Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Thirty-Five Years of Spectating

at his best
Verbatim Post

Seeing as how man didn’t emerge from the caves until something like 6,000 years ago, thirty-five years is a mere bagatelle in the grand scheme of things. Still, man’s day-to-day folly is always more fun than grand schemes.

In September 1976 I went to Torino to buy a Fiat car for my daughter’s mother straight from Fiat’s principal shareholder Gianni Agnelli. He not only gave me a very good price but also had me stay in his house along with his then-driver for Ferrari, Niki Lauda. The Austrian driver had recently been horribly burnt at Nürburgring but recovered enough to win the Formula One title in 1977. The next day, I took possession of the Fiat and motored toward Paris. I was advised to drive slowly for the first thousand kilometers.

Boredom on the motorway brought on the muse. I memorized close to 1,000 words—a word per kilometer—on how one can spot an Englishman in a European nightclub. (They scrutinize the bill and argue about it with the waiters, never have the right currency, wear thick tweeds that smell of horses and dogs, dance without rhythm, and scare the Arabs with their red complexions.) When I eventually got to London I rang The Spectator’s then-editor Alexander Chancellor and proposed the piece. For any of you unfamiliar with The Spectator, it is one of the English-speaking world’s oldest magazines, running close to 200 years and over nine thousand issues. Graham Greene has called it the world’s best written and most elegant weekly.

“It might sound corny, but writing for The Spectator has been my life’s one wonderful constant.”

As luck would have it, Chancellor wanted to lighten the magazine up a bit, and he welcomed my proposal. I wrote 1,500 words in half an hour, adding a French accent to it: ze for “the” and zut alors after every expostulation. It ran the next week and Alexander asked me if I wished to contribute regularly. I jumped at the chance, as until then I had been traveling around the world’s trouble spots reporting dry facts for wire services. My column went in the back of the book, as it’s called, and it was supposed to be funny—harder to do than it sounds.

Jet-setters did not read The Spectator 35 years ago. Politicians, literary people, Oxford and Cambridge dons, and clubmen did, but not jet-setters. So I invented the quintessential English jet-set couple, Mark and Lola Winters, based on Martin and Nona Summers, a real twosome I ran into everywhere I went. I began chronicling their life. The trick worked. The story of their egregious social climbing made the rounds after gossip columnists picked it up and people from all walks of life started to read the column. I wrote amazing things about Mark and Lola: their social climbing with real people, many of whom were close friends of mine, the tricks they pulled to get invited to chic parties, their efforts to attract celebrities to their Eaton Square flat, the presents they sent to certain Greek shipowners whom they hardly knew, the children they rented to pose as their own when they managed to have “proper” people as their guests, and finally, their desperation to get third-rate royals, any royals, to attend their bashes.

The column became required reading by those who found the Winters ridiculous and savored the humiliation I heaped on them week in, week out. When The Spectator conducted a poll to see who was reading us, it was revealed that Oxford dons were reading my column en masse and discussing the state of English social climbing at the High Table after work. Dons are notorious gossips. I also reported on the parties I attended—where I invariably ran into the notorious couple—and about my first love, politics. One thing that everyone at The Spectator could never figure out was why no one realized the couple was fictitious. I think it was because I mixed them up with real people who were mostly vague and aristocratic and who could never remember anyone’s name.

It was from New York’s glamorous Studio 54 where I first reported about widespread cocaine use:

No sane person goes into the lavatory of Studio without a surgical mask as if in an asbestos plant during an explosion. Masses of humanity sniff, snort, sneeze, cough and expectorate. Steve Rubell, the owner, is seriously thinking of taking out the toilet bowls as redundant.

But soon it was my turn. On July 24, 1984, a customs officer at Heathrow Airport told me an envelope in my rear pocket was about to fall out. “Oh, thanks,” I wisecracked. “If only you knew what was in it!” He crooked his finger and I ended up spending four months in the pokey for possessing two grams of cocaine. I used my one telephone call to ring The Spectator’s office and got Claire Asquith, granddaughter of WWI-era Prime Minister Herbert Asquith, on the telephone. I told her to notify the new editor, Charles Moore, that I was resigning forthwith, whereupon she asked me whether I would be filing my column from jail.

In my 35 years of being a columnist at The Spectator, I have served under seven editors, five of whom are old Etonians, all of whom have edited a weekly staffed by probably as effortlessly elegant and professional a crew as could exist in Evelyn Waugh’s fevered imagination of the illusory upper classes. An example of this nonchalance was Charles Moore’s reaction when I resigned after being busted: “Were you our religious correspondent, I’d immediately accept it. But you are our high-life writer, so we expect you to be high at times.”

Now that’s what I call noblesse oblige. After paying my debt to society, the new editor, Dominic Lawson, son of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, suggested I write more about politics and life in general rather than the lighthearted stuff I had been doing. I was thrilled. The first thing I did was spill the beans about Mark and Lola. Some wrote that they were canceling their subscriptions because I had misled them. Lawson thought it hilarious.

