Of Super Bowls and Common Markets

Well, I did end up watching the Super Bowl, and enjoying it. It was my sort of game, but then long ago, I was a defensive tackle, who loved to see quarterbacks sacked, sometimes including our own (his ego was pretty much outsized!)

But in truth what I liked was that both teams, but especially Denver, are teams, not a few stars with a supporting cast of thousands. And that is what football is so good at teaching–that when we subsume ourselves in a team, the team can accomplish amazing things. So it was last night.

On the other hand, if we look at politics, we nearly always see so-called stars and their unknown supporters, and I’m inclined to think that sacking the quarterback a few (dozen) times might improve their attitude. And from what I hear from Americans, I don’t think I’m alone, and that a majority of Americans, in either party, or none, think the same thing. As always, football teaches life lessons.

In particular, I’ve been watching Cameron’s EU sell-out. Maybe Americans are particularly sensitive to our sovereignty–after all, that was the reason that we didn’t ratify the Treaty of Versailles after World War 1. But the real reason was that we realized that we had built something very special here, and we meant to protect it. Many of us still do.

The same is true for the people who live in Great Britain. After all, most of the sources of the American Experiment are British, as our founders were proud to be. So we watch in sadness, as the cousins increasingly turn their backs on our common heritage to become just more European trash. Suzanne Evans had something to say the other day about Call me Dave’s simple dishonesty in presenting the choice.

So, we finally get to see Dave’s ‘EU reform’ package, and it’s not exactly huge, is it? He promised to go to Brussels and ask for a Bentley, but actually asked for a Suzuki Alto. What he’s come back with are the seat covers for a battered second-hand Trabant, and even those are only on the promise of a loan.

Failure, farce, or both? Let’s face it: Dave didn’t ever even intend to try to win significant reform. To me, the most astonishing feature of his statement to the House yesterday was his ability to tell the most incredible porkies about the ‘strong and powerful’ success he’d achieved, while keeping a straight face.

Two years ago, when Ukip was rising quickly in the polls and Tories nationwide were leaving Dave for Nigel, Dave made a big speech on the future of the EU at Bloomberg and promised an in-out referendum. “Nothing should be off the table,” he said, and laid out reforms he said were necessary, on migrant jobs and benefits, immigration, justice and human rights, and returning laws on energy, environment, crime, social affairs business and employment, so the UK parliament had the last say. The sensible and honest among us shook our heads, knowing he didn’t stand a chance of getting even this, which still left out a whole swathe of issues in which we are in hock to Brussels, not least farming, fishing and financial services.

But on went the charade. Slowly the big issues he’d pledged to tackle were dropped.

 

via Suzanne Evans: Dave’s European pantomime. A straight lift from slippery Harold Wilson’s playbook – The Conservative Woman.

And that’s part of what really irritates me here: The sheer ignorance of thinking his electorate is so stupid as to follow his self-servicing lies at all, let alone willingly and enthusiastically.

Time for our British friends to sack the quarterback, I think.

Is It Time To Admit Character Doesn’t Matter?

Sadly, this is pretty much true. In some ways, we have been lying to ourselves all my life, and likely much longer.

[…] Maybe we vote largely on policy or, as they say, an assessment as to which candidate is best for our wallet, but character is a deal-breaker. Bad character equals no vote, it is thought. Hence: Unleash the dogs of investigative journalism and lay bare as many foibles, peccadilloes, and bad grade-school report cards you can unearth. It goes to character.

How much more do we need to see to know this notion is entirely preposterous? The only character issues most voters care about are the ones associated with the candidates they have no intention of voting for: Yes, those character flaws they care about. A lot. […]

Three presidents, [Kennedy, Nixon, Clinton] all men of very questionable “character,” as that term is customarily (and rather incessantly) applied in the context of presidential political gymnastics. No, that’s not all they were, but it is certainly part of what they were.

All three were given a pass by the majority of the electorate, and they were given that pass for the same reason and in the same way Hillary and Donald are currently being given a “character” pass.

That Brings Us to Hillary and Donald

Does anyone—other than Hillary supporters—have the ability to un-see the completely obvious corruption, insider finagling, roaring personal ambition, arrogance, phony-baloney pandering, and habitual prevarication (okay, call it “Clintonian Parsing”) that has draped her entire career, a level of broad-based malfeasance that would not only disqualify anyone else for any public office, but most likely land him in the pokey?

