Sunday, October 31, 2004

If you listen closely... can just HEAR the taxpayers fleeing for the suburbs.

"I mean, $40,000 ain't nothing to be disappointed about," Ali tells Lakiha Spicer in the July 6, 2001, call taped from an FBI wiretap. "You make that at Community College doing nothing."


Friday, October 29, 2004

Gehen Wahlen Fur Bush

Auf Deutsch oder in English - This is a HUGE surprise to me.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Pulling up the Ladder

Richard W. Rahn (who the hell is he?) explains how Kerry's "tax the rich" strategy in fact amounts to taxing the upwardly mobile in an effort to keep them from becoming rich, while letting the already rich (read "Kerry and Edwards themselves") shelter their income from the grimy little hands of the common folk. This not-so-subtle distinction will, of course, be overlooked by the class envy voters on Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Score one for the Taxpayers

May it be the first of many. Is it too much to hope that the corrupt political machine that is the Philadelphia Democratic party could be dismantled by a series of verdicts like these? One could make the argument that this is as good a reason to vote for Bush as any. If Kerry is elected the justice department dogs are called off and the bottomless pit of municipal corruption continues ahead indefinitely.

But of course - there's always a counterpoint

This one from John Hospers - a founder of the Libertarian Party and it's first presidential candidate. Unlike Andrew Sullivan I haven't read much (well... any) of his writing, but given his status as a founder of the LP, I'm inclined to give his opinion some credence.

He too acknowledges that Bush hasn't been a godsend for us who are in favor of limited governance:

George Bush has been criticized for many things -- and in many cases with justification: on campaign finance reform (a suppression of the First Amendment), on vast new domestic spending, on education, and on failing to protect the borders. No self-respecting libertarian or conservative would fail to be deeply appalled by these.

But, he contends, Kerry would be far worse. In direct opposition to the presumably similarly politically inclined Sullivan, Hospers fears that:

The election of John Kerry would be, far more than is commonly realized, a catastrophe. Regardless of what he may say in current campaign speeches, his record is unmistakable: he belongs to the International Totalitarian Left in company with the Hillary and Bill Clintons, the Kofi Annans, the Ted Kennedys, and the Jesse Jacksons of the world.


Presumably he and a small cadre of bureaucrats should rule the world, via the U. N. or some other world body which will make all decisions for the whole world concerning private property, the use of our military, gun ownership, taxation, and environmental policy (to name a few). In his thirty-year career he has demonstrated utter contempt for America, national security, constitutional republicanism, democracy, private property, and free markets.

When stated that way, it is indeed frightening - and this is not inconsistent with the principles I believe Kerry holds dear. Of course, Kerry actually being able to accomplish all these things is a dubious possibility, particularly since he will likely be saddled with opposition in both houses of the legislature. Regardless, the idea of a president who holds this type of international supergovernmental power in high esteem and abhors the lack of control that the state has over free markets is indeed a frightening thing to contemplate.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Andrew Sullivan's endorsement is in

and it's a bit of a surprise to me. Not surprising to me, however, is that his endorsement of Kerry is the most convincing one I've seen thus far. Not convincing enough to sway me to his point of view or anything, but enough to make me acknowledge that his rationale is sound. As more and more of the libertarian minds I respect come down on the side of Kerry, I suppose I have to give some deference to their judgement and at least allow that a Kerry presidency would not be the absolute disaster I have been afraid it would be.

Nevertheless, I cannot so easily dismiss what Sullivan acknowledges as Kerry's "faith in global institutions" - a faith which I would describe as dangerously misguided - and most importantly that "He intuitively believes that if a problem exists, it is the government's job to fix it". This is the ultimate difference in philosophy that makes me fear the outcome of four years of political expediency personified catering to every special interest that promises a swing state vote or two for 2008.

Meanwhile, however, Sullivan outlines the case against Bush perfectly - not as a hate-filled Michael Moore style diatribe, but as a matter of fact evaluation of his first term - from a moderate libertarian point of view. He outlines Bush's failures in executing the war in Iraq - without alledging some sinister plot - and enumerates his faults on domestic issues - calling him on the sleeper issue that will ultimately prove to be the biggest disaster of his first term - "He has made the future boomer fiscal crunch far more acute by adding a hugely expensive new Medicare prescription drug entitlement."