When I reported about New York’s Puerto Rican Day Parade, writing that Puerto Ricans were useless, foul-mouthed thieves, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani threatened to boycott all of Conrad Black’s newspapers—he owned many in America—and to deport me. The Spectator not only refused to fire me, but then-editor Frank Johnson introduced me to the American ambassador in London as the Puerto Rican ambassador. Lord Black eventually lost the Telegraph group, to which The Spectator belongs, and our present owners, Sir David Barclay and his brother, have been extremely supportive of my antics.

About 15 years ago, I wrote how Osama bin Laden, known as Harry Laden to his friends, was a very popular member of White’s Club, held court at the bar daily, and had been made a member by the Duke of Beaufort and Churchill’s grandson Nicholas Soames. Neither the Duke nor Soames, both good friends of mine, said a word. American newspapers went wild and Vanity Fair sent its best reporters to interview me. I had made the whole thing up but told them I was too scared to give any more details. After September 11, 2001, some Americans stopped speaking to me, calling me a traitor for fraternizing with a mass murderer. A member of White’s, insurance broker David Metcalfe, sued me because I had included him in my group with Harry. I had to give him an apology and took the opportunity to reveal that this story, too, was a hoax. The Spectator’s staff enjoyed it greatly despite the hate letters we received.

When Boris Johnson took over as editor he was already a Member of Parliament, but when he became London’s mayor, he had to give up the editor’s chair. But before he did, he fought tooth and nail on my behalf when the Israeli embassy decided I was “worse than Goebbels” in criticizing Israel’s policies in the West Bank. When the Israelis demanded he fire me, Boris answered that he would if they evacuated the occupied territories and apologized for 45 years of oppression. Again, noblesse oblige.

Which brings me to the present. It might sound corny, but writing for The Spectator has been my life’s one wonderful constant. I have been given columns the world over—the Sunday Times, Vanity Fair, Esquire, the New York Post, Tatler—all because of the Speccie. When I first began 35 years ago it sold 8,000 copies. Now we sell close to 100,000 each week and are read by close to a million. I plan to retire in five years if I live that long, forty being a nice round number, then write books. I have nothing to say except superlatives about my fellow scribes and the people who produce the magazine weekly without fail. Every week we have grand lunches at the magazine, which is housed in a very grand house next to Parliament. We have famous guests whose brains we pick and whose legs we pull. Once a year, the first Thursday in July, we give our summer party where every prime minister has attended since I’ve been there. If ever I am fired I shall certainly miss the place. In fact, I am already thinking how empty my life will be in five years. Long live the Speccie.

Wouldn't it be nice if there were one set of rules that applied equally?

American Mercenary
Verbatim Post

Senator Bacon felt the hood coming off of his head, and a single bare lightbulb, not CFL he noted airily, swung overhead.

The idea that a sitting US Senator would be kidnapped by terrorists was something that they all had to prepare for, but Senator Bacon wasn't prepared for the reality, his bodyguards going down with the muffled flashes of sub-machine guns, the black masked bad guys kicking him down and flex cuffing his hands behind his back. The hood over his head was the part where he knew that it had to be terrorists.

"Do you know who I am?" Senator Bacon demanded, sensing a presence behind him.

"Yes, we do." A cold voice said. A folder slapped down on the table in front of the Senator and pages of correspondence and photos of meetings with Saudi princes came out. "You are a terrorism supporter. There is no use denying it."

But Senator Bacon couldn't NOT deny it, his meetings with a Prince of the house of Saud was purely business! "I met with Prince Saud as part of official business! I was part of the envoy to Saudi Arabia for the last energy deal!" The Senator's voice held plenty of righteous indignation. "What are you? Some sort of fringe homeland group? Let me go now and I won't press charges."

There was nothing but laughter from multiple voices now.

"So you admit to having correspondence with a known terrorism support, you admit that the correspondence in front of you is actually yours?" The voice held a hint of bitter humor.

"Of course it is, I was doing my job! Let me go and I promise you immunity." Senator Bacon began to feel that something wasn't right. The desk in front of him was a simple field desk painted olive drab. The bare light above him was powered by a faint generator noise he heard in the distance. The room he was in wasn't a room at all, but a field tent. The sound of helicopters in the distance told him he was close to an airport.

"We can't do that Senator, you've made yourself an enemy of the state and will be held without counsel until we decide what to do with you." The voice was calm.

"Screw You, I AM the state!" Senator Bacon yelled, angry beyond reason. "Nothing gets done in this town without my hand in it, NOTHING!"

"No one is above the law" The voice replied. Silence followed. Minutes ticked by.

"What do you want?" Senator Bacon realized that bargaining and anger didn't affect his captors.

"Simply to do the job that you gave us to do." The voice said.

"What job did I give you to do?" The Senator asked, bewildered. He may have known the Prince wasn't entirely a savory character, but that is just the cost of doing business in the Middle East right? The Senator couldn't recall hiring the services of a terrorist cell or mercenary group to do anything....

Footsteps came slowly around until a man in uniform, three stars on his chest came into the light of the single bulb.

"We are to detain all who are suspected of terrorism and supporting terrorism." The Lieutenant General smiled a weary smile. "And you have already admitted to supporting terrorism. Unfortunately I cannot let you have a phone call or access to a lawyer since it would tip of your terrorist buddies. The good news is that this is all perfectly legal. You made it so."

