Monday, February 29, 2016

Enjoy Your Free 42 minutes and 52 seconds

This time will not be counted against the time granted you upon this mortal plane...

As the earth completes its orbit not in a year, but in 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes, and 16 seconds adding a day every four years is somewhat off... 42 minutes and 52 seconds every leap year to be precise.

In order to compensate for this extra 3 days every four hundred years, years that are divisible by 100 but not by 400 are not considered leap years despite the fact that they are divisible by four. Unless you are planning to live until 2100 when we take back this extra time you may consider it a bonus, don't say we never gave you anything.  If you are alive in 2100 just consider yourself out of luck. 

This day used to be on February 24th and was known as Bisextile day in the third century, but we had to rename it do to an unfortunate misunderstanding with some fundamentalists. February 24th in Roman times was the sixth day of Kalends and was doubled every four years after the Julian reform, it was called bis sextum, literally double-sixth.

If you are a Leapling... Happy Birthday!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Twilight of the God-Forsaken


Popular Resistance

Economic "Recovery?"
The average annual unemployment rates in 36 states plus D.C. in 2015 were higher than the average unemployment rate for those states in 2007. (WSJ)
America Acquired in a Hostile Takover:
Economic indicators may be up but they don’t reflect the economic insecurity most Americans still feel, nor the seeming arbitrariness and unfairness they experience.

Nor do the major indicators show the linkages Americans see between wealth and power, crony capitalism, declining real wages, soaring CEO pay, and a billionaire class that’s turning our democracy into an oligarchy.
Median family income lower now than it was sixteen years ago, adjusted for inflation.
Most economic gains, meanwhile, have gone to top.
These gains have translated into political power to rig the system with bank bailouts, corporate subsidies, special tax loopholes, trade deals, and increasing market power – all of which have further pushed down wages pulled up profits. (The End of the Establishment?)
Revolt Against the Elites
Donald Trump's recent screeds against hedge fund managers have seemed to invoke his inner Bernie Sanders.

...the hoary distinction between the left and the right needs to be updated.
Marine Le Pen [...] vows to replace the "neo-liberal" French establishment with an aggressively interventionist state. Nationalization of banks is on the agenda of far-right governments in Hungary and Poland, along with more predictable anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant policies.
It's now clear that the bonanza of globalization has been divided grossly unequally. Whatever the reasons for this -- technological innovation or financial liberalization -- a small number of networked people have grown disproportionately rich in many democracies.
Consequently, anger, distrust and hostility reign in the broader public sphere against the Davos Men and their apparent accomplices in politics and media.
[...] a widening gap between elite and mass perceptions in the U.S., the U.K., France, India and Australia.
And liberals, such as Hilary Clinton in America or New Labour in Britain, appear too complicit with globalized elites. (Revolt against the Posh Boys)
Left v.Right Us v. Them 
Perhaps it's time now to stop mapping political differences along the left-right dichotomy.
The great political, intellectual and emotional chasm of our world runs between transnational elites with access to diverse forms of social, economic and cultural power, and masses who feel left out from the global party and who express their fury and resentment through social media and xenophobic movements.
We have entered a perilous new era in politics, where a whirlwind of raw emotions is blowing away all the verities of the past. (Revolt against the Posh Boys)
Global elites, cultural vandals and wrecking-ball governments have already blown away "the verities of the past." We're looking to blow away the cultural ghetto and indentured servitude they slapped together upon the ruins.

Related: Don't Blame Americans for Blaming China

Friday, February 26, 2016

Whole Lotta Stealin

Freesoul asked a question on last Friday's musical post... did Led Zeppelin do anything original, and that's a very good question.  There are at least 13 Zeppelin songs whose origins are questionable or in dispute.  Since there are so many of them I'll just give you the names and artists with links to the songs grouped together and you can compare them yourselves. In some instances it's the music, in others the lyrics that are in question.  There are five of them (marked by asterisks) that Led Zeppelin has subsequently credited the artist for on rereleases.

Led Zeppelin - Black Mountainside
Bert Jansch - Black Waterside

Led Zeppelin - Babe I'm Gonna Leave You*
Anne Bredon - Babe I'm Gonna Leave You* 

Led Zeppelin - How Many More Times 
Howlin Wolf - No Place To Go 
The Yardbirds - Smokestack Lightning 

Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love*
Willie Dixon - You Need Love*

Led Zeppelin - The Lemon Song*
Howlin Wolf - The Killing Floor*

Led Zeppelin - Bring It On Home* 
Sonny Boy Williams - Bring It On Home* 

Led Zeppelin - Hats off to Roy Harper
Bukka White - Shake em On Down
Oscar Woods - The Lone Wolf Blues

Led Zeppelin - Since I've Been Lovin You
Moby Grape - Never

Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven
Spirit - Taurus 

Led Zeppelin - Custard Pie
Sleepy John Estes - Drop Down Mama
Blind Boy Fuller - I Want Some of Your Pie

Led Zeppelin - In My Time of Dying
Josh White - Jesus gonna make up my dying bed

Led Zeppelin - Boogie with Stu
Ritchie Valens - Ooh My Head

And since I didn't do all this research myself... go and read this good article Led Zeppelin: Plagiarism? at Turn Me On Dead Man

Another good read is The Case Against Led Zeppelin: Is Hard Rock's Greatest Band Guilty of Musical Plagiarism? at VH1

Still, they're an awesome rock band!!! I'll leave it to the musicians among us to sort out fact from fiction.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Resettle Refugees in Their Own Lands