He is a guy willing to cut off the health insurance of a deathly ill infant nephew if it suits his purposes.

Does anyone—other than Trump supporters—not understand that he has made his fortune by cynically buying off politicians to get them to put their thumbs on the scale, his scale; that, over and over he has shown a willingness to say or do anything to further his own personal interests, happy to roll over anyone or anything that stands in his way; that at his own father’s funeral all he could talk about was himself, that he is a guy willing to cut off the health insuranceof a deathly ill infant nephew if it suits his purposes; that he is a nasty, mean-spirited bully obsessed with self-aggrandizement so rampaging that it is possible to imagine him doing just about anything, changing any position at any time, in order to get his next magazine cover; and that his level of debate discourse rises only insignificantly above “Your mother wears combat boots”?

They don’t care. Or, more accurately, character only counts if it’s the other guy we’re talking about, and, even then, it only counts with people already inclined against the candidate, serving to deepen their antipathy, not create it.

via Is It Time To Admit Character Doesn’t Matter?.

I’d say it is, or it’s time to get over our prejudices and make it matter again.

Buy Ammo

We talk about problems almost everyday here, and most of them, while we (and you) may know at least some of the answers, nobody is likely to ask us. Not least because the correct answers would probably cost them, at least, some of their mostly ill-gotten gains (Yes, you can easily read rent-seeking and corruption here).

Still if enough of us yell about it, and take what actions we can, we may well improve the situation. Donald Trump is an indication of that. Personally, I detest the idea of him as President, it’s almost like a third term of Obama in my mind, just like Clinton. But that’s me, I can remember when the Constitution stood for something, and that something was real equality, equality under the law. Which is the only kind of equality government can legitimately provide. All else is theft of one kind or another. But he has certainly changed the debate in the last year.

But, in many ways, the president is constrained by Congress and the courts, and that will be more true, not less, for a president who seeks to rule constitutionally. And America (Europe, as well) has embarked on a journey into uncharted territory, we are only a stone’s throw from catastrophe. Or as Kurt Schlichter puts it, walking a tightrope over chaos.

And so, I think Kurt has one of the answers for what we, individually, can do. It’s an important piece of the puzzle, and one that perhaps more than any other, separates America from the rest of the world: Buy Ammo.

Why is that important, Because the American people, almost alone in the world, have reserved sovereignty to themselves. Everyone else, even it seems, the British, who taught us, have sold their freedom to the government for a little temporary safety. They will (and in fact already are) finding they now have neither. Sad, but that was their (actually their grandparents) choice. Seems the Brits can’t even figure out that fleeing the sinking ship of Europe is a good idea. But we, who have done more to defend Europe in the last hundred years than anyone, know better. I doubt we will try again, three strikes and you’re out, you know.

In the last analysis, as Americans, it is up to us to defend our friends and families, our communities, and yes, our country and our Constitution. There is no one in the world to whom we can turn to for help, as an organization, although we will find many people, as the scales of propaganda fall from their eyes, who will cheer us on, and help individually, but it is up to us, each of us, individually, to decide if America, the dream, and the promise, of the last 250 years is worth keeping alive. Buy Ammo!

Here’s the Colonel:

I have never, ever had anyone tell me that he had too much ammunition.  Not in a combat zone, not in a civil disaster, not even in peacetime.  Never.  Nor have I lived through a time where our governing class was so deeply corrupt, so utterly foolish, and so dangerously focused on the perpetuation of its own power that it risked bringing down everything we have built not merely in the United States but in the entire West.

Right now, if you are watching the news, you have questions about the future.  And the answer to all of them is to buy ammo.

