Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Navel Gazing

It's been a tad shy of 100 months since I first burped the following out on these intarwebz:

Writers frequently complain about writer's block as "the tyranny of the blank page."
Conversely, I've never been very adept at shutting up. Since typing is almost as easy as talking, here we are.

I did a foolish thing when I was young and, well, foolish. I decided I wanted to live an interesting life. (Kids, don't do this!) Unrestrained in my conceit, I think I have done so. I can also recommend the eternal truth that the Chinese saying "May you live in interesting times." is always intended as a (not so) subtle curse.

Is my life cursed? I think not. In fact, it's been a pretty good life, with scattered spectacular patches. But I would have preferred a simpler and more predictable existence, all things considered. (If you know where I can go to order that, contact me here at this address.) But if that had happened, I wouldn't be starting this, and you'd have nothing from me to read, yawn at, mock, jeer, sneer, or, God love you, laugh over and perhaps enjoy. If I'm any bloody good at all.

 Let me fill in with my response to "have you done anything?" from another blog:

"I did a tour and change with Uncle Sam's Misguided Children, 5 years armed security and consulting on the southern border catching 2-legged coyotes and cartel drug runners, most of my degree work is in political history and international affairs, got 200 feet of bookshelves (that I've read) incl. everything military from the U.S. Army TO&E of 1936 to the Colonial Army Manual of Arms to the Lessons Learned in Vietnam ca. 1969 and in the Indian War ca. 1869. And most everything in between.
I've shot documentaries, worked on 100+ feature films and network shows, written published articles and shot photos of the Border War currently occurring to the south, run shelters in major disasters, trained Navy docs, nurses, and corpsman for gunshot trauma before they went into Iraq in 2002, racked up almost 20 years of emergency medical work, the last 12 exclusively in the busiest ERs on the planet, zipping up enough body bags and strapping down enough crazy people to last me a lifetime. I've resurrected the dead, cared for the sick, tended the injured, started the breathing and stopped the bleeding, and been punched, kicked, puked on, pissed on, spat upon, promoted, commended, fired, nearly arrested, and occasionally even thanked for my efforts. I've flown cars, been toyed with by grizzly bears, petted mountain lions, stolen dogs, juggled kittens, and wrangled pigeons and seagulls, and have both the scars and soiled undergarments to prove it. I also have a decent number of small arms, have shot semi-competitively, sold guns retail and wholesale, crossed 3 international borders on foot -1 of them legally, speak better Spanish than most of the hispanics I work with, which isn't bad for a white guy, and I am a successful business, as the IRS reminds me every year. I've broken rules, laws, bones, and hearts. I've seen The Exorcist 27 times and it keeps getting funnier every time I watch it. I'm a Virgo, my turn-ons are cowboy guns, automatic weapons, and hot blondes in leather skirts, and I have a cat. In my spare time I log onto internet blogs, and regularly get my @$$ handed to me by 7-year olds on X-Box Live Call of Duty.

That and $1, gets me 3 glazed donuts at Krispy Kreme.

So yeah, I've done stuff."
Guilty as charged.

So what I aim to inflict upon any random gaggle of folks who stumble by are the flashes of memory that inhabit my mind at this point in my existence. I think some of them are funny, or interesting, or illustrative of some greater truth. A hat tip, even, to my own misanthropy. As Mel Brooks said, "Me stubbing my toe is tragedy. You falling off a cliff is comedy!"

Or else it's just that at this point in life, I've finally lived enough that, like eating too much meatloaf, some of the spicier bits keep getting burped out. Who can say? My fingers clack this stuff out, because some unseen muse has finally made me her thrall.

If I make factual errors, mistype, misspell, or otherwise bollocks up anything here, it's my own fault. If I say anything that offends, irritates, or annoys you, or generally twists your panties 3 sizes too tight, I honestly, sincerely, and humbly beg you to get over it. And if I hit the mark ever, let alone with any regularity, I offer my sincerest and most heartfelt applause to a couple of truly extraordinary English teachers in high school. (Back in the late Pliestocene, when TV came in two colors: black, and white.)

With that out of the way, I defer to the words of a wiser man than myself (which is no small club):
All that's past is prologue.

I bring it up because I noticed that somewhere in the last couple of weeks, between this blog and the other one, I seem to have blundered over the millionth reader view. Like, Wow.
I know for some people who've been at this longer, and with more regularity (let alone talent, or masochism, or both), a million views is last month's tally.