And so, the net result of all this is that one of the political minds out there that I most respect is going to be voting for Kerry - and as one who may have certain regrets about voting third party and thus indirectly contributing to a Kerry victory, perhaps I can take a bit of comfort in the possibility (likelihood?) that Kerry is not as horrible as I may have thought, and Bush, well, in his own words, we know what we're getting there don't we?

After reading this, I'm still where I was yesterday - I'll be voting Badnarik and then heading home and rooting for Bush, but, should Kerry win, I'll be clicking this link next Wednesday to assure myself it's not the end of the world.


your secondary source for excellent observations.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Well, looks like no DNC rally for me

Apparently, one needs a ticket - but when I go to the campaign website to fill out the form I get a "Page Not Found" message. Too late I suppose. Eh, better for my blood pressure anyways. The site of that many redistributionists looking to take over the federal pursestrings might be too much for me to handle.

I'll have to rely on the lefty coworkers to let me in on just how orgasmic it was.

I had to drive to work today...

forgetting that Kerry's "single best weapon" was in town.

What a zoo. Of course, I'll be checking this out at lunch. More later from your blogger-on-the-spot.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Radio Free Europe

gives us the lowdown on the goings on surrounding the "election" to cement Alexander Lukashenko's position as emporer.

The Central Election Commission on 21 October released the final results of the 17 October referendum vote on lifting the constitutional two-term limit on the presidency in Belarus and giving President Alyaksandr Lukashenka the right to run for a third term in 2006, Belapan reported. According to the commission, 6.31 million people, or 90.28 percent of eligible voters, cast ballots in the referendum that lasted six days, including the early voting procedure. The commission reported that Lukashenka's proposal to open the path to a presidency-for-life was supported by 5.55 million people (79.4 percent of all eligible voters) and opposed by 692,000 people (9.9 percent of all eligible voters). Rasa Alisauskiene, director of the Baltic branch of the Gallup Organization, told RFE/RL's Belarus Service on 21 October that, according to an exit poll conducted by her organization in Belarus, Lukashenka's proposal to lift the constitutional curb on the presidency was backed by just 48.7 percent of the entire electorate, thus failing to overcome the 50 percent threshold required for introducing constitutional amendments.

That and other information concerning the opposition protests and the silencing of journalists here.

So, who do you believe? Gallup or the Belarussian state party apparatus?

Pravda's English language website celebrates with the following headline which just makes my stomach turn.

Belarus president Lukashenko has a right to reign forever

Even they, however, can't completely ignore the questions surrounding this dog and pony show:

The parliamentary elections and the national referendum in Belarus had been considered successful already by 3:00 p.m. local time. The Central Electoral Committee did not register any serious incidents or violations during the voting.

Spokesmen for the united electoral headquarters of the Belarussian opposition, however, said that the election law of the country had been roughly violated during the referendum and the elections to the parliament on October 17th.

Looks like the in-laws won't be joining the western world anytime soon. The new iron curtain hangs where your train changes wheels at Brest.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Drunk and Happy...

after a night of bowling and drinking in Manayunk at a friends 30th birthday party. My beautiful wife is in bed asleep - waiting for my drunk ass. Only a complete dork would be up scouring the internet at such a moment, yet here i am.

and so, i give you a follow-up to the previous Bob Bar
r article, here.

complete with this gem:

Conservatives of all people ought to stand up for the belief that there needs to be limits on executive power. [The Bush administration] says that terror trumps everything. To me, nothing should trump the Bill of Rights.

Right on, brother!!

OK, enough. I'm headed for bed.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

I'm reconsidering... status as an organ donor after reading Julian Sanchez' article at Reason.

It hadn't occured to me to resent the fact that someone else dictates where my organs will be used - but now that he mentions it, that pisses me off.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Differing accounts of Belarussian "election"

Pravda's is here:

The director of the Belarussian KGB, Leonid Erin, shocked the protesters. When hundreds of demonstrators approached the building of the KGB, Erin personally invited several people from the crowd to his office. Erin talked to them quietly and promised them that he would never let anyone infringe upon their freedom and independence. After that the astounded protesters decided that there was no need to continue the meeting and so they left.

and Radio Free Europe's is here:

Alyaksandr Sosnov is deputy director of the Minsk-based Institute for Socio-Economic and Political Studies in Minsk. He says young people are the most active participants in the protests.

