Tuesday, November 29, 2016

In Which I Connect the Election with the Works of Patrick O'Brian

I just came up with this while watching Fiona's fencing lesson and contemplating the state of things.

There has been a lot of use of the word "rigged" and variants thereof. Before the election Trump said the process was rigged; after the election clarified that it was just the popular vote that was rigged thanks to "illegals" voting.

Presidential elections are in fact rigged, and here is where the O'Brian reference enters. Sailing ships have two kinds of rigging, expressed very roughly thus: standing rigging holds up the masts, while running rigging allows the crew to raise and lower the sails and maneuver the ship according to wind speed and direction.

The standing rigging of presidential elections is the Electoral College, founded concurrent with the infamous three-fifths compromise by which slaveholding states increased their power as a condition of ratifying the new constitution. Those whose policy preferences are reinforced by the proportionally greater power of rural over urban constituencies can spin up pious defenses of the EC at the drop of a hat. "But Dave," I will also hear, "what about the times the EC has gone against the popular vote to the disadvantage of YOUR policy preferences? What happened then?" Couldn't tell you because that hasn't happened.

Ok, back to O'Brian as it's vastly more interesting than the conversations in my head. The running rigging of national elections has been the variety of voter suppression laws on the books of various states throughout this already great nation's history. By some strange circumstance the worst of these took hold in the post-rebellion South, in the states of the so-called Confederacy. Go figure. At any rate, the ship of state was shorn of much of its running rigging via the Voting Rights Act of the 1960s (and re-upped since), which the Supreme Court recently determined was no longer necessary since the voter suppression laws it actively prevented no longer existed. By another strange circumstance a raft of voter suppression laws was promptly introduced, and by "promptly" I mean "as soon as the day after the SCOTUS ruling came down." Go. Figure. These laws, coupled with the targeted reduction of voting infrastructure in traditionally Democratic areas, probably contributed to the GOP victory. But I guess it's OK to suppress the vote as long as it reinforces your policy preferences.

There's a theory going around that Trump's spouting off about "illegals" is the stage-setting for the introduction of federal-level voter suppression, ratified by an unconstrained Congress and upheld by a Supreme Court that will get at least two Trump picks installed following the death of the filibuster. But at least all that voter fraud will finally be taken care of.

What a lovely ship we have launched.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Castro is Dead, now to end Castroism

Fidel Castro died at 90.  Perhaps its true that only the good die young.  The Left cannot give a full throated attack on him.  Obama's statement would never let anyone know he denuded his country of 20% of its most productive citizens, ran a Gulag larger per capita than Stalins and engaged in foreign military adventures to keep brutal dictators in power from Africa to South and Central America.

The celebrations in Miami only make me wish I was there and that Obama had not let the tyrant see the capitulation of El Norte to his gulag island.  The Washington Post editorial page summed him up well today to its everlasting credit.  It's news section, not so much.

We are only a Kim or a Mugabe away from a decent end to 2016.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

2017 Live Rutablogging!

The pumpkin pies are cooling after an unusually calm crust preparation, so you know what that means. Yes, it's time to make the rutabagas!

I may have gotten a bit enthusiastic in purchasing the largest rutabagas I could find, as Laura reports she is getting quite the arm workout merely by holding one in one hand while peeling it with the other. Here is what we are dealing with, although perhaps I should have parked our car next to them for size comparison. Seriously, these suckers are big.

Back soon with updates!

Update! Peeling and cubing complete. This was indeed a workout; I peeled the last one, by no means the largest one, and it was quite the effort.

Up next, after dinner: Boiling and mashing and stuff!

Update! As promised, it's on to boiling. Exciting before and during, featuring me stirring the pot:

Update! Laura reports that the rutabagas are not giving up without a fight:

Our industrial food processor is laboring mightily to transform rutabagas, butter, salt and butter into a side dish for the ages. Fight fiercely, food processor!

Update! ET VOILA:

Here they are in their serving dish, after a couple of minor seasoning tweaks in which I was happy to participate.

This concludes our 2017 live coverage of rutabaga preparation. Please go back to watching cat videos.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

OK, Here's the Deal

The holidays are upon us, that joyfully-anticipated time of the year when friends and family gather to stare at each other stonily and exchange fire (verbal mostly but watch for reports of Cousin Dan getting the drop on Uncle Bill) over the election results (Constitutional Version). As I am spending Thanksgiving with my most (only?) prolific co-blogger, whose views, upon close scrutiny, differ somewhat from mine, this applies to me as well. (EMM and CRH will be there as well, which is a Good Thing.)

