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Afternoon Whip, June 14, 2010

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The Pillars of Apathy
I refuse to believe government programs launched in the Forties, Sixties, and Seventies are indestructible features of our lives, immune to repeal or reform. I don’t believe a nation with a 234-year history of courage and industry is destined to suffocate in a shallow pool of nanny-state cement, poured only a few generations ago. It will be difficult for the American giant to rise again… but history unfolds in the space between difficult and impossible.

There is no such thing as eternal legislation. Even the Constitution can be amended. It’s only a question of how much willpower it will take for us to cast aside the intolerable acts of our political class. We are descended from men who showed great vigor in resisting intolerable acts.

I don’t believe the American electorate is a hopeless mass of imbeciles and parasites. Of course, we’ll always have plenty of both… along with a breathtaking population of hard workers, visionaries, and heroes. It’s terribly short-sighted to write off a populace that ignores its expensive media apparatus and fills the streets for Tea Party rallies – joining people loudly accused of racism to denounce a supposedly inevitable system of total State control, run by a man they were taught it was
sinful to oppose. The allegedly stupid proletariat of the United States just made Friedrich Hayek’s 66-year-old masterpiece, The Road to Serfdom, Number One on the Amazon.com bestseller list. Our fellow citizens are thinking, and questioning. Questions are acid to statism.

Amen, Brother! We, as a nation, need to understand that almost all of "progressive" economic theory (either Marxism of Keynesiansm) is simply, utterly wrong. It doesn't work. It is "unsustainable." It is bankrupting us. The New Deal turns out to be a Bad Deal. Stimulating government spending is NOT the same thing as stimulating the economy.

The government is NOT the economy, and the government is NOT the answer to every social problem we find. Indeed, many of the social problems we have today are made worse--if not actually caused, by the kind of bull-in-a-china-shop government intervention and micromanagement of people's lives which is the hallmark of "progressive" political action.

Democratic Congressman Assaults College Student -- Oh, yeah. This one can't be linked enough. Democrat. Congressman. Assault. College student, the victim. This guy (the Congressman) should spend time in jail. Of course, most Congressmen should, actually.

IDLED OIL RIGS ARE MOVING TO BRAZIL Following Obama’s Drilling Moratorium -- It turns out that all the high-minded environmentalist blather boils down to NIMBY: Not In My Back Yard. We don't care if you drill for oil in the Atlantic Ocean off Brazil--just don't do it within sight of an American beach. Because, you know, it's so unsightly to see an oil rig when you're trying to catch a few rays.

Of course, oil-covered pelicans are a bit more unsightly, but then the environmentalists decided that oil wells where they'd be almost impossible to maintain if something went drastically wrong--a mile deep in ocean water--was preferable to oil wells in a couple of hundred feet of water, where crews could still get down and actually work on with human hands of something blew.

Not "green." Just NIMBY.

The Great Democrat Embarrassment Continues -- I know it can't last (can it?) but the whole fiasco for the Democrats over their candidate for U.S. Senate from South Carolina, Alvin Greene, is just too damn entertaining for words . . . in a year where perhaps THE major issue is the demonstrated Democrat incompetence at actually governing (as opposed to just running for office, which Democrats are clearly very good at), the presence of Alvin Greene at the top of a state's Democrat electoral ballot speaks volumes. Inevitable: YouTube pulls “We Con the World” video; Update: Video rehosted

Of Tea Parties and Leaders

Palin: No, I haven’t had implants

Newsweek and "Saint Sarah" - Updated

Today’s Obama Lie Exposed: Majority of Americans Will Lose Employer Health Plans in 3 Years

a remarkable statement from NOAA

Ace of Spades Smacks Charles Johnson in a Post Every New* Blogger Should Read

Outrageous Fortune -- Or: What, exactly is "hate speech?" Another incident in the long, disgraceful history of "progressive" suppression of free thought and discussion . . .

New Dogs; Old Tricks: -- Wherein the climate-change evangelists continue to attack the skeptics rather than defend the science. At some point you realize they do this because they can't defend the science, because there is no science there.

Deflating Social Security -- Social Security was sold to the American Public as a supplement to retirement income. It wasn't supposed to be the primary retirement income source. But government programs always grow. It's called "scope creep," and it has destroyed countless programs and plans throughout human history. Social Security is simply the latest one to fall victim.

A New Government Agency I Can Support -- "Office of the Repealer."

Us vs. Them -- Us being the private sector. Them being government employees. Growing the latter is NOT economic "stimulus." At some point, it becomes, in fact as well as in concept, a form of slavery, subjugating the former to the latter. When the public's servants become the public's rulers, society enters a very, very dangerous, unstable, potentially violent situation. We're getting there. It needs to be stopped, and it needs to be reversed.