"For two days now, young people have been beaten, but they continue to gather. They are supported not only by young people but also by known politicians, such as Statkevich and Lyabedzka. Yesterday, Lyabedzka was injured and taken to the hospital," Sosnov said.

Lyabedzka is recuperating from broken ribs and a concussion suffered during his arrest.

Well, whatever. Looks like "Europe's Last Dicatator" just declared himself dictator for life. Personally, I'm hoping the oft-rumored union with Russia will take place. It's probably better off for all involved.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

What we need...

... is a John Edwards look-alike with Jack Kemp's ideas. His stump speech would go something like this:

Looking ahead to the next four years, our goal should be economic growth rather than reducing deficits per se. If growth is the goal, then tax increases, trade restrictions and nationalized health care are the wrong choices. If long-term growth is our goal, then we will reject tax-and-spend redistributionist policies masquerading as fiscal discipline; and, if long-term growth is our goal, we will continue to pursue lower tax rates on all Americans, free trade, less regulation, tort reform and entitlement reform. Those are the right choices.

Whole deal here.

Throwing away my vote?

Monday, October 18, 2004

Time to play name that quote...

"International terrorism has as its goal to prevent the election of President Bush to a second term," he said. "If they achieve that goal, then that will give international terrorism a new impulse and extra power."

Who said that? Rush Limbaugh? Denny Hastert?

How 'bout Vlad Putin?!!

And those small "l" younger folks...

Politics and Freedom

"Freedom" is an unfortunately abused buzzword. This is a complex discussion for another day.

Regardless, this article about the relative importance of "freedom" provides support to my belief that younger demographics are more libertarian (small "l") than the population at large:

Among those who cite freedom as an essential element of the American Dream, young people were most likely to list it as number one. Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 cited living in freedom as the key element of the American Dream 45 percent of the time. By contrast, only 24 percent of those between the ages of 50 and 64 put freedom at the top of their list.

It also provides insight into the root causes of our nation's political divide:

Race, sex, income and education also play a role in how important freedom is to the American Dream. Whites are more likely to see it as important, blacks and Hispanics less so. Men are more likely than women to cite the importance of freedom, and those with higher incomes and education are more likely to do so than those with less.
Politically, 44 percent of Republicans say that freedom defines the American Dream, while only 29 percent of Democrats do.

I would contend that freedom is what makes America special. The responsibility that comes with freedom is what makes Americans more industrious than other peoples. As we erode the culture of freedom and responsibility, we erode the very essence of America, and drift further into a socialist european-style society. The good news is that younger folks are more inclined to accept freedom and responsibility. The bad news is they aren't paying attention - and they are hopelessly outnumbered by their statist baby-boomer parents.

More on the Brits in Roxborough

Slaughtering Virginia soldiers - as related in link in previous post.

Levering Family Tree:



Birth: 2 May 1761

ANNA: b. May 2, 1761, at Roxb. Mr. Jones furnishes a tradition concerning her as follows: "During the occupation of Philadelphia by the British, a party of Lee's Virginia Troopers, who were hovering around the British pickets, stopped over night at the house of Andrew Wood, on the Ridge, about one mile and a half above the Wissahickon. They occupied the barn, and while asleep, were surprised by a party of Tories, who killed a large number and set fire to the barn. Some who escaped and were badly wounded, took refuge at Abraham Levering's. His daughter ANNA bound up their wounds, and then took them down to the river Schuylkill and rowed them across in a canoe on their way to Valley Forge."

Roxborough and the Revolution

Cool stuff about Roxborough during the Revolution

I'll try and picture the Continental Army trudging through with bloody feet staining the snow while I'm waiting for the bus on Ridge Ave. tomorrow morning.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

What he just said is...

...fuck the young people. They won't know what's happening too them until it's too late anyhow.

"I'll tell you what. I will never privatize Social Security. I'll never cut the benefits and I won't raise the retirement age," Kerry told an audience in Pembroke Pines, Fla."

Link to the rest of this summary of Kerry's latest class warfare strategy.

It's almost enough to make me vote for Bush...


but no, i'm gonna actually vote for the guy that puts out this embarassingly amateurish ad. I mean, could anything scream "not to be taken seriously" any louder? what's with the motivational music? Is someone trying to sell me a vacuum cleaner?

