who Your Friends Are [see update]

The C.F. Martin Guitar Company could not find time for a word of solidarity with Gibson when its competitor was raided by the US Fish SWAT team. When pressed, they suggested that they eschew politics entirely, and it wouldn't be appropriate to comment, yadda yadda...

I guess they have more time on their hands now:

UPDATE: I am a complete dork. "Pepper spray" refers to a shopping incident of which I was unaware and not the OWS. In the words of the Governor of the great state of Texas: "Oops."

Current Events Posted by John Kranz at 11:29 AM | What do you think? [0]

November 25, 2011

Who Says Obama is Powerless?

Now that I've missed the fast-access window to accuse Cain of doing unspecified things in an vague way at an uncertain time to one of my daughters (my best friend recommened the 7 yr. old, but I just didn't move fast enough), I'll move to a more timely topic.

Apparently Sir GolfsALot offered all sorts of impediments, threats and non-starters to the Supercommittee (aside: why is Washington so gifted in assigning unsuited names?). Veto threats? Who told him about that ?!?

Posted by nanobrewer at 4:30 PM | What do you think? [0]

November 24, 2011

Five Novels with Classically Liberal Themes

I give thanks again for our superior and gifted commentariat. If you've missed it, we have been having fun several posts south discussing the writing talents and political orientation of Stephen King.

The preponderance of left wing thought in Novels is worthy of more serious thought than I will give here, but to show the scale of the disparity, I enumerate five that support my beliefs. Spanning a few centuries. My rules prohibit multiple books by the same author, and I don't pretend to be an authority on literature. So it is not quite as bad as I make it. I seem to remember National Review listing 25 once, but they would load up on C.S. Lewis whom I would not critique except to say that that does not align exactly with my views. They would also list "Brideshead Revisited" out of homage to WFB, but while Waugh was "big-C Conservative," I'm not sure Brideshead truly flies the flag. Even Disraeli’s books skew a bit left.

Here is the jk list; let me know what I am missing:

  • I am Charlotte Simmonds -- Tom Wolfe
  • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress -- Robert Heinlein
  • Atlas Shrugged -- Ayn Rand
  • My Antonia -- Willa Cather
  • Bleak House -- Charles Dickens

I used to have a five great lefty list, just so I could count Dickens on both. But these are numerable entries against an ocean of Steinbeck, Cheever, Updike, Umberto Eco, Stephen King, Amy Tan -- you can think of them as fast as you can say them. Even my beloved "Art of Racing in the Rain" requires me to check my philosophy at the door a bit.

This does not defend King's explicit rants in 11/22/63, but it sets the bar of expectation pretty low on rational, individualist thought and appreciation for self-sovereignty in fiction.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 11:01 AM | What do you think? [3]
But Lisa M thinks:

NRO did an updated list not including Brideshead Revisted or anything by C.S.Lewis. It can be found here:

I can report that I've read 6 of the 10 on this list and would count "The Time it Never Rained" and "No Country for Old Men" among my favorites. To cheat a bit, I'd add Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" as well.

To your list I would add The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Posted by: Lisa M at November 24, 2011 2:49 PM
But jk thinks:

Somebody's behind the curve. I've read only "Bonfire" on Miller's list and confess I only recognize a few of the other authors. I'll clearly have to start with Cormac McCarthy -- anybody who makes National Review's list and Oprah's has got to have something.

The Tolkien trilogy is an omission. My list is up to six. Miller starts at 1950 but the lack of overlap intrigues. I labored whether to give Rand's slot to Atlas or The Fountainhead, but spent less a second choosing I am Charlotte over Bonfire.

Don't know I'll run all nine, but a short fiction run would probably do me some good.

Posted by: jk at November 25, 2011 6:59 AM
But jk thinks:

The Winnah! "Gilead" by Marilynne Robinson. The first in a moderately random look through the NR list available on Kindle for 9.99. And, on the recommendation of a good friend of this blog, "A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories" by Flannery O'Connor. ($8.51 !!)

Posted by: jk at November 27, 2011 11:32 AM

Romney, not-Romney

"Oh no, there goes I-o-wa;
Go go Newtzilla."

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 1:51 AM | What do you think? [8]
But nanobrewer thinks:

TS'ers have noted that I haven't rigorously defended Romney. Not that I can't, but it takes time. Again I will refer to the electibility index: look at the numbers under the "independents" and you'll see what I'm referring to. Note that we'll need a polished, teflon coated candidate against the smug, smearer-in-chief.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 25, 2011 4:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well brothers, does this help your opinion of the nuveaux TEA Party Darling Gingrich over the establishment squish Romney?

Gingrich, Romney Spar Over Immigration in GOP Debate

Gingrich advocates legal status, without citizenship, for "those who have shown more of a commitment to this country." Romney (and Bachmann) accuse him of backing "amnesty." And yet, in 2007 Romney told the Lowell (MA) Sun ...

"I don't believe in rounding up 11 million people and forcing them at gunpoint from our country. With these 11 million people, let's have them registered, know who they are. Those who've been arrested or convicted of crimes shouldn't be here; those that are paying taxes and not taking government benefits should begin a process towards application for citizenship, as they would from their home country."

That Romney is so flip-flop-flippy. He's such a slippery dude I think I'll start calling him Slick Willard.

Posted by: johngalt at November 26, 2011 10:46 AM
But jk thinks:

I suspect my blog brother is going to disown me, but I am retreating to the Huntsman camp. You don't need to remind me of Governor Romney's imperfections, but do I need to remind you of the Speaker's?

Governor Jon was pretty awesome on FOXNews Sunday yesterday.

Posted by: jk at November 28, 2011 11:56 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Agreed. I found myself wanting to revisit tweets and debate recordings to remind myself what was objectionable from a policy standpoint. I recall accusing him of being anti-American Exceptionalism. Perhaps I overreached. (Or perhaps he was pandering yesterday.)

One area where Jon absolutely slays Gingrich: First Lady.

Posted by: johngalt at November 28, 2011 5:06 PM
But jk thinks:

I wouldn't sweat that. Newt will have another one shortly, perhaps she'll be more to your linking.

Posted by: jk at November 28, 2011 5:28 PM
But jk thinks:

I had not seen The Beehive State's former First Lady until you mentioned it. I felt rather like a schoolboy searching the Internet for pictures, but you are correct -- Mary Kaye is rather fetching.

Posted by: jk at November 28, 2011 5:47 PM

November 23, 2011

Things are Rough All Over

Denver Post, front page: U.S. Postal Service parceling its work to fewer carriers

Since 2008, the corps of letter carriers in Denver has shrunk 22 percent, to 1,050.

That means 300 fewer carriers are delivering mail to the same number of stops: 489,000 homes and businesses.

Things might soon get a lot more hectic in Denver.

Is that last line really in a straight-news story? "This town seems to be going to pot these days."

Let's see, 489,000 homes and businesses served by 1050 letter carriers averages to 466 addresses per carrier. In 1979 my brother and I delivered over 500 newspapers each morning in about 2 hours. Okay, that's 4 man-hours and we delivered the same thing to each address, launched from a moving vehicle on the street. Even so, we were kids! This doesn't seem so much greater a burden. And we certainly didn't get paid as much, nor were we awarded a defined benefit pension plan.

The World According to DP

As I guided my family through the concourse at Coors Field last fall for our final ballgame of the season I was offered a discounted trial delivery of the Denver Post. I gave it serious thought, dismissed the vendor with "I'll think it over and come back later," then decided $10 a month was too steep. Weeks later a different vendor made a different offer at the door to our local King Soopers: "Two months free! After that you can cancel or go to Sunday only or ..."

I've enjoyed the sports coverage but I take the front page with equal measures of amusement and disgust as the lead story is clearly selected to shape the opinions of the least informed. The general theme is to give sympathetic treatment of a generic societal "failing" with a hint or two of how government might "fix" it. I've decided the ploy is so predictable it could become a regular feature and thus, a new category.


A day early to adjust to holiday schedules. Next week, some Christmas cheer.



"Errol Garner, ©1951. But, more importantly, 'Our Song.'"

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mark J. Perry:

Like in previous years, you probably didn't call your local supermarket ahead of time and order your Thanksgiving turkey this year. Why not? Because you automatically assumed that a turkey would be there when you showed up, and it probably was there when you showed up "unannounced" at your local grocery store to select your bird.

The reason your Thanksgiving turkey was waiting for you without an advance order? Because of "spontaneous order," "self-interest," and the "invisible hand" of the free market -- "the mysterious power that leads innumerable people, each working for his own gain, to promote ends that benefit many." And even if your turkey appeared in your local grocery stores only because of the "selfishness" or "corporate greed" of thousands of commercial turkey farmers, truckers, and supermarket owners who are complete strangers to you and your family, it's still part of the miracle of the marketplace where "individually selfish decisions lead to collectively efficient outcomes."


Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 10:40 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:


Related: Call It Exuberant Friday, Not "Black Friday"

Posted by: johngalt at November 23, 2011 3:02 PM

November 22, 2011


I am afraid that Mike [Mann] is defending something that increasingly can not be defended. He is investing too much personal stuff in this and not letting the science move ahead. -- Chris Horner
Some call it ClimateGate2. A new batch of emails at
But johngalt thinks:

Noteworthy is that the quote is not of ["denier"] Chris Horner, but of a Mr. "Cook" who was corresponding with Mike Mann and other colleagues in the leaked emails. Even a pro-DAWG colleague thought Mann was "not letting the science move ahead!"

Posted by: johngalt at November 23, 2011 2:35 PM

Word of the Day

IBD has a $10 world, trading at about 10.125 as I type...

To hear Barack Obama describe the latest fiscal impasse in Washington, the poor guy is totally helpless dealing with this congressional crowd of hebetudinous laggards.

He gave them his plan to cut the budget while spending more. He's rigidly sticking with it, which is principled. And both sides in Congress are rigidly sticking with their plans, which is stubborn. Except, come to think of it, there wasn't a real Democratic plan. All they did was not like the Republican ones.

For the hebetudinous who need a definition...

But dagny thinks:

Insufficient sleep for first graders results in a hebetudinous approach to homework.

Posted by: dagny at November 22, 2011 2:29 PM

Quote of the Day

There's another Republican debate tonight on CNN. Candidates, start your chagrines! Let's get ready to stumble! -- Jim Geraghty (subscribe)
2012 Posted by John Kranz at 10:39 AM | What do you think? [0]

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

Geeks at HTC have code-named the new "Facebook Phone" Buffy.

After years of considering how to best get into the phone business, Facebook has tapped Taiwanese cellphone maker HTC to build a smartphone that has the social network integrated at the core of its being.

Code-named "Buffy," after the television vampire slayer, the phone is planned to run on a modified version of Android that Facebook has tweaked heavily to deeply integrate its services, as well as to support HTML5 as a platform for applications, according to sources familiar with the project.

My HTC Windows Phone seems far more integrated to Facebook than to Windows. Maybe this one will have "Farmville."

Technology Posted by John Kranz at 8:39 AM | What do you think? [0]

November 21, 2011

Black Friday come Early

Don't wait out in the cold all night! Give the gift of attractive T-Shirts and happily fed donkeys!

Sponsor a bale of hay for $25, get a T-Shirt!

UPDATE: Mea Maxima Culpa! My bucolic blog brother & sister are correct. It seems a bale of alfalfa hay can be $25 and is not ideal for donkeys. Plus, a bale feeds three donkeys for three days. Charles asked me to rework the ad copy -- his friends are all wondering why his donkeys eat so much!