Naturalized citizen Luma Simms writes about western foolishness and how to deal with the refugee crisis.  She starts with this premise:
Immigration hurts the √©migr√© (whether they recognize it or not) just as it impacts local communities—those they left behind and those they enter into. Being an immigrant is a mixed bag, blessing and curses, comfort and affliction. But what can humanity do?
She exhorts her fellow Americans to be proud nationalists...
We can begin the road to healing—which encompasses a better understanding of immigration and immigrants—by changing how we view nationality. Nationality is a good. Iraqis want a country of their own where they can have their own language, traditions, and way of life. So do the Syrians I know. Americans should want the same for themselves.
America is a nation, too. It has a culture, and it had at one point a national identity. You should want to care for your own country, you should desire to know and uphold your identity. You should love your country, your traditions, your holidays, your shared common life. You should want to uphold your laws and protect your borders.
My fellow beloved Americans, my third suggestion to you on immigration and foreign policy is: Rebuild your national identity. If I, a stranger to your land, can love and cherish your heritage, ought you not be zealous for the land of your birth, warts and all? You sing “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” To what end?
Why Muslim Immigrants don't Assimilate well (it's partly our fault)
As American culture has become more decadent and sexually licentious, the threshold for assimilation has become steep. Immigrants from cultures like the Middle East that hold to (among other traditions) traditional sexual mores (whether Muslim or Christian) become clannish and isolate themselves from the surrounding American culture to protect themselves and their children. The culture eventually corrupts their children, and the family degenerates.
...they come because they don’t want to die in war. This type of refugee situation, which has been going on since the Iraqi diaspora after Saddam was toppled and recently flared up again with the Syrian refugee crisis, brings people who see America as better than death.
Hence, they will take whatever America wants to give but will keep themselves isolated. They have no interest in assimilating. Some Muslims have even taken to building their own homeschooling cooperatives rather than sending their children to American public schools. How much American history do you think they will learn, and with what bias?
She also explains that they also "carry with them a predisposition for government as caretaker."

There is nothing racist or bigoted in saying we need to stop importing them and instead take care of them over there.  We have the wherewithal to build safe, clean refugee camps and safe zones in their lands. We can build schools, clinics and fly in food, water and other necessities, and we can demand the rich gulf nations pony up their share.  

The on-going culture clash in the west is chipping away at our traditional societies and norms, and it is poorly serving the refugees who cannot or will not adapt and fit in.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Democracy Democrat Style

Won 51 Delegates

Won 51 Delegates

Having a 432 delegate lead: Priceless

There are somethings money can't buy,
for everything else there's MasterCard.

Half a million Democrat voter's turned out to cast their ballots for the distribution of 101 delegates... so far their votes are far outweighed by the opinion of a small group (712) of party hacks.  

Almost 15% percent of the Democratic Party delegates are super-delegates, 712 out of 4763 (2383 required to win). Counting super-delegates only, Clinton already has 19% of the vote needed to clinch the nomination (451 super-delegates).  Conceivably 30% of the delegates responsible for a nomination could be party hacks.

Super-delegates do nothing but reduce the weight of a citizens vote by up to one third.

And now for some adult entertainment:



Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Syrian Terrorists on the Run: Liberation of Aleppo


Information is Beautiful (click to embiggen)


Here's a shocker from the reliably party line Boston Glob...

The Media are misleading the public on Syria


Those "good rebel" pouring out of Aleppo? Obama's opposition to Assad? They're Islamaniacal terrorists who tortured, raped, killed or chased out all religious and ethnic minorities. It heartens me that one of our nation's newspapers is finally saying so.
COVERAGE OF the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press. Reporting about carnage in the ancient city of Aleppo is the latest reason why.
For three years, violent militants have run Aleppo. Their rule began with a wave of repression. They posted notices warning residents: “Don’t send your children to school. If you do, we will get the backpack and you will get the coffin.” Then they destroyed factories, hoping that unemployed workers would have no recourse other than to become fighters. They trucked looted machinery to Turkey and sold it.
This month, people in Aleppo have finally seen glimmers of hope. The Syrian army and its allies have been pushing militants out of the city. Last week they reclaimed the main power plant. Regular electricity may soon be restored.
The article also mentions Turkey's role as the Port of Entry for ISIS-bound jihadi wannabes. 

Obama and Kerry's dithered while Syria burned, so Russia stepped in and they are kicking ass and not worrying about taking names.

Even worst than dithering is lying...

Even worse than lying is going in and belatedly bombing up what you lied about earlier. Yup, Nobel Laureate Barack Obama is bombing Libya. This comes after Hillary Clinton and her band of merry firebugs laughed with glee as terrorists were sodomizing tyrant Gaddafi with rebar and opening the door for the Million Man Muslim March to Europe.

Bush lied, people died, but what can we make of Obama's tangled web? Can any of you OWS Code Stinko types come up with a pithy rhyme for the destruction Obama has caused?

Monday, February 22, 2016

Halal Apple


RAF Group Captain Lionel Mandrake is trying to avert World War III and nuclear holocaust, but he is in danger of running afoul of the Coca-Cola Corporation...



Will we see Tim Cook marched off to jail in handcuffs for failure to obey a court order? 

