Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Is this thing still on?

[tap] [tap]

Yeah, there's been radio silence here for a bit - sorry about that.  There's been a LOT going on: new job is going well but things move fast there, settling Mom's affairs, fallout from the move.  Life has been busy.

I expect there will be relax time over this weekend, and hope to get more posts out.  In the meantime, to make it up to you, all posts today will be free of charge. 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

David Allan Coe - You Never Even Called Me by My Name

In the 12 years I've been blogging I have posted almost 500 (!) country songs.  You can find the archive here if you're a glutton for punishment.  And so I find myself somewhat at a loss as to why I've never posted this.

It was written by Steve Goodman and John Prine.  Prine asked not to be credited because he thought it was a "goofy, novelty song."  Well, that goofy novelty song was David Allan Coe's first top 10 hit, and you won't find a honky tonk where the band plays this that the audience doesn't sing along.  It's simply hilarious as Country Music pokes loving fun at itself.  Enjoy.


You Never Even Called Me by My Name (Songwriters: Steve Goodman, John Prine)
Well, it was all
That I could do to keep from crying'
Sometimes it seemed so useless to remain
But you don't have to call me darlin', darlin'
You never even called me by my name
You don't have to call me Waylon Jennings
And you don't have to call me Charlie Pride
And you don't have to call me Merle Haggard anymore
Even though you're on my fighting' side
And I'll hang around as long as you will let me
And I never minded standing' in the rain
But you don't have to call me darlin', darlin'
You never even called me by my name
Well, I've heard my name
A few times in your phone book (hello, hello)
And I've seen it on signs where I've played
But the only time I know
I'll hear "David Allan Coe"
Is when Jesus has his final judgment day
So I'll hang around as long as you will let me
And I never minded standing' in the rain
But you don't have to call me darlin', darlin'
You never even called me by my name
(Spoken) 
Well, a friend of mine named Steve Goodman wrote that song
And he told me it was the perfect country & western song
I wrote him back a letter and I told him it was not the perfect country & western song
Because he hadn't said anything at all about mama
Or trains, or trucks, or prison, or getting' drunk
Well, he sat down and wrote another verse to the song and he sent it to me
And after reading it I realized that my friend had written the perfect country & western song
And I felt obliged to include it on this album
The last verse goes like this here
(Sung) 
Well, I was drunk the day my mom got out of prison
And I went to pick her up in the rain
But before I could get to the station in my pickup truck
She got run over by a damned old train
And I'll hang around as long as you will let me
And I never minded standing' in the rain, no
But you don't have to call me darlin', darlin'
You never even called me
Well, I wonder why you don't call me
Why don't you ever call me by my name

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Southwest Florida Blogshoot AAR

Man, that was fun and a HUGE thank you to everyone who came.  It was actually JayG's first New England Gunblogger shoot that got me into blogging,way back in the day and there is a real sense of camaraderie in these events.  Both Miguel and Big Country have their own AARs posted, and you should go check them out.

Of course people brought their guns.  A popular saying up at the New England blogshoots was "We have enough guns to invade Canada."  Kevinn Creighton of Ammoman - a Canadian from Calgary - was quick to point out that it wasn't enough to invade his part of Canada.


The turnout was very good - final count was 20 which is really good for these. There was a mixup at the range where they didn't give us the private range, so we only had 25 yard shooting, rather than a couple hundred.  That will get fixed next time for sure.  But people had a lot of fun - these are as much about meeting folks in meetspace as about the shooting.  There was a lot of support for doing this regularly, and so I will start planning the next one, tentatively scheduled for February.


This isn't an Evil Black Rifle.  It's an Evil Red, White, and Blue Rifle ...


I think this is an FN 1000 or something similar.



The Tavor was cool.



Big Country brought his homemade flame thrower.  It works great as the world's coolest Super Soaker.


Remember, as T-Bolt points out shotguns are not a great weapon against Zombies.  However, this helps you in those quick-reload situations ...

I will put up a post later about more of the social aspects, but wanted to give you a sense of the shooty goodness that was had.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

SW Florida Blogshoot AAR coming tomorrow

 It was a great success and a great time was had, but life has been busy and I'll get a post up tomorrow.

Friday, November 13, 2020

The weather for tomorrow's blogshoot looks good.

 Mostly sunny and in the low '80s.  Lock and load, and we'll see you tomorrow.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

1960s

I grew up in the 1960s. Graduated from high school in the 1970s. It's worth a look back because it is a forgotten time. 

Most of the men in our lives were WWII veterans. The war had been the defining experience of their lives. It shaped them and their view of the world. They shaped us, mostly for the good.

The world we lived in had been essentially reshaped by the war. The United States and the Allies had won at great cost and then rebuild western Europe and Japan. The Soviet Union, once our ally, had become the enemy in the ideological battle for freedom. The development of the atom bomb and the subsequent arms race seemed to underlay everything.

Not only had we won, but the continental United States had been unscathed. Our factories, filled with trained workers, built cars and trucks, televisions, appliances, clothing, and exported it to the world. The economy hummed along, unquestioned. If it was good for GM, it was good for the country.

Schools taught history and social studies from what would now be seen as a very narrow lens. The United States was a great, free, country. We had an amazing history. Our Founders were heroes. Westward expansion, the growth of the country in the 19th Century, all our inventions and developments, all were good things, unmarred by human tears.

Television and the movies had discovered that WWII could be mined for stories. Great movies, good TV shows, and even a comedy call Hogan's Heroes. We were all immersed in the history and pseudo-history. We played cowboys and indians some. But we played war more. I never had an expensive toy like this, but here's a window into what I am trying to describe.

 

I carried a pocket knife everywhere. From the time my father got me a Scout knife for my birthday, I always had it with me. It was a tool. Never thought of using it as a weapon. I kept it oiled and sharp and put my housekey on the loop so I would always know where the key was.

Grew up hiking and camping, wore my Scout uniform to school on Scout Day, wanted to be a military pilot. I remember when it became clear that I needed glasses because my first thought was that I would never get to fly a jet and I felt the disappointment so strongly that I can still feel echoes of it as I write this.

I miss the country I grew up in.