City folk...

Horses Posted by John Kranz at 5:45 PM | What do you think? [5]
But dagny thinks:

Are they really paying $25 a small square bale down there????? Here in Colorado prices are more like $6 a bale if you know someone and $10 if you have to go to the feed store and buy the expensive stuff!

Posted by: dagny at November 21, 2011 7:11 PM
But jk thinks:

Drought & Wildfires -- that's why so many are abandoned.

Now if they had some good anti-gouging price controls...

Posted by: jk at November 21, 2011 7:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Those t-shirts aren't free either.

Posted by: johngalt at November 21, 2011 9:56 PM
But jk thinks:

My blog brother is on to me. The premium-style pricing structure was my idea. I printed the shirts and bought shipping materials. Now I pay postage and pack them up. If we only were to net $300 for selling a hundred, I'd rather write a check.

Posted by: jk at November 22, 2011 10:14 AM
But johngalt thinks:

A perfect Christmas gift, however. Certain to be unique - great for that person on your list who "has everything." Buy one for everyone on your list! (Just don't post a comment here saying you did so lest you spoil the holiday surprise. :)

Posted by: johngalt at November 22, 2011 12:32 PM

Review Corner

I will not provide a thorough review of Stephen King's 11/22/63. I spoke a bit about my trajectory with Mr. King and his works. But a coupl'a things.

First, Thomas Wolfe was right. You can never go home to an author after seven years away. It was fun and it was well written and I would not dissuade anybody from reading it. Yet I found myself ready for it to end. It takes a very important piece of fiction to capture my heart these days. (e.g., The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein) and the fun in this one did not last until the end. I gave it three stars.

Second, I must resolve my philosophical concerns without spoilers. Umbrage remained quiet for most of the rest of the book for me, but I will share something from the Afterword with all my Dear Readers. Devotees of King come to enjoy the Afterwords, usually addressing "Dear Readers" as much as the books. They are heartfelt and sweet. This one pissed me off.

King defends his harsh treatment of 1963 Dallas. I wasn't there. But he continues:

It's better today, but one still sees signs on Main Street saying HANDGUNS NOT ALLOWED IN THE BAR. This is an afterword, not an editorial, but I hold strong opinions on this subject, particularly given the current political climate of my country. If you want to know what political extremism can lead to, look at the Zapruder film. Take particular note of frame 313, where Kennedy's head explodes.

A legal carry in the state of Texas equals Lee Harvey Oswald assassinating the President. Got it.

Gun Rights Posted by John Kranz at 3:30 PM | What do you think? [8]
But jk thinks:

My favorite was always "The Talisman." Even he didn't like that one too much.

Posted by: jk at November 22, 2011 7:44 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

My favorite was _Dead Zone_ for a number of personal reasons, but have to agree with my best friend that he's closer to hack than gifted genious. Kind of like the stopped clock being correct twice/day; how many books has he written?

_Firestarter_ (and others) was no doubt an effort to reclaim the magic (can't compare teh pub #'s but both were made into movies) and got kind of close.

@JK is spot on about "sharp, preachy left turn" - I think it's white guilt (aka, about unearned wealth) that spurs this affliction along.


Aside: JK likes Stein's "racing in the rain"?? I too was smitten; highly recommeneded to all

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 22, 2011 8:34 PM
But Lisa M thinks:

P.S. Reading Mamet's "The Secret Knowledge" right now and loving it.

Posted by: Lisa M at November 22, 2011 9:14 PM
But jk thinks:

I give early thanks for ThreeSourcers. You folks are awesome.

Being filled with the holiday spirit (or is that "full of it?") I am going to step into the breach and defend the best-selling, critically-acclaimed, multi-millionaire, part of the 1%, überpopular author.

1) Philosophy. King is a Yankee, a humanities guy, a man of letters, a child of the '60s, a celebrity, a one-percenter. Where in that litany do my friends see "conservative," "classical liberal," or "libertarian?" Of course he's going to be a lefty. 'Twould be a great surprise if he escaped, but none that he succumbed. I posit the existence of only five "conservative" novels. I promise to list them over the Thanksgiving holiday.

2) Chops. I must fulsomely disagree with my great friend, nb. King is our generation's Shakespeare. He writes things for the masses and is popular, but there is a great deal beneath it and a sparkling use of language. I used to hide his books at home and was sure to grab James Joyce or Thomas Pynchon as I went to the dentist or anywhere I would be seen. After "Different Seasons" I came out of the King closet. That is superb writing. Your list is great, I'd add a few peculiar but great ones like "Insomnia," "Pet Semetary," and "Tommyknockers."

No, I think he is the real deal. Pity he fell to the lefty nonsense that everybody else in his profession, age, and socio-economic group did.

Posted by: jk at November 23, 2011 11:30 AM
But jk thinks:

Yes, "The Art of Racing in the Rain." Blog friend sc recommended that when my sweet baby girl Skylark died. I have since bought it as a gift for everyone who loses a dog.

I cite it as the only piece of fiction that has captured me since my non-fiction kick. It is a masterpiece.

Posted by: jk at November 23, 2011 11:40 AM
But Lisa M thinks:

Yes! Different Seasons! Apt Pupil and The Body are fabulous stories. To that, I would also cite a short story from Skeleton Crew called "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut", Misery and Thinner (as Richard Bachman).

I agree with your assessment, jk, that it was inevitable and always apparent that King would lean left. However, considering a good portion of his early work is premised in a fundamental distrust of government (Firestarter leaps immediately to mind) it's more than a little contradictory, disappointing and annoying that he would so completely embrace today's big government style liberalism that the 60's anti-establishment, "don't trust anyone over 30" style liberalism has morphed into. I had counted on King to be more broad minded than that, and if he couldn't do that, he could at least have kept his views to himself instead of poisoning his work with it.

Posted by: Lisa M at November 23, 2011 6:54 PM

All Hail Taranto!


Now, a Sermon -- For The Chior!

Et tu, Starbucks®?

I winced when I saw that my favorite multi-national corporate chain was accepting $5 donations to "promote jobs." I knew it would be goofy, but I didn't know what -- I figured they would hire some kids to sort their recycling and blow real hard at windmills or something.

But it's worse. It's the somewhat seriously good idea of micro-finance, perverted by removing its free market element. You take something that is half-good, and extirpate the good half!

The Mises Institute has the lowdown:

The $5 donation will help poor entrepreneurs start or maintain a business in typically underserved areas with the idea that this will help create or sustain small-business jobs. This sounds quite noble but mischaracterizes what jobs are and where they originate.

[Adam Stover] continues: "Furthermore, Opportunity Finance Network's website invests in businesses that are 'profitable, but not profit maximizing. They put the community first, not the shareholder.' Implicit in this statement is that turning a profit hurts someone, which is patently false. This is exactly what we as a society do not want."

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 2:11 PM | What do you think? [4]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

But it ain't gubmint cheese.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 21, 2011 3:12 PM
But jk thinks:

Nope, it's not even coerced. You make an argument I make frequently if not in that exact, dairy-infused locution.

But it perpetuates bad economic ideas. Can we agree on half-evil?

Posted by: jk at November 21, 2011 3:18 PM
But jk thinks:

Or -- keeping the dairy theme -- Half & Half evil?

Posted by: jk at November 21, 2011 6:27 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Misguided and feckless at best, evil at worst.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 22, 2011 9:29 AM

Serious Words

Pat Caddell and Douglas Schoen are Clintonistas, to be sure, but their WSJ guest editorial seems a cri de coeur from a serious branch of the Democratic Party:

When Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson accepted the reality that they could not effectively govern the nation if they sought re-election to the White House, both men took the moral high ground and decided against running for a new term as president. President Obama is facing a similar reality--and he must reach the same conclusion.

He should abandon his candidacy for re-election in favor of a clear alternative, one capable not only of saving the Democratic Party, but more important, of governing effectively and in a way that preserves the most important of the president's accomplishments. He should step aside for the one candidate who would become, by acclamation, the nominee of the Democratic Party: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Never before has there been such an obvious potential successor--one who has been a loyal and effective member of the president's administration, who has the stature to take on the office, and who is the only leader capable of uniting the country around a bipartisan economic and foreign policy.

I suggest Secretary Clinton would win in a landslide, and would be a far better hope for this great nation than a 50/50 chance of a second Obama term.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:29 AM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

President Obama's "moral high-ground" is that capitalism is immoral. To him (and a huge fraction of his base) Hillary Clinton (and Caddell and Schoen) is/are moderate Republican(s). I would be stunned if the President followed this template.

If Clinton has any electoral advantage over Obama in this scenario it will come from her gender not any policy differences, real or perceived.

Posted by: johngalt at November 21, 2011 2:22 PM
But jk thinks:

I think Secretary Clinton would recapture disaffected lefties who are perturbed by the President's incompetence and capture some moderates who don't find his petty partisanship appealing.

Now that we Tea Partiers have abandoned President George W Bush's defense, the Clinton Years are "the good old days." Perhaps they were, but Democrats have chosen all the wrong reasons. For her purposes, however, it would be a powerful message.

Posted by: jk at November 21, 2011 2:37 PM
But jk thinks:

But we agree that he will not likely take Caddell's "patriotic moral high ground." Kumbaya there!

Posted by: jk at November 21, 2011 2:40 PM

November 20, 2011

Quote of the Day

He's a responsible, well-spoken adult with a good record in office, a soothing style, bipartisan appeal and ample knowledge of the world beyond our shores. But Jon Huntsman, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, somehow imagines he can overcome those handicaps. -- Steve Chapman, Chicago Trib
Hat-tip: a blog friend who's not giving up.
2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:27 AM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

History smiles on Churchill, while Chamberlain is remembered as a tool.

Posted by: johngalt at November 21, 2011 11:27 AM
But jk thinks:

Did you see a Churchill? Clearly I have been watching the wrong debates.

Huntsman is the only free-trader and the only one with a nuanced position on immigration or gay rights. His economic plan attracted a lot of accolades from people I respect.

If I could truly ignore polls, I would probably be in the Jon! camp. But I cannot. He has not attracted and does not seem poised to attract a critical mass of GOP support.

Pity, although I can live without his nuance on global warming.

Posted by: jk at November 21, 2011 12:10 PM
But johngalt thinks:

My trouble with him is he is nuanced on everything, including American Exceptionalism. I'm looking for principled leadership. Leadership that says, "The American way is the best way to world prosperity. Stop resenting us and join us." On that point there are several good choices and one not bad one as well. Instead, Huntsman says America is "wounded" or "troubled" or some such. Bah.

Posted by: johngalt at November 21, 2011 12:46 PM

That Calls for a Carlsberg!

Hat-tip: my biological brother via email.

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 11:04 AM | What do you think? [0]

November 18, 2011

Just Win Baby!

The late Al Davis would be proud (except for the fact that it's the Broncos instead of his beloved Raiders.) Not only are the Broncos winning, every which way, they're also putting down the other team's quarterback - hard.


This Drew Litton cartoon is accompanied on Litton's website by a clear-eyed assessment of the Tebow turnaround.

Sports Posted by JohnGalt at 8:54 PM | What do you think? [2]
But jk thinks:

Good cartoon. I would have put his point four on top. The defense delivered 10-13 and allowed one touchdown to win.