The truth of the matter stunned Senator Bacon into silence. The Lieutenant General left the room. The light went out, and Senator Bacon was thankful for the darkness so he could weep unobserved. Unobserved save for the IR camera recording his every tear.

Brady Talking Point Broadsides: Opening Salvo

Via Western Rifle Shooters Association


Scumfuck Living In Babylon
Verbatim Post

Today on the chopping block, inspired by This Post, I'd like to address the issue of need. As in the constant whine of "Why do you NEED x? What are you going to use X for?" in regards to personal weaponry. This is a common question among Gun Owner Butts (as in "I'm a gun owner, but...") who wail and gnash their teeth because you don't use night vision scopes to hunt Bambi. Put quite simply, this question is some bullshit, and I've always got an answer. So here goes.

Q: "Why do you NEED high capacity magazines?"
A: "Because sometimes you have to kill a whole bunch of motherfuckers."

Q: "Why do you NEED armor piercing rounds?"
A: "Because sometimes you have to kill some motherfucker hiding on the other side of a wall."

Q: "Why do you NEED a fifty caliber sniper rifle?"
A: "Because sometimes you have to kill some motherfucker from a kilometer away."

Q: "Why do you need a night vision scope?"
A: "Because sometimes you have to kill some motherfuckers in the dark."

Bitches I can go on all day like this. Why do I NEED this shit? Well I dunno, genius, why were these items developed? Almost all of them had a purpose when they were developed. They designed AP to penetrate barricades. They designed night vision for killing motherfuckers in the dark. They developed standard ("high") capacity magazines to lessen the need to reload.

I'm sick of pretending that there are sporting purposes to my shit. I'm a survivalist and my weapons are for killing motherfuckers in a theoretical Mad Max future, and perhaps most importantly of all I don't have to justify shit to you, god damnit.

Choke on that, you fascist vermin.

White Privilege

I need a little help. I'm up here alone and I've got 50 MiGs cornered!
Radio call, F-86 Sabre pilot, Korea 1952, via Al Nofi at

White Privilege is a malevolent enterprise, a creepy spawn of times past skulking around to the present day, avoiding daylight and mirrors, springing on the unwary from the dank sanctuary academia provides it.

The Depression was the mother of all adversity but it steeled the working family's determination to build a better life using whatever resources they had for whatever opportunities were offered. This is the only privilege they ever asked for or needed. But the Depression taught other people a different lesson.

A generation later our plentiful and open society attracted the attention of those with little to offer beyond hostility and envy, and the sense of entitlement that goes with it. They scented an opportunity of their own, one that traced back to that different lesson, a lesson peddled relentlessly all through the Depression: posturing as a blameless victim brings indulgent, doting attention. This time they were careful to select more malleable clients, the destitute yeomen of rural America having rejected collectivism out of hand*.

As the victimhood racket went from success to success it evolved, bifurcated and specialized. Ever smaller groups adapted the basic posture, remodeled the template to suit their franchise, staked out territory and enlisted claimants until the boundaries of absurdity itself were crossed.

For instance, homosexuals claimed victimhood because, among other alleged grievances, they were denied sexual access to schoolchildren. The usual suspects not only opened the classrooms to them, they were invited to supply coursework preparing kids to be their partners. Ordinary parents who stand against them are excoriated as vile haters.

For another instance, the militant Latino organization La Raza—"the race"—whose stated goal is to throw whites off the continent, whose literature bristles with violence toward the hated gringo, claim victimhood merely because they are opposed. The federal government funds La Raza with our own tax money. Any who stand against them are excoriated as vile haters.

Emboldened by the expanding feeding frenzy, the usual opportunists—meaning, let us be honest, academics and similar encumbrances—gussied up black supremacist cant and called it White Privilege, a malevolent notion which rewrote white people's achievements as unearned and inevitable, the unavoidable spoils of a race-based conspiracy. They paint White Privilege as so pervasive its practitioners are unaware of it, conveniently. This is their opening to invent an unexpunged evil and provide the way to redemption. It's good ol' Hegelian dialectic, a tried and true trap for the gullible.

Those who saw themselves and their families through the Depression would be astounded anybody could believe them culpable for lifting themselves from penury by their own effort and, not incidentally, rescuing the nation from outright ruin. They found themselves in a train wreck not of their making, lived by the hard rules of deprivation, resisted that which would dishonor them or their family, prevailed against the horrors of a world war and the challenges that followed. Yet White Privilege presents the story to their grandchildren as if it were a criminal record. The perpetrators of White Privilege, to their everlasting dishonor and deep personal disgrace, have embezzled a generation's heritage.


DNS Evasion to Stop Oppressive Policy in America

Via Ol' Remus

DeSopa 1.4

by Tamer Rizk

DNS Evasion to Stop Oppressive Policy in America

Mexico's cartels build own national radio system

Via Survival

When convoys of soldiers or federal police move through the scrubland of northern Mexico, the Zetas drug cartel knows they are coming.

The alert goes out from a taxi driver or a street vendor, equipped with a high-end handheld radio and paid to work as a lookout known as a "halcon," or hawk.

