Astute readers of the blog - those astute enough to have noticed the first two posts were the "Intro" and the "Foreword" - have been waiting for this entry.1 I have made my points eloquently, if I don't say so myself, in the three and one half year history of the blog. These points would include ...
In policy matters, well meaning liberals can be counted upon to be spectacularly wrong about almost everything practically all the time. In politics, well meaning liberals always hold a trump card - promising other people's money to the desperate, clueless, and mathematically challenged in return for votes. In any matter concerning anything, dedicated Leftists can be counted upon to organize themselves into lawless mobs without fail. Dedicated Leftists pioneered and have now perfected the morally corrosive science of 24x7 elective politics. Dedicated Leftists are willing to lie through their teeth and completely rewrite history while waging politics.
The vast majority of all politicians are craven, power drunk, borderline psychopaths. Probably because they are mostly lawyers. The most psychopathic politicians tend to be the most successful since they enjoy a competitive advantage. Of the remaining few, all but the slimmest minority possess a Leadership Quotient (LQ) exceeding that of Paris Hilton (which is to say zero). If you worked an entire lifetime in DC, you might be lucky to stumble into a single remarkably inspiring leader.2
In my lifetime, the (R) variety of politician has been mostly useless, but the (D) variety downright dangerous. That's because the Team (D) cabal consists entirely of well meaning liberals (aka fools) and dedicated Leftists (aka fascist brown shirts). Unfortunately, some government (meaning a whole lot less than we have) is a necessary evil, making voting a necessary civic activity. In my lifetime, the voting strategy has been to pull the lever for (R) to state a preference for the lesser of two evils. Quixotic third party campaigns somehow always help elect the greater of the two evils.
Political Correctness is an existential threat to the continuance of the republic because it is a fascist tool for thought control. Leftist faculty lounge wankers use Political Correctness to maintain fascist dominion over the academe and to turn the public school systems into fascist youth camps, in a concerted campaign to indoctrinate new little Leftists. The corrupt and biased lame-stream media uses Political Correctness as their style guide.
Islamism is the single biggest existential threat on the planet because it is a hybrid religion/ideology that allows murder and lies so long as permission is obtained from any of its bearded "holy men." There is no compromising with Islamists. To the dedicated Islamist it is sharia or death for all. I don't want either of those things, so me and the Islamists have a little problem with each other. Those on the Left who counsel compromise with the Islamists are 'useful idiots' foolishly furthering the demise of their own value system.
The Anthropological Global Warming (AGW) Hoax rests on incomplete and doctored data. Even the doctored data can't explain simple observations punching obvious holes in the theory, like the Medieval and Roman Warm Periods. The AGW Hoax is really nothing more than a convenient excuse for Big Government and its religiously dedicated adherents on the Left to justify transferring more wealth from the private sector to the public.
When it comes to government, less is more. That's because central planning is an impossibly complex undertaking. The human being was never born, and will never be born, who is smart enough to micro-manage the lives of millions of other human beings. On the other hand, every single human being born is subject to corruption by power. The United States constitution was conceived and birthed by a truly extraordinary collection of visionaries who understood government is necessary to regulate the affairs of the civil society, because the civil society is a collection of corruptible people ... but also that government powers must be limited and divided to prevent the rise of tyranny.
A free and open market is exponentially more efficient than any central planning committee at directing wealth to where it is needed and deserved. Free markets also do something truly remarkable that is generally beyond the capacity of all central planning committees - free markets create brand new wealth. Trillion dollar budget deficits are an existential threat to my kids' futures, and that p*sses me off. The way out of the debt and deficit hole is dramatically reducing government spending and increasing government revenue through economic growth. Economic growth occurs when taxation and regulation is reduced. After a certain point taxation stops raising revenue and starts reducing it3 because people adjust their behavior to avoid onerous rates. While some regulation is useful to the health of the civil society (which is to say a lot less than we have), all regulation always retards economic growth because it is a compliance burden with no profit margin.
Today's corrupt and biased lame-stream media is 100% in the pocket of the big government, central planning, fascist, Left. The only check on the republic crushing influence these hacks exercise over clueless independents and low information voters is the rise of alternative media. The good side in the information wars has Rupert Murdoch's media empire, fresh new conservative internet sites such as the Daily Caller and Breitbart, old stalwarts like National Review and the American Spectator4, the talk radio landscape with its ratings dominated by conservative voices like Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and my personal favorite Chris Plante. We have the Internet. The Internet is the greatest engine of First Amendment freedoms yet to be devised.5 The printing press was a piker by comparison.
The corrupt and incompetent reign of The Empty Suit Known as Barack Hussein Obama has been a perfect foil for this blog. I could re-post a version of "Stupid or Treasonous?" (originally posted Monday, January 4, 2010) today, with my eyes closed, simply substituting contemporaneous failures and scandals for the older examples.
