Saturday, November 1, 2008

Best Man Ruins Wedding

I don't know if this video is legit or not.
My boss, Marvel Variants, liked it enough to show it to me.
He can make my life a living hell, so I'm posting it.

Why A Vote For Bob Barr Is Not A Wasted Vote

I had to leave work early one day this week because my mother someone I knew was in an automobile accident. When I got to the scene of the accident, debris from the wreck was being swept away, the police cars were directing traffic around the wreck, and the ambulance attendants were tending to anyone who might need tending.

Most people need a few minutes to recover after traumatic accidents, but my mother my acquaintance saw my Bob Barr bumpersticker.

"Who do you think will be the next president?" she asked.
"Obama," I said.
"Do you think McCain has a chance?" she asked.
"Who are you going to vote for?" she asked.
"Well, I'm afraid you're wasting your vote."

There were police officers milling around, the ambulance had its lights on, and the primary topic was THE BOB BARR BUMPERSTICKER. I didn't know why Libertarians are that much of a distraction. I've had two people in the last two months stop me in parking lots to ask who I would vote for if a Libertarian wasn't running. When I tell them, they ask why I'm wasting my vote on a 3rd party candidate.

My friend Dr Liz at Zbeth's journal recently emailed me about Bob Barr, stating that she couldn't believe I was wasting my vote on a 3rd party candidate.

As stated earlier in these pages, I prefer to use the term "2nd party", now that warm fuzzy bipartisanship is seen as a good thing.

(By the way, did anyone else notice the word "partisan" suddenly being used as a smear after the Democratic faction lost control of the House in 1994? Up until then, partisanship had been standard operating procedure. Oh well.)

Please let me explain why a vote for Bob Barr, or any other 2nd party candidate, is not a "waste" of a vote.

1. John McCain is going to lose. Unless someone discovers Osama bin Laden underneath Saddam's palace with a stash of WMD's and some letters from Obama encouraging him to stay out of sight until Christmas, John McCain is going to lose. But millions of people are going to vote for him. Granted, this doesn't mean Barr has a hope in Hades, but is a vote for McCain "wasted"?
2. Barack Obama is going to lose Texas. Unless John McCain is discovered to be a University of Oklahoma alumni with a Washington Redskins bumpersticker on his Volvo (donated by OPEC), Barack Obama is going to lose Texas. But millions of Texans are going to vote for Obama, and because of our goofy electoral college system, those millions of votes won't help Obama win a single state. Winning states is what counts. Granted, two wrongs don't make a right, but if a Texan votes for Obama, is that vote "wasted"?

3. Thousands of BiPartisan Party (R,D) candidates will be defeated on November 4th. This is not a tragedy for one side or the other, since there is very little difference between the two factions. But if the Mommy Faction (D) wins more elections that the Daddy Faction (R) does that mean that all Daddy votes were wasted?

4. McCain has blathered on an on about how he has a proven record of "reaching across the aisle" to the other side. There are 75-year old Baptist ushers who haven't reached across as many aisles as John McCain. Why does he keep emphasizing this ability, and why does he seem to claim that there's no difference between himself and a Democrat? Because there's very little difference between McCain and the Democrats.

5. Obama does the same thing. And the Republican faction fears him because of it. Karl Rove is claiming that Obama hasn't truly reached across party lines. Yeah, Karl, your guy McCain is the only one who can genuinely compromise his convictions.... We understand now.

6. By working together as a team, reaching across the aisle, and lots of other kissy-kissy make-nice techniques, the BiPartisans (R,D,) have gotten us 10.3 trillion dollars in debt. They did this by working together as a team.
"Why refuse to compromise when there's spending to be done?" appears to be the slogan.
If you're an American citizen, your share of this debt is $33,000.00
According to Reason magazine, if the government had to follow the same accounting rules as a corporation, each household's share of the national debt would be $500,000.00 (It's something to do with Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare entitlements.) They're going try to get out of this hole by printing money. Look for that to be the big Ron Paul issue in the 2010 elections.

7. When the autopsy is finally done on our current financial mess (the historian who will write the definitive account is probably still crawling around in diapers), I'm betting that the blame will be placed at the feet of.... The Republicrats. People really do want a change of methodology. The Obama faction's pollsters have obviously done the market research on this topic, if all the Change signs at his rallies are any indication.