The answer to that question will say much about the rule of law and uber rich political donors in this country.
Silicon Valley has a bad case of megalomania, a neurological combo of arrogance, overconfidence, aggressiveness, self-importance and narcissism. This “God complex” is destined to destroy Silicon Valley, and it will take the rest of us with it. (Silicon Vally Can't Save the World)
Related:  
Google (and every other "progressive" "American" corporations) avoids paying their fair share

APPLE:  Kick Uncle Sam in the Nuts, Bend over for China
According to an article by the US news website Quartz, Cook’s intransigence apparently depends on geography.
Citing reports by Chinese daily Beijing News and the state-run People's Daily, the article claimed that Cook agreed in January 2015 to allow authorities in China to carry out “security checks” on all iPhones sold in the country to make sure the US had not installed any spyware. But, Apple has never confirmed or responded to the allegations.
Apple also decided in February 2015 to store local users’ personal data in China. The move was a gesture of good will towards Beijing that other companies like Google, for example, have always rejected for “security reasons”. This is because it is easier for China to request access to personal information that is under its jurisdiction. (Apple Plays Digital Privacy Hardball.. but not with China)
This is all about the Apple brand and making money off of a false sense of privacy and security.

Apple contributes nothing to the United States of America. Hosting their stinking, air-sucking carcasses is a net loss to the citizens of the US. Amreeka is just a place where owners and management lounge about because there is no better place to live.  Unlike a cookware or toothbrush factory, if Apple fell into a giant hole in the earth tomorrow, we would be no worse off.

Apple - Proud Sponsor of Islamic Terrorists Worldwide

Apple-Proud Sponsor of Jihadi Terror!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Real Christians Don't Build Walls

Photo: Vincent de Groot
Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0
So claims the head of state of a walled state with the most restrictive immigration policies on earth.

"Anyone, whoever he is, who only wants to build walls and not bridges is not a Christian,"  "Vote, don't vote, I won't meddle. But I simply say, if he says these things, this man is not a Christian,"
 What do you think of the Pope saying Trump is not a Christian? 


Friday, February 19, 2016

Covers



The Bobby Fuller Four classic (1966) revised and updated by The Clash in 1977.






Jake Holmes' played Dazed and Confused opening for The Yardbirds in 1967, which is where Jimmy Page heard it and put it on the Led Zeppelin debut album in 1969.







Tom Clarence Ashley and Gwen Foster recorded House of the Rising Sun in 1933, you're probably more familiar with this version from 1964:



What are your favorite covers?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Justice Scalia's Replacement: No Hearings, No Vote until 2017

I thought that from a strategic standpoint, the naked mole rats known as the GOP should have kept their powder dry upon the death of Antonin Scalia, let President Obama nominate his leftwing loony, hold their hearings with all sobriety, and then vote the loony down.  That would take on the order of 60-80 days, putting us squarely into the fall campaign and foreclosing the possibility of another Obama nominee.

Mitch McConnell doesn't consult me, so he crawled out of his cardboard box and declared there would be no hearings...  Then, on cue, the Government-Infotainment Propaganda Complex stirred up a crapstorm, and Mitch the Mole Rat's cardboard box began to collapse, sending frightened senators scurrying for more nuanced positions.  The GOP Senate may now hold the hearing to consider the President's nominee.

So, it's all up in the air.

I read a transcript of Senator Hatch's comments, and I agree with him.  He essentially said the GOP should not go through the whole rigmarole of staging a hearing just to shoot down whatever left nut the President nominates.  It wastes time, its fundamentally dishonest, and its not fair to the nominee.

So, I say McConnell should stick to his guns and announce the President can submit a nominee per the constitution, but the Senate will not hold hearings in the midst of the quadrennial political clown car circus know as election season.  This is not the time to be selecting a Supreme Court Justice, especially to replace a jurist of Antonin Scalia's stature. 

Historical precedent is on the GOP's side. Kennedy was only the second time in our nation's history when an opposition party approved a president's nomination is his last year in office, and there have been at least seven rejections.  The court can function just fine with eight members.

Make the 2016 election about who should appoint the next Supreme Court Justice.  Let the people decide. It really is that important.

So, here is where the Supreme Court stands...

The court has a solid four-person liberal block: Breyer, Ginsberg, Sotomayor and Kagan (the sanest and smartest of them all, and who will be Chief Justice some day).

There are now two reliable conservatives on the court: Alito and Thomas (who better hire a food taster).

Rounding out the team are...

The switch-hitting trans-agendered Justice Kennedy...

... and Chief Justice Roberts, who hears voices, sees things that aren't there, and produces law from thin air. I think he studied Blackstone the Magician instead of Blackstone the esteemed British jurist.

The GOP would be nuts and suicidal to tip the court over into dangerously unbalanced territory by approving one more Obama leftwing loon like So-So Mayor or Ruth ACLU Buzzi.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

GOP Freakout

I can't believe it, but the bow-tied Tucker Carlson has written a brilliant piece on Donald Trump: Donald Trump is Shocking, Vulgar, and Right, and my dear fellow Republicans, he's all your fault. I've never been a fan of his, and I am not on the Trump bandwagon (and neither is Carlson) but this article, brought to my attention by FreeThinke, has to be the best piece I've read in a long time.
"It turns out the GOP wasn’t simply out of touch with its voters; the party had no idea who its voters were or what they believed."
"...the hallmarks of a Trump attack: shocking, vulgar and indisputably true."
When was the last time you stopped yourself from saying something you believed to be true for fear of being punished or criticized for saying it?

