Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm

Click here for Young Pioneers.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

This Is Why The Internet Was Invented

Surely I Should Have Been in the Top 50

Lots happening, little time to post. But there’s this: I made #91 on the Hall of Wackos. (Should be higher, in my humble opinion.)

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To which a friend added this comment, though I don’t know if the guy will allow it:

“Only 91#? I know Trey, and believe me, he belongs in the top 5. With
every person he meets for the first time, he puts a handgun and an
American flag in front of them. If you reach for the gun, he shoots
you with his own gun. If you reach for the flag, he stabs your hand
with a fork. Apparently, the correct answer is to pull out your own
gun and your own flag. He married the woman who also had a pocket copy
of the Constitution. Also, that photo is outdated. He has warpaint
permanently tattooed across his face. And he no longer wears clothes.”

My Piece on Dallas Constables Online or in Your Mailboxes

Pulse_cityI have a news-ish column in this month’s D Magazine questioning whether the anachronism known as constables in Dallas go way too far.

Short version: Constables, who have a necessary role, are doing too much, becoming too militarized, and don’t have enough oversight as they increasingly become — of course — revenue agents.

It’s online now.

Separated at Birth?

With several anti-American leaders, plus Qaddafi, making speeches to the UN today (see what I did there?) I was reminded of that other kook who used to live in the government housing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Which brought me to this.

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Creepy Collectivism from Mike Brady Mr. Obama

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If you quit on school, you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country….

Don’t ever give up on yourself, because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.

Fellow Dallasite and Reasonoid Jacob Sullum has the goods here.

No Thank You, Dear Leader

obamaleader2This nationwide address to children without their parent’s consent is just too Dear Leader, North Korea-style Orwellian for me.

Here’s the link to the “Recommended Study Materials” to go with Mr. Obama’s proposed Sep. 8 address to school children.

Select chapters and verse for this little trip down indoctrination lane:

Why is it important that we listen to the President and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress, or the governor? Why is what they say important?
What is the President asking me to do?
What specific job is he asking me to do? Is he asking anything of anyone else? Teachers? Principals? Parents? The American people?
No thanks. I don’t care if the president were zombie Milton Friedman, this is wrong.
The Girl will be at home Sep. 8 with me, reading either:
UPDATE: Tom asks a good question and I’m moving my response up to here.
Watching a general speech in school is one thing. Gotta learn civics and politics. No problem.

But one targeted to kids, with those kind of suggested, loaded questions such as “Why is it important that we listen to the President and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress, or the governor? Why is what they say important?” — that’ a horse of a different…ahem… that’s something else entirely.

And I’d object just as strong to McCain, to Reagan, to JFK — hell, like I said, if Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, Friedrich Hayek or Herbert Spencer were president, I’d object.

It’s not the role of the president, and it creates this idea that these politicians are somehow important and should be followed.

What they say isn’t important. What we say — as individuals — and what we do — as individuals — is far more important.

This didn’t start with Obama — see the third book I linked to — but we’re treading closer and closer every year towards an ugly, led society, instead of a republic of free individuals who should only have to deal with government when they violate the rights of their neighbors or pay a general tax to support the few, constitutionally mandated and delegated duties government should be performing.

Get a Life, Jonah

getalifeI’m not a real big fan of Jonah Goldberg. Oh, he’s undeniably talented as a writer. So was Upton Sinclair, but that didn’t make Sinclair any less a know-nothing, overhyped prick.

My problem with Goldberg is that he’s like the writers and producers on Star Trek: The Next Generation, compared to the original, one and only Star Trek. The writers on the original Star Trek — they were war veterans, former cops, former business owners, pilots, and engineers. They’d lived life and their scripts had a depth to them.

Meanwhile, writers for the step-child of Trek with the bald guy as captain, those writers had spent their whole lives writing for television. Thus the show was flat, predictable, entirely conventional, and — more than anything — soulless.

Which brings me full circle to Goldberg. He’s a paper-hanger parroting the neo-conservative line to the point of parody. Something really rubs me wrong about guys who spend their 20s advocating for interventionist, non-defensive wars, but they can’t be bothered to enlist.

And today he suggests that torture isn’t immoral because the good guys do it in the movies.

Really? Yes, really.

Look, I’ll skip the “it’s just a movie/TV show” response because he is right — that’s not his point.

