Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: May 25, 2010


Dale’s Observations For 2010-05-25

N. Rosenkrantz proposes an entirely new framework for Constitutional jurisprudence. It's groundbreaking and fantastic. http://bit.ly/d1ZBqR #

White House investigation of Sestak allegations shows no White House wrongdoing. Nothing to see here. Move along. http://bit.ly/bUTH4R #

Radley Balko discusses the Detroit SWAT raid that got a 7 year-old girl killed by the police. In the wrong apartment. http://bit.ly/9nYMAu #

It's back to the Cold War on the Korean peninsula. With US troops there, let's hope it stays a cold war. http://bit.ly/9LSB3T #

With the Dow down 200 points at the moment, the 10-year T-note yield is down to 3.1%. But the economy is recovering, right? #


Donkey, symbol of Democratic Party, blown up in Gaza

Hey, it got your attention, didn’t it?

And yes a donkey did get blown up in Gaza and no, it wasn’t the doing of the Republicans (well, not that we know of). They’d most likely have blown themselves up.

Anyway:

A small Syrian-backed terrorist group in Gaza said its activists blew up a donkey cart laden with explosives close to the border with Israel on Tuesday, killing the animal but causing no human casualties.

Abu Ghassan, spokesman for the terrorist group, said more than 200 kilograms of dynamite were heaped on the animal-drawn cart. He added that the explosives were detonated 60 meters from the concrete security barrier that separates the territory from Israel.

Is anyone else noticing how inept most of these terror attempts are becoming?  The Christmas Day bomber burns his own crotch out but fails to blow up the airplane he’s on.  The Times Square bomber fails in his attempt to explode a propane bomb in the city as planned.

And now we have the donkey bombers.  200 kg’s of explosives, laboriously smuggled into Gaza, rigged for explosion and they kill … a donkey.

They ought to stick with what they do best, for heaven sake – like torching UN run summer camps for children. They seem to be quite good at that. Maybe it’s the lack of armed opposition they find invigorating. Or terrifying children. Who knows?

The one thing I do know is threatening and terrifying children and blowing up donkeys will not be a topic of conversation among the useful idiots at the next “Free Palestine” meeting on a campus near you soon.

~McQ


Fighting words (update)

As most of you know, I also blog over at BlackFive.net under the name “McQ”. It’s my “military outlet” and I love both the opportunity and the access to the milblog community it affords me. One of the things most encouraging about that particular blog venue is the community it entails. People with skin in the game – through service or being related to someone who has or is serving or members of support groups (Soldier’s Angels or the USO) who serve the troops.

Compared to the political game that I keep mostly at home here, it’s a pretty mellow place. There are a few times when authors pop off about things which rankle them, but mostly it’s about our warriors, our veterans and what we can do as a group – a community – to make life better for them. Many excellent organizations have spun out of the BlackFive effort. The Warrior Legacy Foundation for one. Cooking for the Troops for another. This is all evident to anyone who knows the site and actually reads it regularly and knows its founder, Matt Burden.

So it came as a bit of a surprise when BlackFive came under what I can only call an unfounded and scurrilous attack by two blogging nobodies who couldn’t shine Matt Burden’s boots, much less fill them. One of the yahoos called, of all things, for an “intervention”.

What the hell is that? Obviously something the one author, a Harvard PhD with no skin in the military game, learned in those pussified but hallowed halls – or from watching too much Oprah.

Well, I ‘m ready for an intervention, right now. And yes, I will be going ad hominem in this post because when a group with whom I’m proud to be associated is characterized as “[t]hese erstwhile mullahs of the American Taliban”, I consider that ban to be by the boards and those to be fighting words. And they deserve every bit of what I plan on saying.

The impetus for this “intervention” was a post by one of the BF authors, Crush. He was obviously a bit miffed that day. The supposed offending part is as follows:

The IMF suggests our national debt will surpass 100% of our gross domestic product in 2015.

Also states that our debt began sharply increasing in 2006. Wasn’t that when our beloved Democrats took over both houses of Congress?

At some point we must begin to ask ourselves – what is treason? The federal government has done more damage to this country than if the Soviet Union had invaded during the Cold War. Now if we captured members of the Red Army, there would be military tribunals and they would be shot. I am NOT advocating such treatment for our elected officials. However, we should realize the gravity of the situation our nation finds itself thanks to their lust for power.

Is the destruction of our republic somehow more palatable if it is perpetrated by domestic enemies rather than foreign ones?

