Sunday, March 31, 2013


Saturday, March 30, 2013


It's a Foam Party!

Don't tell anyone, but I actually went to one of these in Swindon, in the UK and it's really quite a lot of fun.  Of course we were drinking something called a Diesel, which if I recall was half a pint of Stella Artois, half a pint of Strongbow (hard cider), and a shot of Framboise. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Doomed Democrats

Never ones to let a preachable moment go to waste, triumphant Democrats are in full lecture mode, jazzed by Obama's reelection. I say let them have their fun. They are in trouble and they don't even know it.

It's Liberty versus Tyranny

Rand Paul gets it right. The old Left-Right paradigm no longer explains our nation's politics. Personal Liberty - Big Statism more accurately frames the argument.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): I think we have a confusing spectrum, this left-right spectrum doesn't always work for people [...]  There are all kinds of issues that don't neatly fit in the left-right paradigm that I think would help, because we're not doing very well in a lot of these states, these purple and blue states.   (RCP - Rand Paul)
Progressive Tories

Joel Kotkin rightly pegs progressives as America's Tories.  Obama supporters such as Andrew Sullivan have said as much.  It also jibes nicely with Walter Russell Mead's observation that progressives are now the entrenched, dogmatic conservatives.

Progressives are hidebound and bereft of new ideas. Their stock answer to any and all problems is more restrictions on personal liberty and higher taxes. They bitterly cling to 100-year-old ideas as they fight radical liberals like Paul Ryan and Rand Paul, who compete with one another to see who can take the biggest wrecking ball to the FDR Fortress that the progressive Long Marchers have constructed over the past century.

Democrats are the Party of the 1%
Despite its opportunistic use of populist rhetoric, the Obama administration has presided over widespread economic distress – with the average household now earning considerably less than it did four years ago. This trend has worsened during the current "recovery," even as the Federal Reserve's policies have generated record profits for corporate and Wall Street grandees.

It has been a particular boon time for a new rising class of oligarchs from Silicon Valley, which has embraced Obama with money and technical expertise. Not surprisingly, the ultra-affluent coastal areas have become primary supporters of the administration, which in November won eight of the nation's 10 wealthiest counties, many of them handily. (
Joel Kotkin)
Democrats are the Enemy of the Poor and Middle Class

Please don't skip these next three paragraphs.  They are damning.
The growing gaps between the "1 percent" and everyone else have been particularly marked in those regions under the most complete progressive control. The Holy Places of urbanism, such as New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., also suffer some of the worst income inequality.

In these regions, the so-called "creative class" is courted by politicians, developers and corporate big-wigs. Meanwhile their putative political allies, in places like Oakland and parts of New York's the outer boroughs, experience seemingly irrepressible permanent unemployment and, increasingly, rising crime.

Perhaps the most outrageous example of the dual nature of the new progressive economy, notes Walter Russell Mead, can be seen in Detroit, where a shrinking, debt-ridden and dysfunctional city that fails its largely poor residents has generated $474 million since 2005 for well-connected Wall Street bond issuers.  (Joel Kotkin)
Democrat Ideas have Failed
"We have created a regulatory framework that is reducing employment prospects in the very sectors that huge shares of our population need if they are to reach the middle class," notes economist John Husing.

A onetime Democratic activist, Husing laments how, in progressive California, green energy policies have driven up electricity costs to twice as high as those in competitor states, such as Utah, Texas and Washington, and considerably above those of neighboring Arizona and Nevada.

These and other regulatory policies, he suggests, are largely responsible for the Golden State missing out on the country's manufacturing rebound, losing jobs, while others, not only Texas but also in the Great Lakes, have expanded jobs in this sector.  (Joel Kotkin)
The Democrat Party's only hope is that the 99% doesn't wake up and smell the coffee.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Judgemental Much?

Polly Gillespie - Facebook

My Mum's in doing the shopping, call her if I need anything

What struck me most about this story, wasn't the mother's poor decision making, but the vehemence and vitriol with which my fellow American's responded.

The New Zealand Couple

The New Zealand couple that saw this called the Mum.  When she came out from the store, and after presumably receiving a stern lecture from her fellow citizens, all was well and over with.

That is until someone posted this picture to facebook and the world took notice.  Reading through the comments left presumably by my fellow Americans on MSN what struck me was how angry, bitter, and unforgiving they come across: 

She better be glad she is not in USA she would be in jail and she would never see that baby again.  Is there no laws for children over there?