I'm by no means anti-Tebow. Son of the drive was memorable and the young man is gracious and charming. I am ready to give him a chance but I am not sure he has the skill set to play in the NFL.

Posted by: jk at November 19, 2011 9:10 AM
But johngalt thinks:


Posted by: johngalt at November 19, 2011 5:36 PM


Education is at the heart of it all, but the culture is, too. Moral relativism has done so much damage to the bottom end of this country, the bottom fifth has been damaged by the culture of moral relativism more than by anything else, I would argue. If you ask me what the biggest problem in America is, I'm not going to tell you debt, deficits, statistics, economics -- I'll tell you it's moral relativism. Now is it my job to fix that as a congressman? No, but I can do damage to it. But it's the job of parents to raise their kids ... But let's not ignore it. These things go beyond statistics, they go into the culture. As a policymaker, I simply make that as an observation, not that I have an answer and a bill I can pass in Congress and to fix that. -- Rep. Paul Ryan (HOSS - WI)
Hoss Posted by John Kranz at 3:48 PM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

Congratulations, Average American! says Jonah Goldberg:

Being the root cause of our dire national predicament puts you in some very august company indeed. You are joining the ranks of George W. Bush, the Japanese tsunami, the Arab Spring, Wall Street fat cats, and other luminaries, both living and merely anthropomorphized.

Kindle Fire® Sucks! [See UPDATE]

Fire® bad!

I have become old or jaundiced or something and no longer tend to get wild with excitement over new technology. But...I was pretty pumped for my Kindle Fire. The lovely bride and I pre-ordered and our fifth & sixth Kindles showed up yesterday. (Step one is admitting a problem...)

The hardware seems cool and -- to be fair -- when the glitches are resolved, I might find love. Yet this is not a petulant rant, this baby has serious defects. All the Fire really does is deliver content from the Internet, and mine won't connect. This makes them two very lovely, well thought out, expensive bricks with bright screens. One of them connects sporadically but rarely, the other is a DHCP virgin.

Nobody understands bad software more than me -- I've written my share of it. But, whiskey tango foxtrot, Amazon, this is an epic fail and I understand from the forums it is not limited to le condo d'amour. I am more concerned that a) it fails silently, collecting your information then just sitting there, not displaying whether it is connected or not or whether there is a problem; and, b) the stupidity of including the owners manual -- it is an eReader -- but not letting you read it until you have registered. I suspect the manual will be read by 0.0004% of the readers after they have connected and registered, but as high as 4% before.

I've no doubt it will get fixed. But I have spent hours on it and developed a dislike. I imagine the lovely bride will keep hers but mine will be going back.

The regular Kindles, however, remain very cool.

UPDATE: A little petulant, perhaps. The trouble was on my end (exceeded the number of DHCP devices I had defined). Lack of feedback and bassackwards access to manual are still lame. But the picture is beguiling...I'll likely be won back.

Technology Posted by John Kranz at 10:36 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

CDNet compares Fire side-by-side with iPad. Fire leads reader poll, 2:1.

Posted by: johngalt at November 29, 2011 12:14 AM

November 17, 2011



Birth of the Blues

"Gotta Les Paul guitar, had to dig into the Les Paul songbook. Ray Henderson, Buddy G. DeSylva, and Lew Brown wrote this gem in 1926."

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com

But Boulder Refugee thinks:


How 'bout a December Coffeehouse segment? Doesn't have be holiday music, just a moment of relaxation. Could even be "best of" cuts from the past.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 18, 2011 11:59 AM
But jk thinks:

Thanks, man. Actually have "Christmas in New Orleans" in the can. Will roll it out on Thanksgiving.

Posted by: jk at November 18, 2011 1:24 PM
But sugarchuck thinks:

Great job Hoss! Killer tone. New amp or old Fender? Either way tone on 10!

Posted by: sugarchuck at November 21, 2011 1:32 PM
But jk thinks:

Aw shucks...

Brother jg has mentioned "engineer's attitude" on these pages, and you and I have perhaps disparaged musicians on occasion. I find the craftsman that makes one-of-a-kind boutique amplifiers from old tape decks suffers from both afflictions.

In other words, nope that's the Fender tweed, I am still waiting.............

Posted by: jk at November 21, 2011 2:09 PM


I Embed. You Decide!

I find the dystopian intro less than optimistic.

UPDATE: The emailer responds:

Yes. I found myself hating it for the first 20 seconds or so, but then I liked how the remainder was simple, yet informative.

Ultimately, I think that Huntsman is my guy. I'm going down with the ship.

No, I'm not telling you who -- I'm certainly not outing a Huntsman supporter on ThreeSources!

FWIW, as the kiddies txt, I like his positions the best, but don't know if my swimming skills will allow me to join my friend.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:30 AM | What do you think? [0]

Parent-Free Zone

When this occupy business first broke I commented, "Anyone in this picture look like a parent?" This photo doubles down on the theme. [Unattributed lead story pic at Drudge.]

But Keith Arnold thinks:

You'll need to define "parent." If you mean "a person who has randomly spawned," odds are good; if you mean "responsible, loving caregiver," the Vegas line on that changes.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 17, 2011 11:35 AM
But jk thinks:

Had the same thought, ka, but I am glad I left it to your deft voicing skills.

Posted by: jk at November 17, 2011 12:19 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I'm here to please. By the way, the college educations that these slackers borrows all that money for doesn't seem to be working; the guy in the sweatshirt in front of the herd misspelled "tool."

Or "fool." Take your pick, I guess.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 17, 2011 12:24 PM
But johngalt thinks:


Seriously though, I meant "parent" not fornicator.

Posted by: johngalt at November 17, 2011 10:48 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Case in point: Occu-Mom!

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 18, 2011 1:34 PM

Yes we can!


Defecate on cop cars.

But jk thinks:

Always worth mentioning that Professor and prog heartthrob Elizabeth Warren is the "intellectual leader" of this movement.

Posted by: jk at November 17, 2011 10:40 AM

November 16, 2011

A Colorado Soylendra

Amy Oliver pens an interesting column on "A Stupid Energy Policy." I hope my Facebook friends don't see it, it uses logic, reason, physics, and economics.

Narrowly Avoiding a Colorado 'Solyndra'

In early 2009, then newly appointed U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) touted the prospects of Ascent Solar, a Colorado solar panel manufacturer, and the plans for a new facility to add as many as 200 new jobs for the state's "New Energy Economy." Then-Governor Bill Ritter and U.S. Senator Mark Udall, joined their fellow Democrat in offering pleasant platitudes about the "green energy" panacea.

Ritter was effusive with his praise and optimistic about Ascent's future. "The New Energy Economy is leading Colorado forward and will be one of the keys to bringing us out of this recession. Colorado and Ascent Solar's success are a model for how America can and must re-tool our entire economy," declared Ritter. Even the local media couldn't help but promote such rosy projections.

Fast-forward less than two years. Ascent, perhaps recognizing the fragility of the market, or at the very least, an unprofitable business model, conducted a "market pivot" and a change in business strategy. That switch meant cutting staff--instead of growth of nearly 200 jobs Ascent pared its staff back by half, mostly in production.

November 15, 2011

In the Real World, this Would be a Big Deal

The Obama administration urged officers of the struggling solar company Solyndra to postpone announcing planned layoffs until after the November 2010 midterm elections, newly released e-mails show. -- WaPo
My friends assure me they are tired of hearing "If President Bush had done this..."

But too bad.

But jk thinks:

Lonely boy, commenting on his own posts, but it just hit me. "So that's why they did so well in the midterms!"

Posted by: jk at November 15, 2011 4:27 PM

Hook this Baby up to some Soylendra Panels!

Actually, the Soylendra investment makes a lot of sense, when compared to the Fisker Karma. Obligatory picture of really cool car here:

Warren Meyer at Forbes points out that under Clinton-era EPA comparisons for electric vehicles, this "electric car for the 1%" gets worse mileage than an average SUV -- either in electric or gas mode. And, had I not already conferred QOTD:

Given the marketing pitch here that relies on the unseen vs. the seen, maybe we should rename it the Fisker Bastiat.

But, like I said, hook this baby up to your Soylendra panels and it is all go all of the time!

Oil and Energy Posted by John Kranz at 12:17 PM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

As I wrote back in September, my generation seems not [to] realize that civil disobedience entails opposing an unjust law by breaking it. In doing so, the protester benefits his cause by taking the punishment to call attention to its injustice and gain sympathy. Civil disobedience does not mean, as Team OWS and many others of my generation believe, that you can do whatever you want as long as you are sufficiently self-righteous about it. -- Matthew Knee
Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 11:27 AM | What do you think? [2]
But Terri thinks:


Posted by: Terri at November 15, 2011 11:38 AM
But johngalt thinks:

HA! That's exactly what it means, if a court says so.

Posted by: johngalt at November 15, 2011 3:25 PM

Great 404s!

I can see how people hate Congress -- but how can you not like politics?

The WSJ finds some amusing custom "page-not-found" (404) error pages on campaign websites.

Politics Posted by John Kranz at 11:15 AM | What do you think? [0]

November 14, 2011

Quote of the Day

You can always get me by bashing Boomers!

All of this was done by a generation that never lost its confidence that it was smarter, better educated and more idealistic than its Depression-surviving, World War-winning, segregation-ending, prosperity-building parents. We didn't need their stinking faith, their stinking morals, or their pathetically conformist codes of moral behavior. We were better than that; after all, we grokked Jefferson Airplane, achieved nirvana on LSD and had a spiritual wealth and sensitivity that our boorish bourgeois forbears could not grasp. They might be doers, builders and achievers -- but we Boomers grooved, man, we had sex in the park, we grew our hair long, and we listened to sexy musical lyrics about drugs that those pathetic old losers could not even understand. -- Walter Russell Meade

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 12:28 PM | What do you think? [0]

Can you say Certiorari?

I can't. That's one word I hope I never have to say in public. But I know what it means.

The Supreme Court will hear appeals on the Constitutionality of the law that evil old grouchy conservatives call "ObamaCare®."

The decision had been widely expected since late September, when the Obama administration asked the nation's highest court to uphold the centerpiece insurance provision and 26 states separately asked that the entire law be struck down.

The justices in a brief order agreed to hear the appeals. At the heart of the legal battle is whether the Congress overstepped its powers by requiring that all Americans buy health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty, a provision known as the individual mandate.

Game on.

UPDATE: Jimi P has an excellent overview.

SCOTUS Posted by John Kranz at 12:17 PM | What do you think? [2]
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Because the Supreme Court did so well to protect liberty in the Dredd Scott decision, Korematsu, Kelo, Raich...

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at November 14, 2011 11:29 PM
But jk thinks:

Schecter Poultry, Loving v Virginia, McDonald v Chicago, Heller, Citizens United...

I think they've done a better job than the other two branches (low bar, I know).

Posted by: jk at November 15, 2011 5:53 AM

But our Best Minds in Government are Running Things...

James Pethokoukis has two depressing (too depressing?) unemployment charts.

But johngalt thinks:

I'm guessin' brother Keith thinks this estimate of a 2016 recovery for the Golden State is a rosy scenario he'd be overjoyed with, were it to manifest in reality.

Posted by: johngalt at November 14, 2011 3:18 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

The only way California makes a recovery by 2016 is for it to go bankrupt by the middle of 2013 and implode, giving those who survive a mere three years to build something on the ashes.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 15, 2011 5:19 PM
But jk thinks:

They have extra special brilliant minds ruinning things in the Golden State: California -- Toxic for Business.

