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Sunrise or Sunset?

CBS NBC ABC logos rendered in the Obama logo style

Never forget this NRR maxim:
The news is not what is happening, it’s just what they’re telling you.

Via: Maggie’s Farm

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Velvet Invasion

Vox illustrates one reason he’s not a libertarian:

For example, consider open borders. That seemingly libertarian position is actually anti-freedom, as there would be nothing to stop China from sending 30 million Chinese to the UK and 55 million to the USA, gaining voting rights, then voting to sign a treaty of surrender to the Chinese government.

Equal to any other primary duty of a political body is the duty to defend itself from competing political bodies. Weak states get eaten.

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RP Sweeps MN CD5

I was a part of this:

In Minnesota, Ron Paul supporters swept the three district conventions that occurred today, winning nine of nine delegates to the national convention. Minnesota is set to hold more such conventions next week.

The RP local delegates seem to understand that their cause is bigger than one election. They have learned the rules and built a movement, taking over most of the offices in the precinct- and district-level Republican Party.

The Minneapolis and Metro-area GOP is no longer your father’s Republican Party. It is the Founding Fathers’ Republican Party.

Next month we find out if the Ron Paul R3voltion can complete an overthrow of the Minnesota GOP.

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A Few Blurtations on Zimmerman-Martin

The sheeple are clamoring for the arrest of Zimmerman. People don’t understand that an arrest is merely a detention, and Zimmerman was indeed detained at the scene. If charges are brought, he will be served a notice to appear. The cops know where Zimmerman is, and he seems to present a low flight risk. A “perp walk” serves Big Media and the public’s thirst for vengeance. It is not a requirement of justice.

Martin’s family is upset that some factions are out to destroy the boy’s reputation. Martin already made his reputation. He was the person blowing up twitter under the handle NO_LIMIT_NIGGA. He was the person found with a collection of suspicious—if not incriminating—evidence in his backpack. The boy’s reputation is not what his momma thought of him, it is what his friends thought of him. And how he saw himself.

The widely distributed photos of Trayvon are from years ago. He looked like an angel and an athlete. More recent pics show him in full embrace of the thug life. Something about the culture and subculture in which he lived transformed an angel into thug in a few years. It is difficult not to suggest there is a deep pathology in that subculture.

Making Martin the face of systemic racism is not just stretching the available facts, it demeans both his individual personhood and the essential ideal of justice:

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Paul’s Strategy Works in St. Louis

What happened in Minnesota’s Senate District 60 has been repeated in St. Louis, MO:

The slate backing Paul cast 158 votes in the non-binding caucus Saturday. The purpose was to choose representatives to a round of Congressional district meetings in April and June that will repeat the process to send 52 delegates from Missouri to the August convention in Tampa, Fla.

The slate that primarily backed Santorum had 74 votes, while the Romney slate mustered 50 votes.

The delegates to the next-higher level are not bound, but it is widely understood that Paul supporters are fiercely loyal. It is unlikely they’ll be voting to support Santorum or Romney.

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Ron Paul Sweeps SD 60

Minnesota is a caucus state. That means it selects its delegates to a national political convention through a cascade of smaller elections. Last month I went to the lowest, grassroots caucus of the Republican party. I was elected a delegate and had a right to vote in the next tier of the election cascade.

That election was held yesterday. Since this is a redistricting year and political unit boundaries are redrawn, the first order of business was to establish rules and adopt a constitution for what is now the Minnesota Senate District 60 Republican Party (SD 60).

I enjoy rules and rulemaking, so this was not tedious. Parliamentary procedure was a bigger factor in this convention than in most neighborhood meetings, but less strict than the government meetings I watch on public-access TV.

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Early Spring Takes OWS by Surprise

It is 72° with sunshine in Minneapolis. An unseasonably perfect day. Everyone who can be outside is outside.

Except the Occupy Wall Street protesters. If they can’t suffer, I guess they don’t feel like they make a difference. Or they’re somewhere else wearing hair shirts over globalistical warmening.

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Cobb Goes Crackpot

One thoughtful, skeptical self-described neocon has put domestic reconstruction ahead of nation building:

So I think today that I'm going to follow Taleb and cast a vote for Ron Paul, the nutcase crackpot. Why? Because only a nutcase crackpot like Paul (being very specific) has the nerve to base his entire campaign on a few salient facts and properly directed wishful thoughts.


