Thursday, December 30, 2010

You are a hard man to reach, Professor Falken...

Over two years since the last post. High time to remedy that, methinks...

Yes, the template's changed. I'll be restoring familiar elements like the Brain & Juicer soon, but it was long past time to get current with Blogger's preferences as regards site design. Consider the site "under construction" for the nonce.

I'll be going with Blogger-style comments, too. I seem to have lost the old comment data thanks to YACCS's freebie system going offline, but there's nothing really to do about that. We'll see whether the new method is workable.

Stay tuned!


Friday, December 19, 2008

There will be more posting, soon, I promise...

...But coming across this (about 75% of the way down the page) made my day. I knew I liked John Carmack for reasons other than being a demigod unto programmers, gamers and Space-2.0 buffs alike.

He's recently acquired a Tesla Roadster and has this to say, among other things:
[...]Internal combustion drive trains, with all the gears, clutch, oil, and exhaust start seeming remarkably primitive in very short order. I have hopped back and forth between BMWs and the Tesla for a couple weeks now, and while there are plenty of creature comforts that are much better in the BMWs, every time I pull away, I wish I was in the Tesla. I am using it as my daily driver now, whenever I don't have to haul any big packages for Armadillo. As I am driving it, the range is only about 150 miles on a charge, but that is still plenty for what I need, and I just plug it in every night.

I do also confess to enjoying the irony of my driving an electric car. I am fairly hostile to most of the environmental movement, finding it generally a modern tribal religion that justifies condemnation and control of others in the name of protecting the environment. I care nothing at all for the environment in isolation, only for how it positively impacts human life -- civilization is all about beating the environment into forms that suit us better. An "electric car" used to be a conspicuous sign of righteous sacrifice, but you won't get any self-flagellation points for driving a Tesla. Too much fun.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Better Make Sure your Nose Is Clean...

...If you want to question a Democrat.

Consider our good friend Joe ("the Plumber") Wurzelbacher.
It's Kafkaesque: Obama decides to talk to a random guy, the guy asks a question about how Obama's tax plan will affect him if he actually realizes his version of the American dream: buying a plumbing company that he intends someday to make more than Obama's "soak the rich" threshold of $250,000.00. Obama, in a rare moment of boneheaded honesty, responds with a perfectly articulated Socialist bromide about wealth redistribution.

Oops. (Over 100,000 Google results as of this writing for "joe the plumber tax policy.")

Naturally, the Democrat response has been to demonize Wurzelbacher: suddenly it's the Hillary-protecting-Bill treatment (and they say Hill and Barack never talk any more!): find his tax records; investigate his family tree; publish his address; misrepresent how his current tax status impinges on Joe's original question; find anyone anywhere who has anything less than sterling to say about the man, and give them furrowed-brow airtime.

This from the penumbra-peering party that found a Right to Privacy in the Constitution.

Would that this sort of curiosity might stir in the Fourth Estate regarding Ayers, ACORN, Fannie/Freddie, Wright, et al.



Friday, October 10, 2008

The Long Game, "The Media's Vendetta Against Palin":
The media have learned their lesson. They generally tolerated the rise of Ronald Reagan. They didn't take him that seriously. And when he astounded them by trouncing Jimmy Carter, it wasn't that big of deal.

[...]But Reagan fooled them. His campaign wasn't only about him. He ushered in a new generation of conservatives who won local and federal elections. They eventually captured both sides of Congress in 1994, stopping Bill Clinton in his tracks. The Reagan conservatives led to right-leaning judges who started to rule in favor of gun owners and parents and the military.

Reagan was not, as the media thought, a slow-witted actor who gave a good speech. He orchestrated an unprecedented move to the Right that changed America and the world.

[...]Bush was never a movement conservative. He is not creating a new generation of young conservatives. But Palin can be. That's what makes her so dangerous. Her convention speech which so dazzled the Republican base was all the evidence the big media needed.

If Palin were a liberal Democrat touting the same achievements she would have achieved sainthood by now in the pages of the New York Times.