Another troubling sign: California is even losing the battle for green manufacturing jobs. Earlier this year, Bing Energy, a fuel-cell maker, announced that it would relocate from Chino in San Bernardino County to Tallahassee, Fla., where it expected to hire nearly 250 workers. "I just can't imagine any corporation in their right mind would decide to set up in California today," Dean Minardi, Bing's chief financial officer, said.

Posted by: jk at November 15, 2011 6:34 PM

November 13, 2011

We Are the 30%!!!!!!

I guess. This article claims 70% of women "still prefer to take husband's last name."

My serviceable, monosyllabic, Austrian surname was eschewed by my lovely bride specifically to preserve the individual identity discussed in the article. I had no strong opinions either way but have been surprised for 28 years now to see how strongly it affects some people.

The article Insty links is maddeningly a "lifestyle" article and contains no particulars on the study, questions, participants, or even exact percentages. It's long on human interest, of course.

I certainly agree that the "feminist agitation" reason has faded considerably and that it is now more popular among those who have established a career or brand. At the same time, I have come to value self-sovereignty, individual identity, and ownership of our persons more highly. And it has come to seem more natural. Yet, in the 80's it felt like the leading edge of a trend which has not materialized.

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 11:46 AM | What do you think? [3]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Separate or same names doesn't bother The Refugee either way. It seems far preferable to the hyphen thing (not to insult all those with hyphenated names). Hyphenated names seem so impractical because they're so long. Besides, where does it end? Does the next generation simply add their significant-other's name? In a few generations we'll have someone named Sarah Jones-Smith-Johnson-Washington-Jackson. On the plus side, it would be a self-documenting biblical "begat" naming convetion.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 15, 2011 12:47 PM
But jk thinks:

My genealogy interest came later and there is no doubt that it introduces complications if the children adopt different surnames. And yet, that seems like a weak excuse to override strongly held beliefs.

Posted by: jk at November 15, 2011 2:22 PM
But dagny thinks:

On the other hand... It sure is easier with a herd of kids for all members of the nuclear family to have the same last name. I actually have a friend who retained her maiden name for professional reasons and then found it annoying in school and other kid related activities to have a different name from the kids.

My identity is not tied to a name.

Posted by: dagny at November 15, 2011 7:01 PM

A Liberal Progressive Government Organizer's Job is Never Done

To piggyback on a theme of the excellent Review Corner jk miscategorized as self-promotion, I'll indulge in some self-promotion. The extended family gathered at my brother's home in Boulder County Friday evening for dinner and viewing of Atlas Shrugged Part 1 (HD DVD - egads.) While driving back home to Weld County my talk-radio alter ego, Jon Caldera, was conversing with listeners (850 KOA, Denver's News, Weather, Broncos and CU Buffs Station) about the latest social engineering in Boulder - speed limits for bicycles in crosswalks. [Ponder the disconnect in that headline.] "Boulder goverment wants to regulate every aspect of our lifes," Caldera wistfully concluded. As a 20-year resident of the town, having just viewed the most "leave me alone" movie ever made, and having just been regaled of the woes one endures when attempting to add a couple of rooms to one's Boulder County home, I was compelled to call.

Final hour of Caldera's Friday, 11/11/11 show.
After the 15 second commercial, drag the progress bar to 26 minutes 20 seconds. I’m on for about 6 minutes.

Rant Posted by JohnGalt at 9:55 AM | What do you think? [1]
But jk thinks:

Well played, bra, well played.

The creeping Boulderism he discusses has me alarmed. For most of my 18 years on the eastern edge of the county, my little burg of Lafayette was safely removed. Now that I have escaped, it is completely Boulderized.

In true, blue-state style of course, it has a bunch of superb restaurants. If the good guys ever rule the world, there won't be anyplace to eat.

Posted by: jk at November 13, 2011 10:44 AM

November 12, 2011

A Lengthy Saturday Ramble...

So much on which to catch up.

Delayed Review Corner: Am I the only one who read the assignment? Blog friend gd admitted over lunch the other day that he had not yet consumed George Selgin's Theory of Free Banking. I said that I had with as little gloating as I could muster.

It is a very interesting book, and Selgin changed my mind about many things. If I had a time machine (more on this to come) I might go back and hand a copy to Alexander Hamilton. I will not summarize, because an Internet search of selgin free banking finds a trove of Selgin himself in YouTubes, discussions, and his own Free Banking website. To bring this segue 'round, I found that site this morning, as Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek highlighted this awesome post of Selgin taking down a NYTimes reporter. Ow, that has got to sting!

I respect nonetheless those who, having given serious thought to the matter, conclude that gold remains our best hope. Alas, such people make up but a small fraction of self-described gold bugs. My standard reaction to finding myself within earshot of any of the rest is to look for a more remote and unoccupied bar stool.

But there's one thing that's guaranteed to bring out the gold bug in me, and that is ill-informed arguments against the gold standard. No, make that stupid arguments, because the ones I have in mind aren't merely ill-informed. They are ill-informed in a way that suggests that the persons who make them don't even think about what they're saying.

An example of the sorts of arguments I have in mind is this opinion piece from yesterday's New York Times, in which Eduardo Porter responds to recent pro-gold testimonials of various Republican presidential candidates and conservative talking heads. Such persons aren't exactly heavyweights when it comes to making good arguments for returning to gold. Yet in trying to show just what lightweights they really are, Mr. Porter mainly succeeds in revealing his own featherweight grasp of monetary economics and history.

Selgin's book is as informative as his comprehensive rebuttal to Mr. Porter. But it is far less entertaining. The recommendation came from our blog's favorite PhD. Economics Professor, and I fear he may have inured more to such tracts than the rest of us. It's not bad by any means, but it is pretty heavy slogging in spots. Worth it to get a serous rebuttal to the bad monetary policy on both sides that sends Selgin to the empty barstool. But I cannot call it a cake walk. As Selgin might say "Because it is not a walk. And there is no cake."

Staying on the literary theme, I find myself back in fiction, and back to a favorite author. I read every one of the many words Stephen King published before The Dark Tower VII in 2004. King said he was retiring and I took him at his word, closing that chapter as I was moving toward non-fiction. I knew he had written a few more, but I honored my half of his retirement.

Hearing of the historical fiction, counterfactual "11/22/63" I had to bite. I pre-ordered and it magically showed up on my Kindle this week.

King's writing chops remain. (I think I wrote this about Peggy Noonan yesterday.) It is a page-turner, can't-put-it-down, entrancing yarn. Of course, King's lefty politics have always been on display in interviews and in his books. I put up with them both to enjoy the rest of his skill set and because he leaves it to a few lines in one of his notoriously large books. It is fairly easy to roll your eyes and move on.

But... Over the years, I have become more sensitive and Mister King has become a bit more strident. It strikes me that the very premise of this book is an extension of Progressivism. Not content with managing our diets, smoking habits, and appreciation for our fellow planetary travelers, King is going to "manage" our history for us. Now, I am taking a step too far here -- but I am definitely taking it in the right direction.

[SPOILER ALERTS TO FOLLOW, I am not deep enough in to "spoil" anything beyond what a review might say. But if, like me, you won't even read the cover flap before you dive in, move along, pardner, move along...]

A peculiar opportunity opens for very limited time travel. Present day folks can appear in Maine (natch) in September 9, 1958. Sherman cannot set the Way-back machine to 1770 to stop Alexander Hamilton enumerating the "Coin money" power into the Constitution (toldja), but he can go to 1958 and come back. The guy who discovers this has heath problems, so he convinces a casual friend to take up his quest. Go back there, live until 1963 and stop Oswald.

The uncomfortable bit is the recruitment. Wouldn't it be great if you stayed around until 2000 and flipped the election to Al Gore in Florida? But you'd be in your eighties, it might not work. That is just partisan, elitist nonsense and I really can move on after an eye roll and a head shake. In all of 1958+ history, your first thought is "President Albert A Gore, Jr.?" Whatever, dude.

Back to the brass tacks, I was less able to shake off the paternalism of the plot line. There are some science-fictiony questions about consequences, but King, in the raspy voice of Diner owner Al, lays out a utopia. JFK is saved -> RFK does not run to avenge his brother, so he is not assassinated -> The Vietnam War is okay because LBJ, with his -- and I quote -- "my balls are bigger than yours George Bush mentality" does not escalate. (George Bush started the Vietnam war, no wonder we want to beat him in 2000) -> Martin Luther King is not in Memphis (his assassins lack transportation I guess) -> there are no race riots.

Now I watch Buffy and accept vampires for the purposes of allegory and entertainment. I discard all the math and physics howlers in good science fiction. And I enjoy Stephen King's monstrous Chevrolets, werewolves, and aliens because they are vital to the story. But this historical utopia is tough to bear.

Of course I did move on, and it is a ripping good story. I think of Stephen Fry's superb "Making History" where a similar, limited opportunity is used to prevent Adolph Hitler's birth. Spoiler Alert: that one does not come out all hugs and puppies. Likewise, King is bright enough that I suspect he will test his own assumptions. But the willingness to discard a half century of spontaneous order to go back and line up the soldiers his way is disturbing.

And those are my views on monetary policy. Have a great weekend.

But johngalt thinks:

It seems that the accomplished Mister King, try as he may in the soaring apex of his skill, remains mired in the genre that made him a famous multi-millionaire apologetic capitalist.

Posted by: johngalt at November 13, 2011 9:54 AM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

"This book is an important work in monetary theory." If he does say so himself! I can't wait to read it and, so to speak, compare notes with him.

The very problem with modern currencies is that they're forced upon people. (Fundamentally, the very problem with governments is that they are forced upon people. A dictatorship is the few forcing the many. Even a supermajority is forcing at least one individual. If everyone agreed, if every man were free of his neighbors forcing him into paying taxes for something he didn't wish, then there would be no need for a government.) Nothing holds any government from basing it on whatever it chooses, which today is faith in future taxpayers (funding present spending as well as paying off previously incurred debt). But allow people to trade with what currency they'd like, and governments go out of the deficit spending business, and consequently they lose their power.

A friend asked me several years ago about a scenario, an economy of three individuals. Peter always trades a lot with Paul, but somehow Bob can't get a hold of any money to trade with Paul. Let's say Peter has a personal grudge and wants to isolate Bob. But this is logistically impossible if Bob wants to trade with Paul, because Bob would certainly have money sometime. It's all a matter of Bob offering goods and services that Paul wants. And if Peter somehow has so much economic control that he trades with Bob such that Bob has only enough money to trade with Peter, that still doesn't matter. First, Peter is only hurting himself by limiting trade. Second, if Paul and Bob want to trade, they will find a way. In the end, if a free people want to trade, they'll find their own medium of exchange, or resort to bartering if they have to (normally an inefficient system but nonetheless usable as a last resort while a currency is worked out).

Something I've been meaning to blog about for a long time is Bretton Woods. It may seem paradoxical, but it was the antithesis of free trade. Arbitrary decisions by politicians and central bankers, not free market participants, were what declared country X's currency at a certain ratio to Y's. Governments can only declare; free individuals are who determine what's truly correct.