The TEA Party movement is a vanguard representing the greater apolitical mass of American civil society starting to come to grips with all of the above. The TEA Party movement arose entirely due to the shocking tyrannical overreach of BHO and His Corrupt Gang of Progressives.
I have described my ideology as Libertarian Conservative.
The "libertarian" part is the sure knowledge every individual human being is a unique (I dare say "peculiar") sovereign citizen born with god-given unalienable rights no government can grant or remove. That among these are the rights to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. It is the ideology of 'you do your thing over, I'll do my mine over here, maybe we'll exchange goods and services to mutual benefit, and as long as neither of us infringes on the rights of the other neither should have any complaints.' The problem I have with the ideology of the Left it envisions organizing us all into one giant soulless ant hill community, and in the implementation of this unicorn fantasy it simply turns us into an amalgamation of complaints this faction has about that faction. The Leftist experience is one continuous fight over infringing on Peter's rights to enhance Paul's position in life, and over who should be designated Peter and who should be designated Paul. The ideology of the left inevitably leads to a society gripped by Hobbesian power struggles among competing factions over resource scarcity.
The "conservative" part is the sure knowledge there will be an accounting in the civil society for everyone. And I do mean civil society, not government. Government is a creation of civil society, it is not the society itself. Each of us is accountable to the rest for not infringing upon one another's rights. The accountability factor is what distinguishes libertarian from libertine. The problem I have with the ideology of the Left is it gives a pass on accountability to the members of preferred factions, because it is a useful shortcut (to them) while waging 24x7 politics.
So, I say to my uptight conservative friends, who may be obsessed with what the self-professed libertarian is doing in privacy ... "relax, there will be an accounting with or without your help." And to the self-professed libertarian I say ... "be careful, there will be an accounting - and not only that but Mr. Conservative over there is hell bent on it, plus you've caught his eye lately."
This ideology serves as a philosophical guide rail for arriving at all manner of positions. It makes pro-life an easy position to take. The adult carrying the fetus is accountable for the events leading to the condition (except, of course, in the most heinous cases, such as rape or incest). The little person in the womb deserves to not have his or her right to pursue life infringed. If a healthy mother who is not a victim of rape or incest aborts after the fetus has grown to literally look like a little person, that is a lifestyle "choice" infringing on the rights of the aborted.
It also makes it easy to be an anti-Islamist hawk. I say defending liberty against those who would replace it with sharia law is a perfectly libertarian act6. And as long as we don't force anyone with conscientious objections to participate unwillingly, I don't see any libertarian issues. Last time I checked the greatest military the world has ever seen is an all-volunteer outfit and there hasn't been a draft in about 40 years.
The difference between being for a nation of immigrants and against illegal immigration is the word 'illegal.' A nation bound by nothing but the libertarian idea needs to consciously ensure its immigrants pass through legal processes, in manageable volumes, to keep the idea alive. The 2nd Amendment says stop harassing law abiding citizens with redundant gun control laws that are always ineffectual in stopping criminals from getting guns anyway, because a law abiding armed citizenry might just one day be the last line of defense against tyranny. (Although I personally doubt we will ever come to that as long as we have the great 1st Amendment weapon called the Internet).
Well, I think you get the idea.
During the course of the blog project I developed two characters who will no doubt make additional appearances in some form or manner down the road. It's inevitable - I created them in my head, and there they shall reside until the end of my days, agitating to be let out.
Let us consider Francis Charles Hamilton, Doctor of Pontification. FCH is a 20th century man, containing a 19th century man's soul, and condemned by history to live on into the 21st. FCH is obviously gay, but would never be so crass as to be publicly open about it. Pride parades are strictly for barbarians and exhibitionists, you see. Dr. Hamilton cannot be bothered to touch a computer. Anything that could possibly be in there can already be found in one of the multitude of hard bound books on any of his many bookshelves. Or that pile of books over there. Or that other pile over there. Incredibly, he always somehow knows which stack to reach into for data on the most obscure subject matter.
FCH has access to a vast family fortune, and he is the butt of family punch lines for how he chooses to deploy his share. FCH uses his wealth to collect dusty knowledge, odd people, and a modestly sized stock of a few of the finer things in life. Which is to say, his stock in the field of alcohol is world class. FCH throws uproarious social affairs, but only invites trusted confidants. Libertarian Conservative rules ... the only unforgivable sin is breaking trust with any of the other carefully assembled company.
FCH is active in Republican politics. He is regarded by the Establishment GOP as an eccentric old crank. Every local and state party chairman in living memory has experienced the sting of Dr. Hamilton's sharp tongue, but few have succeeded in extracting any of his wealth, and none more than just a little. FCH prefers to make financial contributions directly to campaigns ... almost always to the losing primary campaigns of upstart conservatives.
