Friday, January 28, 2005

One face of the enemy

Instapundit had a link to this interview with the jackass academic who compared the people murdered on 9/11 to "little Eichmanns". Let's take a look, shall we?

Start with the picture at the top. Here's a 'progressive' for you: he looks like one of the idiots in the 60's who kidnapped 'evil capitalists' and murdered them after the ransom was paid, AK47 and all(and sunglasses, can't be real radical chic without the shades).

Let's take some quotes from the interview.
"Defining violence in terms of property—that basically nullifies the whole notion that life is sacred. People who want to elevate property to the same level of importance as life are so absurd as to be self-nullifying." Ok, so you can trash property that someone may have worked their ass of to get, and that doesn't count for anything. Check.

" The individuals who are perpetrators in one way or another, the “little Eichmanns”* in the background—the technocrats, bureaucrats, technicians—who make the matrix of atrocity that we are opposing possible are used to operating with impunity. If you’re designing thermonuclear weapons, you’re subject to neutralization, in the same sense that somebody who is engaged in homicide would be, in terms of their capacity to perpetrate that offense." Let's see, 'matrix of atrocity', 'little Eichmanns'(apparently a favorite phrase), and of course 'subject to neutralization'. Translation: if you're in any way part of the 'enemy' as we see it, we can kill you. Check.

" I’m actually a de-evolutionary. I don’t want other people in charge of the apparatus of the state as the outcome of a socially transformative process that replicates oppression. I want the state gone: transform the situation to U.S. out of North America. U.S. off the planet. Out of existence altogether." The U.S. is evil, so are all the other developed countries but less so, so the U.S. has to go. Check.

There's a fair bit of discussion connected to the post at Insty, and I'll have to agree with what Glenn says: it doesn't do any good to say that clowns like this don't represent the left when they aren't actually repudiated. As has been pointed out, when Mikey Moore is in the kings seat the the Democrat convention, when Barbara Boxer (hypocrite-CA) is sending letters of thanks and praise to MoveOn & company, and they're just accepted, then the are indeed the face of that political party. And it's a real ugly face. Whether they actually mean it or not- and some of them damn well do mean it- it's a face of the enemy.

Will the next one to pass Ted Kennedy slap him?

I just heard some excerpts of his current "we can't win, the administration LIED, we've got to run" speech. It brings up some thoughts, starting with


I don't care how 'passionately' he feels about his party, etc., to come out with this crap just before the Iraqi elections is, is... I can't think of the words. 'Stupid', 'careless', 'irresponsible' just don't cut it. To throw this mass of lies and exaggerations and flat crap out, ESPECIALLY NOW, is virtually criminal.

General stuff

Over at Powerline, evidence that Barbara Boxer is not only a hypocrite, she is a real loon.

From Lileks on the coming Iraqi election:
"So there’s an election in Iraq soon, I understand. I haven’t been writing about this here because I’m just taking the long, long view, and haven’t the time or inclination to argue with people who think “No WMD!” is the argument equivalent of a spreading a full house on the green felt table. It may seem so, but unfortunately we’re playing chess. However the election goes will be one thing; how it’s reported is another. The thing to watch is the position of the Damning But, the old DB. The DB will probably bob up in the first or second paragraphs of most dispatches. “The election went as planned in 95 percent of the country, but violence marred polling in the disputed Sunny D Triangle, where insurgents opposed to Tropicana Juice fired automatic weapons into an juice concentrate factory.” That’s one spin. “The election, long anticipated as a flashpoint for insurgent activity, went off with few delays. Despite sporadic gunfire marred the overall mood of success in several provinces, observers said that the process was ‘smooth as a Sade groove,’ adding that they were annoyed Sade had simply faded away instead of letting her career end with a tasteful layout in Playboy.” See? No DB there. We’ll see"

Ah, the weather weenies. The chance of scattered showers ending by noon turned into snow and slushy roads this morning. I'd have better luck checking Granny's fuzzy caterpiller for weather forecasting.

Ann Coulter made a comment in her last book that Bush should nominate for a position someone who really doesn't care if they get it or not; then they'd be free to speak back plainly to some of the pompous windbags involved. Her personal suggestion for a reply to Ted Kennedy? "Well, Senator, we'll drive off that bridge when we get to it." Not only funny, it just might push Splash over the edge. Barbara Boxer? My thought would be, "Senator, coming from a two-faced hypocrite like you, being called a liar doesn't mean much". The possibilities are endless.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

'Cleaning up Dodge'

This post at Dean Esmay is really, really interesting. Especially the bits on the 'uncivilized' handling of troubles. Too good to excerpt, should be read in its entirety.