Even a gold standard isn't intrinsically free market. Again, it's a government declaring something, rather than individuals saying, "I offer you this quantity of gold in payment," or, "Here's an electronic credit based on gold held for me." I might not trust government coins' purity, thinking the mint will pull a Septimius Severus (one of the Roman emperors notorious for debasing the denarius). I might have information about dramatic increases or decreases in the supply of gold, or knowledge of a nuclear breakthrough that could manufacture gold cheaply (the reverse of Goldfinger's nefarious plan). If I don't trust the government, I, and whoever among my trading partners share the sentiment, might sooner trust a bank's paper notes as a promise to pay.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at November 13, 2011 2:49 PM
But jk thinks:

I thing you'd dig the Selgin book, Perry. It is the most free market approach I've seen.

You can grab it free, if you have an eReader or want to read it on computer.

Posted by: jk at November 13, 2011 3:21 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Yes indeed. The HTML version is quite nicely formatted.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at November 13, 2011 10:36 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Anna Nicole pictures! Where are the damn Anna Nicole pictures?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 14, 2011 5:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh. -- we really do need a "Like" button...

Posted by: jk at November 14, 2011 7:45 PM

November 11, 2011

She said

There's no "he said" to go with this one, as Newt Gingrich isn't talking about the private family matter, but his daughter is. In short, no, her father did not "hand her divorce papers on her death bed" as the liberal meme has it.

My mother and father were already in the process of getting a divorce, which she requested.

Dad took my sister and me to the hospital to see our mother.

She had undergone surgery the day before to remove a tumor.

The tumor was benign.

Mother and father are still alive and well and Jackie and her sister "are blessed to have a close relationship with them both."

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 2:29 PM | What do you think? [0]

Lord of the Flies Comes to Salt Lake

Salt Lake Tribune:

The Salt Lake City Police Department said officers responded at 3:27 a.m. to a fight involving as many as 30 people. A 43-year-old man who said he was in charge of crowd control for the protest claimed that Jesse Jaramillo, 31, hit him on the head with a board during the fight.

Jaramillo was arrested for aggravated assault along with several others arrested for public intoxication and alcohol violations, the police said. He was among four people booked into jail, the statement said.

"That was kind of my alarm clock," said Seth Neily, 31, a spokesman for the Occupy SLC movement and a part-time worker for the local International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees union.

John Hinderaker at Powerline points out "If you have ever wondered what would happen in a society consisting entirely of liberals, the Occupier movement is providing the answer: devolution"

Hat-tip: Insty for both.

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 12:17 PM | What do you think? [1]
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Another thing I've been meaning to blog about: here's a look at the society we would become if these collectivists had their way.

No houses: because there's no prosperity, nobody can afford anything beyond tents. Everyone's too busy "protesting" instead of trying to find jobs.

No sense of private property: in New York, they're living in a privately owned park that's open to the public. Per the agreement with the city, the park owners have no authority to kick out the protestors. They can't even get them to move, just a third at a time, for a goddamn cleaning. Meanwhile the "protestors" are robbing each other when the predators aren't raping and groping.

A belief in Santa Claus: food is being provided for free, and just how long will that last? Collectivists can't conceive that there's a chain of economic production where things just don't happen by themselves. They can't. There's a reason it's called Say's Law, because there's no getting around it.

The difference between the 1930s, when my dad spent his teen years, and today is that in the 1930s, most people walked all day trying to find a job. Most didn't sit on their asses hoping to be given something. There's no such courage today.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at November 13, 2011 2:57 PM

Our Margaret

Blog friend Sugarchuck and I use that endearing sobriquet for the WSJ's Peggy Noonan, whom we have both followed through significant ups and downs. I don't think her writing chops ever dimmed, but her thinking chops did. She is so ensconced in the elite Westside Manhattan and Washington Axis, she became deracinated from reality.

But she pens a beaut today on the GOP debates. Brother JG will be happy to see she starts out taking his side in the "strongest steel forged by the hottest fire" theory. She notices one guy who is not going to face a grilling between Novembers:

One of the people in the debate was bombastic to the point of manic, and another was more pointedly aggressive than her usual poised and beautiful self. But enough about Jim Cramer and Maria Bartiromo. It was a revealing debate. It would be wonderful to see President Obama grilled as the Republicans were Wednesday night in Michigan. What exactly will you cut in the entitlement programs? How will you solve the foreclosure crisis? And we'd like you to answer in 30 seconds while we look at you with the sweet-natured gaze of a cop at a crime scene.

What style that woman has. Though she has generally kind words about each candidate, she ends with a sober and pragmatic warning. Republicans must keep moderates in mind. I don't accept that that means abandoning philosophy, but it is a reminder to see candidates as swing voters see them.
But this is a time to be sober. The voting begins in 7-1/2 weeks. We're picking a president now, right now, every day as we make our decisions.

Did you see the Ohio numbers from Quinnipiac this week? Mr. Obama beating all comers. In an initiative, voters rebuked his health-care, but Gov. John Kasich's effort to gain some control over unions and public-sector spending was roundly defeated in a referendum. In Ohio, that bellwether state. This thing isn't over.

Republicans should sober up. They should be thinking not about what the Republican at the local GOP meeting is thinking, but what the independent across the street is thinking. He's catching the Cain story on TV and thinking: "This guy may have a problem. I want more evidence, but if it's true, then man, we don't need to go there again."

Kim Strassel, on the same page, points out signs of substantive Democratic weakness in Virginia's results. But weakness in the GOP field will make it hard to capitalize.

But nanobrewer thinks:

@JK, Re: Ms. Noonan. What you said.
Rich and emotive writing style, though getting a bit soft in the frontal cortex.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 16, 2011 12:09 AM

Happy 63

The last binary day until Jan 1, 2100. What a dork.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:54 AM | What do you think? [0]

November 10, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Oh, shoot, no. This ain't a day for quitting nothing." -- Gov. Rick Perry on the 236th Birthday of the US Marine Corps
2012 Posted by John Kranz at 5:52 PM | What do you think? [0]

Herman Cain, Welcome to Chicago

Via Investors Business Daily, Ann Coulter explains why so much of the smears against candidate Cain are coming from Chicago.

Suspicions had already fallen on Sheila O'Grady, who is close with Axelrod and went straight from being former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley's chief of staff to president of the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA), as being the person who dug up Cain's personnel records from the National Restaurant Association (NRA).

It goes on from there.

This time, Obama's little helpers have not only thrown a bomb into the Republican primary. They also are hoping to destroy the man who deprives the Democrats of their only argument in 2012: If you oppose Obama, you must be a racist.
2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 2:56 PM | What do you think? [1]
But nanobrewer thinks:

I think it's time.... to bring out allegations that Cain made inappropriate gestures, sayings vague references, innuendo and proximity with my daughter. While she was still in the womb!

Politico has apparently been pretty shameless through all this.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 15, 2011 11:44 PM

A Serious Word on Gov. Perry

Looking at the leaders we elect, a bit of circumspection with the process seems in order. Or. "Tyler Cowen, call your office!"

Gov. Perry's "Oops" goes down in history with GHW Bush's looking at his watch, Admiral Stockdale's "Why am I here," and Ted Kennedy’s equally missing reason for seeking the office. It might be a fair cop of Kennedy, but really? I was going to suggest we all know somebody brilliant and capable who has on occasion, ummm....ahhh.....what was I saying...

Jay Nordlinger [UPDATE: Found a link] says it:

Perry's fumbling around was very, very human. I know it'll hurt him. But I don't think it ought to. What matters is what he is planning for the government, not which departments he can remember at a particular moment.

Once, Bill Buckley couldn’t remember the name of Evelyn Waugh. He said to me, "Who's my hero, the author of Brideshead?"

Do you see what I mean? I think Perry should be cut much slack, but people aren't like that, maybe especially in politics.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 11:30 AM | What do you think? [10]
But jk thinks:

Oh, I come to bury Perry, not praise him.

This video lives and would make a potent commercial for the people who have not seen it. Nah, put a fork in him, he's done.

But the hyperconsequentialism of the televised debates since 1960 has not really delivered us the best class of candidates or executives. Hazzit?

Posted by: jk at November 10, 2011 12:25 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I read about that snarky "five" thing by Paul. Heck, I've named five just in my first comment. I'd bet I could come up with two dozen in relatively short order. Does that mean my candidacy is over? You guys aren't abandoning me, are you?

I'm guessing that what would probably hurt me the most would be when I turn to Romney and say "you know, I'm not much of a debater myself; what do you say you and I just step out behind the building and settle this like men?"

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 10, 2011 12:31 PM
But jk thinks:

Chris Wallace asked Rep. Paul "why only five?" on FOX News Sunday. I forget the exact wording of his response, but it was just showing how reasonable and non-doctrinaire he was. Pretty good moment.

Whatever you think of him, I suggest Paul has earned the right to remind all of the others that he is more ready to cut than they.

Posted by: jk at November 10, 2011 12:39 PM
But johngalt thinks:

If only the Pentagon were further down on his "cut" list...

Posted by: johngalt at November 10, 2011 2:30 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

You know, there needs to be a ban on political candidates named Perry. Things like "I think Perry should be cut much slack" make me do a double-take when trying to catch up on missed posts and reading too fast.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at November 13, 2011 10:41 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh. My friend (also first name) Clark was grabbing all the Clark for President schwag he could find when General Wesley ran...

Posted by: jk at November 14, 2011 10:40 AM

Please Oh Please Listen to Roger Simon.

I don't always agree with Simon, but he wrote my post for me today.

Nobody digs politics more than me. But these debates are torture -- I would have loved a little waterboarding last night to break the ennui. It's not that they're dull (they are) and it is only partially that it is a forum for Democratic leaning journalists to whack GOP ideas (it is). It is mostly that we don't ever learn anything new about the candidates. Take it away, Rog:

We already know (oh, how we know) that Newt Gingrich is the smartest student in the room, that Mitt Romney can look like a president, that Herman Cain was a business success, that Michel Bachmann adopted more kids than Cheaper by the Dozen, that Rick Santorum is a mean self-promoter, that poor Rick Perry is the worst debater since Sally-whatever-her-name-was in the third grade, that Jon Huntsman is a bore and that Ron Paul is, well, Ron Paul.

Bag the rest, suggests SimonSimon says, and have the double digit candidates sit down and talk.

I will add one item. I hate to bag on the House of Kudlow, but that was the worst of the debates and they had the most interesting topic. Rick Santelli got to ask one question late. Larry got to come on after and interview prominent Democratic partisans about what weasels all the candidates are.

For the moderators, we get CNBC's two most left wing journalists, John Harwood and Steve Liesman; big money Democratic contributor, Goldman Sachs guy and Spitzer friend Jim Cramer; and Maria Bartaromo, who is "moderate" in comparison, but solidly in the conventional-wisdom-beltway-industrial-media complex camp. What, Rahm Emmanuel was booked?

Terrible, painful, tedious, uninformative, and deleterious to the party's objectives.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 10:32 AM | What do you think? [3]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Frankly, I'm ignored the "debates," though I followed a live-blogging of last night's festivities (it was that or the CMAs, I suppose...). From what I followed, Santelli was all but banned from speaking, and Mitt Romney was all but banned from shutting up. The legacy media has already anointed Romney as their choice to run against their sainted Obama; is there really a need for them to keep reminding us? Letting leftist media talking heads manipulate the GOP's candidate selection process is like letting the student body of USC select UCLA's starting line-up on game day.