Then there is the man FCH will affectionately refer to, in trusted company, as his "idiot nephew" - Jack Wiley Dithers. JWD entered the investigative journalism profession because he likes the working hours. Which is to say, he gets to make them up. JWD is definitely not gay, though he has never married. Dithers likes his women to have a little breadth in the beam, and will say so to anyone willing to listen. Dithers also enjoys his uproarious social affairs ... but in his view the bigger the better, and crashing is preferred to hosting, because that means somebody else was stuck with the planning. JWD also enjoys consuming some of the finer things in life, though he has much wider limits than his uncle in how he defines "fine" and "things."
Dithers uses his randomly assembled network of DC confidants to fall ass backwards into leaked stories. If asked why he never votes, he will plainly state he has never met the politician worthy of his vote. He once wrote a semi-serious op-ed for the Washington Star, trying to explain his ideology, under the headine "Gub'ment is For Sheeples." JWD leads a libertarian drenched personal life, which serves as a running and tumbling warning to all libertarians to stay on the right side of libertine. A colleague once summarized our man as "the Keith Richards of investigative journalism."
FCH is a cultivated and learned man who does not suffer fools gladly. JWD is a man who has resisted cultivation and conventional learning channels, but possesses a talent for learning useful things from fools who wag their tongues. They come from the same gene pool.
In 2010 I set the philosophical and intellectual foundation, making a conscious attempt to keep the writing entertaining. That way, the probability of entertaining FBI agents at my front door might be reduced. I eventually found a voice much inspired by some of the the real life characters that went into the FCH and JWD "composites." In 2011 I practiced the blogging form. I meant it when I wrote 'I think I was a better writer in 2010, but a better blogger in 2011' (my November 29, 2011 post "An Interview").
Also in 2011 and into 2012 I coincidentally was working a mere two blocks distance from the Occupy Wall Street rabble - McPherson Square, District of Columbia edition. OWS was designed by Van Jones, Valerie Jarrett, and the rest of the hardcore Saul Alinsky / William Ayers gang that brought you Obama. They designed it to be some kind of spark for a popular uprising against capitalism, along the lines of Ayers' 'Prairie Fire' book. After all, they had just spent decades indoctrinating legions of little Lefties in the public schools, graduating them as over credentialed unemployable PC zombies from the academe, and now were in charge screwing up the economy to make sure nobody would hire them. The perfect New Left revolutionary storm, they thought. Surely the disenfranchised utes, desperate for Starbucks money, would join them in the organized looting of the evil banking industry. Or maybe they could see they were taking it in the
In the actual event it was a small, unsanitary, encampment organized and lead by old New Left hippies for the local homeless, at least one drug addict mother with two toddlers in tow, a few pretend anarchists, and some trust fund kiddies on excellent vacation. That's what I encountered during the day, anyway. The best documentation is probably my December 8, 2011 post "Sounds Like a Threat To Me." I'm sure the really good stuff happened at night, but I was safely ensconced in my suburban capitalist enclave during those times and cannot report first hand on the nighttime goings on.
In 2012 I made an effort to apply the blogging form to help elect the hopelessly politically over-matched RINO candidate for President. As might have been predicted (and in fact was predicted by me on this blog during primary season), Mittens was the worst possible candidate for Team (R) in the cycle, and an inevitable general election loser. The surest sign I had gone too far letting myself become part of the story is the September 19, 2012 post "On the '47%' Gotcha Video." Flacking for Mittens, I reached the dead wrong conclusion this video would not affect the election result. What distorted thinking. Of course smearing Richie Rich as insensitive to the common man's plight was perfect fodder for the Donkey Party's class warfare machine! I had even predicted it myself during the primaries!7 See how direct participation in partisan politics makes people stupid, kiddies?
In attempting to apply the blogging form I greatly increased the rate of posting in 2012. Thus there is a lot of filler in the 2012 archive ... and I still couldn't get within sniffing distance of the everyday blogger's ideal. 'Squeaky Wheel' never really was my style anyway. More like 'should have listened to me the first time.'
Nevertheless, by 2013 I could know I can do this blogging thing with my eyes closed every single day, if I so chose, and if I could afford to devote my full attention to it. On the flip side, I didn't need to be a genius to notice its revenue generating properties have been non existent, which makes the cost/benefit analysis a divide by zero error.
By orders of magnitude the most widely read post continues to be the the August 27, 2011 post "In a Democracy, The People Get The Government They Deserve." This is not to say it is actually "widely read" by absolute standards. Statistically, though, in the context of my modest sample, it pulls in a high percentage of international readers. I think this statistic gets to the root core of the judgment history will pass on the corrupt and biased reign of the Empty Suit Known as Barack Hussein Obama.
