Monday, December 31, 2012

Old and busted?


Oh yeah. Leave it to the New York Times to wait for the last day of the year to come up with the worst Op-Ed of the year. The title tells you all you need to know:

Let’s Give Up on the Constitution


Our own alternative headline: Constitutional law professor really frustrated with a document that isn’t hip to the times.

We won’t do a paragraph by paragraph fisking but we will point out one particular portion:

The deep-seated fear that such disobedience [to the Constitution] would unravel our social fabric is mere superstition. As we have seen, the country has successfully survived numerous examples of constitutional infidelity. And as we see now, the failure of the Congress and the White House to agree has already destabilized the country. Countries like Britain and New Zealand have systems of parliamentary supremacy and no written constitution, but are held together by longstanding traditions, accepted modes of procedure and engaged citizens. We, too, could draw on these resources.

(italics, ours)

There’s a couple of problems with that: yes, we could and did draw upon British common law but we were a new nation. It was incumbent that we hammer-out something iron-clad that would propel our nation forward as a nation of law rather than that from which we revolted and claimed independence; the very Great Britain and its tyranny which he cites as an example of how things were done better.

Besides, as it turned out, our nation going forward did not enjoy the homogeneity of Great Britain nor New Zealand from which these longstanding traditions could be drawn. As we are constantly reminded, we are nation of immigrants and, as such, many of this nation’s new citizens came from parts of the world where concepts like freedom of speech, freedom of religion and property rights were totally, no pun intended, foreign. Yes, we attracted those foreigners and continue to do so precisely because of enshrined concepts laid down by those dead white men over 220 years ago.

We needed and continue to need a stable document that established the institutions we depend upon that rose up out of the Constitution. Scrapping the constitution is only an invitation for tyranny.

And merely surviving as a country from all the past abuses to the Constitution… how does that excuse those abuses and how does that make the Constitution any less relevant? The struggle over interpretation of the Constitution doesn’t mean you scrap it. That’s the whole idea. We all have our different interpretations and just because you believe all these different interpretations have led to all the acrimony and vitriol in politics these days, is far from any legitimate reason to scrap the Constitution.

And please try telling my parents who were rearing a young family about acrimony and vitriol as they were doing it amid protests, upheaval and assassinations in the late 60s and early 70s. What we are currently experiencing is nothing compared to what this country went through 40-45 years ago.

That column was just a thinly-veiled whine because this supposed Constitutional law professor wasn’t getting what he wanted out of politics.

And just kicking it around BwD headquarters today allowed us ample opportunity to Tweet our reaction to this wretched article:

#NYTimes doesn’t like the #Constitution, except for the parts it likes. Got it.

If you don’t like the #Constitution then garner support, consensus and votes to change it. It’s been done before. #Amendments

Newspaper that endorsed a man who granted himself the powers of indefinite detention w/o cause thinks we are too obsessed w/the #Constitution.

Political set of people who ripped previous President for shredding the Constitution now say we have an unhealthy obsession with it.

With President set too extend/expand warrantless surveillance, NYTimes thinks it’s time to scrap the Constitution. This is not a coincidence.

Those that question the individual right to bear arms also claim #healthcare is a universal right. This is what passes as statist logic.

Please feel free to expound upon those parts of the Constitution you no likey. Seriously. Give some specifics.

And our boy JD @Psudrozz replied thusly:

The font selection was horrible. 225 years ago the framers couldn’t envision the proper font. Should be scrapped.

And this from @hale_razor:

We’re at the point where liberals say the constitution is optional but Obamacare is mandatory

Sorry to wrap this up this so curtly but a hearfelt congratulations to the New York Times for sneaking in just under the wire and offering up the worst op-ed column of the year.

Video clip of the day

This one’s a laugh-riot for which we think you will agree and for which we tweeted a summation:

Celebrities at the epicenter of gun violence demanding an end to gun violence or something.

3-1/2 minutes of Hollywood actors and actresses pensive, head-cocked moralizing mashed-up with their greatest cinematic shoot-outs.

(NSFW though we wholeheartedly agree with sentiment expressed at the end of the video)

Yes. That was Jamie Foxx right out of the gate. Foxx is starring in Quentin Tarantino’s over-the-top violent neo-Spaghetti Western, Django Unchained.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, some of those folks might look familiar from also appearing in the creepiest and most sycophantic campaign video of all-time, the “I Pledge” video. This is not merely coincidental.

Alas, heartbreak: 2:33: Rich Eisen of the NFL Network. Noooooooo……


Sunday, December 30, 2012


A round-up of news items, articles, columns and blog post that caught our eye this past week.

With respect to civil liberties and privacy rights, a favorite meme of ours has become: Perhaps the only good thing about a Republican presidency is that we pay attention to this stuff.

Stuff like this:

Congress approved a measure Friday that would renew expansive U.S. surveillance authority for five more years, rejecting objections from senators who are concerned the legislation does not adequately protect Americans’ privacy.

The bill passed the Senate, 73 to 23. The House approved it in September, and President Obama is expected to sign it before the current authority expires Monday.
The lopsided Senate vote authorized a continuation of the government’s ability to eavesdrop on communications inside the United States involving foreign citizens without obtaining a specific warrant for each case. The surveillance has been credited with exposing several plots against U.S. targets but also has drawn fire from civil liberties advocates.

This was a fiercely debated and contested topic back when ol’ you know you was in office but proving, yet again, the complicity of the 4th estate and the hypocrisy of the statist-left; this time… crickets chirping.

Last week, we reported out on a NY state newspaper, the News-Journal, that was publishing the names and addresses of pistol permit holders in some downstate New York counties that surround New York City.

We found this to be an incredible abuse of the Freedom of Information Act as this was more an act of intimidation than the paper’s lamely stated goal of public safety for your neighborhood.

If the News Journal was truly concerned with public safety and knowing which one of your neighbors had guns in their home, they'd be much better served publishing the names and addresses of those folks who had a swimming pool in their backyard as those silent liquid killers are far more likely to take the life of a child than a gun.

Enter an enterprising blogger who published the names and addresses of publisher and employees of the News Journal. We're not going to link to the dude's site as we do not concur with this form of tit for tat protest but, at the same time, we can't deny a gut-level heh factor as well.

What’s that you say? The News Journal is going to double down on stupid and counter-productive by publishing the names and addresses of pistol permit holders in more counties in downstate NY?

You know what? Screw it…. Here’s enterprising blogger's link.

Silvio Canto writing for The American Thinker had a quick take on the similarities between Obama and Evita Peron which we re-printed in full below:

A few weeks ago, I watched the movie "Evita", a musical story about the late First Lady of Argentina. It was fun, enjoyable and very eerie. It reminded me of President Obama.

First, Evita told everyone what they wanted to hear. She sold the Argentine people an unsustainable list of promises. It got her husband reelected but it also wrecked the country.

Second, she "walked on water" for her supporters. She was "Saint Evita" for millions of people who wanted something to believe in. At the end of the day, she got people to vote for her husband (President Peron) by demonizing the opposition and scaring voters. (Does that sound familiar?)

Third, she campaigned for her husband (the aforementioned President Peron) by making promises no one could keep, telling the unfortunate that a fortune was around the corner, and getting a free ride from a media madly in love with her too. (Again does that sound familiar?)

There is a lot of "Evita" in Obama, especially the personality cult of so many of their supporters and the willingness of so many to overlook "results or performance".