Her azz should be in jail. NO questions asked

ANY one involved in this, should be charged with child endangerment. Freaking morons.

dumb, criminal, neglectful, bad parent

Jail the stupid thing

Baby needs to be taken away, there are no second chances

I say life in prison,and a mandatory tubal ligation 

UK, Australia, and New Zealand

Admittedly my polling isn't all that scientific,  but after reading through over 50 pages over MSN comments and perusing news articles from the UK, New ZealandAustralia, and Europe I feel I can safely say we have become the meanest and angriest people on earth, totally lacking in empathy and any hint of reasoned judgement.

World opinion seems in agreement... the mother made a very poor decision, although there are a few outliers here and there that see nothing wrong with this scenario.  But by and large the responses in overseas publications are far more understanding and far more compassionate than those left by Americans, even when in disagreement. Most, while they thought her actions wrong, didn't seem to think them criminal but seemed to think the mother needed help or education, not jail time and separation from her child.

What Do You Think?

Not about leaving infants in cars,  which I think the majority of us will be in agreement is wrong,  but what do you think the appropriate response should be?  And what do you think of those advocating jail time and taking the child away?


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Distinguished Warfare Medal

The New First Combat Award Since 1944

Only it isn't, or is it? Announced by former Sec Def Panetta it is ranked just below the Distinguished Flying Cross and above the Purple Heart and Bronze Star the precedence for the medal has a lot of people fuming, people who were shot or shot at.

Are Drone Pilots and Cyberwarriors in Combat?

I think anyone who has ever been shot at would say no.  Artillery is subject to counter-battery fire,  even nuclear missileers  would likely have been subject to return fire had they ever turned their keys.  Someone sitting in a room in Nevada flying a drone over Afghanistan is subjecting themselves to little risk of personal harm beyond carpal tunnel syndrome.


The new Sec Def, Chuck Hagel, amid a firestorm of protest from veterans groups and lawmakers has suspended the medal and halted production pending a reexamination of its precedence.

It may be Warfare,  but is it Combat?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Rural Poor


Oh the tragedy of it,  they can't even afford Cars!

An MSN special report recently highlighted the travesties of the USDA's rural housing program designed to provide access to safe and sanitary housing to the nation's rural poor.

Ewa Beach

The photo above is from the golf course in Ewa Beach, a town just down the coast from Honolulu, where houses cost from $200,000 to $1,000,000 Reuters found 250 zero down USDA mortgages in Ewa Beach.  Reuters also found over 180 loans to borrowers earning more than $500,000.  The USDA Inspector General found 37% of the loans made did not meet eligibility guidelines.  

Rest Assured

Your government is taking care of the rural poor... in Honolulu, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Seattle, Tampa, and even Hyannisport.  


Monday, March 25, 2013

Operation Reverse Robin Hood

The government of Cyprus caused quite a stir last week by announcing that it would do openly what our government here in the US has been doing covertly:

Steal from depositors.

OK, you don't like me calling it stealing? Then let's call it an unlawful tax, because that's what it is.

Jonathon Trugman explains why Cypriot savers will still be better off than their American counterparts, even after the 10% tax on their savings.
Here it is (in dollars to simplify): If a Cypriot put $1,000 in an island bank four years ago and left it there, today the saver would have a balance of $1,250. Take 10 percent off, and the saver is still up $125.

If a US middle-class family put $1,000 in JPMorgan or Citibank four years ago, the balance today would be $1,010 — less bank fees, which means it’s probably closer to a $950 balance. That’s $9.3 trillion in US deposits getting nothing in return except the warm, fuzzy feeling of bolstering the banks’ balance sheets.

Add in the silent tax of inflation, and American savers are down over 6% for the same time period.

Feel poorer?  Feel like you're slowly being boiled in your own pudding, and there's nothing you can do about it?

You're in the Bernanke Stranglehold, and the Obama Administration thugs (who replaced the Bush Administration thugs) and the Wall Street Pirates are holding you down and kicking you as Bad Ben locks it in.

Meet the new boss...  Same as the old boss.

Historical CPI

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Legislate like it's 1789

An Interesting Proposition

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) wants to create a "virtual Congress," where lawmakers would leverage videoconferencing and other remote work technology to conduct their daily duties in Washington from their home districts.

“As representatives, it is most important for us to spend our time on Main Street with constituents than it is to spend time at the Capitol." said Pearce. "We are here to serve our constituents.  This resolution is a longstanding priority for me. It will allow Members of Congress to debate, vote, and carry-out their constitutional duties, without having to leave their congressional districts. Keeping legislators closer to the people we represent would mark the start of pulling back Washington's curtain and allow constituents to see and feel, first-hand, their government at work.   This is the type of representation that people deserve.”