If you live in America, it probably hasn’t been long. That’s not just a talking point about political correctness. It’s the central problem with our national conversation, the main reason our debates are so stilted and useless. You can’t fix a problem if you don’t have the words to describe it. You can’t even think about it clearly.
Trump Breaks Through the Fourth Wall
In a country where almost everyone in public life lies reflexively, it’s thrilling to hear someone say what he really thinks, even if you believe he’s wrong. It’s especially exciting when you suspect he’s right.
And when El Donaldo decides to stay on script, we know that he knows that we know that he's just play acting...
Trump on stage with pastors, looking pained as they pray over him, misidentifying key books in the New Testament, and in general doing a ludicrous imitation of a faithful Christian, the least holy roller ever. You wonder as you watch this: How could they be that dumb? He’s so obviously faking it. 
They know that already.
[...]
For eight years, there was a born-again in the White House. How’d that work out for Christians, here and in Iraq?
Trump knocks over the scenery, throws down the script, and speaks to people as one person to another. It's refreshing. We're not kids. We all know politicians are highly-scripted, focus group-tested and crammed full of consultant-crafted canned-crap phrases and predictable laff lines. Rubio's no different than any other candidate. His program just got stuck in a loop.

Here's More...
"Apart from his line about Mexican rapists early in the campaign, Trump hasn’t said anything especially shocking about immigration. Control the border, deport lawbreakers, try not to admit violent criminals — these are the ravings of a Nazi? This is the “ghost of George Wallace” that a Politico piece described last August? A lot of Republican leaders think so. No wonder their voters are rebelling."
Four issued drive Trump-Mania:

* Jobs
* Immigration
* Government waste, corruption, incompetence and crony corporatism
* America's bad, foolish and downright dangerous deals in the international arena

The GOOPer spinmeisters, pundits and think-tankers are shocked and appalled at how quickly rank and file Americans have stampeded off their reservation.
"He exists because you failed [...] Trump is in part a reaction to the intellectual corruption of the Republican Party."
Carlson pins the tail on the donkeys and the elephants, saying plainly what we all know: The Specter of President Donald Trump scares the shit out of the Grandees of both parties.

Here are more excerpts:
Conservative voters are being scolded for supporting a candidate they consider conservative because it would be bad for conservatism? 
And by the way, the people doing the scolding? They’re the ones who’ve been advocating for open borders, and nation-building in countries whose populations hate us, and trade deals that eliminated jobs while enriching their donors, all while implicitly mocking the base for its worries about abortion and gay marriage and the pace of demographic change. 
DC is corrupt--Voters know it--Donald says it
One of the moderators asked, in effect: if you’re so opposed to Hillary Clinton, why did she come to your last wedding? It seemed like a revealing, even devastating question.
Trump’s response, delivered without pause or embarrassment:
Because I paid her to be there. As if she was the wedding singer, or in charge of the catering.
Why Trump Could Win

Carlson ends with a few reasons why Trump could win: Democrat and minority cross-over.  But his final reason may be the best:
Trump doesn’t think Hillary is impressive and strong. He sees her as brittle and afraid.
... the Clinton campaign called Trump a sexist. It’s a charge Hillary has leveled against virtually every opponent she’s faced, but Trump responded differently. Instead of scrambling to donate to breast cancer research, he pointed out that Hillary spent years attacking the alleged victims of her husband’s sexual assaults. That ended the conversation almost immediately.
That, folks, is what energizes millions of mainstream conservatives tired and pissed off at seeing Grand Old Pusillanimous candidates go down in Bushian-polite defeat to the Democrat candidate.

When politics sinks to fake plastic bullshittery with a potemkin facade that vainly tries to hide the moral crapitude of the body politic, you will eventually get a Bernie Sanders and a Donald Trump.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Four Horseman of the Apocolypse

Photo: Michael Vadon
Donald Trump - R


Hillary Clinton - D



Bernie Sanders - I

Photo: Rubenstein
Michael Bloomberg - I

So, in the possible eventuality  of a four way split in which no candidate receives sufficient electoral college votes the choice goes to congress.  The House gets to elect the president from the three candidates with the most electoral votes, the Senate gets to pick the vice from the two vice presidential candidates with the most electoral votes. 

The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice.

 Can you see it happening? Clinton gets the nod by benefit of superdelegates and Bernie stages an independent run while Bloomberg tosses his hat in the ring for the hell of it? Alternatively you could bump Bloomberg and see Trump stage an independent bid against Cruz or whoever the Republican nominee turns out to be.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Inside the Progressive Psyche

Ideology is the Enemy of Reason  

We all have our doxies, and they drag us down.  We also tend to hold caricatures in our heads, along with biases, Truths Which Shall Not Be Challenged, and fixed notions about those we perceive to be the "other."  They really came out this past week as we discussed land issues out west.  

We had two East Coast progressives try to tell Hugh, who owns ranchland out here, and the rest of us who live here and who have farmed, that we don't know what we're talking about. That in itself is a nutshell metaphor for what is wrong:  People thousands of miles away dictating what they do not understand.

Jersey represents the the typical, pop-culture-marinated American Slob:

Sits on his fat ass bitching about the petroleum industry, food producers and "sleazy" developers...

... as he enjoys his developer-produced home...

... eats food every day produced by people he scorns...

... and enjoys a petroleum-supported life of luxury most of the world envies...

Ducky: An Insight into Progressive Hobgoblins and Bugaboos


Ducky's comments pull back the dark, musty curtain and give us a scary glimpse into the progressive psyche, where villainous rightwing religious cabals plot to take over the US government and the world.  In this dystopian theocracy, hypocritical religious fanatics ban birth control, put up pictures of Jesus in every classroom, and torture blasphemers, porno masturbators and leftwing environmentalists with with nipple clamps, red-hot pokers and looped speeches of Ronald Reagan.