So let me get this out of the way. If you are neutral-to-pleased by the election (Constitutional Version) of Donald Trump to the office of President of the United States, I cannot and will not talk politics with you. Please do not even try; I will walk away, most likely in the direction of the bar. If we are at the bar, holiday gatherings tend to feature a proliferation of refreshment areas so I will go find a different one.

That being said, if we find ourselves at the same holiday gathering there is a valid reason for that: we're related, we're friends, co-workers, etc. WE CAN TALK ABOUT OTHER THINGS, by which I mean literally anything else. Your kids, my kids, kids these days, even kids with chicken pox.

The worst that could happen is that I get lots of exercise. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

We Have Gone to Eleven

Today is the blog's eleventh birthday. Happy birthday to us!

The last ten days have been pretty wearing and I figured JJV would be first out of the blocks. I will have some more organized thoughts later beyond the general statement that the nomination and election of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States of America is a disaster of the greatest magnitude, to his supporters, detractors and bystanders across the whole spectrum of innocence.

In the meantime, John Scalzi writes with greater frequency, volume and especially quality than I could ever hope to muster, so please direct your attention to this, with which I agree. Hell, maybe I'll just replace the blog with a redirect to his site and be done with it. There is a link over there in the blogroll in the meantime.

Change is coming. I've already made one - see if you can spot it - and there will be more to come.

We have work to do.

Saturday, November 12, 2016


I watched, stunned as Donald J. Trump (DJT) won the election from Hillary Clinton on Tuesday.  It is now Saturday and Trump has not done anything bad.  I'm pretty stunned still.  I still believe Trump will destroy the Conservative movement and does not have the character to be President, nor did I vote for him.  But the inability of the Left to see that is also true of Hillary amazes me.  The meltdown of the Left in the face of all this is, however, a tonic.  I am a fusionist.  I believe that forward defense (NATO), free trade agreements (TPP)(NAFTA) and being a hegemon to prevent wars at sea are all useful to prosperity and freedom.  But DJT destroyed two American dynasties, Bush and Clinton.  The fall of the House of Clinton causes me a kind of joy it is almost impossible to express.  As someone focussed on the Supreme Court the prospect of 20 years of "making it up" to please Progressives being transformed back to an originalist Court fills me with wonder, and a belief in Divine Providence over this nation.  We have unified Republican governance and the Democratic party is a regional, rump organization.  I never believed Obama's mantra that the "arc of History bends towards Justice" but the events of this week seem to prove him right.  In point of fact the Twitter feeds and op-eds claiming that the culture wars were decisively won and no attention need be paid to people like me, seem now as Hubris calling to Nemesis, and damn if Nemesis did not come when called.

My sons ran around the house on Wed morning saying two things "Daddy was wrong!" and "We are doomed."  I wrote them a letter much like John Podhoretz's to his daughter.

Dear T and J:

Trump won.

You will live.

Get over it.



Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tuesday Superficiality: Guilty as Charged, I Suppose

JJV's latest contribution concludes with the accusation that I "cheer on" left wing "attacks on constitutional norms", specifically (insofar as I can comprehend) threats to dissenting conservatives, gun owners and religious believers. Pretty weighty stuff. Let's take a look!

Dissenting Conservatives. Sure, I'd love for them to shut up until they come up with something indicating an effort at critical reasoning. Should that involve government expenditure for room and board in a tropical setting? I think not. Millions for defense, but not one cent for blowhard camps!

Gun Owners. Civilians should not be able to possess military-grade assault-type weapons or any ordnance not required for basic hunting or home defense. Firearms should be registered in a manner analogous to our regulation of motor vehicles. (Hillary's coming for your pickup trucks!) Firearm insurance should be required, again using car insurance as a model.

I recently met a man who has amassed a striking number of shotguns and rifles (plus a few pistols), each with their own history. He also prepares his own cartridges as needed. I have no problem with this, outside of a reflexive multi-cause nervousness around guns, because this guy knew what he was doing and was psychologically level. I kind of forget why I brought this up except as an illustration of my tolerance of law-abiding citizens with whom I might not necessarily agree. On the other hand, whenever I pass NRA headquarters on I-66 I make sure to flip those bastards off.

At the same time, the militarization of the police over the last twenty years has been a disaster and must be undone to the extent possible.

Religious Believers. No one is being persecuted for their religious beliefs in this country in the way I suspect JJV is thinking. Now, are citizens being protected from the imposition of religious beliefs in violation of civil liberties? Yes, and I suppose if you squinted real hard from a position of former cultural dominance, that could look like persecution, were one to define "persecution" as "being prevented from imposing your will on everyone constantly." At the risk of blasphemy, I suspect that's not what Jesus had in mind in the Eighth Beatitude.