Don't expect me to completely delete the blog anytime soon, however. It has become an invaluable tool for me as an information gatherer, and I will leverage the tool as long as the anonymous (to me) site administrators at Google Blogspot keep it running. The links to alternative media sites and fellow bloggers on the blog roll keep me more informed about the world than the sclerotic lame-stream media ever could. A daily 20 minute trip down the LAS blog roll, skimming headlines, is the minimum investment I need to remain an informed sovereign citizen. When I have more time I can get details inside the posts the sclerotic lame-stream media leaves out as a sacrifice to the Political Correctness gods. And, finally, I can safely and legally indulge my well developed snarky side on the comment boards. Knowing, of course, that the Internet never forgets.
I have sometimes considered undertaking a methodical network analysis that would involve cataloging the blogs on the blog rolls of the blogs on my blog roll and so on to some nth degree coefficient. The most "popular" (which is not necessarily to say the "best") would mathematically rise to the top. Yet, I always reach the conclusion that's too much work for no pay, and beside the more or less randomly assembled LAS roll serves my purposes excellently, as previously noted. No need to let the perfect be the enemy of the good, you know.
Disqus seems to have reached a level of maturity allowing me to distribute the snark across a number of comments boards in the context of a holistic and comprehensive platform. That's why I've elevated a link to my Disqus comment activity to near the top of the blog. Don't expect me to ever make much use of Facebook ... I find the user experience to be a bloody mess. Nor Twitter ... I need more than 140 characters to contain my genius once in awhile.
If my muse brings me future posts suitable for this space, I'll listen. But I'm not going to work too hard at it.8
When I started the blog, my elder son was a rising high school freshman, and he is now a rising university freshman. He is also a very talented bassoon player with an interest in classical composition. So, it might not be surprising he currently intends his academic major to be music. If he graduates with a major in music, I fear he will be financially destitute by age 30. (Then again, his private bassoon tutor is a member of the US Marine Corps Band. Perhaps the stars will align my son's graduation with the tutor's retirement, a recommendation will be made and accepted, and that month's U6 number will thus receive positive inputs.) Either way, I will probably still be working at age 62, and possibly still in possession of a basement for him to live in. He will just have to tolerate my anti-government rants, since in all likelihood I will also at that time be involved in a dispute with the IRS over some damned fine buried 1500 pages inside the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
My younger son is now a rising high school freshman. He is a very talented guitar player with an interest in musical compositions ranging from Pink Floyd to Iggy Pop. It remains unclear whether his individual sound is "bluesy psychedelic punk" or "psychedelic punkish blues" or some other permutation and combination of the three dimensions. His academic interests seem limited to the logistics around forming his band and acquiring a tour van. Come to think of it, maybe I'll need room for two in that future basement.
If my elder son ever read the blog, he won't admit it. The younger claims he tried once, but soon stopped because "there were too many words." The archive will be preserved for each so long as there is digital media available to hold it, and public domain software available to read it.
I did successfully co-opt the younger into the blog project, as "staff cartoonist." My leverage was bribery. I suspect he learned one great lesson from this internship - if anyone ever offers to throw money at him for drawing pictures ... deliver the pictures, take the money, and don't ask too many questions. Although I do note, on his own creative initiative, he put the clapping monkey into my head for the Disqus Comment Activity graphic. Hmmmmm ....
1In retrospect, "Prologue" and "Epilogue" would have been superior to "Foreword" and "Afterword." Sigh.
2Mine was Herman Cain.
3See Laffer Curve. Or, for that matter, "Taxman" - a song written by George Harrison circa 1966. He was a Beatle so it must be true.
4R. Emmett Tyrell's writing style, in particular his long running 'The Continuing Crisis' column, was a big influence on the writing I did in this space. I have no idea for sure if he considers this a compliment or insult. Judging by how his American Spectator comment board treated LibertyAtStake, I suspect it might be the latter.
5IMHO Pandora Radio is still the best Internet idea yet.
6For those appreciating Roman Catholic mysticism - think St. Michael, captain of the Archangels. He and his hearty band of warrior angels surely possess a blood lust for battle with demons that is hardly "angelic." But what would the rest of the squishy angels do in the face of Lucifer's legion of demons without the Archangels?
7"...his background is the perfect straw man for Team Leftie to set on fire with their rotten class warfare message." From "Keep Inevitable Mittens Running Hard" (March 7, 2012).
8I can't, anyway. I don't have the bandwidth. There's a certain little divorce proceeding I need to pay attention to.
I have to tell you, negotiations have been going perfectly according to strategic plan.
I can't wait until everything's settled, so I can hit the dating sites ...
50ish Libertarian Conservative DWM, fresh off delegating a certain legal proceeding to his inner psychopath, seeks hetero female of similar vintage and ideology. Desires companionship on a few more laps around this crazy Mario Kart race we call life. No country club raised social cons, plz. Been there, done that.