January 15, 2015

Three Cheers!

What are men to rocks and mountains? -- Jane Austen
A hat-tip to one of my favorite progressive interlocutors on Facebook for that.

I saw news footage of Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell's success in Yosemite.

Two climbers made it to the top of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park on Wednesday, the first ever to scale the 3,000-foot granite wall using only their hands and feet and safety rope.

Working in Boulder, rock climbing is pretty popular. Those who have met me in person might suspect that I did never have Comparative Advantage in that sport. As I never got into it, I developed a shutoff mechanism: when the topic came up, I would just quietly think about hockey and nod at appropriate intervals. "Light, $380 shoes, yes, tell me more..."

After many years that kicked in during the news reports. But I realized this morning that I had missed the Randian heroic achievement. Ms. Austen, let me tell you about men. They super-glue their bleeding fingers in nightmarish cold on the side of a 3000' granite cliff so they can climb to its summit. Just because.

Well done lads. Well damn done.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:02 AM | Comments (0)

January 9, 2015

Is it Time to Forgive?

As the bailout recedes in the rear-view mirror, can an American enjoy a little jingoistic pride in his country's iconic sports car?

My favorite -- of many -- moments on Top Gear was when the lads were in the US. Jeremy was dissing on a Corvette, James got kinda out there in something, but Richard Hammond drove a Dodge Charger or Challenger and said "We drive all these £300,000 cars, but if you're a plumber in the United States you can buy, insure, and drive this car." Bingo. I love Mr. Clarkson, but I don't think he ever got that.

Less surprisingly, Jay Leno gets it. "You can have a Ferrari, or you can have 18 of these."

Hat-tip: Insty

Posted by John Kranz at 4:05 PM | Comments (0)

October 8, 2014

Obama Teleprompter Hacked

President Obama famously said that he believes "in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism."

So one may wonder why he didn't balk when Teleprompter instructed him to say this:

It's part of what attracts people from every corner of the globe to this country, understanding that for all our flaws there's something essential that we stand for that nobody else does, and we're willing to put our money and time and effort and resources and occasionally our lives on behalf of that.

Something essential... that we stand for... that nobody else does. This, friends, is the definition of an "exception" and makes "this country" exceptional.

And even more directly, when he said that "America continues to be the one indispensable nation..." one might be forgiven for thinking that, perhaps, President Obama is proud to be an American. He continued:

...and that what we stand for - liberty and democracy and conservation and fairness and justice - those are the things that people around the world aspire to and seek, and they expect the United States to be on their side.

I agree, Mr. President. Me too. Although I suspect we may differ on the meaning and intent of "democracy and conservation and fairness" and yes, probably even "justice." You did notice that only one of the values you expressed is a part of the name for "that lady with the torch in the middle of the water" didn't you?

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:25 PM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2014

What the Hell is Administrative Law, and Where Did it Come From?

That is the question which is, by every account, answered brilliantly in a new book by Professor Philip Hamburger of the Columbia Law School: Is Administrative Law Unlawful?

Amazon reviewer Ross Huebner wrote last month:

Professor Hamburger outlines the fact that administrative law (outside of very limited circumstances) is not only unconstitutional, but it is anti-constitutional as well. I recommend this book as a worthy legal history of administrative law and state simply that it should be in every serious scholar's library for both historical and legal purposes.

In a radio interview this morning the author explained that administrative law, essentially the rules and regulations of Administrative Branch agencies, crept into our government after its founding as a holdover from the pre-Constitutional era and do not have any justification under the Constitution. To the contrary, Article I Section 1 begins: "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States..." therefore any legislative powers exercised outside of Congress are illegal.

And not just legislative, but judicial powers are wrongly exercised under color of "administrative law." Who may lay his finger on the Constitutional passage that enumerates that? Article III Section 1 begins: "The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." No mention of EPA or FDA that I could find.

A timely tome it doth seem to be.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:11 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Dothn't it.

Posted by: jk at July 16, 2014 6:46 PM

March 5, 2014

N'est ce Pas?

Oh, yes:

Hat-tip Jim Geraghty [if you haven't subscribed yet...] who puts this in context with the RAM Truck "God Made a Farmer" and the Coke multicultural milieu ad as "we want to feel good about America again."

The farmer in the Ram Trucks ad is what we think we once were, and want to still be: hard-working, reliable, honest, filled with determination and integrity. The Coke ad actually begins with a cowboy who would fit in the Ram Truck ad, but moves on to breakdancing kids, a family visiting the Grand Canyon, a big (Hispanic?) family settling in for dinner, folks wobbling at a roller rink and laughing at themselves. That ad shows that we're warm and welcoming, close to our families, spending quality time with our kids who aren't sitting in front of a video game console or staring at the screen of their phone.

And then Neal McDonough -- "Hey, it's that guy from Band of Brothers and Captain America!" -- comes along and stabs a needle of adrenaline and confidence into our heart. He chuckles about other countries sitting at cafes and taking August off. He walks past his kids, who are doing their homework, with one appearing to working on a model of DNA. He explains that "we're crazy, driven hard-working believers," and high-fives his younger child, who obviously has already absorbed this cheerful, confident philosophy. He's got a gorgeous house with a pool, happy, bright kids, a good-looking wife who reads the Wall Street Journal after he does, and he looks good in a suit. He's got spring in his step. The world is his oyster, and he says it's America's oyster, too, because "you work hard, you create your own luck, and you've got to believe anything is possible."

Posted by John Kranz at 10:20 AM | Comments (2)
But AndyN thinks:

I doubt I'll ever buy a GM but I loved this spot the only time I saw it on TV, especially the line "Got a car up there and we left the keys in it, do you know why? Because we're the only ones going back up there, that's why."

It's an unfortunate coincidence that I'm seeing this here the same morning that I'm seeing an article in Popular Mechanics questioning whether the Russians will still be nice enough to fly our people into space if we keep sending them sternly worded condemnations over their invasion of Ukraine.

Posted by: AndyN at March 5, 2014 10:55 AM
But jk thinks:

I don't think I'm in the Cadillac Prius Demographic either, but this is good stuff.

Like ex-Ford pitchman Mike Rowe, it celebrates work. Rah-rah 'Merica, I suppose, but I had development teams in Europe and the distain for our ethos is alarming. This is a great answer for them, and a lot of whiny American workers who find anything less than five weeks barbaric.

The suggestion that that labor has emotional and economic value.

Posted by: jk at March 5, 2014 11:31 AM

February 9, 2014

I WIll Start the Motor of the World.

Minus two points for anti-Ricardian economics, but plus 20 for celebrating the dignity and creativity of work.

Hat-tip: The Blaze

Posted by John Kranz at 12:59 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Quibbles aside, I'm glad to see mass market advertisements like this one saying "work is a beautiful thing" and ones like this that say natural gas connects the dots between "new jobs, cleaner air, a manufacturing renaissance and energy security." But what I don't like is that such advertising is even necessary. Why isn't it obvious to almost everyone?

Posted by: johngalt at February 10, 2014 12:46 PM
But jk thinks:

Yup. Waay net positive. But if I did not quibble, you guys would call 9-1-1.

We are going to find out. I think the Democrats are prepared to dig in on the new CBO report. "It's going to be swell that people can choose part-time work [or the dole] instead of slaving away at a job they hate for healthcare."

Larry Kudlow is laughing at that, and James Pethokoukis is laughing, and a lot of ThreeSourcers may chuckle. But there is a huge contingent -- likely a plurality -- that answers "we're turning into France" with "cool." Everybody hanging out and working 30-hour weeks and getting government subsidies to make up the difference is a feature and not a bug to a large part of the populace.

We may soon find out just what those percentages are.

Posted by: jk at February 10, 2014 6:29 PM

February 6, 2014

Immigration, English, and Coca Cola

We've heard many opinions on the multi-lingual Coca Cola Superbowl ad "America the Beautiful" including here, here and here. I'd like to share one more viewpoint. This from a son of Chinese immigrants who also happens to be a Republican candidate for congress in the Colorado district that encompasses Boulder (CO-2).

If you like it, or him, be sure to "Like" his Facebook Page. I did.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:52 PM | Comments (4)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Hmmm... The Refugee is no longer in Colo CD2,(hence the nom de plume), but Leing might actually be worth some financial support. Cory Gardner is kind of a lock in CD4. I'll have to check out Leing's policy positions, but likely anyone is better than Polis.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 6, 2014 3:34 PM
But jk thinks:

"Personally, I enjoyed the ad as it celebrated the diversity of culture we enjoy in America" (0:15)

Me too.

"For me the issue is about empowering everyone to learn to use the language" (0:45)

Me too.

Posted by: jk at February 6, 2014 3:50 PM
But jk thinks:

@Refugee: Leing sent an energetic and bright young staffer to Liberty On The Rocks - Flatirons. Brother jg spoke with him and I was quite impressed.

Posted by: jk at February 6, 2014 3:57 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I was most impressed by his claim to have won a student body election on the CU-Boulder campus. He said he was on the "Empower" ticket. This in contrast to the "Veritas" ticket or unaffiliated.

Turns out, with a quick search, he was seated despite finishing 6th out of 7 candidates. :) Colorado Daily.

Posted by: johngalt at February 6, 2014 4:57 PM

January 29, 2014

Dinesh D'Souza v. Bill Ayers

Tomorrow at 7:30 EST, 5:30 MST, Dinesh D'Souza will debate Bill Ayers - "What's So Great About America?"

Watch it live at http://live.dineshdsouza.com/

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:20 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Ayers claims that America is still a white-supremecist nation. Agree or disagree? Why?

Posted by: johngalt at January 30, 2014 8:37 PM

September 11, 2013

Happy Patriot's Day!

Posted by John Kranz at 12:16 PM | Comments (0)

Headline of the Day


A perfect headline by Colorado's Complete Colorado linking to this Colorado Peak Politics article:

In a historic recall election Senate President John Morse was booted from office, capping the end of a long and passionate fight over gun rights in Colorado. It marks a wake-up call for Colorado Democrats, who are suddenly coming to the realization that they're not invincible after all.

In a legislative session this spring dubbed "one of the most liberal ever" by the Durango Herald's Joe Hanel, Democrats sprinted to the left on gun control, and virtually every other policy in the left-wing agenda.

The Morse recall results are a swift kick in their proverbial nuts. A reminder to legislators that getting elected office doesn't give you a free pass to do whatever your progressive paymasters demand of you.

A hearty congratulations to my compatriots to the south. It wasn't my fight but I cheered loudly and rooted you on.

Oh and by the way, the headline says "total" recall, alluding to the other senator facing a no-confidence vote, Pueblo Democrat Angela Giron. She's toast too, by a 20-point margin.

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:17 AM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

One very popular symbol of the TEA Party and the liberty movement in general is the Gadsden flag, recognizable for its "Don't Tread On Me" motto. It bears the likeness of a rattlesnake.

During hearings in the most recent Colorado legislative session, those of us who endorse that banner gave the legislative majority "the rattle." Yesterday we gave it "the fangs."

Posted by: johngalt at September 11, 2013 4:27 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"Total Recall?"

As long as we're going to use Schwarzenegger references, should we respond with "Hasta la vista, baby" or "you're terminated"?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 11, 2013 8:34 PM
But dagny thinks:

Anything but, "I'll be back."

Posted by: dagny at September 12, 2013 1:31 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Ladies and gentlemen, please walk away from the keyboards. Dagny's comeback is today's Winner of the Internet.

I will credit the source when I use that one myself.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 13, 2013 1:05 AM

July 4, 2013

Independence - The Universal Good

Mike Rosen did a very good job deconstructing the "America sucks" diatribe of a Denver Post columnist on his radio show Tuesday, but for those who don't have time or inclination to listen I'll do it again here, hitting just the high points.

First the title: "Beware of zealots this Independence Day." That's right, flag-waving Americans should remind "thoughtful" people of bomb-throwing Islamists. But perhaps I'm just too sensitive.

In recent times, we've seen an uptick in gratuitous, obsequious, false patriotism, rooted in empty slogans and reflexive - not thoughtful - displays of bravado rather than heartfelt allegiance and love of country.

Recent times? I believe this began in earnest on a particular date: September 11, 2001. Didn't something memorable happen that day, Steve?

They proclaim love of country is exhibited in the absolute defense and embrace of the Second Amendment, typically above all other constitutional provisions, as a critical defense against a paranoia-imagined government takeover.

And here the - thoughtful - Mr. Lipsher either denies or ignores history. Take your pick. Why can boy scouts take "Be Prepared" as their motto but the rest of us should, instead, place complete faith in a government that says, "trust us, we'll take care of you?" A government operated by other men, no better nor worse than those whom it serves, but entrusted with the authority to use force. Like all other powers in government, that force must be checked.

They throw around terms such as "liberty" and "tyranny" without any apparent appreciation for their meaning: They are mere buzzwords, dog-whistles to help them identify "us" and "them" in their quixotic quest to "take America back" from implied - but rarely explicitly stated - minorities, liberals, Muslims, Hollywood, welfare recipients and the Kenyan/socialist/America-hating President Obama.

This is mere rant, intended to detract from concrete ideas of liberty and tyranny. While it is true that some Americans are xenophobic this by no means describes the majority of American patriots, much less their motives. They merely seek to maintain what is great about America - individual freedom and the right to create one's own prosperity - without having it "spread around a little" against his will.

Like most Americans, I truly love my country and the unparalleled opportunities it affords me, and I'm proud of our achievements as a nation. But I also see its flaws - often cloaked in our incredible wealth and national arrogance - and I want it to be better.

But are you proud of your achievements as an individual? Or, more importantly, do you believe others have the right to be proud of their own achievements? Achievements like incredible wealth and, not arrogance, but pride in their "heartfelt allegiance and love" of a nation conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal?

I believe you when you say you want America to be better. So do I. But there may be a great divide between what each of us would prescribe as "better." For my part that would be more freedom not less, less regulation and compulsion not more, more charity and volunteerism not more taxation and redistribution. These principles should extend beyond our shores as well: Free trade with other nations not free aid, defense cooperation not replacement of their armed forces with ours. Every nation, like every person, is free to work and achieve and own the fruits of those labors without threat of being pillaged by others, like redistributive governments that employ a Viking morality under the guise of democratic "majority rule." These principles would make not just America better, but the world.

On this day, July 4, 2013, Happy Independence Day people of the earth.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:17 AM | Comments (1)
But Jk thinks:

Well said. Happy Fourth.

Posted by: Jk at July 4, 2013 4:56 PM

America the Beautiful

While looking for the flaming anti-patriotism column I wanted to blog about I found, on the KOA radio page, Patriotic Babes.


Semper Fi.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:02 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Long may she wave!

Posted by: jk at July 6, 2013 11:00 AM


Posted by John Kranz at 12:00 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Long may she wave.

Posted by: johngalt at July 4, 2013 11:02 AM

July 3, 2013

Wish I Could be this "Silent"

I am reading Charles Johnson's "Why Coolidge Matters" You'll have to wait for Review Corner, but Johnson does an awesome job of tying Coolidge to the Declaration of Independence. What he believed and how he governed came directly from the Declaration.

The WSJ offers today's "Notable & Quotable" from his "Address at the Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence" in Philadelphia, July 5, 1926:

It was not because it was proposed to establish a new nation, but because it was proposed to establish a nation on new principles, that July 4, 1776, has come to be regarded as one of the greatest days in history. Great ideas do not burst upon the world unannounced. They are reached by a gradual development over a length of time usually proportionate to their importance. This is especially true of the principles laid down in the Declaration of Independence. Three very definite propositions were set out in its preamble regarding the nature of mankind and therefore of government. These were the doctrine that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that therefore the source of the just powers of government must be derived from the consent of the governed.

If no one is to be accounted as born into a superior station, if there is to be no ruling class, and if all possess rights which can neither be bartered away nor taken from them by any earthly power, it follows as a matter of course that the practical authority of the Government has to rest on the consent of the governed. While these principles were not altogether new in political action, and were very far from new in political speculation, they had never been assembled before and declared in such a combination. But remarkable as this may be, it is not the chief distinction of the Declaration of Independence. . . .

It was the fact that our Declaration of Independence containing these immortal truths was the political action of a duly authorized and constituted representative public body in its sovereign capacity, supported by the force of general opinion and by the armies of Washington already in the field, which makes it the most important civil document in the world.

From the man known for his silence and considered by the Schlesinger school as not a man of thought.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:28 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

In contrast to America's constitutional republic, we are now seeing the natural consequence of a fully democratic implementation of such "consent of the governed" in Egypt. The "duly elected" president there is now being treated with the same disdain and vitreol by "the people" and lack of support by Egypt's armies, as the "dictator" Mubarak who preceeded him.

The obvious moral is that "consent of the people" is an individual act, not a collective or a plural one.


Posted by: johngalt at July 3, 2013 1:56 PM

June 11, 2013

Oh No NoCo, Don't Go!

On the heels of it's dismissive editorial, which I linked in the comments on yesterday's post about an 8-county split from "Old Colorado" to form a new state, comes this spin-heavy "news" piece that clearly shows a nerve has been struck in D-town.

Mazurana said the process of breaking way from the state and starting a new one, is long and difficult. Both the state legislature and the U.S. Congress would have to approve.

"All the rest of the states are are not going to want to share their federal aid with this new state," Mazurana said. "And the state is not going to give up oil and gas money on a whim."

However, the notion could draw the backing of well-heeled conservative backers, he said. "The Koch brothers could come in along with some other wingnut groups." [emphasis mine]

I'm thinking of a new 501c3 application: "Colorado Wingnuts for Liberty and Property Rights"

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:27 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

"Colorado Prosperitarian Party" might confuse them with Progressive and be accepted.

I lost a comment yesterday. I hate to get too excited over a longshot, but the proposed split is a great idea, establishing Federalist principles at a scale closer to those at our founding.

The trick is to find another state that will be as reliably Democrat as NoCo will be Republican. Puerto Rico? Split off Marin County? The Congressional distribution will not likely change, but we need to find a Hawaii to our Alaska. The Democrats will not give two Senate seats to the other guys in perpetuity.

Posted by: jk at June 12, 2013 9:39 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Many of these hang ups could be swept aside by just defecting to Wyoming, rather than demanding 2 new senators from the thin air.

Posted by: johngalt at June 12, 2013 10:35 AM
But jk thinks:

Dude, you are a genius.

Posted by: jk at June 12, 2013 10:43 AM
But johngalt thinks:

We'll see. I just floated the idea to Independence Institute's Amy Oliver, who Jon Caldera credits for starting the idea via a Twitter hashtag: #WarOnRuralCO

Posted by: johngalt at June 12, 2013 3:36 PM

June 10, 2013

North Colorado/South Colorado?

Carolina and the Dakota Territory have done it. Perhaps Virginia and West Virginia are a better example. Commissioners of Weld County, Colorado, the third largest county in Colorado and third most productive in the nation, are publicly contemplating a split from the remainder of Colorado. Seven neighboring counties would possibly join us.