My guess?

Jon Stewart's audience liked it better when it wasn't about influencing an election. Certainly holds true for THIS member of his audience. Also, Stewart's younger demographic isn't as enamored with the elitist leftists in Hollywood as the MTV crowd would have you think. We should start a betting pool on how long it takes the two major parties to figure out that the generation currently 18-35 years old is largely libertarian (small "l").

Three guesses...

what this is about

don't know?

didn't think so.
click here for your answer.

Bonus points if you can spot what's wierder than wierd in the story.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Know What I Hate?

When a couple of senators who vote for a war (it IS Congress' responsibility - last i checked we hadn't amended the Consititution to create an elected dictatorship of the presidency) and now an influential columnist who played a material part in creating the atmosphere which led to the invasion, decide that since their positions are no longer fashionable amongst their elitist buddies, they are gonna crucify the president for having followed their advice.

Hey, Tom, if your gonna change your position now, admit you were wrong you phuckin' coward.

The Second Half of the Thuggery Strategy

via Drudge

So, to review... we goon the GOPers up and then turn around and pre-emptively accuse them of same. On three... Ready? Break!

Rox_Publius Bows to Political Correctness

Because, if I said what I really wanted to say about this, I'd have the homosexual community AND the "european football" crowd seeking me out for a beatdown.

Speaking of homosexuals, how could Kerry possibly have thought that bringing up Dick Cheney's daughter was a smart thing to do?

What a moe-ron.

Boortz for President

No, I didn't watch the debate last night. In my house, if the wife wants to go to the bookstore - you go to the bookstore. I'm not going to apologize. In fact, I'm probably better off for not having watched - at least my TV is still intact. I probably would have put a shoe through it when I heard the answers to questions about someone losing a job or the one about raising minimum wage. I like Neil Boortz's answers a hell of a lot better.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

My Sentiments Exactly

Bob Barr is IN MY HEAD!!!

Is Kerry Drunk?

...with this "nuisance" remark? He seriously sounds like some dude hanging out at McGlinchey's half-way into his fifth porter babbling on about how, like, all this other stuff is important too, man. We have to save the earth, dude. Like, in two thousand years no ones gonna remember the World Trade Center, but they're gonna be pissed off about all the nuclear waste we left for them, ya know?

Monday, October 11, 2004

Robin Hood Fails Texas Schools

Virginia Postrel, whose Dynamist blog is a daily must read, outlines the deeply flawed property tax redistribution scheme that Texas has been employing here, including the delicious phrase "confiscation threshold". (how's THAT for telling it like it is?) I knew nothing about this prior to reading this article, but Virginia does a great job of explaining the unintended consequences that so frequently accompany these redistributionist programs. As property values rise above a given level, the excess property tax is siphoned off and "redistributed" to poorer districts. Shockingly (or not) people are less likely to pay premium dollars to move into better districts with their money being carted off elsewhere, and therefore those richer districts are seeing downward pressures on home values - which means less tax revenue to redistribute - which means raising taxes and lowering the "confiscation threshold" - which means downward pressures on home values, etc. etc.

Meanwhile, the money promised by the program based on a staticly modeled housing market (don't the redistributionists EVER realize nothing takes place in a vacuum?) have not materialized. Gee... who'da thunk it?

Well, Virginia does a great job outlining all of this so that even your run of the mill pinko NYTimes reader can understand it. The capstone of the article is the brilliant piece of insight from the Harvard economists who commissioned this study. Knowingly or not Caroline M. Hoxby and Ilyana Kuziemko reach a conclusion which transcends the issue of school funding and gets right at the heart of all that is wrong with our society:

What was the fundamental reason for the failure, according to Professor Hoxby and Ms. Kuziemko? "Lawyers, not economists, designed the system.''

Union Thugs take Philly Mayoral Act National

The Wall Street Journal is associating acts of violence at Bush-Cheney offices with the AFL CIO. And the Bush-Cheney team has sent a politely worded accusatory letter to the President of that group of extortionist thugs. My guess is they'll deny any involvement - but we here in Philly have experience with the IBEW Local 98 "brownshirts" and the violent tactics they can employ. I guess it shouldn't be surprising the lengths that people will go to when they look to the coercive forces of government to ensure their paychecks keep coming without the threat of competition.