I am just hoping that the people of the US are smarter than those of Argentina. Unfortunately, Argentina is still paying the price of Peron's populism sold to the masses by Evita's charm.

Silvio’s exactly right but he left out a very important feature of the similarities between Obama and the Peron regime: economics. Peron established economic justicialism that forged close public-private interests among the politically-favored and which also attempted to achieve the regime’s notion of social justice. Sound familiar?

Last Sunday on Meet the Press, David Gregory confronted Wayne LaPierre, President of the NRA with a high-capacity magazine. We didn’t see it so we don’t know to what purpose Gregory’s prop was to serve. What we do know is that Meet the Press sought and was denied permission by DC Metro PD from bringing the magazine onto the set as that type of magazine is outlawed in DC.

Gregory broke the law.

Metro PD says they are investigating.

Gregory broke a law that he supports to prove, what, we are not exactly sure but for a brazen act like that, after being denied permission, does Gregory think he is above the law?

Predictably, the political chat-class came rushing to Gregory’s defense. Most notably was Howard Kurtz writing for The Daily Beast complaining that Metro PD had nothing better to do than to investigate Gregory. Kurtz lamely asserts that the whole affair should be dropped because:

“I don’t think Gregory was planning to commit any crimes,"

We want to thank Howard Kurtz for defending David Gregory’s 2nd amendment rights as the overwhelming majority of gun owners and those purchasing guns, also, are not planning to commit any crimes.

And as much as we will defend Gregory’s right to bear arms as well, the fact remains that he broke the law and he should be held accountable for it.

We guess laws are just for the little people.

Related: We hear Diane Feinstein’s (D-CA) proposed assault weapons ban bill does not yet even exist. Which, of course, means the Senate will vote on it. Leave it to the Senate to not pass a budget in 3-1/2 years yet vote on bills they haven’t even read or bills that exist only as a Code Pink wish list.

Here’s B-Daddy of The Liberator Today on the schizophrenic nature of the electorate and Americans not coming to grip with the inevitable.

And fellow SLOB WC Varones expresses his own frustration with the media:

The print and broadcast media still dominate the national dialogue, and have succeeded in downplaying to outright non-coverage of everything damning to the Obama regime. It's as if Woodward and Bernstein helped Nixon cover up Watergate, and outed and smeared Deep Throat as a subversive crank.

Deep Throat as a Tea Partier?

Alright, gang, that's it for this week. We will see you all tomorrow on New Years Eve.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

At least one person is looking forward to 2013


It’s a pretty solid bet that the Affordable Care Act aka ObamaCare will be neither affordable nor primarily about improving health care in this country when its main enforcement arm will be the Internal Revenue Service.

Regardless of how the fiscal cliff negotiations pan out, Americans will be hit with a $1 trillion tax hike over the next 10 years from the 20 taxes contained within ObamaCare.

Americans for Tax Reform lays out the 5 taxes contained with ObamaCare that will be rolled out next Tuesday. They are as follows:

1. ObamaCare Medical Device Tax: 2.3% excise tax on gross sales of devices. Please note that is sales and not profits.

2. ObamaCare Flex Account Tax: Will set a cap of $2500 on the Flexible Spending Account on the 30-35 million Americans that use it. Currently, there is no federal cap, though employers can set caps of their own. This will especially hit hard the families of special needs children whom rely heavily on the FSA to pay those medical bills.

3. ObamaCare Surtax on Investment Income: 3.8% surtax on investment income earnings on those households making at least $250,000. Combine this with the jump in taxes on investment income earnings with the (expected) expiration of the Bush tax cuts and it becomes a case of piling on. For example, dividend rates may increase from 15% to 43.4%. And who said this administration wasn’t about class warfare? (go to the link for more comprehensive charts)

4. The ObamaCare “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deductions: Raises the deduction floor for medical expenses on Adjusted Gross Income from 7.5% to 10%, hitting the elderly and those with modest incomes but high medical expenses the hardest. Can't you just feel the compassion?

5. The ObamaCare Medicare Payroll Tax Hike: Currently, the Medicare payroll tax is 2.9% on wages and self-employment profits. Wages and profits exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples) will face a 3.8% rate. Again, for small business owners with a small profit margin, this is not an insignificant rate hike.

Nancy Pelosi was right. We had no idea just what was in the 2200+ page ObamaCare legislation – so we’re sure glad they passed it so we can now find out what all is in it.

And ain’t it grand?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Link of the day


Two more syllables to work into the National Anthem...


...We've been demoted.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Video clip of the day and some related thoughts


Penn and Teller break down the gun control debate in this near-30 minute video. Yes, a tad long for our ADHD society but well-worth the time.

(NSFW warning)

"Gang members like myself, like gun control laws because we know they are a joke."

It is duly noted, however, that having some poodle-walking/snuggling, sweater-wearing, city-dwelling dandy to advocate on the gun control side is some sort of set-up, right?

The notion that gun ownership is not just for protection from others but also from our government is one that is not brought up in public that often (conversation not fit for polite society?) but perhaps should be.

After all, the American Defense Authorization Act, a bipartisan affair, gives the executive branch the power to detain U.S. citizens without cause. This is fundamentally at odds with the freedoms and liberties guaranteed by the constitution, the same constitution that guarantees our right to bear arms.

Check out this from Glenn Reynolds writing for USA Today:

Is Hate A Liberal Value? A 20-year-old lunatic stole some guns and killed people. Who's to blame? According to a lot of our supposedly rational and tolerant opinion leaders, it's . . . the NRA, a civil-rights organization whose only crime was to oppose laws banning guns. (Ironically, it wasn't even successful in Connecticut, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation.)

The hatred was intense. One Rhode Island professor issued a call -- later deleted -- for NRA head Wayne LaPierre's "head on a stick." People like author Joyce Carol Oates and actress Marg Helgenberger wished for NRA members to be shot. So did Texas Democratic Party official John Cobarruvias, who also called the NRA a "terrorist organization," and Texas Republican congressman Louis Gohmert a "terror baby."

Nor were reporters, who are supposed to be neutral, much better. As The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg commented, "Reporters on my Twitter feed seem to hate the NRA more than anything else, ever. "

Calling people murderers and wishing them to be shot sits oddly with claims to be against violence. The NRA -- like the ACLU, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers or Planned Parenthood -- exists to advocate policies its members want. It's free speech. The group-hate directed at the NRA is ugly and says ugly things about those consumed by it.

Hey, Glenn, don't you know that civility and courteous discourse are only for us knuckle-dragging, bitter-clingers in fly-over country. Hatred emitted from the ruling class is just their awesomeness leaking out.

Monday, December 24, 2012

And where the 4th estate is not doing their side of the debate any favors


There are many well-meaning folks out there that believe in the 2nd amendment but also believe in strict gun control. We can sympathize with these people. We may not agree with them but we can understand their belief that by simply restricting the quantity of guns in legal circulation, you can lower crime and perhaps even prevent massacres like what happened 2-1/2 weeks ago in Newtown, CT.

This post isn’t directed at those folks. For years, we have believed that for the rabid anti-gun left, it wasn’t about gun control and the resulting public safety benefits – it was about control, period. We have before us a shining example of this and it is represented by a New York state newspaper owned by the Gannett Company which has seen fit to publish an interactive pin map that provides the names and addresses of all registered pistol owners in the Westchester and Rockland counties.

Call it control through intimidation as we can see no reasonable explanation for why the Lower Hudson Journal News chose to do this other than what we have stated.

