Nuts on Nets

The Internet’s full of small, vindictive, unbalanced, and ugly people who don’t have the slightest qualms about using any and every tactic imaginable to go after people who irritate them.

Quoted from: John Hawkins

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Forgetting Shanksville

It is the eleventh of September, time for the annual admonishment, “Never Forget.” But all we can do is whisper into the winds of history. We have not forgotten Pearl Harbor, but there are a diminishing few who can recall a visceral memory of a date that will live in infamy.

We will forget. Or, our descendants will. They will have their own tragedies and their own battles, as real and as urgent what we honor today.

We are called to remember courage, but it is courage inspired by a defeat. The United States lost the Battle of September 11th.

December 7th would be a national day of shame if that defeat was not avenged. How will we avenge 9/11? Ten years on, is it too late to redeem that loss through a complete victory over the enemy who still haunts us? If we could accept a surrender, would we?

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Magdeburg Water Bridge

Barge canal carried by aqueduct over Elbe River

Yes, that is a shipping canal crossing over a river.

Infrastructure is cool.

H/T: Theo Spark

Countdown to Hiroshima

Today starts an exercise over at I Want a New Left:

I thought it would be a good idea to spend the first five days of August recounting Japanese atrocities during (and preceding) World War II. The Japanese have been our allies throughout my lifetime, and ordinarily I wouldn’t make a point of mentioning their atrocities, but too many liberals and leftists make such a fuss on Aug. 6 about our dropping an atom bomb on Japan that young people today often don’t even know the context of that decision. To counter this ignorance, I want the first five days of August to be used for reminding them of some of Japan’s atrocities from the WWII era.

Happy Bataan Death March Day to you.

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Japanese Credit Catastrophe

Amidst the continued chicken-little bleating about the U.S. Federal debt, I submit this:

Japan’s credit rating was cut for the first time in nine years by Standard & Poor’s as persistent deflation and political gridlock undermine efforts to reduce a 943 trillion yen ($11 trillion) debt burden.

The world’s most indebted nation is now ranked at AA-, the fourth-highest level, putting the country on a par with China, which likely passed Japan last year to become the second-largest economy. The government lacks a “coherent strategy” to address the nation’s debt, the rating company said in a statement.

The problem is more than the sheer sum of debt. It is also the absence of a plan to reduce that debt.

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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Painting with Darkness

Evil comes in many guises, although it usually follows patterns.

Quoted from: Neo-neocon

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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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Moving Back to the Country

As someone who grew up in a city and ended up in a rural area, I can talk about what it’s like to make such a move. These days it is much easier to live in a rural area now that we have the Internet and email available to keep us connected. What initially seemed like a problem, the lack of good shopping, is less of a problem because even when I do get to the good stores I want to patronize, they don’t seem to have what I want. It’s much more convenient just to order on the Internet. The major problem of rural areas, then, is simply the lack of good restaurants, for which I have no solution other than an occasional trip to a big city.

Big-box shopping is often dismal. They stock everything, but only the thre most popular sizes or styles. I have friends who live a mile or few away from me in the big city, and I rarely see them, but stay in touch thanks to the intertracks.

I have some foodie pallys, and after a recent dinner, they agreed that the best measure of a city was its dining scene. Myself, I don’t go out much anymore.

Perhaps I should consider escaping the planners, the criminals and assorted leftoid nags that define urban living.

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Buck Collecting

Debt at the government level has become the accumulated losses for a society that refuses to confront its problems.

Quoted from: Commentor “Roundtine” at Vox Popoli

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Did the Glove Fit?

Obama announcing bin Laden’s death, with funny caption

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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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We Lost a Chopper

Another major event transpired during my experiment with avoiding primary news sources. OBL’s dirt nap is a big deal, even as I see no cause to celebrate.

Neither end of my radio dial, nor most of the blogs I follow made a point of this:

Once under way, four helicopters ferried the U.S. forces to the Abbottabad compound, lowered the SEALS behind the walls and began descending toward a landing. No shots were fired, but shortly after the team hit the ground, one of the helicopters came crashing down and rolled onto its side for reasons the government has yet to explain. None of the SEALs was injured, however, and the mission continued uninterrupted. The crippled aircraft was destroyed before the raiding party flew out in the three remaining helicopters.

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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:

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