The radio signal travels deep into the arid countryside, hours by foot from the nearest road. There, the 8-foot-tall (2-meter-tall) dark-green branches of the rockrose bush conceal a radio tower painted to match. A cable buried in the dirt draws power from a solar panel. A signal-boosting repeater relays the message along a network of powerful antennas and other repeaters that stretch hundreds of miles (kilometers) across Mexico, a shadow communications system allowing the cartel to coordinate drug deliveries, kidnapping, extortion and other crimes with the immediacy and precision of a modern military or law-enforcement agency.

The Mexican army and marines have begun attacking the system, seizing hundreds of pieces of communications equipment in at least three operations since September that offer a firsthand look at a surprisingly far-ranging and sophisticated infrastructure.

Current and former U.S. law-enforcement officials say the equipment, ranging from professional-grade towers to handheld radios, was part of a single network that until recently extended from the U.S. border down eastern Mexico's Gulf coast and into Guatemala.

The network allowed Zetas operatives to conduct encrypted conversations without depending on Linkthe official cellphone network, which is relatively easy for authorities to tap into, and in many cases does not reach deep into the Mexican countryside.

"They're doing what any sensible military unit would do," said Robert Killebrew, a retired U.S. Army colonel who has studied the Mexican drug cartels for the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank. "They're branching out into as many forms of communications as possible."

The Girl Scout Propaganda Machine

To save time just go to American Heritage Girls

It’s not enough that children are brainwashed in government schools. Now parents have to keep a watchful eye on private organizations that once had a reputation for upholding American Values. Unlike the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts of the USA accepts homosexuals and allows its members to substitute another word in place of “God” when reciting the Girl Scout Promise.[1]:

Girl Scouts of the USA makes no attempt to define or interpret the word “God” in the Girl Scout Promise. It looks to individual members to establish for themselves the nature of their spiritual beliefs. When making the Girl Scout Promise, individuals may substitute wording appropriate to their own spiritual beliefs for the word “God.

Girl Scouts USA is the largest organization in the world dedicated solely to girls. The organization currently has 3.6 million members — 2.7 million ages five to 17. What the Girl Scouts teach trickle down to impressionable young minds.

The Girl Scouts has steadily redefined its values by cozying up to Planned Parenthood, homosexual and so-called transgendered groups, and the ultra-Leftist Media Matters through a book published in 2010 titled MEdia.


Killer Santa Claus was a Muslim

Naw, who woulda thunk'........?

Godfather Politics

Verbatim Post

There were two family-death tragedies that hit news services on Christmas. The first one was the house fire in Connecticut where five people died: a grandmother, grandfather, three young girls — a 10-year-old and 7-year-old twins. The girls’ mother, Madonna Badger, and a friend escaped the fire.

The house was being renovated. Fire officials believe the fire was started by fireplace embers that had been cleared out of the fireplace and put in either a mud room attached to the house or a trash enclosure next to it.

The story brought tears to my eyes. I didn’t want to think about what all who were involved went through. It must have been horrible.

There was a news story about another family where tragedy struck. This time it was in Colleyville, Texas, on Christmas day. Here’s how ABC News reported it:

A Santa-suited gunman who killed six people on Christmas morning was the estranged husband of one of the victims and the father of two teenagers who died in the massacre.

Aziz Yazdanpanah, 56, showed up to his estranged wife’s apartment on Christmas morning dressed like St. Nick and opened fire shortly after the family had unwrapped presents.

Yazdanpanah then killed himself.

The six victims were identified by ABC affiliate WFAA as: Nasrin Rahmaty, 55, who was Yazdanpanah’s wife; Nona Yazdanpanah, 19, his daughter; Ali Yazdanpanah, 15, his son; Zohreh Rahmaty, 58, his sister-in-law; Hossein Zarei, 59, his brother-in-law; and Sahra Zarei, 22, his niece.

Later reports tell us that the murderer was a Muslim, a fact that the media are downplaying. “Aziz Yazdanpanah, a Muslim, didn’t like his daughter’s non-Muslim boyfriend and was exhibiting stalker behavior. ‘She couldn’t date at all until she was a certain age, but when he was going to let her date she couldn’t date anyone outside of their race or religion.’”

Investigators are downplaying the motive. Lt. Todd Dearing said that motive isn’t important.

Motive is always important except, it seems, when “when Islam is involved.” (Source)

You may recall that the Defense Department reclassified the Fort Hood massacre as “workplace violence.” We know that Maj. Hassan​ shouted “Allahu Akbar” (Arabic for “God is Great”) after firing a total of 214 rounds at his fellow soldiers. Even so, we were told that Hassan’s religious believes were not a factor in the shooting.

Maybe if we ignore the relationship between Islam, honor killings, and other acts of violence they’ll all go away. Don’t count on it.

We're in trouble


Lure of China Tuition Squeezes Out Asian-Americans

Roundabout via Cousin Bill

Kwanhyun Park, the 18-year-old son of Korean immigrants, spent four years at Beverly Hills High School earning the straight As and high test scores he thought would get him into the University of California, San Diego. They weren’t enough.

The sought-after school, half a mile from the Pacific Ocean, admitted 1,460 fewer California residents this year to accept higher-paying students from out-of-state, many from China.