It’s reminiscent of similar maps that were available on the internet that provided the names and addresses of those who gave financial support to California’s Prop. 8 initiative (opposed same-sex marriage) back in 2008.

The paper obtained the permit records via the Freedom of Information Act but provided no explanation of why they decided to compile the data and publish it in the form of the map.

It is duly noted that advises commenters to be "smart and civil". Precisely what is smart and civil about publishing this map? What did the paper hope to achieve towards creating a "civil environment for conversation" by publishing this map? Further noted from the comment section is that no one else thought this was a keen idea either.

With the internet and Twitter rife with anti-2nd amendment idiots calling for the deaths of NRA members and gun owners, this is appalling.

For those out there seeking stricter gun control laws while insisting they are not coming for our guns, what the Journal News did is not doing anything to convince us otherwise.


Sunday, December 23, 2012



A weekly round-up of news items, articles, columns and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.

In the wake of the massacre at Newtown, CT, we perceived this notion that in someway and somehow, the NRA was supposed to answer for what happened there. And we perceived this as coming from both sides of the gun debate, though, obviously more so on the gun control side of the aisle.

And then the NRA buys into this ridiculous notion by holding that press conference on Friday that called for armed policemen in schools. We haven’t thought this through long enough to opine on whether or not this is a good idea but the press became predictably apoplectic that the president of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, did not take questions afterwards. Mind you, this is the same press that has not ever seemed to mind the lack of press conferences held by this current administration.

Let us modify the above paragraph: The press became predictably apoplectic that the NRA was holding a presser at all. This notion that somehow the NRA had to provide answers to what happened two Fridays ago was met with howling and raging criticism from the press who would’ve behaved in exactly the same manner no matter what LaPierre said, so from a strategic stangpoint, we fail to understand what the NRA gained by deciding to go forward with the presser.

And as usual, the anti-gun left continues to demonstrate what hypocrites they are when it comes to civility and having civil discourse on anything they reflexively hate by blowing up twitter with death threats against members of the NRA and gun owners in general.

IBD headline: States Give ObamaCare a Massive Vote of No Confidence

In order to purchase health insurance through the federal government, ObamaCare envisioned the states setting up exchanges or marketplaces through which individuals could purchase insurance for themselves and/or their families.

Unfortunately, the rules and regulations for just how these exchanges would operate have been slow in rolling out. Add onto that the fact that the IT infrastructure that would give the state exchanges the ability to “talk” to the federal administrators of ObamaCare is nowhere close to being set up, you have a massive bureaucratic/administrative nightmare on your hands just a year before ObamaCare is implemented in anger.

The Obama administration wins the Capt. Louie Renault award for being shocked, shocked that just 18 states have agreed to set up these exchanges. The 32 others, including 8 with Democratic governors have said no thanks for shouldering the massive costs associated with setting up and running the exchanges and who, given the current set of circumstances, could blame them?

ObamaCare is already churning out the results one would expect of legislation cobbled together to garner just enough votes to pass but not necessarily to improve the state of healthcare in our country.

How’s that whole Arab Spring working out?

Egypt's new Sharia-based constitution has been approved in a second round of voting, the ruling Muslim Brotherhood party said. The country's opposition leveled accusations of fraud, saying it will appeal the referendum results.

The new charter was approved by 64 percent of Egyptian voters in a “resounding victory,” state news agency al-Ahram reported on Sunday. The preliminary tallies were calculated from reports by polling station officials. Egypt's election committee will confirm the final results on Monday.

Egypt's main opposition party the National Salvation Front (NSF) announced Sunday it will appeal the results of the referendum. NSF members alleged there were multiple instances of “fraud and violations” during the voting process.

“The referendum is not the end of the road. It is only one battle,” the NSF’s Abdel Ghaffer Shokr said, pledging to continue “the fight for the Egyptian people.”

The opposition has asked the electoral commission to “investigate the irregularities” before the vote's official results are announced on Monday.

“They’ve seen a number of instances of possible vote rigging, including unsupervised polling stations, missing ballot papers, stuffed ballot boxes,” Cairo-based journalist Bel Trew told RT. There were also reports of Salafist groups at polling stations coercing people into voting 'yes' on the new document, Trew said.

The opposition also criticized the first round of voting last Saturday, citing various incidents of fraud that have yet to be investigated.

Leading from behind: Putting guns and RPGs into the hands of rebel Islamists, our sworn enemies, to overthrow existing regimes in the Middle East which has only served to further destabilize the region and which has also resulted in restrictions on human rights and civil liberties more so than those previous regimes.

That’s pretty much the sum of it, no? Please let us know if we’ve left out any of the essentials.

They keep telling us they aren’t coming for our guns but emboldened to take cynical advantage of the massacre in CT, lawmakers and tastemakers in this country feel free to unburden themselves of their true intentions ever more increasingly:

In a radio interview on Thursday with Albany’s WGDJ-AM, New York governor Andrew Cuomo said that he plans to work with state legislators next month to submit a proposal for new gun-control laws; in particular, Cuomo said, “our focus is assault weapons,” because current state laws regulating the weapons “have more holes that Swiss cheese.”
“I don’t think legitimate sportsmen are going to say, ‘I need an assault weapon to go hunting,’” he said.

Cuomo continued, “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it.”

The governor will propose the new gun-control legislation in his State of the State address on January 9.

(italics, ours)

B-Daddy at The Liberator Today has some advise for his son and his union job at a local grocery store here in San Diego.

KT over at the Scratching Post is unimpressed with your fiscal cliff:

I'm not sure what just happened. As I understand it, the House Republicans decided not to offer President Obama a bill he had promised to veto which would have done practically nothing to avert our upcoming fiscal catastrophe. Of the major problems facing the nation,

1. Fiscal collapse from massive debts and deficits,
2. Economic sclerosis from metastasizing, omnipresent regulations and
3. Social stratification from the growth of secular, libertine religious values

The fiscal cliff deal would have changed none of them. If it's not tackling any of our top three problems, I don't see why the event is such a big deal.

Now, we're not digging the potential of paying $2,000 more in taxes next year so there is a visceral compoenent for us but taking the long view, KT is exactly right. But unfortunately, the country voted to keep in the party in power in the Senate and the Oval Office; a party of which does not even acknowlege those three problems exist.

OK, gang. That's it for today. We hope everyone is enjoying Christmas and Holdiay festivities with family, friends and loved ones as we have had the joy in doing for the past week. We hope to see it continue for another week or so.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Radio KBwD is on the air


We think we may have spun this tune before but we aren't too sure. Regardless, it remains one of our favorite rock'n'roll Christmas carols, so we hope you will enjoy its renewal as well.

Ladies and Gentlemen, from across the pond, it's Sir Elton John performing "Step into Christmas".

Your California high speed choo-choo update


We've written at length on the challenges faced by California's high-speed choo-choos, primarily on the fiscal end of things where Governor Brown has purposely and cynically de-scoped the project to get the price tag from the $100 billion range to merely $68 billion (as advertised at time of inception $33 - 40 Bil) by carving out the electrification and the whole actual choo-choos parts.

As engineers, we've touched on, in general terms, the logistics and civil engineering challenges also posed by employing 19th century technology and expecting 21st century results. The biggest physical hurdle the choo-choo project will face and what jumped out at us as obvious when we first heard about the project was how was the trans-peninsular range of the Tehachapi Mountains going to be negotiated.