8. But imagine a debate between someone who liked McDonald's, and someone who really, really liked McDonald's. Wouldn't be very interesting, would it?
How about a debate between Tweedledee and Tweedledum? Ditto.
Imagine a debate about a situation where a nation is about to go bankrupt.
Imagine that the debate was limited to speakers whose factions caused the problem, and no outsiders were allowed to participate.
Oh, you don't have to imagine that? You've watched some of those debates?
Why do you think they don't want a 2nd voice added to the debate?
Is it possible that having a real choice presented to the voters might possibly lead to Change? Loss of power by the BiPartisans?
Well, we can't have that, can we..... No, let's listen to Obama and McCain debate whether the problem should be attacked with a scalpel or a hatchet. Instead of a nuclear warhead.

9. Therefore, if you want change, you have to send a signal. As long as you continue voting for The Greater Of Two Lessers, the BiPartisans will never, ever get the message that they need to change their ways. If you have genuine concerns about the mammoth size of our government, erosion of our basic rights, or our ridiculous levels of debt, there's only one real way to waste your vote, and that's by voting for one of the BiPartisans.

Go Bob Barr ! ! !

Friday, October 31, 2008

Caption This..... Pre Election Voter Fraud Edition

I need a caption for this picture....

Jonestein, The Browncoat Libertarian, won the caption contest last week.

Uh oh....wait a minute. The Competition Committee says that we have a problem. There were ballot issues (hanging chads) with last week's votes.

Plus, ACORN did a voter registration drive for The Browncoat Libertarian, and 119% of the eligible Ohio voters cast a ballot.

The entire Dallas Cowboys football team cast ballots from Las Vegas.

Fembuttx has been accused of intimidation tactics in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

We will go forward with this week's contest, and try to resolve last week ASAP.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

We Finally Had A Bad Quarter ! ! ! ! !

It finally arrived.

After years of encouragement from the media, after two years of Mommy Party (D) candidates talking about "the failed economic policies of the past eight years", and after at least a year and a half of false predictions.....

We've finally had our first long-awaited quarter of negative economic growth.

From July through September, the American economy contracted by 3/10ths of 1%. Yes, 3/10ths of 1%.

But we can't relax yet! It takes two quarters of negative growth to make a recession! So get out there and get busy! Talk some more about "the failed economic policies of the past eight years." Lay off some employees, and make that recession happen so we can....

Oh, wait a minute.

We're about to have a different president. A new script is called for.

Hide and watch. The media's coverage of the economy is about to change dramatically.

The Apples Didn't Fall Very Far From The Tree

Somewhere high above Drew and Merigold Mississippi, my father is rubbing his hands together and enjoying himself.
(My father believed that heaven was located directly over his farm in the Mississippi Delta. I'm grateful that, if he had to die, he was able to die while working on that Mississippi farm. He was able to go straight up to his eternal reward. Had he died anywhere else, he would've had to veer.)

Why is he laughing and enjoying himself so much, you ask?

My baby sister, Amy, My sister, Dr. Amy Cooper, recently had an editorial published in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. It's called "I Am Not The President. I Just Play One On TV." For a few months, you'll be able to read it on the Star-Telegram's site by clicking here. After that, click here, where I've saved it for my nieces to read 40 years from now.

(Hello Lexie, Hello Shelby. If you happen to read this in 40 years, please tell the attendants at my nursing home that I do NOT like fruit in my Jello.)

Please read Dr. Cooper's editorial when you get a chance, and get back to me.

Pretty good, wasn't it? Especially the last paragraph....
Over the next 10 days, as these two men rehearse their lines, choose their ties, and apply their makeup, Americans can only hope each man wants to govern, wants to restore moral authority to our country, wants to be president and not just play one on TV.

Hey, I'M supposed to be the family cynic.

I haven't discussed this with her, but if Dr. Cooper was published in the Star-Telegram on the 25th, she probably had to submit her piece by the 21st. That's the same day that I posted something comparing the presidential candidates to actor Heath Ledger. (Click here if you want to read it. It's nowhere near as polished as hers, and doesn't make nearly as much sense, but mine has far better pictures.)

So what's my point?

Neither one of us had talked to the other about politics. She didn't tell me she was working on something for the Star-Telegram. But we simultaneously wrote something comparing political candidates to actors.

Here's what's weird about it. Every word we wrote was a variation on constant themes espoused by our father: Politicians are actors. They say what their handlers tell them to say. When you vote, your decision is based on an image, rather than substance. I rode in a pickup with our father for 15 years, and it was like listening to Talk Radio without any troublesome callers interrupting the host's monologue. I can no more get rid of his influence on me than I can change the color of my eyes, and I can't imagine wanting to.

My baby sister Dr. Amy Cooper wasn't exposed to as much of it, but the influence is definitely there.