“I was shocked,” said Park, who also was rejected from four other UC schools, including the top-ranked campuses in Berkeley and Los Angeles, even with a 4.0 grade-point average and an SAT score above the UC San Diego average. “I took it terribly. I felt like I was doing well and I failed.”

The University of California system, rocked by budget cuts, is enrolling record numbers of out-of-state and international students, who pay almost twice that of in-state residents. Among those being squeezed out: high-achieving Asian-Americans, many of them children of immigrants, who for decades flocked to the state’s elite public colleges to move up the economic ladder.

In 2009, University of California administrators told the San Diego campus to reduce its number of in-state freshmen by 500 to about 3,400 and fill the spots with out-of-state and international students, said Mae Brown, the school’s admissions director. California residents pay $13,234 in annual tuition while nonresidents pay $22,878.

12-Fold Surge

As a result, almost 200 freshmen from China enrolled in 2011, up from 16 in 2009, a 12-fold increase. At the same time, the number of Asian-American Californians enrolled fell 29 percent to 1,230, from 1,723 in 2009. The 2009 figure is from the UC system’s office because San Diego didn’t have it available.

Sing it


Administration/media collaboration continues Gunwalker misdirection

“Angry former ATF chief blames subordinates for Fast and Furious,” Richard A. Serrano of the Los Angeles Times reported in his Christmas Eve gift to the administration.

The story is he didn’t know, and he’s sticking to it. And if Ken Melson didn’t know, how could Eric Holder?

Now the new acting Bureau head, B. Todd Jones dutifully carries the meme forward:

[W]eak management structure has given some field agents a license to operate independently of Washington.

Except field agents at CleanUpATF, the website dedicated to exposing and correcting agency waste, abuse, corruption and fraud, aren’t buying it:

Mr. Jones - if the above is accurately quoted and accurately attributed to you, then to borrow a line from Mr. Grassley "You may be ill-served". You may not have been here long enough to know that ATF does not operate that way. Agents need multiple layers of approval to even begin such an operation, even one that does not encourage and allow sales to known traffickers with no intention of maintaining control or observation of the firearms. If you have been advised otherwise, you may want to consider other sources for your orientation to the agency because you will have no shortage of employees testify contrary to your assertion and be able to back it up with specific examples.

Here's hoping there was a misunderstanding or miscommunication during the interview. We don't need any more classic oversight hearing moments with an employee being asked "Are you lying or are they lying?"


CBM: I Want A Love I Can See

Via T
"Angel Rissoff Nu Soul Stew" has been nominated for “Best Solo Album of 2008 by the Carolina Beach Music Awards."

Influenced by Little Richard, Hank Ballard, Howard Tate and BB King, Angel started singing rhythm and blues on street corners when he was twelve. Read his biography

I have always been into R&B, Soul, Blues, Jump music, Doo wop…. .. I started singing with vocal groups when I was 12 and got into my first band that was called the Soul Masters. It just went on from there. I was always playing Beach Music and didn’t know it!

A Libertarian Year Ahead?

Human Events
Verbatim Post

John Stossel

As 2011 draws to a close, I wonder: Is freedom winning? Did America become freer this year? Less free? How about the rest of the world?

I'm a pessimist. I fear Thomas Jefferson was right when he said, "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." That's what's happened. Bush and Obama doubled spending and increased regulation. Government's intrusiveness is always more, never less. The state grows, and freedom declines.

But there were bright spots. We don't yet know what will become of what people call the Arab Spring. But this year, for the first time in my life, there was hope that masses of people in the Middle East will embrace liberalism -- in the original sense of people being left alone to pursue their own lives.

Another possible bright spot: President Obama declared the war in Iraq over. I don't believe it because 17,000 embassy personnel remain, but at least he's saying it, and troops have left. Some will also leave Afghanistan. But I'm confused. Obama was elected partly because he promised to end the wars. But then he almost tripled the number of American soldiers in Afghanistan, from 35,000 to 100,000.

I'm pessimistic about America going bankrupt, like Greece, thanks to ballooning spending on entitlements like Medicare. But terms of debate can change quickly. This spring, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan presented a timid plan that would have slowed the growth of government slightly. Even Republicans went bonkers. Newt Gingrich called it "right-wing social engineering."

But now, just seven months later, the country's in a different place. Newt's apologized. Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans praise Ryan's plan. The Republican Study Committee wants to go further. Now Ryan agrees that his plan was "mild." Today he says he'd go farther.

Maybe attitudes changed because Americans watched the video of riots in Greece and realized what can happen when the money runs out. Maybe Standard and Poor's downgrading of the government's credit rating mattered. Maybe attitudes changed simply because the deficit numbers are so ugly that even the establishment has to acknowledge it.

But also, attitudes changed because we libertarians won the battle of ideas. Now every Republican presidential candidate -- not just Ron Paul -- talks about free enterprise.

Alec Baldwin told Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, "You can't not have strong capital markets in this country or the country's going to go down the tubes."

Wow. Even left-wing celebrities defend "strong capital markets"? The world is moving toward limited government and free enterprise. We libertarians have won!