The video below is a a great illustration of a Southern Pacific freight train slowly making its way around the Tehachapi Loop between L.A. and Bakersfield at a speed of 10-15 mph, essentially traveling a mile or so and making up absolutely zero ground over land.

You see, a steel on steel mode of transportation is terribly inefficient on grades and, in fact, as the Loop makes abundantly clear, the rule of thumb for gradients is to not exceed 1% elevation change. Would high-speed train technology make anything different. Possibly but from strictly an intuitive standpoint, probably not much. (Traveling at 40-50 mph would be a quantum improvement over the freight speeds but still a snail's pace by high-speed standards.)

$68 Billion in and we have before us yet one engineering/logistics challenge out of possibly many more no one really thought through before this project was put on the ballot back in 2008.

H/T: Leslie at Temple of Mut

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Some not so random thoughts of the day


We saw this on Instapundit a couple of days ago and with respect to the massacre in Connecticut, we thought it worth sharing:


Why do people who favor gun-control call people who disagree with them murderers or accomplices to murder? Is that constructive?

Would any of the various proposals have actually prevented the tragedy that is the supposed reason for them?

When you say you hope that this event will finally change the debate, do you really mean that you hope you can use emotionalism and blood-libel-bullying to get your way on political issues that were losers in the past?

If you’re a media member or politician, do you have armed security? Do you have a permit for a gun yourself? (I’m asking you Dianne Feinstein!) If so, what makes your life more valuable than other people’s?

Do you know the difference between an automatic weapon and a semi-automatic weapon? Do your public statements reflect that difference?

If guns cause murder, why have murder rates fallen as gun sales have skyrocketed?

Have you talked about “Fast and Furious?” Do you even know what it is? Do you care less when brown people die?

When you say that “we” need to change, how are you planning to change? Does your change involve any actual sacrifice on your part?

Let me know when you’re ready to talk about these things. We’ll have a conversation.

Our thoughts:

We've been shocked and sickened by what went down in Newtown, CT this past Friday. What happened there was no "tragedy"... what happened there was pure evil and which resulted in a massacre and we will call it nothing else.

We've also been shocked and sickened by the call for violence upon and death to gun owners and, in particular, NRA members. We've let our membership lapse but next chance we get it will be renewed as nothing provokes a swift reaction in us as a vile and unhinged initial action.

We've never witnessed anything like it before on social media but wishing violence upon those whom you deem unenlightened and backwards does not make you, in turn, enlightened and progressive.

The statist-left will tell you they love freedom but we can now only assume it's freedom as practiced by them, not those in the fly-over portions of this country.

It's now beyond obvious that this debate is not about gun control or the public safety benefits that the statist-left believes more gun control laws will yield, it's about control, period. It's about control and an unhinged hatred of freedoms guaranteed by the 2nd amendment as practiced by primarily rural, non-coastal, whites - a demogaphic of bitter-clingers of whom are as foreign to them as would be Martians if they landed here tomorrow.

Never again do we want to be lectured about civility by a set of people who have been as hypocritical in that regard as humanly possible. What we've always known about the control-mad statist-left has only been confirmed as what has been amplified over these past few days has only served to move the needle for those on the fence.

The lines have been drawn and it cannot be any clearer what separates us. Were we in any sort of position, we would oppose most any manner of gun control legislation not only on the merits of fact and reason but, now, also out spite.

Congratulations, gang, on that whole raising-the-level-of-discourse thing. It has served only to harden our hearts. We hope to, in the near future, rise up out of this funk but until then and to those of you out there who have nothing but hatred for us, we wish you nothing but peace, love and the Almighty's infinite graciousness.




Monday, December 17, 2012



A darn-near weekly round-up of news items, columns, articles and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.

We unplugged Friday afternoon and just shut things down as far as participation in social media (Twitter and Facebook) because that was not the place to be in light of what happened in Connecticut. Instead we were rescued to two scheduled events, one on Saturday and one on Sunday that afforded us the opportunity to hang out with family, friends and loved ones.

Our favorite patriotic billionaire, Warren Buffett, whose crusade to raise taxes on the rich was in the news this past week but for a reason we don’t think he wants too publicized.

Warren Buffett's $1.2 billion share buyback from a single unnamed investor likely helped that person's estate save substantially on taxes, just one day after the Berkshire Hathaway CEO said the rich should actually be paying more, not less, when they die.

With the "fiscal cliff" looming and estate taxes set to rise dramatically in less than three weeks, the timing was seen as advantageous - and, according to Berkshire watchers, also out of place in the context of Buffett's recent tax activism.

"I would say 'Warren, would you please just keep your nose out of this.' He's not in a position to criticize what's good for America and for everyone else's estate," said Anthony Sabino, a professor of business at St. John's University. "He's no doubt utilized the present tax code to maximum effect."

Berkshire said it bought 9,200 Class A shares from "the estate of a long-time shareholder," whom it did not name, at $131,000 per share, a price in line with where Berkshire has traded in recent weeks.

Buffett's assistant didn't respond to a request for comment on the shareholder's identity. The shares represent 1 percent of Berkshire's Class A stock.

Being the gentlemen that we are, we will refrain from calling him what we really think he is rather we'll just say this action appears rather inconsistent with his call for higher taxes.

And in totally related news, it looks like another of Obama’s BFF’s, Eric Schmidt of Google, is operating his business in a totally legal matter and totally in keeping with rational behavior, i.e, he wants to minimize as much as possible Google’s tax burden.

Google chairman Eric Schmidt has insisted that he is "very proud" of the company's tax structure, and said that measures to lower its payments were just "capitalism".

Mr Schmidt's comments risk inflaming the row over the amount of tax multinationals pay, after it emerged that Google funnelled $9.8bn (£6.07bn) of revenues from international subsidiaries into Bermuda last year in order to halve its tax bill.

However, Mr Schmidt defended the company's legitimate tax arrangements. “We pay lots of taxes; we pay them in the legally prescribed ways,” he told Bloomberg. “I am very proud of the structure that we set up. We did it based on the incentives that the governments offered us to operate.”

“It’s called capitalism,” he said. “We are proudly capitalistic. I’m not confused about this.”

In Britain Vince Cable was unimpressed by Mr Schmidt’s views. The Business Secretary told The Daily Telegraph: “It may well be [capitalism] but it’s certainly not the job of governments to accommodate it.”

If Google is operating within the law, we would like to know from Mssr. Cable in what manner and device should not the government accommodate Google’s business model?

It’s obvious he believes Google should be giving more of their money to the government, so, champ, out with it: how would you like to do it?

And in both cases regarding Buffett and Schmidt, there is obviously a disconnect between their public rhetoric and what they practice. It doesn’t take a psychologist to figure out what it is these men believe with respect to capitalism and tax avoidance.

Every day, seemingly, we find out yet another way that ObamaCare is doing or going to do exactly the opposite of what it was designed to do with respect to bending downward the healthcare cost curve. And lo and behold, even some people who voted for the disgrace are catching on and not liking what they see as the tax on medical devices contained within ObamaCare will hit their constituents.

Minnesota's two senators sought Monday to delay a tax on medical devices that was expected to add $28 billion over the next decade to help pay for health care reform.

Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken pointed to thousands of high-paying jobs that device companies support in Minnesota, headquarters to such giant devicemakers as Medtronic and St. Jude Medical. The industry has painted the tax as a job killer that would hurt innovation.

"The delay would give us the opportunity to repeal or reduce that tax," said Klobuchar, co-author of a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid seeking the delay.

