I’m taking a long break from blogging. I expect I’ll get the bug again, sometime, but not for a while.
I’m taking a long break from blogging. I expect I’ll get the bug again, sometime, but not for a while.
Recently Joe Biden, Vice Foot-in-Mouth-in-Chief, said that the raid to kill Osama Bin Laden was “most audacious plan in 500 years”.
I’ll agree it was daring by the Seals, and their DevGroup co-horts. The main risk, alas, being the problem of a conducting an unapproved operation on a purported allies’ interior.
My brother and I had an easy time picking something more audacious.
I chose the 1970 raid on Son Tay… Send American Special Forces in helicopters to 23 miles from Hanoi to rescue American POWs. They’d been moved, but raid was certainly audacious, risky, tactically successful (over 100 NV guards killed) and although no POWs recovered sent a strong message to Hanoi that we weren’t messing around. The plan meets “audacious” and tops it. Both strategically, and personally – imagine the thoughts of the forces going into this raid – they were going to rescue prisoners that had been abused for 7 or 8 years. They could easily join them in oppressive captivity.
The credit Biden takes for a mission he opposed certainly is “audacious”. Obama also “audaciously” basks in the competence, bravery, and dedication of our military he no doubt scorned most of his life.
Obama and Biden’s behavior after the Bin Laden raid could easily be the most “audacious” use of the military for political gain since Lyndon Johnson accepted a Silver Star for taking a plane ride.
This new, unsubtle, painting from Patrick McNaughton is the latest in his patriotic paintings.
Another recent, far more subtle, efffort showed Obama stepping on the Constitution as some Presidents cringed (Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln) and others applauded (Clinton, Carter, Roosevelt). Bush looks away.
He does a nice job of summing up a President’s impact on our freedom with their visual response to Obama tromping on the document. Madison is the most affronted.
I welcome McNaughton’s pushback and attempt to visually reflect what a lot of us our feeling. I’m not sure how commercially successful they will be, as how many people want negative imagery on their wall? I certainly don’t want Obama anywhere on my wall, or Carter, Bush, or Roosevelt for that matter. We tend towards Tuscan fields, or pictures of the kids.
The left has it easier, they can show the government giving you stuff. But never the government taking out of the other pocket.
I applaud McNaughton’s efforts, and but I hope that he, or somebody, can come up with positive visual imagery of liberty. I’m not talented that way.
Although I’m sure the foggy lense of history obscures big faults, it is generally agreed that George Washington could have been President for pretty much as long as he liked. Instead he desired to leave after one term, and was cajoled into serving two. And while I find myself far more to the Jeffersonian wing of democracy, to me, Washington epitomizes the idea of political office holding as service, not career or end goal.
So when I evaluate candidates, I use what I call the “George Washington Test”. Or, What Would George Do (WWGD). This may seem simple, or naïve, or un-modern, but if you try it you will find it very illuminating, or perhaps, clarifying.
So, for instance, would George serve in office for decades?
Would George be a lobbyist?
Would George advocate taking on loads of debt?
Would George permit unelected bureaucrats to print endless amounts of money?
Would George add new spending while we are racking up debt?
Would George support laws that gave the Federal government control over minute personal or local matters?
Would George support the Federal government mandating candle height in homes (or light switches today)?
Only 7 people will serve Utah in the House, Senate, or as Governor. We draw those seven from a population of 2.7 million. I see no reason why there can’t be 7 people of George’s caliber. People who view public office as service, not opportunity.
My job as 2012 State Delegate from Utah SG35 is to find 3 such people. Wish me luck.
Tonight Paula, the kids and I went to the SG35 GOP Precinct Caucus. Although we always vote, this was our first caucus.
The meeting had record attendance, with over 80 people for our neighborhood. Across the gym from us was another 60 people in SG01, making the acoustics tough.
I went with the idea of possibly running for a delegate, but wasn’t really sure. I’d have been quite happy to have someone of a like mind run with it, as I’ve got a long todo list that doesn’t involve politicking.
First thing that happened was a motion to have whoever was elected Chair automatically assigned as a state and county delegate. That seemed like a bad idea to me, so I voted against it. But it carried.
The core question of the night was “Orrin Hatch”. Retire him, or swim in the hypothetical riches lavished upon Utah should he win election and become Senate Finance Committee Chairman. I rephrase that as “Oh, so you want some pork?”.
The Present Chairman was a Hatch supporter, and against my better judgment I was convinced into running for his job, and the attendant county / state delegate seats.