Off topic, but I'm surprised to learn a bit of Greg Mankiw news that didn't get featured here:

I propose that Messrs. Santilli and Mankiw co-moderate the next debate.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 10, 2011 11:56 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I found it refreshing. Newt was unapologetic in his mocking of the moderators. Cain had some excellent one-liners. (Kudlow thought Cain won the debate, if memory serves. I do remember him saying that Cain's performance "blew me away.")

This is the kitchen, brothers. We need battle-tested, asbestos-skinned cooks. The debates have merit.

Posted by: johngalt at November 10, 2011 12:19 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And we should give props to the debate audience. The instant feedback they gave was like a live, real-time opinion poll. They gave Santelli (coiner of the TEA Party idea) a rousing applause. They booed when Cain was asked if he has stopped beating his wife. They laughed out loud when Perry said "oops." Their display of rugged western individualism restored my faith and confidence in our eastern time zone brothers.

Posted by: johngalt at November 10, 2011 2:28 PM

Putting Gov. Perry's Gaffe into Perspective

We all make mistakes!

WARNING: Totally inappropriate audio for work or near any decent, thinking people.

UPDATE: I am removing the embed. You can click through if you'd like to see it, but it is quite offensive and I doubt its veracity.

November 9, 2011

Comprehensive Review of "Reckless Endangerment"

No luck getting any of my #OWS supporting Facebook friends to dive into Gretchen Morgenstern's "Reckless Endangerment." Can't win 'em all.

But I might get some to plow through this very good review in Reason. I highly recommend reading and sharing it.

Romney "most electable" - NOT

Mitt Romney's greatest supposed attribute has been his "electability." Erick Erickson and Karl Rove throw cold water on that idea, likening him to the squishy John Kerry.

In the 2004 election, most Americans stood on Kerry's side of the issues, but Rove claims they ultimately voted for Bush because they didn't really believe Kerry believed anything. Voters supposedly like strong leaders they disagree with better than weak leaders who might agree with them on Monday but wake up on Tuesday, wearing a different face.

That's exactly the argument Erickson is making, and it's precisely the one that could hurt Romney badly.

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 3:07 PM | What do you think? [3]
But nanobrewer thinks:

Just wait till after the 1st debate with BHO. Actually, I don't think you'll need to wait until the end... it'll be quite apparent after about 10 min. who's ready to be a leader.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 9, 2011 11:29 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Dammit, I hate agreeing with JG so often...

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 10, 2011 12:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm a bridge-builder.

Posted by: johngalt at November 10, 2011 2:21 PM

Newtzilla 2

He's ba-ack. Dorothy Rabinowitz reporting on the candidate's speeches to the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition forum last month:

Mr. Gingrich predicted, too, that late on Election Night—after it was clear that President Obama had been defeated along with the Democrats in the Senate—the recovery would begin, at once. His audience roared with pleasure. No other Republican candidate could have made the promise so persuasive.

Finally, Mr. Gingrich announced that as the Republican nominee he would challenge President Obama to seven Lincoln-Douglas-style debates. "I think I can represent American exceptionalism, free enterprise, the rights of private property and the Constitution, better than he can represent class warfare, bureaucratic socialism, weakness in foreign policy, and total confusion in the economy."

Dorothy's headline 'Why Gingrich Could Win' hinges on Cain imploding. Still not convinced that will happen but if it does, Newt is the next "not-Romney" in line.

At the very least, a good excuse for another listen to the video.

2012 Posted by JohnGalt at 2:50 PM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

Adding to the Occupation's "Flea Party" reputation is the news of an infestation of head and body lice at Occupy Portland. The parasites have parasites. -- Robert Tracinski
Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 12:25 PM | What do you think? [0]

Christmas Tree Tax

I think the folks at Heritage swing and miss on this superb article. Yeah, it's Obama's Ag Dept (all Humphries Executor v. United States and all), and it is not my job to defend the President's keen stances on personal liberty and the free market, but...

I think it is a perfect story to highlight libertarian principles. And the blame of President Obama makes it less useful -- though I still hurled the message below at my Facebook friends this morning. The sheer absurdity of taxing Christmas trees to promote Christmas trees is even more enjoyable than a whack at the President.

Dear Agriculture Dept:

Maybe the government could write songs about Christmas Trees to promote them. Just a thought. Whatever happens, I am glad to see you guys taking this important project on.

"President Obama's Agriculture Department today announced that it will impose a new 15-cent charge on all fresh Christmas trees--the Christmas Tree Tax--to support a new Federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees."

But Keith Arnold thinks:

I caught this article on the subject:

Assuming it's true, and the fresh Christmas tree industry is losing market share to the artificial Christmas tree industry - then what legitimate bid'ness does government have in favoring one segment of the market over (and at the expense of) another? It's not like there's some law preventing the fresh tree industry from paying for its own advertising campaign, is there?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 9, 2011 11:59 AM
But jk thinks:

Sure enjoyed my Blu-Ray copy of Atlas Shrugged Part 1 last night. Keith, did you say something?

Posted by: jk at November 9, 2011 12:08 PM

November 8, 2011

The Feel Good Movie of the Decade!

Watch's description of Governor Romney -- and you'll want to send him a check!

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 4:25 PM | What do you think? [0]

Woo Hoo!

I mentioned that I had purchased a Blu-Ray® player for its Internet streaming capability.

Well, my first Blu-Ray disc just arrived. It's a little Indy flick, I doubt any of you folks have heard of it.

But johngalt thinks:

I'm waiting for the "Special Edition Blu-Ray" version. I'm enduring the wait with my two copies of the DVD version that arrived yesterday.

Posted by: johngalt at November 8, 2011 5:02 PM
But jk thinks:

Enjoyed seeing it again. Sorry you're suffering through it in lo-def.

Posted by: jk at November 8, 2011 10:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, well, my version includes 35+ minutes of individuals proclaiming "I am John Galt" (including my dear dagny at 3:10 but not, inexplicably, me.) I couldn't escape the thought that more people submitted videos of themselves celebrating the indivdualist, egoist hero than have attended all of the "Occupy" urban squats combined.

Posted by: johngalt at November 9, 2011 2:42 PM

The Virtueocracy

It is not news to ThreeSourcers that the #occupywallstreet protesters are blaming the wrong folks. But, Ms. Margaret Wente, in the Toronto Globe and Mail catches something I have missed in months of Hippie Watching.

These people make up the Occupier generation. They aspire to join the virtueocracy -- the class of people who expect to find self-fulfillment (and a comfortable living) in non-profit or government work, by saving the planet, rescuing the poor and regulating the rest of us. They are what the social critic Christopher Lasch called the "new class" of "therapeutic cops in the new bureaucracy."

The whole column is superbly awesome and awesomely superb. Many, me included, have focused on the liberal arts and humanities degrees versus more lucrative majors in engineering and business. The better bifurcation is those who would actually join or start a company that did something and those that want to distribute grant money for the U.N.

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 3:08 PM | What do you think? [0]

Worst Book Title Ever

So says @jamestaranto

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 1:04 PM | What do you think? [0]

Great Take on THE Herman Cain

Blog friend Terri provides a thoughtful post on l'Affair Herman (not excerpting -- it is short and required).

In addition to an interesting gender perspective you're less likely to see here (hey, I've tried to recruit her) there is a reasoned evaluation that is similar to mine. Neither of us is abandoning the Godfather of the Double Breasted Suit, but it suggests more scrutiny is required of his political skills if not his personal habits.

I'll add that I am all for personal accountability, but I am concerned by two things. First, can four women derail a candidacy and get feted on TV for it? Secondly, I am sensitive to the fact that the people whom I want to run for the office are staying home to watch football. We slip further into the realm of seeing only Vice President Goresque candidates, who have planned on running since they were seven. If this takes Cain down (as opposed to his paucity of political skills), we will never see the businessperson candidate again.

Sad on many levels. I don't mean to die on this hill for Herman Cain, but I'm not certain anything untoward has been conclusively presented.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 12:02 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

I added a comment. Perhaps I read her post as more supportive than she really intended, but if this is an attempt by the CLE (collectivist liberal establishment) to derail the Cain Train we play into their hands if we waver now.

Posted by: johngalt at November 8, 2011 3:02 PM
But jk thinks:

Jonah Goldberg delivers some hard medicine without the elite condescension and uniformed conventialism that has stuck in my craw (ow!)

The tut-tutting of the WSJ Ed Page, Michael Steele (can we trade him to the Democrats for a 5th round draft pick to be named later?) and even, Et Tu, JimiP has been somehow worse than the joy of the lefties. Goldberg is level-headed and fair.

Posted by: jk at November 8, 2011 3:40 PM
But Terri thinks:

Hey, thanks for the shout out.

From reading the papers this morning reporters did not like the denials that Cain had yesterday. I didn't see it. But the more I think about the specific complaint from the Beliak (sic) woman, the more it is unbelievable.

I've checked with the men around here and even the sleazy ones would never immediately reach under the skirt to grab a crotch without first figuring out if the woman was receptive or not. Other than in playboy letters, that will take a little more finesse.

Still on the Cain Train.
You guys will appreciate this from Maggie's farm:

David Brooks: Let’s be honest, the Constitution is silly, what with the idea about citizen legislators. We need a professional governing class. With nicely creased slacks.

David, I am sorry to inform you that Americans have no interest in being ruled by our betters. We just don't believe they are better, and have little evidence for it since after the founders.

Posted by: Terri at November 9, 2011 8:22 AM

Occupy McDonalds!

Ari Armstrong compares and contrasts:

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 11:40 AM | What do you think? [0]

John Maynard Keynes Writes to the President

On the other hand, even wise and necessary Reform may, in some respects, impede and complicate Recovery. For it will upset the confidence of the business world and weaken their existing motives to action, before you have had time to put other motives in their place. It may over-task your bureaucratic machine, which the traditional individualism of the United States and the old "spoils system" have left none too strong. And it will confuse the thought and aim of yourself and your administration by giving you too much to think about all at once.
Or, "for cryin' out loud, don't pass ObamaCare® in the middle of a recession, dude!"

Actually, the president in question was FDR and, in the long run, Lord Keynes was still alive. But Professor Mankiw suggests it might apply.

Health Care Posted by John Kranz at 11:17 AM | What do you think? [0]

November 7, 2011

Million Dollar Idea

Who wants in? Home rechargeable battery modules.

What? They have them? No, you don't get it. You can, of course, get a drill and a jigsaw that take the same battery. I want to create a larger cell to power a larger number of higher drain applications.

  • A big UPS for home computers would take two cells and stay hot while one was swapped;
  • A cell phone - iPod charger would take a single cell
  • A car jumpstarter would take one or two
  • A small inverter would power small electronics with one or two off of its charger.
  • Six Sigma Espresso?

The idea is that you would buy a bunch of these cells and extend your UPS capacity by hot swapping. And you'd want a bunch because you would also power your jump starter and charge all your phones.

When the City of Boulder starts supplying gub'mint, green electricity, I think we might have lots of local customers.

But jk thinks:

I do want hardware-guy's serious take on removable cells in a UPS. Feasible?

Posted by: jk at November 8, 2011 11:59 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I don't see why not.

Conventional UPS's use sealed lead acid batteries, which are low tech and heavy for the purpose you describe. A Li-Ion or NMH "laptop" type pack, however ... As I understand it, this is what cars like the Tesla use. (Which contributes to their expense.)