In other words, I've recognized the value of killing obstacles blocking my view of the world, and for me, 99% of them are financial. Therefore what I need to do is make every effort to kill financial obstacles. That means voting for Ron Paul because only Ron Paul will create the conditions under which the proper disaster will occur in the short term. Obama and Romney on the other hand will sustain a stasis field which will behave like Wile E. Coyote walking on air over a deeper and deeper ravine.

Person in Chewbacca costume with Ron Paul sign and Gadsden FlagCollapse is inevitable. We might be able to use politics to shape it, or to delay it. But it will happen. The sooner losses are recognized in a Great Repricing, the smaller our aggregate suffering.

If Cobb can find a reason to vote for the wookie, the wookie might have a chance.

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TEA, RP & GOP

The TEA people are loosely organized. Just exactly what they want and which candidates merit their support is an ongoing debate.

Karl Denninger denigrates them because of polling which suggests the TEA people are in favor of maintaining a significant welfare state. Vox Popoli looks at different polls and mocks the TEA people for being in favor of pre-emptive war and nation building. From what I see, there is some overlap between all these factions. I maintain that they stand for exactly what their acronym represents: Taxed Enough Already.

It’s not a sophisticated movement, more an ad-hoc coalition of one shared sentiment. It is a strong and widely-held sentiment which has political weight. The TEA people have not formed a TEA Party with structure that can contend amidst existing major or minor political parties.

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The Gatekeeper Wears a Blindfold

Obama Derangement Syndrome has two forms. Here’s CNN infobabe Soledad O’Brien displaying the positive strain:

[UPDATE: The embedded version of the video is set to autoplay. NRR seeks to avoid such unwelcome intrusions on our passengers. Please click here to view the segment.]

O’Brien pre-emptively attacks the message and the messenger. Barack must not be questioned!

Wikipedia says Critical Race Theory:

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Failed Bridge Exemplifies Smart Investment

Sabo bike bridge showing cable-stayed design.Another bridge in Minneapolis has failed. You probably didn’t hear about it, because: a) nobody died; and, b) it served only a small handful of people.

It’s a bike and pedestrian bridge crossing a major arterial and a light rail line. It was as much a public art project and a pander to the green factions as it is a segment of infrastructure.

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Iran and China Tied by Threads of Steel

Global politics and global economics are interwoven. The way the warhawks talk about Iran, one would think it is just another primitive society. It isn’t.

IRAN: The Minister of Roads & Urban Development attended a ceremony to officially launch work to electrify the Tehran - Mashhad line on February 1. The first phase of the upgrading project is expected to take 24 months to complete.

Electrification and infrastructure upgrades will raise the top speed of passenger trains from 160 km/h to 200 km/h, and allow journey times on the 926 km route to be cut from around 12 h to 6 h. Capacity will be increased with a view to raising annual traffic from 13 million to 20 million passengers.

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Winning Without Victory

The United States military won the war in Iraq. It looks like they have won the war in Afghanistan, too:

Finally, ABC’s Jake Tapper asked Carney when was “the last time US troops in Afghanistan killed anybody associated with Al Qaeda.” Carney didn’t have an answer, and referred Tapper to the Defense Department and NATO’s International Security Assistance Force.

I queried those agencies Tuesday and got an answer today. According to a Defense Department spokesman, the most recent operation that killed an Al Qaeda fighter was in April 2011—ten months ago.

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I’m Cured!

I have been suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome for about four years. My case I think was much milder than most. But the current President did inflame the evil in my nature.

Not anymore.

My opinion of the man, his politics and his disposition hasn’t changed. He’s a fascist and a demagogue and all the rest, for sure. If he is reelected he will deliver as much Progressive change as Congress will allow. And probably more, as he has proven that the law is merely an inconvenience that can be overcome by will and executive fiat.

I think those of us that were angry and fearful in 2008 were right to be so. We lost. In retrospect, I don’t think things would be much different under a President McCain. There would be some monstrous Federal healthcare bill, but one passed with a proper vote and GOP consent. The impossible strategy in Afghanistan would still leave the territory under disputed control, with no victory in sight.

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The Fabric of Church and State

The reading material for Week 2 of Constitution 101 includes the Virginia Declaration of Rights:

a document drafted in 1776 to proclaim the inherent rights of men, including the right to rebel against "inadequate" government. It influenced a number of later documents, including the United States Declaration of Independence (1776), the United States Bill of Rights (1789)

I have read this document before, but the course is delivering on its promise of giving familiar material its proper philosohical underpinnings.

Like the Bill of Rights, the less specific but more essential points are listed at the end. Here are the last two rights declared by Virginia:

XV That no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.

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Americans are the Choosing People

Conveniently coincident with, but not necessarily a part of my personal Lent, I am taking Constitution 101: The Meaning and History of the Constitution:

a 10-week online course presented by Hillsdale College.

Featuring an expanded format from the “Introduction to the Constitution” lecture series with Hillsdale College President Dr. Larry Arnn, Constitution 101 follows closely the one-semester course required of all Hillsdale College undergraduate students.

I have just completed the material for Week 1. It is magnificent. After a 2-hour lecture (in four segments) and some reading, Dr. Arnn took some questions about the ideas he presented.

One of the questions was particularly meaningful in context of my annual quasi-religious experiment. Another student asked (paraphrasing): If Jefferson and the Founders looked to so many sources for roots, and if our Founding documents are based those ancient ideas, why didn’t the Greeks or the Romans create a free society themselves?

Dr. Arnn said:

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I Want a New Right

Neo-neocon has a new post about political changers. Changing political alignment is one of her core topics. And she holds that change is almost always in the same direction, away from left/liberal toward right/conservative.

I read the post and the comments, then dashed off this contribution to the conversation:

I’m in the midst of a change, too.

“Conservativism” is poorly defined, but I seem to be moving away from it. And part of the problem with conservatives is that they then presume I must be going left. That’s silly, if you could be inside my mind.

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The Unicorn with Ten Thousand Horns

Rush Limbaugh is still fighting the Cold War:

The Associated Press is reporting that Obama could cut our nuclear weapons arsenal by 80%. That is just staggering. This would amount to unilateral disarmament. Three hundred nuclear weapons would take us back to levels not seen since 1950. If we cut our nuclear weapons down to 300, Russia will have five times, 1,550 nuclear warheads. If we reduce to 300, we will have fewer nuclear warheads than the ChiComs. The only thing you could say in response to this, "Well, Rush, we don't have anything to fear from the Russians or the Chinese or anybody in the Middle East." No, of course we don't. The last time we had 300 warheads was in the fifties and that's when we were making them as fast as our technology and materials would permit us to make 'em. We weren't stopping at 300.

300 warheads is not disarmament. It is 300 warheads. Nowhere in his rant did Limbaugh consider how many are necessary, or even sustainable:

During the Cold War, the United States, in an effort to achieve and maintain an advantage in the nuclear arms race, invested large amounts of money and technical resources into nuclear weapons design, testing, and maintenance. Many of the weapons designed required high upkeep costs, justified primarily by their Cold War context and the specific and technically sophisticated applications they were created for.

Limbaugh must think the Defense Department has its own herd of unicorns that can fart fissile material:

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A Tactical Vote for Obama

Borepatch saves me the trouble explaining why I will vote for the current President if the Republicans foist Mitt Romney on me:

Here's the problem: it's not Obama, it's Obama's world view. He's just particularly ruthless in pushing it aggressively. Obama isn't alone: he has the entire Intelligentsia on his side, the MSM, the European Elites, the international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). They're all in the same tribe, which believes that things should be run by them, with a strong, interventionist government in charge (run by them, 'natch), and with the peons givering deference where it's due (to them, 'natch).

Romney's in that tribe. So's Newt, and probably Santorum. And 60% of the Republican Party. Only Ron Paul explicitly rejects that world view.

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Unicorns in Green Eyeshades

The Social Secuity Trust Funds are one of many topics where political factions talk past one another. Some say that there is no money in the funds, that the FedGov has spent them on other things. The response insists that the Trust Funds are invested in Federal securities, as required by law. It would be silly, says the responding faction, to leave piles of cash under a mattress in Washington, earning no interest. And to invest the Trust Funds in the private markets would represent a higher risk and create incentives for Wall Street to rip off the public, since the FedGov still has to redeem the investment even if the its market value goes down.

Turns out the Social Security Administration has a pretty good FAQ on the Trust Funds:

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