Right up there with the scary dominionists are the Marlboro men:  Rough cowboys galloping across the mountain west and despoiling it at the behest of large corporations, pausing only to rape minority women and burn down Indian villages... A Randian anarcho-nightmarish range war of all against all, raiding one another's barns, poisoning the water hole, rustling cattle, lighting sheep on fire, shooting the piano player in the back down at the old saloon ...  

Big-city-progressive ignorance of country folk is embarrassing and laughable. Farmers and ranchers do not see themselves as a hero in a turgid Any Rand novel.  They depend on one another all the time.  

How many of your neighbors would get out of bed at two in the morning in the freezing cold to help you birth a calf or save a valuable outbuilding from collapse in a snowstorm?  How many would drop their own work to help you with yours? 

The progressive caricature is balderdash.  No sane farmer or rancher believes he could go it completely alone.  Most of them are generous, hard-working, God-fearing humble people who have a Turgenev's understanding of the beauty and wonder of nature, and also of nature's fearsome power.

Libertarians also loom large in the progressive gallery of villains, although libertarianism hasn't gotten so much as a tiny toe-hold anywhere outside of legalized drugs and gay marriage; two things progressives have long championed.

Ducky and Jersey also slipped the Enviro-Vegetarian argument in there, carping about "Grossly inefficient production of protein (i.e. beef)", as they echo Malthusian fears of "scarcity" and "conflicts," which are natural phenomenon in the human, plant and animal world.

They call the ranchers "moochers" (nice turn-around of a typical conservative accusation) because they don't want to "pay their fair share," a simplistic cartoon, since the real issue is that government shouldn't own that land, government does nothing for that land, and what the ranchers do on that land doesn't cost the taxpayer one damned dime.  East Coast city-dwellers insist it is their land, maybe because they want to look at it through their car window on a vacation out west...

US Government: Most Powerful and Dangerous Corporation on the Planet  

Progressives rightly rail against corporate abuse of power, but fail to see the same abuses in the government they bow down and worship.  Worse, they keep themselves studiously ignorant of the dangerous government collusion with corporations and private interest groups, which almost always end with innocent citizens getting screwed for the greater good of the cartels that have hijacked government and suborned it to their own narrow purposes.

Progressive Hive Mentality

At the bottom of the progressive psyche is an arrogant contempt for those who would question the wisdom of government, and there is no subtlety of thought:  Either you accept complete dominion and subject yourself to the collective predations of government bureaucrats and acquiesce to government's ever expanding role, or you are a dangerous and subversive anarchist, and if the jackboots with badges gun you down, you deserved it, unlike the poor kid whose only crime was cuffing around a little Hindustani shopkeeper and stealing some cigarillos*. 

Progressives are no better than the Christian moralists they fear and mock, and progressives are every bit as fervent in their own progressive religion, perhaps moreso.

* - Yes!  #BlackLivesMatter!  Can progressives agree that #CowboyLivesMatter?  In Baltimore, Ferguson, or in western lands, government abuse is government abuse.

~ ~ ~ ~

Related: After Oregon Standoff: Some say, right fight, wrong tactics

Sunday, February 14, 2016

RIP, Justice Antonin Scalia



The right is mourning the impending loss of the nation to the progressive hordes, and the left is hiding their glee behind a polite smirk and making frequent trips to the GOP-mandated trans-gender toilet to do a giddy-happy dance and high-five their confreres. Justice Scalia's death has sucked all the air out of the blogisphere, so I might as well give everyone a chance to sound off. Cut-and-paste comments you made at other blogs are welcome...

OK, besides an irreplaceable hole in the Scalia family, what does this man's death mean?

The end of Original Intent?

One more giant step for an imperial presidency?

The Supreme Court goes liberal Democrat?

Will Roberts tip over and become a liberal, like other GOP appointments?

How does Emperor Obama handle this?

I predict he goes the full Eff-Yoo and nominates a hard leftist, probably female minority with a controversial past, sits back and dares the GOOPers to defy him as the DC Establishment Infotainment-Media-Complex does his dirty work by shaming the GOP into collapsing, and collapse they will.

Does God Hate Us?

I have to ask the question. What the hell have we done for him lately?  We're the Crackhouse-Whorehouse of the world, we start useless wars that accomplish nothing other than destroying mud huts, decimating wedding parties and creating humanitarian crises worthy of a Cecil B. DeMille movie.  We are the porn, drug, divorce and abortion capital of the world, and Christians do their fair share to keep America #1 in all those categories.  USA!  USA!  USA!

Maybe God just hates conservatives...  Perhaps snarling, nasty-faced conservatism, with its unabashed support for the right of corporations to rape, pillage and plunder the globe stinketh in God's nostrils, as does shameless conservative abuse of Jesus's name for a few more votes...

Pray all you want, but God's probably off in Africa somewhere...

Utlimately, what does the death of this towering judicial intellect mean?

More Jiggery-Pokery...




Related:  Think Progress:  The Simply Breathtaking and sexually-stimulating consequences of Justice Scalia's Death

Friday, February 12, 2016

Musical Politics: New Hampshire





I can DREAM can't I?

And now for something completely different...
from the original:



Thursday, February 11, 2016

Stealing Land, American Style

Follow the money and the water
By Hugh Farnham


Powerful special interests, corporations, and our government have been lusting over the vast tracts of private ranching land of the West.  To steal this land, they engage in lawfare and over-regulation to drive ranchers into bankruptcy.  

From there, environmental groups such as the Nature Conservancy purchase the land for pennies on the dollar, and sell off the water rights to corporations like Suez.  The land itself ends up in the hands of the Federal government.

