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Is It Treason? Getting Close. April 19, 2012

Posted by nukemhill in Constitution, Economics, Politics (Ghahh!), Tea Party.
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Found this today. Love it.


Well, I can’t seem to get the widget to work. It’s supposed to be a counter, indicating how long it has been since the U.S. Senate has passed a budget.

They’re losers. But so am I, apparently. Can’t get an iframe to work on this page….


Control the Grassroots Conversation August 21, 2010

Posted by nukemhill in Politics (Ghahh!), Tea Party.

I originally made this comment over at Ace’s blog, on this post.  But I decided it was worth my own post.  Ace makes this point, in the middle of a larger post, which is worth reading in total:

Further, not voting, and not getting out the maximum vote possible among conservatives in such districts, also loses out on all those important state legislature slots, those judgeships, those crucial Board of Elections postings, the AG, the Secretary of State

My response was this:

This is critical. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I’ve spoken with a few Tea Party organizers here in Maryland, and some seem to get it.  Getting control on the local level is really the key to the process. And it needed to start years ago, given how close to the precipice we are as a country. At this point, it may be too late.

As it is, we need to organize at the local levels, run candidates for local boards, county seats, and state legislatures. Get people into positions where the machinery is controlled. Once we have our hands on the levers, we can bring much more integrity to the processes.

And then we work our way up the ladder. Win the gubernatorial races. Control the legislatures. Defeat the trolls who are our “representatives” in Congress. On both sides of the aisle.

But it has to happen from the ground up. We may very well take Congress back this Fall. But that will just lead to gridlock,which is not necessarily a bad thing; but we need to reverse a shitload of bad actions, and gridlock won’t allow for that. If we don’t reverse the badness coming our way, then the voters will either give up or vote new people in. And we have to have more fire power in place at the local levels to take advantage of the discontent.

This is a multi-year, if not decades long, fight. The only way we’re going to win it is at the grassroots level. We have to control the conversation at the local level.

I will say, in addition, that there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that Tea Party organizers around the country seem to understand this.  I’ve heard about them taking over precincts, running for county seats, etc.  It is happening.  It needs to happen at warp speed, though.  There is so much “bad politics” inertia built up over the years that it is going to take a tremendous amount of energy to overcome.

Hopefully, it’s not too late.

The biggest problem the Tea Party movement is facing, frankly, is the nature of its structure.  In spite of the fact that there are several national-level organizations claiming to represent the movement as a whole, it is by its very nature a very localized phenomenon.  Yes, there have been country-wide protests on particular days (tax day, 4th of July, 9/12, etc).  But I think they’ve only been successful as a sum of the locally organized protests.  There is not some huge monolithic national structure that runs the party from the top-down.  It is inherently a bottom-up organization.  Which is both its strength and its weakness.  It’s a fabulous venue for people to express themselves, and feel like they’re making a difference, at the local level.  But it’s difficult to enact anything on a national level.  Herding cats and all that.

However, the advent of Facebook, Twitter, texting, etc., have lent a great deal of new strength and power to social movements, which the Tea Party is, make no mistake.  Given the incredible ease with which people can instantly communicate and organize, the Tea Party, I think, can afford to exist as a loose confederation of many groups.  Having national figureheads, like Palin or Beck, can be effective for giving facetime to our messages.  As long as they’re truly speaking for the “movement”.  On the other hand, I’m getting kinda tired of getting Yet Another Email from Joe the Plumber.  He’s a great guy.  But he really doesn’t speak for me.

But in the end, the power of the Tea Party lies in its ability to localize.  It is the people on the streets, building their businesses, paying their taxes, making ends meet in this hideous economy, who make the difference.  And it’s those individuals being engaged in their local politics that will ultimately make the difference.  Or not, if they disengage.

That’s where the Tea Party holds all the power.  Engaging those people.  Getting them to educate themselves.  Tracking the actions of the local politicians.  Voting their consciences.  Being in action.

Controlling the grassroots conversation.

Kafkatrapping July 26, 2010

Posted by nukemhill in Philosophy, Politics (Ghahh!).
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Wonderful post by Eric Raymond on what he has labelled as “Kafkatrapping”.  Here’s the meat of his case:

Good causes sometimes have bad consequences. Blacks, women, and other historical out-groups were right to demand equality before the law and the full respect and liberties due to any member of our civilization; but the tactics they used to “raise consciousness” have sometimes veered into the creepy and pathological, borrowing the least sane features of religious evangelism.

