Posts tagged ‘rubes’

The President is not my King or my God

[George] Washington was, as David Boaz put it in his excellent essay of that title, “the man who would not be king.” He would not accept a title or an honorific, and established the excellent republican practice of referring to the chief executive simply as “Mr. President.” George Washington did not need the presidency — the presidency needed him.

. . .

The presidency today is a grotesquerie. It is a temporary kingship without the benefit of blood or honor or antiquity, which is to say a combination of the worst aspects of monarchy with the worst aspects of democracy, a kind of inverted Norway. (King Olav V, the “folkekonge,” was famous for using public transit.) It is steeped in imperial ceremony, from the risible and unworthy monkey show that is the State of the Union address to the motorcades and Air Force One to the elevation of the first lady (or, increasingly, “First Lady”) to the position of royal consort; our chief magistracy gives the impression of being about five minutes away from purple robes, if not togas.

. . .

But the president is not the tribune of the plebs. He is not a sacred person or the holder of a sacred office. He is neither pontifex nor imperator. He is not the spiritual distillation of the republic or the personification of our national ideals and values. (Thank God Almighty.) He is not even primus inter pares like the chief justice of the Supreme Court or the Patriarch of Constantinople. He is the commander in chief in time of war (which, since we have abandoned the advice of Washington and Eisenhower, is all of the time, now) and the chief administrator of the federal bureaucracy. That is it.

He is not a ruler.

But men demand to be ruled, and they will find themselves a king even when there is none. (Consider all of the hilarious and self-abasing celebration of Donald Trump as an “alpha male” among his admirers, an exercise in chimpanzee sociology if ever there were one.) But they must convince themselves that they are being ruled by a special sort of man; in ancient times, that was the function of the hereditary character of monarchies. In our times, it is reinforced through civic religion, including the dopey annual exercise that is Presidents’ Day.

Abolish Presidents’ Day – It is time to roll back the imperial cult.

Statolatry and Ozymandias

See also “The President is not my “boss” nor my king nor my God. Rubes

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Obama Knows *He* is the Smartest Guy in the Room

Because he’s been told that most of his life and now he listens to his own bullshit without interruption. And lots-o-rubes bought it. Twice.
You just can’t fix stupid.

If you’ve gone to graduate or law school, you know the type. Very special little hothouse flowers.

It’s sad, yes, but America probably hasn’t fully grasped the terrifying truth about President Barack Obama’s upcoming State of the Union speech.

After this one, he has two more to go.

Two more? Ye gods!

The prospect of listening to him blah blah blah his way through three more of these annual speeches is enough to cause the nation to curl up on the floor in the fetal position and start breathing from a brown paper bag. The man is talking the country to death, and we can’t take anymore.

The State of the Union is: We need Hillary now

We have a gangster government, a fascist thugocracy:

Never in the history of this country have we seen such a broad and coordinated abuse of the government’s power to threaten criminal prosecution and ruin the lives and livelihoods of people the president and his party see as political “enemies.” None of the victims above did anything that even smelled like a criminal act act (except, perhaps, D’Souza) before the state came crashing down with the inevitable and purposeful result of ruining their lives. Their only “offense” was publicly opposing the president’s agenda, and putting those dissenters through the goverment’s paces was the whole point.

The Unceasing Political Thuggery of Obama’s Gangster Government

From Biff Spackle, “A Warning Straight Out of 1850” at Doug Ross @ Journal

Biff Spackle Illustrates Bastiat's The Law, from 1850

And Chuck Schumer, the voice of the little man and courtier of plutocrats, is the second smartest guy in the room:

Schumer argued at the Center for American Progress on Thursday that the Tea Party is built on a foundation of deception: “Wealthy, hard Right, selfish, narrow” elites have fooled regular Tea Partiers into hating government. Schumer’s premise is that Big Government is the friend of the regular guy, and only the selfish wealthy elites benefit from more economic freedom.