 

Southwest Florida Blogshoot - Final instructions

We have 16 confirmed attendees, which is a great turnout.  Here are some things to keep in mind

The Venue:

When: Saturday, November 14 at 12:30 PM

Where: Manatee Gun and Archery Club1805 Logue Rd, Myakka City, FL 34251

Really Where:  Go to their office to sign their safety forms, then follow the signs to the range.

Facilities:  Some of our readers are bringing their betters halves (as am I) and the fairer sex will be relieved to know that there are proper, civilized facilities in the club house.  Gentlemen, please resist the urge to use "Gentleman's Prerogative" behind the bushes.  You savages ...

The public ranges have 100, 200, and 300 yard ranges, plus a 25 yard pistol range.  The private range has 25 to 200 yard rifle/pistol lanes.  All Ranges are covered, and the weather looks like it should be good.  Please check the gun club web site for range rules - footwear, eye and ear protection, (for the ladies) nothing low cut, etc.*

Safety: Please read their range safety infoBring your eye and ear protection.  If you don't have any, you can rent some at the clubhouse.  The Queen Of The World is looking forward to bringing her brand new (pink) ones.  Accessorize as you see fit.

Miguel and Kevin Creighton, you said that you were NRA certified Range Safety Officers.  By the power vested in me by The Queen Of The World, you are delegated as Southwest Florida Blogshoot RSOs.  It may be a rowdy crowd, so feel free to bring your brass knuckles/bear spray.  There may or may not be a Manatee Gun Club RSO; we'll see.

The Cost: The range will charge $20 for a half day's shooting on the public range, but it will be $15 for the private range if we get 15 people (and thus all the requests for the nose count).  If we can get the private range then I will cover the range cost and will hit all y'all up when you get there; otherwise you can each pay the club at the office (this will be sorted out by the time you get there).  

Other Things To Bring:   Guns.  Lots of guns.

Also folding chairs.  

Food: Lunch will be catered by The Queen Of The World.

Weather: It's still hurricane season, and so the weather might end up being nasty.  Check this blog first thing Saturday morning before you come.  I will put up a post saying either "Yes, we're good to go" or "We're rained out".

* Unless you plan on dong the Hot Brass Dance, of course.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Thoughts on Being a Veteran

I joined the Marine Corps in 1977. Vietnam was over. The Long War had not yet really gotten started, the Beirut Bombing wasn't until 1983, so it was all Cold War. Which meant I was joining a peacetime military. 

I tested well, I could read and had taken math all the way through high school trig and geometry. I got offered electronics schools and I took it. Spent a year in schools after boot camp and then came out to be assigned to a fighter squadron as a RADAR and missile systems tech.

I went where the aircraft went. Which meant I was gone a lot. I went to Japan, Korea, and Philippines, and bases all over the U.S., wherever the training or operational schedule took us. My job wasn't physically that hard. I pushed a cart full of tools and parts out to the planes, worked with the rest of team to fix problems, did the other stuff all Marines had to do, and generally lived a pretty easy life.

At the end of six years, I came home from Japan and we decided I should get out because it didn't look like our marriage would survive with me being gone so much. I have some amazing memories, great photographs, and a few mementos. I have been a civilian since 1983. The electronics training I received became the basis of my working career.

And yet I am a Marine. I will always be a Marine. The summer of 1977 at Parris Island changed me in fundamental ways. Some of those changes are immediate, others took years to fully develop. But it is not me I think of when someone says veteran. 

It is the Marines wading across the open water to make the beach at Tarawa. It's Marines at Okinawa, Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, Khe Sahn, Fallujah, and all the other places named and unnamed that Marines fought and bled. Those are the veterans we should be honoring today. 

It's the old man in a veteran's ballcap tottering into the store that sacrificed his youth for all of us and then came home and helped build the country in the 1950s. It's the veterans that stayed in for 20 or 25 years, deploying around world on orders, and then retired and went on to a second job to support a family, and is now retiring again, hard of hearing, limited by old injuries, and looking at the country wondering what happened. It's the guys that still wake up with the dreams at 4 AM and stare at the ceiling hoping they didn't actually scream out loud.

There are debts we owe we cannot pay.

Thoughts on Veteran's Day

I originally posted this seven years ago, but it bears repeating again.

The citizens of the United States have a different relationship with the Military than many countries do.  The Military is seen as being part of the citizenry (and actually vice versa, as a reading of the Second Amendment will show).  In many countries the military is seen as separate and distinct from the populace.

This isn't unique - the same dynamic has long been in play certainly in the Anglosphere, and other nations as well (c.f. Switzerland).  This has resulted in the Military being seen as high status, and commanding broad respect through society.

It's the soldier, not the reporter who has given us 
Freedom of the Press.  
It's the soldier, not the poet, who has given us 
Freedom of Speech.  
It's the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the 
Freedom to Demonstrate.  
It's the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the 
Right to a Fair Trial.  
It's the soldier who salutes the flag, serves under the flag and 
whose coffin is draped by the flag, 
Who gives the protestor the right to burn the flag.

And so in the United States, today is the celebration of Veteran's Day.  The rest of the Anglosphere (and other places) hold today as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day, recalling the Millions slaughtered in the Great War which ended 95 years ago today.  America does not need a Remembrance Day, as we have our own Memorial Day holiday (an outgrowth of the American War of Southern Independence a half century earlier than the War To End All Wars).

As a result, there's less sadness here.  On these shores, today is a day for the living, not for the dead.  We see signs at small restaurants saying "Veterans Eat Free", which would be difficult for those asleep in Flanders' Fields.

But even here it's worth a moment's reflection on the War where Europe committed suicide, when a whole generation was butchered and damned.  And how they nearly took us with her, then and 20 years later.  It's rarely the politicians who caused the problem who bleed.

Thanks to all who served, including Grandpa, Dad, Uncle Dick, nephew Daniel, The Queen Of The World's son, our Son-In-Law (currently deployed), and last but by no means least our very own ASM826.  The citizens - of whom you were once part and to which you returned - are grateful indeed that this nation does not fear its own Armed Forces.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Southwest Florida Blogshoot - call for final nose count

The (first) Southwest Florida Blogshoot (catered by The Queen Of The World) is hard up upon us, and it looks like we will have enough people that I might be able to reserve the 200 yard private rifle and pistol range at the gun club.  I need to call them to reserve it on Thursday, so I need a final nose count from everyone.