But for me, it's a little mind-blowing.
For those who've dropped by, and didn't figure I wasted their precious time, my thanks.
More so to those who've commented, linked, or shared anything I've scribbled.

For those who're pissed off, I hope I either get better, or just get better at pissing you off.
It's my superpower.

Best wishes to you, one and all.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Traditional American Christmas

A shout out to our native American friends, celebrating Christmas more in line with their traditional ways.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Why Shrillary Lost - Exhaustive Version

1) She was an abominable candidate.
She won exactly one election in her whole life - as the carpetbagging former first lady coming off of her husband's demotion to ordinary lecher, instead of Lecher In Chief, in one of the safest liberal senate seats in the country, NFY.
When she ran for president, she got shellacked from out of nowhere by the even less qualified Magic Halfrican from Kenya.
This should have been a warning for 2016, but hubris was more in play than mature and sober reflection.

2) She never personally or politically did anything in her life.
The only signature issue she stood for as first lady/co-president, ShrillaryCare, was rejected soundly. Then co-opted by the guy who kicked her ass for the win in 2008, and at that, it is the most universally despised act of his entire presidency. She championed exactly nothing else despite an entire lifetime on the opposite side of the wedding cake from actual power. Not as Arkansas first lady, not as co-president, not as a US senator, not as US Secretary of State, not ever at any point in time did she have so much as one major issue she championed to success, no policy that was hers, no reason for anyone to pick her out of a line-up.
She only got a senate seat out of pity because Fat Bill was impeached and termed out of office, and people pitied her for tying herself to the political fortunes of such an unabashed serial adulterer.
She has done so much nothing in a lifetime of shrill whinging, there ought to be a trophy in it somewhere, probably featuring the talking heads from The Spew. But she hasn't even won that.
The entire summation of her raison d'etre for running for everything can best be summed up by the title of the upcoming collection of her campaign speeches from 2000-present: The Vagina Monologues.

3) She is a serial liar.
Even when polled by that bastion of political even-handedness, HuffPo, back in 2015, their own self-selected frothing liberal moonbat audience overwhelmingly picked the first five words most strongly tied to Hillary as liar, dishonest, crook, untrustworthy, and criminal. And that was mostly her own fans talking about her.
Waaaay back when she was a young lawyer working for the Democrat impeachment committee instrumental in bringing down Richard Nixon, she was thrown out by her own people because she was correctly described by them as a dishonest, unethical, unscrupulous loose cannon.
Democrats calling you too crooked to prosecute Nixon is like Olivier or Brando telling you your acting sucks, or crazy people calling the cops to come throw a net over you.
That should have been a career-ender right there.
After a debilitating incident revealed her frail health, she and her people came up with not one, not two, but five versions of the truth, and there's no reason to believe #5 was any more honest than #1, then or now.
In between, she was in charge of character assassination of every one of the (honest) bimbo eruptions that correctly painted her husband as the utter douchebag the DNC knows and loves, not a single mischaracterization of which she has since rescinded nor apologized for. She blamed everything on a "vast right-wing conspiracy", when instead, time after time, she proves to be heading a vast left-wing conspiracy to lie, lie about lying, and then lie to cover up the lies when she gets caught lying. She claimed she was named after the famous conqueror of Mt. Everest - except he hadn't climbed it yet when she was born. She was "under sniper fire" in Bosnia. (One can only wish such dreams came true.) She makes Brian Williams look like George Washington discussing his cherry tree exploits. It's been so predictable, for decades, that she personifies the truism that "If her lips are moving, she's lying. If she's silent, she's lying. If she's standing, she's  lying."

4) She was more crooked going into the primaries than the actual presidential administrations of Nixon, Harding, and Grant combined.
Anyone googling Hillary Clinton Scandals causes the entire internet to slow down worldwide.
Charles Colson was sent to prison for years during Watergate for mishandling one FBI file.
Shrillary deleted 30,000 e-mails, hundreds containing the most secret information our country has, each count worth a year to ten years in federal prison, and the head of the FBI can't find any laws that were broken. Conveniently, after her husband the ex-Prez met with the FBI Director's boss, the AG.
When that happens anywhere else, the national flag has a bunch of bananas on it, and the president is for-life.
When it used to happen here, someone was frog-marched in an orange jumpsuit to the federal pokey for years.