Posted by: johngalt at November 8, 2011 2:23 PM
But johngalt thinks:

But back to Boulder Goverment for a minute:

My link says "Issue 2B authorizes the city to increase the existing utility occupation tax by up to $1.9 million a year to plan for the utility and acquire "an existing electric distribution system," presumably the one owned by Xcel."

Your link says "The vote also means the city won't have to go to one of its backup budgets for 2011, which included $1.4 million in cuts, such as reduced library hours and layoffs."

Election fraud?

The Daily also claims of 2B that "voters overwhelmingly supported the measure, wich garnered 69 percent of the vote by 3 a.m. Wednesday" yet BW writes, "According to the Boulder County clerk and recorder's office, 50.27 percent of the votes counted were in favor of 2B, with 49.73 percent opposed. The difference was 141 votes."

Journalism fraud?

Posted by: johngalt at November 8, 2011 2:34 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And back to your business idea:

Maybe a robotic device to automate the moving around of the battery packs...

[NED help me, I couldn't resist!] :)

No comment on my "city with jobs" quip? I was spewing coffee on my own keyboard with that one.

Posted by: johngalt at November 8, 2011 2:37 PM
But jk thinks:

Cities with jobs is worth a new keyboard, oui mon frere, but as my employer is located in the city and my position requires electricity, my humor is tempered...

Posted by: jk at November 8, 2011 2:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I've become so accustomed to gallows humor it barely makes me sad any longer.

Posted by: johngalt at November 8, 2011 3:09 PM

Better Late than Never

Reason's Matt Welch sees the disconnect between the Libertarian uprising the #occupywallstreet crowd promised and the reality of demanding debt forgiveness.

As of this writing, the Occupy Wall Street movement appears to have legs. I am generally happy to see public displays of disaffection with a governing elite that has inflicted so much bad economic policy on the rest of us, even more so when the protesters lean toward the political party that currently occupies the White House. (Many Tea Partiers I've talked to express personal regret that they didn't get their start opposing George W. Bush.) But I will reserve my enthusiasm until the moment that protesters stop bashing capitalism and start confronting the incoherence of opposing bailouts for everybody but themselves.

See, they're educable!

"We Can't Wait... pass my jobs bill!" That's the campaign strategy of President Obama in the face of the wascally wepubwicans who refuse to sign on to another government spending "stimulus" escapade. While implying that what we "can't wait" for is the jobs supposedly to be created, what he really can't wait for is the chance to take credit for jobs already growing in the private sector.

Since Republicans took control of the House in January and secured enough votes in the Senate to block big spending bills, the economy has created 1.5 million private-sector jobs, according to the Friday report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That's well above the 1.2 million created in all of 2010, when Democrats ran everything in Washington, and when stimulus money was still pouring into the economy. In fact, if you compare private job growth with stimulus spending, they practically move in opposite directions.


This might be uncomfortable news for big-spending Keynesians like Obama and liberal economist pals who remain convinced growth depends on never-ending stimulus. But it's an indication that when it comes to job creation, government spending is the problem, not the solution.

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

Happy 10th Anniversary to the best episode of the best show on television. The trailer, sadly, does not do it much justice.

I was not a viewer at that time, but I remember many bloggers I respected going nuts over this, providing my first inkling that I wanted to see what was going on. You have to really know all the story arcs of all the characters to completely enjoy "Once More With Feeling."

I still probably watch this episode every month or so and marvel.

Television Posted by John Kranz at 1:21 PM | What do you think? [3]
But Terri thinks:

The way he moved the story line along, vs creating just a fluff episode with that musical was amazing.

You are right. It is the best episode of television I have ever seen.

Posted by: Terri at November 7, 2011 3:58 PM
But jk thinks:

Completely amazing. Even beyond moving the plotline, the old arcs end and the new begin. I may have seen it a hundred times, but I still find hidden gems. I used to wince when Dawn said "the hardest thing in this world is to live in it." It seemed forced and melodramatic and outside the pacing. But those are, of course, Buffy's parting words to her in "The Gift."

Always fun to watch that episode with other fans. I have learned a lot from MDs and engineers and several of my literary betters. But I once watched it with friends and their daughters. The youngest pointed out that Sweet's three minions had the haircuts of Buffy's boyfriends. Brilliant -- that's now my favorite part.

I wanted Sweet's song, "What You Feel" to be the title cut of the second Berkeley Square CD but we ran out of time and money. That would have been fun -- and a great dog whistle. I would have struggled to cover Hinton Battle's rich baritone, but what a great song. "All those hearts laid open, that must sting -- plus some customers just start combusting..."

I know what I'm watching tonight!

Posted by: jk at November 7, 2011 6:13 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh, just got an email; we were not the only ones watching it last night.

My lovely bride, though, will now MAKE ME watch "Tabula Rasa" (the episode right after). It has morphed into one show to us now.

Posted by: jk at November 8, 2011 11:44 AM

Quote of the Day

Daniel, a tall, red-bearded, white twenty-something--one of the six leaders of the teach-in--said that the NYC-GA needed to be completely defunded because those with "no stake" in the Occupy Wall Street movement shouldn't have a say in how the money was spent. When I asked him whether everybody in the 99% had a stake in the movement, he said that only those occupying or working in Zuccotti Park did. I pointed out that since the General Assembly took place in Zuccotti Park, everybody who participated was an occupier. He responded with a long rant about how Zuccotti Park is filled with "tourists," "free-loaders" and "crackheads" and suggested a solution that the even NYPD has not yet attempted: Daniel said that he'd like to take a fire-hose and clear out the entire encampment, adding hopefully that only the "real" activists would come back. -- Fritz Tucker
Yeah, just how are we going to spend that $500,000 we've amassed? Hat-tip: Ed Morrissey via Insty. Morrissey adds a great bon mot: "[T]he Occupy Wall Street organization looked like a child from a marriage between Animal Farm and Animal House"
Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 12:57 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:



"This reaction shouldn't surprise anyone. It is reasonable to expect any undemocratic organization to be co-opted eventually by a vocal minority or charismatic individual." - author, Fritz Tucker

Strike the word "undemocratic" and I'll second that.

Posted by: johngalt at November 7, 2011 2:57 PM

November 6, 2011

Quote of the Day

If education is so great, after all, why are so many educated people unemployed and camping out in public parks? -- Professor Glenn Reynolds on the failure of Colorado Prop 103
Education Posted by John Kranz at 11:57 AM | What do you think? [0]

Sunday Funny

A newly popular progressive quip is "I'll believe Corporations are People when One is Executed in Texas!!" (Usually on a paper sign with an apostrophe in "Corporation's...")

I suggest editing a clever joke from my biological brother as a witty rejoinder:

"I'll believe Osama bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi are dead when they register to vote in Chicago."

The original email was: "There is finally conclusive evidence that Osama bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi are dead. Yesterday, they both registered to vote in Chicago. "

Posted by John Kranz at 10:44 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

My Reply: "I doubt that you would, since you only believe scientific conclusions that agree with your prejudices."

Posted by: johngalt at November 6, 2011 11:03 AM

She Can't be Serious

Can she?


Related: Hippie chicks strip for free. (I can't believe I'm pushing Charisma Carpenter off the front page for this.) As a public service: Charisma Carpenter link. Come to think of it, maybe we'll just include that with every "Occupy" post. Sort of an ... innoculation.

But jk thinks:

Oh, my.

Not to beat on a theme too badly, but I'm certain the HTG&L Studies sign is a joke. Had she really obtained such a degree, there would be an apostrophe in studie's.

Posted by: jk at November 6, 2011 11:46 AM

November 5, 2011

Happy Guy Fawkes Day

Just 'cause the #OWS crowd is sullying the good name of terrorist Guy Fawkes does not mean we can't party!

Remember, remember
The Fifth of November,
T'was gunpowder treason and plot!
I see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 12:28 PM | What do you think? [0]

Eminent Domain Abuse at #OccupyWallStreet

Preparing a snarky post about how I did not recall segregation by gender at Tea Parties to prevent rape, I found a verdant pasture of blog fodder in this NY Post article. Really, a fellah could throw a (suction cup) dart at the screen and document whatever documentation of idiocy it hit.

But if I were aiming, I'd go for the woman who is pissed because they took her spot to put up the safe tent.

One woman was also against the structure, saying the protesters who put it up took her tent down without notice to make room.

"I'm pissed! I pretty much just got evicted," fumed Angelina Isfreed, 32, after returning to find her tent taken down. "I won't be staying there."

Kelo v. New London, hon, it's all for the greater societal good...

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 12:20 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

If memory serves, 'Lord of the Flies' zipped right past this stage of societal evolution on it's way to the warring tribes phase, but a more thorough treatment of the subject would have included it.

Let me coin a new term of humorous approval: iHeh.

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2011 1:54 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And I hope Iowa's Steve Deace doesn't find out you've referred to a female that you aren't already intimate with as "hon" lest he accuse you of being compromised in your private life.

Deace, an influential conservative figure in the state, declined to say whether he had the women's consent before going public with the allegations [of "inappropriate and awkward" behavior toward women by Herman Cain], but added, "As a staff we are very tight and we are very close and we share everything with one another."

"To bring up any further evidence or to add any more specifics really puts the burden on our staff and not really where the burden of proof for the American people belongs which is with the guy running for President of the United States," Deace said.

More directly, "Cain is guilty until he proves himself innocent." Nice. And what comment led to all the hubbub?

"Darling, do you mind doctoring my tea for me?"
Posted by: johngalt at November 6, 2011 10:22 AM
But jk thinks:

It would be importune of me to provide detail on the exact nature of my relationship with Ms. Isfreed...

The existence of this blog will certainly keep my political ambitions at bay. "And on November 6, the candidate said..."

Posted by: jk at November 6, 2011 10:44 AM

November 4, 2011

Quote of the Day

Jonah Goldberg's G-File [subscribe] is about his disillusion with @THEHermanCain, but he manages a whack at another:

I have a similar complaint about Mitt Romney. As Mark Steyn and others have pointed out, Romney has a disturbing tendency to simply take his ideas off the conventional-wisdom shelf. He lacks the conservative's skepticism that the "latest thinking" might simply be very old thinking gussied up as a breakthrough idea.

It's hard to see this tendency in him when he's in campaign mode, because it gets obscured by the pandering and positioning, but trust me, it's there.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:49 PM | What do you think? [0]

Sod Off, Swampy

Tim Blair's equivalent of our "Dirty Hippies" category has this gem from 2005, and Professor Reynolds finds it germane to our current context. Oy!

When 35 Greenpeace protesters stormed the International Petroleum Exchange yesterday, they had planned the operation in great detail.

What they were not prepared for was the post-prandial aggression of oil traders who kicked and punched them back on to the pavement.

"We bit off more than we could chew. They were just Cockney barrow boy spivs. Total thugs,"? one protester said, rubbing his bruised skull. "I’ve never seen anyone less amenable to listening to our point of view."?

Faith restored.

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 4:12 PM | What do you think? [0]

Villifying the "Occupy"-ers

Bloggers and editorialists around the country seem to be trying to discredit the "Occupy" movement by publicizing certain bad or illegal acts by individuals within its ranks. The Tacoma News Tribune, for example, writes:

Seattle has been occupied. Tacoma has been occupied. Good heavens, even Puyallup has been occupied. [Uh, that's "pew-AL-up" for all you southeasterners.]

If nothing else, Occupy Wall Street is a triumph of branding. Any collection of individuals with gripes about the status quo can call itself an “Occupy,” lay claim to some public space and instantly be anointed part of the international phenomenon begun by a group of enterprising protesters in Manhattan.