I like the idea, How about you?

If you ask me, the further from K Street, the better.  It would certainly reduce the influence of think tanks, advocacy groups and lobbyists.

In this day and age you certainly have to wonder why we still do business like we did in 1789.  The greatest challenge would seem to be security, but the internet isn't the only net out there, there are other, more secure government networks available. They already vote electronically,  why do they need to be there to do it? They could still meet ceremonially as needed.


The Hill



Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saturday Sessions: INDUSTRIAL

Industrial Music  

With a sound reminiscent of a factory floor and the mechanical repetitive beat of machinery in motion, industrial music has found a broader audience in Europe than the United States, although I may just be looking in the wrong places.  Here is a sampling, Coil and Nitzer Ebb are British bands, Swans an American one,  the other one is German as you may have guessed.







Friday, March 22, 2013


Francis I

Jorge Mario Bergoglio

Let me start this off by saying that this post is not intended to be a discussion of the relative merits or flaws of the Roman Catholic Church, its dogma, doctrine, theology, or its history, but a discussion about the newly elected Pope, ensure your comments are related to the man, his history, and his possible effects on the church and Christianity in general.  I will not permit this discussion to turn into an anti-papist no-nothing riot. You've been forewarned.  That said, I have no desire to stifle your comments,  anything about the man is open for discussion from the Dirty War to Cardinal Law, the man, his statements, actions, and history are fair game.


A Pope of the People?

First Pope from the Americas, first Jesuit Pope, son of a railwayman who gave away his bishop's palace and took the bus to work.  In his first Angelus address, dispensed with the security of the 'popemobile' and waded into the crowd gathered outside the gates much to the chagrin of his Swiss guards.  He has been described by many as a simple and humble man, a man for the Argentine poor.

Argentina's Dirty War and the Kirchners

Some controversy has arisen regarding rumors of his culpability in the imprisonment and torture of two kidnapped priests during the 'Dirty War' either through complicity or through inaction.  He has also consistently butted heads with the Kirchners over progressive legislation contrary to church teachings.

Cardinal Law

Despite reports in the Italian paper Il Fatto Quotidiano and the Daily Mail, the Vatican Spokesman has denied that Pope Francis has thrown the disgraced Boston Cardinal Law out of the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore and ordered him to be removed to a cloistered monastery.  Me? I think that would have been a good move.

What do you Think of the New Pope?

Same as the old Pope? Do you think their will be change?  He appears to be well liked in Argentina's evangelical Protestant community, the Jewish community, even the Islamic community.  As Archbishop of Buenos Aires he was the Ordinary for Eastern Rite Orthodox in Argentina, a group that lacks their own prelate and his designation of Pope seems to have been welcomed by many of the Eastern Orthodox churches.    

Me? I think those expecting drastic changes are going to be disappointed,  there are going to be no woman priests, no same-sex marriages.  I also think those expecting no change are going to be disappointed as well. Some who knew Cardinal Bergoglio have even ventured to speculate you might see a shift in the birth-control position. Only time will tell.

The Servant (Jesuit) becomes the Master (Pope)... it should prove very interesting indeed.




Thursday, March 21, 2013

Why Can't We Talk About Race?

Philadelphia Magazine

Whites, Race, Class, and the Things That Never Get Said

A reporter for Philadelphia Magazine walks around neighborhoods interviewing whites on their perspective on their black neighbors, neighborhoods, and the race relations between them and gets lambasted by Philadelphia's Mayor.

Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia has called the article disgusting, a "pathetic, uninformed essay" , and has called for the Philadelphia Human Relations Committee to issue a rebuke. He also accused the author or the people interviewed as being "too cowardly to provide their real names". 

Rue Landau, the Executive Director of the PHRC has already released the statement that "The commissioners and I share the concerns of the mayor regarding the racial insensitivity and perpetuation of harmful stereotypes portrayed in the Philadelphia Magazine piece", so I'm sure they'll get a fair hearing when the PHRC meets on April 18th. 

This is why we can't talk about Race.

I am sure that Mayor Nutter didn't like hearing what was said, some of the things are hardly flattering towards a portion of his constituency,  but does he think they are made up? Biased?  Read the articleI'm a native Philadelphian, albeit an expatriate, and the article seems to be a fairly accurate portrayal of how many white people living in Philadelphia feel,  if anything it may have taken a kid-gloved approach.  I can think of far worse things that people I know have said, then appeared as quotes in the article.