Commissioners said Thursday that failed legislative efforts to crack down on oil and gas, as well as increases in rural renewable energy standards were "the straws that broke the camel's back."

Conway told the Tribune that Weld County's main economic drivers, agriculture and energy, are under attack, even though those sectors contribute significantly to the state's economy. He said the county's return on its financial contributions to the state are minimal.

He's just being polite. Weld and other rural counties are the makers, Denver and other urban counties are the takers. This could be a win-win for the urbanites, who could finally wash their hands of the coal, oil and gas energy they so disdain. We'll just take our cheap, reliable energy and go away. Heck, we won't even ask for another star on the flag. Just give us the liberty that our ancestors were born with, and our descendents deserve to enjoy.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:46 PM | Comments (4)
But Alexc thinks:

More like this... and / or recombination. Why shouldn't the rural counties of neighboring states become a new one?

Posted by: Alexc at June 10, 2013 3:11 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm in.

Posted by: jk at June 10, 2013 4:39 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

Massachusetts and Maine are another example. Completely constitutional.

Posted by: T. Greer at June 10, 2013 6:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

For its part, the Denver Post is unimpressed:

Serious people with serious complaints don't waste their time on quixotic crusades. They roll up their sleeves and deepen their efforts to convince their fellow Coloradans that their arguments have merit.

Oh, you mean by giving public testimony on 6 bills in 90 minutes? Or maybe we didn't say loudly enough that mandating what kind of energy we use is immoral as well as unconstitutional. No, Denver Post, we have come to live in an Ochlocracy and we're not going to stand for it any longer.

Posted by: johngalt at June 11, 2013 4:18 PM

June 6, 2013

Never ever ever gets old

Ronald Reagan: The Boys of Pointe du Hoc.

Truly one of the great speeches in all our nation's history. Hat-tip: Blog friend sc who adds "The Boomers on the other hand, gave us Woodstock and Obama." That was so funny I didn't even ask permission to share.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:07 AM | Comments (0)

May 8, 2013

Washington. Coolidge. Cruz.

Articulator of principle:

"I think he is the most talented and fearless Republican politician I've seen in the last 30 years."

Carville accurately described the conservative view: "'If we only got someone who was articulate and was for what we were for, we would win elections. And we get these John McCains and these Mitt Romneys and these squishy guys that can't do anything.'" Carville added: "Well, there's one thing this guy is not -- he ain't squishy, not in the least."


"If defending Americans' constitutional liberties and fighting for policies that will spur job growth and economic recovery is [the] Democrats' definition of 'extreme,' it confirms that their convoluted, misguided priorities do not represent the best interests of New Yorkers," a spokeswoman for Cruz, a Princeton and Harvard Law honors graduate and one of just three Hispanics in the Senate, told The Post.

"They [New York Democrats] clearly have bigger problems to deal with than lobbing useless criticisms at a Republican senator coming to town to speak at an event for Republicans," the spokeswoman, Catherine Frazier, continued.


UPDATE (05/09 13:25) Dallas Morning News columnist Wayne Slater

As for Perry, he’s old news. Public Policy Polling announced this week it’s dropping the GOP governor, who barely registers following his bungled White House bid last year, and replacing him with Cruz in future surveys of potential presidential candidates.
Posted by JohnGalt at 5:44 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

I certainly like him.

Now don't anybody get me wrong, but . . . I hope to see Senators Cruz and Paul being intemperate in the US Senate for many years. That is an important job. As each gets closer to hearing "Hail to the Chief" when they walk into a room, each will get a little more "handled." I submit that this has happened to Senator Marco Rubio.

Posted by: jk at May 8, 2013 6:45 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yeahbut... I never detected the same quality of philosophical self-confidence from Rubio than I do from Paul or, perhaps surprisingly, from Cruz. Perhaps Paul was the trailblazer, having arrived earlier, but Cruz' penchant for speaking his mind can't be underestimated. (Carville didn't say Rubio or Paul were fearless and talented.) I see Cruz being "handled" about as effectively as was our 40th President, i.e. not much.

Posted by: johngalt at May 8, 2013 6:52 PM
But johngalt thinks:

As for Rubio, I think he's trapped in the gravity field of one Senator McCain. Did you see Cruz' proposed amendment to the immigration bill?

Posted by: johngalt at May 8, 2013 6:54 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm actually concerned about Senator Rand Paul (HOSS - KY). I hoep I am wrong.

Posted by: jk at May 8, 2013 7:37 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Carville's reference was too subtle for my liking. What he meant was, "I think he is the most talented and fearless Republican politician since Ronald Reagan."

Personally, I have reason to believe he could be an even greater president than 40, and hope that it comes to pass so that we may find out.

Posted by: johngalt at May 9, 2013 12:38 PM
But jk thinks:

Now that's an endorsement! I'm in!

Posted by: jk at May 9, 2013 1:01 PM

March 28, 2013

Otequay of the Ayday

"..America, America, God shed clear sight on thee. And crown thy past, with, at long last, a future that is free." -- Facebook friend and former Colorado state senator Shawn Mitchell (Tuesday "via mobile")
Posted by JohnGalt at 4:40 PM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2013

Colorado Sheriff would defy feds

The Sheriff of El Paso County, Colorado, Terry Maketa, told constituents yesterday that he would prevent gun confiscation in his jurisdiction if a "lawfully signed warrant" were not in play.

"I would step in the way if federal law enforcement was acting under some directive and seizing weapons without a lawfully signed warrant," he said, adding that he's not worried about that because he's received emails of support from federal law enforcement agencies.

"I think they would turn first, quit and join me before following something as ludicrous as that," he said.

This is welcome reassurance to the majority of Coloradoans who oppose big-city mayors' politically motivated gun control railroad job in the Democrat-controlled Colorado state government. Speaking of which,

"I don't have any plan to run for governor, for senate, for house," he said. "I say that knowing full well things can change."
Posted by JohnGalt at 2:32 PM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2013

Atlas Shrugged Part III - Summer 2014

Oh yeah!

"We're not going to get critics coming on board,"Aglialoro said. "The academic-media complex out there doesn't want to like the work, doesn’t want to understand it, fears the lack of government in their lives, wants the presence of government taking care of us."

Insists on demanding the unearned.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has expressed support for some of Rand's writings, and Aglialoro says Ryan's 2012 campaign alongside Mitt Romney could have used a bit more of her thinking.

"It would have served the campaign well if he would have embraced the natural way to capitalism that Ayn Rand, and I think Romney and Ryan should have quoted [her] over and over and over again during the campaign, that it's the producers who should be applauded and appreciated and not denigrated, that 'rich' is not a dirty, four-letter word. It's a good, four-letter word."

But that's in the past and we're looking forward.

Aglialoro is looking at a different politician to carry the mantle of Ayn Rand in Washington: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

"Since they're starting to beat up on Cruz, there must be something good about him. Cruz is new on the scene, on the side of the free market, of limited government, of capitalist instinct in our society. So I think Cruz is somebody who could fit the bill."

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:41 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Great news.

Posted by: jk at March 13, 2013 2:07 PM

March 6, 2013


No, not that pansy-assed cloture crap. A stand at the podium and "speak until I can no longer speak" Mister Smith goes to Washington style fillibuster. From "I will not let Obama 'shred the Constitution."

"The point isn’t that anyone in our country is Hitler," Paul said, repeating that he is not comparing anyone to Hitler. "But what I am saying that is in a democracy you could somehow elect someone who is very evil . . . When a democracy gets it wrong, you want the law to be in place."

Video still live here: http://www.c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN2/

Damn I'm proud of the United States Senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul.

UPDATE: The Filitracker - israndpaulstilltalking.com HT: Brother Bryan

UPDATE: Senator Rand Paul's fillibuster for individual rights and against an ever more powerful central government attracted an unusual ally to the Republican's side: Code Pink.

Paul’s nearly 13-hour filibuster on the Senate floor — which delayed the vote to confirm John Brennan as director of the CIA — was unusual in that it brought together unlikely allies: libertarian-leaning Republicans, establishment Republicans, Democrats and even left-wing activists like Code Pink.

They're still as misguided a group of lemmings you'll ever see, but it is refreshing to see any willingness to stand with traditional foes over a particular principle. I'll say this for Code Pink: Their principles are almost completely wrong, but at least they have principles.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:36 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

AWESOME ON STILTS!!! (Not conducive to work, but...)

Paul - Ayotte 2016!

Posted by: jk at March 6, 2013 5:03 PM

December 29, 2012


Sorry, Twitter, there is a defect in your algorithm.

Ain't nobody similar to @CharlieDaniels

Posted by John Kranz at 12:08 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

You do both wear a hat ... and play stringed instruments.

Posted by: johngalt at December 31, 2012 1:26 PM
But jk thinks:

Hahahahahaha! Don't want to step on a great joke, but need clarify some cropping-induced ambiguity. The email was addressed to me and suggested others that I might enjoy following: David Limbaugh (no Billboard Top-40 hits ever), Kirsten Powers (whom I've never seen wear a hat), James O'Keefe (can't play a fiddle worth beans), Joe The Patriotic...

Posted by: jk at December 31, 2012 1:56 PM

Sometimes the good guy wins

It's an old story: Special interest group sues profitable corporation for alleged harm to animals or cattails or whatever Loraxian victim said group can conjur. But this time the story has a happy (for capitalism and individual rights) ending. Animal rights group settles lawsuit with Ringling. That's right, animal rights group settles, NOT Ringling.

An animal rights group will pay Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus $9.3 million to settle a lawsuit the circus filed after courts found that activists paid a former circus worker for his help in claiming the circus abused elephants.

That's a 9.3 million share of dollars donated to the group by weepy sensitive souls, motivated by all those sad "abandoned puppy" picture ads in the back of Redbook and Good Housekeeping.

The ASPCA said in a statement that "this litigation has stopped being about the elephants a long time ago" and that officials decided it was in the group's best interest to resolve the lawsuit after more than a decade.
Yeah, that and the fact that their little entrapment scheme blew up in their faces.
Posted by JohnGalt at 1:47 AM | Comments (0)

December 20, 2012

Sarah Hoyt - "Ungovernable"

Sarah Hoyt, who grew up in the Socialist Paradise of Portugal and is a successful author of many a fine SF/F novel, sees the future...and has faith that the American people will weather the difficult times ahead with some measure of style:


I’ve said before that I became an American by reading Heinlein books. This is true at least to an extent, though I’d be at a loss to explain the process to you. I mean, if you knew how to do that, book by book, chipping away, so someone starts out wondering what’s wrong with all those Americans who don’t like taxes (don’t they know taxes are civilization? And have always existed) and ends up thinking getting a Don’t Tread On Me tattoo is a brilliant idea, even while immersed in a socialist, communitary system, we’d have no problems. We’d just use “the process.”

Mind, you, it is likely that the er… Heinleinizing (totally a word. Don’t worry your pretty head) of my opinions came from watching socialism up close and personal. Heinlein had help. But all the same, and even so, by the time I came to the States as an exchange student I had been, so to put it, primed to react to the US as “home.”


This is why statists of any stripe so often throw their hands up and call us ungovernable. Not that this gives them the idea they shouldn’t try. No. Instead, they try to devise more cunning ways of governing us. You have them to give credit for dreaming the impossible dream. It’s the one proof we have that the sons of beetles are Americans.

So… after sixty years of creeping statism, they’ve now “captured the flag” – they have actually got all of the important systems sewn up: news, entertainment, education, government.

They think – can you blame them? – that they won.

I won’t say they can’t hurt us. They can. The mechanisms they’ve seized hold of are important and they are – natch – misusing them.

I’m not saying that this will be easy. It won’t. Our economy is likely to be an incredible shambles, and I’ve said before I think we’ll lose at least one city.

But, listen, the problem with these sons of… Babel is that they might be American, but they’re not American ENOUGH. If they were, they’d understand “ungovernable” and this willingness for each of us to go it alone (often for common benefit, but on own recognizance, nonetheless) is not a bug. It’s a feature. And that it’s baked in the cake of a people who came here to escape the top-down spirit of other places. Some of the black sheep (or as one friend of mine calls it, the plaid sheep) attitude is genetic, hereditary, inborn. And enough of us have it.

Finally, let's note that Sarah is from COLORADO. There's just something about that place. Rand didn't choose it to be a star of Atlas Shrugged out of thin air.

Posted by Ellis Wyatt at 12:47 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

Not to diss on brother ew's excerpting skills, but read the whole thing. Touquevillian.

Posted by: jk at December 20, 2012 1:22 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

I see I spelt it "Unogvernable" in the link but I'm leaving it 'cause it's appropriately symbolic!

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at December 20, 2012 1:32 PM
But johngalt thinks:

An interesting comparison of American individualism and European specialization. One might expect comparative advantage to give Europeans the edge, but that's not the way this essay reads. Instead it gives them, stagnation.

Could it be that specialization, while more efficient, also creates monopolies? Or at least cartels. Supply is diminished and costs rise to the point where the nonessential is just dispensed with. A translation: Nonessential = luxuries.

So in addition to individual empowerment and, yes, liberation, the human tendency toward generalization also tends toward larger and freer markets. Whoa - felt a shudder just then.

Posted by: johngalt at December 20, 2012 5:36 PM
But jk thinks:

Sorry man, but I don't see any of that. I see a bit of class-distinction (Americans don't "know their place") versus a bit of boisterousness. A bit of community spirit. Yet even in the context of our specialization discussions I don't see it here.

Posted by: jk at December 20, 2012 6:17 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

I think it's not exactly specialization or generalization, but American's do-it-yourselfization that she is getting at. When merde happens, more Americans jump in the water and rescue the kid, fix the leak in the dam, put out the fire...whereas most Euros wait for the official, credentialed unionized repair person. Our government officials are always trying to turn us into that, but she thinks it hasn't really taken.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at December 20, 2012 7:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:
Part of the thing with Europe is the worship of the “experts.” “We’ll take it to the expert” or “We’ll have the expert do it.”

There is more than one thing going on here, I admit. One is a submission to authoritah. Another is a certain humility that "one person can't do everything." Though whether it is a chicken or its egg, this condition depends upon specialization.

Maybe it's my exposure to academia that makes me more sensitive. Whenever someone tells me I "can't" then I, like Heinlein, become more determined. "No, buddy ... YOU can't!"

Posted by: johngalt at December 21, 2012 4:04 PM

November 1, 2012

Otequay of the Ayday

"When I had the gun, I didn't think I was actually going to have to shoot somebody," the 6th grader recalled. "I think it's going to change me a whole lot, knowing that I can hold my head up high and nothing can hurt me anymore."

Twelve year-old Kendra St. Clair after shooting an intruder with her mother's .40 cal Glock during a burglary of her Oklahoma home.

UPDATE: A local TV news report at embedded here ends with the additional information that the suspect was arrested last year in connection with the kidnapping of a 17 year-old girl with "diminished mental capacity." This was quite possibly more than a burglary attempt.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:32 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I'm Okie on my Mom's side. Damn straight, Kendra!

Posted by: jk at November 1, 2012 4:51 PM

October 14, 2012

The Man Who Fell to Earth...

...from freaking OUTER SPACE!

ROSWELL, N.M. -- Sky adventurer Felix Baumgartner completed a 24-mile skydive Sunday, wrapping up a five-year effort to break shatter a world record set 52 years ago.

Somewhere, Robert Anson Heinlein is smiling.

UPDATE: Inspired by comment from blog friend Terri.


Posted by JohnGalt at 2:32 PM | Comments (5)
But Jk thinks:

A W E S O M E !

Posted by: Jk at October 14, 2012 2:58 PM
But Terri thinks:

That shot where he is looking down at earth is one of the coolest photos in the world. Wow.

Just don't read the comments people are making (including Facebook). We aren't living in a computer ala The Matrix, we are living in a book, Atlas Shrugged.

Posted by: Terri at October 15, 2012 8:48 AM
But jk thinks:

Mrs. Greenspan reports he travelled faster than light.

There once was a fellow named Blight,
Who could travel faster than light.
He went out one day,
In a relative way,
And returned the previous night.

Posted by: jk at October 15, 2012 4:27 PM
But jk thinks:

An Insty reader steals my limerick! Damned Intertubes!

Posted by: jk at October 15, 2012 4:32 PM
But johngalt thinks:

It's not really fair to expect Mzzz Mitchell to be thoroughly precise in matters outside of her field. That would be analogous to expecting a physicist to be able to read, with a straight face, biased news reports as though they are one-hundred percent objective. Some things just have to be left to professionals.

Posted by: johngalt at October 15, 2012 4:59 PM

October 9, 2012

Two Minutes of AWESOME!

Think of it as morality tales for the iPod generation.

Dr. Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute credits Arthur Brooks at American Enterprise Institute as the most influential proponent of the morality of free markets and capitalism. The results of AEI's Video Contest will show you why.

I posted the First Prize winner, as determined by a collection of judges, on my Facebook page. But I think they're all great. Each one is a 2-minute lesson in anti-statism, and in true free market fashion I'm linking to the full page of finalists for you to pick your own winner. As for me, I'm the father of three daughters and I choose for my favorite: Suzie's Lemonade Stand.

Many of these teach lessons that used to reside in public education. This is an excellent opportunity to return them there.

Watch them. Share them. Promote them.

UPDATE: I may have awarded too soon. I'll stand by my favorite but honorable mention also to "Pet Enterprise" and "Making Pie." I also predict JKs fave will be "FES International." Like I said: Awesome ... Every ... One.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:01 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Many are nice -- but I am going to go with Susie, with honorable metion to "My Grandfather's Story."

Posted by: jk at October 9, 2012 8:18 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Since I probably wouldn't have seen these otherwise, many, many thanks for posting! The winner was special because it had government agents in suits seizing Mom's sewing machine and shutting down the "illegal" operation. To be honest, I thought Susie's lemonade stand was going to be raided by a SWAT team any second!

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at October 9, 2012 8:54 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Don't get JK started on the SWAT team raid thing...

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 9, 2012 10:34 PM
But jk thinks:

When lemons are outlawed...

Posted by: jk at October 10, 2012 6:47 AM

October 4, 2012

America: Frack Yeah!

How many times have we heard the left make baseless claims that Big Oil uses its money and influence to stamp out competition wherever it can, and thereby maximize their own profits? Investors Business Daily printed an editorial yesterday that now, finally, substantiates that claim. But it's not what you might think. In this case "Big Oil" equals Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Russia's state-owned oil monopolies.

Venezuela's state Foundation National Cinematheque has been financially linked to "Gasland," a 2011 anti-fracking documentary whose aim was to paint fracking in the U.S. as dangerous.


This week, the Heritage Foundation's Lachlan Markey found that United Arab Emirates-owned "Image Media Abu Dhabi" financed "Promised Land," a Matt Damon film that shows U.S. oil and gas companies as greedy behemoths out to poison America's small towns.


Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has been accused of financing radical environmentalist groups through foundations to undercut oil sands production in Canada, which is America's top supplier.

