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Caucus for the Constitution

I don’t like political parties. I understand why they exist in the United States, but they ultimately serve themselves more than serving the people. But I may attend my first party caucus next week.

I want to support the Constitution and it quirky proponent, Ron Paul. He can’t win, he’s crazy, he will get us all blown up by Iranians, blah, blah blah. But if I have integrity to my belief in our Founding Principles, and if this really is The Most Important Election Ever! I must go support the candidate who best represents my view. There are no bystanders.


The Minneapple Giants

Our Mayor is in a contest with State electeds to see who can offer the Vikings the sweetest deal. Rybak keeps offering up new sites and new funding mechanisms, but one thing he just will not do is let the public weigh in:

And then there’s the nearly $1 billion football stadium somewhere downtown that would continue to bolster the economy.

“People pay me to look big problems in the eye and come up with a solution,” said Rybak. He said he is willing to make changes in the proposal and points out that he has already backed off the idea of funding the package with a casino on Block E and has remained flexible on the three proposed Minneapolis locations.

But he has said he is against the idea of a referendum, saying that citizens will get their chance to vote when he stands for re-election.

Everybody knows the next Mayor is going to be Gary Schiff, anyway. Schiff opposes taxpayer funding of stadia, but if R.T. signs a deal, it is too late for an election to save us.

The saying goes that without all these luxurious downtown amenities, Minneapolis would be a cold Omaha. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. Our civic bigshots view our town as something bigger than it is. Like this…

New Yorker magazine stylized map of Minneapolis at the center of the world

H/T: Nokohaha


Six Veeks of Vinter

If I cross Groundhog Day with railroading and view the result through a fuzzy Minneapolis filter, I see this:

For Minnesota kids, Casey Jones was a friendly TV host, named after a legendary railroad engineer.

One of the most beloved figures in local television was a man who portrayed a railroad engineer, dressed in a pin-striped jacket, cap and overalls, with a red 'kerchief around his neck, and called himself "your old buddy, Casey Jones."

The Next Pet Rock

Among the week’s big headlines is Facebook’s initial public offering. They made a billion dollars last year. Karl Denninger, however, isn’t buying:

Minneapolis GOP Sleeps Through Election

On January 10th there was a special election to fill vacant seat in the Minnesota Senate. Nobody noticed:

Kari Dziedzic easily won a special election on Jan. 10 to become the next state senator to represent Northeast and parts of Southeast Minneapolis.

Dziedzic (DFL) took 79 percent of the vote while Republican Ben Schwanke collected 19 percent.

In total, only 4,273 votes were cast on an unseasonably warm January day. That’s less than 10 percent of the 45,000 registered voters in Senate District 59.


Our Masters are not Public Servants

A few days ago, I attempted to explain a Rush Limbaugh position to neo-neocon. I was mostly successful. Neo’s general question was about Republican elites and how Limbaugh views some of the possibilities in this fall’s election.

Neo’s post began:

Lately I’ve been puzzling over a meme that’s permeated the blogosphere in connection with the rise of Newt Gingrich. You know, the one that’s all about the Republican party elites or establishment types, the puppet masters who are controlling the whole campaign (and campaigns in previous years, giving us Dole and McCain) for their own nefarious purposes, which have nothing to do with conservative ideals but are the absolute antithesis of them. And fake conservative Romney is supposedly their new front man.

I would have thought that Rush Limbaugh was one of these influential Republican elites, but I noticed in a couple of comments around the blogosphere that people were quoting him on the bad faith scheming of the Republican establishment, the ones who wanted Romney and didn’t want Newt.

I commented:

The GOP overlords hold that Newt Romney will lose to Obama.

Newt will polarize down-ballot, possibly even inspiring more loons like Angle and O’Donnell to win their races. The GOP elite loses control of the Senate, either outright or by the election of TEA people wearing the GOP jersey. The establishment depends on compliance.

Post Style: 

Greed Isn’t Good Enough

Mitt Romney has been unable to articulate a detailed explanation of his two terms at the helm of Bain Capital. His campaign rhetoric has not dealt with the charges against Bain’s debt-fueled “vulture capitalism”. Instead he has attempted to adopt the mantle of business and capitalism itself. He repeats that profit is a good thing, and that he will not apologize for his success.

That stuff works in a stump speech. Profit is, indeed, a good thing. Romney alludes to Adam Smith’s words:

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.


Dogs in a Horse Race

Right now, they all support positions I don’t hold.

Quoted from: Ron Paul, in an interview with CNN after South Carolina’s 2012 primary.

Post Style: 

Vigil for the Intertracks

Since the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has stalled in the face of a popular uprising, I am stealing* this description:

The soft leftists are realizing the hard leftists meant what they said.

(*If I remembered where I read it, I would happily give credit.)

When we give government some power, we must expect it will use that power:

As for all of the people out there on the internet having a massive freak out about the government potentially damaging something they love… WELCOME TO THE PARTY.


Celebrating Oppression

I am TJIC over screencap of Spartacus

Borepatch brings to our attention an anniversary, with a call to action:

Brad_In_MA emails to point out that Thursday is the anniversary of the epic screwing of TJIC by the People's Soviet of Massachusetts*. He has a call to action that is filled with win:

I propose a Jan 19 BUYcott of anything 2a related, in support of TJIC. Mind putting up such a post? I plan on getting a few targets and a brick of some .22lr range ammo for my ruger 22/45, aka Miss Cherry. The idea is to BUY something. Anything. Price does not matter.  Quantity does not matter. In short, a simple request for a simple action to support a Brother in Need.