5) She has blood on her hands.
A US ambassador, and former US military guys contracted as security, died while she dithered, after failing to pay any heed to warnings about the lack of security at the consulate in Benghazi, while she, as Secretary of State, bore direct personal responsibility for the state of affairs at every US embassy and consulate worldwide.
Then she tried to palm the whole thing off on some poor schmuck in California who made a documentary seen by 43 people before the attack.
Then, the serious lying commenced. (See #3, above).
The number of people who've crossed she and/or Bill over the years, and succumbed to "Arkansas flu" is legendary.
Actuarially, the odds of it all being coincidental are astronomically small, and the phenomenon has killed more people than any serial killer in US history.
I'm sure it's just a coincidence.

6) She's quite simply a horrible person.
Besides all of the above, she's laughed about the lies she's told, the people her negligence has gotten killed, and the time after time after countless times beyond numbering she's been caught, red-handed, pants gloriously aflame, pulling crooked things, telling monstrous whoppers, and just generally demonstrating the millions of reasons why most people would have sooner sent their kids to an underpants slumber party at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch, than trust her enough to put her in office, any office, let alone the presidency.

It wasn't Comey's letters, bad press, Russian hacking, sexism, racism, global warming, the one-armed man, or the guy on the grassy knoll who cost Shrillary the presidency.

She cost herself the job by a lifetime's worth of actions, in an age when everyone knows everything about you at the speed of electrons, and the lie can no longer get halfway around the world before the truth has gotten it's boots on.

She is a victim of everything she's done, and everything she is, and the living embodiment of Lincoln's "...but you can't fool all of the people, all of the time."

Hillary cost Hillary the election. Period.

(Democrats: Want to win again? Stop nominating horrible douchecanoes, for starters. If only for the novelty of the action...)

She needs to simply STFU, slither back to her hole, shrivel up, and enjoy whatever remains of her life before whatever debilitating disease she's busy concealing rips her out of her mortal coil, and she finds herself looking for a lakeside condo on the Lake Of Fire, somewhere below the Sixth Circle of Hell.

But if AG Sessions has different ideas on prosecuting breaches of national security than AG Lynch or FBI Director Wormtongue did, the advice of this blog is that you go long on popcorn futures.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