I grew up around law enforcement, and have a long acquaintance with the concept. In many sheriff's offices, some PDs and Highway Patrols, there's a long tradition of settling many matters 'off the books'. This has been everything from an officer having words with some kid heading into trouble and thumping him a bit, to some officer faced with someone about to do something really bad and telling them flat out that if they do it, they'll die.

I'm very in favor of rules of conduct in law enforcement, for a number of reasons. I'm also aware that there are countless kids kept out of trouble, or pulled out of it, by some officer giving them 'counseling'. There are people alive because some guy with a badge telling a bad guy exactly what would happen to him if he did what he planned. There's also God knows how many cases where an officer knew exactly why someone had moved, or cleaned up their act, or in some cases flat disappeared; some family member or neighbor or friend of a victim/victim-to-be had words with/beat the crap out of/killed someone. The officer knew it and did nothing. Oh, sometimes might let something drop to the someone that it would be a bad idea for such activities to continue, but usually it wasn't needed; they hadn't done it because they wanted to, but because they had to.

This is the problem with depending on courts/the law to solve everything. They can't act until someone has actually done something, and then only if they can catch the bad guy and/or prove in court they did it. Which means, if you truly believe that only the government is allowed to act, someone winds up robbed/raped/beaten/dead, and the minions of government then show up to do something.

I know, you can't go simply to 'take care of it yourself', but you cannot simply block out the right of someone to act. I'm told that one mark of a good military officer is that he knows when not to see anything when a good sergeant takes care of some types of problems; sometimes the mark of a good law officer is not seeing when someone does something essential that's outside the law by strict reading.

We've now had several court cases stating that if the police don't save you from some crime, you can't take legal action against them, because they have no responsibility to you as in individual; they are responsible only to society in whole or in general. But all too many of them will also crap all over you if you act in your own defens after being attacked; you do something about someone that you know is planning to hurt you, the cops will happily take you to prison. In all too many places, the means of self-defense themselves have been so restricted as to be out of reach of most, and too many law enforcement agencies- police, prosecutors, courts- take the position that simply owning, or wanting to own, the means of self-defense is proof that you are up to no-good. Which reinforces the attitude "you can't take care of yourself; that's OUR job, and you better not forget it!".

Surprise, surprise, the world is messy. A lot of the people who think the most of acting in the most civilized of manners have a bad habit of chopping up the freedom of people because 'they might not act in the right(approved) way'; never mind that they're helping trash the freedoms they claim to love so much, keeping the peasants acting in proper ways is much more important than that!

'Cleaning up Dodge' has never been neat. When the authorities were corrupt or incompetent or just refused to act, people did it themselves, which is how the Committees of Vigilence came to be. 'Vigilante' is a dirty word nowadays, but most forget that when the work was done, the committees generally disbanded themselves.

One thing I would love to see is an actual, no bullshit hearing on some cases. Some jurist with more concern for freedom and rights than for the 'privilege' of government to control us hearing the case of someone taking the law into their hands and saying "Why did they have to do this? Why did the officers of the law at all levels not do their damned jobs, and thus force this man to do this?" and then act on it. Serious action against those not doing their 'damned jobs' might have some good effect. Oh, the screaming and whining would be endless, partly because a lot of the officers of the law in question are scared to death of having to actually do something not 'approved of'. Approval generally breaking down to "I won't get in trouble if I follow the PC/Court/whatever approved rules, but if I actually THINK and do something, I can get yelled at!"

I'm throwing into this mess the idiocy known as 'zero tolerance' in schools. Some kid accidentally brings a pocketknife to school has two choices: keep quiet and hope not to get caught, or turn it in. If he turns it in, he's in trouble; if he gets caught, he's in trouble. Might as well try to slide through, because obeying the rules gets me in just as much trouble as getting caught. NOT a good thing to put forth as a rule. And the kid who made an honest mistake is in just as much trouble with the school as some jerk who intends to do harm.

This has kind of rambled around a bit. Basically I mean two things: 1, there has to be a respect for the law among people, and 2, the law has to understand that there are situations that really should have a blind eye turned to them.

Want a hard and fast rule about everything? Read a fantasy story, because I don't have one.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

From the land down under

comes GrinderCom, with the current piece being a description of the various states of Australia. And it's bloody wonderful!

"And there's Queensland. While any mention of God seems silly in a
document defining a nation of half arsed sceptics, it is worth noting that God probably made Queensland, as it's beautiful one day and perfect the next. Why he filled it with dickheads remains a mystery."

Anybody who can describe a place this way deserves to be read. One more reason to make it down there one of these days...