What I need from you: Leave a comment saying that (a) you are coming and (b) the total number coming with you (some of you have said that you were going to bring your better half or a friend).

This is the Venue:

When: Saturday, November 14 at 12:30 PM

Where: Manatee Gun and Archery Club1805 Logue Rd, Myakka City, FL 34251

The Cost: The range will charge $20 for a half day's shooting on the public range, but it will be $15 for the private range if we get 15 people (and thus the request for the nose count).  The public ranges have 100, 200, and 300 yard ranges, plus a 25 yard pistol range.  The private range has 25 to 200 yard rifle/pistol lanes.  All Ranges are covered, but it looks like Tropical Storm Eta might (hopefully) be gone by then.  Please check the gun club web site for range rules - footwear, eye and ear protection, (for the ladies) nothing low cut, etc.*

The Queen Of The World is planning to bring lunch.  Charlie Foxtrot, thanks for the offer of the crock pot of beans, but I don't think that there's electricity.  In any case, The Queen Of The World is a Force of Nature when she is planning an event, and she is planning this is full force.  

The following people have said they are coming:

MiguelGFZ

Derek Ward

Ratus

Big Country Expat 

Dixie Dennis

David L

Kevin Creighton (Ammoman)

Frederick

Divemedic

BigCountryExpat

Charlie Foxtrot

Please confirm with a headcount and I will reserve the range. 

* Unless you plan on dong the Hot Brass Dance, of course.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Trump's plan to win?

 This is really interesting.  Don Surber speculates on what may be Trump's game plan:

1. Sue in States where there is clear fraud.  Ask the Supreme Court to invalidate that States electoral votes.

2. Without Pennsylvania and Michigan (invalidated by SCOTUS), Biden cannot get 270 Electoral Votes, so there is no winner.

3. Per the US Constitution, the House of Representatives votes to determine the winner.  Now this would seem to be an advantage for Biden since the Democrats have a majority in the House, but the Constitution specifies how the voting takes place: each State gets ONE vote.

4. Trump looks like he has a majority of States, and so he would be declared the victor.

It's VERY interesting.  Recommended.

Pfizer Announces Covid19 Vaccine -- 90% Effective

 It is encouraging.

 A 90% effective vaccine would be beyond anyone's expectations.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

About that vote counting software "glitch"

The Silicon Graybeard casts his experienced eye on the software "glitch" that counted Trump votes for Biden in Michigan.  Go, read.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Reminder: Southwest Florida Blogshoot - November 14

When: Saturday, November 14 at 12:30 PM

Where: Manatee Gun and Archery Club, Myakka City, FL

The date is far enough out to give folks tie to plan.  It also will be after the election and whatever post-election excitement we see (hopefully) but before Thanksgiving gets too close.

The range will charge $20 for a half day's shooting.  There are 100, 200, and 300 yard ranges, plus a 25 yard pistol range.  The Queen Of The World is planning to make some sandwiches.  If we get enough people (15) then we can reserve a private range at the club which has 25 - 200 yard ranges.

Leave a comment if you want to come.  TQOTW and some of her girlfriends are planning on coming, so bring your better half.

The following people have said they are coming:

MiguelGFZ

Derek Ward

Ratus

Big Country Expat

The following are maybes (would love it if you could confirm in the comments):

West, By God

Mr. Garibaldi

Tom Lindsay

Frederick

Great Scott

Sean Sorrentino

Divemedic

David L

James

Unidentified Victim

Patrick

If you're not on either of these lists but want to come, please leave a comment.

Tsgt Joe says he will be here January - March, so I'll organize another blogshoot in February.

Hank William Sr - Your Cheatin' Heart

So there was an election with cheating that they didn't even try to hide.  Okay, then.  There's a country music song for that.


This was Hank, Sr.'s last recorded song, and it became his biggest hit.  We wrote it while driving in the car with his fiancee, dictating it in just a few minutes.  Like the ballots in Philadelphia, it was manufactured in a hurry.  Unlike the ballots in Philadelphia it's loved across the country.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Everybody take a deep breath

 Wait 2 days.  Yes, emotions are running high.  But:

  • Despite what the idiot lefties say, Donald Trump is the smartest guy in the room.  He has a long record of figuring out how to win - especially in situations where the old Republicans (*cough*Mitt Romney*cough*) would give up.  Trump is no quitter.
  • The Democrats telegraphed their plans, with the "Election Integrity Project".  Without doubt Trump has factored this into his plans, targeting the weaknesses in the Democrat's plans.
  • The Democrats haven't tried to finesse the cheating.  Without doubt Trump's plans will highlight this in various courts of law up to the Supremes.
  • The Democrats have spent months trying to demoralize us.  This is just ploy #423 in that playbook.  The others didn't work;don't let this work.

Patience.  We've waited decades for someone like Trump; we can wait a couple more days to see him start to crush his opponents.  Do not discount Donald Trump - that's what his enemies do.

The real point of the Election Fraud

What is striking about the fraud is the blatant clumsiness on display: the Democrats aren't even trying to hide the fact that they are manufacturing ballots in industrial quantities.  This is really, really interesting, and suggests that their motive is not simply to install their preferred candidate in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  It suggests that the motivation is deeper, and darker.

Theodore Dalrymple studied Soviet era propaganda - the propaganda targeting not a western audience, but instead the populations of the Warsaw Pact.  He was struck by how crude it was:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.

I think that this is what they're after - showing the country that they can steal an election and there's nothing that we can do about it.  It comes from the same source that causes cities to remove statues of George Washington.  It's showing who's up and who's down.

The crudeness of it all isn't a bug - it's the primary point to these people, who believe that they have a fundamental right to rule.

Things I've Learned or Relearned

 First, thank you all for your kind thoughts, spoken and unspoken, on my post yesterday.

1. People say "I can't imagine...", but they are wrong. I think they can imagine. They imagine it pretty correctly. It sucks just like they think it does.

2. Suicide ripples out. It effects family and friends directly and then it bounces around and has impacts on relationships between family and friends.

3. Once you get over the suicide idea and accept that in the end, it is a death like a car accident or cancer, it is still a loss. They are still gone too soon.