On The Idea Of Faithless Electors Undoing An Election

h/t WRSA

                 Hmmm...not seeing a lot of Shrillary supporters here.
An Open Letter from The Virginia Freemen
Messrs. & Mesdames,
I know you feel righteously indignant about the election results. A lot of people in the media and political apparatchik are advocating for an electoral college revolt, wherein the electors vote against the popular vote of their respective states out of allegiance to New York and California voters and deny their own state’s wishes. However, many among you seem to vastly misunderstand the dynamics and stark realities of the situation. Let me game out the very real, very possible reaction to this by all those deplorables that might, just might, not take it very well being told voting was for naught and to get back in line. Assuming enough of the electorates overturn the popular vote in their states, it makes the enormous brick thrown through the window of the establishment by a majority of states all for naught. To say many would be displeased is an understatement of rather epic proportions. Let us frame it in a different light. The people you just told to go pound sand on average purchase enough firearms in three months to outfit the Russian and Chinese frontline troops. Every. Three. Months. Those guys who were entrusted to go become experts at fighting insurgents and came home to better quality small arms in the private sector than they were issued, carved an entire market out of teaching what they learned from Uncle Sam to people with the coin and and the desire. You just told all of those guys to go pound sand. Not all are pipe hitters with steely eyes and camo. Many are farmers, utility workers, work in the oil fields, drive the big trucks that bend and go tshhh, tshhh when they brake, and produce thousands of things you never give a second glance to. The people who work 50-60 hours a week to feed, heat, and transport the nation. To really make sure we all got the point, it has been made abundantly clear that there is a desire to strip us of any voice online and silence those who do not conform to the appropriate level of ‘tolerance.’ I’m an eternal optimist, but I don’t believe silencing and stripping the votes of the opposition, who own the vast majority of the 400-600M firearms in the US, bodes well for anyone.
You may think it untoward and hyperbole that people would react so…dramatically. I am not a violent man, nor are the vast majority of people I referenced above. Quite the opposite in fact, the people I think most likely to be absolutely intractable if you continue to pursue this road are those rooted in ideals greater than a case of political poor sportsmanship. Many of you have absolutely no concept of our culture, our values and where our sense of identity is derived. The reason I am willing to die defending my home is not because of any tangible goods inside it, the person inside it and the trust she has in me to keep her safe means that I have no other choice. The idea is what overrides any thought of self-preservation and makes me unwilling to live with the consequences of failure, demanding I either prevail or die in the process. It is my responsibility, not the cops, not the government’s, mine.  Simply put, on this present course you are setting yourself at war, not with a political movement, not with a people group or any box you can check on the census, but with a set of ideals…a culture. Usurping the established electoral process, the last vestige of legitimacy amongst the decades of broken promises, lies, and betrayals, leaves a whole lot of people with simply no recourse left. You strip a man of his voice, politically and socially…demand nearly half of what he earns, and what would you have him do? Grin and bear it? A man may bear many things for his family and friends, but there comes a time when his core ideals are so violated that his conscience demands he either correct the situation or die in the pursuit. To continue is not to live, but to merely exist and is death of the soul rather than just the body. Another said it best, it is better to die on your feet than live on your knees.
I hope by now you have a sense of why this road leads to something far worse than anything Trump could ever accomplish in four years. I can empathize with you, and do not mistake my plea for sanity as tacit approval of him. I don’t care about the person, I care about the office, and the process. A government who demands my taxes and obedience whilst stripping me of my duly elected representation is the casus belli enshrined in our Founding Documents. Work to repeal the electoral college if you must, and hold the Trump administration accountable. However, do not resort to leaving the bounds of lawful governance in the vain hope of salvaging political setbacks. Because should you do so, it frees any and all obligations I posses to the government and becomes a nation of occupation. I don’t bear hatred toward those of different political persuasions than myself, and I want those marching towards the conflagration to do so with open eyes. Millions of Americans are either cowards or forbearing. I do not wish to find out, and neither should you. I’ve made peace with dying for my principles, are you willing to do the same for Hillary Clinton? If that question makes you uncomfortable then perhaps you should consider exactly what is at stake here. It certainly isn’t just a presidency.

So Leftist @$$holes, do you really want to go all Redcoat on the 49% of the country that owns 90% of the firearms?

Does Sarajevo ring any bells?

Still want to keep screwing around with that?

Step away from the bong, STFU, take your political lumps.
(It isn't like you didn't have them coming.)

Or, keep pushing, and find out that there are worse consequences and discomforts in life than being in a political Siberia of your own making.
Like, for instance, being in a Little Big Horn of your own making. One where you'll be playing the part of the visiting team.

Call the toss in the air, lunatards.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Viva Counterrevoluccion!

                    is Fake News

If a body were to make an 8"x10" stencil of that, and tag as they had a mind, there's no telling what might happen. (Good and bad.)

If they did it with spray-on Christmas snow on the windows of a few dozen department stores and suchlike, it'd also be pretty darned hard to label as malicious destructive vandalism.

(If you do it to car rear windows at the employee lots of the local newspaper, radio, or TV station, or on the plexiglass front of your local newspaper rack, my hat's off to you, you magnificent bastards.)

You may have read the idea here first.
(Which was pretty much the point.)

Anybody inclined to go out and do it is entirely on their own.

Do yourself a favor: buy the Christmas snow with cash.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Snark Easy, Mathematics Hard

Those of you who don't drop in and read Fred Reed's blog, Fred On Everything , probably should. At least once in awhile. He's generally intelligent, witty, and anything but politically correct, and his missives will at least get you to thinking, and/or get a laugh from you, if not actually persuade you.

But there's a sweet spot in blogging. If you keep at it long enough, you'll let your typing fingers get beyond your brilliance, and when you fall, you'll step on your dick. Except in front of everybody on the Internet. With golf cleats on.

Which brings me to today's excursion into "Natzsofast, Guido...".