Buying ammo is a no-lose proposition.  Look, the worst thing that happens if you buy more ammo is that you have more ammo.  Plus, much of our consumer ammo is made by hardworking Americans, and many of those ammo makers are located in red states where the right to keep and bear arms is celebrated and respected.  So you’re helping fellow conservative Americans, which is good.  And you’re infuriating people like that sanctimonious, Second Amendment-hating incompetent infesting the White House, which is great. […]

Now, many of our urban liberal friends will not understand why we insist on ensuring that we have plenty of guns and ammo.  They are, not coincidentally, the same urban liberals who don’t understand how creating economic and political chaos by screwing up the economy, coddling crooks, allowing unrestricted immigration, refusing to defeat our enemies, and frittering away the rule of law all act to undermine this wonderful island of relative peace and stability we call the United States.  The über-beta editor of a well-known liberal website once chided me on Twitter for pointing out the fact that civilization walks on a tightrope over a chasm of chaos, telling me I was essentially nuts for thinking this could all fall apart much faster and much more violently than any of us imagine.  But I was not nuts.  I was remembering.  I was remembering Los Angeles on fire during the Rodney King riots.  I spent three weeks on the streets with the Army during that little life lesson based out of an armory south of I-10 and east of the 405.  Let’s just say that it was a looty, shooty area.  So I don’t need chaos lessons from some tweedy femboy, nor do you.  It may not be apocalypse now, but it could very well be apocalypse soon.

Do you think our elite is going to protect you during the next “uprising?”  Remember, it’s a “riot” only if elite liberals are at risk like they were when Beverly Hills got threatened; it’s an “uprising” if only you are.  Remember that “stand down” order in Baltimore?

Do you think the Iranians and our other enemies haven’t been watching Team Feckless in inaction and thought about popping off a hot rock or two a hundred miles above Kansas City to fry all our wonderful electronic gizmos with EMP?  A couple days after our logistics networks go down those urban hipsters are going to learn what really constitutes a “food desert.”

And this:

But deterrence is a wonderful thing.  An armed, trained populace is not only prepared for when things go bad, but the fact that it is armed and trained makes it much less likely that things will go bad in the first place.  Last year, Americans voted for liberty by buying well over 15 million new guns.  That’s roughly 40,000 a day, every day.  That’s enough to arm three infantry divisions.

Every.  Single.  Day.

Just don’t forget to buy ammo.

via Buy Ammo – Kurt Schlichter – Page full.

I call that

A good start!

Rewriting History

imageAt some point, where I’ve forgotten, Jess told us that her brother-in-law, a distinguished British historian, had a friend who had been approached after the end of the Soviet Union to help them figure out their history because it had been rewritten so much, that they no longer had a clue. That’s what the left is attempting to do here in the west now. We all know the quote from George Orwell in the picture, and the way you get that control is by rewriting history. And this is how it’s done:

Some time ago–several decades, actually–a group of us at my law firm formed a Chappaquiddick Book Club. We read three or four books on the fatal car accident that should have ended Ted Kennedy’s public career. The facts are much worse than most people realize: Kennedy presumably was drunk, but that is the least of it. After his car plunged into Poucha Pond, Kennedy saved himself but left Mary Jo Kopechne to die. In all likelihood, she could have been saved if Kennedy had simply knocked on the door of the nearest house with a light on, only yards away, and called the Edgartown rescue squad. That is what the head of the rescue squad said after he discovered Kopechne’s body inside the car, where she had wedged herself into an air pocket and probably survived for several hours, expecting help that never came.

Kennedy made no effort to save his companion. Instead, he made the long walk back to the house where he and others had been partying. He summoned his cousin Joe Gargan and tried to persuade Gargan to say that he had been driving the car. Gargan sensibly refused, but insisted that they go back to the pond and try to rescue Kopechne. Kennedy sat on the bank and watched while Gargan tried to dive down to the submerged car, unsuccessfully. Kennedy never did call the authorities, but instead returned to his hotel and attempted to set up an alibi with the night clerk.

It is a sordid story, and it soon will become a Hollywood movie. I couldn’t believe it when I learned that Rathergate was to be made into a film called TruthLies would have been a better title–and it seems equally far-fetched that anyone would want to make or invest in a film about Chappaquiddick. But apparently it is going to happen. Hollywood Reporter has the story:

Source: First Truth, Now Chappaquiddick | Power Line

That is one of the real dangers of the political/Hollywood alliance. Real history doesn’t get told, but pseudo-history does. And in truth, there is more history in any give John Ford, John Wayne movie than in all of these films, about political characters in the recent past.

Of Tar and Feathers, and Smoothbore Muskets

Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) was out in San Bernadino the other day, and he has some things to say.