4. The loss of a child, for any reason, tests the parents in ways that nothing else does. Individually and in the marriage, you will find out what you are made of.

5. It happens all the time. You can't ask "Why me?" Car accidents are number one, suicide brings up second place, but there are drownings, SIDS, other accidents, childhood diseases, someone is crying over their child's body while you read this.

6. We live in relationships. My friends, both locally and on-line, were and remain, absolutely rock solid. I have made excellent friends and they showed it over and over.

7. Death does not define a life. If it did, reading biographies would be short and boring. If you are reading the biography of Gen. Eisenhower, Andrew Jackson, or Winston Churchill, it is all the events, experiences, and developments you want to learn about. So, too with your loved ones, if you are remembering someone, you have to remember the totality.

8. Time doesn't heal the wound, at least not by itself. If you fight against it, you can choose to never heal. Healing starts with the decision not to be destroyed and is a ongoing process. 

9. Faith helps. It doesn't provide answers, it provides hope. It doesn't have to be some traditional religion. Glen Filthie's comment fits right here: "The theoretical physicists say there’s 10 (or 11, depending on which egghead you talk to) - dimensions. We only perceive 3 or 4. We know this because elsewise, our universe would be unstable and couldn’t exist. Long story short: over an nth dimensional hill, and round a temporal corner... your boy is still alive and well. It may seem to us that he is irretrievably lost; but figuratively speaking he is still nearby, along with other loved ones. Amidst all the staggering infinities on planes we can’t perceive, our loved ones are just “across the street”."

10. Life continues both big and small. Meals are cooked, the lawn needs cutting, your child gets married, there's a new grandchild, and on and on. Life calls us forward. I choose to answer that call.

 

 

 





 


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Five Years

 Five years ago today I lost a son to suicide.

There is still not a day that goes by without thoughts of him.


The Counter-Revolution

What is most amusing about lefty intellectuals is the conceits they give themselves.  Typically they see themselves as avant guarde revolutionary leaders.  What they really are - at least in this day - are counter revolutionaries.  They're agents of Reaction, and these intellectuals would recognize the scorn that term implies.

The Revolution was Trump, a revolution against an  intrenched bureaucracy that was actively hostile to half the country.  We see the counter revolution in action in this election.  Rather than "count every vote" like they piously claim, the reality is that many states were called for Biden with a million votes left to count.  It's all smoke and mirrors.  The only saving grace for the left is that this is exactly what they promised they would do.

There is a refreshing clarity to politics now.  There is no common ground, no shared norms other than getting and keeping power.  Man, the Democrats are really going to hate it when their rules are applied to them.

For now, all is confusion.  Peter has an excellent analysis, and his conclusion is under stated but spot on:

Folks, it's a very uncertain time for all of us. Let's not lose too much sleep over it. Sooner or later, we'll know for sure who's won and who's lost. Until then, let's do our best to keep the peace, and exercise our democratic right to be watchful as the votes are counted.

And remember what's been done, and by whom.  From now on the only response to their "have you no shame" comments is rolling our eyes.  

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The election is beyond the margin of fraud

Two and a half months ago I forecast a Trump landslide victory, 354 electoral votes to Biden's 184.  I lay out why for those of you who are interested.  I don't see a reason to change this prediction.

Sure, the Democrats will cheat. I don't think they can cheat this enough to change the result.  Certainly Pennsylvania is at risk for industrial scale cheating; maybe North Carolina as well.  But enthusiasm among Republicans is off the charts, so the amount of cheating that will be needed is higher.  Also, the "shy Trump" voter syndrome is real - people have been not just verbally abused but attacked and killed for being Trump supporters; no wonder some won't talk to pollsters, family and friends about their preferences.

That also increases the amount of cheating the Democrats will have to do.  I think that number is just too high for the Democrats to pull this off.  What they will do is expose industrial scale levels of cheating.  That will solidify voters' views of the Democratic Party for 2024 - it will be a bad moon rising for that election, too.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Movies XI - The Man Who Would Be King

 The Man Who Would Be King starred Sean Connery and Michael Caine.  It was filmed in 1975 in Morocco. Directed by John Huston and based on the story by Rudyard Kipling, it was a film that Huston had been trying to get made for 20 years. Made in the time when movies were transitioning to what I think of as the modern era, it has elements of the classic swashbuckers, some humor, and a touch of Indiana Jones. 

I watched it last night in commemoration of Sean Connery's passing. I wanted to pick something he had starred in and when I learned that this was his personal favorite film that sealed it. 

The trailer is terrible, in the way that trailers often were, but the movie holds up pretty well considering that it comes from a time just before computer generated special effects were possible. I looked at clips to share, but this short homage really captures something of the movie.

Frankiskos Leontaritis - Kyrie

 A lot of people are worried about the election.  They shouldn't be.  Donald Trump will easily win, and why I haven't bothered to think much about the Senate and House races, he will have coattails as Republican turnout breaks records.  So if you want Trump to win, relax - it's in the bag.  If you want Trump to lose, relax - it's coming, and even an Act Of God wouldn't stop it.

So here's some relaxing music.  Frankiskos Leontaritis was born this day in 1518 on the island of Crete.  Recently part of the Byzantine Roman Empire, it had been taken over by Venice.  Leontaritis had many connections in Venice, and ended up moving there, and later to Rome, where he was known as "Il Greco" (The Greek) - not to be confused with the Spanish painter of the same era, El Greco ("The Greek") who as it turns out was from the same city (Heraklion/Candia) in Crete.

He composed many masses and other choral works, and is considered the father of Greek classical music.  It is very relaxing, so enjoy.



Saturday, October 31, 2020

A Suggestion for the President

 President Trump should start talking about packing the Supreme Court. Bring up the idea of making the Supreme Court 13 or 17 or 23 members. Make a series of nominations. Tweet about it.

The Democrats would be appalled, yelling into microphones that the Supreme Court has been 9 Justices since 1869, that it's become accepted. That it would wrong, WRONG! I say, to mess with something with that sort of precedent. That Pr. Trump has no standing to make that kind of change, that 9 it is, 9 it has been, and 9 it shall be.

Then he can drop the idea. And 9 it will be.