Anyone ready to go out and kill cops and blow up federal buildings? Yeah, me neither. That’s pretty normal fare in the political blogosphere. But this nancy-boy “Havad” grad shown standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier (obviously in port as other civilians are seen on deck as well) decides it is one of many calls to violence that have emanated from BF and is sure that BF is in some way is responsible for the violence that recently happened in Arkansas.  Seriously:

This weekend, as the nation mourns the loss of two dedicated law enforcement officers–shot at the hands of anti-government extremists (one suspect served in the Army Reserves), I want to take a minute to address certain milblogs and anti-government rhetoric.

We milbloggers have a responsibility to be good stewards of civic behavior. Anti-government rhetoric, “wink-wink” anti-government incitement and calls for violence must not find a place in America’s milblog community.

Please join me in calling out those milbloggers who traffic in anti-American rhetoric.

A) who the hell is “we”, assclown? The fact that this yahoo writes about the military doesn’t make him a milblogger anymore than Obama’s ability to read from a teleprompter makes him a great orator. It makes him precisely what he is – someone with no skin in the game who writes about the military, not a milblogger. But more importantly …

B) show me the “incitement to violence” in Crush’s post. Hint: A capitalized “NOT” is a key clue.

C) since when is dissent “anti-American”?

D) how dare he try to tie the death of two law enforcement officers to BlackFive by implication and then talk about “being good stewards of civic behavior”?

E) demonstrate, with examples, a pattern of “anti-government” rhetoric that any fair observer would consider to be an “incitement to violence” against said government from BlackFive.

Of course I expect no response to those challenges and will most likely get none.

But that’s not the half of it. He calls Burden out and calls him a coward (as he does Crush) because Matt doesn’t censor his authors (how “anti-American”). He makes claims that have no basis in fact (most of us call those “lies”) and he tars the whole of the authors there with inflammatory rhetoric like this:

And now, two law enforcement officers are dead. Egged on by the violent anti-government rhetoric sites like Blackfive spew every single day.

Blackfive’s anti-government rhetoric speaks for itself.

[...]

A lot of good veterans serve in law enforcement and in other non-elected governmental roles. Today, two are dead, two are wounded. And with sites like Blackfive.net helping, more and more law enforcement and government workers are going to die at the hands of guys misguided by net-based calls to anti-government violence.

I’m worried that guys who find community and strength in Blackfive.net’s stock-and-trade of anti-government rhetoric will act upon what they read…

I’ve read some excruciatingly asinine and groundless commentary in my life, but this is the pinnacle. In fact, it is damn close to libel.

I wonder – when confronted with those questions above – if he’d be fine with me calling him a coward if he doesn’t respond or I don’t find his responses acceptable to me?

He concludes with:

We, as milbloggers and patriots, can’t afford to ignore this talk. We can’t continue dismissing this unpatriotic behavior as insignificant exuberance.

It is time for veterans, service members, interested law enforcement officers, milbloggers and others to express their concern when they see anti-government, pro-violence behavior on milblogs.

If we–the responsible people–don’t do anything now, how will we feel when a vet in government service (or one of us, even) is killed by a vet who consumed too much of the stuff blackfive.net produces? Intervene. Join me.

Cheerleaders for uncivic behavior must be called on the carpet now, today, before somebody translates this misguided rhetoric into action.

Irresponsible. Childish. Misinformed. Absurd. Full of lies and false implication. It is impossible to succinctly characterize this fool’s rant. Scholarly and dispassionate, however, wouldn’t be words I’d choose to describe it in any way.

Have you ever seen someone stretch so hard to try and make a point? In fact, his rhetoric is nothing more that the usual frothing of the extreme left trying to make a case for a “violent right” complete with pictures of the destroyed Murrah building in Oklahoma City. What’s hilarious is this pinhead doesn’t even understand the unintentional irony of his concluding statement – after attacking Burden and Crush, calling them cowards, tarring the whole BF crew with the phrase “American Taliban”, claims of incitement to violence and attempting to link us all to the death of the two law enforcement officers in Arkansas, this dipwad talks about “uncivic behavior” and “misguided rhetoric”.

How many have chosen to join you in your intervention, Skippy?

To quote the only PhD I respect, Bugs Bunny – “what a maroon”.

The other who attacked the blog is named David Axe. His post isn’t worth much more than this: I spent four days with David Axe aboard the USS Kearsarge. My experience with him boils down to this – if there are two versions to a certain event – always, always, ALWAYS go with the other guy’s version.

Nuff said.

UPDATE: This Ain’t Hell takes a couple of swings as well.

~McQ


Union pension bailout introduced in Congress

Apparently deaf to the people and under the political thumb of unions, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) has introduced legislation that would provide another $165 billion in bailouts for troubled union pension funds. In essence, the bill would use the existing Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp behind union pensions as well at an initial cost of $165 billion. In reality it would be an open ended bailout.