If you have to ask why they oppose American energy production, here is the answer:

All this signals something big is at stake in global power politics: fracking, which threatens petrotyrants as no nuclear weapon ever has. The Gulf states, Venezuela and Russia derive their power solely from their dominance in energy production, not by their economies.

If fracking and the combination of investment, high tech, expertise and geography enable the U.S. to produce natural gas at $3 a unit, while Russia can only do it at $10, the threat is obvious.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:56 PM | Comments (3)
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Yes, yes, YES. American inexpensive energy explosion coming even if Obama gets reelected...he'll try to stop it, of course, but I don't think he can. Private land still exists!

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at October 4, 2012 3:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Ah, the idealism of private property. Don't bet that he can't stop it. Private property owners don't own the air, don't own the underground water, don't own the snail darters and wooley amoebas.

Good NED man, have you not read the book? (He asks, knowingly.)

Posted by: johngalt at October 4, 2012 3:36 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

I will revise and expand my remarks...I don't think Obama in his second term will have the political capital to kill the American energy revolution. Congress won't let him and a lot of union folks are counting on it. His theoretical Gaiaean Marxism will clash too much with reality. Objective reality!

Thankfully, I think we have a good chance of a different President who will be pushing the car DOWN the track instead of putting on the brakes as hard as possible. But as in "the book," there is the possibility that Wesley Mouch will be appointed "Czar" with the power to screw things up. I don't totally discount that.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at October 4, 2012 3:51 PM

September 21, 2012

Declaration of Independence for the iPod Generation

One of the problems with teaching American History and the Founding Fathers is the "crusty old white dude" barrier. Here, Soomo Publishing blends a new teaching tool with a cover of a popular song to teach a little good old revolutionary history.

In this one I like the music AND the lyrics.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:30 PM | Comments (1)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:


Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 22, 2012 11:25 AM

September 6, 2012

In praise of the "dirty" jobs

I love Mike Rowe. My young daughters, I'm proud to say, also love Mike Rowe's Discovery Channel show 'Dirty Jobs.' Consequently, I'm a bit perplexed that I hadn't heard of this before today:

Dear Governor Romney,

My name is Mike Rowe and I own a small company in California called mikeroweWORKS. Currently, mikeroweWORKS is trying to close the country’s skills gap by changing the way Americans feel about Work. (I know, right? Ambitious.) Anyway, this Labor Day is our 4th anniversary, and I’m commemorating the occasion with an open letter to you. If you read the whole thing, I’ll vote for you in November.


Pig farmers, electricians, plumbers, bridge painters, jam makers, blacksmiths, brewers, coal miners, carpenters, crab fisherman, oil drillers…they all tell me the same thing over and over, again and again – our country has become emotionally disconnected from an essential part of our workforce. We are no longer impressed with cheap electricity, paved roads, and indoor plumbing. We take our infrastructure for granted, and the people who build it.

Today, we can see the consequences of this disconnect in any number of areas, but none is more obvious than the growing skills gap. Even as unemployment remains sky high, a whole category of vital occupations has fallen out of favor, and companies struggle to find workers with the necessary skills. The causes seem clear. We have embraced a ridiculously narrow view of education. Any kind of training or study that does not come with a four-year degree is now deemed “alternative.” Many viable careers once aspired to are now seen as “vocational consolation prizes,” and many of the jobs this current administration has tried to “create” over the last four years are the same jobs that parents and teachers actively discourage kids from pursuing. (I always thought there something ill-fated about the promise of three million “shovel ready jobs” made to a society that no longer encourages people to pick up a shovel.)

Solid gold, on many levels.

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:45 PM | Comments (3)
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Solid platinum. Dittoes x 1M!

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at September 6, 2012 8:18 PM
But Jk thinks:

Holy crap,he read it!

Had to call roadside service for a blowout tire today. The young man was friendly, polite and professional. He's a big MR2 fan and we had fun talking.

I thought of this post driving home. I suggest he is happy, has little or no student debt, enjoys his work, and as a Toyota mechanic, can probably get work in any town in a day or two. Versus your newly minted French history major, I think this fine youngster is doing well.

Posted by: Jk at September 8, 2012 9:44 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I had trouble with JK's link. Here's a non-mobile one that didn't require me to login again.

Now, to see if I can get Mike to read mine. :)

Posted by: johngalt at September 12, 2012 11:36 AM

July 30, 2012

Change that Works

I don't remember everything from 1985 - Ronald Reagan was president and I was graduating from college - but another vivid memory is the US Defense Department's decision to replace the venerable John Browning designed Colt 1911 pistol as the standard duty issue firearm for all armed forces. It was the height of a nascent competitive bid movement in government procurement and not enough attention was paid to quality or to a host of other issues. The Pentagon seemed to hope that making a change to a cheaper, foreign-made, smaller caliber pistol would deliver the same excellent service as its predecessor while also showing that they were a modern, non-discriminatory, progressive organization willing to take the "smarter" path. They selected the Beretta M9, a 9mm pistol made in Italy, to replace the seventy-four year old Colt. Now, some twenty seven years later, at least one branch of the U.S. armed forces is willing to admit a mistake. Fox News: Sticking to their guns: Marines place $22.5M order for the Colt .45 M1911

Some reports suggest Marines are not happy with their main Beretta M9s for their lack of accuracy and stopping power. With M1911's now supplying Special Ops, growing interest may lead to a better solution.

"To have the 1911 selected again for U. S. Forces 101 years after its initial introduction is just an incredible testament to the timeless design and effectiveness of the Colt 1911," Dinkel said. "This is truly a gratifying contract award."

Now, more than any time I can remember, it is reassuring to know that some Americans are willing to admit when they make a mistake - and act quickly to fix the problem the best way they know how.

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:51 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I am delighted to see the Marines returning to the venerable .45. My father, who was in the USMC for two and a half decades, once told me the reason that the 1911 was the sidearm of choice of the Corps was because even after you'd expended all your ammunition, you still had a weapon; you could beat the enemy to death with an empty .45.

Sort of just to make the point, and have fun while I'm at it: http://is.gd/NtyeEy

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 31, 2012 12:35 AM

July 27, 2012

What's That Got To Do With The Price of Tape in America?

For five minutes recently, the floor of the US House of Representatives turned into a TEA Party rally. Rep. Mike Kelly (TPD-PA) courtesy of Breitbart.

"But we don't use red tape." "Oh yes we do. It costs one point seven five trillion dollars."

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:42 PM | Comments (4)
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Note to Mitt: Can you please talk like this once in awhile?

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at July 30, 2012 12:57 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Hmmm, yes that sounds good but aren't we in the electoral phase where he needs to "run to the middle" to achieve a plurality? Not that getting government boots off of employers' necks isn't a winning issue but the POTUS' demeanor needs to be more warm, friendly and reassuring. For example, I would have preferred Mitt to congratulate the British people for "what I'm sure will be a fabulous and memorable Olympics" rather than nitpicking - validity notwithstanding - a failing or two of some organizing committee.

Posted by: johngalt at July 30, 2012 1:45 PM
But jk thinks:

Wow, I lose the ecletic music title yesterday and today brother jg out-pragmatists me. I'm clearly a worthless appendage on this blog -- oh, wait the hosting fees are due!

Posted by: jk at July 30, 2012 1:56 PM
But johngalt thinks:

On the contrary brother, one of your responsibilities is to keep me grounded in realpolitik. Your cause is aided by two particular single-white-male individuals now interacting with me on a regular basis. Specific identities are unimportant but they don't make thirty-somethings the way they used to. (Or maybe I just don't remember what it was like to be a single 30-something male.)

Posted by: johngalt at July 30, 2012 4:38 PM

July 4, 2012


"...the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them..."

Courtesy the New York Times, which ran a companion piece yesterday describing their history of printing the Declaration on July 4. Take a close look at the image accompanying that article. (Who knew that "18th-century English extant" read right-to-left?

But they redeem themselves today with this nicely transcribed reprint:

[Hint: Right-click and "save picture as" to open in a viewer allowing magnification.]

Many have publicly encouraged the reading of this foundational document on the holiday celebrating our nation's birth. I was surprised to learn one of them is Bill Moyers, but not surprised to learn why.

Moyers calls it "the pathology of white superiority that attended the birth of our nation." Jefferson, he said, got it right when he wrote about "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as the core of our human aspirations," but he denied these liberties to others on the basis of their race.

In this way, Jefferson embodies "the oldest and longest battle of all," Moyers asserted, "the battle of the self with the truth, between what we know, and how we live."

Let us hope that future historians have the luxury of a similarly derisive view of Chief Justice Roberts' majority opinion on the 2012 'Obamacare' case, for buttressing an originalist interpretation of the commerce clause but "allowing the prevailing mood of the era to dictate his ruling on questions of taxation." Thomas Jefferson and John Roberts - apparently, a pair of "cowardly clowns."

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:54 PM | Comments (0)

Happy 4th, Deux

Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" is the anthem of the überpatriotic. It's blasted to misty eyed Americans at NASCAR and TEA Parties. And I get it. It's a fine song and an interstice 'twixt those who can comfortably express such love of country and those what cannot. I get it

But if we're going to have a Pop country anthem, may I nominate this:

This is what our country is about and what I fear may be slipping away. But it's a unique look at the corporeal reality of liberty versus the abstractions we discuss around these parts.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:25 AM | Comments (7)
But johngalt thinks:
"Bye bye Obamacare, I'll catch ya later, Got a lead foot down on my accelerator and the rearview mirror torn off, I ain't never lookin' back. And that's a fact."

Allow me to challenge anybody to find patriotic songs that aren't associated with the "eww country" genre.

Posted by: johngalt at July 4, 2012 2:53 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

John Philip Sousa

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 4, 2012 4:12 PM
But jk thinks:

I was going to suggest that your bold throwdown required a time period. Although The Refugee beat me to the joke, I was going to lead with George M. Cohan, then move to Irving Berlin so that I could get to my eye-mister: Ray Charles America the Beautiful.

Posted by: jk at July 4, 2012 5:44 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, you got me. I was thinking, but did not say, contemporary music. Or at least, music written after the year of my birth. (And I'm an OLD guy!)

Patriotism certainly existed in every musical genre before I came along. And in movies. There was even a time, I am told, when Republicans held seats on the City Council of Boulder, Colorado!

(Maybe I went too far there. Nobody will ever believe another word I say.)

Posted by: johngalt at July 5, 2012 12:37 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee was too young to pay much attention to the Boulder City Council back in the '60s and lived in the County in any event. However, he vaguely remembers some band concerts in the band shell (Broadway and Canyon) that undoubtedly featured some patriotic songs. The annual fireworks show at Folsom Field was replete with patriotic "sing along" songs certainly up into the '70s.

The last Republican to hold public office in Boulder County, as far as The Refugee can recall, was Don Brotzman in the US House. He was re-elected in 1972, but lost to Tim Wirth in 1974. There may have been (and probably were) some Republicans as County Commissioners later than that, but the political tide had fully turned by 1976 when Paul Danish introduced his famous plan to limit growth. By then, elephants were an endangered specie in Boulder.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 6, 2012 3:14 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And I actually have to admit forgetting about dear Bob Greenlee on the Boulder City Council during my Boulder years.

Posted by: johngalt at July 6, 2012 7:11 PM

Happy 4th

Posted by John Kranz at 10:49 AM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2012

On Freedom

I got permission to share a private email from a good friend of this blog. I would go for anonymity, but the geography will give away sc:

Went to a meeting on defeating the marriage amendment last night. I guess I'm ankle deep in gay activism. Didn't see that coming, but what's right is what's right. So here are two take aways from the evening; the gay republican speaker was pretty well received, better than I would have thought and better than the guy JG mentioned. The second thing that occurred to me was that throughout most of history and in a lot of places in the world now a meeting like that could have gotten us all arrested and probably killed. God bless the United States of America! The constitution in practice has been a dream deferred, but we are achieving its promise. The God given, inalienable rights once limited to some will eventually be recognized as belonging to all. That document separates us from most of human history and is still man's best hope. I guess I'm kind of proud of having a small role to play In seeing that dream deferred becoming a promise kept. America, f#%k yeah!

Between us, I have my doubts about Minnesota. I think we are competitive in Rochester, Duluth and the cities, but only by razor thin margins, which throws the decision outstate and I don't see us winning there.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:08 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

The Constitution (and the New York Times) does a fine job of protecting citizens from arrest or murder when they confront the law on social issues. But try defending your individual Constitutional protection against unreasonable seizure, as did Chrysler's "secured" bondholders, and see who comes to your defense.

Posted by: johngalt at May 25, 2012 4:32 PM
But jk thinks:

Justice Ginsberg tried. And, to be fair, the secured debt holders were not imprisoned. It wasn't like they were importing lobsters in plastic bags or anything.

I think it is instructive. Our First Amendment rights have been jealously guarded by, yes, the New York Times and Larry Flint and the Illinois Nazis (man, I hate Illinois Nazis!) and the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" guy and the flag burners and Rev. Phelps. An odd coalition to be sure, but the critical mass has protected speech.

Our Fifth Amendment rights you miss and Second and Fourth have fewer protectors and pari passu are less "absolute."

All that said, celebrating liberty where you find it is never a bad way to spend a minute.

Posted by: jk at May 25, 2012 5:45 PM

May 18, 2012

Orlando Morel, United States Coast Guard

You don't like this story, I can't help you:

Orlando Morel was 6 years old when he and his mother left Haiti on a crowded small wooden boat destined for America. Now 24, Morel remembers the blue of the ocean everywhere. And the hunger.

When a piece of bread fell into the water, Morel quickly scooped it up. "I will never forget that taste," he said, recalling the salty, soggy bread.

Nor will he forget when the Coast Guard showed up in a white boat and rescued him, his mother and other passengers.

Eternally grateful, the rescue led Morel to join the Coast Guard, and on Wednesday he will graduate from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:01 PM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2012

America, F*ck Yeah!

Hat-tip: my biological brother via email.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:31 PM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2012

Whitehall versus Washington: Who's Worse?

Dan Michell is leaning against Britain, based on this:

UPDATE: Don't close the voting -- my buddy at JustStrings.com posts:

Posted by John Kranz at 11:04 AM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2012

Hoss of Hosses

He's already garnered Otequay of the Ayday. Perhaps Quote of the Day also, some time before the morrow. And on this auspicious day, the 280th anniversary of General and President George Washington's birth, I share news that author and historian John White leads a 3 year-old campaign to award General Washington the Medal of Honor. Soldier, statesman and patriot, George Washington was also the very definition of bravery in battle.

Washington's willingness to lead his troops from the front, while shots from British sharpshooters and his own men flew across the battlefield around him, inspired the American forces to hold together throughout the war. A young officer who observed Washington in combat at the Battle of Princeton wrote, "I saw him brave all the dangers of the field . . . with a thousand deaths flying around him." The sight of his commander in chief, he said, set an example of courage such as he had never seen.

One may wonder where else a commander would lead but "from the front" although other styles are fashionable of late.

Awarding the Medal of Honor to Washington would accomplish three objectives. First, it would properly recognize his bravery in battle. Second, it would bring public attention to that fact, which in turn would encourage greater public awareness of American military history in the Revolutionary era. Third, it would elevate Washington as a role model for young people, showing them the courage that defines a true hero, as distinguished from entertainers and other celebrities.


Posted by JohnGalt at 2:20 PM | Comments (0)

Otequay of the Ayday

"What astonishing changes a few years are capable of producing! I am told that even respectable characters speak of a monarchical form of government without horror. From thinking proceeds speaking, thence to acting is often but a single step. But how irrevocable & tremendous! What a triumph for the advocates of despotism to find that we are incapable of governing ourselves, and that systems founded on the basis of equal liberty are merely ideal & falacious! Would to God that wise measures may be taken in time to avert the consequences we have but too much reason to apprehend." --George Washington, Letter to John Jay, 15 August, 1786
Posted by JohnGalt at 1:01 PM | Comments (0)

February 21, 2012

Lovely in Lime

Proud of our SecState! As @mkhammer says "America, F yeah. We wear what we want"

Didn't get the memo? Hillary Clinton dons lime green shirt for G20 'family photo' while everyone else wears white

Posted by John Kranz at 12:24 PM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2012


Hat-tip: Blog friend hb via email. He just said "HOSS" too.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:08 PM | Comments (2)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

You can say Hoss too, or Hoss 2, but I say Hoss (superscipt)2.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 10, 2012 4:08 PM
But jk thinks:

Amen. It reminded me of a Governor Romney speech. There was a mictrophone, a dias, and he used words.

Posted by: jk at February 10, 2012 5:39 PM

February 8, 2012

This I believe with all my heart

I've long felt that Heinlein and Rand were intellectual partners. Rand gave us the indisputible philosophical foundation for mankind's heroic existence and Heinlein provided the warm, soft, yet grittily-realistic interpretation that makes us more comfortable with the idea of individualism and self-sufficiency within and around a community of others. Rand denounced religion. Heinlein explained it. He really did have an amazing way with words:

I am not going to talk about religious beliefs, but about matters so obvious that it has gone out of style to mention them.

I believe in my neighbors.

I know their faults and I know that their virtues far outweigh their faults. Take Father Michael down our road a piece --I'm not of his creed, but I know the goodness and charity and lovingkindness that shine in his daily actions. I believe in Father Mike; if I'm in trouble, I'll go to him. My next-door neighbor is a veterinary doctor. Doc will get out of bed after a hard day to help a stray cat. No fee -- no prospect of a fee. I believe in Doc.

I believe in my townspeople. You can knock on any door in our town say, 'I'm hungry,' and you will be fed. Our town is no exception; I've found the same ready charity everywhere. For the one who says, 'To heck with you -- I got mine,' there are a hundred, a thousand, who will say, 'Sure, pal, sit down.'

I know that, despite all warnings against hitchhikers, I can step to the highway, thumb for a ride and in a few minutes a car or a truck will stop and someone will say, 'Climb in, Mac. How how far you going?'

I believe in my fellow citizens. Our headlines are splashed with crime, yet for every criminal there are 10,000 honest decent kindly men. If it were not so, no child would live to grow up, business could not go on from day to day. Decency is not news; it is buried in the obituaries --but it is a force stronger than crime.

I believe in the patient gallantry of nurses...in the tedious sacrifices of teachers. I believe in the unseen and unending fight against desperate odds that goes on quietly in almost every home in the land.

I believe in the honest craft of workmen. Take a look around you. There never were enough bosses to check up on all that work. From Independence Hall to the Grand Coulee Dam, these things were built level and square by craftsmen who were honest in their bones.

I believe that almost all politicians are honest. For every bribed alderman there are hundreds of politicians, low paid or not paid at all, doing their level best without thanks or glory to make our system work. If this were not true, we would never have gotten past the thirteen colonies.

I believe in Rodger Young. You and I are free today because of endless unnamed heroes from Valley Forge to the Yalu River.

I believe in -- I am proud to belong to -- the United States. Despite shortcomings, from lynchings to bad faith in high places, our nation has had the most decent and kindly internal practices and foreign policies to be found anywhere in history.