Fred's current polemic is a half-baked diatribe in praise of socialism, specifically socialized medicine.
Wherein we find a veritable clowncarnucopia of meadow muffins in support of the thesis, to wit:

Recently I encountered a casual friend–he was dancing in a local club–whom I had not seen for a while. Where ya been, I asked? In Guadalajara for cardiac surgery, he said, double bypass and valve replacement. The replacement valve was from a pig so we made the mandatory jokes about did he say oink-oink, and parted.
Later, for the hell of it, I asked by email what it had cost. His response, verbatim, except for my conversions to dollars at 17 pesos to the dollar:
“The costs of my surgery were as follows:
330,000 pesos to the surgeon and his surgical team. $19,411
122,000 pesos to the hospital for eight days $7176
15,000 to the blood bank. $882
467,000 total  $27,470
The time frame was March 13 to March 21.  The exchange rate around this time period was about 17.5 which would make the USD cost app. $27.000.”
Wondering what this would cost in the US, I googled around and found things like this:
“For patients not covered by health insurance, valve replacement surgery typically costs from about $80,000-$200,000 or more with an average, according to an American Heart Association report[1] , of $164,238, not including the doctor fee. A surgeon fee can add $5,000 or more to the final bill.”
This was only for the valve replacement. The price for a simple bypass in the US runs to $50,000 to $70,000 at the lower end. What the bypasses would add to the replacement, I don’t know, and shudder to think.
The huge difference in price between American and other care occurs in almost everything.
Having established anecdotally the superiority of health care in Mexico, Fred goes on to diagnose why it clearly sucks balls in the U.S.:

Why the prices? Several reasons offer themselves. Advanced countries–Mexico is not one–have less corruption than does the US, and a greater concern for the well-being of their people. In Europe, for example, this is obvious not just in medical care but in unemployment insurance, length of vacations, and public amenities. In Seville, among my favorite cities, sidewalks are very wide, bicycle lanes are actually usable, in intercity buses are clean and comfortable. In the US all of this would be regarded as hippy dippy or socialism or the malevolent workings of the nanny state.  
I tell you, boys and girls, America is a collection of self-interested interests concerned with maximizing profits and nothing else. Hospitals are run for profit, with the result–surprise, surprise–that they charge what they can get away with.

Americans and their health system are clearly run by evil greedy bastards, QED.
But not content with heaping up a mound of cobblers, Fred doubles down on the stupid:

Invariably you hear of the pregnant woman in London who couldn’t see a doctor under national health care and had to giver herself a Caesarian with a chainsaw. These nightmares are offered as proof that national care doesn’t work. In fact the medical business lobbies to underfund national care, ensuring that it won’t work well. Then they talk about the evils of socialism.
Suppose we did make comparisons?
Military medical care is the obvious, available, and easily studied alternative to Obamacare. So far as I know, nobody thought of this. In the military you go to the hospital or clinic, show your ID card, get done whatever you need, and leave. Thank you, good day.  No paperwork. No paperwork. No insurance forms, deductibles. receipts. No insurance companies trying to pay as little as possible, since that’s how they make money. The doctor doesn’t order a PET scan, three MRIs, and a DNA analysis of your grandmother’s dog to run up the bill.
And finally, having loaded the bases, Fred decides to go for the grand slam, and pull in everyone's favorite socialized medicine plum:
Canadians strongly support the health system’s public rather than for-profit private basis, and a 2009 poll by Nanos Research found 86.2% of Canadians surveyed supported or strongly supported “public solutions to make our public health care stronger.”[18][19] A Strategic Counsel survey found 91% of Canadians prefer their health care system instead of a U.S. style system.[
Well, all that's just ducky, Fred. But now that you've had your fun, largely fact-free, it's the other team's turn at bat, boyo.

What Fred cannot seem to conjure, in his rapturous glee of apples to horse apples comparison of the delights of Mexico's socialized medical system, and its superiority to US health care, is a few wee troublesome factoids.

One yuuuuuuuge reason that the Guadalajara Cardiac Care & Aztec Sacrifice Hospital  could get away with a paltry $7176 bill for eight days' stay in cardiac intensive care for his friend, post-op, is that, among other things - as a cursory internet search turned up - the average salary in Mexico for a nurse comes to a beneficent P834/month, take-home [at least according to 2002 data , which was all I found in a brief search]. Doubtless some changes have occurred, but at Fred's stated exchange rate of P17.5:$1, that's the princely sum of $47.65/month, which works out to $0.28/hour. Viva socialismo!

For comparison, I slaved away for Sears & Roebuck's hardware department for around $3.40/hour in the mid 1980s, a mere thirty-five years ago. We won't talk about what nurses got paid in Guadalajara then, but suffice it to say, no customer ever complained their bill for Craftsman tools when I worked there was so high because evil, greedy capitalism as evidenced by my exorbitant weekly salary, despite the fact that what I made then was over ten times what professional nurses get paid in Mexico (or did, in 2002).