She went from mom, to mayor, to governor -- an astounding rise to power that should be applauded by feminists. But because she is a conservative, none of that matters.

Actually, Gov. Palin is a bit populist to call her a Reagan-grade conservative (windfall profits tax on oil companies in AK, for one), but she's a proudly conservative-leaning Republican, and one who makes it look sexy and cool, which is no mean feat compared, for example, to Tom Ridge. (Amy and I watched his speech during the convention, and while he was obviously earnest, he struck us as frightfully, well, Rotarian. Domesticated, you know? The opposite of dangerous.)

Most importantly, Palin's a fighter for those Republican values, which is something the party's been sadly lacking at the executive level, well, since Reagan. Watching Bush (either Bush!) just roll over while Democrats lie and impugn him at every turn has been demoralizing, certainly, but watching Maverick McCain brag about "reaching across the aisle" while dropping "my good friend" names like Ted Kennedy, and failing to attack the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac/Community Reinvestment Act/ACORN/Obama connection is infuriating.

Sarah Palin is a welcome counter to all this bloody collegiality (well, she is now that McCain figured out that keeping her under wraps and obsessively on message was...unhelpful). We Bitter Clingers out in the hinterlands are tired of our values and priorities being spat on and worse by the likes of Olbermann, Matthews, Couric, Pelosi, Reid and Obama: having a pit bull in lipstick breathe a little fire in their direction is a tonic we've been craving for some time.

Republican strategists, please learn the Lesson of Palin: we're going to get called racists, sexists, bigots, hicks, hatemongers, idiots and worse by our opponents, no matter what we say. How many points has Bush or McCain won for politeness? To make matters worse, we've taught Democrats in the past that profligate namecalling works, and shuts us Republicans up. The delightful temerity of Palin, to actually hit back! That's the reason she's been speaking to venue-overflowing crowds.

But back to the point about bringing new, young people into the party, and lastingly bumping American politics over to the right a bit: could happen. First, though, Palin will need a few victories under her belt, and right now this election is looking like an outside chance, despite all the revelations about ACORN, Ayers and other nontrivial embarrassments coming to light of late. The economy is just a little bit in the tank, of course, which never bodes well for the party in the White House.

I'll see whether I can put together a coherent post about that in the coming days.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Well, Maybe it Ain't So Bad After All...

My, my, how things can change in a week.

Sarah Palin's addition to John McCain's ticket was announced last Friday, and in the meantime we've been treated to one of the more impressive orgies of panicked journalistic feces-throwing I've ever witnessed, and while I haven't been paying attention as long as some, I've seen quite a bit.

By now the "exclamation points" of Palin's background are well-known: hockey mom; rose to her VP candidacy through the PTA, school board, and mayor's and governor's offices; lifetime NRA membership holder; moose hunter; beauty queen; mother of both a four-month-old Down syndrome child and a pregnant teen.

She's also been a ruthless reformer in Alaska, taking on large corporations and entrenched (Republican) party bosses alike, wielding both her veto pen and eBay seller's account with equal aplomb to cut spending and eliminate government waste.

Well, nobody's denying now that Sarah Palin has changed the game. Her speech last night was perfectly delivered, revealing a facility for authenticity, accessibility, humor and openness that we haven't seen behind a podium for a very, very long time. On either side of the Right-Left divide.

Of course, lest anyone think I've gone squishy on my distrust of McCain amid all the hagiography and detailed recountings of his horrific treatment by the North Vietnamese, I haven't forgotten. In fact, I swore I'd never donate to That Man's campaign, but the Palin pick changed my mind, and McCain/Palin received $100 of Amy's and my money on Friday.


Here's why. Longtime readers here know that I've consistently (and only) been excited about true conservatives: Pence, Thompson, Jindal, et al. alerted me to Palin as a possibility for a McCain pick some months ago, and I was enthused at the possibility, seeing as she's One of Us, but Johnny Mac didn't strike me as the sort who had the guts, or the ideological fortitude.