It seems relevant, then, that Schumer — a dedicated liberal — is the most important congressional Democrat when it comes to fundraising. Schumer headed the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the 2006 and 2008 elections.
. . .
Schumer, to fund his own elections, taps deep into the plutocracy he condemns. In the 2010 election, Schumer ran basically unopposed. Still he was the No. 1 Senate recipient of money from the insurance industry, private equity, hedge funds, Wall Street, real estate, the cable industry, and hospitals. Schumer was No. 3 in money from lobbyists, Hollywood, and mortgage bankers.

Schumer’s Senate office seems to have its own revolving door that exits straight onto K Street. He is tied for third place, in all of Congress, for having the most staffers in the Center for Responsive Politics’ revolving door database. Only Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., beat him on the revolving door scoreboard.

And Schumer knows how to profit from this revolving door action. In January 2007, when his party took charge of the Senate, he gathered some of America’s wealthiest hedge-fund managers in a Manhattan restaurant and told them, in effect, start lobbying and giving money to politicians.

A few months later, Schumer’s top banking staffer, Carmencita Whonder left for the K Street firm Brownstein Hyatt, which immediately picked up a handful of hedge fund and private equity clients. Whonder also became a volunteer fundraiser for Schumer, while other hedge fund millionaires raised money for Schumer’s DSCC.

Chuck Schumer: Voice of the little man, courtier of plutocrats

As G.K. Chesterton said, “It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.”

Continue reading ‘Obama Knows *He* is the Smartest Guy in the Room’ »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Federal Government’s War on Musical Instruments

Flutes, Pianos, and Guitars so far…. Your tax dollars at work!

Before you whine about an airline temporarily losing your luggage, think of poor Boujemaa Razgui. The flute virtuoso who performs regularly with The Boston Camerata lost 13 handmade flutes over the holidays when a US Customs official at New York’s JFK Airport mistook the instruments for pieces of bamboo and destroyed them.

Virtuoso’s flutes destroyed by US Customs

U.S. customs officials last week destroyed 11 rare flutes by a respected Canadian musician who was returning home via New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. But the agency isn’t apologizing for the incident — it says the flutes were an ecological threat.

U.S. Customs Won’t Apologize for Destroying Musician’s Rare Flutes

On Aug. 24, 2011, federal agents executed four search warrants on Gibson Guitar Corp. facilities in Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., and seized several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. One of the top makers of acoustic and electric guitars, including the iconic Les Paul introduced in 1952, Gibson was accused of using wood illegally obtained in violation of the century-old Lacey Act, which outlaws trafficking in flora and fauna the harvesting of which had broken foreign laws.

In one raid, the feds hauled away ebony fingerboards, alleging they violated Madagascar law. Gibson responded by obtaining the sworn word of the African island’s government that no law had been broken.

In another raid, the feds found materials imported from India, claiming they too moved across the globe in violation of Indian law. Gibson’s response was that the feds had simply misinterpreted Indian law.

Interestingly, one of Gibson’s leading competitors is C.F. Martin & Co. According to C.F. Martin’s catalog, several of their guitars contain “East Indian Rosewood,” which is the exact same wood in at least 10 of Gibson’s guitars. So why were they not also raided and their inventory of foreign wood seized?

Now The Gibson Guitar Raids Make Sense

Shortly after 9/11, [Krystian Zimerman’s] piano was confiscated by customs officials at New York’s JFK airport, who thought the glue smelled funny. They subsequently destroyed the instrument.

Polish pianist stops show with anti-US tirade

Keep your government hands off of my wood.

There is a level of finesse, of concern, the accompanies the movement of things of rarity and beauty, that eludes those charged with protecting us from enemies, real and imagined. Whether they can’t be bothered, or just don’t understand, it ends with the destruction of something that their banal hands would never touch but for their wearing a uniform and badge.

And much like sufferers of Dunning-Kruger, they perform their job with such certainty of omniscience that they have no qualms about the destruction they do. It was absolutely necessary. They had no choice.

It’s heart-breaking to hear of things of rarity, of beauty, of significance being wantonly destroyed by the stupidest person in the room. It goes without saying that the stupidest person in the room never realizes that it’s him.