And finally, I believe in my whole race. Yellow, white, black, red, brown --in the honesty, courage, intelligence, durability....and goodness.....of the overwhelming majority of my brothers and sisters everywhere on this planet. I am proud to be a human being. I believe that we have come this far by the skin of our teeth, that we always make it just by the skin of our teeth --but that we will always make it....survive....endure. I believe that this hairless embryo with the aching, oversize brain case and the opposable thumb, this animal barely up from the apes, will endure --will endure longer than his home planet, will spread out to the other planets, to the stars, and beyond, carrying with him his honesty, his insatiable curiosity, his unlimited courage --and his noble essential decency.

This I believe with all my heart.

© 1952 Robert A. Heinlein

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:47 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

a w e s o m e .

I may have another for your Pantheon. I am halfway through David Deutsch 's "The Beginning of Infinity." I have recommended his "Fabric of Reality" too many times on this blog. It is a fascinating cosmology book that draws heavily on epistemology.

Infinity is almost all epistemology ("Nobody's studying physics anymore -- they're doing epistemology!") and it is stunning in 1000 ways.

Heinlein kicked off the recollection because Deutsch, who I assume must be an unreconstructed lefty -- living in Oxford, disputes the tedious Stephen Hawking - Carl Sagan assertion that we are insignificant pond-scum because of the breadth of the universe. Humans exercising free-will in a post-British-Enlightenment acquisition of knowledge are more special because of their improbability, not less. For starters, 80% of this universe is dark matter. Ergo, we're one in five special just for emitting light.

He is a full blooded disciple of Dr. Karl Popper (perhaps not an unreconstructed lefty) and seems the physics and cosmology counterpart to co-disciple Virginia Postrel.

I have been highlighting sections for what might be the first 25,000 word review corner. But here's a taste on the topic I mentioned.

I was wrong to be impressed by the mere scale of what I was looking at. Some people become depressed at the scale of the universe, because it makes them feel insignificant. Other people are relieved to feel insignificant, which is even worse. But, in any case, those are mistakes. Feeling insignificant because the universe is large has exactly the same logic as feeling inadequate for not being a cow. Or a herd of cows. The universe is not there to overwhelm us; it is our home, and our resource. The bigger the better.

Deutsch, David (2011-07-21). The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World (p. 35). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2012 3:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Wow -- talk about crashing another guy's post. One more and I'll go back to work:

That means that, considered as a language for specifying organisms, the genetic code has displayed phenomenal reach. It evolved only to specify organisms with no nervous systems, no ability to move or exert forces, no internal organs and no sense organs, whose lifestyle consisted of little more than synthesizing their own structural constituents and then dividing in two. And yet the same language today specifies the hardware and software for countless multicellular behaviours that had no close analogue in those organisms, such as running and flying and breathing and mating and recognizing predators and prey. It also specifies engineering structures such as wings and teeth, and nanotechnology such as immune systems, and even a brain that is capable of explaining quasars, designing other organisms from scratch, and wondering why it exists.

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2012 3:36 PM
But dagny thinks:

Heinlein is one of my favorites and this seems apropos to all of our caucusing last night.


Can't imagine why it costs $164.00 though.

Posted by: dagny at February 8, 2012 4:05 PM
But jk thinks:

I requested it on Kindle -- maybe they'll be able to do that at $80.37...

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2012 4:08 PM
But jk thinks:

Just clicked through and got the audio. Double awesome.

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2012 4:38 PM

January 23, 2012

One Man Makes a Difference - Again

Heh. Makes me think of Tiananmen Square! The Boston Bruins were honored with a White House reception today marking the occasion of their Stanley Cup victory last season. The team's players were in attendance, except one.

Nearly every other member of the Bruins was at the ceremony, where President Obama congratulated the team on its victory. Thomas is a staunch conservative and is expected to explain his snub of the president on his Facebook page this evening.
Posted by JohnGalt at 6:47 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

I'm a big Tim Thomas fan but cannot approve of this. It's an honor and was outside the political realm and I think the great netminder makes himself look small.

I go to my moonbat friends' houses and would be happy to accept an invitation to the White House.

Posted by: jk at January 23, 2012 7:32 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I dunno, it seems to be going around.

I would accept an invitation to your moonbat friends' houses, but I've already been to the White House.

Posted by: johngalt at January 24, 2012 12:41 AM
But jk thinks:

I saw that too. Maybe I am very old fashioned, but this is not going to play well. Feeds right into the "Democrats are trying to fix things and Republicans are petulant babies who won't play nice" meme.

I am, however, softening on Thomas:

I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.

This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.

Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.

Yeah, that's pretty good stuff.

Posted by: jk at January 24, 2012 10:40 AM
But johngalt thinks:

That was my sinister plan - Make sports star Thomas look better by spotlighting a man whose JOB is to listen to the other side's best arguments, and REFUTE them.

Operation Sport TEA, successful!

Posted by: johngalt at January 24, 2012 2:11 PM

December 24, 2011

Joyeaux Noel

NED bless America, girls in pink dresses, and free market capitalism. T-Mobile produces a flash mob production of a Robert Allen / Al Stillman favorite. Go fullscreen and crank it up.

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:38 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Awesome. I liked it okay on TV (maybe I was distracted as my beloved donkeys were getting spanked) but I really enjoyed taking a second look here.

And yaay for the free market capitalism reference. I'll go one more if I may. In another fruitless Facebook discussion, I was extolling the virtues of division of labor -- not just for prosperity but for freedom. I don't want to farm or fish or hunt for my food and suspect I would be very very thin were I forced to.

I looked for the "how this came together" video, clicked the wrong one and watched Carly, her dresses and the dress designer, Debra LeClair. Ms. LeClair detailed the time she spent designing each dress, and Ms. Foulkes spoke to the selection process.

Hate to go all "Devil Wears Prada" on you, but thinking of the (well spent if you ask me) millions of dollars to put that pink dress on that young lady makes me appreciate an economy that creates creative jobs. Lotsa dress designers in North Korea? I'm guessin' not.

Posted by: jk at December 24, 2011 8:27 PM

October 3, 2011

Quote of the Day

I would remind Mr. Stephenson of this bon mot from the early career (Governorship) of Ronald Reagan:
You grew up in a different world," the student said. "Today we have television, jet planes, space travel, nuclear energy, computers. ..." Taking advantage of a pause in the student's litany, Reagan said, "You’re right. We didn't have those things when we were young. We invented them."
It is that "student" who is today unable to deal with the "big stuff" in life. That "Free Speech Movement" that Mario Savio started sure has made things better for us.-- Insty reader Drew Kelley
Posted by John Kranz at 7:24 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

The topic reminds me of a book I've not been able to shake. I emailed the Professor:

I have been disappointed with my generation on several occasions. But reading David McCulloch's "Brave Companions" makes one weep. Building the Panama Canal and the Brooklyn Bridge at the cost of hundreds or thousands of lives -- we won't pay our doctor bills, spoil a vista, or harm a small fish.

Posted by: jk at October 3, 2011 7:32 PM

September 28, 2011


Last night Chris Christie reminded us what the word means. Not that "Frenchmen think France is exceptional" or "Spaniards think Spain is exceptional" but "the condition of being exceptional; uniqueness."

In emphasizing the Q&A, JK says the speech is skippable. Perhaps, but a few choice lines are, shall we say, an exception.

"Telling those who are scared and struggling the only way their lives can get better is to diminish the success of others, trying to cynically convince those who are suffering that the American economic pie is no longer a growing one that can provide more prosperity for all who work hard, insisting that we must tax, and take, and demonize those who have already achieved the American dream. That may turn out to be a good campaign strategy Mister President, but it is a demoralizing message for America."

The riffs on leadership and compromise, hope and failure, and fixing government were excellent but what impressed me most was philosophical. He defended the idea of American exceptionalism, and explained that what our nation represents over the past few years doesn't live up to that standard. "Real American exceptionalism" is "earned American exceptionalism."

Quoting Reagan describing, in 1989, what he always envisioned whenever he spoke of America as "a shining city on a hill..."

"In my mind it was a tall proud city, built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace. A city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still."

Then Christie:

"That, is American exceptionalism. Not a punch-line in a political speech, but a vision, followed by a set of principled actions that made us the envy of the world. Not a reelection strategy, but an American revitalization strategy. We will be that again, but not until we demand that our leaders stand tall by telling the truth, confronting our shortcomings, celebrating our successes, and once again leading the world because of what we have been able to actually accomplish. Only when we do that will we finally ensure that our children and grandchildren will live in a second American century. We owe them, as well as ourselves and those who came before us, nothing less."
Posted by JohnGalt at 2:42 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

Not bad for an East-coast RINO, eh?

Just kidding -- awesome post!

Posted by: jk at September 29, 2011 10:52 AM
But jk thinks:

Room for one more?

Today, the biggest challenge we must meet is the one we present to ourselves. To not become a nation that places entitlement ahead of accomplishment. To not become a country that places comfortable lies ahead of difficult truths. To not become a people that thinks so little of ourselves that we demand no sacrifice from each other. We are a better people than that; and we must demand a better nation than that.

Full text.

Posted by: jk at September 29, 2011 11:21 AM
But johngalt thinks:

And now, the critical evaluation (that would be prescribed if he had become a candidate but is merely academic now.) I think you know the part of that passage I have a problem with. Please parse, explain and justify for us: "To not become a people that thinks so little of ourselves that we demand no sacrifice from each other." Unless he misspoke or I misread, this sounds like demanding the unearned. And it stands in direct opposition to his words above. He might call it "balanced" or a "compromise" but I call it hypocritical and contradictory.

Posted by: johngalt at September 29, 2011 11:53 AM
But jk thinks:

Whoa -- tough dang room!

I think the call is for others to make sacrifices for themselves: put some of y'own damn money away for college or retirement. I suspect you don't accept that one can sacrifice for oneself, but I think it is a common linguistic device used for deferred production and gratification.

Posted by: jk at September 29, 2011 1:03 PM
But johngalt thinks:

That interpretation quite honestly never occurred to me. Thank you. The correct way to say what you suggested, however, is by replacing "sacrifice" with "self-sufficiency." Or by suggesting one "forego" instant gratification in favor of enjoying his rewards when they are earned. But the best, and hopefully his intended, way of saying it is just to remove the word "no" between demand and sacrifice. That would be consistent with the rest of the paragraph and earn my kudos.


I had missed the word "sacrifice" in my prior viewings of the speech. It is a poisonous idea. Asking, or demanding, others to make sacrifices for "a people" is a demoralizing message for America, and is certainly not American exceptionalism.

"The failure to give a man what had never belonged to him can hardly be described as "sacrificing his interests." -Ayn Rand

More here.


Posted by: johngalt at September 29, 2011 3:21 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

When you compare hard work and delayed gratification to a gubmint handout, it is a sacrifice. And, such sacrifice is for the betterment of society. To wit, one's unwillingness to be a burden on his neighbors.

A welfare mentality turns the concept of sacrifice upside down.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 29, 2011 7:16 PM

September 5, 2011

Reagan for kids (especially the 18-year olds)

This post legitimately spans multiple categories. I don't recall it being discussed here when it was first released, last May I believe, so I'll immortalize it in the 3Srcs/EatOurPeas archives now.

For the youth of America who don't remember the economic resurgence that came about under the policies of President Ronald Reagan Mike Huckabee offers a new animated American History series to give them the pro-America version of events they may or may not have ever heard of. Here's a clip from the Reagan Revolution episode.

Mike Huckabee calls it an unbiased telling of history, while those more inclined to a politically-correct worldview see the religion boogeyman as they quote from the video's website: "We recognize and celebrate faith, religion and the role of God in America's founding and making our country the greatest place on Earth," the site reads.

I had attributed this reflexive anti-religion attitude to a majority of the one-third of American voters who are unaffiliated with a party but I'm ready to concede it may be yet another form of extremism that's been made to appear mainstream by the Dominant Liberal Establishment Mass Media. In defense of his product Huckabee claims that, "Ninety-one percent of liberals who were shown the videos said they not only learned something they would buy them for their kids."

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:09 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Ooooooooh i dooooooon't knooooooooow maaaaaaaan....

Perhaps I have been whacking at the Gov for too long and need to better "recalculate pros and cons in real-time" but the tone of this is Reefer Madness meets Emmanuel Goldstein meets a PBS Kids' Recycling Special.

I enjoy a positive portrayal of our 40th as much as the next ThreeSourcer but there is little factual information here and the tone tries too hard to persuade to actually be persuasive.

And those Teeth! Millions of young children will grow up having Ronald Reagan nightmares! That can't be good.

Posted by: jk at September 6, 2011 10:55 AM

September 1, 2011

Can We Just Make Them FEMA?

What an awesome story in today's WSJ (News Pages):

WELDON, N.C.-- When a hurricane makes landfall, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency relies on a couple of metrics to assess its destructive power.

First, there is the well-known Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale. Then there is what he calls the "Waffle House Index."

Green means the restaurant is serving a full menu, a signal that damage in an area is limited and the lights are on. Yellow means a limited menu, indicating power from a generator, at best, and low food supplies. Red means the restaurant is closed, a sign of severe damage in the area or unsafe conditions.

We live ten miles from one and have been known to appreciate its rustic charms. But I had no idea that the firm strives to be the first open in an emergency.
The company decided to beef up its crisis-management processes. Senior executives developed a manual for opening after a disaster, bulked up on portable generators, bought a mobile command center and gave employees key fobs with emergency contacts.

In a recent academic paper, Panos Kouvelis, a business-school professor at Washington University in St. Louis, pegged Waffle House as one of the top four companies for disaster response, with Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Home Depot Inc. and Lowe's Cos.

Waffle House managers say sales volume can double or triple in the aftermath of a storm. The company, whose annual sales are estimated to exceed $600 million, won't discuss the costs or benefits of reopening quickly after disasters. It says its strategy is more about marketing and building goodwill than profits.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:07 PM | Comments (0)

August 9, 2011

The Hero of Canton!

Stealing Jim Geraghty's Tweet-of--the-day today:


Posted by John Kranz at 9:57 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Yay Jayne!

Posted by: johngalt at August 9, 2011 1:59 PM
But jk thinks:

Gotta love Netflix. Just watched Jaynestown. Great stuff!

Posted by: jk at August 9, 2011 10:27 PM

July 5, 2011

There's That Song Again...

Talk about an underserved character in American History. I went looking for a biography of Francis Scott Key, and there is none of the quality I expected. There is one from 1934, cobbled together from oral histories and his correspondence with John Randolph. Amazon has one for $29.95.

Carl Swisher wrote a biography of Key's brother-in-law, Roger B. Taney, in 1935 and I imagine a similar friendly, folksy, biography. I enjoyed the Swisher book while I was researching the Chief Justice, but I would strongly prefer a modern biography.

Historians may have overlooked him, but here's a damn fine version of his song:

Posted by John Kranz at 12:49 PM | Comments (0)

May 6, 2011

Honor. Pride. Commitment.

A recent article in Vanity Fair by Howard Wasdin and Stephen Templin describes the training process of our Navy SEALs. It is well worth the whole read and concludes:

Nevertheless, sometimes a SEAL can't find his way back to Mother Ocean and must make a choice between fighting to the death or surrendering.

For many brave warriors, it's better to roll the dice on surrendering in order to live to fight another day--SEALs have incredible respect for those POWs. As SEALs, though, we believe our surrender would be giving in, and giving in is never an option. I wouldn't want to be used as some political bargaining chip against the United States.

I wouldn't want to die in a cage of starvation or have my head cut off for some video to be shown around the world on the Internet. My attitude is that if the enemy wants to kill me, they're going to have to kill me now. We despise would-be dictators who wish to dominate us--SEALs steer the rudders of their own destinies. Our world is a meritocracy where we are free to leave at any time. Our missions are voluntary; I cant think of a mission that wasn't. Ours is an unwritten code: It's better to burn out than to fade away--and with our last breaths we'll take as many of the enemy with us as possible.

Read this and understand why nobody, but nobody, can beat us militarily. It is only when our politicians get involved that our wars go wrong. If only our politicians had the same honor, pride and committment of those they send to battle.

Hat tip: RealClearPolitics.com

The Vanity Fair cover photo of Katy Perry ain't bad either.

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 11:13 AM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2011

No, it really is over.

A NY Times editoral yesterday squeaked, "It's Not Over in Wisconsin." But I'm quite happy to correct them - as the WSJ notes, it really is. But what most interested me in the execrable Times piece was it's opening line:

Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin have reversed half-a-century’s middle-class progress in the state by erasing collective-bargaining rights for public employees.

First of all, this explains why Progressives are so agitated - issuing death threats - calling for "class war" - with the democratically enacted legislation in Wisconsin. It took them fifty years to achieve the present state of their glorious people's state, yet in a few weeks a handful of Republican politicians have pulled out one card and the rest of the house-of-cards came tumbling down.

But what else does this seethingly indignant sentence say? Middle-class progress over the last 50 years is to the credit of - unions? Then why are unions such a minority presence in the private sector? But I digress. To fully understand what "progress" means for the middle-class one must first consider how the middle class has changed in five decades. The graphs at this Tax Foundation post show that the 1960 middle class consisted mostly of married couples, a large portion of whom had children. Fast forward to 2007 and that demographic is mostly represented in the top two quintiles of taxpayers. (You know, the "rich.") Today's middle class is single filers.

These demographic shifts have no doubt contributed to the perception of rising income inequality. When the so-called rich are increasingly couples with two incomes, they will naturally look wealthier than the vast number of single taxpayers who now populate the statistical middle.

But those single taxpayers aren't poor. They're now the middle class!

As for the nuveaux "upper class"...

Because of the progressivity of the federal tax code, these couples end up facing the highest federal income tax rates even though they live distinctly "middle-class" lifestyles.


As lawmakers look for solutions to the economic challenges facing today's "middle-class" but upper-income families, they would do well to consider the way in which taxes--federal and local--are contributing to the problem.

And that, boys and girls, is what is driving the events in Wisconsin. To borrow from the SEIU mob vernacular, "This is what middle-class progress looks like!"

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:43 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

FB friend posts "If you live in Wisconsin, don't forget to set your clock back 50 years this weekend!"

Wrong-as-pants-on-a-trout, but a funny line.

Posted by: jk at March 12, 2011 12:51 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yeah, but even funnier if it were autumn. In the spring, we set the clocks, forward. Fifty years seems a bit optimistic but it does feel like a huge leap. Maybe 50 is about right.

Hey FB friend, remember when you were singing drinking songs and we were carping about the Constitution and the end-of-America-as-we-know-it when Stimulus and Obamacare got ramrodded through? Well, UP YOURS this time. (I usually try to stay above this level but I just can't help myself when I see all these able bodied young people running around with their palm outstretched.)

Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2011 4:19 PM

January 6, 2011

Here Comes John Galt

To the big screen.

Here IT comes. The film version of my favorite novel, which we last discussed here and here, is in post production and should appear in theaters "No later than Tax Day, April 15."