Now, I know I will get a lot of “it’s just a movie” or “TV shows aren’t real” email from people. At least I have every other time I’ve made this point. So let me concede a point I’ve never disputed while making one these folks don’t seem to grasp. If such practices, in the contexts depicted, were as obviously and clearly evil as many on the left claim, Hollywood could never get away with having the good guys employ them. Harrison Ford in the Tom Clancy movies would never torture wholly innocent and underserving victims for the same reasons he wouldn’t beat his kids or hurl racial epithets at black people. But given sufficient time to lay out the context and inform the viewers of the stakes, as well as Ford’s motives, the audience not only understands but applauds his actions. Of course it’s just a movie. But the movie is tapping into and reflecting the popular moral sentiments. Think of these scenes as elaborate hypothetical situations in the debate about torture and interrogation that are acted out and played before focus groups of normal Americans.

No, Jonah, the problem is in real life, the certainty that Jack Bauer, Jack Ryan and Jonas Blaine operate under almost never exists. The heroes can be sure they have the right guy and that he knows where the bomb is or will answer “WHO DO YOU WORK FOR??!!!” because their world is a pocket universe with a limited cast and omniscient writers.

I’m not saying that kind of certainty never exists in the real world. I’m saying it’s as rare as neo-con who is an actual military veteran.

We all know the hypothetical. If a nuc-u-lar bomb was about to go off in a day care, and Abdul knew where it was, would we support cutting off his fingers? Sure — almost all of us would grab the snippers and do it ourselves. If that didn’t work I can promise you there are even more interesting and grisly tricks we could play with his internal organs. And few of us would shy away from doing it.

IF. WE. COULD. BE. CERTAIN.

But would you do the wetwork on Abdul if you were told, “Well, we’re pretty sure he knows. We’re almost certain he’s involved. Of course, he could be just a guy off the street. Hell, we do work for the government, you know. Have you seen our previous work samples? The mortgage crisis, dollar collapse, the imprisonment of dozens of innocents for rape, and yeah — that whole tax code? That and the post office and those levees in New Orleans? Yeah, that’s us. Congress pays our salary. We’re running GM. Go on, now — start cutting on the guy.”

That’s the problem Jonah. Scenes where the good guys break the rules are cathartic because we know they have the right guy and the stakes are that high and yeah, Jack just kneecapped the dude but we saw the dude blow up a bus of nuns, so — okay. We want that in movies because reality isn’t so certain and it’s fun to watch bad guys blow up real good.

Look, even in real life I’m not against a little roughing up of the worst of the worst. Bread and water, limited sleep, a little slapping around, hot and cold running dysentery. And when we have a real asshole we know without a doubt is guilty, I’m not going to lose sleep if we go full Jack Bauer on him. But those cases are so rare that no, it doesn’t justify systematic, sanctioned torture.

(Side note: If they want to shake up Season 8 of 24, have Jack torture someone who is categorically innocent and have to deal with the consequences beyond a whispered, “Dammit.”)

See, I can enjoy the fantasy of fiction or even approve of the very rare use of extreme methods in the very rare instances of absolute certainty. But that doesn’t make it right. Hell, I watch Doctor Who despite its regular neo-Marxist and anti-gun message. I watch porn with a whole bunch of bells and whistles — and let’s be honest, humiliating stuff — and I don’t want any of that in my bedroom for real. (Mostly.)

So no, Jonah, there’s no connection. It is just entertainment.

Oh, and by the way, your own war porn fantasies didn’t get your flabby ass to the recruiting station, Jonah, so you’re the best counter to your own argument.

Unpatriotic Citizens Will Be Re-Educated on ObamaCare

Glorious people’s takeover of medical industry continues thanks to Dear Leader.

But enemies of the state are everywhere.

Report Unpatrotic Neighbors, Citizens

Like the rummy at the end of the bar who occasionally awakens enough to blurt out some profound but politically incorrect truth (“Lincoln was a tyrant!” “Organic food is crap!” “The Sopranos ending was awesome!”) before going back to 23.8 hours of uselessness a day — we have John Cornyn.

Today he gets a rare kudos for pointing out the White House’s new “Inform on Your Neighbor” policy.

(I thought the whole “no snitching” thing was good. I’m confused.)