What’s curious is how easy it is to see when it’s a musical instrument destroyed by a moron, but how difficult it becomes, or at least excusable, when the target of this failure is a human being. Police, prosecutors and judges invariably project their sensibilities on the conduct of people whose lives and experiences are nothing like theirs, and yet they judge them by the measure of their own narrow lives.

No Better Than The Most Ignorant Agent

#TheStateLovesYou

Continue reading ‘The Federal Government’s War on Musical Instruments’ »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Rubes, you did build that.

Obamacare, Benghazi, IRS, NSA, race baiting, Solyndra, moral preening, Fast and Furious, Pigford, etc., ad nauseum. President Transparency, Moral Preener in Chief, Victim in Chief, President Asterisk, etc., ad nasueum.

The U.S. individual health insurance market currently totals about 19 million people. Because the Obama administration’s regulations on grandfathering existing plans were so stringent about 85% of those, 16 million, are not grandfathered and must comply with Obamacare at their next renewal. The rules are very complex. For example, if you had an individual plan in March of 2010 when the law was passed and you only increased the deductible from $1,000 to $1,500 in the years since, your plan has lost its grandfather status and it will no longer be available to you when it would have renewed in 2014.

These 16 million people are now receiving letters from their carriers saying they are losing their current coverage and must re-enroll in order to avoid a break in coverage and comply with the new health law’s benefit mandates––the vast majority by January 1. Most of these will be seeing some pretty big rate increases.

Week Two of the Obamacare Federal Health Insurance Exchange Rollout––No Improvement

Rubes who idolize the state. Statolatry.

President Obama claims that Republicans are busy probing “phony scandals.” But the sheer number of scandals suggests that misbehavior, abuse of power, and possibly corruption are not something being dreamed up by the GOP, but a defining characteristic of the Obama administration.

Obama is at Two Dozen Scandals and Counting

President Obama (in)famously said, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan” under the Affordable Care Act. As it turns out, not so much. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, it turns out, are receiving letters telling them that their existing coverage just isn’t good enough to satisfy the strict rquirements of the Obamacare law, and that they’ll have to sign up for new policies. Those new policies come with new stipulations, and new price tags. Which is to say, it doesn’t matter if you like your health care plan, since you probably can’t keep it.

You Can Keep Your Health Insurance Under Obamacare? Not So Much.

Obviously, those people losing their health insurance must not have liked what they had. It’s the only explanation.

Continue reading ‘Rubes, you did build that.’ »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Good Question – Why are so many on the left so reactionary?

Why is it that liberals feel no qualms about being rude? Far too many people who are perfectly polite and courteous, otherwise, think nothing of insulting you for not sharing their political opinions. They look at us with disdain, thinking we’re unenlightened conservatives and never hesitating to say so.

As the lone conservative at the tennis courts, I cringe at the Sarah Palin jokes and the jabs at Mormons. When news came on 9/11 that planes had struck the World Trade Center, my partner commented that Bush would use it as an excuse to increase military spending. Bush, of course, is dumb – as are all Republicans, and we’re epitomized by Dan Quayle, whose spelling of “potatoe” has entered historical canon. (Never mind Obama’s telling us there are 57 states, or having a meltdown without a teleprompter) And now it’s Marco Rubio, caught drinking water. “Next time he’ll forget to zip his fly,” joked one of the guys. Mitt Romney changes his mind more often than he changes his underwear. Reagan had Alzheimer’s when he made B movies, and Bonzo had to feed him his lines. And would you believe, from a guy with a pathetic serve, this comment about the Clarence Thomas, justice of the supreme court: send him back to the plantation.

Liberals have no shame. A dinner guest in our home stood up at the table, clinked his wine glass and said, “It shows how stupid the American people are, they voted for Bush twice.” He turned to me, smirking, and said, “I know you voted for him.” A biochemist who had been too busy learning liberal doctrine instead of the basic manners of being a guest.