The Head in the Sand Approach

Until we can have honest and open dialogue on both sides, nothing is going to change.  Mayor Nutter is doing a disservice to himself, the people of Philadelphia, and race relations in general.  I may disagree with his politics on many points, but I had kind of liked him before this... I thought his standing on subway platforms handing out Nutter Butter cookies was pure campaign genius.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Nanny ?




See the difference?



He may be an old goat, but he's not your nanny.  Stop and think about it, think about other adjectives that could be used to describe his behavior and the behavior of others like him.  Authoritarian, autocratic, bossy, despotic, dictatorial, domineering, fastuous, imperious, presumptuous, supercilious, tyrannous, ... they conjure up quite a different set of images and feelings than "nanny", don't they?  Now wouldn't you rather be called a nanny?

The Nanny State

I'm as guilty of the next as falling into the easy habit of calling it Nanny Statism, it is a convenient label,  but if you stop and think about it, it plays right into their hands.  The term "Nanny Statism" in and of itself is pure PR spin.  The nanny conjures images of Mary Poppins, or of a matronly woman caring for you as a child.  It implies someone that while perhaps acting contrary to your desires, is acting in your own best interest. DON'T BELIEVE IT!  

While they may be singing a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down,  it doesn't change the fact that the medicine they are offering is authoritarianism and it is completely and utterly repugnant and contrary to the ideals we as a society were founded upon.  No amount of "Sugar" should make their actions palatable to the rest of us.  Frankly, we ought to spit it back out in their faces.


By not calling it what it is: Authoritarianism, plain and simple, we are aiding and abetting its perpetuation.  Michael Bloomberg, and others like him, are not Nannies, they are authoritarian, autocratic, and overbearing pricks that think it is their place to tell the rest of us what to do, how to live, act, and think and they should be labeled as such.  

Call Them What They Are.

Authoritarian, autocratic, dare I say fascist?  However trite and cliche it may sound, Merriam-Webster offers the following definition:

Fascist: a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control.

Sounds pretty accurate if you ask me.  It may not be Adolf Hitler style German fascism, but then again, neither was Benito Mussolini's form of fascism.  There have been many forms of fascism over the ages and they shouldn't get to dodge the label simply because they aren't fascists of the nationalistic variety.  

Meet the Face of the New Global Fascism 



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The European Ministry of RightThink

Daily Mail


Enforcing RightThink

Greek soccer midfielder Giorgos Katidis salutes the crowd after scoring the winning goal in a Super League win over Viera... and gets banned for life.

Excuses, excuses, excuses...

Those speaking in defense of Katidis say he was pointing to a teammate in the crowd,  others simply claim he didn't know what it symbolized.

No, they're not a bunch of little Nazis  

The Roman or Bellamy Salute

It was the salute used by the legions of Rome,  from 1892 onward, it was the salute given during the pledge of allegiance. After being adopted by Italian Fascists in 1923 followed by the German Nazi Party,  in 1942 the US congress amended the Flag Code to our current hand over the heart "in order to prevent confusion"

Fascist or Stupid?

I find it hard to believe Katidis is completely ignorant of European history from 1920-1945, or of its use by the Greek Golden Dawn Party in current events.  Last I checked the Golden Dawn Party was not illegal in Greece, and held 18 seats in the Greek Parliament.  Either way, the punishment hardly seems to fit the crime, even if he is a fascist.  The only way to preserve freedom for the many is to accept dissent from the few.  So, he's a fascist... deal with it.








Monday, March 18, 2013

Euronating on the People


No, it's Raining...   Honest!

After suffering a 4.5 Billion euro loss as part of Greece's Eurozone debt restructuring plan, it is Cyprus that is getting bent over. EU Finance Ministers in conjunction with the IMF have come up with a brilliant way of solving their fiscal problems.  They are simply going to skim 6.7% out of all Cypriot savings accounts,  9.9% out of any account worth more than 100,000 euros, a move expected to net 6.6 Billion euros.

Run On The Banks

Of course, as you can well imagine, consumer confidence in the Cypriot banking sector has hit zero.  Despite bank imposed limitations on ATM withdrawals of $400 euros,  the Cypriots are flocking to their financial institutions a la "It's a Wonderful Life".  This move effects not only your run of the mill Cypriot, but also thousands from other EU countries that have moved to Cyprus along with their life savings in their retirement.

Progressivism...   It's a Wonderful Life!


Shhh...  Don't tell the Obamas