Repeal is the ultimate goal of the letter's 18 signers, including Klobuchar, Franken and all the heavy hitters in the Senate Democratic leadership. But politically that would be virtually impossible before Jan. 1, said Norman Ornstein, a congressional expert with the American Enterprise Institute.

"Because of the fiscal cliff, everybody has to sacrifice," Ornstein said. "To say repeal the tax at this point is a nonstarter."

Franken agreed. "I don't think we're going to be able to kill the tax by the end of the year," he said.

But delaying the tax would give opponents more time to find a different source of federal income or new budget cuts to offset lost device tax revenues. The industry has been skeptical of the argument behind the tax -- that devicemakers will benefit from the health care law through increased demand for their products.

Awww… Isn’t that sweet? Nearing 3 years after the bill was signed into law, some of our nation’s lawmakers are figuring out what’s in legislation they so vigorously supported and are not liking what they are finding.

And we remain skeptical of the contention that the device-makers will benefit because of increased demand. The majority of those new people who will be forced to sign up for health care are younger, healthier people who will not be utilizing these devices.

Again, another day and another way where were finding how expensive ObamaCare will be and how many jobs stand to be lost because of it.

Some thoughts on the massacre in Connecticut that went down this past Friday:

Columbine/Aurora in 1999, Santana/San Diego in 2001 and now Newtown in 2012. All of them predominantly white, middle/upper middleclass suburban neighborhoods.

Over the past decade plus, is what we have witnessed and are currently dealing with the manifestation of the white progressive participation-trophy culture?

We coddle our children and feminize our boys to a degree that there develops a sense of entitlement and detachment from a reality where actions do indeed have consequences.

We have dumbed-down our culture with moral relativism to where our nation’s youth do not have a sense of right and wrong only that their self-esteem gets stroked to the highest possible degree. You didn’t win league, kid – no worries here’s a trophy and a pat on the head. As long as no one runs afoul of the mercy rule, everybody’s a winner.

And dumbed-down our culture with moral relativism to a degree we call the shooting a tragedy. It wasn't a tragedy. It was a evil, barbaric massacre, yet our sense of correctness and right-thinking prevents us from calling it that.

A generation of young white suburban males that were not taught by their parents, teachers or coaches to achieve, rather to feel and experience.

And when one of those white suburban males figures out the harsh realities of life doesn’t click with his own inward self-directed take on things and you throw in mental instability on top of it, you find yourself sitting on a potential powder keg.

Does the above explain the 3 aforementioned school shootings. Certainly not in totality but the similarity of circumstances and demographics cannot be ignored: we have done the white middle class millennials a disservice by indoctrinating them in a progressive, feminized culture that values feelings over accomplishment.



Friday, December 14, 2012

Sarah sez


One in a series that takes a look at some of the wild, zany and madcap things said by the former governor of Alaska.

Palin was talking politics and the consequences of President Obama’s successful re-election bid and with it she gives her insights to opposition to the President and his policies and how she believes a constitutional republic should look when she suggested that perhaps the only thing left for the President to do was to make like “a third-world dictator and throw these guys (the opposition) in jail.”

No, Palin is undergoing chemo or anything like that. The dictatorial-championing guest there on Al Sharpton’s show was dictator-loving former pop sensation, Harry Belafonte.

The clip cut him off so maybe we missed him explain how it is that a 51-48 victory in the popular vote is a mandate. We recall landsides in the electoral college and 20 point margins back in ’80 and ’84 and people were still saying mean and nasty stuff about Reagan and opposing his policies. Maybe ol’ Harry forgot about that.

And for those of you who think Harry has lost it; in actuality what Belafonte is talking about as the ultimate end of progressivism has already been codified in law as the President does indeed have the power to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens without cause via the National Defense Authorization Act.

Politics trumps everything to those on the left. No rational discussion regarding our completely unsustainble entitlement programs can be had because they are the sacred cows of the left and even suggesting some sort of reform measures while their messiah is in office is danm-near treason.

Willing to cede to even modest reforms to Social Security and Medicare is to admit to the defeat of social democracy model for which they fought so hard and which is in process of ruining Europe as we speak. As such, they are completely content to fiddle away as Washington D.C. and soon after, the rest of the country burns.

Jail? We voted ourselves to that.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A few words about the uh... estate tax


Let's just get this out of the way upfront: we find the estate tax or, more accurately, the death tax to be morally reprehensible. Despite moral high ground claims by its supporters that they are merely defending democracy by preventing generation-to-generation dynastic wealth or something, it's nothing more than a naked money grab on people's wealth that in many cases has been taxed once already.

And as we're set to go over the fiscal cliff and see the death tax rate increase (currently the death tax is 35% after a $5 million exemption. If no deal is reached between the President and the Republicans, the death tax will shoot up to 55% after only a $1 million exemption), we find that many people's fortune is not liquid or in stock portfolio's rather land and physical assets.

From Fox News:

Rancher Kevin Kester works dawn to dusk, drives a 12-year-old pick-up truck and earns less than a typical bureaucrat in Washington D.C., yet the federal government considers him rich enough to pay the estate tax -- also known as the "death tax."

And with that tax set to soar at the beginning of 2013 without some kind of intervention from Congress, farmers and ranchers like Kester are waiting anxiously.

"There is no way financially my kids can pay what the IRS is going to demand from them nine months after death and keep this ranch intact for their generation and future generations," said Kester, of the Bear Valley Ranch in Central California.

Two decades ago, Kester paid the IRS $2 million when he inherited a 22,000-acre cattle ranch from his grandfather. Come January, the tax burden on his children will be more than $13 million.

For supporters of a high estate tax, which is imposed on somebody's estate after death, Kester is the kind of person they rarely mention. He doesn't own a mansion. He's not the CEO of a multi-national. But because of his line of work, he owns a lot of property that would be subject to a lot of tax.

"Our number one goal is to repeal the estate tax, to get rid of it, not have it for every generation, when I die and my kids die and so on," he told Fox News. "For everyone to have to re-purchase the ranch or farm over and over for each generation, that's inherently unjust. So what we're doing is asking our politicians to understand that and repeal the estate tax."

That, however, is unlikely. Currently, the federal government taxes estates worth $5 million dollars and up at 35 percent. When the Bush-era tax rates expire in January, rates increase to 55 percent on estates of $1 million or more. While some Republicans want to eliminate the death tax entirely, President Obama has proposed a 45 percent rate on estates of $3.5 million and up.

"The idea behind the estate tax is to prevent the very wealthy among us from accumulating vast fortunes that they can pass along to the next generation," said Patrick Lester, director of Federal Fiscal Policy with the progressive think tank -- OMB Watch. "The poster child for the estate tax is Paris Hilton -- the celebrity and hotel heiress. That's who this is targeted at, not ordinary Americans."

We are neither envious nor desirous of Paris Hilton's fortune no matter how ill-begotten you believe it is. And no matter how ill-begotten, we've got a huge problem with the federal government "targeting" private citizens no matter how benign or just that government's intentions.

And guess what? The death tax does target and does effect ordinary Americans. Not only Kevin Kester but perhaps someone or some family you know.

We are close to family that is dealing with this as we speak as "Isaac" and "Jane" are advanced in years, in failing health and may not be around for too much longer.

This family is not super-rich by any stretch of the imagination but back in the 60s and 70s while still in the Navy, Isaac made some shrewd real estate investments/purchases which afforded his family a comfortable middle-class lifestyle and which afforded his children a good education.