Why are liberals so rude to the right? Too many people who lean left would rather crack nasty jokes than actually be liberal and listen to other views

Libertarians get the same level of contempt and disdain from liberals. Look at this video for a good example of how reflexively reactionary liberals can be:

The Kochs are not conservatives, they are libertarians. “Regardless of their views.”
You just can’t make this stuff up.

A physician’s expertise makes him capable of inflicting great harm, noted Plato a couple thousand years ago, and no one is better positioned to steal than a guard. So perhaps we should not be surprised that the most conspicuous foe of liberty and the Bill of Rights turns out to be a former professor of constitutional law.

Obama’s War on the Constitution: The president, who first campaigned on a claim to constitutional expertise, is now the document’s biggest threat.

Ozymandias.

Forward!

Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT), learn what Members of Congress pay in taxes, and prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.

Tags: , , ,

Free at last! The angels are here!

A few weeks ago, President Obama advised graduates at Ohio State University that they need not listen to voices warning about tyranny around the corner, because we have self-government in America. He argued that self-government is in and of itself an adequate safeguard against tyranny, because voters can be counted upon to elect democrats (lowercase “d”) not tyrants. His argument defies logic and 20th-century history. It reveals an ignorance of the tyranny of the majority, which believes it can write any law, regulate any behavior, alter any procedure and tax any event so long as it can get away with it.

History has shown that the majority will not permit any higher law or logic or value — like fidelity to the natural law, a belief in the primacy of the individual or an acceptance of the supremacy of the Constitution — that prevents it from doing as it wishes.

Under Obama’s watch, the majority has, by active vote or refusal to interfere, killed hundreds of innocents — including three Americans — by drone, permitted federal agents to write their own search warrants, bombed Libya into tribal lawlessness without a declaration of war so that a mob there killed our ambassador with impunity, attempted to force the Roman Catholic Church to purchase insurance policies that cover artificial birth control, euthanasia and abortion, ordered your doctor to ask you whether you own guns, used the IRS to intimidate outspoken conservatives, seized the telephone records of newspaper reporters without lawful authority and in violation of court rules, and obtained a search warrant against one of my Fox colleagues by misrepresenting his true status to a federal judge.

Dear Graduates: Tyranny Is Right Around the Corner

The War on Drugs is going so well, the DoJ is run like the morally and ethically and legally upright institution we always hoped for, and we finally have the most transparent government in the history of the universe. Hallelujah!

Yes, we finally have angels running the federal government! Free at last! Free at last! Thank G-d Almighty, we’re free at last!

Bonus Links
The IRS Scandal, Day 16
Why Americans love the IRS
Damage Control for Dummies
Most Transparent Administration in History Releases Completely Redacted Document About Text Snooping

Ozymandias.

Forward!

Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT), learn what Members of Congress pay in taxes, and prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Gosnell who?

Tags: , , , , , ,

NOW they tell us!

We’re all just friends here….

The president undermines that chance when he struggles through a news conference with no apparent theme or overarching purpose other than to catalog his grievances and complain about the lack of cooperation from the other side.

This may well have been the opposite impression from what the president and his people hoped to convey this week. But it happened anyway. Well into his fifth year in the White House, this president still seems ill at ease in the news conference format. He is driven by the energy and conflict of the encounter, rather than the other way around.

This lack of mastery stands in striking contrast to his renown for holding throngs in thrall, at home and abroad. Even in the informality of a Washington dinner (), Obama is a gifted presenter, holding forth with the timing and wit of a professional comedian and then turning reflective and serious. Addressing an audience, he is nearly always on.

Logic Behind Obama News Conference Hard To Fathom

A legend in his own mind and in the minds of the lamestream media. Plus, nothing to lecture the rubes or preen about.

The emperor has no clothes.