Johnny Rivers - Secret Agent Man

Sean Connery is dead at 90.  He defined movie cool in the 1960s, and made the James Bond franchise into a huge success.  That franchise inspired a million copy cats including a British TV spy series called Danger Man.  CBS bought the US rights to the show which they were going to air as Secret Agent.  The opening riff is one of the most recognizable in music, and the lyrics included a salute to Connery as Bond: they're giving you a number and taking away you name.

"Iconic" doesn't begin to cover this.


Secret Agent Man (Songwriters: P.F. Sloan, Steve Barri)

There's a man who lives a life of danger
To everyone he meets, he stays a stranger
With every move he makes another chance he takes
Odds are he won't live to see tomorrow

Secret agent man, secret agent man
They've given you a number and taken away your name

Beware of pretty faces that you find
A pretty face can hide an evil mind
Oh, be careful what you say or you'll give yourself away
Odds are you won't live to see tomorrow

Secret agent man, secret agent man
They've given you a number and taken away your name

Secret agent man, secret agent man
They've given you a number and taken away your name

Swinging on the Riviera one day
And then layin' in the Bombay alley next day
Oh, no you let the wrong word slip while kissing persuasive lips
The odds are you won't live to see tomorrow

Secret agent man, secret agent man
They've given you a number and taken away your name
Secret agent man

But Connery was much more than just James Bond, and went on to many outstanding performances.  I particularly liked him in The Wind And The Lion:


I find it charming that, while married twice, he is survived by his wife of 45 years.  I wonder what she thought in 1999 (at their 24th anniversary) when People Magazine designated him the Sexiest Man of the Century.

Rest in Peace, Sir Sean (knighted in 2000).  Thanks for the grace, and style.  They broke the mold when you were born.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Come What May

 The best thing to happen this year was the swearing in of Justice Barret to the United States Supreme Court.

https://ul.causes.com/ul/q_auto/uploads/akW3yomg/a7ee6f/barrett%20swearing%20in.png

Relax. Ignore the polls

 It's time to relax for the weekend.  The Trumpslide approacheth, despite what you hear from the polls.  I was going to write about why the polls are jacked up (again) but Don Surber beat me to it.  I really don't have anything to add to his excellent analysis.

So relax.  Trust your lyin' eyes.  You see it spreading out before you, pretty much everywhere you look.



Thursday, October 29, 2020

I wouldn't want to be at the FBI right now

Tucker Carlson's team had some documents that they were going to use in a story.  The documents went missing in transit - the package was opened and emptied.

Of course, Carlson's team has copies.

From a news perspective, this has been a big win for Carlson.  The original story was about Hunter Biden and the corruption in the Biden family.  That specific story would have died down in a day or two - after all (as the old saying goes) it's called a "Newspaper", not an "Oldspaper".

Now the story has longer legs.  It's now about the Deep State covering for one of its own.  It's about how the Fed.Gov has much deeper tentacles into American society than people thought.  It's about how the Patriot Act has been weaponized by the intelligence agencies against their domestic political opposition.  That's a big story, that will last at least a couple days.

And tomorrow when this enhanced story starts to die down we can expect the original documents to drop.  Now they will have extra credibility - I mean, somebody who is somebody tried to suppress them.  Now the story shifts back to Biden family corruption, with evidence that is stronger than it would have been without the document interception.  PLUS, the weaponization of the PATRIOT act will still be there.

The Sunday morning Talking Head shows will be LIT, or the story will be that the news media simply won't give their viewers any news.  There is no truth in Pravda, and no news in Isvestia.

And the election will follow two days later.  Interesting times.  When Trump wins re-election, I expect people will go to jail over this.  As they should.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Voting saved by paper backup

 Hackers install ransomeware on voter registration database; officials use registration cards to validate signatures:

The Oct. 7 attack on Hall County, in the northern part of the state, hit critical systems and interrupted phone services, the county said in a statement posted on its website. County spokeswoman Katie Crumley did not return multiple requests for comment from The Associated Press.

But according to a report in the Gainesville Times, the attack also disabled the county’s voter signature database. Crumley was also quoted in an online CNN story saying that the attack affected both the signature database and a voting precinct map.

Ransomware scrambles affected computer networks with encryption that can only be unlocked with keys provided once the victim has paid up. Deloitte analyst Srini Subramanian said ransoms local governments pay in such cases average about $400,000.

An update Thursday evening on the county website said “the voting process for citizens has not been impacted by the attack.” However, a county official quoted by the Times said signature verification was slowed because employees had to manually pull hard copies of voter registration cards in many cases.

Paper backups for the win.  There's a lesson here for electronic voting.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Good summary of why Trump is increasing his lead over Biden

The Czar of Muscovy has a typically insightful analysis of last week's debate, and particularly of Joe's comment that he would kill the oil industry.  Many people have pointed out that this will cost Biden Pennsylvania (at least), but the Czar says it goes much deeper and highlights why Joe is such a terrible candidate:

He announced that he would seek to end the oil industry. Trump wheeled around and asked him to repeat that. Biden did, and announced he would—as president—end America’s use of fossil fuels. Trump was handed gold, and he made sure Americans recognized this as big news, especially folks living in Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Oklahoma.

Biden had a definite look of panic on his face as Trump named those states. Even he realized he just gave Trump 83 electoral votes, mumbling something about “on public lands” and “subsidies,” but Trump drowned out his babbling by reminding voters in those states what Biden just announced. There would be no walking that back, even with the media’s certain (and ultimately proven) covering for him on Friday. It was said, and at this point, if polls in other states stay where they are, those 83 votes will put Trump over.

Bear in mind, this doesn’t affect just four states. Shutting down oil and fossil fuels in this country will put nearly one million Americans out of their current jobs, in the form of drilling, mining, trucking, piping, distribution, distillation, manufacture, plasticization, and more. The Depression here will crush world markets that depend on us. Did Biden mean for all this? Probably not, but he reassured America that Biden, after 47 years in government, has literally no understanding of how the economy works.

My emphasis added.  This is the key point - after a half century in office, Joe is the one who is supposed to be "Presidential", to know "how to get things done".  Well, that's the marketing - and why Obama picked him as Vice President back in 2008 (to add some gravitas to people worried about a very new face).  And what we see put on display for the world is a confused old man babbling obvious nonsense about an enormously important topic.

