31 August 2009

Someone You Should Know.

Captain Darby Boudreaux. Before he went back over, Darby was the LANG contracting officer for one of our projects. Indeed, you won't meet a finer soldier.

Hattip: Greta Perry on Facebook.

30 August 2009

Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows.

And you won't find two stranger fellows than Barney Frank and Ron Paul.

I guess Paul got over that Bruno cameo...

29 August 2009

Plus Four.

Were it not a felony or something, I would commemorate today by kicking a Corps of Engineers levee engineer in the shin, or anyone from FEMA in the ass.

Just sayin.

UPDATE: Mostly Cajun looks back four years, and nails it.

Could He Get Us Unstuck?

General Russel Honore - the man in post-Katrina New Orleans who told some whiny reporters they were "stuck on stupid," may be seriously considering tossing his beret in the ring for a run at David Vitter's Senate seat.

As an African-American, a Republican, a military veteran, and one of the few people seen positively with respect to the Katrina debacle, Honore could give Vitter fits in the Bayou state.

And I think he could beat Democrat Charlie Melancon as bad, or worse than Vitter can. Melancon has aparrently been sucking Team Hopenchange's hind teat up there in DC, and no matter what Charlie says to the contrary, in this climate that will be like swimming with a 1,000-pound (or 1,000-page) weight around his neck. Barring Obama walking on water, raising the dead, or showing us a government program that is both quality and affordable, Melancon and the Democrats don't have a hope in K Street of capturing Vitter's seat.

But Vitter is vulnerable as well from within the GOP. Vitter is part of the bozo GOP that lost us the Senate, the House, and the White House - and still haven't figured out what to do about it or craft an effective counter to the Obama agenda. (The one thing they are doing is trying to co-opt the Tea Party movement as their own. Ain't happening.) Us rank-and-file Republicans ain't too happy about our leadership right now. (Which is mostly why the Tea Party movement exists...) Vitter also has that past problem about keeping it in his pants. Will it become an issue? Depends.

If General Honore runs, I think he has a serious chance. But Louisiana will need to see more of his positions and views before we can say for certain. We will need to see if he is still a solutions man, who will respect the Constitution - or just another GOP visionless reactionary.

UPDATE: The General... has a webiste.

The Best Internet Photo Caption. Ever.

"Bert really hated suffering from the occasional bout of Grand Mal Flatulence."
- Steamboat McGoo

28 August 2009


The Left/Mainstream Media want to re-name Obama's takeover of your health care in honor of the late Ted Kennedy.

I agree.

Think about it, dear readers - if Obama's plan is passed, you and I will be locked in a vehicle from which we can't escape; and end up drowning in a sea of red ink while the people who drove us into this fate... swim away and escape responsibility.

27 August 2009

I'm Just Saying.

Some timely advice from Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
"Well, on second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place."

Say It Ain't So, Barry.

It seems an openly committed Marxist/Leninist "revolutionary" is a policy advisor in the Obama White House. Surprised? Me, either.

The National Endowment For Propaganda.

Here's something to keep you awake at night - Team Hopenchange is apparently trying to use The National Endowment for the Arts - a federally funded agency - to promote it's political agenda:
Backed by the full weight of President Barack Obama’s call to service and the institutional weight of the NEA, the conference call was billed as an opportunity for those in the art community to inspire service in four key categories, and at the top of the list were “health care” and “energy and environment.” The service was to be attached to the President’s United We Serve campaign, a nationwide federal initiative to make service a way of life for all Americans.

It sounded, how should I phrase it…unusual, that the NEA would invite the art community to a meeting to discuss issues currently under vehement national debate. I decided to call in, and what I heard concerned me.

The people running the conference call and rallying the group to get active on these issues were Yosi Sergant, the Director of Communications for the National Endowment for the Arts; Buffy Wicks, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement; Nell Abernathy, Director of Outreach for United We Serve; Thomas Bates, Vice President of Civic Engagement for Rock the Vote; and Michael Skolnik, Political Director for Russell Simmons.

We were encouraged to bring the same sense of enthusiasm to these “focus areas” as we had brought to Obama’s presidential campaign, and we were encouraged to create art and art initiatives that brought awareness to these issues. Throughout the conversation, we were reminded of our ability as artists and art professionals to “shape the lives” of those around us. The now famous Obama “Hope” poster, created by artist Shepard Fairey and promoted by many of those on the phone call, and will.i.am’s “Yes We Can” song and music video were presented as shining examples of our group’s clear role in the election.

Obama has a strong arts agenda, we were told, and has been very supportive of both using and supporting the arts in creative ways to talk about the issues facing the country. We were “selected for a reason,” they told us. We had played a key role in the election and now Obama was putting out the call of service to help create change. We knew “how to make a stink,” and were encouraged to do so.
Interesting, isn't it, that it's OK to "make a stink" in support of Obama; but if folks like you and me "make a stink" opposing Obama we're out of bounds. Worse, we're somehow "nazis," "racists," "neanderthals," and a "threat to democracy" for doing so.

Team Hopenchange seems to know they're on some pretty shaky legal ground here:
And if you think that my fear regarding the arts becoming a tool of the state is still unfounded, I leave you with a few statements made by the NEA to the art community participants on the conference call. “This is just the beginning. This is the first telephone call of a brand new conversation. We are just now learning how to really bring this community together to speak with the government. What that looks like legally?…bare with us as we learn the language so that we can speak to each other safely… “ (emphasis mine)
Read it all. This is yet another reason why the NEA should be eliminated.

UPDATE 28AUG09: FoxNews has more.

26 August 2009

Still Crazy After All These Years.

P. J. O'Rourke weighs on The Left/Mainstream Media's conclusions about folks - like you and me - who have the gall to question their agenda. As usual, P. J. takes no prisoners.

Wednesday Required Reading.

Rachel Lucas visits Auschwitz. Read it. Read it all.

Hattip: StandFirm.

Ted Kennedy Passes.

According to the Boston Herald, Teddy lost his battle with brain cancer today. Political opposite though he was, may his soul rest in peace.

UPDATE: The Left/Mainstream Media "never let a crisis go to waste." Or, apparently, the death of a Senator. Pathetic. He ain't even cold yet.

Independence Day.

30 years ago today, just after 2:00pm, I packed the last of my things into my VW Bug and left my parent's house in New Orleans for Baton Rouge and my first year at LSU. It was, to quote from a Randy Newman song about New Orleans, "the end of my baby days." It was a Sunday. I was 20.

I remember sitting in my dorm room in South Stadium that night trying to find something on late night Baton Rouge TV - other than televangelists - and wondering if leaving New Orleans wasn't just the stupidist thing I had ever done.

But in hindsight, it wasn't. (That would come later, and involve East German border guards, AK-47's, and and a dare.) Leaving turned out to be one of the smartest things I ever did. While I love the Crescent City, 30 years on I have no regrets.

25 August 2009

Standard, Double, Prime Example Of.

MSNBC worked itself into an edit-induced lather the other day over some Ron-bot carrying an AR-15 at a health care town hall. Racist threat to democracy and all that. But when the gun toter is a pro-Obama Democrat, it's... no big deal. Move along.

21 August 2009

Cap-n-Trade's Impact On Louisiana.

The Heritage Foundation runs the numbers. It ain't pretty.

Hattip: UCV.

Genesis 1:1-8, Barack Obama "God's Partners" Translation

[Note: Only a fragment of the original has been recovered and translated.]

1 In the beginning We created the heaven and the earth.

2 And the Earth was too warm, and not in balance; and disorder was upon the face of the People. And Our Spirit moved Us upon the face of the disorder.

3 And We said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4 And We saw the light, that it was energy efficient: and We divided the light from the darkness.

5 And We called the light Reform, and the darkness We called Republicans. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

6 And We said, Let there be Government in the midst of the disorder, and let it divide the disorder from the order.

7 And We made the Government, and divided the disorder which were under the Government from the order which were by the Government: and it was so.

8 And We called the government Heaven. And the evening and the morn....

[The fragment ended here]

Rangers vs. Special Forces.

For LMB. He knows why.

Hattip: Theo Spark.

Barack Obama Is A Lefty Episcopalian.

He has to be. Only a Lefty Episcopalian would have the kind of smug arrogance and self-importance to think themselves, "God’s partners in matters of life and death."

As any Christian with more than a Dan Brown - or Katherine Jefferts-Schori - understanding of theology knows, we are not God's partners. We are, like everything around us, His Creation. (Note: It's not just a Christan thing - our Muslim and Jewish friends believe the same.)

If Bush had tried to invoke God for political ends like this, The Left/Mainstream Media would have erupted in howls of indignation and secular outrage. I am often chastised for my stand on The Current Unpleasantness in The Episcopal Church (tm) with, "Who are you to say what is the Will of God with respect to sexuality?" or "Y'know, Jesus never said anything about homosexuality. It's not in the Bible... OK, so let me turn the tables: "Who are you, Mr. President and Bishop Jefferts-Schori, to know the Will of God with respect to the delivery and payment for health care?" "Jesus never said anything about where I buy my health insurance or what my plan minimums should be. The Public Option is not in the Bible..."

20 August 2009

Another Questionable "Doctor" At A Town Hall Meeting.

And this one in Newton, MA (where we used to live). If the Democrats need to astroturf a doctor in the heart of Barney Frank's district, their health care grab is in serious trouble.

UPDATE: OK, to be fair, after looking at some of the other links Gateway Pundit provides, this woman does seem to be a bit, um... eccentric. So maybe she wasn't a plant, but a tumbleweed.

Obama 'Joker' Poster Artist Revealed! (UPDATED)

EXCLUSIVE - Must credit Red Stick Rant.
The official artist of the Conservative Revolutionary Front (CRF) has finally been identified:

Go here if you, too, feel the urge to 'Squirrelize'.

UPDATE 21AUG09: Squirrels are nocturnal, high-speed, low-drag killers: proof. At least the squirrel had enough sense to stay off the ridgeline...

UPDATE 21AUG09: That squirrel is even getting into the Current Unpleasantness within The Episcopal Church (tm).

Second Amendment, Tax Free.

Why I love living in Louisiana:
"Louisiana Second Amendment Weekend Sales Tax Holiday" has been announced by the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR). The sales tax holiday will take place the weekend before Labor Day, starting on Friday, September 4, through Sunday, September 6.

The tax holiday is part of Act 453 of the Regular Session of the 2009 Louisiana Legislature. Act 453 provides a three-day exemption from state and local sales and use taxes on consumer purchases of firearms, ammunition, and hunting supplies. This is an annual sales tax holiday that occurs each year on the first consecutive Friday through Sunday in September.
All Coonasses and Yats, mark you calendars.

Wednesday Morning Distraction.

Bloody amazing. Watch it all.

Hattip: Matthew.

Do it... For The Government. Sorry, For The Children.

A Lefty political group called Vote Kids is running this attack ad against Louisiana Senator David Vitter for not supporting Team Hopenchange's government takeover of your health care.

Look, it's (for now) a free country; people can advocate from any angle they want. But let's be honest - Vote Kids isn't about kids. It's about a group of adults using kids to push their agenda. The children are the vehicle for the agenda, not the focus of it.

Nobody wants to see kids harmed; not even us horrid Republicans. But to equate opposing a government takeover of health care to harming children is insulting. Why is it the only way The Left/Mainstream Media know "to look out for our children" is with more government rules, more government mandates, more government regulations and more taxpayer money? In essence, what Vote Kids is saying is they don't trust folks like you and me to do the right thing on our own - they don't think we have the judgement, the ability, or the means to adequately take care of our children - government must be involved, or harm will come to them.

As my former posts on the InterWebZ prove, I'm not a big fan of David Vitter. But if supporting Vitter is what it takes to keep busybodies like Vote Kids from imposing their values on me and my family via the government, then sign me up as a Vitter fan.

19 August 2009

Stupid. And Even More Stupid.

Yesterday, I said that the guy toting an AR-15 to an ObamaCare rally was pretty stupid, since The Left/Mainstream Media was going to use this to tar and feather honest opposition to the Team Hopenchange agenda. Well, not only are they using it, MSNBC has raised the level of stupid even higher: In order to make this incident fit their conclusion - that opposition to Obama and his agenda is motivated by white fear and racism - MSNBC not only made no mention of the fact that the gun toter was African-American, they apparently edited the video of the gun toting man to hide that fact.

The Left/ Mainstream Media is getting desperate. They must know they are losing this debate.

The Grey Man Again.

Using Yamamoto, Shakespeare and Patton to remind the political elite that the "mob" they fear are not their dependents, but their employers - and the boss ain't happy:

Yes, But Not Because Of Anything They're Doing.

The Republicans are on the rise. The GOP better hope the elitist, arrogant Democrat leadership keep acting like, well, the elitist, arrogant Democrat leadership - because it's the only thing they got going for them right now.

Lordy, we need a Reagan.

So That's Where Those Lines Go.

Says it all. From here.

UPDATE: This one is pretty good, too.

UPDATE: Murdoc shows that the logo gets better when The Vacation Picture Squirrel is added. Doesn't everything?

18 August 2009

A (Really Stupid And Counter-Productive) Disturbance In The Force.

Example 15,568 why I think conspiracy-obsessed Ron Paul "patriots" are as big a threat to the rising conservative / libertarian consciousness as anything on the Left.

Monday in Phoenix, Arizona, some folks showed up at an ObamaCare town hall openly carrying weapons; one even had an AR-15 over his shoulder. With a magazine inserted. Really. The Left / Mainstream Media is having a field day with this, seeing it as - if you'll pardon the expression - the smoking gun which proves their conclusion that anti-ObamaCare folks are a bunch of dangerous, reactionary wackos.

Here's a video about the event, apparently by the folks who did it - someone or some group called "4409" and/or "Wake Up, America Productions." Notice the anti-vaccine and "9/11 Truth" signs and banners in the background in that first video, and have a look at their other videos on their YouTube channel - these folks seem to be small bunch (aren't they all? -ed.) of Ron Paul worshipping conspiracy theorists out for a publicity stunt.

Look, I'm a staunch supporter of a citizen's Right to Keep and Bear Arms. I have a Concealed Carry Permit, and I carry in public when I conclude the necessity. I practice with my weapon regularly. I firmly believe that the Second Amendment exists to make sure that you and me, as Free Citizens, have the power to protect our foundational rights; be they threatened by a mugger or rapist, a foreign power, or a tyrannical and totalitarian domestic government.

So, did these Paul-bots have a legal right to do this? Yes. Openly bearing arms is legal in Arizona. (as it should be in all States - ed.) But as Mudoc so wisely points out, "Sure, you can. That’s not the same as sure, you should." That's a wonderfully apt definition of mature reasoning and self-discipline, something these "patriots" clearly lack. And besides, there was no point to openly carrying an AR-15 and the other arms except to call attention to themselves and away from the whole reason there was a crowd there in the first place. The anti-ObamaCare crowd wasn't there to see the Paul-bots display their big guns. The anti-ObamaCare crowd wasn't there about firearms rights per se - even though most of the anti-ObamaCare crowd was probably as pro-Second Amendment as your humble blogger. They were there, as we all are these days, protesting a myriad of recent government excesses: TARP, the "Stimulus," Cap and Trade, and ObamaCare.

No matter how well these folks and their guns comported themselves, childish stunts like this do little more than make The Left / Mainstream Media go even further into their "danger-to-democracy" feeding frenzy mode. Which makes our serious arguments against expanding big government that much harder to convey convincingly to the public, and makes our newly energized supporters stay at home again for fear of being associated with "extremists." It was beyond stupid.

UPDATE 19AUG09: Alphecca weighs in. Murdoc has an update, too, and reiterates the point about this being used against us. It appears Team Hopenchange also sees PR advantages here, as they're not concerned with it happening again.

The Big Five Oh.

Book 'Em, Dano. According to Mr. Sitemeter, sometime Sunday night RSR had it's 50,000th unique visitor since I started this little blog thingy. I know that ain't much for you big-time bloggers, but hey - I'm grateful for each and every one!

Government Motors New Lineup.

Via Instapundit. Um, no thanks.

17 August 2009

A Loooong Week For ObamaCare.

On Sunday there was talk of scrapping the "government option." And today, this from a Blue Dog Democrat:
When a questioner, Ray Evans, said he believed the President wants to do too much at once and asked whether Boyd would "be willing to scrap everything" and start over to do pursue reform more incrementally, the congressman responded: "I think that is an excellent idea … we may end up there."
If we really do scrap this, can we please not recycle it? Ever.

Before There Were 'South Park Republicans, There Were 'Pants Down Republicans.'

In this PJTV tribute the the late director John Hughes, Roger Simon pointed out something I had completely forgotten - back in the late 70's/early 80's, Hughes was, along with P. J. O'Rourke and Dennis Boyles, a founder of The Pants Down Republicans. Read through their "party platform." Drop the 'it's-the-70's-and-drugs-are-cool' angle, and even today I'd vote for it. Sure beats the current Hopenchange agenda.

While digging round for the earlier link I came across this David Boyles post on Hughes passing. And this NRO post, with a memorable Ferris Bueller bit that, alas, missed the movie but perfectly describes the 60's generation.

UPDATE: OK, I'd also move Linda Ronstadt from the 'FOR' column to the 'AGAINST' column. Too much Left-wing whining and too little Jane Fonda workout.

MiniTrue Goes Under The Bus.

Team Hopenchange disappeared it's Orwellian scheme to turn us into a nation of political snitches.

Proving the point, dear readers, that a "fishy" really does rot from the head.

A Wee Flaw In The Team Hopenchange Calculations.

America, it turns out, really is a conservative nation.

The only place with more people identifying themselves as 'liberal' than 'conservative' is - you guessed it - Washington, D.C.

Hattip: Powerline.

A Good Question For The Next Obama Town Hall Meeting.

Is ObamaCare even constitutional?

16 August 2009

We're Not In Kansas Anymore, Eh.

The single payer, government-run Canadian health care system, the one Team Hopenchange is setting us up to copy and the one The Left/Mainstream Media assures us delivers efficient, affordable, high-quality medical treatment top all, isn't quite the Emerald City:
The incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association says this country's health-care system is sick and doctors need to develop a plan to cure it.

Dr. Anne Doig says patients are getting less than optimal care and she adds that physicians from across the country - who will gather in Saskatoon on Sunday for their annual meeting - recognize that changes must be made.

"We all agree that the system is imploding, we all agree that things are more precarious than perhaps Canadians realize," Doing said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

"We know that there must be change," she said. "We're all running flat out, we're all just trying to stay ahead of the immediate day-to-day demands."

Why The Tea Party Movement Is Necessary.

Today's Day by Day nails it.

The Talking Process.

Instapundit points out this Ann Althouse post about the Left's notion of "conversation," which boils down to: We talk, you shut up and agree.

If Ann was an Episcopalian, she'd have known that by now.

Does Rahm Emanuel Play Chess? (UPDATED)

Team Hopenchange is either coming to political reality... or pulling a Queen Sacrifice. Reports are surfacing that they are ready to drop the "government option" in order to get ObamaCare passed. "Government option" was the main vehicle in ObamaCare for moving the US toward a Canadian-style, single-payer health care system - the ultimate dream of Obama, Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Big Labor, and the rest of the hard Left.

But don't break out the champagne just yet, dear readers. We may have won this battle, but we are nowhere near winning the health care war. With hundreds of pages of ObamaCare regulations and mandates still out there, those of us who believe in individual freedom and subservient government can not rest. Not until this agenda has been defeated.

UPDATE: No, wait - they didn't mean that. The "Government Option" is on again. Geez, if Team Hopenchange can't stay on message with something that is supposedly so core to their "reform," do you really think they are up to crafting a government service that is responsible, efficient, affordable, and high-quality? Something no government in the history of Man has yet been able to do?

15 August 2009

Another Coon-Ass Blogger.

I just stumbled upon the most excellent Mostly Cajun, All-American and Opinionated. Go over had have a look round.

They Don't Want A Government Bureaucrat Between You And Your Doctor - Just An IRS Agent.

I know The President and his media cheerleaders keep calling ObamaCare just a "reform", but I'm not sure if this is what any of us would call a reform:
People often joke that government-run health care will have the efficiency of the motor vehicle department, and the compassion of the Internal Revenue Service. This joke will become reality if present Democratic health restructuring proposals are enacted.

Under both the House and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee bills released to the public, the Internal Revenue Service will play a key role in monitoring and enforcing health care mandates against individual taxpayers. Yet the introduction of the IRS into the health care system has received scant attention.
Knowing how folks like you and me look at the IRS, it's little wonder Team Hopenchange hasn't said too much about this.

Professor Jacobson also points out something else Team Hopenchange isn't talking too much about: Under both bills making their way through Congress, every person in the US must, by Law, be enrolled in a government-approved health insurance plan - or pay a fine in the form of a "tax" or "shared responsibility payment." You will have no choice.

UPDATE: Want to see how this will work operationally? Here is the 2008 Individual Tax form from Massachusetts, a state where where such a government enrollment requirement is currently in place. Note that Schedule HC, the health care reporting portion, runs almost three pages - nearly half the Individual Tax form - and the Schedule HC instructions run 9 pages. Question 9a is especially intriguing:
RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION. Are you claiming an exemption from the requirement to purchase health insurance based on your sincerely held religious beliefs?
I wonder how that works. Can you simply claim a sincerely held belief and be let off the hook, or do you have to prove it somehow? Is there some agency in the Commonwealth that approves which religious beliefs are "sincerely held," and which are not? Under ObamaCare, would the IRS have a similar agency?

Foot, Your Own, Shoot A Hole In.

Back a few days ago at some staged event "town hall" somewhere, President Obama tossed off this line whilst defending his plan to take over health care:
“I mean, if you think about it, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? No, they are. It’s the post office that’s always having problems.”
Which, if you do think about it, dear readers, is exactly the point. Private health insurance, while it needs improvement, is something that most all of us like, and see no reason to have it end. We want our children and grandchildren to have it, too. What we fear is being forced into a health care system like those the government currently runs, with the existing bureaucracy, waiting, red tape, rationing, lack of control, etc. So, if the private sector is doing "just fine" delivering a service, and it's the government sector "that’s always having problems,” why would anyone think forcing the private sector to emulate the government sector, is "reform?" Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Rhetorically, Obama just shot a huge hole his own argument for government control of your health care, and didn't even realize it.

Does anyone - beyond out-of-touch pols, ideologue academics, and snug movie actors - actually believe that the US government - or any government - is able to deliver any product or service more efficiently, more affordably, and with better quality than the private sector?

"A Veritable Jurassic Park Of Fake Foliage."

You don't need to report this "fishy" astroturf scheme by a big lobbying group - spend $150 million to influence the health care - to the White House. Why? Because the White House is in on it.

14 August 2009

The Best Video Ever Created By The Hand Of Man Or Beast?

You decide.

Speaking Truth To Whiny Elitists.

Villa RSR will be shopping at Whole Foods more often. Here's why.

A New Blog, And A (Possible) Glimpse Into Our Health Care Future.

Pat Austin points out this excellent blog, Sippican Cottage, and in particular this post on health care. Having been in the clutches of socialized health care in Massachusetts (the ever inconsiderate and impersonal Harvard Community Health Plan - now Harvard Pilgrim Health Care), I understand Sippican's plight.

Dear readers, unless we do something to stop ObamaCare, what Sippican is experiencing is what we will all end up experiencing.

UPDATE: Cool! Sippican makes furniture. Beautiful, classic New England furniture. I'm eyeing a tiger maple table...

Listening Like Crazy.

I've had an awful time of late, well, reading. Not comprehension, but finding the time to do it. By the time I hit the rack I'm either too tired or too wired to pick up a book. I started re-reading Robert Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress about a month ago, and I'm currently on... page 48.

So Wednesday I decided to download an audiobook from iTunes and give that a try. I'm hooked. I downloaded P.J. O'Rourke's Driving Like Crazy, and I can't put it down turn it off. I've devoured six-plus chapters in just three commutes (plug the iPhone into the car's audio system), and plan to listen to several more tomorrow while cutting the lawn.

As for the tome itself, Driving Like Crazy is quintessential O'Rourke. It focuses a favorite passion of his, cars and motorbikes, and can be summed up by one of the chapter titles: "How to Drive Fast on Drugs While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed and Not Spill Your Drink." P. J. O'Rourke is my kind of Republican.

Here's a recent ReasonTV interview with O'Rourke, where he talks about the book and recent goings on in the automotive industry. Well worth a watch.

The Great Communicator On ObamaCare.

From someone who knew what it took to make America great again, and did it. Listen to it all.

Flag Yrouself!

Do it. Do it now.

Friday Morning Distraction.

The good folks over at Maggie's Farm have been putting up some great posts about one of our favorite places - Woodstock, Vermont (scroll round a bit when you get there). Yes, I know, in many ways it's a hoity tourist trap, but Lordy me, what a beautiful trap! One of our family's favorite drives is west along US 4 from White River Junction, through Queeche and Woodstock, and then from Killington through Weston down Route 100.

Gollum Is Coming.

To Loyola University in New Olreans.

For Jack...

...Who wants to make one of these his office someday. The video there is pretty good, so watch it all.

I'm sure the Warthog will still be on the flight line for a few more years, so Aim High!

I'm Not A Doctor, But I Play One In The Mainstream Media. (UPDATED)

Another Sheila Jackson-Lee town hall embarrassment: A pro-ObamaCare "doctor" turns out to be an astroturfing plant. And the reporter on hand knew it but said nothing.

I heard about this several days ago, but didn't confirm it until now. It's just more proof of the Mainstream Media's bias/worship when it comes to Obama and his agenda.

UPDATE 15AUG09: Remember this lady and her flags during the '08 campaign?

Well, it seems the fake "doctor" was there at her behest, and was sitting next to her at the "town hall." And we're the astroturfers???

13 August 2009

A Paycheck You Can Believe In.

Remember all those accusations by The Left/Mainstream Media that those of us who oppose ObamaCare were just paid rabble-rousers?

Um, Oops.

But Will It Be Badly Made And Take 10 Years To Get?

In Germany, they're bringing back the Trabant. Can nostalgic bread lines and a wall will be far behind?

Hattip: Theo Spark.

Cause, Effect.

The Left/Mainstream Media have been and demanding a more "civil" discourse with respect to opposition to ObamaCare. OK. But when an opponent is civil, calm, and respectful, this is the level of concern, interest, and respect we receive in reply:

Can you blame us for being angry?

The Empire Strikes Back.

The Left/Mainstream Media may have been caught flatfooted by the recent tsunami of resistance to their proposed government takeover of your health care, but they are now, dear readers, working overtime to give maximum exposure to the Team Hopenchange spin.

Here's a classic example from this morning's The Early Show on CBS. Note that the person Harry Smith has on explaining "what is fact, and what is fiction" is one Jonathan Cohn, the author of "Sick", senior editor of The New Republic (a left-of-center magazine), and an advocate of a government controlled, single-payer, health care system. Mr. Cohn is clearly a defender of, and advocate for, ObamaCare, and is hardly an unbiased or non-partisan resource. But Harry doesn't seem to think Mr. Cohn's bias for single-payer socialized medicine is worth mentioning, and he treats him as a neutral and authoritative sage with respect to ObamaCare. So, how biased was Mr. Cohn? Well, watch the video - his answers to the questions posed were pretty much the Team Hopenchange talking points. No surprise there. And also to no one's surprise, Harry Smith never questioned Mr. Cohn's narrative and played right along.

My biggest beef was with the talking point, "if you like your current health insurance, you can keep it." Technically, under ObamaCare that is correct. Technically. But operationally, it's utter bullshit; and here's why:

Our firm offers all full-time employees a paid high-deductible major medical policy, coupled with an interest-bearing, fully portable Health Savings Account (HSA) to cover the deductible. We contribute an HSA match for our employees up to a particular amount. This plan has proven popular with the staff, and popular with our bottom line.

But under ObamaCare, we lose the freedom to offer this plan in future to new employees. Section 102 of HR 3200 says once ObamaCare takes effect, we will be limited, by Law, to only offering an insurance plan whose structure, benefits, premiums, and scope of services are those mandated by some government Commissioner. It will be the only game in town, and the only real choice will be who we buy it from - this private insurer, or that one. Or, the government.

Further, even if "I like my current health insurance," under ObamaCare there are little landmines of bureaucratic regulations designed force you into a government mandated plan, if not the government option. Read further in Section 102 of HR 3200, and you will see that your insurer can not make any changes to your current health insurance; if they do, the plan will no longer be allowed. If your insurer discontinues offering the plan you like, under ObamaCare you will not be able to replace it with a similar plan from another carrier. In either case you will have only one option available - a government-approved policy, from the government-run "Health Insurance Exchange", with a government-mandated set of benefits. You will have no choice.

So Mr. Cohn and Mr. Smith, here is the crux of our opposition: We not only like the insurance choices we now have enough to want to keep them - we like the insurance choices we have now enough to want others to have them in future. ObamaCare takes that freedom away from everyone and gives it to a group of un-elected government bureaucrats. We do not want that. It replaces the individual's freedom to choose (and the freedom to be without coverage is a choice...) with a single option that we all MUST eventually participate in, whether we want to, or not. That is not a right; that is coercion.

And that, to quote Mrs. Pelosi, is un-American.

12 August 2009

Standard, Double, Definition Of.

An Obama-supporting Congressman had a sign vandalized with a Swastika - it's national news, and somehow symptomatic of one side in the current debate.

When a Bush supporter had his house vandalized with a Swastika - it's local news only. It's somehow is not symptomatic of anything, nor worthy of the same national media attention.

I think using the Swastika/Nazi meme for political expression, while it may be free speech, is out of bounds no matter who uses it. But if it's constant use by the Left for the last eight years didn't garner national media attention and concern, why should it now?

Oh, yeah...

UPDATE: Hot Air has another example of Swastikas and political expression. Do you remember Mrs. Pelosi and the national media howling about that sign, saying it was out-of-bounds and un-American? Me, either.

11 August 2009

A New Hippocratic Oath?

Under ObamaCare, will a doctor's primary charge go from: "First, do no harm," to: First, do a cost/quality-of-life analysis?" Just wondering.

Where I Am Now, Or, You're Not Eating My Brain.

I've been trying to find something that really says "where I am now" - be it with respect to Team Hopenchange, The Episcopal Church (tm), my office, or or even my profession.

Leave it to Matthew to find the perfect metaphor - I'm Tom behind the door at the Mall:

UPDATE: Just for Anne, another Jonathan Coulton.

Tuesday Morning Distraction, Or, The Very Model Of A Modern Sir-Mix-A-Lot.

All drink-spewing-on-monitor warnings apply:

UPDATE: From the comments, Matthew points out another fine example:

10 August 2009

Another Geek Cool: The Next Step In Banking By iPhone.

I've been a USAA customer for some time, and it's innovative things like this that keeps me a rabidly loyal customer:
USAA, a privately held bank and insurance company, plans to update its iPhone application this week to introduce the check deposit feature, which requires a customer to photograph both sides of the check with the phone’s camera.

“We’re essentially taking an image of the check, and once you hit the send button, that image is going into our deposit-taking system as any other check would,” said Wayne Peacock, a USAA executive vice president.
Hattip: Jason at Countercolumn.

The Sick List.

What is happening in Oregon today could well be everyone's future under ObamaCare:

Hattip: Theo Spark.

Conspiracy Theories: A Teachable Moment.

Look, I'm not a big Ann Coulter fan, but when she's right, she's right - contrary to what the Left / Mainstream Media insist, wacky conspiracy theories are not the exclusive domain of the Right Wing.

Hattip: Tigerhawk.

The Rule Of Law Wins One.

Team Hopenchange blinks on Honduras. Which means Honduran democracy, and the Honduran people, win.

It also means Obama's foreign policy may be pulling back a bit from the Castro/Chavez/Ortega corner.

Nancy Pelosi And Steny Hoyer Label An SEIU Action "Un-American."

No, really:

Pelosi / Hoyer: "Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American."

SEIU Local 2001: "Action: Opponents of reform are organizing counter-demonstrators to speak at this and several congressional town halls on the issue to defend the status quo. It is critical that our members with real, personal stories about the need for access to quality, affordable care come out in strong numbers to drown out their voices."

UPDATE: Well, that didn't take long - the SEIU Local 2001 website now reads, "...come out in strong numbers to counter their voices." (Original "un-American" version is here.)

Monday Afternoon Geek Cool: Life Imitates Star Trek. Again.

OK, you won't have a Holodeck in your house anytime soon, but a Japanese company has developed a "touchable hologram."

Hattip: Instapundit, who notes a rather, um, swelling potential market...

One Point Eight Trillion.

Say that again, slowly: "One point eight trillion." That is, in dollars, our current projected deficit for this fiscal year alone. That's $1,800,000,000.00, which you, me, our children, our grandchildren, and our great-grandchildren will have to pay back - with interest - to China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and our European "friends".

And this, dear readers, is just the beginning if Team Hopenchange and the Democrats have their way.

How Do You Want Your Cow - Sizzling Or Metal?

When it comes to steak, this place in New Orleans, where we had dinner Saturday night, will always beat this one in Saugus, MA, hands down. Especially if your purpose is a refined, romantic, anniversary dinner. 20 years ago, the large metal cows out front should have tipped me off, but no...

Standard, Double, Definition Of.

The "Least Famous Black Hate-Crime Victim In America." Indeed.

07 August 2009

I Am Now Qualified To Be President.

Since I am involved in our local Tea Party's efforts to organize our community in opposition to the Stimulus, Cap-and-Trade, ObamaCare, etc., I guess that make me a... "community organizer!"

My 2012 Presidential exploratory committee will be up and running any day now.

UPDATE: The New York Post says the problem is we're "organizing the wrong community." Just so no one mis-understands: When Leftists organize, it's a community; and a good thing. When conservatives organize, it's a mob; and a danger to democracy. Doubly so when the conservative organizing is effective.

P.S. Being a danger to your government is, dear readers, the very essence of a Free People.

Dissent Is No Longer Patriotic. (UPDATED)

Iowahawk compares and contrasts mob agitators.

UPDATE: Images of some of the folks Team Hopenchange are calling a mob.

UPDATE: Now who's the mob?? Tea Party member attacked in St. Louis, allegedly by Obama agenda aupporters. More here.

06 August 2009

Blue Balls.

Lots and lots of blue balls. And music. Loud music.

Hattip: Aardvarks and Asshats.

I Will Never Belong To AARP.

I turned to 50 in January, and since then the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has leveled entire forests to send me junk mail asking me to join their organization, or touting some special AARP gimmick. I route every one, unopened, to our local landfill; and Pat Austin has a perfect example of why.

Watch the whole thing. And remember, when the Democrats and Team Hopenchange talk about extremists and paid protesters opposing their agenda, it is the people in that audience - people like you and me - they are talking about. And are afraid of. Oh, yes - if I'm being paid to do this, would someone in the VWRC Accounting Department please double-check my mailing address. I've haven't seen the first check.

(UPDATED) And Even More On Hope And Inform; Or, Privacy Act? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Privacy Act!

Evan Coyne Maloney notes that Team Hopenchange must not think this little law applies to them:
The purpose of the Privacy Act is to balance the government's need to maintain information about individuals with the rights of individuals to be protected against unwarranted invasions of their privacy stemming from federal agencies' collection, maintenance, use, and disclosure of personal information about them.
The end justifies the means, comrades...

UPDATE: Of Arms And The Law is asking how the White House's Snitchaplooza squares with this part of the Privacy Act:
5 USC §552a(e)(7): maintain no record describing how any individual exercises rights guaranteed by the First Amendment unless expressly authorized by statute or by the individual about whom the record is maintained or unless pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized law enforcement activity.
Apparently, it doesn't. If a Republican White House did something like this, there'd be howls, lawsuits, and disruptive protests galore.

UPDATE: Byron York says that this may actually be worse than originally thought - the White House may not be subject to the Privacy Act, as it is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). So Team Hopenchange may well be able to legally create an 'enemies list', and legally refuse public requests for information about the gathering or use of the information they gather. Since the Privacy Act was drafted in 1974 response to just that sort of thing happening in the Nixon White House, I find this very troubling indeed. In this case, I hope York's analysis is wrong.

Even More On Hope And Inform; Or, Love Me, Love Me, Love Me - I'm A Liberal.

A reader pointed out that even Phil Ochs knew this was coming. From Love Me, I'm a Liberal:
...Ah, but I've grown older and wiser,
And that's why I'm turning you in.

So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal.
A cover of the original song is here.

Hattip: The Grey Man.

A Stellar Argument For Private Schools, Parochial Schools, And Vouchers; Or, Giving A Rat's Ass.

Hypothetically, what would you think if a School Board member in your town showed up to a School committee meeting wearing a t-shirt with this on it - a T-shirt that would get a student sent home, or get a School employee or contractor expelled from School Board property.

Just wondering.

05 August 2009

New Security Sign.

I want one of these for the yard.

Happy Blog-Birthday, Pat!

Pat Austin's wonderful And So It Goes In Shreveport celebrated it's first anniversary August 1st. RSR wishes y'all many more!

The Grey Man: Feminism And Health Care.

Shouldn't "Hands off our bodies!" mean all of it?
And for all of us?

P.S. Sorry ladies, he's married.

More On Hope And Inform. Or, Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been, A Republican?

Seems the recent White House attempt to turn us into a nation of government informants has gotten some notice - see this, and this, and this.

Neil Boortz has more, and he suggests you take the White House up on their offer - email them this "fishy" video about ObamaCare. Great idea.

Oh, and if you report me, it's "Red Stick Rant", not "redstickrant." When I am forced to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee, I want the placard to read correctly.

From The Freezer To The Cooler.

The things I miss while in useless meetings: Former New Orleans Congressman William Jefferson (D-Frigidaire), was found guilty today on 11 of 16 bribery and corruption counts.

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Goose, Gander: A Teachable Moment.

Team Hopenchange and their buddies on the Left have been somewhat surprised at the opposition to their agenda, especially to their health-care grab, and as a result they are trying to do some standard-issue demonizing. But Michelle Malkin points out a wee bit of hypocrisy here. Just a wee bit.

04 August 2009

Hope And Inform. (UPDATED)

You see a lot of things posted on the 'Net as "fact," so you have to always keep some grains of salt handy. Case in point: There is a story circulating today about the White House asking for people to report directly to the White House on opposition to Obama's health care efforts. While this seems to be something right out of conspiracy-theory central, it turns out to be true:
There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.
(Emphasis mine.) In other words, the White House is soliciting informants to report on political activities and conversations. If the Bush White House had posted something like this, the howls would be heard from here to The Lubyanka. Further, just what is the White House going to do with this information?

I recommend you go now to see the post for yourself. Because when this starts to get some press, I have little doubt it will disappear down the memory hole.

UPDATE: Facts are indeed, stubborn things. So here are a few:

Let's see how long it takes for someone to turn me in to our new MiniTrue.

Like You Didn't Know This Already...

My Political Views
I am a right moderate social libertarian
Right: 6.59, Libertarian: 2.77

Political Spectrum Quiz

It's about where I thought it would be east-west, but I figured I would be a few more a few grid squares down on the north-south.

Hattip: Matthew.

Transparency, Chicago-Style. (UPDATED)

Team Hopenchange's Cash-for-Clunkers program is an absolute mess after only a few weeks, and the "most transparent administration in history" is stonewalling on the release of data that may explain what happened, and why. (The story is copyright Associated Press, so I will not link to it. But it can be found on this website - search it with "Obama administration withholds data clunkers")

Remember, the same people who thought up this program, and administer it, are the same ones who thought up and will administer the current health-care "reform". If they can't make something as simple as this work, do you really want them making your health care decisions for you?

UPDATE: Maybe this is why they aren't rushing to release the official data - it appears that four of the five new cars purchased in the Cash-for-Clunkers program are foreign. (And the only American one is made by Ford, who didn't take TARP money.) The UAW has gotta be pissed.

Standard, Double, Definition Of.

How come this:

...is not considered "beyond political spoofery?" And how come this:

...is not "demonic"? And why are this:

...and this:

...not "mean-spirited and dangerous?"

But this:

...is suddenly all of those things? (More here, and here.)

Oh, yeah...

Dying Is Patriotic.

Watch this video about the Oregon state-run health care system, which Team Hopenchange has held up as a positive example of the kind of health care "reforms" they want to impose nation-wide.

While you watch it, remember what this is really all about: Making health care "affordable" means making sure the government can afford it, and "choice" means having the government choose the best course for you that enhances their affordability. It is not about you. The only choice you will have is the one they give you.

03 August 2009

Weekend Away.

Since the kids start school this week, Villa RSR decamped to Houston for the last summer weekend. Girls did some shopping, we had dinner with my old college roommate and his family, and went to the Johnson Space Center. But the big reason for going to Houston was the Chinese Terra Cotta Warrior exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. All at Villa RSR give it a "highly recommended."

The exhibit will be in Houston until 18 October.