He’ll get no argument from me on any of that since it’s simple common sense. But since he’s being Nebraska nice, there’s more to it than that. Because the Islamic Jihadis aren’t the only ones who dislike our freedom. Kevin D. Williamson writing at the National Review had this to say.

There are many popular demons in American public life: Barack Obama and his monarchical pretensions, Valerie Jarrett and her two-bit Svengali act, or, if your tastes run in the other direction, the Koch brothers, the NRA, the scheming behind-the-scenes influences of Big Whatever. But take a moment to doff your hat to the long, energetic, and wide-ranging careers of three of our most enduring bad guys: laziness, corruption, and stupidity, which deserve special recognition for their role in the recent debates over gun control, terrorism, and crime. The Democratic party’s dramatic slide into naked authoritarianism — voting in the Senate to repeal the First Amendment, trying to lock up governors for vetoing legislation, and seeking to jail political opponents for holding unpopular views on global warming, etc. — has been both worrisome and dramatic. The Democrats even have a new position on the ancient civil-rights issue of due process, and that position is: “F— you.” The Bill of Rights guarantees Americans (like it or not) the right to keep and bear arms; it also reiterates the legal doctrine of some centuries standing that government may not deprive citizens of their rights without due process. In the case of gun rights, that generally means one of two things: the legal process by which one is convicted of a felony or the legal process by which one is declared mentally incompetent, usually as a prelude to involuntary commitment into a mental facility. The no-fly list and the terrorism watch list contain no such due process. Some bureaucrat somewhere in the executive branch puts a name onto a list, and that’s that. The ACLU has rightly called this “Kafkaesque.” […]

Why do we put all the T. Kennedys on the list instead of the actual sack of it we’re interested in? Because running that information down and systematizing it is hard work. Reviewing that information is a lot of work, too, which is why our friend Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard and Fox News ended up on the terrorist watch list. (Amusingly, he found himself being subjected to heightened scrutiny by a dedicated cable-news viewer who instantly recognized him.) That’s all the stuff of good stories for a Stephen Hayes or a Ted Kennedy, but if you’re a bodega operator in the Bronx without connections and resources, you’re pretty well hosed. […]

The Democrats and their intellectually corrupt apologists at the New York Times and elsewhere are willing to strip Americans of their constitutional rights, to micturate from a great height upon the entire concept of due process, and to treat all of us like criminals — while doing precisely nothing to prevent school shootings, terrorism, or ordinary crime — because they don’t have the guts to tell their political clients in the schools, the mental-health bureaucracies, and the criminal-justice system that eventually they are going to have to do their goddamned jobs in exchange for the hundreds of billions of dollars we lavish upon them.

Do read it all at: Gun-control-debate-government-laziness-stupidity-corruption.

Charles C. W. Cooke adds this, and, boy howdy, do I agree with him.

Traditionally, we have used an old-fashioned tool to sort out who deserves to be punished and who does not: It’s called “the justice system.” If, as the watch list’s proponents insist, there are people among us who are too dangerous to remain at liberty, then those people must be arrested, charged, and tried tout de suite. Until that happens, they must be left the hell alone, lest the pitchforks and smoothbores that subdued the last set of usurpers start to twitch and grow restless in their retirement..

Source: Terrorism-gun-control-advocates-use-fear.


Frankly, it didn’t work out well for the lobsterbacks, and I see no reason to think the leftists are any more capable than say, Lord Cornwallis.

But for plain common sense on the subject, where it matters, let’s go back to Senator Sasse

 

Save the planet…from Barack Obama

w704 (4)Well, Obama is back from wasting, however much energy he could in his jaunt to Paris and back, to make an interminable, wasted, and wrong speech on something that no one in the world care about much, unless one is a crony-green-capitalist.

Have you noticed, as I have, that nearly every one of those bleating on (and on, and on) about global cooling global warming climate change. That’s right they stand to benefit, in money or power (and don’t kid yourself, money and power can easily be turned into each other) from the money that government steals from its citizens to fund these boondoggles.

And don’t kid yourself, they don’t give even a smidgen of a damn about anybody but themselves. Because who these policies will hurt more than anyone is the poor, in unaffordable energy, lack of jobs, lack of opportunity, and, yes, loss of liberty, as well.