Many of my trepidations about making this story into a movie have been salved by this interview with executive producer and financier (read: owner) of the film, John Aglialoro.

Ranked by Forbes Small Business as the 10th richest executive of any small publicly-traded company (revenues under $200 million) in 2007, Aglialoro is one of those rare corporate executives who fully "gets" the philosophical message in Atlas Shrugged.

So the storyline should be safe. The scope of this movie is Part I of the book, which readers can review key points from by reading those entitled entries in Three Sources' "Atlas Shrugged QOTD" archive.

And the casting appears excellent as well. In my mind's eye I can envision Ms. Schilling walking through an abandoned factory, or consoling her poor, misguided young sister-in-law. And the movie's Hank Reardon, played by Grant Bowler, seems a perfect fit. I can easily see him telling Tinky Holloway that his game is up.

But we'll have to wait for the second sequel for that scene. I've heard that the intentions for Parts II and III of the book are to be separate sequels, each following about a year after it's predecessor.

Judging by some of the scene photos the setting of the movie will be decidedly modern. Apparently it will be set in our time, not in that of the book's writing. This is as it should be. The uninitiated youth will be more captivated than with a more faithful portrayal of the book. And, more importantly, we are closer to the events of the story becoming reality today than at any time in history.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:46 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Fun. But how's he intend to make a film without the wisdom of Hollywood?

They should steal Glenn Reynolds's tagline: "It's Ayn Rand's world, we're just living in it."

Posted by: jk at January 6, 2011 4:48 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I expect that production values will be the last thing for which critics will pan this film.

Posted by: johngalt at January 6, 2011 5:32 PM
But jk thinks:

I was being a liiiiiitle more sarcastic than that.

Posted by: jk at January 6, 2011 6:32 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, I read the sarcasm. But I took it as a "quantum comment." It can have multiple meanings at the same time. (Alas, in our era it has no literal meaning whatsoever until a judge says it does.)

Posted by: johngalt at January 6, 2011 8:21 PM

January 5, 2011

Animated Prosperity Index

This is fascinating. The per capita income and average lifespan of the citizens of 200 countries over the past 200 years animated in just 4 minutes. Fascinating and thought provoking.

Hat tip: Brother Russ

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:29 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Y'know, I have had a lot of lefties send this to me. It seems to appeal to them, yet I agree (and always respond) that it shows both the prosperity that comes from property rights and a natural amelioration of population caused by that prosperity.

On that note [segue alert!], I almost linked this yesterday: Kenneth P. Green at The American suggests the Earth's population could fit in Texas, receive adequate water from half the flow of the Colombia River, and feed itself with American agriculture. All the rest of them other countries could be a theme park or something.

Posted by: jk at January 5, 2011 11:39 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I'll posit that it appeals to them because it shows how "the differences between the countries of the world was wider than ever" in 1948 and beyond, and the "huge inequalities within countries" today. But the answers to those lefties are many:

The countries whose wealth increased were the industrialized nations, who particated in the industrial revolution.

The lifespan in today's Congo (about 45 years) now exceeds that of even the most prosperous countries, even as recently as the late 19th century.

Advances in health and wealth in the prosperous countries were not contemporary with declines in the poorer ones. ALL nations improved over time, but at different rates.

Lefties probably also beam at the sunshine and lollipops forecast from Mr. Rosling: "That huge historical gap between the west and the rest is now closing. We have become an entirely new converging world. And I see a clear trend into the future. With aid, trade, green technology and peace it's fully possible that everyone can make it to the healthy, wealthy corner."

I agree with the forecast but I'll quibble with him on the causes: Trade, technology and peace. No aid. No "green" caveat on technology. And peace.

Yes, peace, but how? Translating John Lennon's "Imagine" into every language? Probably already done, but to no avail. Here's an idea - COEXI$T.

Posted by: johngalt at January 5, 2011 2:32 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

It would be interesting to see this graph adjusted for inflation (he did not say if it was or not) to measure real earnings gains.

It would be even more interesting to see the expression of wealth as marginal income exceeding survival requirements. In other words, it's nice to see that African incomes are going up, but if 95% of the population barely makes enough to survive, that's vastly different than the United States where 87% of the population has income exceeding survival requirements. That's a much better measure of wealth and probably would throw the graph back to huge disproportion.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 5, 2011 2:54 PM

December 28, 2010

Go Browns!

The Greatest Letter Ever Printed On NFL Team Letterhead

Hat-tip: Jonathan V. Last, who points out:

Viewed contemporaneously, the two letters show a glimpse at America's past and into America's future.

It's kind of depressing. Very few American businesses--and certainly no NFL teams--would dare send that sort of liberated, common-sense response today.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:03 PM | Comments (0)

July 5, 2010

Happy Dependence Day!

Rush Limbaugh was the first I heard use the construction 'Happy Dependence Day' as a celebration of the Fourth of July under President Obama and the Democrat Congress. It's a fitting title for sharing the words of a more contemporary version of the song 'God Bless America' which I started last night and put the finishing touches on this morning. "Enjoy."

Gaia, bless America,
Land I assume;
Stand astride her,
And guide her,
Through the night,
With your might,
From D.C.

Where's my bailout;
Where's my health care;
Where's my solar,
Powered A/C;
Gaia, bless America,
My patriarch;
Gaia, bless America,
My patriarch.

Copyright holder 'johngalt' in the year of "Tbe One We've Been Waiting For" II (2010) and licensed for public use.

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:30 AM | Comments (0)

February 21, 2010


I was going to make this an "Otequay of the Ayday" post but there were too many good quotes. Glenn Beck keynoted this year's CPAC conference. It was brilliant. He told Republicans it's time to say, "I'm sorry."

"It is still morning in America, it just happens to be kind of a head pounding, hung over, vomiting for four hours kind of morning in America."

Why? Progressivism. And it's in both parties.

"I'm so sick of hearing people say, 'Oh, well, Republicans are going to solve it all.' Really? It's just Progressive Lite. (...) Progressivism is the cancer in America and it is eating our Constitution. And it was designed to eat the Constitution. To 'progress past' the Constitution."


"This is the cancer that is eating at America. It is big government. It's a socialist utopia. And we need to address it as if it is a cancer. It must be cut out of the system because they cannot coexist. And you don't cure cancer by, 'Well, I'm just gonna give you a little bit of cancer.' You must eradicate it.


"Dick Cheney, a couple of days ago, was here and he says, 'It's gonna be a good year for conservative ideas.' That's true. That's very true. It's gonna be a very good year, but it's not enough just to not suck as much as the other side."

He then played on his own battle with alcohol addiction and mocked the Republican party with the first step of the Twelve Step program: "Hello, my name is the Republican Party and I've got a problem. I'm addicted to spending and big government."

Watch the video to see what he said about the Big Tent concept, and many, many other good points. Like American citizens giving ten times the charitable contributions of France ... per capita. And the depression of 1920 as compared to the "Great Depression." And Calvin Coolidge versus Woodrow Wilson.

Hat tip for the vid link to a critical Ryan Witt at examiner.com.

Some good comments there and he promises to "fact check" Beck's speech "later today."

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:10 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Like a good joke, I enjoyed it the FIRST time (comment on post above).

But this thing kicks off once every hour. No wonder liberals hate Glenn Beck -- he won't shut up!!!

Without objection, tomorrow I will replace the embed with a link.

Posted by: jk at February 22, 2010 11:28 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Hey, have you heard that Tiger Woods plans to legally change his name? From now on he'll be known as Cheatah Woods.

(Sorry if it's not the first time for that either. I attempted to fix the vid.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 22, 2010 2:58 PM
But jk thinks:

And my brother in law told me that Michelle Obama is pregnant!

-- of course, they're blaming George W. Bush!

Sad to say that crazy man once again tried taking over my workday. Jeez! No wonder everybody hates him...

Posted by: jk at February 22, 2010 4:51 PM

December 29, 2009

America's Enemies' Lonely Hearts Club

Blog friend LisaM suggests a friend for lonely terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab: "So Ronery" dictator Kim Jong Il from "Team America."

Posted by John Kranz at 5:14 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Knowing I couldn't possibly be the first to think of the moniker "panty bomber" I googled it. Check out these gems from Democraticunderground dot com:

Pyro Panties
SpongeBob Scorched Pants
Yemini Crispers
Fruit of the Boom!
Jock Strap Jihadi
Suicidey Whities
Weapon of Ass Destruction


Well, he certainly roasted his chestnuts by an open fire this Christmas.

Posted by: johngalt at December 30, 2009 6:00 PM
But jk thinks:

Good stuff. I like "The BVD Bomber:" funny, but not too funny to use.

Posted by: jk at December 30, 2009 6:28 PM
But jk thinks:

How about "The Jerry Lee Lewis Bomber?"

Great Balls of Fire.

(I know, keep the day job!)

Posted by: jk at December 31, 2009 11:07 AM
But johngalt thinks:

It was funnier before you Lenoed it by giving the clue.

Posted by: johngalt at December 31, 2009 5:05 PM
But jk thinks:

Comedic timing is an ongoing pursuit...

But my new favorite is "Captain Underpants." We cannot waterboard our enemies, we can at least laugh at them.

Posted by: jk at December 31, 2009 5:35 PM

August 16, 2009

Why They Hate Us

Girls in Bikinis reading Star Wars.

Stephen Green calls it "the greatest thing in the history of all stuff ever." I dunno, coffee is pretty good.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:16 PM | Comments (5)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Even were I not a married man, I'd have to say they're not "all that."

Good lord, I had to stop it at "That's no moon!" to prevent any more of my neurons from imploding.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at August 16, 2009 2:10 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

Hmm. The girls are not unattractive... but then they destroy Star Wars. That is unforgivable. If you are pretending to be Han Solo, you have to at least try and sound cool doing it.

Posted by: T. Greer at August 16, 2009 4:14 PM
But jk thinks:

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Tough Room! Damn!

Posted by: jk at August 17, 2009 10:01 AM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

What can I say? Those girls just cannot compare to Carrie Fisher in the slave girl outfit, and she definitely could act.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at August 17, 2009 11:22 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee has to go with PE on the Carrie Fisher scene - one of the best in the series!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at August 17, 2009 2:51 PM

March 12, 2009

Constitutional Taxation

One or two of you may have noticed my comment under Tuesday's Quote of the Day. Fewer still may have followed any of the links. I got a chance to investigate futher today.

From a November 7, 2002 Press Release by Paul Andrew Mitchell, B.A., M.S., Counselor at Law, Federal Witness and Private Attorney General:

On a much broader scale, the absence of liability statutes raises the specter of widespread government fraud, going all the way back to the year 1913. And, there is no statute of limitations on fraud.

The main problem which the SUBPOENA seeks to solve is to confirm, once and for all, the apparent absence of any federal statutes which create a specific liability for income taxes imposed by subtitle A of the Internal Revenue Code.


The absence of any statutes creating a specific liability for subtitle A income taxes means, quite simply, that federal income taxes are totally and completely voluntary, in the common everyday meaning of that term. Liability only begins when Form 1040 is signed.

So it would seem that refusing to complete a tax return, or even completing it and refusing to sign it, may legally absolve an individual of any federal income tax liability. I met a man who actually adhered to this strategy in the early 1990's. At the time I thought he was a madman. Now I believe I've found his justification.

But what of that pesky federal witholding that AlexC lamented?

Further stunning proof that these taxes are truly voluntary can be found at IRC section 3402(n). Here, Congress has authorized a form called the “withholding exemption certificate” abbreviated “WEC”. The term “withholding exemption certificate” occurs a total of seventeen (17) times in that one statute alone.

However, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has never created an official form for the WEC.

I haven't yet found any information on the status of the legal action since the date of this press release. (Is there an honest judge left anywhere in the United States Federal Government?) Here, however, is Counselor Mitchell's brief essay "Let's Dismantle the IRS: This Racket is Busted"

Let’s Dismantle IRS:
This Racket is Busted


Paul Andrew Mitchell
Private Attorney General

All Rights Reserved without Prejudice

It’s time to dismantle the Internal Revenue Service. This organization has outlived its usefulness.

The hunt was on, several years ago, when activists like this writer confirmed that IRS was never created by any Act of Congress. It cannot be found in any of the laws which created the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

The U.S. Supreme Court quietly admitted as much, at footnote 23 in Chrysler Corp. v. Brown. In a nation governed by the rule of law, this omission is monumental.

The search for its real origins has taken this nation down many blind alleys, so convoluted and complicated are the statutes and regulations which govern its employees rarely, if ever.

The best explanation now favors its links to Prohibition, the ill-fated experiment in outlawing alcohol.

The Women’s Temperance Movement, we believe, was secretly underwritten by the petroleum cartel, to perfect a monopoly over automotive fuels. Once that monopoly was in place, Prohibition was repealed, leaving alcohol high and dry as the preferred fuel for cars and trucks, and leaving a federal police force inside the several States, to extort money from the American People.

All evidence indicates that IRS is an alias for the Federal Alcohol Administration (“FAA”), which was declared unconstitutional inside the several States by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1935. The result of the high Court’s decision in U.S. v. Constantine confined that FAA to federal territories, like Puerto Rico, where Congress is the “state” legislature.

Further confirmation can be found in a decision by the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Used Tire International, Inc. v. Manual Diaz-Saldana, which identified the latter as the real “Secretary of the Treasury.” The Code of Federal Regulations for Title 27 also identifies this other “Secretary” as an office in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

This is ominous data. It serves to suggest that IRS has no authority whatsoever to mail envelopes from the “Department of the Treasury.” Such obvious deception is prohibited by federal mail fraud statutes, and defined as a predicate to racketeering.

Moreover, the vagueness now proven to frequent the Internal Revenue Code forces a legal conclusion that the entire Code is necessarily void, read “no legal effect.” The high Court’s test for vagueness is obviously violated when men and women of common intelligence cannot agree on its correct meaning, its proper construction, or its territorial application.

Take, for instance, a statute at IRC section 7851. Here, Congress has said that all the enforcement provisions in subtitle F shall take effect on the day after the date “this title” is enacted. These provisions include, for example, filing requirements, penalties for failing to file, and tax evasion.

Guess what?

Title 26 has never been enacted into positive law, rendering every single section in subtitle F a big pile of spaghetti, with no teeth whatsoever. Throughout most federal laws, the consistent legislative practice is to use the term “this title” to refer to a Title of the United States Code.

To make matters worse, conscientious courts (an endangered species) have ruled that taxes cannot be imposed without statutes assigning a specific liability to certain parties.

There are no statutes creating a specific liability for taxes imposed by subtitle A of the Internal Revenue Code. This is the set of statutes that impose the federal income tax.

Look at it this way: if Congress imposed a tax on chickens, would that necessarily mean that the chickens are liable for the tax?

Obviously not! Congress would also need to define the farmer, or the consumer, or the wholesaler, as the party liable for paying that tax. Chickens, where are your tax returns?

Without a liability statute, there can be no liability.

This now opens another, deeper layer in this can of rotting worms. If IRS is really using fear tactics to extort an unlawful debt, then it qualifies for careful scrutiny, and prosecution, under the Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act aka “RICO”.

How fitting, and how ironic, that IRS is legally domiciled in Puerto RICO.

When we get down to brass tacks, we find that Congress encourages private Citizens to investigate and bust rackets, mainly because it perceived a shortage of public prosecutors talented enough to enforce RICO statutes against organized crime syndicates.

This shortage is the real reason why the RICO statute at 18 U.S.C. 1964 awards triple damages to any party who prevails, using the civil remedies it provides. And, happily, State courts like the Superior Court of California also enjoy original jurisdiction to litigate and issue these remedies.

All of this would approach comedy in the extreme, were it not also the case that IRS launders huge sums of money, every day, into foreign banks chiefly owned by the families that founded the Federal Reserve system.

Did you think the Federal Reserve was federal government? Guess again!

One of the biggest shocks of the last century was an admission by President Reagan’s Grace Commission, that none of the income taxes collected by IRS goes to pay for any federal government services.

Those taxes are paying interest to these foreign banks, and benefit payments to recipients of entitlement programs, like federal pension funds.

So, the next time your neighbors accuse you of being unpatriotic for challenging the IRS, we recommend that you demand from them proof that IRS is really funding any federal government services, like air traffic control, the Pentagon, the Congress, the Courts, or the White House.

Don’t hold your breath.

Honestly, when all the facts are put on a level table top, there is not a single reason why America should put up with this massive fiscal fraud for one more day.

It’s now time to dismantle the Internal Revenue Service.

Keeping all those laundered funds inside this country will result in economic prosperity without precedent in our nation’s history.

Let’s bury IRS beneath the Titanic, where it can rust in peace forever along with the rest of the planet’s jellyfish.

America deserves to be a living, thriving Republic, not another victim of Plank Number Two in the Communist Manifesto.

About the Author:

Paul Andrew Mitchell is a Private Attorney General and
Webmaster of the Supreme Law Library on the Internet:


See also:

“U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Falls Silent in Face of SUBPOENA for Tax Liability Statutes”

“31 Questions and Answers about the IRS”

“What Is the Federal Income Tax?”

“Electronic Censors Found at U.C. Berkeley’s Law School”

“Private Attorney General Backs UCB’s Graduate Instructors”

“Paul Mitchell Blasts Clinton, Rubin for Racketeering”

“Paul Mitchell Applauds House Vote to Kill IRC”

“Paul Mitchell Urges Nation to Boycott IRS”

“The Kick-Back Racket: PMRS”

“Congresswoman Suspected of Income Tax Evasion”

“Our Proposal to Save Social Security”

“Charitable Contributions by the Federal Reserve”

“Legal Notice in re Withholding Exemption Certificates”

“A Cogent Summary of Federal Jurisdictions”

“BATF/IRS -- Criminal Fraud”

“Income Taxes and Government Fraud”

“A Monologue on Federal Fiscal Fraud”

“Miscellaneous Letters of Correspondence”

# # #

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:06 PM | Comments (8)
But jk thinks:

I s'pose. I know a guy (and I think you do, too) who makes an impassioned and reasonable sounding case that he does not have to pay taxes because of a non-capitalized 's' in State in the 14th Amendment.

So, that works just fine until he gets a job and has to explain it to HR that "he doesn't need to fill out a W-4 because he is a sovereign citizen of the State of Colorado." I just think this will land you in the same (rhymes with 'jackpot') place.

The sad part of my disbelief, though, is the alacrity with which our State and Federal legislators would rectify any situation that threatened incoming revenue. I don't think that a Congress that just passed a trillion or two in spending last month would allow a return to 19th Century funding.

Posted by: jk at March 13, 2009 10:38 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I gave a few minutes thought to the consequences of a tax that everyone has to pay. Since one can't get blood from a turnip and government spending can't stop on a dime, the deficit would be monumental until outflows could be made to match inflows. It would be chaotic - perhaps even disastrous (particularly in urban areas.) But it would be RIGHT.

Posted by: johngalt at March 13, 2009 11:30 AM
But jk thinks:

Stop me if I'm just being argumentative. But I think you're falling into the Libertarian trap of "misoverestimating" your electoral support.