Our father was probably the best man I've ever known, and he was a deeply spiritual person. But if he'd seen Obama's infomercial last night, he would've laughed all the way through it. Politics was the only part of his life where he allowed cynicism to enter. Boy, was he cynical about government. Dadgum gubmint....that was usually the phrase.

So Pop, if you're up there watching and listening, we're doing the best we can.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Barack Obama's Infomercial - The Closing Argument

There's something on my television.....
It's yellow. No, wait, it's more like amber.
Is it the bubbles rising to the top of a Budweiser?
Whatever it is, it's rolling about in a similar fashion. Almost like....the amber is waving.
Yes, the amber is waving. But what could it be?
The camera pulls back and focuses just a bit....
Why, the amber wave is wheat ! Or is it wheat ? We didn't grow wheat in Mississippi, so I'm not quite sure.
Is it barley? Milo?
Let's call it "grain". It's definitely some kind of grain.

OMG, that's brilliant ! Barack Obama's infomercial begins with a shot of Amber Waves Of Grain !

Next, we're obviously travelling on the Obama campaign bus, looking down on the Amber Waves of Grain. I bet we're in Obama's home state of Kansas, and we're being reminded of Obama's deep-rooted midwestern values.

Ok, enough of that. LiveBlogging this entire thing would be like deconstructing a Home Shopping Network Sale on cubic zirconias.

The ad was very, very well done. It promised goodies for just about everyone except some people who won't vote for Obama anyway.

According to various message boards, four of the five families featured in the ad live in swing states (Kentucky being the only exception.) With the exception of some good electric blues (played by the 72-year old Wal-Mart guy) the music was the elegaic stately stuff like Spielberg used in the cemetary scenes in "Saving Private Ryan". Oh So Serious.

Let's start with the extremely fertile Rebecca Johnston and her extremely virile husband Brian of North Kansas City, Missouri. They have four kids: Nathan, Marley, Ethan, Gabriella, and their two cats.

As part of the voiceover narration, Barack Obama said the following sentence. With my own ears, I heard him say this sentence, shortly after Rebecca was shown bringing the kids out of the house and driving them someplace in her minivan: "Ten years ago, she (Rebecca) bought a house outside the city so she could send her children to good schools."

Let's repeat that brutally honest sentence again for the benefit of those still in Fort Worth who have not joined the exodus to Burleson, Crowley, and Aledo. "Ten years ago, she bought a house outside the city so she could send her children to good schools."

I couldn't believe it when I heard it. I grew up in a segregated private school, and took more than a little bit of pride in finally sending my daughter to a public school in Fort Worth. (It took us a while. Didn't happen until she was in the 9th grade.) She never claimed that she learned anything, but as I saw it, at least she wasn't in a segregationist academy. And we still haven't joined the White Flight abandonment of Fort Worth.

I have no idea where I'm heading with this, but I think I've been conned.

"Ten years ago, she bought a house outside the city so she could send her children to good schools." Obama said it like it was so obvious. Like, ten years ago she got tired of the headaches so she stopped hitting herself in the ears with hammers. Ten years ago, she got tired of the blisters, so she stopped dipping her head in the french fry grease. Ten years ago, she joined so many of the other Democrats who were fleeing from the consequences of their political opinions. Duh.

At the end of the infomercial, Obama promised to shut down government programs and entities that don't work. We'll see, won't we? I bet you dollars to donuts that nothing in the school system changes, with the exception of Bush's No Child Left Behind program, which, according to some authorities, is starting to work.

Rebecca goes on to show us the inside door of her refrigerator. All four kids have their own tray filled with snacks for the week. The kids and Brian know that when their tray is empty, that's all for the week.

Brian works at a tire re-tread factory, where he has to stand all day long, but he needs surgery on one knee. They've postponed the surgery, since they don't feel that they can get by on his disability pay during the recovery.

Ok, is there anyone else who thought of this movie when Rebecca was telling her story?

Rebecca complains that prices keep going up and up and up, and she can remember a time when she didn't have to worry about this stuff.

But there are others in our great land who have always worried about "this stuff". When did they worry the most? Prior to conception. They decided not to have that second, or third, or fourth kid.

Cutaway to Obama at the Denver rally with The Parthenon backdrop. Platitudes. Talking Points.
Cut to Obama in a down home, scaled back, raw lumber version of the Oval Office. This part was brilliant. The setting lets you imagine him as President. He's not in an exact Oval Office replica, which would be presumptuous on his part. It's saying See, I'm not so scary. You could get used to me talking to you from the White House, couldn't you?