Of course the problem with the union pension funds is the unions have managed them and, even in the good times, managed them poorly:

As FOX Business Network’s Gerri Willis reported Monday, these pensions are in bad shape; as of 2006, well before the market dropped and recession began, only 6% of these funds were doing well.

Of course, bailing out these pension funds is the wrong thing to do for any numbers of reasons. First, of course, is the government has no business taking from taxpayers to prop up entities which have mismanaged their assets. In a free society, the “freedom to fail” is as much a part of that society as the freedom to succeed. We shouldn’t be in the business of trying to prevent bad consequences that result from bad or poor behavior and management (although the precedent has been set with the auto bailouts).

Secondly, this is an internal union problem – not a problem for the taxpayers. Union members should be dealing with management that has so badly managed their retirement assets, not the rest of us. Where was the membership when it became clear, much earlier than now, that this sort of problem existed and was getting worse?

It isn’t clear that this legislation will get anywhere (it shouldn’t), but it speaks to a mindset existent among politicians that is the target of many voters this year. The Casey’s of the Congress are who need to go. And I’d feel the same way if it was a GOP legislator trying to save some corporation from the results of its poor decisions.

The idea of government, via the taxpayers, is there to backstop every downturn resulting from poor private decisions and management is an idea which we need to forever banish from out thinking.

As an aside, President Obama has declared there would be no more bailouts. But this is a union we’re talking about here. Let’s see if he sticks by his guns or whether we ought to give his declaration as much credence as we would if he said he was never going to use a teleprompter again.

~McQ


SEIU = thugs

Last Sunday, while you were enjoying the day off and the mild weather with your family, SEIU thugs were in the process of trying to intimidate the family of a Bank of America executive.  They did it without the press (well, they had a friendly HuffPo blogger there to whom I’m not going to link) and they showed up without notice.  They, the 500+, did it strictly to intimidate the executive (a “we know where you live” type of demonstration).  This, apparently, is the new tactic of the thugocracy.  Unfortunately for the SEIU, Nina Easton of Fortune happened to be the bank exec’s next door neighbor and she writes about it.  She also snapped this pic:

As it turns out, the only occupant of the home at the time was a terrified 14 year old boy, the bank executive’s son, who locked himself in the bathroom. The rest of the family apparently was at the Little League game of a younger son.

While the executive, Greg Baer, is the deputy general council for corporate law at BoA and based in DC, it’s unclear what the SEIU and the Chicago based group called “National Political Action” targeted his house other than it was convenient. Why not BoA headquarters or some other BoA institution? Because, as Nina Easton says, this was an attempt at nothing more – nothing more – than pure intimidation. 14 school bus loads – 500 people – on your porch banging on your door and terrifying your family.

There’s some irony here. The Baer family is not exactly the scripted “evil Republican corporate capitalist” family that thug organization like the SEIU like to portray as the enemy of “the people”.

A lifelong Democrat, Baer worked for the Clinton Treasury Department, and his wife, Shirley Sagawa, author of the book The American Way to Change and a former adviser to Hillary Clinton, is a prominent national service advocate.

This is and always will be unacceptable behavior from any group. But it seems to be something the SEIU and other unions have decided is fair play. Easton sums it up nicely:

In the 1990s, the Baers’ former bosses, Bill and Hillary Clinton, denounced the “politics of personal destruction.” Today politicians and their voters of all stripes grieve the ugly bitterness that permeates our policy debates. Now, with populist rage providing a useful cover, it appears we’ve crossed into a new era: The politics of personal intimidation.

It is an “era” which needs to be nipped in the bud now. If ever there was a group displaying fascistic tendencies, it is the SEIU and the groups like National Political Action with which it is associated. This is unacceptable behavior and we need to let the SEIU know it and know it now. Politics is a rough and tumble game – we all know that. But keep families out of it.

Action like the SEIU and NPA took last Sunday were the tactics of thugs. And and unless and until those tactics are abandoned and an apology issued to the family the union attempted to terrorize, they’ll continue to be referred to as thugs.

~McQ


Quote of the Day – opposing Obama borders on “sedition” edition

MA governor Deval Patrick, a crony of Barack Obama’s, has decided that Republican opposition to what Obama’s agenda borders on the criminal:

Patrick said that even “on my worst day, when I’m most frustrated about folks who seem to rooting for failure,” he doesn’t face anything like the opposition faced by the president.

“It seems like child’s play compared to what is going on in Washington, where it is almost at the level of sedition, it feels to like me,” Patrick said.

Funny how that’s always a problem when the opposition party opposes the party in power.

When asked afterward if he thought the opposition  truly bordered on sedition, he said:

“That was a rhetorical flourish,” Patrick said.

Or, in flyover country language – “no, that was BS”.  But then, we in flyover country knew that when he said it.

~McQ