In my 2 (probably 2+ minutes) I made it clear that I’m a little g government guy, libertarian leaning, and while open about the other candidates would not be supporting Hatch.
I got my hat handed to me 40 to 29. Oh well. He’s a nice guy, diligent, and we are sympatico on things other than Hatch. He says he is still of an open mind about Hatch. I’ll work on him.
I then was nominated for Vice-Chair. And lost a close one. That’s okay, I’m not sure what Vice-Chair does anyway. But it was an ominous 0 for 2 beginning to my first political votes.
Next up, 2 remaining state delegates. I was nominated again, along with a few other good folks. About 10 people. We answered questions and spoke again. I finally admitted that I’d not liked Orrin Hatch since he cut me off in traffic in front of the Russell Office Building in 1996 (I used to work and live in D.C. in a technology job)
And after the votes were tallied, I was a state delegate.
So Chuck Barton, Cody Schmitt (terrific guy), and I will be heading to Salt Lake City to make our mark on the Utah GOP.
Between now and April 21, I’ll be working on Chuck to sway him from the dark side, and all three of us will be inundated with candidates hoping to woo us. This is especially likely since none of us are active in working any of the campaigns.
I’m excited to be a delegate and I take the duty very seriously. I’ll be writing in future posts about what I will be asking the candidates, and I’ll report here on their answers.
If you live in SG35, or if you are a candidate or supporter of a candidate for state / federal office, and you are not Orrin Hatch, please feel free to contact me. I’d be delighted to talk to you.
I contemplate the lack of “real” in “money” sometimes. We really don’t have real money any longer. We print ‘trillions” of nothing, except we don’t even really “print” them – the Fed just changes some decimal points. And, I wonder, when it collapses how bad will it be?
I got to thinking about this when I read “Gold as a Last Link to Reality” on Economic Noise:
Having had plenty of horrible experience with infinite money, the American Founders knew all this and so insisted on commodity money. But their descendants lacked such experience, and so it came to seem primitive to let the money supply be determined by how much metal could be pried out of the ground each year. Indeed, it is primitive. It just seems that any more sophisticated money inevitably becomes too sophisticated, and the result of that is far worse than primitive — predatory, corrupt, totalitarian, and unreal.
The Founders knew. About money, like so many other things, they knew. But they weren’t smart enough to write a lasting system to protect us. They let us (We the People) CHANGE the Constitution, perhaps necessarily, but far too easily as it turns out. And the results will be bad.
Very bad. It has to be. But is gold the answer?
I’m dubious. I think skills – real world skills, like welding, farming, fixing things will be valuable. Fuel and ammo will be valuable. Martial skills will be valuable. Middle management of financial derivatives traders? Not so much. A dump truck full of gold? What would I do with it? I’d take the dump truck.
A reasonable strategy might be to load up on debt and own lots of “useful” things for when it all goes south. And learn to make things and food. And how to protect things and food.
I would dearly love to have a currency that is not subject to financialization and fiat. Note that gold isn’t immune to this – much more gold is owed than is actually available.
That is why ideas like BitCoins, impervious to whim and manipulation, appeal to me. And to be “perfect” – multiple BitCoins – all competing for reliability, security and steadfastness.
Time and again we’ve proved that smart people aren’t smart enough, or honest enough, to be trusted or monitored. We need a currency system that cannot be manipulated except by the actions and decisions of billions of free choices.
Ann Barnhardt, a successful long term broker in the futures and options markets decided today that she could no longer take her customers money in good faith:
The futures and options markets are no longer viable. It is my recommendation that ALL customers withdraw from all of the markets as soon as possible so that they have the best chance of protecting themselves and their equity.
She then adds:
The rule of law is non-existent, instead replaced with godless, criminal political cronyism.
I’d have to say that things really aren’t looking “up”.
I’m organizing a couple big shooting events in the coming months. These things barely cover the cost of doing them, and certainly don’t generate enough to pay staff, so we rely on volunteers. I’d organized a core staff of about 30 folks shooters, and an auxiliary of 35 (or so I thought) of local youth helping out as a fundraiser.
Alas today, as I’m reading this prescient article “The Young and the Lazy” by Gavin McInnes I get an e-mail from one of the Scout leaders saying his kids won’t be coming, and that he just can’t get them “up” for doing anything. The kicker was that they were looking forward to another shooting event where we supply the guns, ammo, and high quality (as in among the best in the nation) instructors. Uhmm… right.