Arguments & Outcomes

Over at Four Right Wing Wackos I found a link to Michael Totten. I started reading through, and found some good stuff. One post in particular caught me, and brought some things to mind.

A lady I used to know at a dance group that met every week was very big on the idea of socialized medicine. One night she started in on how we should take lessons from Canada, how wonderful it was there. When I pointed out that people are waiting weeks and months to get a scan for cancer, and waiting months/years for knee surgery, she basically countered with "the government covers it". Like that made up for the problems. I'm sure someone who's been told they probably have cancer and is having to wait a month for a test is very comforted by the fact that they don't have to write out an actual check for the test; on the other hand, they might be damn glad to hand over some money if it would get the test done now, which probably accounts for all the people who can coming over the border to the U.S. for treatment. But it didn't really seem to matter to her, what was important was that "you don't have to pay for it". Which of course set me off.

I said "There's no such thing as free health care, we're all paying for it!" Her attitude was basically "that's how it should be". The ineffeciency, the mess, the delays, all worth it because "that's how it should be". At which point I shook my head and dropped it.

Totten's post on not getting tied up in 'analysis' brought it back. This seems to cut to the bone in a lot of things. Gun control? Doesn't cut crime, makes it hard for honest people, but "that's the way it should be". Speech codes that chop at free speech? "Someone might say something hurtful, so that's the way it should be". And so on. Facts, actual outcomes, are not as important as what boils down to "It makes me feel good to be for this, and to push it on other people".

I used to work with a guy who thought I was fairly laughable because I'd get really, really pissed at people like Robert Byrd. He'd pop up with something that took millions of tax dollars to WV so he could have his name on something else, I'd have a fit, and Jim would give me a disgusted, wondering look and say "That's what he's supposed to do". I'd point out that while he does indeed do that, being a senator is NOT supposed to mean 'loot the rest of the country for your home state', and we'd argue. He took it as a given that that's what would be done, and I'd be pissed that he'd just shrug and accept this crap. He thought I was an idealist(guilty) and I thought he had given up. Point of this is, while I'm an idealist on a number of things, I do understand that if something does not work in the real world, the answer is not to force people into it, or throw money at it; the answer is to either a: fix the problems, or b: drop it. The trouble with a lot of the activists is that they can't do either.

You point out that something doesn't work and hear back that either "we haven't worked hard enough at it" or "there's no problem, it's just people like YOU getting in the way!" At which point it's time to go somewhere and have a drink. There is no way in this world to argue this, because to them, YOU are the only problem. You don't care, or you're too cheap to fund it, or if we'd ONLY put it in effect the problems would sort out eventually; enough education will take care of it, etc. 'Education' in this context means 'we'll shut you up so you don't stir up trouble! You're the enemy".

In case someone actually reads this and wonders, I say this to extremists on both sides, those who can't think/see past their slogans. Go away, weenies. You're getting in my light.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

How does the library do it?

You put in a request for some books, and a video. All spread out over about three weeks. And they all come in on the same damn day.

I can't read that fast!

Monday, January 24, 2005

Waiter! There's a glass in my dinner!

My daughter got a job today, and needed some clothes. So first we went shopping, then to Outback for dinner to celebrate.

As we began our cheese fries, I picked up my glass of tea, and as it moved over my plate the bottom fell out. Literally. Breaking my saucer and dumping ice and tea all over the table. Almost immediately our waitress and a waiter appeared, asking if I was all right, starting the cleanup, and getting a fresh batch of fries.

My son used to work there, so I also wound up with one of the other waitresses coming from the next section of the place to ask if I was hurt. Nice place to be a regular at. I informed them that I'd blog about this: "I was attacked at Outback! By my glass! It peed all over me!"

I think I made their night.

I looked the halves over before they took them away. It separated just below the bottom of the handle, and you could hardly have gotten a cleaner break if you'd worked at it. The things that happen...

Embarrasing moments... for someone else

One of the best I've seen happened to a lady down in Texas, when I had a booth at North Texas Irish Festival. We'd met a few months before at Scarborough Faire (yeah, I go to ren-fairs sometimes; bite me). Since I had been properly attired at the fair, kilt and all, she hadn't recognized me when she saw me that day- she knew she knew me, but not from where. Finally I gave her a hint(long backstory, maybe some other time), and she clicked.

Few minutes later I took a break and we were walking around talking, and I said something like "You took long enough to remember me". In the middle of a crowd, without thinking, she said
"I didn't recognize you with pants on!".

Ever seen a grown woman in a corner, choking and so red it practically reflected off the walls?