What am I talking about? We haven't won. Even Republicans want to grow government. When the Super Committee failed to reach its super conclusion and thereby put us on automatic pilot to a trillion dollars in spending cuts, Republicans screamed about draconian damage to the military. But the automatic cuts are really just cuts in the rate of increase. Spending will still go up, just at a slightly slower rate. Why is this even controversial?

I fear that much of the country is in agreement with the Wall Street protestors who love free stuff from government -- free health care, free college education, free lunch. Elderly Americans want no cuts to Medicare. Even after the Solyndra scandal, 62 percent of Americans say America should continue to invest in clean-energy jobs. Don't they think about what that money would be producing if left in the hands of free, entrepreneurial individuals? No.

Lots of Americans oppose free trade and free markets. It takes some knowledge to realize that the seeming chaos masks underlying order. The benefits of freedom are not intuitive, and when you go against people's intuition, they get upset.

The benefits of freedom are largely "unseen," as the 19th century French liberal Frederic Bastiat put it. He meant that rising living standards and labor-saving inventions don't appear to flow from freedom. But they do.

It's one of the ironies of life that people need not understand freedom for it to work, and because of this, there is the perennial danger that they will give it up without realizing the disastrous consequences that follow.

We freedom-lovers have a lot more work to do.

Mailvox: true or false

Vox Popoli
Verbatim Post
Puacon has four questions:
1) True/False: Ron Paul is a political Leninist, i.e. an admirer of Lenin's "salami tactics" via Rockwell/Rothbard (see Rothbard's Ethics of Liberty for more...)

2) True/False: You (Vox) support this political Leninism, based on your support of Dr. Paul

3) True/False: Leninism is based on deception and dishonesty...lying about being a racist to infiltrate and control racist groups, etc. This is considered pragmatic, benefits outweighing costs (more liberty vs. associating with racists).

4) True/False: Dr. Paul isn't a racist. He just lied about being a racist in order to get money, support, etc. as per point 3.

These are not trick questions. I'm not judging you either way, just trying to get a handle on your positions on above.
1. False. A Leninist is not someone who admires, embraces, or uses any tactic that Vladimir Lenin happened to historically utilize. Also, the addition of the adjective "political" is redundant, as Leninism is an intrinsically political ideology. Since a Leninist is someone who subscribes to "the body of political theory for the democratic organisation of a revolutionary vanguard party, and the achievement of a direct-democracy dictatorship of the proletariat, as political prelude to the establishment of socialism", it is patently obvious that Ron Paul is not a Leninist of any kind.

2. False. I do not support the establishment of socialism. Nor does Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, or Murray Rothbard.

3. False. Puacon is confusing a tactic which was historically used by Leninists and other groups with Leninism itself. You might as reasonably claim that Ron Paul is a "political Muslim", as the tactic you are describing is known in Islamic theology as taqiyya. Moreover, Puacon is committing a second error in assuming that because Rothbard believe the tactic was useful, Ron Paul is therefore utilizing it.

4. I can't answer this question due to the erroneous assumptions implicit in it. I believe that all human beings are racist, myself included, and there is no shortage of empirical evidence and scientific studies demonstrating that this is the case. If Ron Paul, like most people, has said that he is not racist, he is mistaken. But that does not mean he is lying about it.

I note with some amusement that Puacon's mischaracterization and misidentification of his target on the political spectrum could, by his own erroneous metric, be accurately described as "Stalinist".

War Horses - Flecked With Blood Drops

Old Virginia Blog
Verbatim Post

Steven Spielberg's latest film, War Horse, is getting lots of rave reviews. From the trailer and the reviews, it does look to be the kind of film that I'd enjoy. I'll watch it when it comes out on DVD. But I was reminded of a documentary Ron Maxwell did about the horses of Gettysburg a while back. Here's a clip:

"There hangs a sabre, and there a rein,
With a rusty buckle and green curb chain;
A pair of spurs on the old gray wall,
And a moldy saddle—well, that is all.

"Come out to the stable—it is not far;
The moss-grown door is hanging ajar.
Look within! There's an empty stall,
Where once stood a charger, and that is all.

"The good black horse came riderless home,
Flecked with blood drops as well as foam;
See yonder hillock where dead leaves fall;
The good black horse dropped dead—that is all.

"All? O, God! it is all I can speak.
Question me not, I am old and weak;
His sabre and his saddle hang on the wall,
And his horse is dead—I have told you all."

~ Francis Alexander Durivage

Fair and Unbiased?


"I find it quite unique that after almost 150 years, purveyors of the
myths surrounding the [second] War of Secession retain not only their
desire, but their ABILITY to hide the facts...of the era. The same lies
and half-truths continue to be presented as hard fact with every passing
generation and all attempts at bringing even a modicum of
well-documented facts (such as the actual words of the men involved) are
met with a hostility every bit as virulent as was the case shortly after
the war ended. And they say that the South won't let the past die!"

-- Valerie Protopapas, Huntington Station, NY


Dear Mr. Oreilly,

Your utilization of a program that promotes itself as delivering fair
and unbiased news , yet allows you to continue in this the
Sesquicentennial of the War Between the States to use the airways of
America to promote and to deliver the Reconstruction Puritan message
designed to disguise from the American public the war crimes of Abraham
Lincoln and the northern industrialist in the promotional sales of a
book, without allowing equal air time for rebuttal by Southern authors
like Thomas De Lorenzo, and Stanley Lott, a Black man, and promotions of
their books, and the view of Southern folks about Lincoln, then and now
would be fair and unbiased.