Now, why should this family even have to worry about shedding some/most/all of their assets that could otherwise be used to fund the education of the grandchildren? Why should Isaac be forced to make a decision on the modest beachfront house in San Diego he purchased decades ago on the relative cheap and which is now worth millions and now serves as the family's weekend/stay-cation retreat?

Much like Kevin Kester, the modest fortune that Isaac and Jane are sitting on is not made up of liquid assets whose alacrity is better suited to whatever good intentions supporter of the death tax believe it merits, rather in real estate holdings upon which whose assumed values the family will be stuck paying the usurious death tax.

Isaac and Jane and their family are being punished because Isaac and Jane were successful at investing. The federal government is punishing Isaac and Jane for being outstanding providers for their family. The death tax as it currently stands and more so if the rate goes up and the exemption level comes down is a disincentive to shrewd investing, innovation and hard work. And when the federal government thinks it can lay claim to what you built over the decades in order to set up your family, you have a situation that is perverse and, yes, morally reprehensible.



Some not so random thoughts for the day


We were going back in our email archives looking for a particular transmission when we ran across the following. It was in response to a loved one who thought we should bring back the draft. Oddly enough and completely anecdotally, we’ve found the strongest support for bringing back the draft to be among those that were subjected to it and/or served in this nation’s military.

Here’s our view of things 6 years ago in our pre-blogging days which still hold true and which we also invite you to share your thoughts on the matter in the comment section:

Draft? Bad idea. I don't want to be in a foxhole with someone who doesn't want to be there. What? 18 yr. old kids don't know what they want to do with their lives? What's new? This hasn't changed since Moses was a mess cook. Also, this takes an arrow out of the quiver of the anti-war set. The bitch about Vietnam was that it was taking 18 yr. old kids right out of their homes and throwing them into the jungle without them ever asking to be. In a modern society, that point has some legitimacy.

Today's all-volunteer armed forces are populated by people that are fully cognizant they may be asked to fight in a war that they may not necessarily believe in. They know this the moment they sign up. This eliminates any sort of "moral dilemma" that should otherwise not be part of the equation in determining whether or not we are going overseas to kick someone's ass.

Also, you will run into the same problems where the poor kids both black, white and Hispanic will be disproportionately represented while the rich and middle-class kids will be commuted because they are at college. Whether this indeed will be the case, the draft will be generalized as such and that is not the image our nation's military should have.

Finally, the most effective military fighting force this planet has ever seen resides in our country's armed forces which is fully voluntary. The correlation between those two facts is not coincidental. We have a motivated and dedicated group of people in our military that all, generally speaking, want to be there - why mess with what truly works. It appears that re-introducing the draft is a solution in search of a problem

Again, your thoughts on the matter are appreciated. Thanks.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Graphic image of the day


The pitchfork-wielding mobs, rightly or wrongly, always seem to be out for the heads of Wall Street execs for their roles in the financial meltdown a few years back which led to the Great Recession and, in particular, the salaries and bonuses they receive.

With respect to the two institutions that were at the epicenter of aforementioned meltdown however, how is it that the salaries of the executives at Government-Sponsored Entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have escaped attention and scrutiny?

(click to enlarge)

We suppose that malfeasance as practiced by a quasi-government entity with tax-payer money isn't viewed in the same manner as a private entity's malfeasance with private capital. Just ask Kenneth Lay. And if it is malfeasance with private capital, you sure as hell better be politically-connected. Just ask John Corzine.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A potential legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act flying under the radar


Though ObamaCare survived it first Supreme Court challenge back in June in National Federation of Independent Business v. The Department of Health and Human Services , there are no fewer than 40 other legal challenges to the law currently in the court system. And though the ObamaCare penalty/tax for non-participation has not yet been applied (starts in 2014), the Uniformity clause in the Constitution may provide a new opening by which the law may be shot down once it is.

We've broken down the linked Wall Street Journal article in bullet form for easier consumption regarding how it is this may go down:

1. The Supreme Court ruled that Congress could not enforce the individual mandate in ObamaCare via the "commerce clause".

2. However, SCOTUS did rule that the individual mandate could be enforced by Congress as the penalty for not signing up for ObamaCare was not a "penalty" rather a "tax" which is enforceable by Congress.

3. SCOTUS also ruled that individual states were not compelled to enroll in ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion program nor are they compelled to set up the health insurance exchanges to assist individuals in purchasing health insurance. Thus far, 7 states (with more likely to follow) have chosen this route.

4. As written in the law, individuals who do not sign up for health insurance will be subjected to a "tax" which might make economic sense if the tax burden is less than the cost of health insurance.

5. If an individual wishes to participate in the Medicaid expansion program to acquire health insurance but resides in a state that has decided to "opt out", then that person will be subjected to the ObamaCare tax.

6. The Uniformity clause in the Constitution (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1) requires the tax to be "be uniform throughout the United States."

7. And although the court has upheld as "uniform" taxes that affect states differently in practice, precedent makes clear that a permissible tax must "operate with the same force and effect in every place where the subject of it is found," as held in the Head Money Cases (1884). The ObamaCare tax arguably does not meet this standard.

ObamaCare is an ill-conceived and poorly-written law that, given the proper court challenges and courts that merely judge instead of legislate, may very well collapse under its own weight.


Sunday, December 9, 2012



A round-up of news items, articles, columns and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.

More news from the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin debacle down in Florida:

On Friday George Zimmerman Sues NBC Over Edited 911 Tape Report was a top story. Here is the recap: (TMZ) Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman has filed a lawsuit against NBC over the way it edited his 911 call -- placed moments before Martin was shot -- claiming the network falsely made Zimmerman look like a "hostile racist."
You'll recall, NBC launched an internal investigation over the tape after it aired the edited recording -- which made it sound like Zimmerman immediately told police that Martin was black, without being prompted.

In actuality, the full 911 tape reveals Zimmerman only referred to Martin as "black" when responding to a question from the dispatcher about Trayvon's race.

Zimmerman accuses NBC of creating a "false and defamatory misimpression using the oldest form of yellow journalism: manipulating Zimmerman's own words, splicing together disparate parts of the recording to create the illusion of statements that Zimmerman never actually made."

Two things: 1) We look forward to George Zimmerman sitting on a small mountain of NBC's cash when all is said and done and 2) this is just a gentle reminder of how corrupt and degenerate this country's media has become.

Ugh... We're forced to blog about this guy:

From the Washington Times:

The White House deleted a petition Friday on its web site demanding that President Obama rescind an invitation to “Gangnam style” rapper Psy to sing at a Christmas concert in Washington, due to the performer’s anti-American rants.

The petition was signed by about 500 people who object to the singer’s scheduled performance, which Mr. Obama is to attend. But the White House said it took down the petition because it violated the terms of participation on the administration’s “We the People” web site.

Psy, a 34-year-old South Korean performer whose “Gangnam style” video is the most-watched of all time, apologized Friday for making obscene comments about U.S. troops at a protest concert in 2004 in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. He reportedly sang:

“Kill those f–ing Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives.”
“Kill those f–ing Yankees who ordered them to torture.”

“Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers.”

“Kill them all slowly and painfully.”

In his apology, the rap star said, “As a proud South Korean who was educated in the United States and lived there for a very significant part of my life, I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world.”