These groups work hand-in-glove to steal land from these ranchers.

The policy of regulating ranchers into bankruptcy was begun by Bruce Babbitt, a Clintonista. He once wrote regarding ranchers, "We must identify our enemies and drive them into oblivion."  From that point the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service started harassing honest ranching men and driving them off their land.

As a background, water rights in the West are generally handled differently than in the Eastern United States.  Those Western ranchers who have water rights not only own the water, but grazing rights as well - even on Federal lands.  

These rights have been generally upheld as these claims existed long before soviet bureaucracies like BLM or the Forest Service existed. 

What the BLM did was take water rights and converted them into privileges.  Then they tacked on fees and piles of regulations.

Wayne Hage was a rancher in Nevada who owned the Pine Creek Ranch,  a spread of 3/4 of a million acres.  Once he began educating fellow Americans about the abuses of the Forest Service regarding water rights, this bureaucracy began targeting him for destruction.  A must-see video where Wayne blows the lid off this criminal conspiracy (zip to 8:00 to get at heart of the matter):


A pack of feral bureaucrats boasting about stealing private land from "two little guys who were in World War II" - a mine worth $40 million snatched up by the government for $2.5 million:


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

If he'll lie to the people of Iowa...


I've read many conservative commenters defending Ted Cruz's Iowa shenanigans:

"Breaking news. The press is reporting that Dr. Ben Carson is taking time off from he campaign trail after Iowa and making a big announcement next week.

Please inform any Carson caucus goers of this news and urge them to caucus for Ted Cruz."

Cruz subsequently issued an apology.

Did it effect the outcome of the Iowa Caucus? Doesn't matter...

If Candidate Cruz's campaign will lie to Iowa voters, President Cruz's administration will likely lie to the American public.  I'm no fan of Carson and whatever chance Cruz had of eliciting my support was dead after this. I have become sickened by the Republican Party and its candidates...

JUST SAY NO TO THUGS
 
LIVEFREE

JOHNSON 2016 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Liars and Racists and Haters, Oh My!

If it weren't for fevered progressives fainting over obscure groups, we'd never even know such insignificant organizations exist...
"Before, the racist American Freedom Party said they loved Donald Trump. Now they’re calling unsuspecting Iowa citizens urging them to vote for him." (Daily Beast)
American Freedom Party? Like the Dominionists, I never heard of them until the wailing progressives alarums startled me out of my complacent ignorance...

Europeans expressing concern over the Muslim influx are labeled dangerous rightwingers...

Standing up for your traditional culture and opposing hordes of people invading your space and changing your way of life is not hate-filled racism. Imagine if rural folk, with their guns, Bibles greasy food and very un-progressive sensitivities started moving into liberal enclaves and changing those environs...
“If you were born in Boston and suddenly find that you are living in an outpost of Georgia, Utah or Arkansas, you’re going to be angry,” Taylor said describing the changing demographics of the city.  "These backward hicks bring the opposite of progress."
"You'r going to say ‘hold on, let’s look over some of these people who are coming. Maybe some of them are inbred rapists. Maybe some of them are murderers. Meth cookers. Religious kooks, snake-handlers even. Maybe some of these hicks really are undesirables.”
But back to Trump.  So, we can smear candidates based upon those who support them?  Have you heard any Louie Farrakhan speeches lately about white devils?

Black Panthers are wholesale Democrat Party, as are the racists at MEChA and La Raza...

Islamists like CAIR--the Muslim Brotherhood US subsidiary--hate Trump and serve the Democrat party...

Such attempts at unfavorable comparisons by Democrat propaganda outlets are nothing more than a smear on their enemies. As they say in New York... "Take a walk!"

Monday, February 8, 2016

Campaign Cash for Christ

"I agree, Ted. Obama is the Antichrist.  Burn all hippies!"

I've always though of Ted Cruz as an unctuous weasel, and now I can add reptilian televangelist. Here was his closing plea in Iowa, repeated at multiple tent revivals political rallies...

"He said it!  Yes he did!"
"Just one minute a day. That you simply say father God please, continue this awakening. Continue the spirit of revival. Awaken the body of Christ, that we might pull back from the abyss," Cruz preached. (Townhall-Ted Cruz)


"Awaken the Body of Christ"

"Please send more money!"
What an incredibly arrogant, self-centered use of that term...

God was not made for Ted Cruz--Ted Cruz was made to serve God.

Who is Ted to say that we, the Body of Christ, are not already awakened?

Why should it only awaken now?  Because Ted believes he is the second coming and he needs our votes and our money?

Dare I say God the Father may have a few more pressing items on His agenda than getting another slithering sneak with close-set eyes elected president?  Like maybe, hungry children, Christian genocide, unending wars, abortion, and maybe even political slander and using His Name in vain (is there anything more vain than a political campaign?)

Only now, pray for our nation? 

Why?  Because finally we have a savior in Ted Cruz?

I've already been praying for our nation, Ted.  I've been praying every day for decades

"By their fruits you shall know them"


"God hates Democrats!"
Ted Cruz is a career lawyer politician with weasely eyes and he's married to a Golden Sacks Wall Street woman who is part of the problem

Ted Cruz represents the very worst in panderish, political Christianity, and the sweaty Christians in his congregation whipping themselves into a frenzy over Ted should be ashamed of themselves, go home and closet themselves for some one-on-one time with the Lord and some serious reflection. 