A revealing new book from one of media’s longest-serving White House correspondents reports that President Obama surrounds himself only with “idolizers,” and top aides make sure that those whose views might “shake him up too much” are shoved aside.
. . .
He called top Chicago aide Valerie Jarrett “one of the leading idolizers” who blocks the access of critics to her boss. “Jarrett has gone too far in limiting others’ access to the president, according to a number of White House and congressional sources,” writes Walsh in the book, due out June 1. “Her goal is to keep Obama in a cocoon of admirers who won’t, in her mind, shake him up too much or present views that might be contrary to her understanding of Obama’s positions.”

Democratic pollster Peter Hart told Walsh that Obama is more a performer than seasoned politician. “He likes performing. He likes crowds,” said the pollster. But Hart added that Obama’s White House is too distant from those in Congress who can help him. “It’s closed. It’s insular. It’s shut out.”

Book: Obama surrounds self with ‘idolizers,’ plots legacy with scholars

Silent signals

Obama’s Make-Believe Life

White House Scientists Struggle to Contain Outbreak of Scrutonium

Love that: “the habit of requiring 60 votes”

Power constrains because it entails responsibility, and Alinskyite tactics are designed to take advantage of those constraints for the benefit of the powerless. Such tactics have backfired on Obama repeatedly because he seems not to understand that they are ill-suited to power politics.
. . .
Obama has actually never “been adept at marshaling public support” except in his election campaigns. His gun-control speeches “drew wide praise” from people who already agreed with what he said, and that praise was deafeningly loud because the praisers include most people with media megaphones [ed.courtiers“].

Power Constrains: Why “community organizer” tactics don’t work for the president.

BHO is “Good at campaigning, bad at governing,” Salena Zito writes in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
. . .
Yes. The word this article is searching for is . . . “Munchkin.”

No, really. Or as Jim Geraghty noted in late February, also using the M-Word, “You Can’t Community-Organize Your Way Out of a Sequester.”

Barry Munchkin Syndrome

Our fabulous Community Organizer in Chief!

Ozymandias

Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT), learn what Members of Congress pay in taxes, and prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.

Tags: , , , , ,

Calvin Coolidge, Silent Cal

“Weaned on a pickle” was how the acid-tongued [Princess] Alice Roosevelt Longworth described Calvin Coolidge, America’s president from 1923 to 1929. Popular historians have been no kinder. Many blame his laissez-faire approach for prompting the Wall Street crash of 1929.

Implicit in this view is the presumption that only interventionist central government can help America recover from economic shock. Mr Coolidge’s hallmark was distrust of government. He saw it as an entity that uses “despotic exactions” (taxes) that sap individual initiative and prosperity across the board. American readers who believe intervention to be a good thing are likely to blanch at a controversial new biography of Coolidge by Amity Shlaes, an American columnist and historian of the Depression. However, if they are brave enough to read on they will also discover a presidency of remarkable achievement that has received too little attention. During Coolidge’s tenure American debt fell by one-third, the tax rate by half and unemployment collapsed.

When less led to more: America’s 30th president has been much misunderstood

Continue reading ‘Calvin Coolidge, Silent Cal’ »

Tags: , ,

“Government Transparency” – Oxymoron

Before I worked on Capitol Hill, I was a reporter and broke a story about how Bush administration officials had silenced federal scientists who had tried to speak up about climate change after Hurricane Katrina. I based the article on documents and email messages I had uncovered through the Freedom of Information Act. Even though the Department of Commerce handed over the emails, I was disappointed to discover that portions of them had been illegally redacted to hide the involvement of specific political appointees.
Advertisement

After seeing years of heavy-handed secrecy and incessant White House claims of national security to hide the ball from Congress, I supported President Obama’s efforts to clean things up and restore some balance. But like most reporters, I am suspicious of these types of promises, especially from politicians. Regardless of who occupies the White House, I understand that power wants power. Scrutiny just gets in the way.

President Obama is no different. Whether it’s responding to Congress, media questions, or FOIA requests, this administration is no better than its predecessor. The big difference: Obama is a Democrat. And because he is a Democrat, he’s gotten a pass from many of the civil liberty and good-government groups who spent years watching President Bush’s every move like a hawk.

Continue reading ‘“Government Transparency” – Oxymoron’ »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,