The question in everyone's mind right now is what other enormously important topics will we get a bunch of nonsense babbled at us?  To ask that question two weeks before the election is to explain the entirety of Trump's juggernaught.  The group of voters who thought that Joe was the safe, bland choice are now breaking for Trump, choosing competence over marketing fluff.

And kudos to the moderator for asking the question.  Likely Biden would have answered very differently if it had been the first question rather than the last (he clearly was running down mentally by the end) - but this was also a very revealing moment.  After all, the presidency is a grueling job and it takes considerable stamina to hold up under the strain and to make good decisions under stress.  Joe showed that he entirely lacks that capacity.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Your moment of Zen - Beethoven's “Moonlight Sonata” for an old Elephant

 This is sweet, and shows that in this political silly season that there is a human decency that crosses species boundaries.  From the notes to the Youtube video:

Mongkol is a 61-year-old former logging elephant. His captive-held life was spent hauling trees in the Thai forest. His body shape is deformed through hard labor, he lost his right eye and tusk in this brutal logging practice. Mongkol was rescued and brought to Elephants World to spend the rest of his days relaxing peacefully in freedom by the River Kwai. I discovered Mongkol is an extremely gentle, sensitive elephant who enjoys music, especially this slow movement by Beethoven which I play to him occasionally in the day and night.

This video is awesome, and 100% non-political - which adds to its awesomeness.


There are more, like Debussy's Clair de Lune.  Maybe Mongkol likes moonlight.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Blake Shelton - Some Beach (Official Music Video)

One of the nice things about being in Florida is that The Queen Of The World and I can run out for a beach weekend.  We're at Sanibel Island which is pretty darn nice.  This is the view from the hotel balcony.


It's a nice escape and here in Florida it's not just a day dream.  An hour or two and you're in paradise.  Back up north, it would just be a dream.  Yeah, there's a country music song for that.


Some Beach (Songwriters: Rory Feek, Paul Overstreet)

Driving down the interstate
Running 30 minutes late
Singing 'Margaritaville' and minding my own
Some foreign car driving dude
With a road rage attitude
Pulled up beside me talking on his cell phone.

He started yelling at me
Like I did something wrong
He flipped me the bird
And then he was gone.

Some beach somewhere
There's a big umbrella
Casting shade over an empty chair
Palm trees are growing, warm breeze is blowing
I picture myself right there
On some beach, somewhere.
I circled the parking lot

Trying to find a spot
Just big enough
I could park my ol' truck
A man with a big cigar
Was getting into his car
I stopped and I waited for him to back up
But from out of nowhere a Mercedes Benz
Came cruising up, and whipped right in.

Some beach, somewhere
There's nowhere to go
When you've got all day to get there
There's cold Margaritas
And hot senoritas
Smiling with long dark hair
On some beach, somewhere.

Well, I sat in that waiting room
Seemed like all afternoon
The nurse finally said the doc's ready for you
You're not gonna feel a thing
We'll give you some novacaine
That tooth will be fine in a minute or two
But he stuck that needle down deep in my gum
And he started drilling before I was numb.

Some beach, somewhere
There a beautiful sunset burning up the atmosphere
There's music and dancing, lovers romancing
In the salty evening air
On some beach, somewhere.

On some beach, somewhere...
A weird thing about Florida, though - I've been flipped off a couple times already in only a few months.  That never happened up north.

Friday, October 23, 2020

The election is over

Stick a fork in Slow Joe - he's done

 


Sure, the polls show Joe ahead by 5000%, but let's look at the evidence.  It doesn't support poll results showing Joe winning; on the contrary:

  • Republican enthusiasm is off the chart.  There are something like 2 Million volunteers knocking on doors and calling on the phone.  They've contacted 100 Million voters.  It doesn't look like there are any Democrats doing this.  By way of comparison, a little over 60M voted for Trump in 2016 - now there is a measurable fraction of that working for his campaign.
  • Biden gives rallies to a dozen people.  Trump gives rallies to tens of thousands.  Even more importantly, a big fraction of the people in the audience are not Republicans, and a big fraction didn't vote last time.  Now they're standing in line to hear The Donald.
  • We see "Trump Trains" all over the country - parades of thousands of cars flying Trump flags.  We see them in historically Democrat strongholds: 30,000 cars paraded in "deep blue" Miami.
  • Trump's outreach to the black and hispanic communities has paid off.  His support is a lot higher than 4 years ago - maybe two or three times as high.
  • Trump's job approval rating is over 50%.  I can't remember any president with a 50% approval rating losing reelection, ever.
  • What I find most interesting is the Gallup poll showing that a majority of people expect Trump to be reelected.
If Joe really were ahead by 5000%, would we see any of this?  No - all of these signs would point in the opposite direction.  So who are you going to believe: a bunch of pollsters who blew it bigly last time, or your lyin' eyes.

Like I said, stick a fork in Joe, he's done.  Just get out and vote.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Is Texas really about to turn Blue (or Purple)?

Lawrence looks at the huge TV ad buys that Silicon valley billionaires are making for the Democratic Senate candidate - something like $28M in the last 2 weeks of the election.  He picks this apart and says that no, Texas is not turning blue.

It's an interesting read.  Recommended.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

When civilization collapses

We may (or may not) be on the brink of civil war.  There are no external enemies who can take down this Republic, but history is clear that civil war is the fastest way to political, social, and civilizational collapse.  It almost always starts because the center becomes too strong, and so the rewards to seizing control in a winner-take-all situation become too enticing.

We saw this in ancient times, where the eastern and western halves of the Roman Empire fought each other at the Battle of the Frigidus River.  The eastern army under Theodosius the Great won, temporarily reuniting the empire.  However, Theodosius died four months later, leaving the empire to his young sons.  Both were hamstrung because so many soldiers had killed each other that the western empire never recovered, and the eastern portion just held on by a thread.

The rewards were too great for Theodosius to ignore, too great to even allow him to leave his empire in good shape when he shuffled off the mortal coil.  In the west, civilization fell apart so completely that it took a thousand years for it to recover.  Louis XV's well-quoted epigram from 1400 years later applies in spades: Après nous le déluge.  After us, collapse.