One very notable pathology is a form of argument that, reduced to essence, runs like this: “Your refusal to acknowledge that you are guilty of {sin,racism,sexism, homophobia,oppression…} confirms that you are guilty of {sin,racism,sexism, homophobia,oppression…}.” I’ve been presented with enough instances of this recently that I’ve decided that it needs a name. I call this general style of argument “kafkatrapping”, and the above the Model A kafkatrap.

I see kafkatrapping all the time.  And it is particularly infuriating.  It’s not too long of an essay, but there are hundreds of comments.  All, well worth reading.  One almost throw-away comment by Eric is worth pointing out in particular:

The distinguishing feature of bad social-change movements is that they seek coercive power over people who are not themselves coercing. The distinguishing feature of good social-change movements is that they seek to limit and prevent coercion. The tragedy is that good social-change movements almost invariably get seized from inside by high-functioning sociopaths and turn into bad ones.

Entire books could be written on this.  So often, legitimate movements are co-opted by people seeking nothing more or less than moral authority and power over others.  It is almost always fear-based.  It is almost always to suppress different thinkers.  And it’s absolutely not about fighting and exposing hatred and prejudice.  It is not about seeking racial/gender/sexual equality and harmony.

It’s about power.  Not power to free.  Power to control.

edit (2010-07-28):  for clarity

Missing Links, June 2nd Edition June 2, 2009

Posted by nukemhill in Apple/AAPL, Constitution, Economics, General Programming, Politics (Ghahh!).
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Some economics links:

Other miscellaneous links:

Some programming stuff, mostly ASP.Net.  It has been all .Net, all the time.  Mostly, I’ve been pleased.  Google has definitely been my friend:

Atlas is Shrugging March 15, 2009

Posted by nukemhill in Constitution, Politics (Ghahh!).
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And Ayn Rand is rolling over in her grave:

Tim Neal of Miller County was shocked recently when he heard a radio program about a strategic report compiled by state and federal law enforcement agencies to combat terrorism.

Titled “The Modern Militia Movement,” the report is dated Feb. 20 and designed to help police identify militia members or domestic terrorists. Red flags outlined in the document include political bumper stickers such as those for U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, talk of conspiracy theories such as the plan for a mega-highway from Canada to Mexico and possession of subversive literature.

But when Neal read the report, he couldn’t help but think it described him. A military veteran and a delegate to the 2008 Missouri Republican state convention, he didn’t appreciate being lumped in with groups like the Neo-Nazis.

“I was going down the list and thinking, ‘Check, that’s me,’ ” he said. “I’m a Ron Paul supporter, check. I talk about the North American union, check. I’ve got the ‘America: Freedom to Fascism’ video loaned out to somebody right now. So that means I’m a domestic terrorist? Because I’ve got a video about the Federal Reserve?”

Wow.  Just … wow.

We are marching down the path to fascism.  And it is truly of Leftist origins.

I didn’t support Ron Paul.  I think the guy’s a wack-job with respect to foreign policy.  I absolutely agree with much of his domestic and economic policies though.  And I certainly entertained voting Libertarian or Constitution Party last November.  I have enormous concerns about the abrogation of our Constitution by government officials in the name of “internationalism”.  Or worse, “domestic safety”.

Further, rumor has it that President Obama is voicing support for the ICC.  That immediately puts our military at risk of being brought before international courts for “war crimes”, said crimes being determined by people most definitely not supporting our national self-interest.  Which means that any military action contemplated by us will necessarily be viewed through the prism of international “political correctness”.

Where do we go from here, people?

Superbowl Sunday Links February 1, 2009

Posted by nukemhill in Apple/AAPL, Constitution, Economics, Environment, General Programming, Judaism/Israel, Politics (Ghahh!), Technology, WoT.
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Evolution: Not Just a Theory.

Robert Kiyosaki:  Conspiracy of the Rich.

Apple’s AppStore:  Will it change the desktop market?

Tech Soup:  Not just for kids!

Manning Early Access:  ASP.Net MVC In Action.

Michael Yon:  Irregular Warfare.

Belmont Club:  Fun with maps.

Speculation (US Army War College, Winter ’92):  The Military Coup of 2012.

MacObserver Forums:  The House That Steve Built.

Omnivoracious:  Ranking The Classics.

Calvin and Hobbes:  Modern Day Capitalism.