I would go one step further, and suggest a buycott (the opposite of a boycott, 'natch, where you purposely buy from someone as opposed to refusing to buy from them). As it turns out, TJIC is an entrepreneur, and has a company that makes this easy for everyone: Smartflix.

Fists of Peace

I’m a bit late to comment on MLK Day this year. As a legendary proponent of non-violence, Reverend King is always relevant to one of my enduring questions: Why do men study war so much more than they study peace?

Any good question requires an investigation of the terms within it. What is peace? If King is held as an example, peace is certainly not without tension and strife. Peace is not calm. Not necessarily, at least.

What I had in mind for MLK Day was not one of the standard or even obscure quotes from King himself. Instead of a dream, I offer this:

Peace is not the absence of conflict. It is the ability to handle conflict through peaceful means.

Vetoes. Lots of Vetoes.

Those of us who would prefer a smaller, less-intrusive government can’t put much hope in any candidate who vows to work with Congress to “get things done”. And we have to look deeper into any candidate’s promises. They like to pledge impossible things. A President cannot, for example, repeal UnicornCare no matter how many times it was stated in their stump speeches.

Congress has the power of the purse. Despite their bickerings, they have always found a way to buy each other off and to “get things done”. I don’t need bipartisanship. I need vetoes. Lots of vetoes.

Who will make the promise I want to hear?


Dickens’s New Beat

Detroit’s failed economy stimulates failed journalism:

if Detroit has any single sector that's booming, it's playing host as the epicenter for a nation of journalists-turned-poverty tourists. Morton talks with James Griffoen, who is said to be a frequently sought out urban "sherpa" for journalists looking for a quick dose of "ruin porn."

D-Town, the place nobody wants be, but everybody wants to hear about.


The Hipsterization of Marriage

Vanderleun glances at something interesting:

Ironically, a young generation that considers the struggle for same-sex marriage the civil rights struggle of its day is choosing to avoid the marital estate.

Minnesota voters will have an opportunity to define marriage this fall:

The question would be presented to voters as follows:

"Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?"

If passed, the Minnesota Constitution will be Amended:

Article XIII; Section 13.


Governor Squish

Neo-neocon and I are in another conversation about Mitt Romney. I am coming to know more about Romney’s career than I do my own.

Our arguments revolve around my contention that Mitt is a finance guy, ultimately a friend to Wall Street over Main Street. This puts me in uncomfortable agreement with Gingrich’s attacks on Romney’s career with the two Bain companies.

I want to set aside the “finance guy“ part of my objections to Romney. Neo has previously argued that Mitt’s instincts are more conservative than he gets credit for. She holds that he was Governor of a pathetically leftoid State, and did the best he could (I’m paraphrasing).


Inconceivable Individuality

Frederic Bastiat, the patron saint of NRR, wrote:

Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.

Mistaking government for society is a timeless error.

Blame or Blowback?

It’s one of my maxims that “the people” is not “the government”. When we talk about America, the nation, the country, the idea, I say that’s something quite different from the electeds and bureaucratic structure which seeks to administer law and uphold social order.

Righty hawks fairly accuse the current President as “blaming America first”. Obama has stated the country is flawed. He sees racism and victimization that government power must rectify. He wants a Constitution that includes positive rights, obligating each of us to a collective goal. Barry blames the American people and the American culture.

The concept of blowback,


Paulbots Exploiting the Process

In 2008, Rush Limbaugh announced “Operation Chaos”. The plan was to have righty voters participate in the Democrat primary process as supporters of Hillary Clinton. Limbaugh thought that it was important to make extend the Dem primary and give Hillary time to soften up Obama before he faced whoever the righties nominated.

I imagine there’s some of this going on now in the righty primary process. Ron Paul’s success in Iowa was attributed to support from Democrats (and Independents). The conventional wisdom says these voters are lefties who would vote for Obama in the general election. From what I hear from the Progs on the radio and in meatspace, I’m not sure the conventional wisdom will hold.

There’s faction of lefties who are participating in the GOP primaries not to weaken the eventual nominee, but expressly to see Paul become President:

Most of us identify as Democrats or Independents and/or supported Obama in 2008. We believe that on issues that matter most – war vs. peace (Iraq, Yemen etc.), civil liberties (Patriot Act etc.), and crony corporatism (bailouts etc.) – Obama has pursued a course similar to George Bush. Our reasoning is laid out in this article by Robin Koerner on the Huffington Post that “went viral”, coining the term “Blue Republicans” for those of more liberal sensibilities who are registering Republican specifically for Ron Paul.


Kickoff to the Apocalypse

The hometeam Vikings didn’t give me much to enjoy. Adrian Peterson is a strong magic and Jared Allen is a legendary beast. Otherwise, they were a 3-13 team.

That left me space to check out the Tebow phenomenon. I don’t know enough to assert that he can or cannot have an NFL career. He sure is fun to watch, though.

His faith pleases me, too. He never seems to put it anyone’s face, but people can’t stop taking about it. Contrary to barroom chatter, he does not think G-d influences games. He’s clean living, respectful, works overtime to improve himself and most refreshing for the NFL, humble. Tebow is trying to be a Virtuous Person, and he is doing it with integrity by doing it in public.

Tebow’s success seems to needle all the factions I love to see needled.

Vox writes about his first playoff win tonight (in overtime, of course):

Turn This Ship Around

CVN-76 nuclear carrier listing to port under hard rudder at full speed

The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) under full rudder at speed. She is 1,092 feet long, her deck is 252 feet wide, and she weighs 101,400 tons.

If you zoom waaay in, you can see Ron Paul at the helm.



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