However, I surmise that your fear of the debate because of the code that
you share with those who proclaim the victory of their ancestors would
take away your membership in the club if you exposed the truth about
Lincoln. Mainly, because it would lead to so many of them, and to what
is really happening in this nation being a direct result of the actions
of a man who would suspend the writ of habeas corpus, and gave the order
to William T. Sherman and his men to burn, rape, rob, pillage, innocent
old men, women, and children; Ordered to leave them with no shelter, no
food, no means to defend themselves or fend for themselves; and that
they would never have to answer for their actions. A man at best, who if
he had not been killed, would very possibly have killed himself. A very
well known fact. A man who championed the Corwin Amendment and the
Morril Act.

And, possibly, I could be wrong. Just maybe you didn't get a chance to
see my request to hold a televised mock trial for Lincoln , because I
the son of former slaves accuse Lincoln of war crimes against the South
and America for instituting an illegal act that resulted in the loss of
over 600,000 lives, and the destruction of the Constitutional Republic
of the Founding Fathers. And because of the loyalty of Southern slaves,
and Freed Blacks to their former masters during this epoch; I also
accuse Lincoln complicit of the Reconstruction plan to divide and
separate the former slaves from their masters and people of the South
that has left Blacks in a system of perpetual slavery that is far worse
than the condition they found themselves in chattel slavery in the
Southland of America.

Let's just see if you've made enough , and can afford to be fair and
balanced. God bless you.

HK Edgerton
Southern Heritage 411

The Salafist party's plan for the Pyramids? Cover them in wax

The pyramids at Giza are the most stunning sight I have ever seen.

True, their lonely eminence is threatened by Cairo's unlicensed building sprawl, with half completed houses inching their way towards them.

Surveying them at night as the calls to prayer multiplied into a thunder of sound from central Cairo already told me a few years back what was coming.

For now members of the Nour (The Light) Salafist party, which won 20 per cent of the vote in recent elections, are talking about putting an end to the 'idolatry' represented by the pyramids.

This means destruction - along the lines essayed by the Afghan Taliban who blew up the Banyam Buddhas - or 'concealment' by covering them with wax. Tourists would presumably see great blobs rather than the perfectly carved steps.


The "discredited" campaign

Vox Popoli
Verbatim Post

The New York Times unintentionally recognizes the legitimacy of Ron Paul's presidential campaign:
Ron Paul long ago disqualified himself for the presidency by peddling claptrap proposals like abolishing the Federal Reserve, returning to the gold standard, cutting a third of the federal budget and all foreign aid and opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Now, making things worse, he has failed to convincingly repudiate racist remarks that were published under his name for years — or the enthusiastic support he is getting from racist groups.
I find it extremely encouraging that both the Democratic and Republican establishments are training their biggest guns on Ron Paul while simultaneously attempting to play down the results of the Iowa caucuses. They never would have bothered to do so if Paul's message was not resonating with Americans across the political and ideological divides. We are learning a lot here as a result of the various reactions to the Paul campaign, whether it is the willingness of Republicans to play the race card about which they so often complain, the remarkable extent to which Newt Gingrich is big government moderate rather than the conservative flamethrower he feigned to be in 1994, and the way in which many Republicans who pretend to revere the Constitution do not, in fact, harbor any real respect for it at all.

In short, Ron Paul has successfully opened the eyes of millions of Americans to the corruption and anti-conservate, anti-constitutional ideology of the Republican Party. This is the first step in helping them understand that the Republicans and Democrats are merely two barely distinguishable factions in the one party that has ruled America for over a century.

It is also interesting to note the Communist-style ideological lockstep demanded by Republicans. In the same way that some readers here cannot understand that I permit commenters here to post comments they find offensive without that permission indicating my position on the matter - even though they know I disgree with, but permit, their own comments - the demands that Paul denounce any of his supporters reveals a fundamentally totalitarian mindset of the sort that has pervaded the conservative media since William F. Buckley was seduced by the Wilsonian neocons.

One thing I found particularly informative in this regard was John Hinderaker's endorsement of Mitt Romney. I've known that the former Hindrocket of the Northern Alliance Radio Show was an ideologically squishy political creature since appearing on that show, and his endorsement of Mitt Romney is the full flowering of what has historically been known as "growth".
The “anybody but Romney” mentality that grips many Republicans is, in my view, illogical. It led them to embrace Rick Perry, who turned out to be unable to articulate a conservative thought; Newt Gingrich, whose record is far more checkered than Romney’s; Ron Paul, whose foreign policy views–indistinguishable from those of the far left–and forays into racial intolerance make him unfit to be president; and Michele Bachmann, whom I like very much, but who is more qualified to be a rabble-rouser than a chief executive.
It is deeply amusing indeed to see Hindrocket assert that Paul's foreign policy views are "indistinguishable from those of the far left" on the very day that the New York Times is publishing an editorial that could easily bear his byline, given the remarkably similar language; for example, Hinderaker says Paul is "unfit" versus the NTY's "discredited". And Hinderaker's statement about Paul's foreign policy is astonishingly deceitful, as far left foreign policy is not the least bit isolationist, but is the exact same world revolution approach that is presently favored by Hinderaker and the Republican establishment, only its focus is world socialist revolution rather than world democratic revolution.