Again I suggest that your most optimistic scenario is realized. Justice Ginsberg, writing the concurrent opinion of the court's 8-0 majority (Associate Justice Scalia was hunting with Dick Cheney) vacates the 16th Amendment.

You and I would cheer; Rep Ron Paul and Jeff Flake would jockey for position; The Fair-taxers would fill SPAM-filters everywhere...

...and the rest of the world would act as quickly as it could to overcome this little procedural obstacle. This could threaten health care to children! The AARP would mobilize 60 million hotel-discount card holders with a TV blitz. In the end a crushing majority would line up to get back to the status quo ante before their checks were delayed.

Sad, perhaps, but I cannot look at any recent election cycles and see a desire for a do-over (maybe on "Dancing with the Stars...")

Posted by: jk at March 13, 2009 2:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"... this little procedural obstacle."

Are you suggesting that the Constitution of the United States could be amended by an act of congress, or of the president?

I suppose you have cause there because that's what's been done in the case of the 16th amendment, and others. I'm afraid the constitution has become nothing more than a rallying cry for freedom-loving Americans. It sure doesn't stop our government from doing what it damn pleases.

Posted by: johngalt at March 17, 2009 1:26 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm suggesting that they'll do whatever it takes. If they can ignore it they will, but if they have to, they will break the world land speed record in ratifying a new amendment. They could do it in three days, with very little objection.

Posted by: jk at March 17, 2009 1:54 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Maybe I'm just a rube. Two-thirds of the members of both houses of congress, then majority vote by legislatures of three-fourths of the states seems a tall order to me. Three days? Really?

And a separate question: You really don't think we could muster 34 senators OR 145 congressmen to keep America as the world's sole Republic?


Posted by: johngalt at March 17, 2009 6:08 PM

November 7, 2008

Election Night Recap

Hat-tip: Samizdata

Posted by John Kranz at 7:23 PM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2008

At Last!!!!

Front page of Philly.com

The parade is Friday at noon.... the Charyna family will be there.

20th & JFK to the Sports Complex.

Enjoying the fan coverage on 6ABC.... all over the city..... people converging.

We are all Philadelphians. .... except for that Jersey Scum.

Posted by AlexC at 12:26 AM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Well done lads!!!!

And, ahem, that is a Denver Kid in the picture.

Posted by: jk at October 30, 2008 10:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, congratulations! Rockies fans are jealous of the Phillies ability to win even a SINGLE World Series game, much less the title.

(Didja notice how, even in victory, Philly fans STILL booed the Rays?)

Posted by: johngalt at October 30, 2008 1:40 PM
But AlexC thinks:

no, they booed Bud Selig.

Posted by: AlexC at October 30, 2008 3:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I don't doubt that for a moment. Let's just say that Philly fans can always be counted on for some boos. Gotta love 'em for that.

Posted by: johngalt at October 31, 2008 11:13 AM

October 20, 2008

A little sunny optimism

OK, maybe just "partly-cloudy." (It seems to be in order around here these days. JEEZ!)

Bill (not Billy) Kristol writes in today's NY Times that the American public usually does show pretty good judgement:

Americans are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country and of course concerned about the economy. But, as Pew summarized, “there is little indication that the nation’s financial crisis has triggered public panic or despair.”

In fact, “There is a broad public consensus regarding the causes of the current problems with financial institutions and markets: 79 percent say people taking on too much debt has contributed a lot to the crisis, while 72 percent say the same about banks making risky loans.”


Needless to say, the public’s not always right, and public opinion’s not always responsible. But as publics go, the American public has a pretty good track record.

In the 1930s, the American people didn’t fall — unlike so many of their supposed intellectual betters — for either fascism or Communism. Since World War II, the American people have resisted the temptations of isolationism and protectionism, and have turned their backs on a history of bigotry.

And this good judgement might just lead to a McCain-Palin victory in November:

But it’s hard to blame the public for preferring Obama at this stage — given the understandable desire to kick the Republicans out of the White House, and given the failure of the McCain campaign to make its case effectively. And some number of the public may change their minds in the final two weeks of the campaign, and may decide McCain-Palin offers a better kind of change — perhaps enough to give McCain-Palin a victory.

The media elites really hate that idea. Not just because so many of them prefer Obama. But because they like telling us what’s going to happen. They’re always annoyed when the people cross them up.

Finally, Kristol puts a face on this "common man" who makes up the American public: Joe the Plumber.

And to Peggy Noonan, who wrote that Joe “in an extended cable interview Thursday made a better case for the Republican ticket than the Republican ticket has made.” At least McCain and Palin have had the good sense to embrace him. I join them in taking my stand with Joe the Plumber — in defiance of Horace the Poet.
Posted by JohnGalt at 3:36 PM | Comments (0)

July 3, 2008

Happy Fourth From GoDaddy.com

I got an email alerting me to a special 4th of July message from GoDaddy.com and I prepared myself for a buxom young lady in a red white and blue bikini.

Happy Independence Day from GoDaddy.com (Give it time to load).

The disappointment faded quickly. It’s awesome to see unabashed, undeconstrusted, unapologetic patriotism from a US Company.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:39 PM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2007

Another Day, Another Debate

Another day, another debate.

But it had this nugget, which NRO's Jim Geraghty calls "the best line of the campaign so far."

"Hillary tried to get a million dollars for the Woodstock museum. I understand it was a major cultural and pharmaceutical event. I couldn't attend. I was tied up at the time."

It gets a standing ovation.

F*ck yeah, that's a good line.

Posted by AlexC at 11:34 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I TiVoed the debate so I could flip between the ALCS game seven and the Broncos-Steelers. My recorder has two tuners, and this is the first time in the history of TV that there have been three good things on at once.

It is a great line and Senator McCain's appearance of FOXNews Sunday in the empty debate hall was very good as well.

Posted by: jk at October 22, 2007 11:45 AM

July 13, 2007

Crazy Brit in PA with Gun!

Samizdat Perry de Havilland enjoys America's gun laws (compared to his native UK).

Posted by John Kranz at 6:35 PM

July 4, 2007

Happy Fourth!

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Posted by John Kranz at 12:00 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

I always prefered the prose of the Declaration of Independence to that of the Constitution. Fewer cooks - better broth.

Happy Birthday America. We're doing our best to "keep the Republic."

Posted by: johngalt at July 4, 2007 11:34 AM
But jk thinks:

With all respect to Gouverneur Morris (who had a larger committee to muck things up), that paragraph is bracing for its clarity, style and substance. I don't know that a better paragraph has ever been penned.

Posted by: jk at July 4, 2007 3:19 PM

May 18, 2007

Wolfowitz and the War

Or, "Freedom Loses One."

The forces of darkness and anti-modernity do not lie peacefully, whether in the caves of Afghanistan or the capitals of Europe, They are active and are bound to win a few.

That said, I am still disappointed in the World Bank scandal. The scandal being, of course, that a good man who was trying to clean up a corrupt institution such that it could actually do some good was run out by the thugs who profit from corruption. The Wall Street Journal has a well written recap of what transpired, so I will link and excerpt, not summarize it.

We've said from the beginning that the charges against Mr. Wolfowitz were bogus, and that the effort to unseat him amounted to a political grudge by those who opposed his role in the Bush Administration and a bureaucratic vendetta by those who opposed his anti-corruption agenda at the bank. That view was vindicated by yesterday's statement, which showed how little the merits of the case against Mr. Wolfowitz had to do with the final result.
In a better world, the bank would shrink to perform only its core mission of helping the world's poorest nations. That's not going to happen, however, so the best that President Bush can do now to minimize the damage of the Wolfowitz putsch is by replacing him with someone who shares his agenda and will clean the place up. No European should have a chance to do that given what has transpired, not even Tony Blair. Nor should he name another well known member of the Council on Foreign Relations seminar circuit whom the Europeans and staff can quickly capture.

We've suggested former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who saw first-hand how these institutions function while investigating the U.N.'s Oil for Food scandal. But whoever it is, the core task of Mr. Wolfowitz's successor should be to clean the World Bank stables, or shut it down.

I'm glad that the European economies are doing better and that a new crop of leaders show some fondness for capitalism. L'Affaire Wolfowitz shows, however, that there is a fundamental difference between Europe and America in each's tolerance for corruption.

Europe stood still as the Oil for Food corruption undermined the only chance the world had to avoid the Iraq War. It wasn't WMDs, it was the fecklessness of Europe to enact and enforce tough sanctions and to demand thorough inspections Now we are repeating the same errors in Iran, with a corrupt Europe having been expanded to include corruption in Moscow and Beijing.

Bill Bennet wrote a book about President Clinton's troubles where he discussed European bemusement at Americans' caring so much about a trivial matter. Bennet, whom I've disagreed with on a thousand things, got off one of the great lines ever. I quote from memory: "Europe has much to teach us about wine, culture, and cuisine. America, however, has much to teach Europe about morality in government."

The players have all changed, but that part remains true. Europe doesn't seem to care that the UN or many of its satellite NGOs are corrupt, incompetent, and counter-productive. There may be friendlier G-8 meetings with Sarkozy, Merkel and Brown. But a huge gap remains in the tolerance for corruption in NGOs that must be addressed. And it will have to be addressed by America.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:05 AM

April 15, 2007

What a Great Country

A young (two? three?) neighbor was out playing with his new toy machine gun. I complimented him on it, and he said "the easter bunny brought it to me!"

I told him to shoot a tight group.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:11 PM

March 9, 2007

News Item of the Decade

What's that? Did Bill Gates promise to buy Apple Computer and divide all of its stock amongst all the AIDS patients in Africa? Did Mahmood I'mInAJihad just convert to Christianity? Did Hillary divorce Bill? No.

Gun Ban in D.C. Overturned

Owning guns in D.C. may soon become legal, as federal appeals court ruled that the right to bear arms applies not only to militias.

Three years ago, a lower-court judge had told six D.C. residents of high-crime neighborhoods who wanted the guns for protection that they don't have a constitutional right to own handguns.

City argued that the Second Amendment right to bear arms applies only to militias, not individuals.

Today judge held that the Second Amendment doesn't just apply to militia service, or to people with "intermittent enrollment in the militia."

Just what was this D.C. gun ban? From the Cato Institute via P.R. Newswire: "Under existing law, no handgun could be registered in the District, and even pistols registered prior to D.C.'s 1976 ban could not be carried from room to room within a home without a license."

Well, what's wrong with that CNSnews? If that is the "democratically-expressed will of the people of the District of Columbia" then who cares that, "Even though the nation's capital had one of the strictest gun bans in the country, it also suffers from one of the five-highest murders rates of major cities nationwide?" I guess two out of three federal appeals judges care:

In a 2-1 decision, the judges held that the activities protected by the Second Amendment "are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual's enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued intermittent enrollment in the militia."

The court also ruled the D.C. requirement that registered firearms be kept unloaded, disassembled and under trigger lock was unconstitutional.


"The district's definition of the militia is just too narrow," Judge Laurence Silberman wrote for the majority Friday. "There are too many instances of 'bear arms' indicating private use to conclude that the drafters intended only a military sense."

The opinion of the lone dissenting judge is telling. Her foundation for supporting the 30-year old law was not that individuals are not militia members, or that handguns are not hunting tools. Instead she wrote, "the Second Amendment does not apply to the District of Columbia because it is not a state."

Can I believe my eyes? I'm still not sure I believe a sitting federal judge actually wrote this. The reporter must have misrepresented, right? I wonder if she would also argue that the first, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth (take a breath), twenty first, twenty second, twenty third (oh really?), twenty fourth, twenty fifth, twenty sixth and twenty seventh amendments don't apply to D.C. because "it is not a state?"

For some time now I've been considering creation of a "Slave-o-Meter" that reflects the global movement toward collectivism and away from individual liberty modeled after the Union of Atomic Scientists' "Doomsday Clock." I was dissuaded by the notion that the "Slave-o-Meter" would only ever move in one direction: toward collectivization of humankind. (And because I still haven't thought of a better name than Slave-o-Meter.) This development in D.C. is one rare, delicious, possibly temporary case where it moved noticeably in the other direction.

UPDATE: [13 March] I am eternally grateful to JK for his comment link to the WaPo editorial on this. It allows me to share this remarkable quote:

"While the ruling caught observers off guard, it was not completely unexpected, given the unconscionable campaign, led by the National Rife Association and abetted by the Bush administration, to broadly reinterpret the Constitution so as to give individuals Second Amendment rights."

So in the document that begins ... We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America, an interpretation by the "National Rifle Association and abetted by the Bush administration" that one of its amendments applies to "individuals" is "unconscionable."


Posted by JohnGalt at 3:50 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

I humbly suggest "Serfdom Miles." How far down Hayek’s road we are. Like the clock, it will be hard to weight multiple parameters into a single, scalar quantity.

I am not so pessimistic as you. It is disturbing to see the free word give up its liberty by bits and pieces -- at the same time, I look at the Heritage /WSJ index of economic freedom and see that more and more people are escaping from the least free nations.

In a Sharansky sense, I'd say this planet is doing well, although in a Friedmanite, Hayekian sense, we may be giving back some gains.

Following the Constitution in the US Capitol is a good sign.

Posted by: jk at March 9, 2007 6:07 PM
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

Thank GOD a court in this country FINALLY understood what the Second Amendment really means!

Now,..how soon before the knee-jerk reactions from the "let's talk" liberal crowds??

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at March 9, 2007 8:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Not sure what time the WaPo hits the streets, tm, but the answer is "less than 24 hours."

Dangerous Ruling: An appeals court ruling would put handguns back in D.C. homes

Quelle Horreur! Guns in homes...

Posted by: jk at March 10, 2007 12:26 PM
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

Thanx for the link, jk

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at March 11, 2007 12:02 PM
But dagny thinks:

The WaPO article JK links to above is hysterical, in more ways than one. However, I recommend reading the comments to the article. At one point a commenter notes that the comments are 82% in favor of the ruling. Perhaps there is hope for DC yet????

Posted by: dagny at March 12, 2007 7:31 PM

January 28, 2007

God Bless America!

This oughtta piss off the Islamists...

Some Coffee Stands Get Steamier

And most of them have their own websites too (but of course!)

Natte Latte
The Sweet Spot Espresso
Cowgirls Espresso

It's alright, JK. They have drive-thrus too.

What a country!
(Hat tip: Fox News Channel's Brian Williams)

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:55 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

This is what we fight for.

Posted by: jk at January 28, 2007 10:07 AM
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

Hmm,...wonder where the steamy, foamed milk comes from? ;-)

Sorry, had to go there,...

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at January 28, 2007 11:49 AM
But johngalt thinks:

"This is what we fight for."

Yep. Badonkadonk.

Posted by: johngalt at January 28, 2007 6:52 PM

January 8, 2007

For the Boys

over there...

Stick that in your burqa.

h/t Ace

Posted by AlexC at 11:11 PM | Comments (1)
But TrekMedic251 thinks:


Posted by: TrekMedic251 at January 9, 2007 9:17 PM

November 11, 2006


Today, November the 11th, used to be called Armistice Day. Celebrating the allied victory in WWI. In 1954, President Eisenhower renamed it to Veterans Day.

Wikipedia Link

Thank you all for your service and sacrifice.

Posted by AlexC at 11:11 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Amen to that.

Posted by: jk at November 12, 2006 12:59 PM

November 4, 2006

Army / Navy


Seen at Army / Navy game.

Speaking of which, I've seen fish flop around less than John Kerry.

The latest.

Posted by AlexC at 9:54 PM

October 24, 2006

On Liberty

If you're going to read only one thing today.

Make sure it's this.

Would I lie to you?

Posted by AlexC at 12:53 AM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Probably everybody read it when I posted a link on Oct13, ac, but I agree it's worth reading again.

Posted by: jk at October 24, 2006 10:01 AM
But AlexC thinks:

I guess I didn't see it... did you say "Must read!"? ;)

Posted by: AlexC at October 24, 2006 11:48 AM
But jk thinks:

I encouraged "all my readers" to read it.


Posted by: jk at October 24, 2006 12:23 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Whew... because i don't count myself amongst your readers!!

Posted by: AlexC at October 24, 2006 1:55 PM

October 11, 2006

Or Else What?

(tip to BOTW)

Posted by AlexC at 5:08 PM

June 14, 2006

Flag Day

Today is Flag Day.


Long may it wave!

Posted by AlexC at 10:06 AM

June 9, 2006

Zarqawi Killed II

Regarding Zarqawi's death, I wrote, I would have rather seen a capture THEN the execution, but hey.

To which John Galt replied... No way, AlexC. This is the best possible outcome. In fact, can we have a do-over on the Saddam capture? Hand grenades first, questions later.

How about a happy medium?

    "Zarqawi was alive when U.S. forces arrived on the site," Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said in a satellite interview from Iraq. "The Iraqi police arrived first, they found him in the rubble, put him on a gurney of some type."

    Caldwell, the chief U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, said Zarqawi tried to roll off the gurney to escape once he became aware of the fact that he was being taken into custody by coalition troops Wednesday night after two 500-pound precision guided bombs blew up his safehouse near Baqouba.

    U.S. forces immediately made a visual identification of Zarqawi but were unable to interrogate him because he died of his injuries "shortly after" being pulled from the rubble, Caldwell said.

    Caldwell indicated that U.S. troops "went into the process to provide medical care to him" before he expired. He did not elaborate on the medical assistance.

Justice, thy taste is so sweet.

Posted by AlexC at 5:08 PM

June 8, 2006


hey hey hey....

good bye.

    Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaida leader in Iraq who waged a bloody campaign of suicide bombings and beheadings of hostages, has been killed in a precision airstrike, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Thursday. It was a long-sought victory in the war in Iraq.

    Al-Zarqawi and seven aides, including spiritual adviser Sheik Abdul Rahman, were killed Wednesday evening in a remote area 30 miles northeast of Baghdad in the volatile province of Diyala, just east of the provincial capital of Baqouba, officials said.

    "Al-Zarqawi was eliminated," Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said.

    At the White House, President Bush hailed the killing as "a severe blow to al-Qaida and it is a significant victory in the war on terror."

I would have rather seen a capture THEN the execution, but hey.

Update: Regarding Johngalt's comment, here's blogometer's comment.

    Blogosphere reaction to the death of Abu Musa'ab al-Zarqawi grows faster than can possibly be read, let alone commented on. So far though, some quick generalizations can be made. Like last week's arrest of the Toronto terror suspects, this is by and large a righty blogosphere story. Lefty comments are perfunctory, if they exist at all.

Blogometer is a sort of round up of all blogs goings on. I highly recommend it.

Posted by AlexC at 10:48 AM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Sentor Durbin would've demanded a trial. Nope, this is a great day for freedom!

Posted by: jk at June 8, 2006 11:14 AM
But johngalt thinks:

No way, AlexC. This is the best possible outcome. In fact, can we have a do-over on the Saddam capture? Hand grenades first, questions later.