Ok, Fiona's fencing now, I have better things to do.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Democrats Own This

One of the wonders of the liberal smugocracy is its unerring ability to spot the mote in its neigbhor's eye and ignore the beam in its own.  We have in Hilary Clinton a cleptocrat who has used high office to feather her nest in a way not seen since the Borgias.  Republicans, particularly base Republicans, Mormons, church going Catholics etc.. are rejecting Trump and Trumpism in unprecedented numbers.  But Clinton gets almost no criticism nor do her supporters feel any sense of shame in supporting her. This shows that moral rot is more further advanced in the Democratic coalition--more about spoils than the Republican-and shows why the Democratic Party is a sicker beast.  Part of that sickness is the Press which is simply the Demoratic Party with a byline.

Some of her best friends know what she is:

I would rather not have to vote for her, although she is a friend I respect," Powell wrote. "A 70-year person with a long track record, unbridled ambition, greedy, not transformational, with a husband still d---ing bimbos at home (according to the NYP)."

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/colin-powell-emails-clinton-trump-rumsfeld-228158#ixzz4NokURwt6 
Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

Trump's saying he would tell us later about whether he would "accept" the election or not was not some call to dictatorship.  It was the reality T.V. call for "suspense" as his next words that he would let us know and keep us in suspense were the simple idiocy we have come to expect from him.  The next day he said he'd accept the election results if clear.  I don't think the Al Gore Party which years afterward still had its politicians (including Hilary) saying "selected not elected" really can get on its high horse.

Voter fraud is a Democrat problem that it fights tooth and nail to keep.  Dead voters, illegal voters, multi-votes, all always benefit Democrats and are meant to do so.  Gov. McCauliff in Virginia broke the law to register felons ineligible to vote under the law until the Virginia Supreme Court slapped him down.  This was the entire power of the executive at the goal of voter fraud.  But as Jim Geraghty points out, voter fraud can't steal blow outs.  It operates in the hundreds to thousands not the hundreds of thousands.

Finally, Hilary Clinton is a criminal protected from prosecution by her high station an the interlocking loyalties of those who have corrupted their offices for Party.  Its clear that Obama sent Hilary emails off books and would have been dragged into any prosecution.  Hence, no prosecution.

Her penchant for breaking the laws on transparancy and record keeping are worrisome but more worrisome is that this woman, who gets a pass on rank criminality and record destruction (and has since Whitewater) is going to be President.  And unlike the leniency she receives she wants to jail her critics.  Don't believe me?  That is what Citizen's United was about.  They made a movie criticizing her and the Government wanted to use the statute on how much it cost to jail its makers.  Below is an incisive article on this but the main documents--the Supreme Court transcripts of oral argument are that the Government was pressing to criminalize books and movies, all of them critical of Democrats.


The buffoonery of Trump will pass, the attacks on the Constitution by the Left is permanent and endemic and threatens every dissenting conservatvie voice, every gun owner and every religious believer.  Yet we never hear concerns about this attack on Constitutional norms from Dave.  He just cheers it on.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Trump, the Republican Id

After braving a power outage by fleeing to a brick oven pizzeria with power, I whipped up a batch of chili for an upcoming camping trip and, in an act of ultimate sacrifice, avoided the third presidential debate by watching a baseball game called by Joe Buck. As such, and fortified by frequent reference to my Twitter feed, I am in an ideal position to discuss the most recent events.

I want to be clear about this: Nothing about Donald Trump's actions at any point in what passes for his campaign should surprise anyone. Appall, disgust, revolt, sure. In the context of his campaign to date, his apparent refusal to accept the outcome of the election is not outside the margin of calamitous error.

In sense, this is a testament to the durability of the American experiment. Beginning with the election of 1800, interrupted only once (albeit a big once, in 1860), every presidential transition has been accepted by both sides in the contest with no attendant civil unrest of which I am aware. This has led to a justified complacency in the peacefulness  of our political process, to such an extent that a major party candidate for President elicits (thus far) the equivalent of nervous chuckles upon his (oh what a giveaway) refusal to say whether he would accept the outcome of an election process in which voter fraud plays infinitesimally less than no part.

The combination of peaceful precedent and buffoonish mouthpiece may lead some to downplay this, but in any other context this would be a disqualifying action. In this election it's just the next news cycle.