Obama, speaking from the knotty pine Oval Office, discusses the bailout and that if elected he's going to see to it that you, the taxpayer, are paid back first. Well, Barack, who else is there to pay back????? We're the ones that gave you the money ! (Well, there's China, Peru, Brazil, OPEC, several Carribean banking centers, etc. I guess I spoke too soon.)

He's going to cut taxes for everyone making less than 200k, he's going to put in a tax break for every business that hires someone, he's going to eliminate tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, freeze forclosures for 90 days, and give low cost loans to small businesses.

And that was just the stuff associated with the FIRST family. I haven't even gotten to the 72 year old Wal-Mart guy, the schoolteacher, or any of the other stars of his vignettes. If elected, Barack Obama will be a busy man.

I don't have the time to discuss Obama's entire closing argument. It's getting late. Plus, no one in their right mind would read all of it. I might get to Wal-Mart guy later on. I have a conspiracy theory about that one.

At one point in the infomercial, Obama says "we are our brothers keeper". (An answer to Genesis 4:9)

I agree. That's why I give more money to charity in one year than Joe Biden has in ten years. I've done ok for myself, and I was taught to share. (That's where I disagree with the hardcore Ayn Rand branch of the Libertarians, BTW.) We contribute a decent chunk to Broadway Baptist Church, a wonderful place which specializes in helping people. If I were to get sick, regardless of the heresies I throw down on these pages, they'd probably help me even though they don't have to.

And that's the kicker, isn't it? There is absolutely nothing virtuous about requiring someone to help someone else. Obama is giving us these incredibly wholesome visions of service, community, and caring, and then generating war-whoops of approval when he says he's going to make "Them" pay for it.

As H.L. Mencken put it, "Whenever A injures or annoys B on the pretense of saving or improving X, then A is a scoundrel."

B represents the people who are generally working hardest to grow our economy. Only two percent of our current millionaires were born into millionaire families.

X represents Rebecca and Brian, the people who are now struggling to get by. They are people who could use some help, should you choose to give it to them. I don't mind sharing with the Rebeccas and the Brians and other X people, and you probably don't either. But at some point, those of us who are struggling to get their one child through Texas A&M start to wonder how much more we can do for the Rebeccas and the Brians and their four kids and two cats.

I wonder when people are going to figure out who A is.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends - pre-election libertarian edition

Since I don't have nearly enough people in the blogroll, and this site is nowhere near cluttered enough, it's time to get back to my ongoing project of linking to every single site listed at Libertarian Blog Place.

Plus, writing anything else about the upcoming November 4th unpleasantness is starting to take on the ritualized characteristics of a Japanese Tea Ceremony.

Let's start with Roland Dodds at "But, I Am A Liberal". Roland links here to an amazing photo collection. Iranian police officers. Female Iranian police officers. I love it. Go there.

There's another outfit in there called Bureaucrash. It's a blog, an aggregator, and a general propaganda clearinghouse. If you're bewildered as to why a murderous bastard like Che is now popular among the trendoids, and need pics to illustrate the contradictions....they've got stuff like this:

....and this one hits every hot-button on my dashboard.

Speaking of capitalism, Captain Capitalism likes the facts, and just the facts. One of those facts is that the corporate tax rate in the U.S. is 40%. Don't try to tell him otherwise. Another good one....a newspaper article on the release of John McCain video from his time in a Hanoi prison stated that "the video portrays the Republican as a hero, but the message may be tarnished, as he is filmed smoking a cigarette." The good Captain's response begins as follows:

Are you F#CKING kidding me????!!!!!

The message may be tarnished because he smokes a god damned cigarette?How out of f#cking out of touch are you in the media? The guy is in a god damned POW camp, all shot up in the 1960's and he dares to have a cigarette?!

What gets me, what really effing gets me, is how they completely miss the forest from the trees on this one. Here is John McCain, a genuine WAR FREAKING HERO, on his back, defending America and the media thinks, actually believes the fact he has a cigarette is going to have a political effect?

I'm not in the McCain camp, but the Captain has a point. I only wish that he'd taken a few shots at the government's ongoing anti-smoking campaign. And the government's ongoing subsidies of the tobacco industry.

I've had Brian Micklethwait on the blogroll for a while, but he he's written an interesting post on a hero of mine who has almost been forgotten. William Tyndale translated the Bible into English, had a huge impact on our language, our politics, and our theology, and was hunted like an animal all over Europe as payment for his effort. There's a new book called The Adventure of English that Brian has excerpted on his blog, and we're fortunate that he's given us the Tyndale part.