Doubtless, Fred, if we could just get nurses (and everyone else in the hospital) in the US to work for the US minimum wage from 1919, we could lick those pesky health care price hikes.

He also seems incensed by the doctor's fee for surgery coming in at $5000. It doesn't sound as juicy if you note that Uncle Fork It Over, and the state, combined probably make $2500 of that fee, and even less so when one observes that the doctor's malpractice insurance company (by which we mean the lawyers and accountants running that company ) skim another $1250 off that fee, 24/7/365/for the MD's entire career.
(I will note in passing that getting $1250 take home for cutting your beating heart open and fixing it, and you living is a sum within rock-throwing distance of my day rate for an ER shift, here in the land of greedy evil capitalistic health care. I'm a bastard like that.)
Of course, if we could just agree that surgical error should be grounds for a punitive fee, or license revocation, rather than a Powerball Payoff for the plaintiff - and plaintiff's lawyers (John Edwards, call your office), we could get that fee down quite a bit, and if we could stuff government's snout back to, say, 10% total depredations, we could whack it down even farther.

So yes, as Fred noted:
The huge difference in price between American and other care occurs in almost everything.
For reference, Fred, that's why they call where you live now The Third World. You could look it up.

I am, quite frankly, too lazy to look up the morbidity and mortality (i.e. fuck-up & failure) rates of the pride of Mexican health care, vis-à-vis at American hospitals. I can only offer anecdotal evidence of people flying here from Brazil, and coming by the hordes from Mexico, to avail themselves of American medical care, while generally Americans with any sense acquire evacuation insurance to cover medical evac from the blessings of Mexican medical technology, should the need arise.

Nor would I ponder how many Mexicans could afford that $27,400 surgery on anything other than either narco-cartel wages, or ex-pat gringo Social Security/Medicare, in a country whose per capita GDP is $17,500, and where the median household income is $12,800.
It being Mexico, I suppose that if one requires the heart valve replacement, they just skip food and shelter - for a couple of years. Like you do. What could go wrong with that?

As for the next analysis-challenged anecdotal, military care, let's all nota bene that there are, in fact, metric buttloads of paperwork for that care, just not for the patient. Everyone else has to document everything else in triplicate.

And the doctor isn't going to order anything to "run up the bill", because his incentive is to give you as fucking little care as he can get away with, because he answers to his CO, and ultimately to SecDef and POTUS, for the military budget. In case anyone is wondering whether that's a good thing, or not, let's send out a call for testimony from Agent Orange. And say, while you're on the horn, see if you can whistle up the stats on PTSD and veteran suicide from 2001-present, whatsay?

We'll leave virtually unmentioned that military care is predominantly care for fit, health 18-30 year-old males, and that if anyone in the .mil needed a coronary valve replacement in the first place, they'd be medically discharged straight to the other government military health care marvel, known as the V.A.

Anyone can go search archives over at WeaponsMan's blog for a light-hearted view, or simply pull the first 500 horror stories from any fishwrap of record to see what an abortion with legs VA "care" encompasses.

Then, by all means, let's have that for everyone.

Finally, we will stipulate for the record that most Canadians love their health care system.
Provided we note as well that most of them love it so much, they flee the 100 or so miles southward 90% of them live in proximity to the US, to avail themselves of routine procedures on demand that have a 3-5 year wait in Canada, in medical centers in Seattle, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Buffalo, and even NYFC.

If Canadians had to live solely with Canadian health care, President Trump would need to build two fences.

But, while we're onto that, let's note that Mexican socialized health care is so good, fully two-thirds of all babies born in cities like San Diego, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Dallas-Ft. Worth, and Houston are born to illegal alien mothers from Mexico. So if Mexican health care is so damn good, I'd appreciate it -personally - if you'd spread that word around town in sunny Burritoville, where you live, because my back aches carrying that load every shift up here. To be fair, the Canadian system at least pays their bills.

Your Mexican amigos generally just skip out without paying anything.