I would recommend the same for Ted, but he is too far gone. He is suffering from pride-filled self-aggrandizement and most likely a messiah complex as well. Nothing any human being can say will sway him. Hopefully he'll have a road to Damascus moment, because that is all that will save him from his blasphemous exploitation of conservative Christian sensibilities and his cynical press-ganging the Lord into his political campaign.

Fellow Christians, it's time to take back our faith from the exploitive clutches of the political Elmer Gantry's.  

Here's a simple rule:  If a politician blathers on about the Bible and God, or lapses into flamboyant Pharisaical theatrics, straining to show what a great Christian he is, Spit. Him. Out.  He's done.

If you have lived a good, Christian life, we will know it by your fruits. Ted Cruz and his traveling medicine show is a truckload of rotten bananas.  

"I cry thinking of Ted deprived of his God-given presidency.  Send money!"

There is a place on the American landscape for Televangelist Ted and his daddy Reverend Rafa.  A void has been left by Jim and Tammy Faye Baker, Oral Roberts, Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart and the rest of the rogues gallery of disgraced televangelists.  Go forth and fill it, Ted and Rafa, but stop dragging Our Lord and Savior into your dung-filled political circus. 

"I am the Lord...  OOPS, I mean, pray to the Lord"

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Occupy Malheur vs. Occupy Wall St

Photo: Jeff Sorn - Oregon D.O.T
Photo: Cacophony
VS.
Photo: David Shankbone
 
Photo: David Shankbone
I decided to wait a bit until things calmed down or resolved themselves but consider this now: In one case the public space is occupied by a dozen or so protesters, in the other, hundreds in multiple locations.  Ask yourself, which had the greatest impact on the public in the public space? Is it a matter of numbers? If there were more protesters at the Malheur Wildlife refuge, say... hundreds, would their protest have been more legitimate? Or is it a matter of the protesters acting on their constitutional right to arm themselves? Is one group's grievances valid and the other's not?

Reading the great multitude of liberal commenters advocating that the government should just go in and gun them down, I thought to myself...

Funny how the liberal perspective has shifted so far in so few years...

Reminded me of an essay contest in Frontpage Magazine...

Inside every liberal is a Totalitarian screaming to get out.

As naked power-lust is a rather ugly motive, the Progressive rationalizes his desire to rule as a concern for human welfare, seeing himself as a great humanitarian, far superior morally to the lesser beings who pursue merely “materialist” ends such as their own prosperity and who frequently object to his program for achieving Utopia... 

  But despite what the Progressive believes about himself, the desire to compel others to obey his orders is what drives him forward.  To satisfy this desire, there is ultimately no limit to what actions he will take, for he respects none of the restrictions on government officials intended to guarantee individual freedom that have been developed and set forth in written or unwritten constitutions.
You can read the essay in its entirety at the above link if you wish.

Friday, February 5, 2016

This Mind Is Not For Rent

This mind is not for rent to any god or government...




Seemed appropriate given yesterdays post.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Be Libertarian with Me



It may be early and I may be stealing Silverfiddle's thunder, so consider this a personal endorsement if you will.  I'll leave the other moderators and our host to speak for themselves, but I've come to the conclusion that I'm not voting for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, or Ted Cruz, or any others from the parade of Asshats marching across my television screen these days. 



LIVEFREE

GARY JOHNSON 2016


Gary Johnson Facebook 

We can bitch and moan that a vote for a third party candidate is a vote for the opposition or no vote at all, but screw it, nothing is going to change as long as we keep maintaining the status quo between D & R. Lets turn the nation GOLD! If you're stuck with Clinton, Sanders, Trump, or Cruz you have only yourselves to blame.

 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Silverfiddle's Campaign Finance Reform

That quadrennial festival of canned talking points, fake plastic hero worship, pandering and lies known as the US Presidential Election is upon us, whether we like it or not.  Hillary Clinton will roll into the general election with over a billion dollars of big donor contributions, and the GOP candidate is expected to match that.

Like my liberal friends, I hate the outsize influence big money elites have on our elections.  I sat down and thought up some Federal Election Commission rules to try to put us all on equal footing, and here is what I came up with:

Silverfiddle's Federal Campaign Rules

* Limit the primary season to three months, and the general campaign season to three months.

* Limit fundraising season to a one year period prior to the election. Politicians and candidates may not raise, collect or spend so much as one cent of campaign cash outside of that period

* Elected politicians and declared candidates may not accept any gifts, plane rides, vacations, cash, meals, or even a ballpoint pen under any circumstances. Nothing. Ever.

* Only registered voters may contribute to a candidate. If you can't vote, you can't contribute any money to the campaign.

* One Person, One Vote, One Dollar (or $1000. Whatever we decide the amount each voter can spend is).  I don't care if you're Sheldon Adelstone, Darkwing Duck from Snob Hill, or Shirley Sue from Sheepdip Holler. Each citizen can only spend X amount of dollars.

* All contributions go through and are registered with a government entity like the FEC, who then doles out the cash to the candidate and posts the transaction on-line. Any money transfers outside of this channel are illegal and will be prosecuted.

* Only registered voters may engage in "campaign speech" advocating a candidate. Businesses cannot, organizations cannot, corporations cannot and unions cannot. However individual members of such entities who are voting US citizens may pool or bundle their money, but contributions of each person goes against their overall authorization.

* For the general election, major party candidates running against a president/senator/congressman gets equal time in the news media.

Free Speech 

After coming up with such a brilliant list of rules, I realized it was all for naught. I don't know what to do about a Citizens United type case where an organization like Citizens United publishes a book, or a person like Michael Moore makes a movie about a candidate.