A mass protest of some kind was inevitable in the current pit of economic distress and widespread joblessness. There are legions of exceedingly unhappy people out there. To its credit, Occupy Wall Street has emphasized nonviolence; eruptions of public rage in years past have often degenerated into arson and angry mobs.

Arson? No, not the Occupiers. Well, maybe a few little trash fires in Oakland. Or a puny $10 million condo fire in Fort Collins, Colorado. Kids will be kids!

But jk thinks:

How can you denigrate "a business owner and war veteran?"

Posted by: jk at November 4, 2011 4:51 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I sense you are as skeptical of those claims as I.

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2011 1:55 PM

November 3, 2011

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

Buffy/Angel alumnus Charisma Carpenter now has a regular gig on ABC Family's "The Lying Game."
The series stars Alexandra Chando as separated-at-birth twins Sutton and Emma, who swap places unbeknownst to their friends and family. Carpenter will play Rebecca "Annie" Sewell, the estranged sister of Phyllis Chamberlain (Sydney Barrosse) and aunt of Sutton/Emma's best friend, Char (Kirsten Prout). Rebecca's return to town after many years brings back old memories -- and secrets -- that Alec Rybak (Adrian Padsar) and Ted Mercer (Andy Buckley) would like to keep in the past.
I post not only as an excuse to include a picture of Ms. Carpenter -- I am also intrigued that Sarah Michelle Gellar has returned to TV in CW's "Ringer" about, let's see. Twins. Taking the other's place. Intrigue. &c.
Television Posted by John Kranz at 4:11 PM | What do you think? [0]

I, for one, welcome our new cloud overlords.

Last week, I suggested that Amazon was poised to eat Netflix's lunch and leave a few unwanted baby carrots in their rival's ear. Or words to that effect.

I now think they are going to rule the world. I have seen the future, and have pre-ordered it.

The Amazon Prime® Membership seems inexplicable from an accounting perspective. I pay $89 or whatever it is and get free two-day shipping and $3.99 overnight shipping on all products that ship from Amazon (not necessarily their partners). I signed up when my lovely bride was in the hospital and found it so convenient, I have suggested it as a gift to caregivers everywhere. Always scarce time is at an extra premium when a loved one is hospitalized. Not going to Walgreen's for toothpaste is another 15 minutes at bedside. Precious.

It's been six years and I would not let that subscription lapse if Bezos appeared at Zuccotti Park and gave lessons on Marx and Engels.

They included FREE access to an extensive streaming video library a few months ago. I bought a Blue-Ray player that supports it (from Amazon, natch) and my Netflix account expires 11/21. My wife and I have both pre-ordered the Kindle Fire® It will let us watch our free and purchased Amazon videos, listen to Amazon MP3s (and others I upload to my cloud player) and read all our kindle books, blog and magazine subscriptions.

Today, they announce a library of free books. I guess you can borrow one a month -- if you have a Kindle and Prime.

Who is going to hold out for long? I get 200% ROI just on shipping. It seems like they might be giving too much away. But -- contra Netflix -- their business plan allows this customer captivity to pay off. Shipping is free, you might as well start buying your coffee from Amazon. And, if you buy that movie or MP3 it will be on all your devices. And I can no longer counsel agnosticism on eReaders. Buy the damn Kindle people.

Today, Netflix, tomorrow a Jobs-less Apple.

UPDATE: If you buy the Fire, use the ProfGlennGetsPaidFerIt link.

Amazon Posted by John Kranz at 2:43 PM | What do you think? [0]

Headline of the Day

This was going to be an update, but I'm thinkin' Headline of the Day

'A Killing Field for Tax Measures'
It's still a tea party in Colorado.

Colorado Posted by John Kranz at 1:29 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Two more honorable mentions are yesterday's,

Tax Hikes Stopped Dead in Their Tracks

and today's

Sour Taste for Taxes

Both from the Denver Post.

For opponents of 103, such as Jon Caldara, president of the libertarian-conservative Independence Institute, any suggestion that Coloradans voted against the ballot measure because it was too small is crazy talk.

"That's like saying women aren't interested in me because I'm not bald enough," Caldara said Wednesday. "They (103 supporters) are dreaming. Last night, the people of Colorado overwhelmingly said, 'We can't afford more tax increases.' "

Posted by: johngalt at November 3, 2011 4:37 PM
But jk thinks:

"Not bald enough!" And I thought I could not like Caldera any better!

Posted by: jk at November 3, 2011 4:42 PM


No violence in Oakland. As they trash a Whole Foods store, some are offended:

Hat-tip (and more backstory) Jim Treacher

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 12:38 PM | What do you think? [0]

November 2, 2011

Colorado Says Occupy This

Paul Gigot celebrates Colorado's off year results:

The antitax mood was equally clear at the local level. The Denver Post reports that "Aurora voters rejected a $114 million tax increase for recreation centers, Douglas County voters said 'no' to school tax increases, Cañon City voters rejected a tax for library improvements and Boulder voters appeared to be approving the creation of a municipal electricity utility but wouldn't pass a tax hike to fund it." That Boulder bit is especially rich, since the local utility measure is intended as a rebuke to the state's biggest electricity provider, Xcel Energy, which supposedly uses too much evil carbon fuel. Even the great and good liberals of Boulder don't want to pay to indulge their anticarbon principles.

In other news to give progressives heartburn, pro-voucher candidates prevailed for the school board in suburban Douglas County, where a voucher program has divided the area and is bogged down in legal challenges, and two reformers won seats on the Denver school board. Oh, and Denver voters rejected mandatory paid sick leave for all workers, 64.5% to 35.4%.

Colorado Posted by John Kranz at 5:25 PM | What do you think? [0]


And this leads me [Jay Nordlinger] to one of my favorite stories:

It was told to me by Bernard Lewis, the great Middle East scholar. He had invited Golda Meir to speak at Princeton. When she faced the students and the rest of the audience, she said, "Look, you know my views. I've been in public life for a long time. I won't give a speech. Why don't you just ask me some questions instead?"

In the course of the session, someone said, "Prime Minister, why is it that the PLO belongs to UNESCO while Israel does not?" She said, "Well, let's think about it. 'UNESCO' stands for 'United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.' Obviously, the Palestinians have more to contribute to education, science, and culture than we do."

This must be one of the finest uses of sarcasm I know of.


I have found some surprisingly well reasoned debate on Facebook (no, really) regarding the #occupywallstreet protests. A normally non-political musician buddy has decided that he supports them. Sick of the banks, he is, and he and his lovely bride credit them with BofA's reversal on debit card fees. A couple of his friends whom I don't know have respectfully challenged me. So much, that I apologized and retracted my having called the protesters "smelly hippies."

A problem is that discerning the protesters' intent is like nailing Jello® to the wall. If I don't like their anti-capitalism, they are not anti-capitalist. Repeat as needed. If I don't appreciate "X" they are not really "X," that's just how they have been labeled.

Reason's Matt Welch does us all a service finding a "New Declaration of Independence" online and challenging it.

The Only Thing Missing From "The New Declaration of Independence": Any Sense That Adults Are Responsible for Their Choices
I don't recall anything like the promises so cruelly unkept in Salon's list. I do remember my father warning me that an engineering degree would be much more useful in the workplace than English, to which I uttered a phrase available to 18-year-olds everywhere: Thanks, Dad; not your call. Ditto for the legions of well-meaning adults urging me to finish my undergraduate degree, to sign up for the Selective Service, and even (when I finally attained a decent living in the second half of my 30s) to pay a mortgage instead of paying rent. One of the best perks about being a grown-up is that you get to make your own choices, and to own the results, good and ill.

Which is why phrases like "wage slaves," "inescapable debt," and "force" "force" "force" leave me feeling like a brother from another planet. Adult human beings have agency, the ability (even responsibility!) to run their own cost/benefit analyses and choose accordingly. You could go to a state school (or community college) instead of an over-inflated prestige mill. You could pay for a 10-year-old car in cash, instead of a new one on installments. You could try to make it in Minneapolis before living the dream in Williamsburg. You could stare into the face of a no-money-down, adjustable rate 30-year mortgage at the tail end of a housing-price run-up and conclude "Maybe that one's not for me." You could even choose to turn down a bad if high-paying job when you're living below the poverty line. If we indeed live in a "candid world," let us state bluntly that offloading 100% of the blame for your own mountain of debt on a group of Greedy McBanksters who "forced" you to "play by the rules" is more than a little pathetic.

Reason, I will remind, has been more sympathetic to the protesters than most of the sources I frequent. Outta the park on this one, Mr. Welch. Outta the park.

Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 1:25 PM | What do you think? [0]

November 1, 2011

Colorado Rejects Prop 103

A big sales and income tax increase, earmarked for education but including no reform goes down big and early.

Colorado Posted by John Kranz at 10:41 PM | What do you think? [5]
But johngalt thinks:

Oh ... thank ... GOD!

Heard it here first, brother. Thank you.

"Colorado was the only state with a tax increase measure on the ballot this year." Let this be a lesson to you, America: 65% to 35% say higher taxes just ain't that patriotic.

Posted by: johngalt at November 1, 2011 11:54 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Hearty congratulations - here's hoping that Colorado, and not California, sets the trend for the nation.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 2, 2011 12:27 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Crikey but I've been out of it.... when was the vote? where??

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 2, 2011 12:36 AM
But jk thinks:

Hahahaha, nb, mail-in ballot due yesterday. Where I live it was just Prop 103 and a few small positions, only one of which was contested. If you had to miss one, you picked a good one to miss.

The City of Denver, amazingly, also shot down an employer mandate for sick leave. Went down by the same margin. JG's lesson is for real. Colorado is no longer an anti-tax state, it's purple-leaning-indigo and if "for the children" loses 65-35, the tax appetite is indeed not there.

Posted by: jk at November 2, 2011 12:10 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

So, what's left to be on the ballot on Tuesday the 8th?

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 6, 2011 2:23 AM

Quote of the Day

Read the whole thing. And then ask yourself why is it again that The New Yorker is known for smart, insightful writing. -- Nick Gillespie, less than impressed with Hendrik Hertzberg's comparison of #OWS and TEA
Dirty Hippies Posted by John Kranz at 4:46 PM | What do you think? [0]

Perhaps we're Not Finished

It appears that the Tea Party has not yet cleaned up the GOP. The WSJ Ed Page discusses two House Republicans who are joining a fight to increase the loan amount available for a taxpayer backstop.

It's a question that House Speaker John Boehner might consider as he reads a letter that Florida Republican Bill Posey and New York Democrat Gary Ackerman are circulating to fellow Members for signatures. The letter supports an amendment to an appropriations bill that recently passed the Senate to increase the mortgage limits that Fannie, Freddie and the Federal Housing Administration can insure to $729,750 from $625,500 in certain markets for two years. California Rep. Gary Miller, the Republican who rivals Barney Frank in protecting Fannie, introduced a similar bill in May.

"Members may differ on long-term policy solutions for the housing markets, but it would be premature for the sake of the economy to shut down access to this credit right now," the letter argues. The Congressmen say raising the limits "will not cost taxpayers one dime" because Fan and Fred can charge more to insure more expensive homes. Anyone remember Bill Clinton's 1995 claim that expanding taxpayer-backed mortgages "will not cost the taxpayers one extra cent"?

What could possibly go wrong, huh?

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