America, the Abstraction

"Truth Is the New Hate Speech"

Sad. President Obama Is Even More Radical Than Palestinian Leader – Abbas Wants Gaza Embargo to Enforced

Then and now, Europe, US to see snowy, cold winters: expert

Liberal Decides It’s OK to Hint Politicians May Be Hiding Their ‘True’ Religion

Whitewash versus Paint
Watts talk wasn’t really about a logical argument. It was about how to create a logical argument of sufficient authority to challenge the establishment. He was describing an open source research project, though perhaps much of the audience failed to realize it. Watts reeled them in as good speakers do, by telling them a story. He described how he had originally been a Global Warmist who had experienced a Pauline conversion on the most innocent of grounds. He had fascinated by measuring instruments and gadgetry and always had been. After retiring from a career as a TV weatherman he began to wonder whether a change in the specification of the paint used to coat temperature measuring stations might have anything to do with the rise in recorded readings. It was a simple enough idea. When temperatures were first collected the temp stations consisted of a whitewashed birdhouse like structure with a mercury thermometer in it. As recently as the 60s the whitewash was still used to maintain a consistency in experimental apparatus. And then the weather service changed the spec to paint. So he asked: Watts Up With That?

Royals notebook: Greinke makes adjustment after going to video

Greinke gets plenty of support in 7-3 win over Reds

Source: Chances of Big 12 survival look 'significantly greater'

Finishing Part 1 — The Fear is Real -- Writing is hard. Finishing a work is harder.

Japanese space probe finds unique asteroid dust


War and History, Ancient and Modern
People in the ancient world weren't worried about things that shock the modern mind, things we're not supposed to say. There's an honesty that permeates the literature and drama. It helps. People explicitly said why they did what they did. They would invade a place and say they did it because they could, because nobody could stop them. They took it because they wanted it, and they didn't apologize. There was no pretense, like when Stalin said he supported national liberation movements or when Hitler said he needed space.

This does not strike me as evidence of progress. The curse of the modern age is the loss of honesty about why people think, feel, and act the way they do. Many of our ills, I think, can be traced back to this sad truth.

Tanning to take tax hit -- 10% Federal sales tax on tanning--courtesy of the Democrats' passage of Obamacare. The camel's nose is under the tent. Do you care? Sales taxes are the most regressive taxes of all, hitting the poor the hardest because they have no way to avoid them--except to go to an underground economy (which will make organized crime very happy, but almost no one else). NOW do you see why Obamacare is a really, really, really bad idea?

“No Blood For Lithium”… US Discovers Vast Mineral Reserves in Afghanistan -- I think God likes to do this kind of thing every once in a while just to keep us from getting bored . . .

The Fractional-Reserve Banking Question
Austrian economics is superior to Marxism in every respect, and this includes internal, sectarian squabbles. When we Austrians feel the time is ripe for another bloodletting — it keeps us strong by thinning the herd once in a while — we argue over fractional-reserve banking.

Regulating Caveman Technology -- Why is burning banned? NIMBY!!! Oh, er, um, wait! Environmentalism!!!

Speaking of Gangster Government -- The Democrat Party is a criminal enterprise.

Speaking of conning the world

Was Margaret Thatcher the first climate sceptic?

History Channel’s Use of Celebrity & Innacuracy Ruins ‘America: the Story of Us’ -- Article's impact diminished somewhat by the misspelling of "inaccuracy" in the title, of course . . .

Union-Backed Democrats Take Aim at Bloggers, Tea Party Activists and NRA Members

Gallup: 49% of Americans think Democratic Party is too liberal -- And 38% say "about right" and there are actually 10% of those polled who think the Democrats are "too conservative." Wow. Oh, by the way, the numbers for the Republicans? 41% "About Right," 40% "Too Conservative," 15% "Too Liberal."

Raj Rajagopalan: Weak and Incompetent Obama Paves the Way for Governor Palin

Alabama Governor Blasts Obama Administration’s Poor Response to Oil Spill Crisis (Video)

Congressman Smacks Around College Kid -- Featuring a priceless quip from the comments:
Like celebrities, feral legislators are extremely unpredictable and dangerous. If you see one roaming the streets, do not approach it. Call animal control and let the professionals handle it.

Because they’re Better Than Us, example #6547

Barack and Benito
Nowadays, “fascism” is just an all-purpose insult. Few of those who call people they don’t like “fascists” know what fascism is. Fascism is an economic system. The name comes from an ancient Roman symbol, the “fasces,” a bundle of sticks – referring to how all sectors of society would be tied together by the government.

Back in the day, many intellectuals and other so-called progressives hailed fascism as a “third way” between communism and capitalism. Under fascism, private property does exist, but it is concentrated into big businesses, controlled by the government. Workers are also concentrated, into huge unions, again, controlled by the government.

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”

“All within the state. Nothing outside the state. Nothing against the state.”

– Benito Mussolini

Sound at all familiar? No? You haven't been paying attention, then. "Progressivism" IS fascism--but it's fascism with really, really good P.R.

The growing power of government unions

Pelosi offers Democratic example of frugality and responsibility

Tea Party Metaphysics and Other Terrifying Spectres -- Yes, indeed, I have not been reading Hegel. My reading shelf is quite full, thank you very much . . .

Why Your Child’s Teacher Stinks, and What You Can Do About It

The Case for Defense Spending -- I'm all for defending the United States. Defending France from Germany (or vice versa)? Not so much.

Rep. Bob Etheridge: ‘Who Are You?’

Or, perhaps the theme song for the 2010 and 2012 elections: