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Insulin for Uncle Sugar

The Sunday night headlines tell me there is no agreement to raise the U.S. government’s debt ceiling. The left end of my radio is convinced that a failure to keep borrowing means defaulting on the debt. They’re wrong:

assuming we have $150 billion (I'm a pessimist) in revenue to spend [for the month of August].

First, there's what we must pay.  That's $29 billion in interest.  We have $121 billion left.  Everything else is, legally, a choice.

[emphasis in the original]

Denninger works through the choices, and somebody—or bodies—will not get what they are expecting. But fully funding the raft of Social Security and VA benefits, plus paying the troops and returning zero-interest loans to the IRS tax refunds leaves more than $12 billion.

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Declaration, Rough Draft

A true first draft of The Declaration of Independence is not available to historians. Jefferson’s “First Rough Draft” has the same feel as the final version we are used to be familiar with. It begins:

A Declaration of[1] the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress assembled.

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Independence Day 2011

Think of the past three days. What you did, where you did, and with whom it was done. In the current world, is there a nation where those three days of activity and experience would have been better?

Unlikely. For any person with some intelligence and some motivation, the current United States is the regime most friendly to flowering the human potential. And that’s what we’re supposed to be waving flags about today. U.S.A.! U.S.A! U.S.A.!

Some faction will use their liberty to dwell on the persistent injustices that come when fallen man is given his measure of freedom. The cheerleaders will counter with all the instances where the United States (or the States themselves) have corrected injustice. Or at least the institutional expression thereof.

In the top tier there, slavery is ended. And black culture is probably the single largest influence on the broad American culture. Some peoples have come a long way.

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Still Spreading the Same Fertilizer

Greens Must Hate Birds

More American Than I Am

Of note this Memorial Day along the intertracks is Sarah Palin’s appearance at the Rolling Thunder rally in D.C. At first blush, it was heartening to see a Presidential-level political figure who appeared at ease among bikers.

Palin shaking hands at Rolling Thunder rally

I choose this photo because I see she still has sexy glasses in biker gear. She is wearing a prominent crucifix. And it shakes stereotypes—for those who don’t see many real bikers—that there are indeed people other than fat hillbillies who ride.

A discussion of this event over at ChicagoBoyz clued me into a deeper cultural and political significance. Rolling Thunder is not just another motorcycle club:

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Black Nixon

I wisecracked about Obama’s Nixonian disposition a while back. Now with the manipulated birth document and the real-time rewrite of killing bin Laden, it ain’t funny anymore.

Yet another backtrack and change of tune from the White House has emerged over the fact that Obama did NOT watch the raid live and did not see the moment Osama bin Laden was shot dead. In fact the video feed stopped before US special forces stormed bin Laden's hideaway.

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Loyalty and Birth

Obama released a version of his birth certificate. It has flaws. Whether those defects are intentional and relevant are separate, but related problems. Sure, there will always be some who will not believe. But why did the White House have to meddle with the scan before they released it?

An fascinating point has arisen in the speculations about what happened between the Hawai’ian record book and the White House website. The document was released as a True Copy, a term which I am led to believe has some legal importance. Altering the contrast, or other entirely benign modificiations to a document disqualifies it as a legal true copy.

The contention is that someone in the Failed Obama Administration™ is guilty of a felony for falsifying or forging a legal document. It’s a technicality. But all law is technicalities. I am sure that almost nobody cares to press the issue and find out if this was, indeed, a felony. The ruling class is permitted such small indiscretions these days. It hung Nixon, but that was soo last century.

The point of law that matters, which may yet be pressed (Hilary needs a reason to be called), is the meaning of “Natural Born”. Taking the facts as presented, Obama Sr. was a British Citizen and Ms. Dunham was too young to confer citizenship. There are arguments to be made on both sides.

I propose a thought experiment.

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OBL Takes Dirt Nap

And everyone has an opinion. Mine?

Let me know when I can travel without a pre-flight procto exam. Then I will wave a flag.

The war is not over. Who’s face will the enemy wear now?

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Yom HaShoah

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. The past few days I have been involved in an argument about race, culture and loyalty over at Cobb’s.

My opponents hold that there are two kinds of people, racists and Progressives. I find that view insufficient. Prejudice and tolerance are seldom—these days, in this culture—so simply polar and superficially recognizable. The Shoah, in contrast, was entirely about blood. Ethnicity and loyalty were not important.

There is a line between intolerance and genocide. That line has been intentionally blurred:

Sal Faillace 2012

My indoctrination occurred before the pinkos took over public education.

I want my country back.

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Capitalists Cross Final Frontier

The Enterprise, from Star Trek, was a government vessel. In the 1960s it would have been fantasy to think a privately-owned company could boldly go where no man had gone before.

Fifty years later, it isn’t a fantasy. I’m acquainted with Virgin Galactic. But that’s more an vertically-oriented amusement park ride than a serious industry. Enter SpaceX:

SpaceX was founded in June 2002 by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk who had invested US$100 million of his own money by March 2006. On August 4, 2008, SpaceX accepted a further US$20 million investment from the Founders Fund.

SpaceX has nearly doubled in size every year since it was founded in 2002. It grew from 160 employees in November 2005 to more than 500 by July 2008, to over 1100 in 2010.

Barry’s Still Not Black

The current U.S. President has released his long-form birth certificate. In one stroke he has made fools of all the leftoids who have insisted for years that the public has already seen this document.

Barry was born in Hawai’i. And the race of his father is listed as African. So the current President is, indeed, African-American. That’s not black. I argue that Barack Obama is not black in any meaningful way. He was raised in Indonesia and the rainbow State of Hawai’i. He did not have the “black experience”. That identity was something he adopted as a college kid.

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Barack the Selfish

Steven Landsberg comments on the current President’s tax return:

Now we learn that on an income of $1.7 million, the Obamas paid $450,773 in taxes, taking full advantage of the Bush tax cuts. I think it is fair to ask: If the President believes that people like him ought to be paying more, then why didn’t he pay more? There is absolutely no rule against sending in more money than you owe.

Some voice on lefty radio said that such voluntary payments wouldn’t work because the IRS isn’t set up to take in a mess of checks. Non-stop comedy on that end of the dial, I tell you.

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Leftism is an Identity

Leftism is a matter of personal identity. It’s not about reasoned compromise or applied philosophy. It’s a label worn to confirm one’s own goodness.

I state this not as fact, but as hypothesis. It is drawn from much experience. And although I might be guilty of confirmation bias (seeing what I already believe), it explains the leftoid obsession with personality. They’re much more willing to make personal attacks and use ad hominem fallacies in place of sound argument.

This idea has been better developed around the intertracks. But I haven’t come across a comprehensive accounting of the incidents of politics as personality. Maybe in another life I will write one (comparing the levels found in several major political philosophies).

Tax Day 2011

It’s Tax Day. Both ends of my radio dial can talk about little else. But I didn’t hear them explain why it was moved back from April 15th. Tax Day was postponed because a District of Columbia holiday (Emancipation Day) fell on the Fifteenth this year.

It’s interesting to me that today is also Passover, but the Jews do not get any official holidays. Even after decades of multiculturalism and diversity worship. Anyhoo…

If I could make only one point about taxes, it would be this:

Every nickel a government spends is a tax.

The spending may be a nickel that was taxed away last year and deducted from the government treasury. Or it may be a nickel borrowed from the private economy which will need to be taxed away at some time in the future to settle the debt.

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Minneapolis Riverfront in the Days of Disco

The now-demolished Great Northern Depot in downtown Minneapolis could inspire many posts on railroads, how changes in transportation technology changed the role of railroads, and how that allowed planners to re-purpose land at the core of cities, specifically Minneapolis, since this depot stood at the gateway to Northeast Minneapolis. Those changes were driven by economics and politics.

But I’m not ready to launch into any of those. I just happened across an archive of photos of the Great Northern Depot from the 1970s. It was one of those times where I was following the intertracks without a destination in mind, and found a treasure. For railfans and history buffs, at least.

Mainstream preservationists and historians—if that’s not an oxymoron—seem mostly interested in façades. I’m more fascinated to understand how the buildings worked.

1978 view beside Post Office looking upriver toward GN Depot

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Saracens and Sailing Ships

Armies are often accused of preparing for the last war. It means they train and equip guided by the lessons of recent combat instead of first looking to the future. The next war is often quite different, due to advances in technology, differences in geography or the character of the enemy.

There were many casualties in Iraqi Freedom because the U.S. was using equipment and tactics designed to fight the Soviet Union in northern Europe. Staying at war for a long time allowed those mistakes to be corrected.

In a strategic (instead of tactical) sense, we may still be fighting the last war. If one subscribes to some version of a global war on terror (or a global Salafi jihad, to put the proper Islamic face on the terrorists), we might be wise to look back several wars for strategic insight:

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Women Getting Even

Today is Equal Pay Day. Or at least a convenient approximation so lefties can feel righteous without making any meaningful sacrifice.

This date symbolizes how far into 2011 women must work to earn what men earned in 2010.

Equal Pay Day was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men's and women's wages.

…NCPE leadership decided years ago to select a Tuesday in April as Equal Pay Day. (Tuesday was selected to represent how far into the work week women must work to earn what men earned the previous week.) The date also is selected to avoid avoid religious holidays and other significant events.

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Identifying the Enemy

Deciding who to blame for the aftermath of a recent Koran-burning incident is yesterday’s news. Now we’re supposed to be worried about Radiation from Japan Libya re-relocating the KSM trial the GOP budget proposal a Federal shutdown. But I’m behind on my panics, and this perspective on the murder of U.N. staff in response to a book burning resonates with me:

Maybe [Senator] Graham was really objecting not to inspiring the enemy, but rather to inciting the enemy by offending them. And since Graham wants to talk about WWII, let’s do exactly that. Charlie Chaplin’s filmed mockery of Hitler was certainly offensive to that dictator and to the other senior Nazis, and could have been viewed as inciting them to continue the war rather than making an early peace–but I don’t think the Roosevelt administration ever considered having Chaplin arrested for incitement.

Ah, Senator Graham might say, that is not a good analogy. The Koran burning did not just offend those who are fighting against us; it offended all Muslims everywhere.

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