So I’m left with 20 from our local Sheriff Explorers – who are on a track for law enforcement or military careers – and who once committed can be expected to be there, in uniform, working their butts off. They will work, and they will also get thousands of rounds of ammo, and days of cool times on the range in the coming months.
And I wondered… when did Scouts get lazy?
My next call… our local Jr. ROTC liaison. That’s the only group of kids I can think of that I think will understand the value of working from dawn to dusk on a Saturday.
As to Gavin’s article… read it (be prepared for salty language). I’ve had some encounter with the “meh” attitude towards work he’s encountered, but not as bad as he’s had. And generally during interviews of folks I didn’t hire. But he is in the belly of the best – NYC – and hiring from the worst of the worst – eastern “elite” colleges.
My advice to Gavin… search for his interns amongst returning veterans. They will empty his trash bins with glee – and figure out a better way to do it while at it.
Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
The Tea Party represents all the people working, producing, and PAYING for everything, while the Occupy movement represents all the people wanting to TAKE things from those who have earned them.
I confess to not liking Herman Cain that much. He is 100000% better than Obama, but he bugs me. He is supposed to be a scientist – having a degree in Math, doing Ordinary Differential Equations as a mathematician for the Navy, then he got a Masters in Computer Science, and held various IT positions as he climbed the corporate ladder.
But he doesn’t talk like a scientist. His thoughts and speech patterns seem chaotic and he wanders all over answering questions, when he answers them at all.
I understand his attraction to the typical conservative. And I’ll vote for him, but I have concerns, and it seems like yet another “blah” candidate option in the decades long failure of our political process to actually offer up decent people.
I was once accused of sexual harassment. Although almost 20 years ago, I remember it quite clearly, because I was first, mad, and second, a bit scared. The woman in question had been fired for poor job attendance and drug use. She retaliated by bringing a lawyer and an accusation hoping to fish for $. After hearing our presentation and documentation on why she was fired, the lawyer apologized and bowed out.
For Cain to not “remember” the details of the accusations and their legal aftermath smacks of flat out lying, or frankly, cover-up.
Now, given my experience, I can readily believe that some money grubbing slacker female decided to attempt legal extortion. I can REALLY believe that is the case. What I can’t believe is Cain doesn’t remember it happening.
I also can’t believe he didn’t dump this to a friendly reporter months ago. It smacks of continued amateurism. I don’t want a smooth politician, but I wouldn’t mind a hint of competence.
Oh… and I never liked Godfather Pizza’s pizza.
*_Ineptocracy_****(in-ep-toc’-ra-cy) – a system of government where the least
capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the
members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded
with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number
I don’t think about China much. I’m a busy fellow. BUT I knew they had nukes. And Herman Cain did not.
I don’t understand why Presidential candidates need to espouse on things they don’t have firm opinions or knowledge of. I’d be happy to accept “I’m not ready to discuss that, I’m more focused on my 9 9 9 plan now”.
But the gaffe did get me thinking about China. And, frankly, they don’t worry me. Oh sure, if they wanted they could take Taiwan. Or Japan. But why would they go to that trouble when they could just let a few hundred million “volunteers” absorb the Asian provinces of the old Russian empire?
So when I think about China, I think less about nukes, and more about Greece. And in particular how little old Greece is putting a hurt on all of Europe just because they let them borrow money and screw around with their currency.
Sound familiar? Well, we’ve got a lot more debt with China than Greece did with the EuroFools. And they’ve been holding their currency at wacky rates so they could make stuff and lend money to us so we could buy it. And we are rapidly proving ourselves to be as irresponsible as Greece. I’d say we have China just about where we want them…
So if I were in charge, I wouldn’t worry too much about China. I’d worry more about getting our systems (free market, hard work, democracy) back in order so we can capitalize on their fall.
Greeks – even those fiercely opposed to Pasok from the left and right – are resigned to the fact that the country faces years of painful restructuring. The real question at issue is a) under whose control and b) in whose interest?
Those are the questions for Greece. But they apply to us as well. Greece is just farther along the failure trajectory.
Obama, to me, isn’t really a socialist. Well, he is, but that isn’t what drives his decisions. He is a cronyist acting on behalf of his cronies, financial supporters and voters. He is willing to accelerate our failure as long as his team does better than the others.
So, under Obama, and the DemocRATs, failing solar companies, General Electric, unions, public employees, will get larger slices of a shrinking pie.
It makes no economic sense. But economic value isn’t his standard.