I heard on Fox (evil anti-UN) News that a woman and child were believed among the dead. I'm watching with great interest to see if any of the lunatic left condemn this killing of "innocents."

This Zarqawi killing news is fabulous progress toward life, liberty and prosperity in Iraq, and an absolute tragedy for the "It's Bush's Fault" crowd. Daily Kos must be in full mourning mode. (Damned if I'm going to go there to find out.)

In requiem: "Enjoy your so-called virgins, Abu Musab."

Posted by: johngalt at June 8, 2006 11:49 AM
But jk thinks:

And let us all hope it is actually 72 small, white raisins.

Posted by: jk at June 8, 2006 12:27 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Johngalt, you simply must follow this link.

Posted by: AlexC at June 8, 2006 3:02 PM

June 6, 2006

Operation Overlord

Today marks 62 years since Europe's liberation began.

Battle of Normandy

I expect to be fully vegged out on History Channel this evening.

Thank you to all of the brave men and women who accomplished the impossible!Normandy_cemetery.jpg

Posted by AlexC at 11:45 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

THAT, friends, is a quagmire!

Thanks to all who have served. And thanks, ALex for reminding us that this day is more than the date which matches my phone prefix )6/6/6).

Posted by: jk at June 6, 2006 1:39 PM

June 2, 2006

Hot Dogs & Beer


    Leave it to the good people of Philadelphia, whose football fans once famously booed and threw snowballs at Santa Claus, to come up with the perfect takedown of the most inflated (in more ways than one) superstar in contemporary sport. With the visiting Barry Bonds at the plate and needing just two home runs to tie Babe Ruth's iconic 714 lifetime homers, the banner was raised: "Ruth did it on hot dogs & beer.''

Let's not forget the hypodermic needle thrown during batting practice.

The stinking bum.

I had to double check this wasn't a George Will column.

Posted by AlexC at 1:06 AM

May 29, 2006

To All Vets and Enlisted...

Thank you.

Posted by Cyrano at 9:18 PM

May 26, 2006

OK, JK...

Here's what you can make into my "bio:"

Real Identity: I am a 41-year old teacher – high school math, physics, and logic – and dance instructor, with a B.S. in Mathematics, a B.A. in Philosophy, and an unofficial minor in Physics. I am an advocate of Objectivism, the first philosophy in the history of mankind to get the theory of concepts right and to be fully objective – all thanks to the achievement of Ayn Rand. I have two cats and a horse, who get treated extremely well. They get hugs and kisses – and they owe their good treatment to Rand’s identification that life is about living, about achieving positives, not about “achieving” the zero or avoiding punishment…which point many people do not get…

I take my nom de blog because of Cyrano’s line: “To fight - or write. [But] Never to make a line I have not heard, In my own heart.”

The line is part of a speech on the part of Cyrano (Brian Hooker’s translation):

To sing, to laugh, to dream,

To walk in my own way and be alone,/Free, with an eye to see things as they are,

A voice that means manhood - to cock my hat/Where I choose - At a word, a Yes, a No,

To fight - or write. To travel any road/Under the sun, under the stars, nor doubt

If fame or fortune lie beyond the bourne -/Never to make a line I have not heard

In my own heart; yet, with all modesty/To say: "My soul, be satisfied with flowers,

With fruit, with weeds even; but gather them/In one garden you may call your own."

So when I win some triumph, by some chance,/Render no share to Caeser.

In a word, I am too proud to be a parasite./And if my nature wants the germ that grows

Towering to heaven like a mountain pine,/Or like the oak sheltering multitudes.

I stand not high it may be – but alone!

Here is Barry Kornhauser’s translation of a part of that whole:

To dream, to laugh, to sing,/to let my heart take wing,

Free! - with an eye open to see all things as they are!

To fight—to write—to follow the moon or any star

that I choose/win or lose...

On Blogging: As reason is man's means of survival and only means of cognition, ideas are man's most important tools. It is important to speak and to write, in order to stand up for what is right and good. As Aristotle said in the Rhetoric: “it is absurd to hold that a man ought to be ashamed of being unable to defend himself with his limbs, but not of being unable to defend himself with speech and reason, when the use of rational speech is more distinctive of a human being than the use of his limbs.”

What’s more, if it were not for the Internet and bloggers, we would be very misinformed about current events: the Paris Riots, the Mohammed Cartoons, Islam, CAIR, Envirowackism. That’s a sad thought…

On Politics: Because I believe each person is an end in himself/herself, not a means to be used by someone else, by King, by God, by society, or by the environment; because I believe each person is self-sovereign and rational (by nature, if not by practice) – I am an advocate for the only moral social system, the only system consistent with human nature: capitalism. Recommended: Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal by Ayn Rand.

Posted by Cyrano at 11:24 PM

April 1, 2006

Coming Out

After years of tiresome conservatism, always siding with big business against the little guy, I've decided that I'm going to see the error of my ways, and become a liberal.

I'm burning my NRA card, and replacing it with an ACLU card.
And I'm turning in my guns, replacing them with hugs.

Environmental issues should always trump economic interests and I'm ready to raise taxes on the rich. It's not confiscation, it's compassion (or is it compensation?) Social Security needs no repair, neither does Medicare.

I retain my membership in the Roman Catholic Church, however it's tempered with my own blend of abortion on demand and interest in hemlock, and I will not attend it's weekly services until women are welcomed into the Priesthood.

I'm tired of tirelessly defending the Bush Doctrine and all of it's attendant and necessary lies.
We should have left Iraq alone. North Korea and Iran were needlessly antagonized when the President Chimpy McBushitler labelled them the Axis of Evil.

Iran? Don't worry about them. They need to defend themselves against the aggressive Israeli/Zionist state.

I think that our military should only be used at the behest of the UN, and only with their blessing. A corollary to that is that I believe Neville Chamberlain was misunderstood and peace should have been given another chance to work.

And don't you dare call me unpatriotic!

I'm out and I'm a proud liberal!

Of course, before the process is totally complete, I'm going to need a government run health care system to cover my lobotomy, as my government paid prescription of stupid pills are only a temporary fix.

Posted by AlexC at 4:23 PM | Comments (4)
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

Nice April Fool's Joke!

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at April 1, 2006 4:32 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Dude! Way to blow it!

Posted by: AlexC at April 1, 2006 5:17 PM
But johngalt thinks:

AlexC - I think you had a believable spoof going until you failed to describe the Israeli/Zionist state as "illegal and cowardly." Then you ignored the liberal "fact" that our military is far larger and expensive than needed in the first place.

Finally (or, to begin with) REAL liberals don't label themselves as such. They've got much more luminous-sounding self-identifiers: Progressive, centrist, open-minded, pragmatic or even neo-liberal. But never just "liberal." (I guess lattesipper is an exception.)

Posted by: johngalt at April 2, 2006 1:20 PM
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

You forgot to shriek in horror and pledge subserviance to Howard Dean. A real progressive would do so.

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at April 3, 2006 3:37 PM

March 10, 2006

Viva First Amendment

Right on!

    While Cuba played the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, a spectator in the stands raised a sign saying: "Down with Fidel," sparking an international incident that escalated Friday with the velocity of a major league fastball.

    The image of the man holding the sign behind home plate was beamed live Thursday night to millions of TV viewers _ including those in Cuba. The top Cuban official at the game at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan rushed to confront the man.

    Puerto Rican police quickly intervened and took the Cuban official _ Angel Iglesias, vice president of Cuba's National Institute of Sports _ to a nearby police station, where they lectured him about free speech.

    "We explained to him that here the constitutional right to free expression exists and that it is not a crime," police Col. Adalberto Mercado was quoted as saying in El Nuevo Dia, a San Juan daily.

Posted by AlexC at 4:43 PM

March 1, 2006

American Dream

This is what makes this country great.

    When he met with NBC 10 morning anchor Dawn Timmeney, Gogan Lakhmna was meeting with his architects about his latest condo project.

    "Let's all think forward and think about the upgrades we want to offer to accommodate Andrea," Lakhmna said.

    Despite owning $250 million in real estate in the Philadelphia area, this 34-year-old multimillionaire is always looking for the next challenge.

    "There's a term for people like me in the business world. They call them deal junkies. We are just hungry for the next deal," Lakhmna said.

    Lakhmna has had that hunger ever since coming to Philadelphia from India to attend graduate school at Drexel University.

    Lakhmna worked as a pizza deliveryman to help pay for his tuition and shortly after getting his MBA, he was wheeling and dealing.

    A gas station in Delran, N.J., was the first piece of real estate that Lakhmna bought and he managed to negotiate a deal with the owner that he would work up to 20 hours a day for a piece of the action.

    Lakhmna now has a portfolio of 50 properties, including one in Northern Liberties.

    "When I go to my work sites and I see work happening and a building coming up, that is what gives me satisfaction, and I don't see an end right now," Lakhmna said. "There is still that burning in my belly that tells me there is still more I have to do."

He still works 20 hours days.

More like him, please.

Posted by AlexC at 8:15 PM

Next Generation

The next generation of NASA space vehicles have been named.

    Sources have revealed the latest list of the names NASA has given to its new fleet, with a Greek goddess, a Roman mythological god, and a near-by star winning through as the identities of the new ships that will send America back to the moon and on to Mars.

    In the next decade, Altair, Artemis and Ares (I and V) could well become space community household names, as NASA returns to exploration past our own orbit.

    A huge step up from NASA administrator Mike Griffin's 'Apollo on steroids' tag, the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) has been christened 'Altair' - named after a variable double star in the constellation Aquila.

Altair is also an Arabic word meaning "the flyer."

Posted by AlexC at 1:26 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

An ARABIC word? On our most sophisticated, delicate and expensive spacecraft? But what about the threat of Islamic terrorists using the word to launch an attack on us? Those fellows are very devious and clever. We can never be too careful.

Posted by: johngalt at March 1, 2006 3:21 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Johngalt, "Altair" was named when the Muslims were the world leaders in science. Hint.... "algebra" is Arabic too.

I guess it's just another link in the chain of dhimmitude. ;)

Posted by: AlexC at March 1, 2006 4:32 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And the characters we're conversing in are... ARABIC characters! Oh God oh God we're gonna die.

Being the world leaders in science apparently grew tiresome, and they aspired to be the world leaders in blowing shit up instead. (Hey, isn't that what Alfred Nobel used to do too?)

Posted by: johngalt at March 4, 2006 10:08 AM

January 18, 2006


Occasionally there's some discussion of Jazz music on these pages but I've gotta say that anyone who doesn't listen to country music is missing out on some serious "flyover country philosophy lessons." Take the latest release from Trace Adkins, for example. (Links include sound clips) In 4:01 he explains the subtleties of male motivation in virtually all of life's endeavors, boiling it all down to a single word: badonkadonk.

Now Honey, you can't blame her

For what 'er mama gave her

It ain't right to hate her

For workin' that money-maker

Band shuts down at two

But we're hangin' out till three

We hate to see her go

But love to watch her leave

With that honky tonk badonkadonk

Keepin' perfect rhythm

Make ya wanna swing along

Got it goin' on

Like Donkey Kong

And whoo-wee

Shut my mouth, slap your grandma

There outta be a law

Get the Sheriff on the phone

Lord have mercy, how's she even get them britches on

With that honky tonk badonkadonk

(Ooh, that's what I'm talkin' bout right there, honey)

Pure poetry (except for finding nothing better to rhyme with "goin' on" than "donkey kong.") Trace integrates the individual rational components of this and the other two verses thusly:

That's it, right there boys; that's why we do what we do. It ain't for the money; it ain't for the glory; it ain't for the free whiskey; it's for the badonkadonk.

I can make some more recommendations as well. Off the top of my head...

Songs About Me (same album)
Welcome to Hell (Trace Adkins, Greatest Hits Vol. 1)
The Taliban Song (Toby Keith, Shock'n Y'all)

Real. American. Glorious.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:47 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Don't know Trace (or admittedly much of the "Contemporary Country scene") but you'd be surprised at what the jazzheads around here listen to. For the record, Sugarchuck is an encyclopedia of classic and serious country players, and -- he'll hate my saying this -- an unbelievably awesome country guitar player.

He taught me that Merle Haggard is just jazz with Telecasters and twang, and has turned me on to many many good country songs and performers.

Many guitar players from country are worthy of awe: Chet Atkins and Roy Clark could and did cover a jazz gig and guys like Roy Buchannan and Albert Lee were HUGE influences for me.

MS is crippling my playing pretty bad but I was hoping that my next project would be a jazzy-country thing in the order of Ray Charles and Merle. The second Berkeley Square CD has the Cindy Walker/Eddie Albert "You Don't Know Me" and Brooke and I have an arrangement of "I Fall to Pieces" that I always liked.

And I do appreciate the unabashed patriotism I hear from country artists.

Posted by: jk at January 18, 2006 4:43 PM
But Sugarchuck thinks:

There is no better place to be, on a Friday or Saturday night, than on the bandstand, pickin' Merle, in a VFW. I've got lots of quibbles with the Music Row/CMT/Nashville, and I think it would serve us all well if the beancounters and producers spent a little more time on Lower Broadway with the real pickers and singers, but when it comes to singing truth to power, country music gets her done. There is nowhere left in music, other than in country music, for God, Family and Country. Country also makes lots of room for those with blue state sentiments, just not room on the radio. Somewhere, there is a book waiting to be written on politics in country music. IF not a book, maybe a WWF cage match pitting Emmy Lou Harris and the Dixie Chicks against Trace et. al... maybe on pay-per-view.
I might add a cool music update, rumor has it that Aaron Neville and Aretha Franklin with Dr. John on piano, will do the national anthem at the Super Bowl. Is this a great country or what!

Posted by: Sugarchuck at January 19, 2006 9:53 AM
But jk thinks:

Emmylou on the dark side? Say it ain't so! I have enjoyed her music and never got over a teenage crush on her (now a family genealogist assures me that I'm related to EVERYONE in the US named Harris. Think about it).

I thought I was turning into a Dixie Chicks fan. When Fred (Winifred) dies on Angel, they play "A Place Called Home." As the character was a Dixie Chicks, fan, I assumed it was them. But no, it is Kim Richey (and it is available on iTunes).

Posted by: jk at January 20, 2006 10:59 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Red state values indeed, Sugarchuck.

From the aforementioned 'Songs About Me,' when asked by "a guy on the red eye" why he sings stuff "'bout that twang and trains and hillbilly things" he "just looked at him and laughed and said

'Cause they're all songs about me,
And who I am.
Songs about lovin' and livin'
And good hearted women and family and God.
Yeah they're all just songs about me.
Songs about me."

Or another favorite from the same album, 'My Heaven' (clip available on link in main post) that proclaims,

"My heaven is a wood frame house with a great big porch goin' all the way around, Sittin' on the swing, listenin' to the sound of the birds singin'. My heaven is a warm summer day in the back yard, WHile the kids all play, flies and mosquitoes stay away while we're eatin' watermelon. That's my heaven."


(Now that's a faith-based song I can get behind, because it celebrates heaven ON EARTH, not in some mythical afterlife.)

Posted by: johngalt at January 21, 2006 11:33 AM

January 15, 2006

Colonial Economics

Friedrich, at 2blowhards, ponders the impetus for the American Revolution. He makes a good point that in the global scheme of things, the colonists did not seem to be aggrieved on the order of other oppressed peoples. Okay, Stamp Tax Bad, tariffs, yadda yadda. We have MUCH more oppressive taxation today and my musket is in its case.

He examines a book with economic and biometric data, William Fogel’s “The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700-2100.” ($65!) and discovers that the colonists were taller, ate better and lived longer.

Given that most Americans of the Revolutionary War period were of British extraction and could hardly have been ignorant of conditions there, it must have been as plain as the nose on their faces that people lived far longer, ate far better and grew up more sturdily in the Colonies than in the Mother Country. So when the British government started tightening the screws on the colonies in the wake of the French and Indian wars, the mental calculation of the colonists must have been pretty simple: “Let me get this straight: you British aristocrats, in your infinite wisdom, want to make us Americans more like the average British working man? In short, you want us to live as poorly as you do? I think not, if I have anything to say about it. Martha, what did you do with my rifle?”

In short, it appears that rather than being the work of ultra-touchy libertarians, the American Revolution was one of the most substantively motivated conflicts in history. The colonists had a good thing going, and didn’t intend to give it up lightly. Who wouldn’t go to war, even today, if the disputed prize was a 17-year difference in life expectancy?

Interesting post. Good Comments. Hat-tip: Pajamas Media

Posted by John Kranz at 1:10 PM | Comments (3)
But Silence Dogood thinks:

This is true, taxation without representation makes a great rallying cry, but compared to their compatriots back home they were in much better shape. Why else would folks pay for a long and risky voyage across the ocean if not to improve their lot in life. It could be said that a lot of the impetus for the war was based on propaganda, coupled with some political chicanery. (Any of this sound familiar?) Samuel Adams was a master at propaganda but given his proclivity for inciting the masses (he not once but twice led/advocated the burning of the Governor's house) could be considered a terrorist leader. John Hancock, who supported/bankrolled him (even had to buy him a suit to attend the first Continental Congress) was a steadfast American patriot, who just happened to make his fortune smuggling some of those taxed British items. Anyone who tells you that politics has become so much more corrupt and coarse than it used to be hasn't read much history.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at January 16, 2006 3:55 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yeah, they pledged their "lives, fortunes, and sacred honor" to line their own pockets. That makes sense.

Or does it? If Hancock got rich smuggling against British taxation then how does he gain be dismantling the unjust taxes?

Surely Silence wouldn't suggest his namesake fell in this rank of self-interested propagandists as well, especially after reading Chris Hitchens' words above:

"Benjamin Franklin offered to pay the damages of the Boston Tea Party. If the British authorities had not treated him in such an arrogant and underhanded manner, and had not had such a paltry idea of the man with whom they had to deal, he would very probably have negotiated a brilliant settlement of the outstanding disputes between the colonies and the motherland. This was certainly his wish."

I have no delusion that America's founders were pure as the wind driven snow but I can't abide wholesale defamation of their character. Have you no sense of gratitude?

Posted by: johngalt at January 17, 2006 3:27 PM
But dagny thinks:

Very interesting link. Based on the information in the blog and the comments (I probably won't shell out $65?? for the book) I note a few points.

It seems likely to me that the 17 year difference in life expectancy could be a result of the differences in freedom. Therefore they were fighting for their freedom knowing its true worth.

An excellent point made in one of the comments was that it is likely that America started out with hardier, healthier people as those are the types that are likely to emigrate. And since there seem to be a lot of book recommendations flying around, I will add this:

This point is raised by Robert H. Heinlein in several of his books. He writes science fiction so he talks about the results when the best and the brightest go off to colonize some new planet but the analogy holds. I additionally recommend his, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress,” for a description of a revolution that, although fictional, rings true regarding the motives and methods of revolutionaries.

Posted by: dagny at January 18, 2006 1:37 AM

November 22, 2005


I was reading a white-phosphorus related post on Protein Wisdom this morning, and read the following in a citation from DailyKos.