I don't know whether we are looking on that today, but it's possible in a way that seemed beyond belief five or ten years ago.  The stakes of our winner-take-all imperial government have been exposed as too enticing to ignore for the Left.  The stakes are too high for the rest of the country increasingly feeling hemmed in by the Left: you can't speak your mind, you can't worship as you please, you're forced to "social distance" in a way that the Left's pet street terrorists don't.

Maybe there's still a chance to turn this around.  If not, then it doesn't seem like there are alternatives to political, social, and civilizational collapse.  When Civilization collapses, it falls hard.  I posted before about the Fayum Mummy Portraits from the Roman Empire and how portrait painting was a thriving (and stunningly competent) part of their civilization.  Then that civilization fell and it took a millennium to recover.



I wrote back then:

My opinion is that this was the greatest portrait (that we know of) for 1500 years, faded by 1900 years.  It dates from around the reign of Emperor Claudius, or possibly Nero.

Then it was all gone, along with all the rest of that civilization.  Here is a very good video about these portraits and just how sophisticated the society that created them was.


In Egypt's sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the Desert knows:—
"I am great OZYMANDIAS," saith the stone,
"The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
"The wonders of my hand."— The City's gone,—
Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose
The site of this forgotten Babylon.

We wonder,—and some Hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when thro' the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,
He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.
- Horace Smith, "Ozymandias"

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Southwest Florida Blogshoot - November 14

I checked with my gun club and they can handle a group coming to meet and shoot.  So here are the details:

When: Saturday, November 14 at 12:30 PM

Where: Manatee Gun and Archery Club, Myakka City, FL


The date is far enough out to give folks tie to plan.  It also will be after the election and whatever post-election excitement we see (hopefully) but before Thanksgiving gets too close.

The range will charge $20 for a half day's shooting.  There are 100, 200, and 300 yard ranges, plus a 25 yard pistol range.  The Queen Of The World is planning to make some sandwiches.  If we get enough people (15) then we can reserve a private range at the club which has 25 - 200 yard ranges.

Leave a comment if you want to come.  TQOTW and some of her girlfriends are planning on coming, so bring your better half.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Getting freaky at the Tiki

 Things are getting fun on the patio.



Sunday, October 18, 2020

Gioachino Rossini (attributed) - Duetto buffo di due gatti (Humorous duet for two cats)

 Old NFO has a hilarious read comparing the diary of a dog to the diary of a cat.  There's much truth there to go along with the humor.  It's funny because it's true.  Interestingly, there is a funny classical music piece said to be by Gioachino Rossini (of "Barber of Seville" fame) where a duet of sopranos sing to each other - and ever word in the song is "miau" (Italian for "meow").


It also calls to mind the epic videos below:





Friday, October 16, 2020

How much voting fraud do the Democrats need for Biden to win?

 This is speculation on my part, based on my model showing Trump winning 355 Electoral Votes and 36 or so States next month.  It basically takes the percentage of votes won by Hillary and Trump in 2016 and makes the following adjustments:

Incumbency benefit: +1% to Trump
Minority voter outreach: +1% to Trump
Biden dementia concerns: +1% to Trump
Voter enthusiasm: +1% to Trump
Riots/view of Democrats: +1% to Trump
Virus lockdown: +1% to Biden

This give us a net 4% added to Trump's 2016 votes.

Now 2016 was won in the Battleground States, and this year will be no different.  And so this is very interesting (via Don Surber):


If we want to quantify the amount of voter fraud the Democrats will have to engage in, we need to add +4 to that middle column (Actual 2016 Result).  Breaking it down, we see the following minimum fraudulent ballots needed:

Michigan +5%
Pennsylvania: + 5%
Wisconsin: +6%

So I went and looked at what the percentages translated into in terms of actual ballots cast.  Here's what's needed:

Michigan: 113, 442
Pennsylvania: 146,322
Wisconsin: 82,952

Total: 342,716

Note that this is net new fraud, on top of whatever was done in 2016.  And this is the best case scenario - there's no margin of error at all for Team Biden here, and so it really needs to be 500,000.  

It also looks to me (based on my model) that Trump will pick up States that he lost last time, particularly Virginia, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Colorado.  Fraud will need to be spread around here to keep the votes from swinging in the "wrong" direction.  That's a lot of States, and some of them are pretty big, so in round numbers let's call it another 500,000.

So Team Biden will need a million fraudulently cast ballots to win.  That's quite a lot to keep secret.  This isn't onesy-twosie fraud, this is industrial scale.  I simply don't think this can be covered up.  A million is a big number, and will require thousands of people to be in on the scam.  The old saying applies: three people can keep a secret if two of them are dead.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Why I'm not on Twitter or Facebook

 They're not even trying to hide the fact that they own you:

Twitter has locked the account of White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany because she shared a story about Hunter Biden and Ukraine.

Now in all honesty, I haven't cared for the platforms for quite a while.  I don't like Facebook because it has always been rotten about its user's privacy, and all y'all know that I just can't keep myself to the 17 character (or whatever it is) tweet limit.  It's the same reason that I pretty much dropped off of Gab.ai.

But this underlines the fact that they own their users.  Not cool.  I'll stick with our little corner of the Blogosphere, thank you very much.

But probably the biggest objection that we've heard (and heard again, and again) about Donald Trump is that he violates long standing norms of behavior.  What's interesting is that his opponents are the ones who are now the biggest violators of norms.  Here is a media company censoring the White House Press Secretary.  [blink] [blink]

Heck, even a lefty hack like Jake Tapper sums up the situation:


So no thanks.  It's so bad that a raving libertarian like me is totally down with the Fed.Gov breaking up the Twitter and Facebook (and Google) monopolies and declaring them to be publishers, not platforms.  Let it all fight out in the courts, but just those announcements will tank the stock prices which will make it hard for them to acquire new companies and executive talent.  They're the modern Robber Barons and some Trust Busting is well past due.*

Note: blogger Ann Althouse looks at the story's provenance and is skeptical about the emails.  It's an interesting read - not calling them "fake" but rather suspicious.  But she agrees that Twitter and Facebook haven't covered themselves in glory here.

* UPDATE 15 October 2020 09:37: Interestingly, Miguel posted the exact same idea about libertarians.