Regardless of what you think of the leftwing gob of hog lard wrapped in human skin, what he produces is art, and it falls under free speech.  So, he could literally produce a movie bashing GOP presidential nominee Ted Cruz right before the election, and government may not interfere.

Something else to consider...

What happens when a candidate publicly attacks the coal industry or Planned Parenthood? Prohibiting them from responding would be a gross injustice.  Is there a financial limit on their response?  Is it federally-circumscribed "electioneering?"

Communication is changing drastically...

I was almost ready to propose a roll-back of Citizens United, and declare a federal campaign a unique phenomenon of the government and the people and therefore subject to special rules. Essentially a legally-designated special class of activity with a bubble over it where the activity is tightly-controlled in the interest of shutting out corporate and outside noise so that each citizen's voice may be heard.

Alas, I believe that is impossible in this day and age...

* No more Big Three networks acting as gatekeepers.

* Thousands of channels, the age of free YouTube, tweets, etc.

* Americans have daily access to foreign press, which is not under US jurisdiction

What if an individual fires off a tweet or makes an independent YouTube video about a candidate that goes viral?

Limit campaign speech over the Internet? How? What if it emanates from outside US jurisdiction?

Ideas?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Let's Turn the Tables

The banter the other day on Hugh's post regarding HRC got me thinking... let's try something completely different.  The subject is what's wrong with Barrack Obama and George Bush, or heck any president for that matter... what's different is that conservatives may only comment on conservative presidents and liberals on liberal presidents.  So have at it! What do we think of our own sides?  And to make it even more interesting, let's throw in the current crop of candidates.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Berning Blue Collar Conservatives?

Democrats for Trump?

Conservatives are righteously angry at the GOP for collapsing into a squishy establishmentarian farce. The SEIU gang boss worries that over half her workforce could vote for Trump.  A standard howl from the outraged is that we need a third party. My stock response (with apologies to General George S. Patton) is:
You don't win elections by going third-party; You win elections by making the other poor, dumb bastards go third-party.
If we are to break the Demican-Republicrat stranglehold on our nation, we need a deliciously diverse panoply of parties. People of all stripes are ready, but no matter how much the true believers despise the perfidy of the party panjandrums, they know abandoning ship for a "pure" third-party candidate would hand the election to the other side, so many of us are stuck in an unhappy place.

If we could make some kind of pact to all jump at once, here are three parties I could see springing up or becoming revitalized:

* Green Party
* Libertarian Party
* True Conservative Party


Collectively they might cadge around 36% of the electorate, but that alone prevents either the Dems or Repubs from gaining an outright majority on the national level, and hopefully they would spawn even more splinters like...

* Workers Party
* Constitutionalist Party
* Progressives
* America First!


How about advocacy group parties?

* La Raza
* Black Lives Matter
* White Rights-Blue Collars
* CAIR
* American Indian Movement
* Sons of the Confederacy
* Evangelicals


What would such a political environment do to presidential elections?

Thanks to the wisdom of the Electoral College, we would never end up with a shyster like Daniel Ortega taking the presidency of Nicaragua with 32% of the vote. You must take at least half of the Electoral College votes to be president.
If no candidate receives a majority of Electoral votes, the House of Representatives elects the President from the 3 Presidential candidates who received the most Electoral votes. Each state delegation has one vote. The Senate would elect the Vice President from the 2 Vice Presidential candidates with the most Electoral votes. Each Senator would cast one vote for Vice President. If the House of Representatives fails to elect a President by Inauguration Day, the Vice-President Elect serves as acting President until the deadlock is resolved in the House. (Federal Archives)
With no single party big enough to seize a majority, coalitions would have to form.

"Aha!" The skeptic retorts. "But they would eventually coalesce into two opposing blocks, so we're back to the two-party circus!”

Real-world experience in multi-party democratic republics shows that the parties do not form solid, permanent blocks; instead, they they shift and switch depending on the issues of the day, so yeah, blue collar conservatives under extreme economic pressure could form a coalition with Berning Sandernistas, and sophisticated liberals concerned with civil liberties but tired and embarrassed by the activist flamethrowers and cultural trench warfare could escape to the Libertarian Party.

The Result?

Working class folk could return to the Democrat Party as the GOP returns to the bosom of Wall Street and the Chamber of Commerce and abandons any pretense of helping working people or even liking them.

Would the Democrat party truly embrace the anti-big biz workers and risk losing all that Silicon Valley cash? Probably not, but honest anti-corporate liberals could escape to the Green Party.

On the surface, one could speculate that not much would change...

The Dems and the Repubs would probably remain the largest flagships and would garner the most lobbyist lucre and corporate cash, but they would still have to answer to their sloughed-off dissidents if they wanted to win elections, and they would have to compromise and throw support behind smaller party candidates, and they would have to deal with usually-dissimilar smaller parties ganging together for an election cycle around a common interest.

I think this would result in a healthier body politic...

...since deal-making and coalition reforming would happen every two years and would be focused on what the nation is facing at the time. Continually shifting alliances would mean few permanent friends or enemies, and thereby inject more reality and compromise into the equation and draining the discourse of the more poisonous vitriol and demonization. The “crazies” you flame today may be your crucial margin of victory tomorrow! 

We would get more honest debate and less hyper-partisanship since the parties would be reforging alliances around ideas and issues of the day rather than our current gray, humorless lock-step trudging to the polls with Soviet-style propaganda blaring in our ears.

Related:  The Last Gasp of Political Parties?