    Saddam tortured, we torture. Saddam used WP chemical weapons against insurgents and civilians, we use WP chemical weapons against insurgents and civilians.

    Like torture, the apologists try to justify our use of such abhorrent techniques, oblivious to the fact that our moral standing is in tatters and our crediblity beyond repair. We aren’t just losing the war in Iraq, we are losing our credibility in the world.

I thought ever since the go-it alone invasion, the subsequent occupation, the evening at Abu-Graib, Gitmo Korans, W '04 re-election, we've been losing credibility as a nation on the international scene.

I say "losing," but by the metric of the chicken-little "falling credibility" crowd, we've actually been hemorraging it. And hemorraging it for years.

Which begs the question, "How much more credibility do we have left to lose, if we haven't lost it all?"

Either we're the nation-state equivalent of the Black Knight from Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail, or we have not really lost any.

I would venture to suppose that there are nations out there saying, "Gosh, those Americans are really paying for doing the right thing." Those nations are providing any kind of support they can to the Global War on Terror. Nations like Mongolia. Once a giant in terms of warring, now a very minor international player are pledging support... as are the nations of new Europe.

Those nations remind of the parable I once heard while sitting in a pew. (Luke 21, if you're interested) The rich man tithes a lot to the Church because he has it, the poor widow tithes to the Church because that's all she has. It's sacrifices like those from nations that don't have it to sacrifice, who understand credibility.

Credibility from those nations is important... and worthwhile.

Included in that list are our steadfast friends the British and the Australians. With whom we share a common cultural bond.

Where it has been lost, what did it matter? Those nations likely did not share common interests with us *cough*le France*cough*)... or they see advantages to staying friendly with us. (ahem, China)

Our Republic's credibility has not been lost. Not to any nation that matters. On the contrary, we have gained it in the eyes of those people who understand the fight and the sacrifices at hand.

Posted by AlexC at 1:36 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I spent a lot of time in Ireland and England in my last job and it saddens me that even our allies have such a low opinion.

I think it has become as politicized as the Congress and that the only hope of better ties would be if we were to practice the appeasement the intelligencia and governments believe in.

What really counts are those who vote with their feet. Only one in seven European engineering students say they expect to go back. We have captured the imagination of people of the world, if not their governments.

Posted by: jk at November 22, 2005 10:39 AM

July 4, 2005

Star Spangled Banner

(To go with JK's post)

The Star Spangled Banner, one of the most difficult to sing national anthems, gets a bad rap from dirty hippies for being too militaristic.

I say "hogwash."

It's a beautiful song.

Especially if you know all four stanzas.

Posted by AlexC at 9:39 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

What a great piece -- thanks! I am a new convert to the song, and new converts are always the most fervent.

When I was young, I really did not understand the words. It is very unusual for the lyric to not make sense in single lines, you have to take a whole stanza at a time to "get it" (I think I was about 40 when I did...)

I also like the new melodic approaches you hear these days (sorry Burkeans). The guy who sings it a canella at the Avalanche games just nails it -- I cry every time.

Side note: I was a HUGE Asimov fan as a kid and I have been thinking of him lately (after reading David Deutch's "The Fabric of Reality," which all the Physics geeks at ThreeSources should drop everything and go read).

Posted by: jk at July 4, 2005 11:15 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Thanks for the link AlexC. I'll read it aloud at our family celebration tonight - freemen all.

Posted by: johngalt at July 4, 2005 2:17 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Here's a tip to maximize your Anthem experience.
You all know the words, and no one cares to hear you sing it anyway.

Focus on the singer.

If they're good, and really into it (not like fat-ass Roseanne), you can feel the emotions.

*MUCH* better.

JK's on to it... just listen, enjoy and weep in thanks.

Posted by: AlexC at July 4, 2005 11:52 PM

Happy 4th of July II


Posted by John Kranz at 9:09 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

This is our third July 4 in this house and I'm proud to say I've finally got the flag holder installed by the front door. "Long may she wave!"

Posted by: johngalt at July 4, 2005 2:06 PM

Deep Impact

It appeared that no cable news network provided live coverage of Deep Impact hitting Comet Tempel 1. So much for the 24 hours news cycle.

So I watched the NASA TV feed via the internet.

The mission to slam a coffee table into Manhattan was was successful!

The preliminary photos look awesome, I suspect as better ones come in some of them will make their way to computer desktops the world over.

More pictures are here.

Congratulations to NASA and the University of Maryland for providing us with one heck of a Fourth of July fireworks show... A job well done.

Posted by AlexC at 2:46 AM | Comments (7)
But AlexC thinks:

Is that coverage not embarassing? I've pretty much forsaken TV news (except local stuff)... when i turn it on to Fox, it's all Aruba, all the time.

The reporters all suckered Roger Ailes into open ended trips down there.

I'm embarassed for them.

Posted by: AlexC at July 4, 2005 10:41 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Of all the things government unjustly spends my tax money on, this is the one I object to least: space exploration.

I set the PVR to record the NASA channel and, armed with locating info from http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/network/2005/06/28/deepimpact.html, headed out to the hot tub with my binoculars. I'm pretty sure I had the comet located. I found Jupiter, low in the western sky and the brightest object around. (Also the only one with three moons visible in orbit!) Then, up and to the left, a bright star that had to be Spica. About a half-binocular field-of-view above and slightly left from Spica was a small dot not visible to the naked eye. I watched it for about 15 minutes, 5 before and 10 after the scheduled impact. Nothing. If anything it appeared to grow dimmer, or possibly a bit fuzzy although that could have been eye fatigue.

It goes without saying that the TV pictures were better. I had fun though!

Posted by: johngalt at July 4, 2005 2:03 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Johngalt, actually spending on science is Constitutional! Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8. "progress of science and useful arts".... of course the definitions of those could be subject to debate.

Damn you round earth! Damn you! It was all below the horizon.. you non-east coasters got a chance anyway.

Posted by: AlexC at July 4, 2005 11:48 PM
But Silence Dogood thinks:

We're all in agreement here, no news coverage? I was all set to have my trusty TIVO record the event, now all I needed was some event coverage to record. A NASA channels sounds cool, is that a satellite system? But come on, what else news worthy was going on at the time that was so important that no coverage was planned? Surely there must still be some broadcast equipment out Michael Jackson's way that could have been trucked over to JPL.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at July 5, 2005 10:27 AM
But AlexC thinks:

True story. NASA TV is on satellite and some cable systems. Typically watching paint dry is more exciting, but then there are those days...

But they do stream it online.

Posted by: AlexC at July 5, 2005 3:02 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"...by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;"

This is the patent and trademark provision Alex. Surely you detect no penumbra about government funding!

Posted by: johngalt at July 6, 2005 2:52 PM

Happy 4th of July

What encompasses the American spirit more than gathering with your neighbors and their children, sitting on your lawn and blowing up surreptitiously procured fireworks which your state forbids you from buying?

Save for throwing boxes of tea into the harbor, I dare say "nothing."

God Bless America in her 229th year.

Posted by AlexC at 12:00 AM

June 26, 2005

Steyn on Flag Burning

No surprise that Mark Steyn would have the best exegesis on the flag burning amendment.

Unlike Congressman Cunningham, I wouldn't presume to speak for those who died atop the World Trade Center. For one thing, citizens of more than 50 foreign countries, from Argentina to Zimbabwe, were killed on 9/11. Of the remainder, maybe some would be in favor of a flag-burning amendment; and maybe some would think that criminalizing disrespect for national symbols is unworthy of a free society.

"[C]riminalizing disrespect for national symbols is unworthy of a free society" definitely nails it for me. But every Steyn column provides thought, and humor as well as rhetoric. And this does not disappoint. He contends that legal flag burning helps us to see our enemies for what they are. Better still, he shows that the flag is burned because of its power.
Banning flag desecration flatters the desecrators and suggests that the flag of this great republic is a wee delicate bloom that has to be protected. It's not. It gets burned because it's strong. I'm a Canadian and one day, during the Kosovo war, I switched on the TV and there were some fellows jumping up and down in Belgrade burning the Stars and Stripes and the Union Jack. Big deal, seen it a million times. But then to my astonishment, some of those excitable Serbs produced a Maple Leaf from somewhere and started torching that. Don't ask me why -- we had a small contribution to the Kosovo bombing campaign but evidently it was enough to arouse the ire of Slobo's boys. I've never been so proud to be Canadian in years. I turned the sound up to see if they were yelling ''Death to the Little Satan!'' But you can't have everything.

All hail the great Steyn!

Hat-tip: PowerLine Blog

Posted by John Kranz at 11:24 AM | Comments (1)
But Attila thinks:

Burning a flag is the quintessential political protest, so I would oppose the amendment.

That said, the proper response is to create an affirmative defense to assault charges for someone who applies reasonable force to the face of the flag burner.

Posted by: Attila at June 29, 2005 4:12 PM

June 19, 2005

American Apologizing

Tip to Tim Blair.

Posted by AlexC at 9:00 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

To those who believe that capitalist and religiously tolerant America's continued existence "crosses the line" (apologies to Richard "Dick" Durbin), WE APOLOGIZE.

Posted by: johngalt at June 23, 2005 2:55 PM

June 9, 2005

Liberty is beautiful

AlexC made recent mention of liberty babes or "protest babes" with respect to Azerbajian. Coincidentally, a friend emailed me a picture that qualifies as "liberty babes, American style." (You figure out which ones I mean.)


Posted by JohnGalt at 12:57 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

And you missed Kelly Ann Conway (nee Fitzpatrick) the GOP pollster.

Posted by: jk at June 9, 2005 10:48 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Not to mention both of our wives! Haven't met AlexC's (yet?) though I'm sure she belongs with "ours" as well.

Posted by: johngalt at June 14, 2005 2:48 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And for the record, "I" didn't miss Kelly Ann, I merely posted someone else's montage work here. :)

Posted by: johngalt at June 14, 2005 2:49 PM

May 29, 2005

Art Appreciation

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone. And now, for something a little different...


Philosophically, the actions of the US government following the Great Depression were deplorable. But that judgment is somewhat mitigated by the fact that other equally deplorable government policies helped create the miserable situation in the first place. But this is not meant as a discussion of the New Deal, rather an appreciation of some of the artwork that resulted from it.

The Loveland, Colorado post office, where thousands from around the world send their mail for a unique postmark on Valentine's day, displays a mural that captivated my spirit. This inspired me to learn more about it, and it's creator, 'R. Sherman' or James Russell Sherman, I came to learn.

Some time on the internet allowed me to discover an entire website dedicated to art of this nature, as it was funded by several New Deal programs.

The Colorado page listed all of the New Deal artwork on display in Colorado post offices and linked to photos of some of them, but not the Loveland mural. Seeking to rectify this, I emailed a photo to the webmaster and she posted it thusly.

This painting moves me because of its rich color, romantic realism, and its subject: The industrious harvest of nature's bounty by enterprising and creative individuals. My newfound side profession as a hay farmer dependent upon irrigation water probably has a lot to do with the joy I find in this painting, along with my romantic attitude toward the realm of industry.

I notice that this painting is very similar to one in the Scottdale, PA post office. Perhaps AlexC will be inspired to seek out other works in the Pennysylvania post offices.

James Russell Sherman, aka Russell Sherman, studied art in Chicago before moving to the American Northwest. Other works include "At the Brook." ('Continue Reading' to see short bio from this source.)

Reprinted from: http://www.artoftheprint.com/artistpages/sherman_russell_atthebrookquietpool.htm

Russell Sherman: A fine twentieth century American lithographer, illustrator and painter, Russell Sherman studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. His first exhibited works of art date from the early 1930's and at this time he moved to the American north west. His landscapes deal mostly with this region and British Columbia. During the following years Sherman's original lithographs were shown at exhibitions in San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago and New York.

A number of this artist's lithographs were commissioned by the Associated American Artists of New York. Since its founding (in the mid 1930's), the A.A.A. was responsible for the publication of many important etchings and lithographs by such major American artists as Reginald Marsh, Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton. Both by its printing techniques and by the quality of paper (a sturdy white, wove), At the Brook is most probably an Associated American Artists commissioned lithograph.

At the Brook is a superb, original example of Sherman's lithographic art. Using strong contrasts of light and dark and decorative art deco elements, Sherman created a landscape of unforgettable purity and beauty. It is in every regard a most spectacular image.

Edition: As mentioned earlier, At the Brook is most probably a publication of the Associated American Artists. If so, it would have been printed in a limited edition of 250 impressions.

Image Size: 7 7/8 X 10 3/4 (Sizes in inches are approximate, height preceding width of plate-mark or image.) Matted with 100% Archival Materials

Price: $225.00 US

Condition: Printed upon sturdy wove paper and with full margins as published around 1940. Signed by the artist in pencil along the lower margin. A strongly printed impression and in flawless condition throughout. This original lithograph represents a prime example of the art of Russell Sherman.

Note: The artist biography and information pertaining to this work of art has been provided for the benefit of our viewers. Check our site periodically for new additons. There are new biographies and works of art for sale posted every month.

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:28 AM

May 5, 2005

Before and After

Arthur Chrenkoff has pictures of Abu Faraj (alQaida #3), Kalid Sheikh Muhammed and Saddam Hussein.

The first is when they're having a good day.
The second is when, well, they're not.

Having the globe's most powerful military force looking for you really does tend to put a on strain you.

Simply terrible.

Posted by AlexC at 12:00 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, and particularly now that we've forged an alliance with the emminently practical Pakistanis. Through their prisoner interrogation practices, they're cultivating a reputation to rival the Turks!

When it comes to prisoners who are known members of a gang that wishes to kill every last free man I say, no holds barred in "interviewing" these bastards.

Posted by: johngalt at May 5, 2005 3:04 PM

May 2, 2005

Rolling 9-11 Memorial

A good friend emails these photos:

John Holmgren from Shafer Minnesota has painted his cab and trailer with the names of all those who lost their lives in 9/11. The trucker has been "pulled over" numerous times just so the troopers can get their picture taken with the truck.

Click "Continuie Reading to see more photos.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:09 PM

March 31, 2005

South Park

I cannot clear from my mind the term "South Park Republicans." Stephen Stanton credits the term's coinage to Andrew Sullivan, but has written the most comprehensive exegeses on the species in TCS.

His first column asked how the GOP could do so well in elections if only a group of stodgy old rich evangelical white millionaires voted for them:

The answer could very well be the "South Park Republicans." The name stems from the primetime cartoon "South Park" that clearly demonstrates the contrast within the party. The show is widely condemned by some moralists, including members of the Christian right. Yet in spite of its coarse language and base humor, the show persuasively communicates the Republican position on many issues, including hate crime legislation ("a savage hypocrisy"), radical environmentalism, and rampant litigation by ambitious trial lawyers. In one episode, industrious gnomes pick apart myopic anti-corporate rhetoric and teach the main characters about the benefits of capitalism.

South Park Republicans are true Republicans, though they do not look or act like Pat Robertson. They believe in liberty, not conformity. They can enjoy watching The Sopranos even if they are New Jersey Italians. They can appreciate the tight abs of Britney Spears or Brad Pitt without worrying about the nation's decaying moral fiber. They strongly believe in liberty, personal responsibility, limited government, and free markets. However, they do not live by the edicts of political correctness.

I suspected I fell into this taxonomy, so I started watching the show. I find it humorous but (pardon the pun) one-dimensional. It's funny but it's only funny. Buffy, by comparison, is artful, thought-provoking, dramatic and funny. But South Park is REALLY funny!

Last night's episode really blew me away. It was well crafted. A tight plot with two well-integrated sub plots: Kenny's selection to lead heaven's army based on his performance in a video game, and Kenny's drifting between heaven and earth as other, disinterested parties fought over his feeding tube.

How did they get this out so quickly? I expect even some hard-to-offend South Park folks may be offended. It was irreverent.

But it was good. The Archangel Michael, who swears like Patton at every setback, is an image that has kept me laughing all day.

Last night clears up their politics for me. They are even more libertarian than Stanton allows. They take a great whack at Republicans ("Satan, the forces of heaven have a Keanu Reeves, what shall we do?" "What we always do: we'll use the Republicans!")

What I liked was that they make of Republicans for what they are and for what I make fun of them for. Hollywood movies and network sitcoms ridicule a straw man Republican that I don't recognize, and I'm not sure exists. But the GOP officials in last night's South Park definitely exist.

Am I a South Park Republican? (Well, Terry, labels can be so constricting...) yeah, I guess I am.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:01 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Great post JK! Maybe it'll even convince Dagny to let me watch SP in her presence. Got my fingers crossed!

Posted by: johngalt at April 1, 2005 3:36 PM
But AlexC thinks:

That latest SP episode was great. No matter how stand on the Schiavo matter, allying Cartman with Heaven and the rest of South Park with Hell was a clever way of offending everyone at somelevel.

They get them out so fast because it's no longer animated with construction paper cut outs like the first season was. It's all CG. And they're fast.

Here's some info.

Posted by: AlexC at April 1, 2005 4:39 PM

March 24, 2005

The Michael Moore Bank Robberies

Detroit is facing a string of bank robberies from a guy they say resembles Michael Moore

    The man, who police say earned the nickname because of his resemblance to the filmmaker, is wanted in the armed robbery of a Standard Federal Bank at about 9:20 a.m. on Saturday.

    Police said the man entered the bank at 602 Monroe Avenue and implied that he had a weapon. An undetermined amount of cash was taken in the robbery.

    The man was last seen walking south from the bank.

    He's described as white, in his 40s, 6 feet tall, with a beard and wearing a plaid shirt and a baseball cap.

So it's just another dirty fat white guy? I don't see the resemblance.
Maybe if he was stuffing his face with hot dogs or donuts, THEN we'd be talking.

Posted by AlexC at 6:00 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

We all know that Michael Moore owns a gun. It was given to him by... a BANK! Wonder if it was the same bank he robbed? Anyway, they gotta get that dangerous slob. When they do his conviction will be a slam dunk. Seems he FILMED HIMSELF receiving the gun! Idiot.

Posted by: johngalt at March 25, 2005 3:29 PM

February 9, 2005

Dear Leader Upset at Film's Depiction

Surprisingly, North Korea is upset about Team America.

    The caricature of North Korea's "Dear Leader", Kim Jong-Il, in the film, "Team America: World Police," is striking a discordant note among North Korean officials, and probably their supreme leader himself, despite his well-known love for private viewings of foreign movies.

Sometimes the truth hurts, Kim.
    A Czech newspaper, Lidove Noviny, reports that a North Korean diplomat complained that the film "harms the image of our country." He was even quoted as saying, "Such behavior is not part of our country's political culture."

Apparently rampant starvation doesn't hurt the image of his country.

In related news, Michael Moore was also upset about his role in the film, joining international Islamo-fascists, the Film Actors Guild and their members Hollywood and the French.

Posted by AlexC at 2:00 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Presumably, Matt Stone and Trey Parker are very upset that others have taken offense and are currently drafting apologies...

Posted by: jk at February 9, 2005 2:41 PM