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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.


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.


Still Spreading the Same Fertilizer

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:


Did the Glove Fit?

Obama announcing bin Laden’s death, with funny caption


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.


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.


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.


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?


Sal Faillace 2012

My indoctrination occurred before the pinkos took over public education.

I want my country back.


Drill, Barry, Drill!

Motor fuel prices—gasoline, to the ordinary folk—have risen to a headline-making level. Many people who mock those with doubts about the current President’s birth status are willing believers in some shadowy conspiracy by oil speculators. Scapegoating speculators is an indication of ignorance.

The short version is that speculation may be able to rise prices for a short time. But it cannot keep prices up. That’s because the method speculators use is futures contracts, which are paper agreements to deliver some physical commodity on a given date at a given price.

Speculators can’t take physical delivery. Even if they have the money, there’s nowhere to put the oil. Our storage tanks are full. Which is a product of past speculation; people bought oil and held it thinking the price would rise. It did, and that led to more oil being delivered than was consumed.


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.


Pagan Dreams

Today is Good Friday and Earth Day. Both are religious holidays. From what I’ve seen, one would hardly know Easter was upon us. If the United States was once a Christian nation, it is no longer.

Easter is now a time to affirm the failings and flaws of Christians, particularly Catholics:

Although it has been celebrated by billions of people around the world for nearly 2,000 years, the mainstream media would rather celebrate the liberal holiday known as "Earth Day" and connect Easter to the abuse scandal that surrounded the Roman Catholic Church.

The networks couldn't seem to produce a truly positive or even neutral story about Easter, without then immediately throwing Christians under the bus.


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.


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.


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:


Planning FAIL — Boston Edition

Boston, like nearly every U.S. city, ripped out large swaths of its core to accomodate motorists in the 1950s and 60s. Boston’s downtown freeway was called the Central Artery (a great name, that sounds even better in the native accent). In the 1970s, Boston, like most places began to realize that freeways tend to break up the organic pattern that makes urban living interesting and attractive.

So the planners came up with a plan to correct the plans of the planners who tore out the city’s guts to build interstates. They would bury the Central Artery. Put the traffic underground, and instead of a noxious concrete wasteland dividing neighborhoods, there would be an open green space at ground level to re-unite Bostonians.

Minneapolis dreamers have a similar vision. I’ve seen sketches of a park built over I-35W around 35th to 38th Streets. It would expand an existing park (MLK) and repair a gash in the Field, Regina Northrup neighborhood. Since we just reconstructed I-35W in south Minneapolis, that plan will be locked in the dream stage for at least a few more decades.

Which is good, because in Boston, all they did was change the color of the barrier from gray to green:

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.


It’s Not Just Minneapolis

A decade or two of the New Urbanist vision has led to some shiny and popular developments. But on the whole, urbanist claims about walkable villages being what the market demands are not supported by the facts.

Take Gotham City:

Some of the best evidence that the tide has not turned against dispersion and suburbanization comes from an unlikely source:  New York’s 2010 census results. If dense urbanism works anywhere in America, it does within this greatest of US traditional urban areas.

In all, this 23 county metropolitan area has the nation’s largest population and actually extended its margin over second place Los Angeles, which has been converted from a growth leader to a laggard giant growing slower than most Midwestern metropolitan areas. New York added 574,000 residents, while Los Angeles added 473,000.

If you had read the New York Times and other Manhattan-based media over the last decade you would have assumed the suburbs were in decline and cities ascendant, particularly in the New York area.


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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