Republicans, you own this. Republicans, fix this.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

He Is What He Always Has Been

I am in an undisclosed location and so have recourse only to crappy mobile blogging, but what links do you need at this point? What is new now that you did not either know or could infer earlier? Who could be undecided?

Believe me, I understand the support for Trump; I get what he has tapped into.

Those who only now say "Wow, hey, this Trump guy should drop out" really need to ask themselves where they were during the primaries.

This is not a question of finding useable material during opposition research. It's a question of how to drink from the firehose and pass that on in a controlled manner, and the Clinton campaign is conducting a master class as I write this.

You want Trump off the ballot now?! Nice try; he is all yours.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Indecision Me Molesta

So the next presidential debate, or clash of candidates, will be a "town hall" with questions presented by "undecided" voters. The latest completely unsurprising revelation about Trump's enlightened view of women, one would think, should reduce somewhat the ranks of the undecided to those lost in the supermarket.

I don't know about that. One would think that this election in particular would reduce the number of undecided voters to a number within the statistical margin of error. Lots of people hate and fear Clinton for various reasons (one can learn so much from one's fillings if you just LISTEN), and it would seem even less possible to remain neutral in the subject of Donald Trump even without his legitimate nomination by the Republican Party and his active/passive endorsement by the Republican leadership as the Republican Party's candidate for president. (Did I mention that the GOP nominated Donald Trump as their candidate for president? I'm still kind of wrapping my mind around that, but not really given the context of everything that's happened since at least 1972.)

Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, undecideds. I'm sure they're out there, but all I can say is "Really?"

I'm just glad that Giuliani is leading the charge on the family values front. We all know that Rudy can't fail.

The problem, frankly, is that we've allowed things to get to this point. We have lost something as a country by (re-)legitimating fear of the Other and giving equal time and respect to a platform of lies and ugliness and those who aspire to work for the crackdown, regardless of the outcome of the election. Remember: If he goes there will be trouble, but if he stays it will be double.

Friday, September 23, 2016

#NeverTrump 2/15/16* - 9/23/16

Principled conservative Ted Cruz, the shining principled beacon of post-Trump America, has folded like something that folds either extremely badly or extremely well, take your pick. (None of these seemed appropriate.) In a bold yet principled twist, he did so on Friday afternoon, a time traditionally reserved for news releases that the releasers hope don't get noticed. (I will readily admit that Both Sides Definitely Do That, out of principle of course.)

Color me shocked. No, wait, what's that other color - oh yeah, got it: utterly unsurprised. (For a few weeks in the early '70s it was included between Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber in the Crayola 64 boxes.)

This post, I think, has improved somewhat from its first draft, which consisted of the following paragraph:


Anyway, all of this will be forgotten in time for 2020, so Cruz has nothing to lose by betraying, in however principled a manner, his staunchest supporters. Besides, it's not possible for a heel, even a principled one, to do a heel turn.

*Conservative foolishness has many parents but I am dating the rise of #NeverTrump to the publication of National Review's hilarious parody edition.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Definitely Dodged a Bullet There

It's surprisingly late and anonymous but JJV has weighed in on my previous post. I'd like to address a couple of the points raised: first, that I treated Karimov and Schlafly with "moral equivalence"; and second, that the ERA represents "cultural Marxism".

Regarding the first point, I suppose I should clarify that I consider both of the recently deceased very bad people, but for different reasons. One fought to deny basic rights to 30 million people, while the other fought to deny basic rights to 150 million people. To her credit, Schlafly probably never wanted to boil anyone, so I get that there are nuances here.

As for the second point, behold, in its awful entirety, the cultural Marxism of the Equal Rights Amendment:
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
My. God.

My greatest joke ever is below, but you have to read JJV's comment first. No peeking!


OK, here we go.

 Q: How did the ranks of pinkos get serried?

 A: Pinko shears!

Thank you and good night.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Hell Announces Its Latest Middle Management Hires

Islam Karimov died just before this past weekend. To date he is the worst person with whom I have ever shaken hands, but at least I got to keep all my fingers, and unboiled into the bargain. Would that he had accorded the same to the country and people he lorded over for a quarter century.

Phyllis Schlafly also has died. I was in the same room with her once when she spoke at Hamilton. I do not regret not shaking her hand, not that the opportunity arose. She sued a brewery run by her nephew to try and get her surname off of their products; her son, taking time off from curating the performance art tour de force that is Conservapedia to provide legal representation, asserted that "alcohol has a connotation that is the opposite of conservative values." That butthead's for you, JJV.

May they be granted the kind of rest they sought for others in this life.