“The song in question — from eight years ago — was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two innocent Korean civilians that was part of the overall antiwar sentiment shared by others around the world at that time,” he said in a statement. “While I’m grateful for the freedom to express one’s self, I’ve learned there are limits to what language is appropriate and I’m deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted. I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused anyone by those words.”

(italics, ours)

8 years ago... Remember? That was back when dissent was patriotic. Besides, we've moved way beyond all that torture stuff. We won't be holding our breath, however, for a PSY rap-rant on indefinite detentions and/or drone strike assassinations to be performed at this concert.

ObamaCare: improving the financial health of lobbyists one congressional staffer at a time.

Liz Fowler worked for Democratic Senator Max Baucus in the first half of last decade, and so it wasn’t surprising when she cashed out to run the lobbying shop at Wellpoint, the nation’s largest private insurer.

After all, that’s what Max Baucus staffers do. They become high-paid lobbyists for powerful companies dependent on government. Former Baucus chief of staff David Castagnetti is now a lobbyist partner at Mehlman, Vogel, Catagnetti. Successor Jeff Forbes is a partner at Cauthen, Forbes, and Williams. Baucus’s chief trade counsel Scott Parven doesn’t have a lobbying firm named after him, because he sold his firm to K Street giant Akin Gump. There are literally dozens of others.

It also wasn’t surprising when Baucus hired her back to help write Obamacare. After all, Baucus is famously close with K Street and industry lobbyists.

Given Baucus’s central role in drafting Obamacare, and lobbyists’ access to Baucus, it wasn’t surprising either when the bill won the backing of the biggest health-industry lobbies in the country — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the American Medical Association, and the American Hospital Association.

The hand-in-hand public-private corporatism so derided during the Bush years has re-branded itself to become the single greatest feature of the Obama administration. Congratulations on this feat that was accomplished in no small part by the silence if not advocacy of the government/media/entertainment complex.

Not all calls for genocide are created or viewed equally:

Is promoting genocide a human-rights violation? You might think that's an easy question. But it isn't at Human Rights Watch, where a bitter debate is raging over how to describe Iran's calls for the destruction of Israel. The infighting reveals a peculiar standard regarding dictatorships and human rights and especially the Jewish state.

Human Rights Watch is the George Soros-funded operation that has outsize influence in governments, newsrooms and classrooms world-wide. Some at the nonprofit want to denounce Iran's regime for inciting genocide. "Sitting still while Iran claims a 'justification to kill all Jews and annihilate Israel is a position unworthy of our great organization," Sid Sheinberg, the group's vice chairman, wrote to colleagues in a recent email.

But Executive Director Kenneth Roth, who runs the nonprofit, strenuously disagrees.

Asked in 2010 about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's statement that Israel "must be wiped off the map," Mr. Roth suggested that the Iranian president has been misunderstood. "There was a real question as to whether he actually said that," Mr. Roth told The New Republic, because the Persian language lacks an idiom for wiping off the map. Then again, Mr. Ahmadinejad's own English-language website translated his words that way, and the main alternative translation—"eliminated from the pages of history"—is no more benign. Nor is Mr. Ahmadinejad an outlier in the regime. Iran's top military officer declared earlier this year that "the Iranian nation is standing for its cause that is the full annihilation of Israel."

A Clintonian torturing of the English language to be sure when we all know the official party line of Iran and about every other bad actor over there in that neck of the woods.

Turns out Mitt Romney was spot-on regarding Benghazi. So explain to us again why it is he is taking so much grief for saying Obama won the election because he promised free stuff.

The city of Detroit faces a major financial crisis and one member of city council thinks President Barack Obama should step in and help.

City Council member JoAnn Watson said Tuesday the citizens support of Obama in last month's election was enough reason for the president to bailout the struggling the city. (Click the video player to listen)

"Our people in an overwhelming way supported the re-election of this president and there ought to be a quid pro quo and you ought to exercise leadership on that," said Watson. "Of course, not just that, but why not?"

Nearly 75 percent of Wayne County voters pulled the lever for Obama in November.

"After the election of Jimmy Carter, the honorable Coleman Alexander Young, he went to Washington, D.C. He came home with some bacon," said Watson. "That's what you do."

Young served as Detroit's mayor for 20 years and served as vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1977 to 1981.

We're sorry. Not free per se, rather quid pro quo meaning Detroit and Wayne County vote for Obama and the rest of us pay for another four years.

Related: Is there a correlation between the percentage of votes going to Obama in a particular city/county and that city/county's fiscal dysfunctionality?

And finally...

You may be shocked to learn that some coastal types that appear on MSNBC on a regular basis don't think you are paying enough at the pump and would like to see that price go higher to make alternative energy sources more competitive.

It's telling that they no longer speak of making wind and solar more competitive by improving the technology of wind and solar rather making wind and solar more competitive by taxing oil and natural gas, i.e. sticking it to the consumer, you, in order to fulfill their half-witted, agenda-driven energy fantasies.

OK, gang, that's it for today. We'll see you all tomorrow.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Video clips of the day


Macho football culture, gun culture, concussion induced brain trauma... uh, whatever but maybe Jovan Belcher was just a bad person.

Here's Kennedy for explaining how, contrary to what you are being fed by pop-culture media, evil in this world does indeed exist:

Related thought: We keep hearing this term "gun culture" without knowing what the heck it meant. Slow to the game as we are and given the context in which it's presented, "gun culture" is merely a derisive dog-whistle term for fly-over country whites. Bitter clingers, if you will. Prove us wrong.

And here's Steven Crowder confronting some self-styled Democrats on their assumptions regarding the dreaded fiscal cliff:

Hey, G.O.P., maybe you do have a messaging problem.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

What? Another gun-running operation


Alternate headline: Now we know perhaps why Benghazi and the resulting cover-up was such a fiasco

Setting aside the fact that this would have been useful information to the electorate a month ago, the nation’s paper of record is presenting evidence that anyone that could rub two brain cells together could’ve easily predicted.

From the New York Times:

The Obama administration secretly gave its blessing to arms shipments to Libyan rebels from Qatar last year, but American officials later grew alarmed as evidence grew that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants, according to United States officials and foreign diplomats.

No evidence has emerged linking the weapons provided by the Qataris during the uprising against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi to the attack that killed four Americans at the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, in September.

But in the months before, the Obama administration clearly was worried about the consequences of its hidden hand in helping arm Libyan militants, concerns that have not previously been reported. The weapons and money from Qatar strengthened militant groups in Libya, allowing them to become a destabilizing force since the fall of the Qaddafi government.

Essentially, we were running guns to Libyan rebels, and, as it turns out Islamic jihadists, out of our consulate in Benghazi, which at the east end of the country was much outside of Qaddafi's sphere of influence in Tripoli in the west. No wonder it’s been such a touchy subject, right?

More from the article:

The administration has never determined where all of the weapons, paid for by Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, went inside Libya, officials said. Qatar is believed to have shipped by air and sea small arms, including machine guns, automatic rifles, and ammunition, for which it has demanded reimbursement from Libya’s new government. Some of the arms since have been moved from Libya to militants with ties to Al Qaeda in Mali, where radical jihadi factions have imposed Shariah law in the northern part of the country, the former Defense Department official said. Others have gone to Syria, according to several American and foreign officials and arms traders.

This administration has established a consistent trend: a complete lack of accounting on where it is the weapons they are running end up whether it’s to the Middle East or to Mexico. Well, we don’t know where but we do know who: jihadists and drug cartels. Terrific.