UPDATE 15 October 2020 09:47: This is an interesting perspective about why the "Streisand Effect" applies so closely here:

Simply put, there is not enough staff at Facebook & Twitter, and they are neither smart enough nor subtle enough, to censor ALL the “fake news” while also suppressing the politically sensitive (read “damaging to Democrats”) real stories. As a result, they are Ham Handed and focus on the “stuff that matters” (as all major corporation management does). The necessary consequence of this, much like the Streisand Effect, is that attempts to HIDE stores become advertising of the stories AND become strong evidence for the veracity of the Story. Essentially: Their actions are a negative indicator. The more they holler “Fake” the more we hear “Here Be Truth”.

... 

Here’s the original story:

https://nypost.com/2020/10/14/email-reveals-how-hunter-biden-introduced-ukrainian-biz-man-to-dad/

UPDATE 15 October 2020 11:48: Lawrence has the second drop from the New York Post about Hunter's corruption with China.  No doubt the Post is getting a lot more views today because of the Streisand Effect.  Oft evil will shall evil mar, and all that.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

So how does a COVID death not get counted as a COVID death?

Remember how the 'rona death count went from "death from COVID" to "death with COVID"?  Remember the guy killed in a motorcycle crash who was listed as a COVID death?*  The panic caused an inflation of the death count, with every death breathlessly reported.  So what does it take to make sure a death is not reported as from COVID?

When the death is caused not by the virus, but by the government's reaction to the virus.  COVID didn’t kill Rita at age 95, despair and loneliness did:

Rita Thomas was a victim of COVID-19, but she never had the disease.

The vivacious and outgoing 95-year-old, who lived independently until last year and celebrated her most recent birthday in February with friends at a Pasco County diner, willed herself to die two weeks ago because she could no longer handle the pandemic-imposed isolation.

“She said to me: ‘Linda. I’ve had a good life. I am ready to die. I don’t want to live this way anymore. I stopped eating,’ ’’ her daughter Linda Gardner said, recalling the conversation she had with her mother in August. Weeks later, her mother was hospitalized for complications from malnutrition.

The Miami Herald almost called it straight.  She was a victim of Government Policy.  I say that even thought I generally think that Gov. DeSantis has done a better job on this than most Governors.

Her cause of death was listed as "failure to thrive".  In reality, the State killed her graveyard dead with their unreasonable lockdown.  What's unusual about Mrs. Thomas' case was that her story got published.  We should ask ourselves how many other people have died, not from the virus, but from the Government's reaction to the virus.  We should ask if more people are now dying from the reaction than from the virus.  An honest approach to public policy would strive to give us answers to those questions.  Of course, we will never have an honest assessment of the Government's reaction.  

At least we're seeing a little goalpost moving: World Health Organization says lockdowns don't work.  And a new study of infection rates at Amazon show no correlation between lockdowns and infection rates. And more studies show no benefits from masks than show any benefits (hat tip: Lawrence).  Hey, don't be a Science Denier!

But this bit from the article made me see red:

When Rita Thomas finally saw her daughters after more than six months, “She wouldn’t let go of my hand,” said her daughter, Nan Thomas.

We had to destroy the village to save it.  The bastards who did that to Mrs. Thomas have a lot to answer for, in this life or the next.

* Yeah, I know, Snopes.  But even they say that this happened, although they try to spin it.

Monday, October 12, 2020

This is a Columbus Day post I wrote in 2008, but which seems evergreen.  The words that you will not hear by the Usual Suspects today are the "Great Divergence".  This post talks a lot about that.  It's very strange that people interested in "Social Justice" don't seem to be very interested in getting - and keeping - poor people out of poverty.

Obligatory Imperialist Post

Because it's Columbus Power-Mad Dead White Dude Day.  Insty posted about Admiral of the Ocean Sea (great book) which gives you a great Columbus overview, but entirely misses the Power-Mad Dead White Dude thing.

As a public service, here's something that you should read if you really want to make a liberal's head explode like the fembots in Austin Powers. Or understand why the world's economy is the way it is.  The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, by David Landes. The title is intentionally taken from Adam Smith, but Landes focuses less on describing economics per se, and more on the constraints that a society puts on their economy.

It traces the history of economic development over the last 1000 years, and asks some very politically incorrect questions:
  • Why did China, the world's richest and most powerful country in 1000 AD not only lose her lead, but lose it so badly that it was dismembered by the European (and later resurgent Japanese) powers?
  • Why did India, fabulously wealthy and populous, not conquor the west, rather than vice-versa?
  • Why did England, an undeveloped backwater as late as 1500 AD, ultimately lead the Industrial Revolution and become the world's most powerful country?
  • What explains the vast differences in economic development between the USA and Canada, and other New World countries? After all, in 1700, Mexico's GDP per capita was $450, not far short of the colonies' $490 (1985 dollars). In 1989, Mexico's GDP per capita was $3,500, vs. $18,300 for the USA.
No, it wasn't "western imperialism" by dead white dudes. Landes' politically incorrect thesis is that society counts, and some societies foster faster economic growth than others. He uses many, many examples.

The quote for this [2008] election season, if we're smart enough to listen, is about the post-Cold War economies:
Among the heaviest losers in this period of record-breaking economic growth and technological advance were the countries of the Communist Socialist bloc: the Soviet Union at the bottom of the barrel, Romania and North Korea almost as bad, and a range of satellite victims and emulators struggling to rise above the mess. Best off were probably Czechoslovkia and Hungary, with East Germany (the DDR) and Poland trailing behind. The striking feature of these command economies was the contradiction between system and pretensions on the one hand, performance on the other. The logic was impeccable: experts would plan, zealots would compete in zeal, technology would tame nature, labor would make free, the benefits would accrue to all. From each according to their ability; to each according to his deserts; and eventually, to each according to his needs.

The dream appealed to the victims and critics of capitalism, admittedly a most imperfect system - but as it turned out, far better than the alternatives. Hence the Marxist economies long enjoyed a willful credulous favor among radicals, liberals, and progressives in the advanced industrial nations;
You'll hate this if you think that economics a la John Kerry and Barack Obama is the shizzle flippity floppity floop.

Contradiction between pretension and performance: nice phrase, that. For an example, see Patrick, Deval. For extra credit, compare and contrast Obama, Barack.

Dang, I think I must have just got my Hate Speech on, right there.