Reason:  The Libertarian Moment.

IBD:  Drilling Down the Deficit.  And HotAir’s take.

Popular Mechanics:  New Green Homes.

Web 2.0:  Ten Insightful Books (video).

T.J. Rodgers on PajamasMedia:  Why Financial Statements are so Screwed Up.

Minneapolis Fed:  Myths and Facts about the Financial Crisis of ’08.

Economist:  Blockages in the money supply.

Armed and Dangerous:  Timing the Entitlements Crash. Also:  Why Alt-Energy Isn’t (yet, in my book).

Cato:  On the Market.

Forbes:  Does Stimulus Stimulate?

Michael Totten @ Winds of Change:  Who Really Won the Second Lebanon War (and it wasn’t Hizbollah!).

ASP.Net:  Strongly-typed DataSets.

Bush in 2006:  Creation of Military Commissions to try Suspected Terrorists.

Wiki:  Business Process Management.  This may be the core of what we’re trying to accomplish at AIPT.

Google Search:  Ethical Capitalism.

Wiki:  Schrodinger’s Cat.

Professionals for Cyber Defense.

Technology Review:  Sun + Water = Fuel.

Yes, I’ve been hoarding.  Why do you ask?

Glenn Beck Nails It September 12, 2008

Posted by nukemhill in Sarah Palin.

Glenn Beck writes a commentary over at CNN.com addressing some of the more ridiculous claims against Sarah Palin.  It is about as to-the-point and fact-filled as one can get.

Home Run.

Palin Smears, Continued September 11, 2008

Posted by nukemhill in Sarah Palin.

With respect to our ongoing actions in Iraq, Sarah Palin has been deliberately (shocker, I know) misquoted.

What she said:

Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God,” she exhorted the congregants. “That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”

Note the bolded section.  This clearly, contextually, indicates she is requesting of God that our leaders are taking right action.  She is not declaring or stating that it is so.

How the AP bowdlerizes the quote:

“Our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God,” she said. “That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that plan is God’s plan.”

Notice something missing?  Yeah.  Me too.  They turn her prayer from a request to a statement of fact.

And now that the meme has been created, it is being perpetuated.  From ABC’s extensive 2-day tag-along and interview with her:

Sarah Palin on God:

GIBSON: You said recently, in your old church, “Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God.” Are we fighting a holy war?

PALIN: You know, I don’t know if that was my exact quote.

GIBSON: Exact words.

Please.  The next time someone tells you the press isn’t biased?  Just point them here.  This is a perfect example of just how bad it has gotten.

I weep for this country.

<HT:  HotAir>

Time for a Link Dump September 10, 2008

Posted by nukemhill in Economics, Environment, Investing, Politics (Ghahh!), Sarah Palin, Technology, WoT.
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Too many open windows in Safari, so it’s time to clean up.  Here are some of the things I’ve been interested in:

  • Unlocking the Auction-Rate Mess at Barron’s:  “Retail and institutional investors alike loaded up on auction-rates in recent years, assuming they were almost as liquid as cash. Generally, investors can opt to sell such securities at weekly or monthly auctions — or at least they could until the investment banks stopped bidding on them last winter. The result: Holders of $330 billion of securities quickly found they had no buyers, and no way of unlocking their money.”  Much more where that came from.
  • Alt-Energy ETFs.
  • A look at the Annenberg Challenge, which is still causing quite the controversy.  Stanley Kurtz over at The Weekly Standard is still digging around.  I’m actually thinking he won’t find anything, but Obama and his clan certainly didn’t do themselves any favors by trying to bury the data.
  • Should Google Go Nuclear?  A video of a presentation done at Google by Bussard.
  • Articles, at The Economist and The Wall Street Journal (here, too), on the Russian invasion of Georgia.
  • Houston Chronicle on Sarah Palin’s knowledge of the energy industry.  Bottom line:  a lot.
  • Liberal Arrogance at Bidinotto.
  • How The Surge Worked.  And, uh, for the few clueless wonders who still believe otherwise?  It did.  Even Obambi is grudgingly admitting to it.  Months and months after the rest of the world got it.
  • The best gaming-PC money can buy.
  • Omnivoracious:  The Best Business Books Ever.

Oh Noes! September 10, 2008

Posted by nukemhill in Politics (Ghahh!).
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Just had to steal this one from Ace S. Weasel [corrected for me by Dave at Ace of Spades]: