Sep 292012

The sad thing is, hardly any conservatives who oppose this sort of intrusion are willing to see it as a budgetary problem.   They think it’s a separate battle, whereas in reality the two are are the same issue.  A police state runs on money.

A report by the International Association of Chiefs of Police warns that “recording driving habits” could raise First Amendment concerns. It noted that plate readers might record “vehicles parked at addiction-counseling meetings, doctors’ offices, health clinics, or even staging areas for political protests.”

via New Tracking Frontier: Your License Plates –

Sep 292012

A Leviathan Ankle-Biter Award goes to anyone who says this:  “Thank you for my free government phone! I’m using it to call all my friends to ask them to vote for Romney.”

The video of an Obama supporter bragging about having an “Obama phone” has gone viral on the web, but where do these “free cell phones” come from?

The program is called Lifeline, established in 1984, originally created to subsidize landline phone service for low income Americans, funded by government-collected telecommunication fees, paid by consumers.

via Where do “Obama phones” come from? |

Sep 272012

As’s James Babb describes, this is nothing more than “obedience training.” The American people and travelers in general are being ‘broken in’ to accept their subservience in what represents the human equivalent of horse training.

via » Bizarre TSA “Freeze” Security Drill Caught on Camera Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!.

Sep 262012

James Taranto did a great job analyzing President Obama’s UN speech.  He pointed out that parts of the speech were a “serviceable defense of the First Amendment,” but there was ominous incoherence in other parts, especially where it broke down the distinction between speech and action.

“Churches that are destroyed.” Here is where the president’s moral equivalence leads him into total intellectual and moral incoherence. An attack on a church (or, for that matter, on a synagogue or mosque or any other piece of property) is a violent action that nobody would suggest is protected by freedom of speech. By likening it to “slander” against “the prophet of Islam,” which absolutely is protected, Obama elides the distinction between speech and action, which is fundamental to U.S. constitutional law. Without it, freedom of speech would be either a meaningless phrase or a license to anarchy.

This elision is not just intellectually slovenly but dangerous, for the distinction is precisely the one the Islamic supremacists would like to break down.

via Madonna and Obama –

Sep 242012

How the AARP lobbied to be allowed to put profits ahead of seniors in exchange for its support of ObamaCare.

But the AARP aggressively, and successfully, lobbied to keep Medigap reforms out of Obamacare, because AARP receives a 4.95 percent royalty on every dollar that seniors spend on its Medigap plans.

via How the AARP Made $2.8 Billion By Supporting Obamacare’s Cuts to Medicare – Forbes.

Sep 242012

Some notes on President Obama’s claim to be a fiscal skinflint:

Federal spending as a share of GDP will average 24.1% over his first term including 2013. Even if you throw out fiscal 2009 and blame that entirely on Mr. Bush, the Obama spending average will be 23.8% of GDP. That compares to a post-WWII average of a little under 20%. Spending under Mr. Bush averaged 20.1% including 2009, and 19.6% if that year is left out.

via Review & Outlook: The 10% President –

Sep 222012

When a reporter asks questions like this, Romney could respond better.  He should NOT be talking about the campaign or tactics.  As a professional politician he ought to know these things.  But since he doesn’t, I offer a suggestion below:

Scott Pelley: Governor, I appreciate your message very much. But that wasn’t precisely the question. You’re the CEO of this campaign. A lot of Republicans would like to know, a lot of your donors would like to know, how do you turn this thing around? You’ve got a little more than six weeks. What do you do?

via Romney: My campaign doesn’t need a turnaround – CBS News.

Better Romney:  Scott, I wish you would ask better questions so your viewers could become better informed about the issues facing our country.  You haven’t asked me anything about health care reform, or tax reform, or entitlement reform, or how to make government more transparent.  You haven’t asked about how to eliminate crony capitalism from our government programs.  You haven’t asked about how we can create an environment in which businesses can create jobs. You haven’t asked me what our government should be doing to defend the freedoms set out in our Bill of Rights.   Whether or not I run the kind of campaign people like, these are issues that we need to be discussing.

Sep 162012

In the above exchange on twitter a leftist who claimed to be a liberal did a very unliberal thing: blocked me and reported me for spam.   Another leftist cheered her on.

So I’ve decided to provide some rules of etiquette for other conservatives who find themselves in the presence of members of the #uppers class and don’t want to be blocked or reported for spam.  (#uppers seems to be some sort of leftwing hash tag.   I couldn’t have picked a better term for them myself.)

  1. Don’t speak unless spoken to. Don’t tweet unless first twooten to.
  2. A curtsy or bow is appreciated, but not necessary except in a metaphorical sense.
  3. Don’t contradict your betters. Contradicting is a privilege reserved for the ruling (#uppers) class, such as when they contradict themselves.
  4. Don’t use information that has not been approved by “fact checkers”.
  5. Treat all utterances of the administration or DNC as true.  Treat all utterances of Republicans as lies unless “fact-checked” to be true.
  6. Be alert and respond quickly. On Monday a president may be faulted for not taking action to prevent an attack by violent Islamists. On Tuesday excuses may need to be made for a president not preventing an attack.  If you’re too slow to adjust you should just quietly remove yourself from the presence of #uppers and keep silent.
  7. Do not speak rudely or harshly to #uppers.  Conservatives are used to having abuse directed at them in school, on television, in the workplace, etc, and handle it like water off a duck’s back.  But most #uppers have had no such experience, and cannot be expected to respond well when they encounter someone who doesn’t approve of their views. Be sensitive. (It helps to keep in mind the story of the Princess and the Pea.)
  8. If you encounter #uppers who have liberal tendencies, tread carefully.  It’s not a likely occurrence, but you should be prepared anyway. Liberalism (in any meaningful sense of the term) is not allowed on the left.  It was different 30 years ago, but sometimes there is a trace of it that hasn’t been eradicated.  An example is Oliver Willis of Media Matters who occasionally has a thought of his own, and for whom not everything is political.   I had for some time been suggesting to him that he might find the conservative side more congenial.   But I went too far when I suggested that on the conservative side he wouldn’t have to go whimpering after shoutouts from Rachel Maddows.  I got blocked.  I presume the problem is that a leftwinger will lose caste if it is learned that s/he has tendencies to think on his/her own.   These rare traces of liberalism should be nurtured by us, and we shouldn’t make life among their peers difficult for these people by pointing them out publicly.

This list does not cover everything, of course.  It will be modified and added to as needed.

[Modified Sep 18 2012]

Sep 122012

When I get a few minutes tonight I am going to explain why Dinesh D’Souza gets this point exactly backwards.  It’s from a great interview, though.  Thanks deserved both by him and Stanley Fish.

D.D.: My definition of American exceptionalism is one of identifying the ways in which America is unique in the world. First of all, America is unique in being a country founded, in a sense, by a group of people sitting around a table. Other countries have been founded by “accidents of force.” America is a creation of thought.

via D’Souza Responds –