Which, truth be told Fred, is the other reason why hospital and health care costs are so damned high up here in the First World: the gringos up here are paying not just their bill, but the three deadbeats' bills of Juan, Jesus, and Guadalupe, along with forty-seven of their anchor-baby offspring burped out just in time north of the border, and the "emergency" bills for an aunt, two uncles, and three grandparents lovingly smuggled up to hospitals in los Estados Unidos with between five and fourteen pre-existing co-morbid conditions because Yes, They Can. Ask me how I know.

We could go further, and reference the other shining triumphs of socialism throughout history.

But what, at this point, does it matter?
A few hundred millions of casualties, entre nous , is hardly worth a mention.

The bookends from Britain on the subject come to mind as well.
But quoting brilliant statesmen to prove the point is like shooting fish in a barrel. With a howitzer.

Instead, let's simply go no farther than the most recent example of a socialist paradise.

Fred, as I said, is a mostly funny guy. Sometimes, he cuts through the PC B.S. like a hot knife through butter, and gets right to the salient points of an issue. And, given his military service in Vietnam, he's got a paltry 60-70 years of life experience, and Old Guys Know Stuff isn't just a cute t-shirt, it's How It Is In The Real World.

But running on pure iconoclastic snark while ignoring the depth sounder telling you you're headed for the rocks is a recipe for philosophical disaster.
And clearly, on economics, if not plain math, Fred's run totally out of his depth.

But don't take my word for it, boys and girls. Nor Fred's either.
Do what Bill Whittle suggested a decade ago: go on down to Key West, and test your prejudice against truth on the ground.
Socialist intellectuals will tell you that Cuba is a model nation: universal free health care, near total literacy, and essentially no gap whatsoever between the rich and the poor. They call it an island paradise where brotherhood and compassion reign in stark contrast to the brutal inequalities of the heartless and racist capitalist monster to the North, ruled by its Imperial Nazi King, who is the devious mastermind of all manner of Conspiratorial Wheels and is also a moron.

Capitalist intellectuals -– and there are not many, since most of these people have jobs -– argue that Cuba is a squalid, corrupt, poverty-ridden basket case, a land of oppression and secret police and torture chambers run by a megalomaniac who practices the most idiotic, inhuman and degrading economic system ever invented.

So here we sit in the chartroom, with our competing maps. What to think?
Well, ask yourself what it would take to give up your home, your country, your family and all your friends. Ask yourself how desperate you would have to be to sneak out in the night, and strap your family – your grandmother and infant son – to a collection of inner tubes lashed together and set out in the dark surf across 90 miles of shark-infested water in the dead of night, hoping against hope to make landfall. We can all agree, I think, that that kind of desperation could only be driven by a fairly passionate first-person opinion of such things. Surely this goes beyond what you or I would do to win a map argument at Starbucks.  
So. Go up on deck, get out the telescope, and answer one simple question for me and for yourself: 
Which way are the rafts headed?


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Nothing In Particular Going On

Just cleaning up the man cave, and busy minding my own business.
A worthy habit for individuals, and a delightful one for governments.

Enjoy your holidays, and spend some time on your own.

Things are liable to get sportier after New Year's.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

This Just Gets Better Every Day

Meet your next Secretary of Defense

per the Fishwrap Of Record

60/40 we get our military back inside of a year.

Some quotes from Mattis:

1. “I don’t lose any sleep at night over the potential for failure. I cannot even spell the word.”
2. “The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event. That said, there are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot.”
3. “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.”
4. “Find the enemy that wants to end this experiment (in American democracy) and kill every one of them until they’re so sick of the killing that they leave us and our freedoms intact.”
5. “Marines don’t know how to spell the word defeat.”
6. “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
7. “The most important six inches on the battlefield is between your ears.”
8. “You are part of the world’s most feared and trusted force. Engage your brain before you engage your weapon.”
9. “There are hunters and there are victims. By your discipline, cunning, obedience and alertness, you will decide if you are a hunter or a victim.”
10. “No war is over until the enemy says it’s over. We may think it over, we may declare it over, but in fact, the enemy gets a vote.”
11. “There is nothing better than getting shot at and missed. It’s really great.”
12. “You cannot allow any of your people to avoid the brutal facts. If they start living in a dream world, it’s going to be bad.”
13. “You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up there with you. I like brawling.”
14. “I’m going to plead with you, do not cross us. Because if you do, the survivors will write about what we do here for 10,000 years.”
15. “Demonstrate to the world there is ‘No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy’ than a U.S. Marine.”
16. “Fight with a happy heart and strong spirit.”