And Hinderaker is as wrong about Romney's ability to beat Obama as all the usual suspects in the conservative media were wrong about McCain's ability to win in 2008. John Hawkins list seven reasons why Romney's supposed electability is a myth. I'll add another reason: after the way he is being treated by the Republican Party establishment and the way the Tea Party-elected House Republicans have proven themselves to be the same fiscally irresponsible rollover Republicans their historical predecessors were, Ron Paul has absolutely no reason not to run in the general election as a third party candidate, ideally as the endorsed candidate of the Constitution and Libertarian Parties.

I very much hope he will do so. As the Bush family has taught us, better an openly declared enemy in power than a false and fraudulent "friend".

Marine Survives Shooting By Plugging His Bullet Wounds With His Fingers

His fiance calls him, a U.S. Marine, “superman.” And when you Karl Trenker’s story, that might not be too far off.

Trenker’s fiance recently placed an ad on Craigslist to sell a gold necklace. But when Trenker, instead of his fiance, went to meet the potential buyers last Wednesday, they weren’t really interested in making a deal. Instead, one of the men grabbed the chain and ran with it. Trenker, 29, decided to chase him. That’s when the robber pulled a gun on the veteran and shot him several times in the chest and torso.

“I was pointing out the caret marks on the chain to him, and then kind of pick it up, put it in his hands and said, ‘Yeah, that feels real,’ and then he just took off running,” he told local news outlets, including WSVN-TV.

“I dialed my phone and called my fiancée and said, ‘Listen I’ve been shot I think three times,” he later added:


Teen Succumbs to Cancer After Stopping Treatment to Deliver Healthy Baby Boy

This is not the storyline you may expect in the case of teen pregnancy. Jenni Lake gave birth to a baby boy the month before her 18th birthday, though she was not destined to become just another teenage mother.

While being admitted to the hospital, she pulled her nurse down to her at bed level and whispered into her ear. The nurse would later repeat the girl’s words to comfort her family, as their worst fears were realized a day after Jenni’s baby was born.

“She told the nurse, ‘I’m done, I did what I was supposed to. My baby is going to get here safe,’” said Diana Phillips, Jenni’s mother.

In photographs, the baby’s ruddy cheeks and healthy weight offer a stark contrast to the frail girl who gave birth to him. She holds the newborn tightly, kissing the top of his head. Jenni, at 5 feet and 4 inches tall, weighed only 108 pounds at the full term of her pregnancy.


‘Muslim Brotherhood Has Infiltrated Our Highest Positions in Gov’t’

Former “Saturday Nigh Live” actress Victoria Jackson is facing some criticism over recent comments she made on “Politichicks,” a web talk show she co-hosts. During a recent episode, Jackson contended that the Muslim Brotherhood — the same Islamist group that has been winning Middle Eastern elections — has infiltrated the American government at its highest levels.

“I just went to a briefing in Washington D.C., across the street from the Capitol, at the Longworth building at 8:30 am two days ago and it changed my life,” she said. “For six hours, I saw pictures and names and dates and facts and Islamic law books and Korans, Surahs for six hours and they proved to me… that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated our highest positions in government and this is serious.”

Watch these comments, below:


Can a Christian be a libertarian?

Via Bazz

Christians in American politics have argued for years that God endorses the political agenda of Republicans or Democrats, but is there a third way to think about the relationship between God and government?

Christians from the left and the right are increasingly turning to libertarianism not because it is a “middle ground,” but because it is an entirely different way of thinking about government and power.

The core of libertarianism is the non-aggression principle: that the initiation of force against person and property is immoral, and it is in many respects a kind of political corollary to the Golden Rule. Thus, Christian libertarians think that government power should be limited, sound money and truly free markets should return, aggressive war must cease and civil liberties must be preserved. Despite objections raised by other Christians, many Christian libertarians have found a friend in Texas congressional representative, presidential candidate, and lifelong Christian Dr. Ron Paul, because he also believes in these important principles.

Libertarianism treats man’s sinful nature realistically. James Madison famously quipped that if men were angels no government would be necessary. Christian libertarians take this a step further, saying that it is precisely because men are not angels that government must have extraordinarily limited powers. God does not show favoritism nor does he give special privileges of position. Everyone is accountable to the moral law in the same way. When governments and politicians extend their power so that they can abridge people’s natural rights with impunity, they have crossed the line into immorality. Rep. Paul’s message is that the United States government has been far across this line for decades and the remedy is to follow the Constitution. The Founders created the boldest attempt in history to limit state power, yet presidents and congresses, both Republican and Democratic, have repeatedly refused to adhere to their own rules. True, lasting change can only be found in reducing the power of the federal government.


Ron Paul Ad - Washington Machine

Via Cousin John

1967 Sunbeam Tiger 427 CI, 6-Speed

I'm guessing that even with the 427 it's under 2,800 pounds.