You see, since the 2006 election and especially this year, the mood in Washington and the McCain campaign has been one of Okay. Democrats have won the hearts and minds of the people. We need to cross aisles, go along and get along, make peace with our time in the wilderness and try to compromise our way to what power we can glean. Country-club, domesticated, lap-dog Republicanism--I can't stand it, and neither can voters.

So, real conservatism, in its fruitings in Alaska, Louisiana, Indiana and many other "elsewheres" (Eric Cantor, Jeff Sessions, Jeff Flake, John Shadegg, I'm looking at you), has been shunted to the back of the room, told to sit down and shut up, declared dead and irrelevant, relegated to "annoying pain-in-the-ass who won't leave well enough alone" status.

I'm not privy to the workings of McCain's mind, but whether he picked Palin for her conservative bona fides or as a last-ditch "Hail Mary" to shore up a dangerously unexciting ticket, it scarcely matters now. Because if McCain and Palin win this year, then she's first up for the Presidency in 2012 or 2016, and that opens the door to like-minded conservatives as running mates from the pain-in-the-ass group above. By then, of course, Bobby Jindal will have undone (as much as any one man is likely to) the damage from decades of neglect that Louisiana and the Big Easy have suffered at the hands of Democrats, and be looking for something else to do, and I think we know how I'd like that to turn out.

McCain/Palin - Palin/Jindal - beyond? Could happen, or some other combination. Especially if Obama is the caliber of politician that the Left keeps producing.

Thus, and for very little other reason, I feel compelled to vote McCain/Palin in November, and (hallelujah!) can do so with a smile.


Monday, August 18, 2008

A Tough Year to be a Conservative

I haven't done much political blogging this Silly Season, since the primaries played out the way they did; for many reasons, but most importantly because this year the choices we conservatives have are demoralizing, to say the least.

Granted, among all the primary candidates John McCain was arguably the most stereotypical choice, but good grief, is it difficult to trust the man. Pretty much the only way he made headlines before becoming the nominee was by shafting the Republican base.

Seventeen months ago, I said of "Johnny Mac":

"Maverick." The Straight Talk Express. Campaign Finance "Reform." Sops to illegal immigrants in his home state. Gang of 14. "Torture" legislation that governed nothing of the sort and insulted our soldiers.

All the distinguished service, all the years in the Hanoi Hilton, and all the foreign-policy hawkery in the world won't wash the taste of betrayal out of GOPers' mouths that Maverick McCain has left over the years. Still better than Hillary, but he's been talking out of both sides of his mouth for too long. Very unlikely to win the nomination. Nose-holder extraordinaire.

Well, he got the party's nod, but Lord, not mine. And now there are rumblings that he may be searching for a pro-choice running mate, so as to make himself more palatable to Democrats. I wonder how much dumping-on the base will take before simply deciding to stay home en masse. Won't take much more for me. Hey, it took a Carter to win us a Reagan.

Oddly, Barack Obama hasn't exactly been covering himself in glory, either. McCain is riding high after having done a very confident and good job in last night's--whatever it was--at Saddleback Church with Rick Warren. Even pundits like Rush Limbaugh are forced to admit McCain did better than they expected him to, though expectations for Obama (recent Hawaii vacation notwithstanding) weren't but so high, the format being something other than "read inspiringly from a TelePrompTer."

While it may be fun to rejoice in McCain getting something less than complete opprobrium from the press (talk about "Battered Ideology Syndrome"), bear in mind, the party-loyalty equation still stands thusly:

Perception: Obama got slam-dunked like a Nerf ball last night. Jeez, McCain might be a principled guy!
Reality: Gang of 14, McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, "Maverick," etc., ad nauseam. His record stands.

Maybe performances like these will be enough for McCain (though I highly doubt another will be allowed to take place). McCain's veep choice will be interesting, if not conclusive.

Funny thing is, I just don't care much: either way, Conservatives are looking at a trying four-to-eight years.


Epilogue: An X-wing takes off from the steamy swamp planet of Endor.
Obi-wan Kenobi:
That boy was our last hope.
Yoda: No. There is another.

Monday, June 16, 2008

No great surprise here...

Hat tip to Tripp...

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