That's all I've got. Hope you enjoy these people.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Obama Redneck

Here's an interesting site....The Obama Redneck.
He has a sentimental attachment to the idea that there are fundamental differences between Obama and McSame.
Once you get past that, he's a very good writer, and I'm going to blogroll him if he moves on to other topics after the November 4th unpleasantness.

Speaking as a slightly evolved redneck, I prefer the politically correct term "Backward American".
But anyone who can up with a logo like that one, well, attention must be paid.

Al Gore, Extortionist ????

Here's how the mafia extorts money:

Say you have a restaurant. The mafia has a trash removal service and a laundry.
You prefer to use someone else's trash removal service.
You prefer to use someone else's laundry for your tablecloths.

Someone comes by your restaurant and "encourages" you to use the mafia's incredibly expensive trash and laundry service. Otherwise, your restaurant will have a fire.

Here's how Al Gore, The Goracle of Music City Tennessee, winner of the freakin' Nobel Prize, winner of Oscars, Grammys, etc., extorts money:

Say you want to build a new coal-fired power plant. And Al Gore has a $5 billion company called Generation Investment Management.
There are currently no excessive requirements for "carbon capture" on coal-fired power plants.
Generation Investment Management, has a "strategic alliance" with Gore's other bedfellows at Kleiner Perkins. Both of these outfits specialize in "carbon capture", "emissions capture", "perpetual motion", etc. (Al Gore's previous scams can be viewed by hitting the Al Gore label at the bottom of this post.)

Next, Al Gore appears at something called "The Clinton Global Initiative", and encourages young people to engage in ACTS OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE "to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration."

In other words, buy Al Gore's weather-changing, rain-making, hurricane-stopping equipment, or he's gonna shut you down. Through illegal means. And he's gonna encourage kids to do the dirty work.

Al Gore would have to evolve for billions of years to rise to the level of pond scum.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Funny Thing About The Ten Commandments

This morning a friend of mine mentioned that there's usually a senseless (but traditional) mistake in our representations of the 10 Commandments. He was referring to political hacks who put the traditional outline of the stone tablets on campaign posters as a shorthand for "I'm for traditional values." The mistake is prominent on this poster. Do you see it?

If you look closely, you'll see that the mistake is repeated below on an infamous statue outside of a courthouse. Don't get hung up on the extra verbiage they left out from the biblical account in Exodus 20:2-17. Don't do a textual analysis comparing this version to the one in Deuteronomy 5:6-21 either. Both texts are similar but not identical (which you would expect from documents claiming to be the inerrant word of God.) Plus, almost all of our 10 Commandments artwork omits the biblical threats against those who break the commandments.
(This dispute apparently was a plot point on an episode of The West Wing TV series. You can read a compact summary of the discrepancies, and resolution, here.) But that's not the mistake that my friend told me about.
A group called Team Sandtastic made the same mistake in a sand sculpture. Look for an anachronism.
You'd think God would give us some prohibitions against slavery, or define when life begins during pregnancy. A commandment against racism would've been nice, but that would've slowed down the ongoing Jewish campaign against the Canaanites. (Something about being God's chosen people clashes with prohibitions against racism, doesn't it?)
But I digress. The first three commandments on the poster below seem petty. The remainder seem like unnecessary reminders. But the arbitrary nature of the commandments isn't what my friend told me about.
The mistake is on the poster below. Moses is holding it.
This next picture looks like someone went to a lot of trouble to cast the tablets out of cinder blocks. The text isn't legible, but the error is there for everyone to see. (I believe the mistake is usually made in an effort to give the commandments an air of ancient authority.)

If you still haven't found the mistake, let's oversimplify the pictures. This picture came from The Confederate States Of America Website.... (speaking of organizations that try to give themselves an air of ancient authority.)

Give up?

Don't. Here's the same thing on the the door panels to the Supreme Court....(some skeptics claim that this door panel depicts the Bill of Rights.)

The answer is blaring at you.

Ok, here goes. If the 10 Commandments came down from Mount Sinai around 2,300 BCE, they were chipped into stone about 2,000 years before the birth of the Roman empire. That would be 2,000 years before the advent of Roman numerals. So there is abolutely no reason to list the things with Roman numerals.

We traditionally use Roman numerals on grandfather clocks, in our scholarly outlines, and for some reason, copyrights. But all of these came after the Roman empire. We still use the numbers I-XII on sundials, since the Romans had sundials.

But why are they always on the Ten Commandments?
Well, can you imagine this on a statute outside an Alabama courthouse? Lilah Tov !