If they have not taken it already, Obama’s actions and inactions portend an enormous human toll with adverse environmental consequences thrown in for good measure. Yet Obama is in Cloud Cuckooland (White House transcript here, video below) talking about imaginary catastrophes in a far-off future:

The reason is because [sic] this one trend — climate change — affects all trends. If we let the world keep warming as fast as it is, and sea levels rising as fast as they are, and weather patterns keep shifting in more unexpected ways — then before long, we are going to have to devote more and more and more of our economic and military resources not to growing opportunity for our people, but to adapting to the various consequences of a changing planet. This is an economic and security imperative that we have to tackle now. And great nations can handle a lot at once.

Obama takes his cue from Book 3 of Gulliver’s Travels, devoting himself to undoing what the scientists of Laputa sought to do. The scientist of Laputa sought to extract sunbeams from cucumbers. Obama would force sunbeams back into the cucumber — to mitigate the phenomenon formerly known as global warming. Swift! thou shouldst be living at this hour. But this might be beyond the powers of the greatest satirist ever to write in English:

You go down to Miami, and when it’s flooding at high tide on a sunny day fish are swimming through the middle of the streets.

Source: Save the planet…from Barack Obama | Power Line

Matt Ridley writing in The Spectator adds this:

The next generation is watching, Barack Obama told the Paris climate conference this week: ‘Our grandchildren, when they look back and see what we did in Paris, they can take pride in what we did.’ And that, surely, is the trouble with the entire climate-change agenda: putting the interests of rich people’s grandchildren ahead of those of poor people today.

Unfair? Not really, when you look at the policies enacted in the name of mitigating climate change. We’ve diverted 40 per cent of America’s maize crop to feeding cars instead of people, thus driving up the price of food worldwide, a move which according to one study killed about 192,000 poor people in 2010 alone, and continues to affect nutrition worldwide. We’ve restricted aid funding for fossil-fuelled power stations in developing countries, leaving many people who would otherwise have had access to electricity mired in darkness and cooking over wood-fires — the biggest environmental cause of ill health, responsible for more than three million deaths every year.

Closer to home, by pushing up energy prices with climate policies, we’ve contributed to the loss of jobs of steelworkers in Redcar and Scunthorpe, and of aluminium workers in Northumberland (where I live and where coal from under my land has supplied the now-closed Lynemouth smelter — whose power station announced this week that it will reopen as a ‘biomass’ plant, that is to say burning wood from American forests, producing more carbon dioxide per unit of energy and at twice the price of coal). We’ve also worsened fuel poverty among the poor and elderly and we’ve damaged air quality in cities. These human costs are not imaginary or theoretical: they are real.

Source: The green blob: who will protect the victims of environmentalism?

The thing is, if we are worried about people going hungry, we could run American cars without burning forty percent of our corn crop in the fuel, gasoline would be cheaper as well, although I grant that Iowa farmers might get a bit less welfare.

On the other hand, Allen Brooks, writing on www.masterresource.org reminds us:

“The earth is greener. Terrestrial ecosystems’ productivity is up 14% since 1982. Even the IPCC has acknowledged that productivity is 5% greater than that experienced during pre-industrial times. What this has meant is a significant increase in human well-being.”

“Until the movement shifts away from its witch-hunting approach to debate, the climate change believers look increasingly like the mobs that over-ran the Bastille during the French Revolution. I’m sure some of the climate change believers would be happy to see the guillotine resurrected in the Place de la Concorde (formerly Place Louis XV and then Place de la Revolution) and used against deniers and doubters. Maybe it is fitting that COP21 is being held in Paris.”

In the face of the impending COP21 conference, a new report authored by Indur Goklany for the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), CARBON DIOXIDE The good news, was published. It reminds one and all that carbon dioxide (CO2), the major manmade greenhouse gas, is not a pollutant but a positive part of the biosphere.

After reading (a lot) about it, and applying my common sense, I have reached my conclusion

It’s a Scam; and nothing else.

Many people have (and will) get rich of off government largesse, and the people (the ones who have to work for a living) will, as always, be the losers.

Even Piers Corbyn (Jeremy’s brother) has figured that out.

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