And dig this Inside Baseball stuff:

The case of Marc Turi, the American arms merchant who had sought to provide weapons to Libya, demonstrates other challenges the United States faced in dealing with Libya. A dealer who lives in both Arizona and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Mr. Turi sells small arms to buyers in the Middle East and Africa, relying primarily on suppliers of Russian-designed weapons in Eastern Europe.

In March 2011, just as the Libyan civil war was intensifying, Mr. Turi realized that Libya could be a lucrative new market, and applied to the State Department for a license to provide weapons to the rebels there, according to e-mails and other documents he has provided. (American citizens are required to obtain United States approval for any international arms sales.)

He also e-mailed J. Christopher Stevens, then the special representative to the Libyan rebel alliance. The diplomat said he would “share” Mr. Turi’s proposal with colleagues in Washington, according to e-mails provided by Mr. Turi. Mr. Stevens, who became the United States ambassador to Libya, was one of the four Americans killed in the Benghazi attack on Sept. 11.

Mr. Turi’s application for a license was rejected in late March 2011. Undeterred, he applied again, this time stating only that he planned to ship arms worth more than $200 million to Qatar. In May 2011, his application was approved. Mr. Turi, in an interview, said that his intent was to get weapons to Qatar and that what “the U.S. government and Qatar allowed from there was between them.”

Two months later, though, his home near Phoenix was raided by agents from the Department of Homeland Security. Administration officials say he remains under investigation in connection with his arms dealings. The Justice Department would not comment.

Mr. Turi said he believed that United States officials had shut down his proposed arms pipeline because he was getting in the way of the Obama administration’s dealings with Qatar. The Qataris, he complained, imposed no controls on who got the weapons. “They just handed them out like candy,” he said.

His application?

Apply for and be granted a gun-running license by State one day and then get your house raided by Justice the next.

We suppose this is what Team O considers separation of powers or checks and balances when you start raising questions about the administration’s ill-begotten gun-running scheme.

Yep, boots on the ground is a real pain-in-the-ass, admittedly, and after 10 years of war, we suppose we're all kind of sick and tired of the Middle East. However, what reasonable expectation in leading from behind so as to not get dirt under our nation's fingernails is there to think that well-organized jihadist networks won't get their hands on these weapons if not over-run the entire operation altogether?

We will be living with these consequences for years to come. Hopefully.

Smart power, indeed.


Video clip of the day

.'s monthly installment of Nanny of the Month:

It is duly noted how this appears to be primarily about school funding rather than the education of the student.

Also, if you wanted to play hooky, wouldn't you just have a friend swipe your card.

But what if your friend is with you?

We foresee a potential lucrative 3rd party underground swiping industry in somebody's future there in Texas. Where there's a will, there's a way.

Power to the, uhhh... students?


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

ObamaCare: confounding smart people since 2010


OK, statists. You all ready for another boycott? How about Cheescake Factory?

From NewsBusters, here’s their lede (with video embedded at the link):

On Monday's CBS This Morning, Cheesecake Factory CEO David Overton spotlighted the looming economic impact of Obamacare's implementation, especially on small enterprises: "For those businesses that don't cover their employees, they'll be in for a very expensive situation." Overton also warned that the cost of the law would be passed on to customers.

And below is the transcript of the exchange between Overton and This Morning host, Norah O’Donnell:

NORAH O'DONNELL: I have a really important question for you: one of the things that's going to change, of course, in the new year is ObamaCare, or the Affordable Care Act. How do you implement that at Cheesecake Factory, and how will you pay for health care for all of your employees?

DAVID OVERTON, CHEESECAKE FACTORY CEO: Well, that – that's a big question. We are working on that right now. We – we have been waiting to see what people will do and what's really happening and what the – the different requirements will be. However, we do cover everyone that works over 25 hours today. So, unlike a lot of businesses, we already are paying a great deal in health care. So, we're not sure how much more it will be - or how much less - or what exactly we'll do. So, for us, it won't be as bad as it will be for others, which it will be very costly.

O'DONNELL: But – but when you say it will be very costly, it will be passed on to who - the customers?

OVERTON: Well, I believe most people will have to do that or cheapen their product-

O'DONNELL: And how much do you think you will have to raise prices in order to pay for health care?

OVERTON: Well, as they say, we don't know what – we don't know what it is right now. We don't know if what we're actually paying is very, very close - and we won't have to raise prices. So, we'll see. I'd love to answer that for you – maybe in a year, I could.

CHARLIE ROSE: Okay. And so, and that point, a year from now, what would we be able to learn from you, you think, because The New Yorker magazine wrote this article saying that you had a lot of things that you could teach - from your experiences with health care.

OVERTON: I think – yeah - I think Doctor [Atul] Gawande. It's not that I teach. He's looking at us as a model. He thinks we're the gold standard of the restaurant business. We do so many things right. We train; we innovate; we cut cost; and we – and we completely change the menu twice a year. And he's never had a bad meal, and he says, how can we cook a thousand meals a day and get consistency? Wouldn't that be a great model for the health care industry? So, he's taking us and not linking us, as much as saying, these guys know what they're doing. Over the years, they've really built a model that works. Why can't we be more like them?

ROSE: Are you worried about this - ObamaCare - and how you provide the health care?

OVERTON: Not worried yet - and, when I hear the numbers, I might be. But, again, because we spend millions and millions of dollars today on health care, we don't know exactly how much more we'll pay. For those businesses that don't cover their employees, they'll be in for a very expensive situation.

(italics, ours)

Two things jumped off the page at us while reading this exchange: 1) A healthcare expert is looking at the Cheesecake Factory as a model for how to run the healthcare industry instead of, say, the DMV? But the Cheesecake Factory is a for-profit outfit (and a for-calorie outfit on top of that).

Haven’t we been told that one of the biggest problems with the healthcare industry is that it is a for-profit industry and that we needed to eliminate the greed i.e., profits from the system?

Trust us on this one, gang: Cheesecake factory isn’t spending the resources that they do on innovation and on changing the menu all the time just because they’re incurable foodies. They’re doing it because they know if they do it right, it will mean more customers and… yep, more profits and this simply does not square with the conventional wisdom of the statists who want to eliminate the profit motive from the healthcare industry.

2) David Overton is a smart guy, a really smart guy and look how many times in that short exchange where he expresses a degree of uncertainty to O’Donnell regarding the consequences of ObamaCare.

Because of the volatility of the election season, regulators kept under wraps or simply didn’t bother to start writing the myriad of rules and regulations and taxes that will start taking effect Jan. 1 of next year and which will be fully implemented when 2014 rolls around.

Uncertainty is bad for business. Business owners don’t expand and don’t hire more employees when they don’t know what the consequences of those actions will be, especially when the hand-writing that is on the wall clearly indicates that many businesses will be forced to provide more coverage for their full-time employees. At that point, it’s no longer an uncertainty and becomes, simply no dice and employees hours are cut to dodge the additional mandates and/or healthcare coverage is simply dropped altogether.

Billions upon billions capital setting on the sidelines and not getting into the game and assisting in the recovery because very smart people like David Overton simply don’t know.

It will be and is becoming to be precisely as we have been predicting.

Your Mid-week, Martini-worthy photo image


It's gotta be, right?


Legendary jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck passed away today in Norwalk, Conn. He would have turned 92 on Thursday.

Here's Brubeck along with Paul Desmond on alto sax and Eugene Wright on bass in Germany in 1966 performing the first jazz single to ever sell a million copies, "Take Five":

R.I.P., Mr. Brubeck